Dublin-based Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have been awarded architecture's most prestigious prize.

It is the first time a female duo have been awarded the Pritzker Prize.

The pair gained international fame for their blocky, brutalist-inspired structures that include Paris's Institut Mines Telecom building.

The buildings cited by the Pritzker Prize committee also include the offices of the Department of Finance and Parnell Square Cultural Quarter in Dublin.

Just three women have won Pritzkers before them and Kevin Roche was the only previous Irish winner in 1982.

Architects since the 1970s, the duo have developed a unique style that is modern while emphasizing craft and working with site-specific aesthetics.

The jury cited Ms Farrell and Ms McNamara's "integrity" and "generosity towards their colleagues".

The judges also praised their "unceasing commitment to excellence in architecture, their responsible attitude toward the environment, their ability to be cosmopolitan while embracing the uniqueness of each place in which they work".

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The pair say Ireland informed their focus on geography and shifts in climate, resulting in buildings that celebrate detail while remaining modest.

"What we try to do in our work is to be aware of the various levels of citizenship and try to find an architecture that deals with overlap, that heightens your relationship to one another," the Pritzker committee quoted Ms Farrell as saying.

The two women co-founded Grafton Architects in 1978 in Dublin, where they both continue to work and live.

The past four decades have seen them complete projects in Ireland as well as Britain, France, Italy and Peru.

"Within the ethos of a practice such as ours, we have so often struggled to find space for the implementation of such values as humanism, craft, generosity, and cultural connection with each place and context within which we work," Ms McNamara said.

"It is therefore extremely gratifying that this recognition is bestowed upon us and our practice and upon the body of work we have managed to produce over a long number of years."

The Arts Council has said it is delighted that the Irish pair have been awarded the Pritzker prize.

Kevin Rafter, Chair of the Arts Council , said: "On behalf of the Arts Council,  I wish to congratulate Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects as they are announced as winners of the 2020 Pritzker prize, architecture's highest international honour.

"This award recognises the quality, significance and consistency of their body of work, over more than forty years. Their architecture is marked by a generosity of spirit, as echoed in 'FREESPACE', the title they gave, as curators, to the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018."