The year was 2008 and Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara had just become the first two women to win the award for 'world building of the year'.
Their design for the Universita Luigi Bocconi in Milan had received widespread acclaim and the world's media had gathered to have a moment with the two architects.
The journalists were asked if anyone had any questions. An eager Russian journalist was the first to jump in. Yvonne chuckles at the memory: "She said 'What do your husbands think?'"
The Tullamore woman can laugh now at the madness of that moment. Her lack of resentment portrays a positive undercurrent - it was the only time in 40 years she has felt even a hint of gender bias.
The work of both women has long spoken for itself and so it was that last week the pair earned their way into the architectural pantheon, winning the most prestigious architectural prize in the world.
The 'Pritzker' is to architecture what the Nobel is to peace, literature and science. Only one other Irish person has ever received such an honour - Kevin Roche. In terms of proving your excellence in the profession, there is nowhere else to go.
"All of our lives we were told be what you want to be," says Yvonne. "When I was younger and I said I want to be an architect, it was fine, nobody batted an eyelid."
From an early age she knew architecture was in her bones. Aged six, she would watch her brother change a 2D shape into a 3D object on blue gridded paper. Under the elderberry trees she would make structures from the branches and stones. Her first buildings were houses for her cats, complete with window boxes fashioned from wooden pencil cases.
It was in architecture college that Yvonne met her business partner Shelley and the pair would go on to shape each other's destiny. They became part of a gang nicknamed 'The Corb' thanks to their love of Swiss architect Le Corbusier.
The pair went on to work in London then eventually returned to set up Grafton Architects, above Weir's jewellers on Grafton Street.
After 40 years and countless buildings dotted across the globe, their friendship and partnership is stronger than ever. Why is this when everyone from rock bands to business partners fall out?
Yvonne puts it down to one key component: "Respect." To this day it has kept them in abundance.
"Shelley is a deep friend of mine. Through thick and thin Shelley is there."
Do they ever fight?
"We don't let each other away with things but it is done out of respect and standing ground."
Together they have been through the worst of times. Yvonne has previously recalled "dramatic moments of horror and fear" during three economic recessions and "feeling ill many times waking up in the middle of the night".
"When the last downturn hit in 2008, Shelley and I noticed a number of our projects were being 'deferred'. It was a verb we hadn't heard before.
"We thought it was ourselves, that we were doing something wrong - and then we spoke to our colleagues and realised the same thing was happening to them."
In a week when their phones are buzzing with well-wishers, it is notable that her thoughts fall on someone who was there in the pit. She becomes visibly emotional when she recalls "being in our office in the first recession and sitting, staring at the telephone with no work coming in. Another architect, a very dear friend who has since passed away, left two bouquets of flowers on our desk".
Now the bouquets are coming thick and fast, one lesson from the hard times has stayed with her. Her advice to others facing obstacles in work or life is to always try to look for the better view.
"It is very important in times of crisis to remember that the sun rises. I remember being in the study room of my school one day, and when I looked out one window it was raining and there were dark clouds gathering and on the other side the sun was shining. I remember thinking, even as a teenager, I will look out that window with the sunshine instead. I think it is a decision you have to make."
It is notable then that both she and Shelley strive to bring as much light as possible to their buildings. She describes light as "liquid gold" that, at just the right moment, can make the structure of a building appear to dissolve. She is keen to get the public interested in architecture as much as literature, painting or music. And sees it as a failure of her profession that the public are still so far removed.
Her passion is evident in her vivid descriptions of what many would see as the mundane.
She describes bricks found in a factory near Toulouse as "so beautiful you want to eat them like biscuits".
At another point she says a building is "like an animal that has a life of its own", and she wants people to notice how it makes them feel when they walk down one of Dublin's busiest shopping streets.
"You walk through streets with buildings that are holding you in their arms - you are not aware of every building but you are aware that you are held by surfaces, whether they are brick or stone or glass."
When you experience architecture, she says, "it is something to do with your skin - you really have to walk into a place. No matter how much I can tell you verbally, it's not the same thing."
She wants people to be aware that it is in their interest to educate themselves in architecture so that they can have an informed say in ensuring they live in beautiful cities.
"Since 2008 more people live in cities around the world than in nature so what we do has more impact than ever. By 2050 I think 75pc of the world's population will be living in cities."
She wants to avoid a kneejerk reaction to the housing crisis and - despite reaching the pinnacle of her profession - would be "very, very happy" to talk to the Government on how best to deal with the design of public services from sewage to flooding defences.
"Architects are both practical and dreamers," she says.
"Not in a soft, fluffy way but in a 'wouldn't it be wonderful if we did this' way. We have the ability to deal with the mundane while having a cultural and societal ambition.
"It's like the Oscar Wilde quote - we are in the gutter but looking at the stars."
To illustrate her point she cites an apartment building in Milan that has a little gate leading to a ramp down to the front door.
There is a bench outside that door on which you can place your shopping bags. It also has a canopy overhead before you enter.
"That is the thoughtfulness of architecture," she says.
"We bring you down a little ramp, hold your shopping for you [on the bench] while you find your keys, and keep you sheltered from the rain [with the canopy].
"That is the level of detail that can be brought to a mega structure such as a beautiful high-rise building.
"That's what architects are trained to do. To think about the detail."