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STIRLING SHORTLIST

Bookmaker William Hill released its initial odds on this year's Stirling Prize shortlist, sponsored by the AJ, just hours after it was exclusively revealed on www. ajplus. co. uk last Thursday.

However, those in the know believe these prices are a misreading of the chances of the six contenders. Ed Dorrell produces an alternative set of odds. Place your bets on www. willhill. com

IDEA STORE, WHITECHAPEL, ADJAYE ASSOCIATES William Hill's odds - 6/1 The AJ's odds - 3/1 God knows, everyone loves a good socially worthwhile building. Sitting on the rundown Whitechapel Road, just up the street from the Blind Beggar pub, where Reggie Kray did away with Jack 'The Hat' McVitie, David Adjaye's library (plus) will prove popular with all Guardian readers. But whether it's quite good enough - especially in the detailing stakes - to see off the others is debatable. The bookie's odds still make this a good bet though.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WALES, RICHARD ROGERS PARTNERSHIP William Hill's odds - 3/1 The AJ's odds - 4/1 Does this sound familiar? A new parliament building in the Celtic fringe that was beset by problems during construction and has made it into the last six for Stirling. The only difference was that the Scottish Parliament was, rightly, a clear favourite that went on to win. The assembly building in Cardiff Bay is unlikely to follow suit. A popular project in the principality, but it simply does not 'smell' right for the Stirling.

It can't be completely ruled out, however.

BRICK HOUSE, CARUSO ST JOHN ARCHITECTS William Hill's odds - 9/4 The AJ's odds - 6/1 To the amazement of the gambling a-cionados on the AJ's news desk, the boffins at William Hill seem to believe that Caruso St John's domestic masterpiece is the favourite. It is not. It is undeniably a stunning piece of work, but - and this is not really going out on a limb - it is extremely unlikely to land the big one. It should simply be celebrated for having got this far.

EVELINA CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, HOPKINS ARCHITECTS William Hill's odds - 7/2 The AJ's odds - 7/2 This is by all accounts a fine hospital building which - surprise, surprise - was not procured using the PFI system.

Whether it's the best building of the last 12 months is another question altogether. It probably sits in the same position as Bennetts' Brighton Library last year - it's done well to get this far in the Stirling and it will be a shock if it fails to pick up the Prime Minister's Better Public Buildings Award.

PHAENO SCIENCE CENTRE, WOLFSBURG, GERMANY, ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS William Hill's odds - 6/1 The AJ's odds - 9/4 This must surely be a front runner.

Quite what the fine folk at William Hill are doing placing it at as joint outsider is anyone's guess. After the BMW factory made it into the last six in 2005, this could well be Zaha's year. Neutral observers seem to believe that Phaeno represents the great Iraqi stepping up a gear and, depending on the judges' agreement, the commercial odds look very worthy of a utter.

NEW AREA TERMINAL, BARAJAS AIRPORT, MADRID, RICHARD ROGERS PARTNERSHIP William Hill's odds - 7/2 The AJ's odds - 2/1 It is received wisdom that anyone who gets two schemes on the shortlist more than doubles their chance of landing the big one.

Just look at Foster when he was shortlisted with both the Gherkin and the Bexley Business Academy. What's more, almost everyone seems to think Barajas is possibly the best piece of airport design in the world. The only caveat seems to be whether encouraging air transport will be considered the right message.

JUST MISSED THE CUT; THE LONGLISTED SCHEMES Northampton Academy, Feilden Clegg Bradley The Egg Theatre, Haworth Tompkins Alpine House, Kew, Wilkinson Eyre Donnybrook Quarter, Peter Barber Architects Blizard Building, Queen Mary University, Alsop Design Unicorn Theatre, Keith Williams Environmental Agency, Dessau, Sauerbruch Hutton Caixa Galicia, Grimshaw

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