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Bookies clean up after Maggie's Centre Stirling victory

Bookmaker William Hill is laughing all the way to the bank following Richard Rogers’ Stirling Prize win with his Maggie’s Centre in London

The victory surprised many punters who had waged the most cash on Tony Fretton’s Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, the runaway favourite, which had been given odds of just 6/4 to win in the days before Saturday’s prize-giving ceremony (17.10.09).

Meanwhile the Maggie’s Centre had ended up at an unappealing 4/1 to win – an offer which not many betters had taken up – leaving the bookies thousands of pounds better off.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: ‘We cleaned up. The biggest bet on the Fretton scheme was £500 [while] the largest on The Maggie’s Centre was only £35.’

Adams added: ‘This year was quiet with less than £10,000 wagered in total.’

Intriguingly, it is the second time Richard Rogers has defied William Hill’s Stirling Prize odds and stolen in to beat an outright favourite. In 2006 his practice’s Barajas Airport in Madrid bagged the prestigious prize ahead of Zaha Hadid’s much-fancied Phaeno Science Centre in Germany (6-4 fav), despite only being priced at 9-2.

Previous story (12.10.09)

Fretton Kunstmuseum favourite for Stirling Prize

The latest betting odds by William Hill have put Tony Fretton’s Fuglsang Kunstmuseum as the favourite to win the Stirling Prize

The Fuglsang Kunstmuseum has been given odds of 6/4 to win, closely followed by both shortlisted projects by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the Maggie’s Centre in London and the Spanish winery Bodegas Protos, with joint odds of 9/2.

The winner will be announced on Saturday 17 October at 9pm, and broadcast live on Channel 4 from Old Billingsgate in London.

Now in its 14th year, the RIBA Stirling Prize is run in association with The Architects’ Journal and Crystal CG, and is awarded to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.

William Hill’s latest odds are:

  • Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Denmark by Tony Fretton Architects (William Hill odds: 6/4)
  • Maggie’s Centre, London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (odds: 9/2)
  • Bodegas Protos, Spain by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (odds: 9/2)
  • Liverpool One Masterplan, Liverpool by BDP (odds: 5/1)
  • 5 Aldermanbury Square, London by Eric Parry Architects (odds: 5/1)
  • Kentish Town Health Centre, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (odds: 6/1)

This year, the £20,000 cash prize will be generously donated by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, which is set up by former RIBA President Marco Goldschmied. Currently, the Foundation supports the Stephen Lawrence Prize, which encourages fresh talent working with a budget of under £1 million.

The RIBA Stirling Prize jury, which has visited all six shortlisted buildings, will meet for a final time on the day of the presentation to pick the winner. The 2009 judges are: Benedetta Tagliabue, architect, Sir John Sorrell, Chair of CABE, Thomas Heatherwick, designer, John Tuomey, architect and chair of the panel, and Stephen Bates, architect.

Readers' comments (3)

  • it is good but why on earth is kind of building on the list anyway? sterling prize is devalued year by year.

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  • Anon, so which building 'types' are worthy for entry then? Surely architecture is not judged by the building type or use. It is judged by whether the resulting building satisfies or exceeds the clients needs, wants and aspirations. It doesn't matter whether the building is a gallery, hospital, abbatoir, bedsit, oligarchs playpad or sheltered accomodation, a good building is a good building. Some of us want to celebrate good architecture, not squabble over the worthiness of the brief.

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  • This 'kind of building' requires absolute satisfaction of a particular brief - and this building in particular required such a solution on a very difficult site...the fact that the building achieves a satisfactory solution to the 'brief' is surely worthy of celebration as it is - in essence - what architecture is all about...?

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