David Chipperfield Architects has stolen a march on its rivals in the race to win the 2007 Stirling Prize - with two of its schemes making it on to this year's shortlist.
Chipperfield's brace are the America's Cup building in Valencia, Spain, and the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach am Neckar, Germany.
The four other shortlisted buildings are: Glenn Howells' Savill Building, Windsor Great Park; Haworth Tompkins' Young Vic, London; OMA's Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal, and Foster & Partners' Dresden Station, Germany.
Despite being 'over the moon' at the double Stirling selection, David Chipperfield said the fact that both his schemes were in Europe spoke volumes about the state of UK architecture.
He said: 'What have I built in England in the last 25 years? [Working in Europe] has worked out fine for me -
apart from continually having to apologise to my family for always being on a plane - but does every young British architect have to do what I have had to?
'England does not help its young architects,' he added.
Like winner Richard Rogers last year, Chipperfield has a one-in-three chance of walking away with the prize, now in its 12th year.
Chipperfield may have the edge over his rivals but, according to bookmaker William Hill, his America's Cup building is level-pegging with OMA's Casa da Música (which qualifies for Stirling because of OMA's membership of the RIBA) and Glenn Howells' Savill Building with odds of 3-1. Chipperfield's other scheme - the Museum of Modern Literature - has been put at 5-1.
Glenn Howells, who was on the judging panel for the RIBA Awards, from whose winners the Stirling Prize is selected, expressed surprise at his building's joint favourite spot. He said: 'Even though I was close to the process, I didn't think the building would do so well. Just to get shortlisted is fantastic; I am bowled over.'
Chipperfield may have taken the limelight, but Birmingham-based Howells says his practice's presence on the shortlist is particularly special.
'We are a rare beast,' he said, 'a regional practice on the Stirling shortlist.'
To see full covererage of the shortlisted buildings visit www.ajplus.co.uk/stirling
.by Max Thompson