Wilkinson Eyre Architects has strengthened its grip on the Stirling Prize for this year with its £17.7 million Millennium Bridge project in Gateshead, according to the bookies.
William Hill has shortened the odds for the scheme - built with engineer Gifford just a stone's throw from Gateshead's Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, where the RIBA is staging its ceremony this Saturday - from 2-1 to 5-4, while support appears to be slipping for the second favourite, Edward Cullinan and Partners'Downland Gridshell near Chichester. That eased from 7-2 to 4-1 in the betting. The odds on Richard Rogers Partnership's Lloyd's Register of Shipping scheme in the City of London have lengthened from 4-1 to 9-2, and William Hill has increased its odds for all the other projects in the running.Hampden Gurney, the London school by BDP, has moved from 9-2 to 11-2;
Dance Base, Malcolm Fraser Architects' project in Edinburgh, eased from 6-1 to 13-2; and David Chipperfield Architects' Ernsting Service Centre in Germany and Benson+Forsyth's Millennium Wing at the National Gallery of Ireland are the outsiders for the main £20,000 prize, both now rated 10-1 chances, having previously been 8-1 shots.
All the schemes will be judged on the night. Log onto the AJ website at www. ajplus. co. uk for the winner.