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Bookies: RIBA Stirling Prize too close to call

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Bookmaker William Hill has described this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize as one of the closest contests in recent years

According to the betting company’s latest odds, there is no runaway favourite with little to choose between Reiach and Hall’s Maggie’s centre in Lanarkshire (2/1), MUMA’s The Whitworth gallery (9/4) and Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Darbishire Place housing scheme (7/2).

A spokesman confirmed bets had been evenly wagered across all six finalists in the running for the most prestigious prize in British architecture.

William Hill’s Rupert Adams said: ‘It is one of the tightest Stirling Prizes in the last few years. The top three are very close.

‘Unlike the Great British Bake Off, where we saw a lot of money going on one contender suggesting somebody knew something, here the money is so spread out.

‘There is nothing to suggest which of the buildings is top of the judges’ wish list. People are just going with the one they like.’

The one major change in William Hill’s odds since the shortlist was first announced in July (AJ 16.07.15) are the chances of AHMM’s Burntwood School winning the prize. Initially the favourite (2/1), the 2,000-pupil all-girl school is now an 10/1 outsider. 

Intriguingly over the last ten years the bookmakers’ favourite has only won once – Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI in 2010.

The biggest shocks came in 2008 - when the Accordia housing won with the largest bet just £10 – and in 2011 when Hadid’s Evelyn Grace beat Hopkins’ Olympic Park velodrome to win the award. Almost two thirds of all the bets had gone on the cycling venue.

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced at a ceremony held in 66 Portland Place on the evening of 15 October.

Latest odds (9 October)

  • 2/1 Maggie’s Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall
  • 9/4 The Whitworth by MUMA
  • 7/2 Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin Architects
  • 6/1 University of Greenwich by Heneghan Peng
  • 10/1 NEO Bankside by RSHP
  • 10/1 Burntwood School by AHMM

A decade of Stirling Prize betting


Favourites: Foster’s McLaren Technology Centre (5/2) and Jubilee Library in Brighton by Bennetts Associates and Lomax Cassidy & Edwards (5/2)
Actual winner: Scottish Parliament (5/1)
Notes: At the time this was the worst ever Stirling Prize loss for William Hill with rumours of suspicious betting patterns


Favourite: Brick House, Caruso St John (9/4) initial odds - Zaha Hadid’s Phaeno Science centre later became favourite
Actual winner: Richard Rogers’ Barajas airport (7/2)
Notes: A major victory for William Hill, hardly any money had been placed on Rogers’ scheme in Madrid


Favourite: David Chipperfield’s America’s Cup building (3/1)
Actual winner: David Chipperfield’s Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach am Neckar (7/2)


Favourite: Denton Corker Marshall’s Manchester Civil Justice Centre (10/11 odds-on)
Actual winner: Accordia housing scheme by Feilden Clegg Bradley, Maccreanor Lavington and Alison Brooks Architects at (5/1)
Notes: Accordia was the rank outsider and the largest bet on it was just £10. The bookies cleaned up


Favourite:  Tony Fretton Architects’ Fuglsang Kustmuseum (3/1)
Actual winner:  Maggie’s Centre, London, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (4/1)


Favourite: Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI museum in Rome (11/10)
Actual winner: Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI museum in Rome (11/10)



Favourite: Hopkins’ Olympic London 2012 Velodrome (11/8)
Actual winner: Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy (7/2).
Notes: A big win for William Hill – almost two thirds of bets had gone on Hopkins’ cycle arena. 


Favourite: David Chipperfield Architects’ The Hepworth, Wakefield (3/1)
Actual winner: Stanton Williams’ Sainsbury Laboratory (7/2)


Favourite: Niall McLaughlin’s Bishop Edward King Chapel (5/4)
Actual Winner: Witherford Watson Mann’s Astley Castle (6/1)
Notes: ‘The best result for [the] bookies this millennium’. Largest bet on Astley Castle just £20.


Favourite: O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects’ Saw Swee Hock Student Centre.(11/8)
Actual Winner: Haworth Tompkins’ Everyman Theatre (9/2).
Notes: 30 per cent of punters had put money on the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre to win



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