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'Major surprise': bookies clean up after Everyman's RIBA Stirling Prize victory


Bookmaker William Hill has admitted last night’s RIBA Stirling Prize victory for Haworth Tompkins’ Everyman Theatre was a ‘great result’

Despite being offered at tempting odds of 9/2, the largest bet on the ‘daring and bold’ building in Liverpool was just £20.

The biggest money, including a huge wager of £500, had gone on O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects’ Saw Swee Hock Student Centre. Almost a third of punters had backed the London School of Economics building to end the Irish practice’s Stirling Prize drought. There had also been a run on Renzo Piano’s Shard at London Bridge before Thursday night’s ceremony at RIBA’s headquarters in Portland Place.

According to William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams, the win had come as a ‘major surprise’. He said: ‘We thought the momentum was with The Shard. It is a great result for both [Haworth Tompkins] and the bookies.’

‘The Stirling Prize is starting to remind us of the Mercury Music prize. Either the favourite or the obscure wins.’

Among those to have had a successful flutter was Deborah Aydon, the Everyman’s executive director, who had backed her own project to win.

William Hill said betting across the board on the Stirling Prize finalists was up almost 50 per cent on last year, ‘largely because of the high profile nature of the buildings.’

Where the money went - ranked by % of overall bets

30% London School of Economics

21% London Bridge Tower

18% Everyman Theatre

14% London Aquatics Centre

12% Library of Birmingham

5% Manchester School of Art

Everyman Theatre

London School of Economics – Saw Swee Hock Student Centre by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects

Judge’s citation

‘This is an object lesson in creating a surprising and striking building on a difficult urban site. Formed as a continuous spiral rising upwards, the outer brick walls slope and twist, gouged with cuts and cracks that give light and form. The floors take up complex shapes, yet all the spaces feel natural and functional. This is a building showing a high degree of craftsmanship.’

Final odds: 11/8

See drawings and photographs of O’Donnell & Tuomey’s London School of Economics – Saw Swee Hock Student Centre in the AJ Buildings Library

London Bridge Tower (The Shard) by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Judge’s citation

‘1.2 million square feet of accommodation has been built on a small parcel of land directly next to one of London’s major transport hubs. To make a tower on such a tight site a thing of great beauty is a rare achievement. Six uses occupy multiple floors: health clinic, offices, restaurants, hotel, residential apartments and public viewing gallery; to create a ‘vertical village’. The building is omnipresent in London and has added immeasurably to the city.’

Final odds: 7/2

London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

Judge’s citation

‘This world-class building was a fitting backdrop for the 2012 Olympic Games. Inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion, the undulating roof sweeps up from the ground like a wave to fold over the building and define two separate pools.

‘It is very beautiful; sensual with a generosity of space. The pure and powerful form is conceptually flawless; it will be a favourite venue for Londoners for generations to come.’

Final odds: 7/2

See drawings and photographs of Zaha Hadid Architects’ Aquatics Centre in the AJ Buildings Library

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool by Haworth Tompkins

Judge’s citation

‘After nine years gestation, Liverpool has a brand new purpose-built theatre of outstanding quality. The selection and use of materials has created an exceptionally tactile building. This is a building that will age gracefully, continually enriched by the patina of daily use. It will both reassure and delight its loyal audience and those discovering this gem for the first time.’

Final odds: 9/2

See drawings and photographs of Haworth Tompkins’ Everyman Theatre in the AJ Buildings Library

Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo

Judge’s citation

‘Three stacked boxes adorned with a glittering filigree screen are the signature of this landmark, which makes a bold and transformative addition to the city. With formal and informal spaces for reading, relaxing, playing and participating in the library’s programme of events, it has shaken the traditional perception of a library to one where families and readers can spend a whole day learning and engaging.’

Final odds: 10/1

See drawings and photographs of Mecanoo’s Library of Birmingham in the AJ Buildings Library

Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Judge’s citation

The major refurbishment of a 1960s tower and new extension with open studios and workshops has been executed with great skill and innovation. Design excellence has been coupled with a visionary brief calling for staff and students to break traditional course divisions and work across disciplines. This is a building where the exploration of design and creativity will flourish.

Final odds: 10/1


Readers' comments (2)

  • Just pleased that the Manchester School of Art didn't win. Sorry, but compared to the others it just looks dull. I'm sure it's a good building and all, but it's just not attractive.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • JustFacades.com

    I am sure the LSE will win the brick award though!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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