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Mecanoo’s Library of Birmingham tops AJ reader Stirling Prize poll

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The AJ’s readers are backing Mecanoo’s Library of Birmingham to win the RIBA Stirling Prize 2014 tonight (16 October)

In an online poll, the £188.8million scheme received 39 per cent of the votes, putting it ahead of the bookmakers’ favourite O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics which was backed by 30 per cent of the voters.

The Birmingham library also topped the BBC’s poll with 30 per cent of votes, closely followed by Zaha Hadid Architects London Aquatics Centre which received 26 per cent of the votes.

Earlier this week William Hill announced that O’Donnell + Tuomey’s brick clad student centre had been the most heavily backed to win this year’s prize.

The latest figures revealed that almost a third of punters believe the Saw Swee Hock building will give the Dublin-based practice its first Stirling Prize victory. William Hill reported that 30 per cent of the bets it had received had been wagered on the ‘surprising and striking’ brick clad building in central London.

The winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced at around 8.20pm tonight (16 October). The ceremony will be held at the RIBA’s headquarters in Portland Place.

AJ readers’ poll results

  • Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo 39%
  • Saw Swee Hock Student Centre by O’Donnell and Tuomey 30%
  • Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins 12%
  • The Shard by Renzo Piano Building Workshop 7%
  • London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects 7%
  • Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 3%

BBC poll results

  • Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo 30%
  • London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects 26%
  • The Shard by Renzo Piano Building Workshop 20%
  • Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins 10%
  • Saw Swee Hock Student Centre by O’Donnell and Tuomey 8%
  • Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 7%

 

 

 

 

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.’

Starting odds: 5/2

See drawings and photographs of Zaha Hadid Architects’ Aquatics Centre 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.’

Starting odds: 5/1

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

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.’

Starting odds: 4/1

See drawings and photographs of O’Donnell & Tuomey’s London School of Economics – Saw Swee Hock Student Centre 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.

Starting odds: 9/1

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.’

Starting odds: 2/1

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.’

Starting odds: 6/1

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

 

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