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Níall McLaughlin bookies’ new favourite to win Stirling Prize

Bookmaker William Hill has made Níall McLaughlin Architects’ library at Magdalene College its new favourite to win this year’s Stirling Prize

The Cambridge scheme, which is now being offered at odds of just 5/4, has replaced the previous frontrunner, Mæ Architects' Sands End Arts and Community Centre.

The west London centre, built with engineered wood and specialist bricks created from construction waste, has seen its price slip back over the past week from 6/4 to 7/4.

This means the bookies think McLaughlin's New Library project is increasingly likely to win the highest accolade in UK architecture when the results are announced on Thursday (13 October) at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London.


If Níall McLaughlin Architects does take the prestigious crown, it will be fourth time lucky for the practice, which has been shortlisted three times previously: in 2013 for its Bishop Edward King Chapel at Ripon College, Cuddesdon; in 2015 for its Darbishire Place housing in Whitechapel, London; and in 2018 when its The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College, Oxford, was beaten by Foster + Partners’ Bloomberg London building.

According to William Hill's latest rankings, Henley Halebrown’s Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road remains in third place with Panter Hudpsith’s Orchard Gardens scheme in Elephant and Castle – the bookies’ original second favourite on the six-strong shortlist – still in fourth position with odds of 6/1.

Hopkins Architects’ revamp of a 1980s office block on the Broadgate campus at Liverpool Street and Forth Valley College, Falkirk Campus in Scotland, by Reiach and Hall Architects, have both lost ground on the rest of the pack and are now priced at 12/1 and 16/1 respectively.

Last year’s Stirling Prize went to Grafton Architects’ Kingston University Town House. The six-storey, multipurpose higher education building in south-west London had not been William Hill's favourite to win, with the scheme priced at at 5/1. Instead, it favoured Marks Barfield's Cambridge Central Mosque with odds of 7/4.

Announcing the 2022 finalists in July, RIBA president Simon Allford said all six gave ‘cause for optimism’ and offered innovative solutions in the face of the housing, energy and climate crises.


He said: ‘From major capital city regeneration programmes to new visions for higher education, they all share the ambition to deliver generous architecture fit for a low-carbon future.

‘All six buildings are informed by close consultation and collaboration with clients, contractors and the community. The result: outstanding and welcoming architecture that lifts the spirit of all who engage with it.'


RIBA 2022 Stirling shortlist odds (3 October)

5/4 • The New Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge (by Níall McLaughlin Architects): an exquisitely detailed timber-framed library and study space, designed to replace that previously gifted by Samuel Pepys and projected to survive for another 400 years

7/4 • Sands End Arts and Community Centre, London (by Mæ Architects): a welcoming, fully accessible single-storey building arranged around a disused lodge comprising flexible activity spaces and a community café.

7/2 • Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road, London (by Henley Halebrown): a striking red-brick complex that uniquely combines affordable housing with a new primary school for the growing east London community.

6/1 • Orchard Gardens, Elephant Park, London (by Panter Hudspith Architects): a playful cluster of buildings forming a new city block of 228 new homes and retail spaces wrapped around a communal garden – a major element of Elephant and Castle’s regeneration programme.

12/1100 Liverpool Street, London (by Hopkins Architects): a net zero development encompassing a dramatic renovation and extension of a 1980s office block to create a suite of offices and commercial and public spaces in the heart of London’s financial district.

16/1Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus, Scotland (by Reiach and Hall Architects): a set of three cutting-edge higher-education facilities connected by courtyards and open learning spaces.

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