The Shard is the bookies’ favourite to win the Stirling prize after it was one of six buildings to be nominated for this year’s title

the shard london skyline

The Shard has emerged as the early favourite for this year’s Stirling prize after it was one of six buildings shortlisted today.

The country’s tallest building, by Renzo Piano, will battle it out with two other buildings from London and one each from Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Last year’s shortlist was made up entirely of projects from outside the capital — a first in the award’s 17-year history.

Perhaps the most high-profile omission this year is John McAslan & Partners’ King’s Cross station redevelopment while other schemes to miss out include those by former winners – the Mary Rose Museum by Wilkinson Eyre with Pringle Brandon Perkins & Will and the Britten-Pears Archive at Aldeburgh in Suffolk by Stanton Williams.


  • London Bridge Tower (The Shard) by Renzo Piano Building Workshop 2/1
  • London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects 5/2
  • LSE, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre by O’Donnell & Tuomey Architects 4/1
  • Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo 5/1
  • Everyman Theatre, Liverpool by Haworth Tompkins 6/1
  • Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 9/1

- Bookmakers odds supplied by William Hill

Birmingham Library

Aquatics centre

Both Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Zaha Hadid Architects have won the prize before. A win for Hadid would put her practice in the outright lead for most number of wins. It is currently tied with Wilkinson Eyre, Foster & Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners with two wins each.

A Hadid victory would also mean a first Stirling Prize for an Olympic venue after the main stadium by Populous and Hopkins’ velodrome were both shortlisted but missed out on the top step.

By contrast, Irish practice O’Donnell & Tuomey Architects is hoping it will finally get lucky after it picked up its third nomination in four years – and fifth overall – with its Saw Swee Hock Student Centre for the London School of Economics.

RIBA president Stephen Hodder, whose practice won the first Stirling Prize back in 1996, said: “Every one of the six shortlisted buildings shows what great public architecture can do: it can transcend mere construction to be something quite poetic. The shortlist comprises no ordinary new swimming pool, office block, theatre, library or university – they are beautiful, inspiring and transformative new buildings that their communities can relish and be proud of.

“This RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist is sending out the clear message that great buildings don’t only need great architects and clients but they need the patronage of the community they have been designed to serve if they are to be truly successful.”

The judges for this year’s prize will be chaired by Foster & Parters’ joint head of design Spencer de Grey and comprise MJ Long from Long & Kentish Architects, Cindy Walters at Walters & Cohen, the founder of US embassy architect Kieran Timberlake, Stephen Kieran, and businessman and arts benefactor Tim Sainsbury. The winner will be named on October 16 at the RIBA in London.

Manchester School of Art

Everyman Theatre

LSE student centre

This story first appeared on Building Design.