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Thursday, November 19, 1998 Published at 11:35 GMT


British Library favourite for prize

The controversial British Library building

The controversial British Library is favourite to win Britain's most prestigious architecture prize despite not making it through two rounds of judging.

In a highly controversial and unprecedented move, the judges of the £20,000 Stirling Prize added Colin St John Wilson & Partners' British Library to the list of finalists, after they had been handed a shortlist selected by juries.

[ image: Space for 12 million books and 1200 readers]
Space for 12 million books and 1200 readers
The red-brick building, which cost more than £500m and was completed almost 20 years after first being approved, brings the number of finalists to 11.

It is up for the overall Building of the Year prize despite not being among the 10 category prize-winners in the Royal Institute of British Architects awards (Riba) .

The design for the new library was deplored by leading figures including Prince Charles who once said it looked like a secret police building.

Ladbrokes have quoted it as 5/2 favourite for the prize.

[ image: Inside the American Air Museum at Duxford (Photo courtesy of Imperial War Museum)]
Inside the American Air Museum at Duxford (Photo courtesy of Imperial War Museum)
Second in the running for the prize is the arc-shaped American Air Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, with odds of 3/1.

For the first time there will also be a Stephen Lawrence award for the best building costing under £500,000.

The award is in memory of teenager Stephen Lawrence, murdered in a south London racist attack, who had planned to study as an architect.

The winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced on Thursday 19 November.

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