Architecture

Remote Bangladesh hospital named world's best new building

Remote Bangladesh hospital nam...
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira has been declared the winner of the prestigious RIBA International Prize
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira has been declared the winner of the prestigious RIBA International Prize
View 6 Images
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira has been declared the winner of the prestigious RIBA International Prize
1/6
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira has been declared the winner of the prestigious RIBA International Prize
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's inpatients and outpatients wards are separated by a canal
2/6
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's inpatients and outpatients wards are separated by a canal
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira is very open and light-filled, with an overall design that's inspired by the country's traditional hut villages
3/6
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira is very open and light-filled, with an overall design that's inspired by the country's traditional hut villages
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's use of water helps to cool the immediate area, says RIBA
4/6
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's use of water helps to cool the immediate area, says RIBA
Where possible, Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's brick buildings are open and breezy, though some areas are also obviously required to be private
5/6
Where possible, Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's brick buildings are open and breezy, though some areas are also obviously required to be private
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira features multiple rainwater collection systems as usable water can be hard to come by in Bangladesh
6/6
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira features multiple rainwater collection systems as usable water can be hard to come by in Bangladesh
View gallery - 6 images

Following the unveiling of its shortlist last November, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has now revealed the winner of its prestigious International Prize. A rural Bangladeshi hospital has been declared the world's best new building for its superb design and huge contribution to the local community.

The biennial International Prize celebrates buildings from around the world that demonstrate design excellence and social impact. On both points, the Friendship Hospital, Satkhira clearly excels. The project, which was designed by Kashef Chowdhury/Urbana and commissioned by Non-Governmental Organization Friendship, is located in the remote water-laden landscape of southwest Bangladesh.

The brick hospital's overall form is inspired by the country's traditional hut villages and features a canal cutting through the length of the site, physically separating the inpatients and outpatients wards, and helping cool the immediate area during the hot summers. Since much of the surrounding water is saline, rainwater is collected and stored for use.

This focus on simple and low-energy solutions to the challenges of the local climate and conditions continues inside. The hospital's buildings are very open and multiple courtyards and carefully placed corridors promote shading and ventilation where appropriate (some areas are closed-off for privacy), providing comfortable spaces for patients to recuperate.

Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's inpatients and outpatients wards are separated by a canal
Friendship Hospital, Satkhira's inpatients and outpatients wards are separated by a canal

"Friendship Hospital is an exemplar of thoughtful and creative design of a building of great importance and scale, built within a modest budget, and crafted with the local community and its natural surroundings in mind," said RIBA President Simon Allford. "Kashef Chowdhury/Urbana has created innovative, clear, refined, economical and delightful architecture with social impact – providing essential healthcare services in the rural area and addressing the increasing effects of the climate emergency. I am delighted that it is being celebrated as the International Prize 2021 winner."

The RIBA International Prize was established in 2016 to highlight the best architecture from around the world. Its previous winners are UTEC by Grafton Architects and Children Village by Gustavo Utrabo and Petro Duschenes, et al.

Source: RIBA

View gallery - 6 images
6 comments
6 comments
BlueOak
Interesting. But a building that isn’t complete can be considered? That last photo makes it appear still to be under construction.

And how durable will all those brick columns be? They appear to be constructed solely of brick veneer (2x2 stacks, alternating), with no internal space for structural members.
EH
Of all the buildings in the world, this is one of them. (The mosquito pond is a nice touch, tho'.)
The Doubter
A cleaner's nightmare! Difficult to maintain hygiene in this building. Does not look particularly nice also. What is the logic in having a water feature - a canal - in a water-bogged place?
alan c
Low energy? With air conditioning fan/coil units on the roof? And no solar PV?
pmshah
I already foresee problems with this structure. First would be large scale build up of mildew and moss on the porous brick structure. Secondly they better not have an earth quake even at 1.0 level on the Richter scale.
Fritz
No PV, so no shading on the roof, no trees but green, dense solid clinker bricks (lots of burning fuel required)
All in all negative fantastic! Congrats the jury!