The World’s Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh

The RIBA International Prize 2021 has been awarded to the Friendship Hospital in Bangladesh by local architecture firm Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA.

The World's Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.
The World’s Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.

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For its “design excellence and social impact,” the hospital recently won the RIBA International Prize, which is given out every two years. Friendship Hospital is a low-cost, remote medical facility in the Bengal district, southwest Bangladesh. This facility serves tens of thousands of people.

It was founded by Kashef Chowdhury and URBANA for Friendship, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to empowering rural residents.

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The World's Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.
The World’s Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.

Surrounded by shrimp farms, the structure is composed of a series of low-lying pavilions made of locally sourced brick and interspersed with courtyards.
These courtyards serve to naturally light and ventilate hospital wards while also providing resting areas for patients and visitors.

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Corridors and double-layered arches protect the hospital’s most vulnerable areas from the tropical sun.
Kashef Chowdhury and URBANA divided the site in half with a zigzagging “canal” that separates inpatients and outpatients while also aiding in the building’s cooling.
At either end of this pool of water are two large tanks that collect rainwater and store it for use at the hospital while preventing the site from becoming waterlogged.

Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA and Friendship collaborated recently on the design of Bangladesh’s Friendship Centre, which features a similar labyrinth of brick walls and courtyards.

The World's Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.
The World’s Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.

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Friendship Hospital was chosen as the winner from a shortlist of three projects, including David Chipperfield Architects’ James-Simon-Galerie and WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency’s Lille Langebro.

The jury for this year’s RIBA International Prize was chaired by French architect Odile Decq and included British designer Es Devlin and Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang, as well as Rossana Hu, co-founder of Neri & Hu, and Gustavo Utrabo, the Brazilian architect who won the 2018 RIBA International Emerging Architect prize.
Decq stated that the Friendship Hospital was chosen as the winner because it “embodies a humane and protective architecture.”

Kashef Chowdhury and URBANA have created a building with a human touch that is deftly integrated into its surroundings and celebrates indigenous and handcrafted materials,” Decq continued.
It demonstrates how beautiful architecture can be achieved through good design on a shoestring budget and within challenging contextual constraints. This hospital is a celebration of a human-centred structure. ”
The founder of the winning studio, architect Kashef Chowdhury, expressed hope that the award would spur more “architecture of care for humanity and nature.”

The World's Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.
The World’s Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.

At a supremely significant moment, the RIBA and the jurors have chosen a project from the global periphery to bring to the forefront of architectural discourse and to be the subject of one of the most prestigious global awards, Chowdhury reflected.
“I am hopeful that this will inspire more of us to commit to an architecture of care for humanity and nature, not despite, but precisely because of, resource and means constraints, in order to collectively address the planetary urgencies we face today.”

As part of the same award programme, Tehran studio Hooba Design Group has been awarded the RIBA International Emerging Architect 2021 prize. The award, which “celebrates tomorrow’s design innovators,” was presented to the studio in recognition of its design of the Kohan Ceram Central Office Building in Iran.
The Kohan Ceram Central Office Building is distinguished by its vibrant terracotta-coloured brick facade with glass inserts.

Denise Bennetts, chair of the RIBA Awards Group, described the building as having “a restrained, inventive, and elegant architecture.”

The World's Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.
The World’s Best Building Is A Rural Hospital In Bangladesh.

“Together with the Hooba Design Group’s collaborative approach to innovation, this project qualifies them as a deserving recipient of the RIBA International Emerging Architect 2021, “Bennetts added.
The RIBA International Prize was established in 2015 to succeed the Lubetkin Award.

Grafton Architects previously won the prize for its Universidad de Ingeniera y Tecnologia in Peru, as well as Aleph Zero and Rosenbaum for their children’s villages in Brazil.

The announcement of the winners for 2021 follows the announcement of the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize and the Royal Gold Medal for 2022. This year’s prizes were presented to Grafton Architects for their work on the Kingston University London Town House and to Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi.


Written By Tannu Sharma | Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel To Get Latest Updates And Don’t Forget To Follow Our Social Media Handles Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter. To Get the Latest Updates From Arco Unico

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