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The RIBA International Prize goes to this community hospital in Bangladesh | Architectural Digest

Riverine and coastal cultures around the world are familiar with the fragility of life, as the ravages of nature in the form of storms, cyclones and floods are wont to disrupting their lives. Uncertainty is woven into the blueprint of these ecologies, and as a result, the primary challenge for stakeholders in such geographies is to create structures that work with, and not against nature. A glowing example of such a sustainable practice is the Friendship Hospital in Shyamnagar, an upazila in Bangladesh's Satkhira district, overlooking the Arpangachhia river that flows into the mighty and volatile Sunderbans.

Spanning an area of roughly 51,400 square-feet, the community hospital stands on a fluid, shape-shifting landscape prone to frequent hydro hazards. It was completed in April 2018 by Bangladeshi architect Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury for NGO Friendship, and their efforts have been recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects, awarding it the title for the world's best new building. The project had been shortlisted alongside the James-Simon-Galerie in Berlin and the Lille Langebro bridge in Copenhagen.


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