Bangladesh hospital shortlisted for 2021 British architectural prize

Friendship Hospital is one of three structures named in the Royal Institute of British Architects' 2021 International Prize shortlist

A community hospital in Bangladesh is one of three sites shortlisted by the Royal Institute of British Architects for its 2021 International Prize.

Friendship Hospital in Satkhira, a district in south-western Bangladesh, is a large 80-bed community hospital designed by Kashef Chowdhury/Urbana. The structure was built with local materials, and features a network of courtyards and corridors connected by an angular canal.

"The hospital is arranged around a series of intimate courtyards, which bring in light and natural ventilation. A canal of water cuts through the length of the site, separating the inpatients and outpatients, whilst collecting rainwater stored in tanks – a valuable resource in an area where the saline groundwater is unusable for most practical purposes," read the jury's notes.

"This outdoor space creates intimate areas for patients and visitors to sit and rest with viewpoints of the local countryside. Crafted in local brick chosen for its resilient qualities and low cost, openings in the brickwork offer private shaded areas and provide natural cooling for the wards, essential for this hot climate."

Friendship Hospital in Satkhira "has the potential to be a sustainable and affordable blueprint for other clinical facilities in rural regions", according to the jury.

The biannual prize is judged by a jury that consists of architects and creatives, including French architect and urban planner Odile Decq, who acts as the chairwoman; British artist and stage designer Es Devlin; American architect Jeanne Gang; Chinese architect Rossana Hu; and Brazilian architect Gustavo Utrabo.

The institute's International Prize is presented every two years, awarded to architectural projects outside the UK that Riba believes "demonstrate design excellence and meaningful social impact".

Also shortlisted are the Lille Langebro, a bridge in Denmark, and the James-Simon-Galerie in Germany.

Lille Langebro, by WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency, is a 160-metre long cycle and pedestrian bridge in Copenhagen, Denmark, which curves across a body of water, connecting the Christianshavn area.

The jury's notes read: "The bridge follows an elegant curve that aligns with the great arc of ramparts and moat of Christianshavn, revitalising a part of the harbour that had been underused for decades and reconnecting it to the city centre, with a structure that is both innovative and beautiful.

"Where the bridge abuts the quayside on either side, generous spaces are created which integrate this elegant piece of urban infrastructure seamlessly into the public realm."

The James-Simon-Galerie was designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and is located on Museum Island, Berlin. It was created to serve as a "front door" for visitors to the five museums on the island. The structure houses ticketing offices, a cafe, cloakrooms, restrooms, an auditorium and an exhibition space, as well as back-of-house functions.

The 2021 winner of the Riba International Prize and the Riba International Emerging Architect will be announced in early 2022.

The longlist for the 2021 prize, featuring 16 buildings in 11 countries, was announced in June. Representing the region on the longlist were the Artists' Retreat at Pittugala, Sri Lanka; the Kohan Ceram Central Office Building in Tehran, Iran; and the Msheireb Downtown Doha Masterplan in Qatar.

2016 and 2018 Riba International Prize winners

The awards were originally scheduled to be held in 2020, however, they were postponed owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2018, the Children Village, a new school complex in northern Brazil, won the International Prize. Two years before that, the 2016 International Prize was awarded to the Universidad de Ingenieria y Technologia in Lima, Peru.

Updated: November 16th 2021, 8:56 AM