What went right this week: world’s best building, plus more positive news

The world’s best new building was revealed

A hospital in rural Bangladesh has been named the world’s best new building. The Friendship Hospital in Satkhira was named the winner of the 2021 RIBA International PrizeTuesday. Judges praised the structure for putting “care and humanity at the heart of its design”. 

Located in a waterlogged area vulnerable to climate change, the £1.5m hospital is run by an NGO and embodies the spirit of resilience. Kashef Chowdhury was the architect. He designed the building to withstand extreme weather and harvest rainwater. Natural cooling is provided by a canal that runs through the site.  

“The hospital is very relevant to critical global challenges, such as unequal access to healthcare and the crushing impact of climate breakdown on vulnerable communities,” said RIBA judge, Odile Decq.

“It is a demonstration of how beautiful architecture can be achieved through good design when working with a relatively modest budget and with difficult contextual constraints. This hospital is a celebration of a building dedicated to humans.”

Image: Asif Salman/URBANA