FRIENDSHIP HOSPITAL 2018
The sustainable and low-cost hospital delivers essential healthcare services to the local communities of Satkhira in the southern region of Bangladesh, providing a medical lifeline for thousands of people in an area of the coast that was heavily affected by a major cyclone in 2007. Lauded for the care and humanity at the heart of its design, the building responds innovatively to the hallenging environmental conditions of the Bengal, a fragile and dynamic environment, directly impacted, without protection, to rising sea levels.
Working with long-standing NGO client, Friendship, the hospital was commissioned as part of the organisation’s mission to strengthen and empower remote rural areas. Once surrounded by grain fields, the rising sea water has resulted in this agricultural land being converted into shrimp fisheries. Water is therefore central to the hospital’s design scheme; a canal cuts through the length of the site, separating the inpatients and outpatients. Rainwater from all areas of the complex is drained and stored in a newly built tank - an essential resource and tool to prevent water logging as the saline groundwater is unusable for most practical purposes and draining is needed from increasingly incessant rains. This water channel also helps with micro climatic cooling during the unbearably hot summers, avoiding the need for high energy consuming air-conditioning.
Reflecting the NGO’s commitment to lasting social change, Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA’s design creates an uplifting and inviting experience for visitors, patients and healthcare professionals and a peaceful environment consistent with health and healing. A series of intimate courtyards bring light and natural ventilation to the wards, providing spaces for patients and visitors to rest with viewpoints of the natural surroundings. Sensitive areas of the hospital are protected from direct tropical light through shielded corridors and double-layered arches. Built for longevity, the hospital campus is crafted in local brickwork chosen for its resilient qualities and low cost, with openings in the brickwork offering private shaded areas and natural cooling.