Friendship Hospital in Satkhira's Shyamnagar upazila has recently won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) international prize 2021.
It was named the best new building in the world Tuesday (January 25), reports the Guardian.
The closest competitors for the Bangladeshi architecture were a gallery in Berlin by David Chipperfield, and a cycle and footbridge in Denmark by Wilkinson Eyre.
The hospital was lauded for its climate-conscious design built with the bare minimum of resources.
Located in Satkhira, in the waterlogged landscape in the southwestern part of the country, the winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects' award used water as its chief starting point.
The canal zigzags its way through the site, collecting valuable rainwater and helping to cool the surrounding courtyards during the sweltering summer months.
It also serves as a barrier between the inpatient and outpatient departments, separating the two sides of the site across shared courtyards, without the need for a dividing wall.
"There is water everywhere here. But it's not always the useful kind," said architect Kashef Chowdhury, director of Urbana, the Dhaka-based practice behind the project.
Rising sea levels caused by the climate crisis forced the surrounding landscape of grain fields to be transformed into shrimp fisheries while the groundwater has become too saline to use for most purposes.
In the rainy season, locals do everything they can to collect and store every last drop of fresh water.
Kashef Chowdhury has therefore designed the building to be a machine for rainwater harvesting, with every roof and courtyard draining them into the central canal, which runs into two storage tanks at either end of the site.
It is the first "land hospital" for the NGO Friendship, for which Chowdhury has helped to convert several boats into floating hospitals in the past, designed to serve remote communities.
Built with a tight budget of just under $2 million, their first permanent building provides a medical lifeline for thousands of people in an area that was heavily affected by a major cyclone in 2007.
Last year, the project won RIBA International Awards for Excellence 2021.