A community hospital in Bangladesh, a cycling bridge in Copenhagen and a Berlin gallery have been named as the three contenders for RIBA’s building of the year.


The three projects shortlisted for this year’s RIBA International Prize are the James-Simon-Galerie in Berlin by David Chipperfield Architects, Friendship Hospital by Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA in Satkhira and the Lille Langebro bridge in Copenhagen by WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency.

“Our global architecture awards champion buildings that change the world and positively impact the community around them – and these three exemplars certainly deliver. Situated in a range of locations with various purposes, from a communal hospital in Bangladesh to an innovative cyclist and pedestrian bridge in Denmark, these projects are united by human experience at their heart,” said RIBA president Simon Allford.

“Collectively they demonstrate sensitivity to their surroundings and local cultures, inclusive design, and sustainable solutions, and set a high bar for architectural excellence around the world.”

The winner will be selected by a jury chaired by the French architect and urban planner Odile Decq and comprising American architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang, co-founder of Shanghai practice Neri&Hu Rossana Hu, British set designer Es Devlin and Brazilian architect and 2018 recipient of the RIBA International Prize and Emerging Architect Prize, Gustavo Utrabo.

The winner of the RIBA International Prize will be announced alongside the RIBA International Emerging Architect Prize in early 2022.

Read more about the three shortlisted projects:


Photos by Asif Salman

Friendship Hospital, Satkhira, Bangladesh, by Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA

The 80-bed hospital is located in a rural area of south-west Bangladesh badly affected by a cyclone several years ago. The architecture embraces the watery landscape with a design intended to be resilient to the rising water levels.

The building made from local and low cost brick is cut through by a series of courtyards that light and ventilate the spaces within, and a canal that separates the inpatient and outpatient services.

“It is indeed a great moment when a recognition as important as this helps to bring attention to a remote corner of our incredibly connected but unknowing world, to a project born out of scarce resources, for the care of people and community destined to live in the fragile environment of a climate in flux,” said Kashef Chowdhury.


Lead image by Simon Menges, gallery photography by Ute Zscharnt

James-Simon-Galerie, Berlin, Germany, by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin

James-Simon-Galerie provides a classically inspired entrance building and visitor centre for the Unesco World Heritage Site of Museum Island, from which its other museums – including the Chipperfield designed Neues Museum – are accessed.

The project, which has been 20 years in the making – needed to respond sensitively to its historical context while creating a contemporary museum.

“Our work on the museum island began more than twenty years ago with the reconstruction of the Neues Museum and the development of the museum island masterplan. The James-Simon-Galerie evolved out of this long collaboration that engaged us deeply, not only in the museological, architectural and civic opportunities and challenges of the museum island but also in the complex considerations and debate concerning the reconstruction of Berlin after the reunification of Germany,” says David Chipperfield.


Photos by Rasmus Hjortshøj

Lille Langebro, Copenhagen, Denmark by WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency

The bridge in Copenhagen harbour gently curves alongside the busy Langebro vehicular bridge to provide a safe and scenic crossing for cyclists and pedestrians between the city centre and district of Christianshavn.

Two sections at the centre of the 120-metre bridge swing vertically to allow boats to pass beneath. slides open to allow boats to pass. The decision to locate the mechanism within the bridge’s piers presents an engineering first for a swinging bridge.

“Lille Langebro has proved to be a popular project with Copenhagers whether on two feet or two wheels; I think it has full