The hospital is situated in a predominantly rural area that had been heavily affected by a major cyclone just a few years ago. In this natural, nature-ravaged landscape, thinly marked with low-rise structures and thatched houses, a local philanthropist donated land for Friendship to build an eighty-bed hospital.
Inspired by a powerful abstraction of the riverine Bengal landscape, the campus blends with the surroundings. The building layout is efficient and the architecture rational. A series of courtyards bring in natural ventilation towards, while air-conditioned spaces such as operating rooms are placed in areas in the wind shadow. The penetration of direct and reflected sunlight into all wards and consulting rooms was studied in detail.
In the initial stages, the need to separate inpatient and outpatient departments divided the linear site into separate areas. Access control at various points was increasingly becoming an overriding factor for what was otherwise designed to be a campus of interconnected courtyards.
The solution had to be an access barrier but one which would retain visual continuity. Hence a canal was introduced, which traverses the site controlling access while collecting rainwater and animating an internal landscape. At either end are two large tanks, which hold the harvested water – a valuable resource in an area where the saline groundwater is unusable for most practical purposes.