House of Wisdom: Sharjah’s new cultural landmark is now open
House of Wisdom will be home to more than 305,000 books…
Back in April 2019, Sharjah was selected by the UNESCO to be the host city for World Book Capital (WBC). In order to commemorate the prestigious title, the city made plans to open a state-of-the-art public library, aptly named House of Wisdom.
On December 9, this cultural landmark opened to the public and was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
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Here’s what you’ll find inside.
The House of Wisdom covers an area of more than 12,000 square feet and according to Emirates News Agency (WAM), the library will be ‘home to 305,000 books, of which 200,000 are in the digital format and 11,000 comprise books in varied languages’.
It will also feature a children’s library ‘The Little Reader’ which houses more than 2,000 books, while the library for youth will feature 3,000 titles.
Reimagined as a library of the 21st century, its design is inspired by modern architecture and comprises of 15 lobbies and halls spread across two storeys. The immersive space has been designed for learning, sharing, creating, and accessing knowledge.
Some of the key spaces include an expansive lobby, the Al Rasheed Hall, the Espresso Books, Knowledge Terrace, the Wisdom Vault and the Al Ma’moun Exhibition; the Little Reader, the Wisdom Square, the Ibn Duraid Reading Area, the Al Jazri Lab, the Ladies Diwan, the Al Jarhmi Library, and the Al Khawarizmi Exhibition.
The library will be ‘high-tech’, including interactive facilities and will be home to vast digital resources, a fabrication lab with 3D printers to build prototypes of experimental projects and cutting-edge technology to print and bind books within minutes.
If you want quiet time, the library’s futuristic suspended private pods offer up a haven for quiet reading. For learning, a host of collaborative community spaces are available and designed in a way that promotes academic and non-academic pursuits, social learning and cultural interaction.
The House of Wisdom also includes lecture halls, reading lounges, exhibition spaces, a dedicated children’s educational area, a central courtyard, a café and restaurant.
The outdoor landscaped garden features 331 trees including fig, ghaf and palm trees of different species and overlooks ‘The Scroll’ monument.
The Scroll is a striking monument designed to look like an ancient Arabic scroll looping 36 metres towards the sky.
It was designed by British sculptor Gerry Judah who was inspired by an ancient scroll design that represented the lasting power of books and how reading shares a strong purpose of uniting people together.
Sound exciting? Want to visit? The House of Wisdom is located on the Sharjah International Airport Road in Al Juraina 1 in Sharjah.
House of Wisdom, Al Juraina 1, Sharjah, open daily 10am to 8pm. Tel:(0)6 594 0000. @sharjahhow
Images: Sharjah Media/ House of Wisdom