SHARJAH / WAM
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of the Sharjah World Book Capital, (SWBC) Advisory Committee and Vice President of International Publishers Association (IPA) has conducted a detailed inspection visit on of the ‘House of Wisdom’ library project.
The project is developed by Shurooq, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, and slated to open in April 2020.
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, said, “Inspired by the vision of the HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, whose 40-year efforts have paved the way for Sharjah’s global recognition as a hub for education, innovation and cultural appreciation, our emirate today serves as a vibrant destination for intellectuals, writers, publishers, students and book lovers.
“Sharjah’s knowledge-based approach to national and regional development has placed us at the forefront of the Arab world’s cultural movement. The emirate’s cultural image is reinforced by unprecedented projects like the House of Wisdom; an iconic library, cultural centre and social hub of learning and development.”
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi added, “Libraries are no longer a space where you go just to access books. People can access information digitally from anywhere these days. All libraries in future need to act as social hubs – places that bring people together, and are shared spaces that support the sharing of experiences, intellectual and creative engagement as well as cultural leadership. While we learn from books, we learn equally through people and their diverse perspectives; through discussions and experimentations.”
The House of Wisdom, which is situated near The Scroll, the striking monument designed by UK-based artist Gerry Judah, reimagines libraries for the 21st century, based on the principle of flexibility.
Designed by the award-winning British architectural design and engineering firm, Foster + Partners, the essence of the structure’s unique design is the large floating roof with 15-metre cantilevered overhangs. This serves to effectively protect the large transparent building from the elements of nature. To achieve more shading on the bottom portion, specially manufactured bamboo shades that can be manipulated to increase or decrease the coverage from the sun, have been utilised.
The glass feature also serves to underline the fact that it is a beacon of knowledge in the way it lights up the surroundings at night.
The two-storey archive is the traditional library, where members can research and read in relative quiet. It will initially contain 40,000 books which will expand to a 105,000 collection when it is fully operational. There will also be an extensive collection of books in Braille.
The project was unveiled on 23rd April, 2019, the day Sharjah officially began its yearlong journey as UNESCO World Book Capital 2019, and is on schedule for a public opening this April.