first peek into foster + partner’s house of wisdom in sharjah

The Design Story
5 min readJul 8, 2021

architecture by shafa diandra

world-renowned british international architectural design studio, foster and partners, has found a new way of integrating the traditional role of libraries into the contemporary community of the 21st century and the digitally-savvy generation through their latest completed project, house of wisdom.

after over five decades of re-conceptualizing buildings that speak more than function and design but timelessness, house of wisdom was designed with highly amalgamated innovation and technology, as both a library and social hub and learning center at the heart of the third populous city in the united arab emirates, sharjah.

while the initial attempt was to celebrate sharjah as the 2019 unesco world book capital, the building has added a new addition to the city for the catalyst of a new cultural center in the middle east.

betwixt clarity and technology

two storey — recognizable modern shaped with a twist of bamboo as the natural element as we come approaching, house of wisdom speaks of two, determined culmination; one that speaks of clarity and lightness, and two, is a slight portrait of the future. the building has been naturally blessed in several factors, ranging from the location close enough to the airport and only 10 kilometers from the hustle-bustle city center.

the large floating roof cantilevering on all sides of a transparent rectilinear volume is what makes it dazzling throughout the time, at the same time imposing a dramatic prologue.

“the beautiful 15-meter-wide overhang shades the façades throughout most of the day, while fixed aluminum screens with differing densities filter the low sun in the evenings.” described the team in their press release.

“movable bamboo screens at low level are deployed by the building users to provide privacy or to control…

The Design Story

a weblog for cutting-edge news and development in architecture and design | |