Projects celebrate Sharjah’s achievement as the first city in the GCC and third in the Arab World to be named World Book Capital 2019
HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah has unveiled the Sharjah Book Capital 2019 Monument along with the ‘House of Wisdom’ project, which are being developed by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
The Scroll commissioned by UK-based artist, Gerry Judah is 36.5m high and inspired by the ancient scroll design that represents the lasting power of books and how reading unites people together. The true spiral is made of 72 tonnes of steel with 240 tonnes of concrete foundations underneath a 4 m wide base.
The monument which is shaped like a torch reflects Sharjah’s landmark cultural achievements as the first city in the Gulf Region and the third city in the Arab World to be named the city, World Book Capital 2019.
Meanwhile, the ruler of Sharjah also unveiled the ‘House of Wisdom’ project which is scheduled to open in 2020. The mixed-use project which will house a library and a cultural centre, is being designed by architectural firm Foster and Partners. Located on the Sharjah International Airport Road, the two-storey building embodies a sense of clarity and lightness, with a large floating roof. The roof will cantilever on all sides of a transparent rectilinear volume, said a statement from the designers.
Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners said: “We look forward to the building’s completion, which will give the local communities and scholars a new space for shared learning and innovative research, set within a beautiful landscape.”
The building comprises of a 105,000-book library, discussion halls, indoor and outdoor reading areas along with F&B outlets and a children’s education space. Other amenities such a prayer room, a women’s room and parking spaces for up to 120 cars will also be provided.
“The House of Wisdom conceptualises the library as a social hub for learning, supported by innovation and technology,” Evenden concluded.