What is the House of Wisdom?
The House of Wisdom (HoW) is Sharjah’s new cultural destination and iconic architectural marvel. It was commissioned in honor of the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 title by UNESCO and is the living legacy of the promises made then, to continue to promote reading and ease access to knowledge to all members of society and in doing so, become a progressive society.
But, it is more than just a home for books. There’s cafes, working spaces, meetup hubs and even a children’s area.
Where is it located?
Located near the University City of Sharjah, the newly opened House of Wisdom is a reimagining of libraries for the 21st century.
Does it cost money to access?
No. The House of Wisdom is free to access and open to anyone looking for a space to work, study, read or relax.
What does the House of Wisdom offer?
Inspired by the original House of Wisdom in Baghdad, it is the modern-day interpretation of a knowledge hub where all can come to seek enrichment. This centre is a model for future libraries that blend traditional and digital sources of knowledge.
It was developed by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, and offers access to a new way of knowledge exploration with books in various languages and formats, 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.
There’s even a 'Book espresso machine' which prints and binds books on demand in minutes, along with the digital self-service station. Almost as fast as it takes to make an espresso.
More about the Library
The library is home to 305,000 books, of which 200,000 are in the digital format and 11,000 books in various languages. The children’s library ‘The Little Reader’ houses more than 2,000 books, while another has been set aside for youth with 3,000 titles.
What can I do there?
It’s a place that offers a host of collaborative community spaces, including futuristic private pods, social learning, and cultural interaction. It is home to lecture halls, reading lounges, exhibition spaces, a dedicated children’s educational area, a central courtyard, a café, a restaurant, and outdoor gardens.
The landscape surrounding House of Wisdom is divided into two sections: The South Garden, which hosts the Japanese garden, as well as a children’s playground, while The North Garden includes a reflective pool with fountains, a cactus garden and The Scroll Monument.
The Scroll Monument
The Scroll is a modern interpretation of the ancient Arabic scrolls as a single, spiraling sculpture that loops towards the sky. The Scroll celebrates Sharjah’s cultural achievement as the first city in the Gulf region and third city in the Arab world to be given the World Book Capital title by UNESCO. It rises 36 meters into the sky.
Women even have their own comfortable area with bunk beds, pod chairs and beanbags to sit on and relax comfortably.
Free and underground