Sharjah, UAE

House of Wisdom

As a testimony to its 2019 designation as UNESCO World Book Capital, the magnificent House of Wisdon was unveiled in December 2020. This high-tech library and cultural centre commissioned by Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), and designed through Foster + Partners’ global studios in Dubai and London, is so much more than a beautiful building housing books and periodicals. Already considered an icon in the architectural landscape of Sharjah and affectionately known as ‘The Jewel of Sharjah’, the House of Wisdom is an inspiring, 21st-century reinterpretation of the traditional library. Delta Lighting Design’s vision was to promote different types of experiences through light, thereby creating an environment of constant surprise to the user.

Changes in Sharjah’s city fabric, from the traditional city that once thrived on trade, seafaring, and pearl diving, to today's modern metropolis, have been abrupt and dramatic. Similarly, changes to technology, specifically how information from online sources is now received, have been equally dramatic. The lighting draws vivid inspiration from this revolution and interprets it as a transformation in light, where the lighting treatment evolves throughout the evening hours. The result? An experimental journey interconnecting physical and digital knowledge awaits, inventively travelled as the building transitions.

The nighttime images on this iconic building are inspired by the transformative change that has occurred to the city and the building’s architecture. This architecture provides the fascinating opportunity for a three-dimensional perception of the physical elements of the building, by taking advantage of the transparency of the exterior envelope. These factors articulate the design’s intent through dynamically engaging both a physical and traditional canvas.


Foster + Partners




Facade, Interior Lighting


Light Middle East 2021 | Education Lighting Project of the Year

"Every room, every space and every angle has been purposefully designed like rhythmic verses in an eloquent poem" - Shoayb Khattab