The project site is located in a traditional urban area in the city of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, aimed to enrich the cultural value of the place.
The spatial composition of Ajman’s library is inspired by the word “إقرأ” which translates into “read” in the English language, a significant word regarding the Islamic religion. The following word was the first word directed to the prophet Mohammed by Allah, mentioned in the holy Quran, which leads people to the importance of learning, exploring, and, most importantly, educative reading. Hence, the composition of the word itself is a driving force that articulates the spaces in the library, which are separated into two main volumes with a central round element.
The round element is the main vertical circulation at the heart of the building, which consists of two main staircases in a double-helix configuration. Each staircase directs individuals to a specific route, where one is the formal library route, and the other is the social and family route. Therefore, the main double-helix staircase operates as a separator of functions in the building and ensures that the community experiences tranquil conditions and gathering conditions since the project should maintain a balance of both. A place that accommodates the beauty of focused education, and a place that invites unity to the community.
Further, light is softened and manipulated in major building areas by skylight elements and linear screens due to its effect on individuals’ psychological intellect and to avoid harsh direct-light conditions.
Lastly, the primary strategy to organize books is to integrate shelves within the curved walls to ensure users experience the maximum space flow and enhance the sinuous architectural aesthetic.


Floor Area | 960 m2 approx.
Location | United Arab Emirates, Ajman
Audience | The general public, accessibility for everyone

2D drawings | AutoCAD
3D modeling and rendering | Rhino, Vray by Rhino

American University of Sharjah
Instructor | Roberto Castillo | ARC 301

Ajman's Library by Hend Alshehhi in United Arab Emirates won the WA Award Cycle 46. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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Hend Alshehhi