Dubai Public Library

Dubai`s Central Library and Cultural Node



Amongst a city of skyscrapers, the proposed Dubai Central Library provides cultural character that is rare in the tourist-oriented city. Located in the business district of one of the World’s largest cities, the library acts as a beacon, drawing in members of the community and introducing them to an environment that contributes to the civic identity of a foreign culture and place.

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Proximity Map



The strategy of the project was to divide the building into two parts, separating the major programs: the auditorium and the library. To bridge the two programs a covered courtyard is introduced, providing a social platform for the public. Inside the main program, a central atrium allows natural light to flood the public library stacks, creating circulation around the delicate glass structure. The main literary collection is located on level 2 and as the user ascends, the program becomes more specific. Meeting rooms, study rooms, and work tables surround the perimeter allowing for desired views into the atrium. This project provides relief from the consumerism typically found in Dubai by creating a social environment that celebrates traditional architecture while fostering education and research. 


The design of the library takes inspiration from various traditional components of Dubai architecture. The elevation was designed to mimic an open book and the decision to raise one end of the mass was derived from the original Arabic Library: introducing a spire to act as a visual focal point. Located at the base of the World’s tallest building, this focal point is necessary to encourage traffic through the site. Screens also feature traditional Dubai architecture, utilizing the 3 essential shapes in the construction of a minaret: the circle, the square, and the hexagon. These screens provide a cultural aspect to the building, while working congruently as a passive cooling system.





2014 Studio
Carleton University

Nominated for Teron Scholarship Award