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EJS Center Unveils Designs for Presidential Center and Library 

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center) is proud to share the official designs for its state-of-the-art campus.

This project will be a landmark in every sense of the word. Never before has a woman president founded and commissioned the design and build of a presidential center and library. Not only will the building house former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s personal and professional archives, but it will also educate, inspire, and drive visitors forward on their own leadership journeys. It will offer a space for training and networking, present exhibits that inspire women to pursue leadership in all spheres and be a national and international hub for programs that advance the socio-economic situation of women and girls and uphold their rights and democratic freedoms.

Designed by Mariam Issoufou Kamara of atelier masōmī the Presidential Center and Library designs take inspiration from Liberia’s architectural heritage, paying close attention to the traditional palava huts. Their originally tall, exaggerated pitch roofs were a direct response to the local climate as a mechanism for managing Liberia’s heavy rainfalls. The ceilings inside these dwellings often feature beautiful yet functional woven designs. Grouped together, as they were in rural settings, a collection of huts will form the basis of the Center and look visually striking and embody a sense of community. The resulting buildings will have similar exaggerated slanted roofs, which also help with natural ventilation, allowing the heat and moisture to escape through the roof.

The build itself will use local materials such as raw earth bricks, fired clay bricks, rubber wood, and woven palm leaves in abundance. Rather than importing materials and skills, the construction of the EJS Center will be a process of building in direct partnership with the people of Monrovia. Furthermore, at the heart of this design is a focus on and belief in the value of sustainability. As such, atelier masōmī has ensured strategies for minimizing energy consumption and material waste are embedded in the project.

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Working alongside atelier masōmī, Counterspace, led by Sumayya Vally, continues its work on the interior designs, and these will be released at a later date.

The Center will provide a welcoming, energizing, and safe space for women, girls, and men and boys alike to visit and learn about former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s legacy and the immeasurable value of women’s leadership.

About the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development:

The EJS Center was founded in 2018 to be a catalyst for change across Africa by helping unleash its most abundant untapped power—its women. It officially launched on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020.

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Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, research, and exhibitions, the Center advances women’s public leadership and social development on the continent.

As the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in public leadership.

For more information, visit www.ejscenter.org and press inquiries can be directed to press@ejscenter.org

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