Designing the world’s first presidential library and center in Liberia

Designing the world’s first presidential library and center in Liberia,

Mariam Camara, director and owner of Masumi’s workshop from Niger, South African architect Sumaya Valley,

founder of Contraspace, and Liberian architect Karen Richard Barnes, founder of the Pan-African Engineering Group (PAEG), have been chosen to design the modern Presidential Center and Library in Monrovia, Liberia. .

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center),

announced the collaboration of three women to design the world’s first presidential center and library for former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

She is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006. Until 2018.

Once completed, the project will be the first of its kind commissioned by a woman and dedicated to women.

The project Location

EJS has selected the project site in the capital, Monrovia, and the new building will be located next to the city’s busiest road and overlooking the Atlantic coast,

a site adjacent to the President’s residence.

The new Presidential Center and Library will be built to provide digital access to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s personal and professional archives.

The center will also provide a space for training, networking, a

nd presentation of exhibitions aimed at inspiring women to pursue leadership in all areas.

It is envisaged that the design will be a national and international hub for different types of programs,

which enhance the social and economic status of women and girls and support their democratic rights and freedoms.

A milestone project

The project will be a milestone in every sense of the word,

as never before has a woman president established and commissioned the design and construction of a presidential center and library.

The Presidential Center and Library will feature contemporary, sustainable design that is future-oriented,

using local and sustainable materials where possible, such as Liberian rubberwood.

It will also include vibrant works by African artists, designers and artisans,

and these environmental and artistic elements will give the campus a strong sense of purpose and identity.

The project will also be built from local materials and showcase traditional architectural styles that reflect the center’s respect for African art.

The design will be created to inspire others, bringing a sense of history,

culture and social context to visitors.


Designing the world's first presidential library and center in Liberia
Designing the world’s first presidential library and center in Liberia


Project Content

The project will contain open exhibition spaces allowing private access to study and source materials,

while quiet corners will provide spaces for reflection.

International visitors will learn about the history and culture of African women, along with recent events,

including the political career of President Sirleaf herself.

While Mariam Camara will lead the overall design of the building,

Somaya Valley will design the scenography, pavilions and exhibition spaces in the building.

Distinguished Liberian architect Karen Richards Barnes will serve as the local architect on the project.

Once completed, the Presidential Center will represent excellence in African architecture and will serve as a defining feature on the landscape of Africa’s national and cultural institutions.”

Somaya Valley, designer of the 2020/2021 Serpentine Pavilion, was recently appointed curator for the inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Saudi Arabia in 2023.

Maryam Kamara, Director and Owner of Masōm Atelier,

is known for her use of local sources while her approach to design is guided by a belief in sophistication, dignity and a better quality of life.


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  1. Pingback: The The crazy House in Vietnam Designed by Đặng Việt Nga - ArchUp

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