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2020: The Year We Designed From Home

by Rebecca DeZeeuw

It’s safe to say 2020 was not our typical year in the workplace. The new decade brought us our first taste of video conferencing, virtual happy hours and overall work from home life. In a matter of 48 hours, we went from full offices to a fully remote workforce while “unprecedented,” “social distancing” and “COVID-19” quickly became everyday words.

While the pandemic defined much of 2020, we embraced new ways to design, collaborate and serve our clients – just with a little extra space between us. As we head into 2021, we’re reflecting on a few Lawrence Group highlights from the year we designed from home.




Angad Arts Hotel, Tend and Union Station Received Recognition

To kick off the new decade, U.S. News & World Report recognized Angad Arts Hotel in its 2020 Best Hotels rankings, listing Angad Arts Hotel as #7 in Best Missouri Hotels and #4 in Best St. Louis Hotels. The Grand Center hotel has drawn a lot of attention since opening in 2018; we’re always excited to see others loving it as much as we do!

Tend also received national recognition in 2020. Within a year of opening their first location, the hospitality-meets-healthcare dental concept was recognized for spatial design at the 99th Annual Art Directors Club Awards in New York. We couldn’t be happier for this young brand and look forward to opening the next batch of dental studios with Tend in 2021.

Additionally, our work at Union Station received local recognition, earning a spot in the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2020 Building St. Louis Awards in the Renovation or Conversion category. The entertainment complex brought new attractions to St. Louis, including three new restaurants designed by our hospitality team: Soda Fountain, The Train Shed and 1894 Cafe.


Deli Star Groundbreaking


San Marcos Public Service Center and Deli Star Broke Ground

In August, the City of San Marcos broke ground on a new public services center. The 21-acre project includes seven new structures for the city’s growing number of staff, fleet vehicles and storage needs. Due to the pandemic, this was also our first experience being part of a virtual groundbreaking announcement.

A couple months later, Deli Star broke ground on their new Food Discovery Center at City Foundry STL. The meat processor and culinary innovation company will use the new center as a hub for culinary research and development. The new center’s test kitchens, research-chef stations and instructional space for culinary and food science classes are a perfect fit for City Foundry STL’s innovative culinary scene.

New Leadership in Austin

As 2020 came to a close, we welcomed Luma Jaffar as the new managing principal for Lawrence Group’s Austin office. Luma took over from managing principal Earl Swisher, who founded the Austin practice in 1999. Luma’s experience includes municipal, healthcare, hospitality, education and workplace design, and we’re looking forward to this next chapter of growth in Austin.

Ribbon Cuttings & Grand Openings

While we faced our share of challenges in 2020, we were fortunate to celebrate projects and continue to do what we love: helping our clients realize their dreams. As we head into the new year, we’re hopeful for the future and look forward to the days when we can all spend a little more time together, in person. For now, we leave you with a look at some of the Lawrence Group projects that wrapped up in 2020:


Capes Sokol Corporate Office


Washington University School of Medicine Cell Biology Lab


SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital


St. Charles Community College Culinary Arts & Agriculture Center




Lewis Collaborative


SSM Health Behavioral Health Urgent Care