About Us

All it Takes Is an Idea. LIGHT Leads the Way.

In 1983, three University of Kansas design school graduates – Steve Smith, David Ohlemeyer and Paul Doerner – started Lawrence Group with the vision of becoming a design and construction “super firm.”

They named the firm Lawrence Group after Lawrence, Kansas, the home of their alma mater. They envisioned the firm becoming generational in its pursuit of realizing clients’ dreams. Today, the core principle of realizing dreams is a cornerstone of the firm and an inspiration for succeeding generations. In every project, client and community, we are led by our LIGHT values: legendary, innovation, growth, heart and trust.

Our Mission

To help our clients realize their dreams.

Our mission has remained consistent since our founding and is the focus of everything we do. Actively seeking to understand our clients’ dreams, values, and goals, and then working aggressively to achieve them is the foundation of our firm.

Our Culture

Lawrence Group is a place for dreamers.

That’s a quality we look for in our clients – and in our employees. These dreams – these ideas – inspire us. They move us forward.

From the very beginning, we’ve built our culture to encourage this kind of thinking. We’ve never been about ego or hierarchy. And our approach is not about raw beauty or creativity. It’s about finding new ways to bring people together. Helping our clients make what they do more relevant, more impactful, and above all, more meaningful, for all.

All of that is important, of course. To us, though, the real truth comes here: we enjoy what we do. More than that, we have fun. And we do everything we can to make sure our clients have fun, too.

A Culture Built On Valuing Each Other.

It’s easy to talk about a supportive, collaborative culture. But it’s quite another to live it. To experience it. To be a part of building it. That’s what we do every day at Lawrence Group, giving everyone the chance to let their best ideas shine.

We allow people to bring their authentic selves to be an example of the light values rather than conforming.

Driven By Our Core Values


We strive to be legendary, from the service we provide to our impact on the community.


We’re driven by ideas and creativity. We take calculated risks and embrace opportunities.


We seek sustainable growth for our clients, our organization and our employees.


We lead with heart. We celebrate, appreciate and care for each other.


We rely on trust to pursue excellence. We speak honestly, act transparently, and honor our commitments.

Diversity + Inclusion

Central to Lawrence Group’s core LIGHT values is our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). We are committed to cultivating an organization that embraces and celebrates differences in all aspects of life, and which leaves a transformative impact on the communities we serve.

Lawrence Group has a number of initiatives in place to support our DEIB efforts. Our Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are dedicated to supporting a positive internal and external culture, with teams dedicated to Inclusion, Recognition, and Engagement programming. Lawrence Group also maintains hiring goals to ensure a diverse pool of talent in our organization, with over 80% of our new hires representing staff from diverse backgrounds.

Beyond our internal initiatives, Lawrence Group provides extensive support to cultivate new and diverse talent within our industry. We are a diamond sponsor of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) HBCU development program. We are also a sponsor of Project Connect, an initiative to provide support and information for students from Junior High to College who may be interested in the fields of architecture and design. By providing these resources, we aim to lower the barrier for entry to the field and embrace the possibilities that a truly diverse talent pool can offer.

Our Approach

Lawrence Group: Realizing Dreams, Creating Experiences for Humanity

For 40 years, we’ve built more than structures. We’ve built dreams. Solving our clients’ most ambitious real estate challenges has been a hallmark of our firm. From healing and learning environments to vibrant experiential and living spaces, Lawrence Group has woven a bright tapestry of renowned design across the country.

Our passion is creating experiences for the communities and people we serve. We’re architects of human experiences, crafting spaces that nurture healing, inspire learning, ignite curiosity, and foster connection. That’s why our expertise spans a complete array of services: architecture, interior design, master planning, furniture procurement, landscape architecture, and graphic design.

Our history has informed our culture with wisdom and a tenacious drive to solve problems. We are continuing to expand our national presence through local impact in our communities. We’re not just designing and building, we are cultivating a new era of design – one that is based on human experience, commitment to community, and elevating how the built environment contributes to helping people thrive, experience, and live in the modern world.

See our approach in action.

View our Work.

Beyond the Blueprint: Consistent & Measured Growth

Building isn’t just about blueprints; it’s about bold strokes and unshakeable foundations in every sense of those words. At Lawrence Group, we’re not simply content with replicating yesterday’s success. We’re reimagining growth with an unflinching ambition that complements our 40-years of evolving expertise.

We seek partnerships that ignite synergy and enhance creativity. We’re seeking complementary visions, shared values, and a collective hunger to push the boundaries of what the built environment can be. Our continuous growth isn’t a numbers game; it’s a platform for innovation.

We also believe in building and nurturing genuine relationships with other industry professionals, our clients, and the communities we’re fortunate enough to serve. With every calculated move, every inspired collaboration, we’re building a future by designing the built environment to whisper authentic stories of progress, innovation, and human connection.

Our Commitment to Community

At Lawrence Group, we are honored to be able to give back to the communities we call home. We strive to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the world around us. It’s a commitment you’ll see in our financial contributions, of course – but also in our contributions of time and talent.

Awards and Recognition

Awards are only part of the story.

Over the years, we’ve received awards and recognition for the work we do. It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by our peers. However, to us, the true measure of success lies in helping our clients realize their dreams.

  • Top 300 Architecture Firm, Architectural Record
  • Top 500 Design Firm, Engineering News Record
  • Top 40 Healthcare Giant, Interior Design Magazine
  • Top 100 Hospitality Giant, Interior Design Magazine
  • Top 100 Giants, Interior Design Magazine
  • Giants 300, BD+C Magazine
  • Top Multi-Housing Architects, Multi-Family News
  • Best Practices Award, St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers
  • Vista Award – New Construction, American Society of Healthcare Engineers
  • Preservation Award for Sustainability, Preservation Austin
  • 10Best Reader’s Choice Award, USA Today
  • Community Betterment Award, Missouri Growth Association
  • Interior Design Excellence Award, International Interior Design Association’s Gateway Chapter
  • Merit Design Award, AIA Austin
  • Keystone Award, American General Contractors St. Louis
  • Development of the Year, City of St. Louis and St. Louis Development Corporation
  • Mayor’s Award and Business Leadership Award, City of St. Louis
  • Preserve Missouri Award, Missouri Preservation Society
  • Most Enhanced Award, Landmarks Association of St. Louis

Our Partners


Lawrence Group seamlessly extends its design expertise beyond the blueprint through our strategic partnership with Integrate Construction Partners. Together, we offer a collaborative approach, acting as your single source for a streamlined project experience, from concept to completion. Integrate Construction Partners brings a comprehensive suite of construction services to the table, including design-build, multi-site project delivery, construction management, and general contracting – ensuring every detail is meticulously executed.


Through our collaboration with affiliate partner New + Found, a real estate investment and development firm, Lawrence Group offers a truly comprehensive solution. New + Found specializes in impact development and fully integrated real estate solutions, seamlessly aligning with our design expertise. Together, we can take your project a step further, providing a seamless journey from concept to completion that encompasses real estate development and investment services tailored to your unique needs and goals.