General, Inspiration /

For the Love of Craft: A Trip Through the Legacy of George Nakashima

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New York City, 7:00 AM, the 2-hour road trip ahead of us would allow plenty of time to soak in the gradual transition from the Manhattan skyline to the rural landscape of eastern Pennsylvania. Watching the sun climb behind our white Suburban (which had become our mobile office for the day) we exited the Lincoln Tunnel and turned our conversation and thoughts to what lay ahead; the town of New Hope and home of woodworker, George Nakashima.

Everyone can remember the first time they heard about the work of George Nakashima. For some, this is in the trenches of design school, for others it is through curious self-initiated investigation, and for many this introduction is given in moments of serendipity over a dinner table or chance encounter with one of Mr. Nakashima’s wooden masterpieces. For almost everyone though, the name “George Nakashima” brings to mind a remarkable design heritage and a seemingly endless wealth of timeless inspiration. For the nine of us in our fully loaded SUV, a rare opportunity for a private tour of the Nakashima Foundation was a long-awaited adventure.

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Interior Design, Projects /

Reimagining the Working Environment with Cushman & Wakefield

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Lawrence Group recently partnered with Cushman & Wakefield to complete their newly renovated 46,000-square-foot Portfolio Service Center situated next to the Maryville University campus in Town & Country, Missouri. The 6th floor suite boasts spectacular views of luscious trees, a lake and walking trails; numerous amenities; and modern finishes. The Cushman & Wakefield brand is reflected throughout the space as it fosters both a “work, live, play” culture and the firm’s forward-thinking vision.
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Projects /

The Business Behind Elevating National Brands

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I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a few members of our commercial team to discuss the history, projects, challenges and opportunities associated with performing work for large-scale, national clients. The conversation proved fascinating as I witnessed first-hand the extensive relationships, vast and broad-reaching portfolio, and signature jovial demeanor for which this group is best known. A recap of my conversation – excluding the fact that Kerry is a bourbon drinker – is outlined below. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed hearing it!

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Projects /

Laser Capture in Adaptive Re-use Design

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At Lawrence Group, we have the honor of designing some complex adaptive reuse projects. Many of these existing structures are adapted from their original program into a new function for our clients. The beauty of these spaces are their character, which can also be one of the greatest challenges when it comes to documenting the space before schematic design begins. 

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Architecture, Interior Design /

Healthcare Looks to Provide Great Guest Experience Through Design

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Hospitality environments continue to influence trends in architectural and interior design projects within the healthcare market. What was once designed with a sterile, institutional feel now includes visual elements to increase patient satisfaction and enhance the overall patient, visitor and staff experience. The challenge is no longer just to design a space where patients are treated, but to provide environments where patients can heal and recover with their family members by their side, and where staff can provide the optimum care-giver experience.

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General, Inspiration /

3 Pieces of Advice for Future Conference Attendees

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I can’t express enough the wealth of knowledge that the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference provides. I’d like to give a shout out to UMSL Business for putting on such a rich learning experience, and give a thank you to Spectrum Reach, the conference sponsor. If you haven’t already, take a look at my latest post, “Top Takeaways from the 2017 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference,” which outline the key pieces of knowledge I learned from the 2017 conference. Thinking of attending next year? Here is my first-timer advice:

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General, Inspiration /

Lawrence Group People

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Each month we are highlighting three of our employees by having them share everything from their personal motto to their favorite architect to what’s on their bucket list. We are hoping this gives you a glimpse into the people of Lawrence Group.

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General, Inspiration /

Top Takeaways from the 2017 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

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The 2017 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference marked UMSL’s third year hosting the event and my first year in attendance. I learned a lot about what it is like to attend a large conference like this and a lot about the changing digital marketing landscape. Here are some of the key insights I took away from the conference.

  1. Digital marketing should be about making connections, not just making contact.

This one may seem obvious, but it never hurts to have a reminder. The key to a successful social media presence is making meaningful connections with your audience, not just spewing information at them that you perceive to be relevant. It’s better to stop and understand what your audience really wants to see and respond to, rather than playing a guessing game. Two pieces of advice to keep in mind to help you stay on track and build connections are (1) say it, don’t spray it and, (2) when it comes to content, place value on quality over quantity.

(Inspired by Phil Cara of Buzzfeed)

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Architecture /

If Our Walls Could Talk

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Full-time working professionals spend much of their lives at the office, and it just so happens that our “work home” at Lawrence Group comes with a quite the history beyond its architectural framework.

Daniel Catlin, a wealthy tobacco magnate and largest holder of downtown business realty, bought the parcel at 319 N. 4th Street in the 1880s and formed a syndicate of important downtown figures to commission a grand office building for the site. They viewed their undertaking as a personal monument expressive of their wealth, status, taste and civic spirit. Named the Security Building, it was constructed in the 1890s by the design of renowned Architects Peabody, Stearns and Furber. It was one of 30 tall office buildings in St. Louis of late 19th Century design, of which few remain today. It survived massive urban renewal programs which removed almost all of the historic 4th Street financial district and remains one of the finest example of office interiors from that era.

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Interior Design, Projects /

A Deeper Look at the Historic Lennox Hotel

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Appearing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lennox hotel was built in 1929 and recently renovated into a creatively designed Courtyard by Marriott hotel with new lobby space, bistro, and business and fitness centers. Featuring key design elements inspired by nineteenth century conventions and materials, it is one of the area’s only examples from this time period. The goal of the project was to reflect the owner’s affinity for mid-century modern design, resulting in an intentional contrast of 1920s exterior aesthetic with new modern interiors.

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