Northwestern Mutual recently engaged Lawrence Group to design their new St. Louis offices. This was not only a change in venue from downtown St. Louis to Creve Coeur but also a shift in their Workplace Strategy. Northwestern’s business model is unique in that each financial representative operates as their own business unit. Their former space was nearly 100% offices and made for a compartmentalized, isolating layout. Managing Partner Gerard Hempstead first described their business structure as: “a friendly competition, but competitive nonetheless.”
Earlier this month, I was able to attend the 2015 CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network conference in Seattle. From the opening keynote to the breakout sessions, project tour and Madelaine Albright’s closing keynote, the conference was energizing, inspirational and provided lots of networking time.
My grandfather, Wilbur Tyson Trueblood, Sr., was born in 1874 in St. Louis, Missouri, a city he would go on to shape in many ways.
He had a passion for advancing his education and attended the old Manual Training School of Washington University in St. Louis and a year at Columbia University in New York City.
NeoCon is the commercial interiors industry’s most important annual event. It brings together the right people, the best products and the most innovative ideas. Attending NeoCon again with my Lawrence Group coworkers was so rewarding and just the inspiration boost we all need every once in a while. I had attended once before with coworkers from a previous employer, but since I’m still pretty new here attending with other designers at Lawrence Group was a great way to start off my work here.
Oftentimes in architecture we are challenged by a project or client to do something truly special to make a place an amazing destination. As designers, we also relish opportunities where we have the freedom to design with custom details and high end products and finishes – producing a destination focused around the architectural elements in a space.
However, an all-architecture solution is not always the best design prescription, and something else needs to happen to better capture the essence of the client, project or site. We must humbly take a step back and realize that we are not the star of the show. We are the directors of the show delivering a fantastic performance from a cohesive cast.