Principals Mark Lawrence and Elizabeth Emerson first met as architecture students at Catholic University School of Architecture and Planning and subsequently pursued degrees in architecture at separate institutions—Mark at Harvard and Elizabeth at Columbia—before founding EL Studio in 2007.

Today, EL Studio is an award-winning firm of six designers. “We specialize in innovative design within challenging constraints,” Emerson says. “We are our clients’ advocates, collaborating with design partners to develop solutions unique to the problems and potential posed in each project.” The firm strives for equitable and sustainable design at every scale, whether in the public or private realm, and realizes its designs as finely crafted spaces that feel good to be in.

The architects begin by engaging the client during the design process to determine goals and direction. “Each stage of a project is marked with work sessions and in-progress review meetings that allow the client the opportunity to contribute to the evolving design,” Lawrence explains. “This continuous communication ensures a cohesive and cost-effective path from creative concept to project completion.”

In 2023, EL Studio received five AIA awards, an NKBA award and a Home & Design Excellence award.