About Us

EL Studio is an award-winning architecture and design firm dedicated to the practice of experimentation, collaboration, and advocacy.

We specialize in innovative design within challenging constraints. We eagerly take on complex problems and, through research and testing, strive to rethink standard uses of techniques and materials. We collaborate with design partners to develop resolutions unique to the problems and potential posed in each project. We are our client’s advocates, developing expertise in the full range of their current and future needs. We advocate for equitable and sustainable design at every scale whether in the public or private realm.

Not satisfied with the purely theoretical, EL builds what we draw, realizing our designs as finely-crafted spaces that feel good to be in.

Elizabeth Emerson

Principal & Co-Founder

Elizabeth Emerson

Principal & Co-Founder

Elizabeth Emerson’s architectural interests spring from the social and cultural. A native of the Washington DC area, Elizabeth’s research in design has engaged issues of social and environmental sustainability, individual and collective identity, and privatization.

Elizabeth's project experience prior to founding EL Studio ranged from multi-tenant residential and hospitality projects to institutional and government projects including the Syracuse University School of Architecture and the US Embassies in Rabat, Morocco and Vienna, Austria. She has taught at several institutions, most recently in the graduate Urban Practice concentration at Catholic University School of Architecture and Planning. She serves on the Board of Trustees at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, MD, and on the Board of Visitors for Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning and the Advisory Council Board of the Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, both located in Washington, DC. Elizabeth is a licensed architect in New York and Washington, DC.

Education

Master of Advanced Architecture Design, Columbia University GSAPP

Bachelor of Architecture, Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning

Teaching

Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning

Adjunct Professor, New York Institute of Technology

Adjunct Professor, New School University / Parsons School of Design

Mark Lawrence

Principal & Co-Founder

Mark Lawrence

Principal & Co-Founder

Mark Lawrence’s architectural interests stem from the place where he lives and works. The alley-based studio in Washington DC serves as a testbed for researching a variety of scales from questioning urban infrastructural issues to materiality and detail.

He has worked on a range of project types of varying scale with architecture firms in both Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA, including the US Federal Courthouse in San Diego and the UCLA Broad School Art Center reconstruction and expansion under Richard Meier and Partners. As a board member of the Washington Architecture Foundation, Mark works to expand the education and action of architecture to underserved areas in the Washington region. Mark is a licensed and registered architect in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, DC.

Education

Master in Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Bachelor of Architecture, Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning

Teaching

Adjunct Professor, Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning

Adjunct Professor, Boston Architectural Center

Adjunct Professor, Corcoran College of Art and Design

Sarah Beth
Combs

Associate

Sarah Beth
Combs

Associate

Sarah Beth is a project architect based in Washington DC. Her passion for architectural practice is inspired by how people influence and are influenced by the built environment.

She joins EL Studio with experience spanning higher education, K-12, recreational, museum, and residential project types, specializing in programming and planning efforts at building, campus, and district scales. Her approach to design is shaped by past roles as the editor of various journals and magazines, as part of archaeological excavations in Greece and Turkey, and currently as a volunteer at the National Gallery of Art.

Education

Masters of Architecture, The University of Virginia

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, The University of Pennsylvania

Teaching

Lecturing Professional, George Washington University

Emma Wierzel

Intern Architect

Emma Wierzel

Intern Architect

Emma Wierzel is an architectural designer who enjoys exploring the impact of space. Emma’s passion for problem-solving and community work inspires her to engage the complexities of our built environment to find solutions that improve people’s lives. As a recent graduate, she is excited to work within an urban context and explore Washington, DC.

Education

Bachelor of Architecture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Dom Andreano

Intern Architect

Dom Andreano

Intern Architect

Dom is an Architectural Intern with a passion for adaptive reuse and reconstruction that is rooted in his time spent studying in Prague. He hopes to integrate the values and successes of the old European city into our own urban environment. Outside the studio, Dom loves experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen and exploring the world through film photography.

Education

Bachelor of Architecture, North Carolina State University

Kate Troutman

Intern Architect

Kate Troutman

Intern Architect

Kate's passion for architecture is driven by her interest in the impact of culture on design and conversely, design’s impact on culture.
Kate joins EL Studio with experience in commercial, corporate, education, and residential design and construction, as well as research in the US, Europe, and Latin America. She has taught at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and the Universidad de Las Americas, both located in Quito, Ecuador. Her design approach is driven by her interest in intervention, reinterpretation and re-use of historic buildings, which is inspired by her time spent living, studying, and working internationally.

Education

Master of Arts, Architecture and Historic Urban Environments, The Bartlett School of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture, Penn State University

Teaching

Adjunct Professor, Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Adjunct Professor, Universidad de Las Americas