• Design for Life

    For 27 years, JLG Architects has helped our clients work leaner, cleaner and better.


    We believe in more than just buildings; we believe in COMMUNITY.


    We don’t chase projects; we build RELATIONSHIPS.


    We believe good DESIGN makes life better.


    We design for the CONSERVATION of our clients’ and our Earth’s resources.


    We are a reflection of the VALUES on which we were raised.

    100% Employee Owned
    JLG is a 100-percent employee-owned full-service architecture firm, founded in 1989 by Lonnie Laffen and Gary Johnson. Today, the firm has grown to nine offices with over 100 full-time employees, and was named one of the top Architecture firms in the United States by Architectural Record, Engineering News-Record and PSMJ, one of the fastest growing architecture firms in North America by Inc Magazine and the Zweig Group, and a Best Place to Work by Prairie Business, the Zweig Group and the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals.


    We are honored every day to work with our clients - and sometimes we win awards for it

    2015 Inc 5000 List
    2015 Architect 50 Top Firms in Business #19
    2015 ENR Top 500 #386
    2015 Building Design+Construction Giants 300 Design Firms #38
    JLG has been on the list of the top firms, ranked by billings, in the metro area since 2013.
    JLG is the #1 ranked architecture firm on this national list of the best places to work in the A/E/C industry in the US and Canada.
    JLG has been named a best place to work by this regional publication, covering North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota.
    JLG was recognized as the national leader in developing and training new architects.
    PSMJ’s 2015 Circle of Excellence Firms
    Inc.'s 50 Best Places to Work 2016

    JLG has been honored with almost 90 design awards in the firm's 27-year history

    2016 Building Design + Construction Giants top 100 k-12 architecture firms (#49)
    2015 Architect 50 - #19
    2016 Building Design + Construction Giants 300 Design Firms – #54 (2015 #38)
    2015 Building Design + Construction Giants 60 BIM Architecture Firms - #44
    2015 ENR Top 500 Design Firms - #386
    2016 Zweig Group Hot Firm List - #75 (2010, 2013, 2014 #21, 2015 #5)
    2016 Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal Top 25 Firms #5 (2013, 2014 #17, 2015 #5)
    2016 Zweig Group Best Firm to Work For - #4 (2006, 2014 #5, 2015 #6)
    2016 Zweig Group Trifecta Award
    2016 Zweig Group Marketing Excellence Award
    2015 Architectural Record Top 300 Architecture Firms in the US – #89 (2014 #158)
    2015 Rebuilding Together / Fargo-Moorhead Builder Award
    2015 Grand Forks Young Professionals Grow Grand Award (2014)
    2015 Grand Forks Herald People’s Choice Award (2013, 2014)
    2016 Inc Magazine Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Privately-Held Companies in the US #4203 (2015-#1316 2014-#2547)
    2015 Best Place to Work Top 50 by Prairie Business (2014)
    2013 Inc Magazine Hire Power Award for American Job Growth
    1992 National American Institute of Architects Intern Development Program Outstanding Firm Award

    AIA North Dakota Best of Show, Honor, Juror's Choice, Merit, and Unbuilt Awards
    North Dakota Ready-Mix Excellence in Concrete Awards
    DECI Development of the Year Awards
    Education Design Honorable Mentions
    St. Paul Heritage Preservation Awards
    Minnesota Preservation Awards
    Prime Site Awards of Excellence
    North Dakota Barrier-Free Design Awards
    North Dakota Concrete Products Awards
    MC Landscape Design Awards
    Mid-America EDC Redevelopment Awards
    North Dakota Housing Finance Production Awards
    Grand Forks Chamber City Beautification Awards
    Grand Forks Chamber Special Achievement Awards
    National School Boards Association Awards
    Committee on Urban Design and Environment Awards

    JLG Gives Back

    If design is the heart of JLG, our communities are our lifeblood. We work hard every day to make sure what we design makes a difference to our clients, our neighbours and our region as a whole, and so it stands to reason that we should continue making a difference outside of what is expected of us. To that end, we created a three-part approach to giving back.

    Learn More

    It is a school that has honored all of the traditional functions that work in a school but has looked to the future of what do we need to do for kids of tomorrow.
    Ali Parkinson, Discovery Elementary Principal

    What We Do

    Opportunity knocks at the start of every building project

    Meet goals

    The opportunity...

    to meet current goals and anticipate those in the future.

    Maximize the budget

    The opportunity...

    to maximize the budget.

    Utilize higher performance

    The opportunity...

    to utilize higher performance design to lower operations costs.

    Open communicative process

    The opportunity...

    for an easy, open, communicative process.

    JLG’s size and decades of experience means that we are able to offer specialized services so that when opportunity knocks, we know how to answer.

    We are our client’s guide and advocate in the following areas of expertise:

    Architecture and Interiors
    Landscape Design
    Site and Community Master Planning

    Needs Assessment and Feasibility Studies
    Space Programming
    Project Branding and 3-D Imaging

    Construction Administration and Observation
    Cost Estimating and Budget Control
    LEED Facilitation and Sustainable Strategies

    Government Agency and Code Compliance
    Design-Build and CM@R Collaboration
    Historic Preservation

    North Dakota's First LEED Platinum building.
    UND Gorecki Alumni Center