For 27 years, JLG has worked hard to make life better for our families, co-workers, clients, and communities. From what was once a three-person design studio by Gary Johnson and Lonnie Laffen has grown to become the fastest growing architecture firm in America, according to Inc. Magazine. We have had the great honor to work with thousands of the most engaged and frankly, totally awesome, clients and communities in the Midwest, including 60 college campuses and some of the largest healthcare providers in the world. We recently turned the keys to the firm over to our staff and became 100% Employee-Owned. Because the best place to work – for this generation and the next – is the one you own.

All of this change can be attributed to one thing: we have always stayed true to what makes us JLG at our heart and soul. Because at JLG we

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

We know that it takes more than just bricks and mortar to build a community. It takes passionate local stewardship, progressive leaders, and resourceful designers who understand how to turn a small idea into a big future. We believe that you get back what you put in, and so our 100 JLGers continuously give their time, resources and energy in order to improve our clients’, our neighbors’, and our families’ quality of life. Why is this important? Because we live here.

We don’t chase projects; we build RELATIONSHIPS.

The majority of our work at JLG is for repeat owners and clients. Our clients count on us to do what’s right and make the best decisions on their behalf. We manage their money like it is our own. We set them up for the future by being reliable, accessible, and proactive. JLG builds lifelong relationships because we become partners in our clients’ plan for success.

We believe good DESIGN makes life better.

At our core, JLG lives and breathes design excellence; it counts – at every level and for every position. We balance innovative design with obsessive budget control to generate solutions that are as creative as they are practical. Function is the baseline; form is what lifts up the spirit; and innovation elevates the experience for our clients, their visitors, and the community as a whole. JLG’s clients have earned over 100 design awards in celebration of this commitment to bettering lives through architecture.

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

Our northern roots have given our firm an ingrained respect for the environment and its conservation thereof. We grew up hunting, fishing and farming in a very harsh climate and understand that proper stewardship of our resources not only brings economic reward but is the legacy we want to leave for the next generation.

As a design firm, we tangibly impact our environment and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We work hard to lower energy usage and our building’s thirst for resources. We understand that it is our responsibility to continue the stewardship of our environment, ensuring that we not only better our lives and communities but also leave a prosperous legacy for our children and the many generations to come.

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

How we conduct ourselves in business and the way we approach projects are a reflection of the values on which we were raised. We are proud of our roots and in being trustworthy, familyloving, down-to-Earth people. For our clients, we embrace hard work and opportunity. We are dedicated to doing it the right way, always, to create value to the entire community.

See Design for Life in action

Learning Communities: UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences

The future of healthcare in North Dakota
The UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences building will allow the school to fully implement its Health Care Workforce Initiative, a four-pronged plan to help address North Dakota's health care workforce needs now and in the future by reducing disease burden, retaining more of the school's graduates for practice in North Dakota, training more practitioners, and improving the efficiency of the state's health care delivery system. "This new building is a critical component of our Health Care Workforce Initiative that will help provide the health care practitioners that North Dakota needs," said Joshua Wynne, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., UND vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. "It will be the place where we train doctors and other members of the health care team for clinical practice in the dynamic environment that is North Dakota."


The Healing Environment: Sanford Moorhead Clinic

The cure for the common clinic
When Sanford Health decided to build a new, state-of-the-art clinic in Moorhead, Minnesota, they took the opportunity to re-imagine how to deliver healthcare in the 21st century. This grand undertaking led to a new prototype for the Sanford Health Clinical Model, and the construction of a new 49,250 square foot, $11.2 million facility to serve the people of Moorhead and the surrounding Minnesota communities. The first of its kind in the Sanford system, Moorhead Clinic follows a collaborative, onstage-offstage, care delivery model that makes clinic visits more efficient for the Providers and less time consuming for the Patient. “I love this building,” said Jeff Hoss, Sanford’s vice president of clinic operations. “It gives us a chance to do something different. We’re trying to be very, very patient focused.”


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.