Designing His Future

By UM News

Designing His Future

By UM News
Edward Laird studied traditional and classical architecture, and enjoyed his travel abroad study in Rome.

Edward Laird Already an award-winning designer, Edward Laird has been involved in most areas of the School of Architecture.

A Cherry Hill, New Jersey, native, he came to the University of Miami for an education in traditional and classical architecture.

“UM is one of two universities in the country that still teaches the classical tradition,” Laird said. “UM is also a very pragmatic school, teaching students what they need to know to practice architecture. My experience at UM enabled me to complete 75 percent of my hours towards licensure by the time I graduate this May.”

As a student, Laird traveled to Rome, a semester-long adventure he calls his most memorable time at UM. Students in the URome Program use the city as their classroom, exploring some of the most well-known buildings ever designed.

“My semester in Rome was incredible!  As an architect, we look at a lot of pictures of buildings, trying to understand them…we think we understand a building from plans, sections, elevations, and photographs,” Laird said. “But then, we go to the Pantheon, for instance, and we realize how the space really feels spatially and aesthetically. Also, Rome in general became our classroom.  Our classes consisted of sketching Piazza Navona or an in situ site visit to Michelangelo’s Campidoglio.”

Laird and his design partner, Nicole Ferrarini, are the recipients of the 2015 Addison Mizner Medal, presented every year by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in Florida.

Their project was a plan to restore and combine several historic buildings and sites in Havana, Cuba, including a vintage hotel, a youth hostel, and some 16th century columns.

Despite that achievement—and a previous Mizner Medal to boot—Laird said the most fulfilling project he undertook as a student was his eighth design studio, which was a pro bono design project for a 70-acre, mixed-use walkable hospital campus in Richmond, Virginia.

“As a studio, we went on a site visit, observing several hospitals in the Bon Secours network, and interfaced with the client and several architects and planners,” Laird said. “It was nice, as it gave the project a reality and I was able to use my design skills to give back to the community. “

After graduating, Laird will begin a master’s program in real estate at Columbia University.