TTIA Colin Laird Grant for Architecture Students


The Trinidad & Tobago Institute of Architects (TTIA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the ethical practice, art and science of architecture in Trinidad & Tobago.

Currently, there isn’t any institution in Trinidad & Tobago offering a degree in Architecture. Therefore, young aspiring architects pursue their dreams at institutions around the world which for many can be financially challenging.

The TTIA together with the family of Colin Laird have developed a Grant to be offered to Nationals of Trinidad & Tobago who are already enrolled in an accredited international Architecture program for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The first of many such annual grants was awarded at TTIA’s AGM on 20 July 2023 at the Professional Centre. A Committee made up of members from the TTIA and Family of Colin Laird would manage and execute the award of the grant.

Colin Laird was born in England in 1924, and practiced as a sole practitioner in Trinidad & Tobago between 1956 and 2008.

Profits from the sale of the book on his works titled ‘Forged from the Love’ would be directed towards the grant. The books are available for purchase at the Paper Based Bookstore at the Hotel Normandie ($TT 380.00).

Like many of our members, Colin Laird always supported aspiring students in need.

Committee for Inaugural Year 2023

  • Ricardo Newallo (Vice-President)
  • Renate Allum (Treasurer)
  • Leah Polo-Kennedy (TTIA Office Administrator)
  • Sebastien Paddington (Grandson of Colin Laird)


We have secured donations towards the grant from the following partners:

  • The Sherwin-Williams Company
  • Engineering Company (ENCO)
  • International Project Initiatives Ltd (IPI)
  • Family of Colin Laird

The funds would be disbursed over a three year period.

We are grateful to our partners and would welcome more in the future. Please contact the TTIA Office Administrator (

Colin Laird, President of the TTIA 1961–1962, then called ‘Trinidad & Tobago Society of Architects’ (TTSA)
Treasurer of TTIA, Renate Allum, member of the TTIA Colin Laird Grant Committee. In the background is the Jean Pierre Complex and Hasley Crawford Stadium designed by Colin Laird.

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Media Release and Speech

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Requirements of Applicants

  • General info : Name, DOB, contact info, address
  • Proof of TT Citizenship – Passport/Birth Certificate
  • Name of program currently enlisted in, proof of enrollment or acceptance
  • type of degree pursuing, start date/end date
  • proof that program is accredited
  • TTIA student member (application form is included in weblink but must be submitted via email to TTIA administrator)
  • letter of recommendation from past teacher or mentor or employee
  • portfolio for presentation of design works/projects
  • personal statement – description of yourself and career goals (maximum 1000 words)
  • CV if available
  • reason why you need the grant (maximum 1000 words)


  • April: Grant advertised.
  • May: Application period.
  • June: Judging period.
  • August: Grants awards.


Please contact the TTIA Office Administrator (

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Judging Criteria

  1. Design Works Submitted: 1 out of 10
  2. Personal Statement: 1 out of 10
  3. Reason why they should get the grant: 1 out of 10
  4. These 3 scores would be totalled and highest 3 (total) scores are the winners

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2023 Grant Recipients

Judges for the inaugural year, 2023, were: Jenifer Smith, Gary Turton, Mark Raymond and Kaz Laird (Colin’s grandson).

Alejandro Ramdahin

“I knew very well from the beginning that there was an absence of an architecture school in Trinidad. Rather than letting this be an obstacle to deter me, I embraced it as an opportunity for growth. Despite the hefty financial burden, I knew studying abroad was necessary to fulfill my dreams. I refused to let geographic limitations define my path and with determination and unwavering belief, I left determined to do what I’ve always wanted to do. This journey so far has taught me that the pursuit of dreams knows no boundaries, and that true passion has the power to overcome any obstacle.”

See Alejandro Ramdahin’s Portfolio

Niko Brewster

“I aim to do impactful work at any and all scales – from local site specific actions to broader urban strategy I aim to bring real dignity and utility to the everyday spaces used by the average citizen through careful observation of use and intense research.”

See Niko Brewster’s Portfolio

View Niko Brewster’s Acceptance Video

Sienna Lewis

“A passion for energy efficiency and sustainable design and the desire to give back to my country drive my journey as an aspiring architect. My experiences studying abroad have ignited my enthusiasm for environmentally conscious, socially impactful and spatially creative structures.”

See Sienna Lewis’ Portfolio

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Photo Gallery

View Full Photo Gallery on TTIA’s Official Facebook Page

Sebastien Paddington, grandson of Colin Laird.

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