Laura Portney AIA

Laura's many years of experience with PCA have led to long-term relationships with our clients in developing award-winning projects in the retail, restaurant, academic and commercial markets.

Laura fluidly moves from big picture to detail, managing everything from complex, large-scale developments to intricate university campus intervention. She believes that good design should first and foremost be “for the people,” always illustrating an understanding and care for those who ultimately use our spaces. Her most interesting challenge to date involved her work on the renovation of Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center — a highly successful project that made use of all her talents organizing client groups and managing expectations on a tight “summer slammer” schedule.

  • I’m from  North Augusta, SC.

  • My education  B.Arch, Clemson University; M.Arch, Boston Architectural College

  • Community service  I've been a board member at On The Rise in Inman Square since 2015. It's a nonprofit that provides services to homeless and formerly homeless women in the area. It's so inspiring to see the work that they do every day, helping those whom others have given up on find their way back to a stable, supported life.

  • Why PCA?  It's important to love what you do and it's easy to love my job working at PCA. Surrounded by people who are friends first and colleagues second, it's apparent that we are all on the same team working towards the same goal.

  • My earliest design memory  My art teacher in junior high gave us two weeks to complete a "free" project and I told him I just really wanted to draw the hallways and corners of the buildings. After seeing my project, he gently suggested that I look into the field of architecture.

  • My favorite spaces  have a focus on framing the surrounding context. For example, my favorite indoor space in Boston is the gallery looking out over the harbor at the ICA. While I love buildings, I truly love the pictures that their edges create.

  • Materials that excite me are  old materials used in new ways. I love seeing patterning and irregular coursing in brick. It can turn simple shapes into unique artistic expressions.

  • Cats or dogs?  Dogs. If I said otherwise, my dog, Beau, would be very disappointed in me.

  • Coffee or tea?  Coffee. I had a moment where I tried to be very British and only drink tea but it was never enough caffeine.

  • On my playlist  Anything and everything. But most important, anything from the '60s. I could listen to Sam Cooke on repeat every day.

  • Quote that guides me right now  "Do what you love. It's what the world needs from you. It's what you were meant to do." I'm pretty sure I got that from the Hallmark card my parents gave me at graduation. But it's still true.