Press Releases

Press Releases

“Across the architectural profession, Frank Harmon, FAIA, is the face of North Carolina architecture.” – Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee

Frank Harmon Joins Indiana Panel To Discuss Early Works of Harry Weese.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Raleigh architect was one of six AIA Fellows invited to the two-day workshop.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, was a member of a panel of six Fellows of the American Institute of Architects who gathered in Columbus, Indiana, recently to discuss the early works of the late Chicago architect Harry Weese (1915-1998).

Examples of Harmon’s work were included in an exhibit featuring Weese’s historic works and contemporary projects by all the panelists.

“Harry Weese was a mid-century Modernist architect who said that the great Modern buildings of Chicago had their roots in the vernacular of Illinois farmers’ houses,” said Harmon, whose own work has been highly influenced by lessons he has learned from studying old farmhouses and barns.

The panel discussion was part of a two-day workshop held at the Indiana University Center for Art and Design to explore Weese’s Modernist work in the sixties and seventies. At that time, Weese was arguably Chicago’s preeminent architect and a visionary who helped revive that city’s downtown district and whose projects won worldwide acclaim. Weese also designed the 100-mile Metro system in Washington, D.C.

Organizers held the event in Columbus because that small Midwestern town contains a high concentration of Weese’s early works in close proximity to buildings by his teacher and mentor, Eliel Saarinen, and his son, Eero. Participants visited Weese’s buildings on the first day.

“To be in the presence of his regionally inspired, Modern houses, schools, and churches was a personal inspiration,” Harmon said.

The panel discussion took place on the second day, moderated by Kelly Wilson, director of the Indiana University Center for Art and Design. Ben and Cynthia Weese, Marlon Blackwell, Julie Snow, and Maryann Thompson joined Harmon on the panel.

Frank Harmon is a nationally recognized leader in Modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate architecture. For more information, visit

For more information on the Weese workshop, go to

Frank Harmon Presents “Native Places” During The Rural Studio’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

Monday, March 10, 2014

Exploring the architect's belief that drawing and writing are not obsolete skills.

As part of its celebration of the 20th anniversary of the renowned Rural Studio this year, Auburn University invited Raleigh, NC-based architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, to give a lecture.

On March 18, Harmon will join the celebration in Auburn, Alabama, by presenting a lecture entitled “Native Places.” He is on a roster of presenters that includes such architectural luminaries as Glenn Murcutt, Brian MacKay-Lyons, Ton Kundig, and Tod Williams + Billie Tsien.

Frank Harmon is an award-winning architect and the author of “Native Places,” a collection of thoughts and hand-drawn sketches that illustrate the value of looking closely at buildings and places. His presentation in Auburn will explore his belief that drawing and writing are not obsolete skills -- that both disciplines allow architects to develop a natural grace in the way they design projects and engage the world around them.

Harmon’s work, which always begins with simple sketches, has been described as “buildings rooted in the earth, warmed by the sun, with fresh air flowing through the windows and made of materials friendly to the touch.” He is recognized nationally as a leader in modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate design. As a result, his firm’s work has won numerous design awards and is widely published.

Frank Harmon has admired and followed the Rural Studio’s work since the late architecture professor Samuel Mockbee, along with D.K. Ruth, founded it in 1993.

Mockbee believed architecture must have a strong ethical imperative to be meaningful. He believed architects should become leaders in bringing about environmental and social change. And he called on them “to place less emphasis on pleasing the rich and more on helping those who don’t have access to design services but need them.”

To put their philosophy into practice, Mockbee and Ruth led a group of architecture students to rural West Alabama to give them a hands-on, educational experience, designing and building for an underserved population. For this initiative, Mockbee posthumously received the AIA Gold Medal, the greatest accolade in American architecture.

Twenty years and 150 projects later, Rural Studio continues to educate architects through a mixture of hands-on learning and social activism.

Speaking of Samuel Mockbee’s legacy, Harmon said, “The Rural Studio has shown us how to make $5 out of $2, it has allowed us to discover the genius of place, and it has made architecture relevant.”

For more information on the Rural Studio and the 20th anniversary celebration, go to

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The first event in AIA NC's inaugural summer series in downtown Raleigh.

Activate 14, a new initiative from the American Institute of Architects’ North Carolina chapter, has released the Call For Entries for its inaugural Design+Build Competition in downtown Raleigh this summer.

Activate 14 is an annual event and design competition series that will launch this summer “to instigate conversations with the public about current architecture and design issues shaping our communities,” according to its website

The Design+Build Competition challenges individuals or a team to design and build an innovative yet temporary structure on the grounds of AIA NC’s Center for Architecture and Design at 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh.

The structure will be a key component of the Activate 14 Summer Series and may function as an outdoor reception area, a place to display art, or as an area to gather for outdoor performances.

“The goal is to build an evocative and compelling design,” said Catherine Hofmann of Frank Harmon Architect PA, the primary sponsor for this year’s Active 14 events.

The winning designer(s) will receive $10,000 with which to build the project.

The competition is open to graduate students in a certified North Carolina architectural program, young professionals with a Bachelors or Masters degree in Architecture, and architects who have been licensed 10 years or less. Project teams may include artists, sculptors, fabricators, builders, etc., provided the project leader falls into one of those categories. However, the entire team must is located in North Carolina.

Activate 14 is an initiative through the AIA NC Program Committee. Erin Sterling Lewis, Ashley Ozburn, and Hofmann comprise the Activate 14 subcommittee. North Carolina Modernist Houses is also sponsoring this summer’s series.

The deadline for submissions is April 25. The winning project will be built by June 13 in time for the first Active 14 event at the Center for Architecture and Design. Other events in the series will be announced soon.

For more information on Active 14 and the Design+Build Competition visit For information on becoming a sponsor, contact Catherine Hofmann at

About Activate 14: An AIA NC Summer Series:

Activate 14 is an annual event and design competition series that instigates conversations with the public about current architecture and design issues shaping our communities. A series of multi-component events will activate the building and grounds of the AIANC Center for Architecture and Design (CfAD) located at 14 E Peace Street in Raleigh, North Carolina. This year’s inaugural Activate 14 focuses on design-based solutions for challenges facing cities in North Carolina. Themes include an introduction to architecture and design, sustainable foodways, alternative transportation, and urban housing. Each event of the series will feature educational components, such as food and drink, children’s activities, vendors, art, and architecture. The 2014 series leads up to the annual AIA NC Design Conference. For more information:

JC Raulston Lath House by Frank Harmon Architect PA Wins 2013 Wood Design Award

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Awards program celebrates achievements in wood architecture and design.

The JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House in Raleigh, designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA, received a Citation Award during the prestigious 2013 Wood Design Awards sponsored by Wood Design & Building magazine in partnership with the Canadian Wood Council.

Designed pro bono and completed in 2010, the open-air Lath House functions as a laboratory for experimental horticultural techniques and methods. Through its screen of carefully placed wooden two-by-twos with steel support, the structure meets the specific light-to-shade ratio needed for infant plants in the spring as they prepare to transition into larger gardens within the arboretum grounds.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, compares the design to “an abstract tree that is spreading its branches to protect the tender plants.”

This marks the fifth award the Lath House has received. In 2011 it won both an American Institute of Architects (AIA) North Carolina chapter Honor Award and an AIA Triangle Merit Award. In 2012 it received an Honor Award from the AIA’s South Atlantic Region. And in 2013 it received an Object Design Award from Inform magazine.

Out of 125 entries, the Wood Design Awards jury selected only 16 projects to honor. The 2013 jurors were Michael Malinowski of Applied Architecture Inc., Michael Heeney of Bing Thom Architects, and Steven Raike of Lake|Flato Architects.

“The Wood Design Awards is an opportunity to showcase excellence in wood architecture and acknowledge a wide-range of wood product applications that demonstrate an understanding of the special qualities of wood such as strength, durability, aesthetic appeal and cost-effectiveness,” said Theresa Rogers, editor, Wood Design & Building magazine.

For more information on the Lath House and Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

For more information on the annual Wood Design Awards visit

(Contact information:; 919.829.9464; 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.)

Frank Harmon Architect PA Receives Two Sir Walter Raleigh Awards

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

For AIA NC Center For Architecture And Design and First Presbyterian Church, both in downtown Raleigh

Frank Harmon Architect PA, an award-winning firm headquartered in downtown Raleigh, NC, received accolades for two of the firm’s Raleigh projects during the 2013 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance.

The AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design on Peace Street received an award for Sustainable Design. Projects in this category demonstrate land design, architecture, and building principles that exemplify an integrated approach to resource conservation, and respect the existing features of the site and the surrounding community.

The firm’s renovation/restoration and addition to the 1910 First Presbyterian Church and church campus on the corner of Morgan and Salisbury streets received an award for Historic Preservation. Awards in this category are given for preservation or rehabilitation of existing buildings, especially Raleigh's historic resources.

The Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance recognizing outstanding new contributions to the character, environment and appearance of the City of Raleigh. Since 1983, the Raleigh City Council has presented more than 200 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards to developers, designers, building owners, community groups, civic clubs, churches and citizens.

The awards ceremony was held on October 22 at the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh. Project designer Tika Hicks accepted the awards for the firm.

This is the fourth award for the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design. In 2012 it received an Honor Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC). This year the Center received a Judge’s Award from Metal Architecture magazine and the Committee On The Environment (COTE) Award from AIA NC.

The Sir Walter Raleigh Award is the third recognition for First Presbyterian Church. It has received an Honor Award from the Brick Industry Southeast Region and AIA NC’s 2013 Tower Award for adaptive reuse, restoration or rehabilitation of a historic structure; new / infill construction within a historic context; and a new construction addition to a historic structure.

The City of Raleigh Appearance Commission coordinates the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards. For more information, contact the City’s Planning Department at 919-996-4639 or visit the City’s website at

For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

Frank Harmon To Join Clemson School of Architecture’s Centennial Symposium

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Raleigh architect will use his work to discuss architectural regionalism.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA and a Professor In Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, has been asked to speak during the Clemson University School of Architecture’s centennial celebration and symposium in Clemson, SC, in October.

The centennial celebration is entitled “The Architecture of Regionalism in the Age of Globalization.” The symposium’s theme is "Southern Roots + Global Reach," which recognizes Clemson’s geography and regionalism, as well as its long tradition of transcending the limits of its geography and region.

Frank Harmon is a nationally recognized leader in modern, sustainable, regionally appropriate design, specializing in environmental education centers. Since 2007, he has also presented “Architects Discuss America’s New Regionalism” at national AIA conventions to standing-room-only crowds.

On Friday, October 18, Harmon and fellow architects Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Merrill Elam, FAIA, principal in the Atlanta, Georgia-based firm Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, will each give 30-minute presentations on their work and the symposium’s theme. Harmon’s portion is entitled “Native Places.”

Clemson University’s architecture instruction began in 1913. For more information on the centennial and the symposium, go to

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit

Custom Home Magazine Picks Up Raleigh Architect’s New Blog

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Native Places" by Frank Harmon will appear in the magazine's newsletter every other Friday.

Earlier this year, Raleigh, N.C.-based architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, began sharing hand-drawn sketches and mini-essays on best building practices in a bimonthly format he calls “Native Places.” Now, Custom Home magazine is featuring “Native Places” in its online newsletter every other Friday.

Custom Home is an award-winning national magazine focusing exclusively on the custom home building sector of the housing industry, the highest end of the housing market. Its readership includes architects, custom homebuilders, and other industry professionals, as well as custom homeowners.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is founder and principal of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA, a Professor In Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, and a frequent speaker at American Institute of Architects (AIA) conferences and conventions.

In Custom Home’s article on “Native Places,” senior editor Shelley Hutchins notes that Harmon has won numerous awards for his residential designs, including several Custom Home Design Awards.

“Much of that acknowledgement results from his intelligent consideration of how a structure sits in the landscape and functions with regional climates,” she writes. “His blog entries gravitate toward similar topics through drawings and written explorations of houses that endure and inspire largely because of simple, effective design and strong connection to place.”

Hutchins points out that several AIA state chapters have asked Harmon to give a talk on “Native Places" and that his presentations “focus on how hand-drawing can help architects, designers, and builders better understand how a structure goes together.”

To read “Native Places” on Custom Homes, click here.

To keep up with Harmon’s blog every month, click here and subscribe.


Raleigh Architect To Judge National AIA’s 2013 Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards

Monday, July 1, 2013

Frank Harmon, FAIA, will serve as a juror for the annual awards program honoring the best in liturgical design and art for religious spaces.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder and principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA, a North Carolina firm well-known for its modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate design, will serve as a juror for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2013 Religious Art & Architecture Design Awards program when the jury meets in Charlotte, NC,  July 10-12, 2013.

Frank Harmon is a veteran juror and jury chair for design awards programs across the nation, but this will be his first term on this particular jury.

"Of all our clients, churches have the greatest stake in the future,” Harmon said recently. “For that reason, they see a moral imperative to build sustainably."

The Annual Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards program is co-sponsored by Faith & Form magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA), an AIA Knowledge Community. Faith & Form was established in 1967 as the Journal of the IFRAA, a nonprofit editorial service for the professional, religious, and lay communities.

The Awards program was founded in 1978 with the goal of honoring the best in architecture, liturgical design, and art for religious spaces. The program offers three primary categories for awards: Religious Architecture, Liturgical/Interior Design, Sacred Landscape, and Religious Arts.

Harmon himself received a 2010 IFRAA/Faith & Form award for the thoroughly sustainable Sunday school addition he designed for the Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit

For more information on Faith & Form and the IFRAA, visit

Frank Harmon Architect PA Welcomes Three Summer Interns

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Architecture students have the opportunity to work in a multi-award-winning firm.

Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning architecture firm, welcomes three new interns this summer who will have the opportunity to work with, and study under, noted “green” architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, and his team.

They will also be working within the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, the thoroughly sustainable office building Harmon designed in downtown Raleigh, where his office is now located.

Intern Paul Drake grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and is now a third-year architecture graduate student at NC State University's College of Design. He previously attended Oberlin College where he learned “an appreciation for sustainability and a do-it-yourself approach,” he says.

 After graduating with a degree in physics, Paul switched gears and tried working with his hands. He and his wife moved to Carrboro, NC, and enjoyed various jobs, including organic gardening, edible landscaping, and building houses for Habitat for Humanity. Throughout this work, design became a primary interest, he said, “especially with respect to the interface between the natural and the built environment.” He and his wife are currently building their own home in Pittsboro.

 “I’m incredibly excited and honored to have the chance to be an intern for Frank Harmon this summer,” he said.

 Intern Andy Park moved to Raleigh from Greensboro in 2009 to study architecture at NC State. Last month, he graduated summa cum laude from the NCSU College of Design with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture degree and a minor in business administration. He plans to continue his education at NCSU to obtain Bachelor of Architecture this fall.

Andy is “fascinated by technology’s role in design – particularly how smart materials reconcile spatial limitations,” he said. “And I’m thrilled to be working amongst a talented team of individuals. It will be an enlightening summer.”

 Matthew Teti, his wife, and son moved to Raleigh from Utah in 2011. They are originally from Burlington, Vermont, where Matthew studied English and Spanish at the University of Vermont. Since then, he has owned and managed a contracting and manufacturing business. He anticipates finishing his Master of Architecture degree at NC State in 2015. He is particularly interested in architecture that links communities with natural and cultural resources. 

 “I am excited to work at Frank Harmon Architect because of its history with, and commitment to, environmental and cultural educational architecture,” he said.

 Frank Harmon is also a Professor in Practice at the NCSU College of Design where he has taught since 1981. After founding his firm in Raleigh in 1985, he has made it a regular practice to work with architectural interns and young architects. "It's an honor to work with architectural interns who have so much talent and promise," he said recently. "They are the future of the profession."

For more information, visit


JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House Wins Object Design Award

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"An elegantly restrained device" designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA

April 24, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) -- Inform Magazine in Virginia has announced that the Lath House at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, has been awarded one of only three 2013 Inform Awards in the Object Design category.

The Lath House is an open-air structure and shade house that was conceived of as a laboratory for experimental horticultural techniques and methods. Because the Lath House also shelters infant plants, it was designed as an abstract of a tree spreading its branches to protect the plants. Through its screen of carefully placed wooden two-by-twos with steel support, the structure fulfills the specific light-to-shade ratio needed for the plants in the four seasons and shelters infant plants as they transition into larger gardens within the arboretum grounds.

Inform’s award jury, chaired by William Chapin, FAIA, commented: “This elegantly restrained device cleverly fulfills its specific practical mission while creating a fascinating and creative outdoor space.

Published by the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, Inform covers Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The design awards program recognizes the work of architects, interior designers, landscape architects, furniture designers, industrial designers, students, faculty, and clients in three categories: Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, and Object Design. The latter include furniture, fixtures, building components and other items not considered “full-building design.” All of this year's winners will be posted on

As part of NC State University’s Department of Horticultural Science, the JC Raulston Arboretum is primarily a working research and teaching garden that focuses on the evaluation, selection, and display of plant material gathered from around the world. For more information visit the JC Raulston Arboretum website.

For more information on the Lath House design, visit The Lath House Project Page.