“Across the architectural profession, Frank Harmon, FAIA, is the face of North Carolina architecture.” – Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee
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 readinform.com.
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.
Jacob Burke Joins Frank Harmon Architect PA
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Former intern becomes full-time project designer at award-winning firm.
April 11, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) – Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder and principal of the award-winning architectural firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, is pleased to announce that Jacob Burke has joined the firm as a full-time project designer.
A fourth generation Texan and woodworking enthusiast, Burke received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, then moved in Anchorage, Alaska. And it was in Alaska that he discovered his passion for architecture.
“I wanted to work with my hands and eventually realized that the process of planning or designing my own work was something that I enjoyed,” he said. “In architecture, there is a possibility for connection to materials and the natural world that psychology or business doesn't foster. In Alaska, it became a real possibility for my wife and me to build our own house. Researching house construction and design is when I made the jump from furniture and woodworking to architecture.”
So he entered North Carolina State University’s College of Design.
“On my arrival at school, I realized that architectural theory can be highly analytical, dealing with many of the same abstract reasoning and processes of psychological theory,” he said. “Architecture, to this point, is a good pairing of the connection to the physical world and theory.”
Burke worked as an architectural intern in Frank Harmon’s office while he was in school. After he received his Master of Architecture degree in December of 2013, he joined the firm as a full-time architect.
Frank Harmon Architect PA Wins AIA NC Honor Award
Thursday, February 28, 2013
For the new, thoroughly “green” AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design
Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning firm in Raleigh, NC, has received an Honor Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANC) for the design of the new AIANC Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh.
Already praised by the media as a “heroic gesture” (Metro Magazine), a building “that behaves like the skilled diplomat it was designed to be,” (News & Observer), and “an ode in zinc and cypress, and an inviting treatise on transparency,” (Huffington Post), the building is located on an oddly shaped, previously unused lot in downtown Raleigh near the State Capitol and Government Complex.
According to Frank Harmon, FAIA, the building and landscape were conceived as “one interlocking system” with the help of Charlottesville, VA, landscape architect Gregg Bleam, FASLA. “The landscape is an extension of the building and the building is an extension of the landscape,” Harmon said. To underscore that concept, the native stone walls in the landscape extend inside the building.
The narrow building is sited snugly against an existing city sidewalk so that the majority of the triangular lot is a park-like green space in this urban context. Harmon and Bleam call the necessary parking space a “parking garden” because it is porously paved to dry quickly and to eliminate storm water runoff, and it can be used for a variety of outdoor functions by AIANC and other community groups.
The building’s open floor plan features the lobby and multi-purpose room on the first floor, AIANC’s offices on the second floor, and more offices on the third floor, including Frank Harmon’s own offices. A gallery space is located on a lower level, facing a city street. The open plan was designed to evoke a sense of community among occupants. It also makes temperature and lighting control more efficient.
Harmon designed the building to meet LEED Platinum standards, the highest LEED certification, as well as AIA Committee On The Environment (COTE) goals, which include regional appropriateness and the use of regionally available materials, land use and site ecology, sustainable materials and methods of construction, reduced water usage, and increased energy efficiency.
The siting, narrow footprint, and abundant glazing maximize natural ventilation and day light in every interior space. Other sustainability features include:
• Geothermal heating and cooling
• Rainwater collection for use on site
• 90 percent recycling of construction waste construction on site
• Deep roof overhangs and porches to shade the building in the summer but allow warming light in the winter
• A “green screen” where vines will shade the building in spring and summer
• A zinc roof (zinc being one of the most sustainable metals available)
• All locally available materials, including Cypress wood felled by a hurricane in the Great Dismal Swamp
• Low-flow bathroom fixtures and zero VOC paints and carpets
• Operable windows for cross-ventilation
“As we come out of the recession, we won't be building in the same wasteful ways,” Harmon said. “With new emphasis on alternative energy and sustainable design, the AIANC Center shows us a new way to build.”
The annual AIA NC Design Awards celebrate the achievements of architects across the state and recognize a select group of diverse projects that distinguish themselves both in response to their clients’ needs and design excellence. For more information, visit www.ncaia.org.
Raleigh Architect To Serve on ARCHITECT magazine’s Design Review Jury
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Frank Harmon, FAIA, will join other jurors in Washington, D.C.
Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, has been asked to serve as a juror for ARCHITECT’s 2012 Design Review, the magazine’s annual awards. The jury will convene in the magazine’s offices in Washington, D.C., on October 18 and 19.
Katie Gerfen, the magazine’s Senior Editor of Design, invited Harmon to join the 2012 jury.
Frank Harmon is the founder and principal of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh and a Professor In Practice for North Carolina State University’s College of Design. Nationally recognized as a leader in modern, sustainable, regionally appropriate design, his projects rang from small sheds to 70,000-square-foot corporate headquarters and are all informed by the principles of sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Earlier this year, ARCHITECT ranked Frank Harmon’s firm 17th among the “Top 50 Firms In The Nation” based on design excellence, business success, and commitment to sustainability.
Frank Harmon is also a frequent juror and jury chairman for professional design award programs across the U.S., but this will his first time on ARCHITECT’s Design Review jury.
“An architectural design awards program is like an X-ray,” Harmon said. “It gives a clear picture of what is current in the profession at a given point in time. The ARCHITECT magazine awards demonstrate what is best in architecture today. “
The Annual Design Review selects winners from built projects completed over the last year. American architects may submit projects no matter when they're located. Non-American architects’ projects must be located in the United States to be eligible.
Categories for entries in the program are:
- Work -- Office, Government, and Commercial Mixed-Use
- Play -- Sports, Hospitality, and Retail
- Live -- Multifamily Housing, Single-Family Housing, & Residential Mixed-Use
- Grow -- Education, Science, and Healthcare
- Move -- Infrastructure and Transportation
- Bond -- Institutional, Cultural, and Religious
ARCHITECT, the official publication of the American Institute of Architects, will publish the winners in the December 2012 edition. For more information on the magazine, go to www.architect.com.
Design Development Begins on Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, will hold a series of workshops to gather community input.
Design workshops begin this week on the larger, permanent home for Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to be designed by the multi-award-winning architectural firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh. The design team includes two other nationally acclaimed design firms: The Portico Group from Seattle Washington and MIG from Berkeley California.
The new, larger museum will be built atop the Wallace Plaza rooftop parking deck between East Rosemary and East Franklin streets in downtown Chapel Hill.
Founded on the premise that early learning experiences are critical to later life success, and that children learn best through play, Kidzu is currently located in University Square at 123-B West Franklin Street. Since it opened in 2006, the museum has welcomed 175,000 vistors. In 2009, the Town of Chapel Hill gave Kidzu a 99-year lease for the parking deck roof site for $1 per year as a historic public–nonprofit partnership. On this site, Kidzu will be able to increase the size of its facility substantially, both inside and out, with ample room for future growth.
Frank Harmon’s firm is well known for its modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate designs for educational purposes, such as the Walnut Creek Wetlands Park in Raleigh and the Children’s Nature Zoo at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. And as he did with those projects, Harmon will facilitate a series of design workshops, beginning this week, so that museum staff and community members from a wide range of backgrounds – including children -- have opportunities for input.
The Harmon/Portico/MIG team is now challenged with accommodating a variety of design imperatives. They are to create:
• An iconic facility that attracts visitors, reflects Kidzu’s identity as a playful, educational institution, and serves as a centerpiece for downtown Chapel Hill.
• A museum-as-educational-tool -- an environment that not only facilitates learning but also serves as a teaching tool, sharing lessons about design, engineering, art, environmental stewardship, history, culture and other relevant topics.
• Space with abundant creativity, incorporating works of art and a wide range of creative elements.
• A sustainable building that follows LEED standards and incorporates lessons about green design and sustainability.
• A healthy environment for visitors that inspires physical activity and other healthy habits.
• Connections to nature, both inside and out, through the use of natural light, natural materials, an abundance of plants, water elements, and related natural components.
• A flexible environment (building, exhibits and site) to allow the museum to serve as many functions as possible and to meet unanticipated future needs.
• A “living museum” that can evolve over time by combining flexibility, design for change, and the use of natural elements.
• An environment that complements and relates to the historic surroundings, while also responding to the future in its design and function.
• A playful and engaging environment designed with the needs of children in mind that also feels welcoming to adults, who comprise half of Kidzu’s visitors. The museum should be whimsical and playful and appealing to adults.
The Board of Directors anticipates completion of the new museum by 2015. For more information on Kidzu Children’s Museum, go to www.kidzuchildrensmuseum.org.
Catherine Hofmann Joins Frank Harmon Architect PA As Office Manager
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal and founder of the award-winning architectural firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, has announced that Catherine Hofmann has joined the firm as office manager and administrative support.
Hofmann is originally from Evansville, Indiana. She moved to Chapel Hill in 2005 to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a member of UNC’s women's golf team. She graduated in 2009 with a double major in Economics and Psychology.
Before joining Harmon’s firm, Hofmann served as operations and office manager for Raleigh Denim and other small businesses, including a hardwood flooring company.
“Frank Harmon Architect PA needed an effective support system to continue to thrive,” Hofmann noted. “I came to facilitate the daily administrative tasks common to small businesses so that Harmon and his team can continue building nationally acclaimed structures. This opportunity has afforded me an intimate look into the life of an architect while solving an exciting new set of problems and continuing my lifelong education.”
Harmon’s firm is nationally recognized as a leader in modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate design. One of the firm’s most recent high profile projects is the new AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh, where his office are now located.
Frank Harmon is also a Professor In Practice at North Carolina State University’s College of Architecture. For more information on Harmon and his firm, visit www.frankharmon.com.
Walking the Talk: Frank Harmon Moves His Offices Into AIANC Center for Architecture and Design
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The award-winning firm relocates to the third floor of the “greenest” building in Raleigh.
“We loved the building so much that we're moving in!”
That’s the announcement architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, sent this week to clients, consultants, and other contacts as he announced that his firm, Frank Harmon Architect PA, has moved into the third floor of the AIANC Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh – the building he designed for the American Institute of Architects’ North Carolina chapter.
Harmon’s firm now occupies 1750 square feet of the top floor of this thoroughly modern, thoroughly sustainable building on the corner of Peace and Wilmington streets, near the Government Complex.
“And what a space it is,” Harmon said. “It consumes half the energy of an ordinary office building, it has windows on every side so we can work in natural daylight and with natural ventilation during nice weather, its roof collects rainwater for watering the gardens, and, best of all, it's beautiful.”
Harmon stresses that the building demonstrates AIANC’s commitment to energy efficient, environmentally sustainable buildings, both now and in the future. “Sustainability is arguably the most important issue of our time,” he noted.
By moving his firm into the building, he is also demonstrating his personal commitment to “green” architecture and construction, which, he believes, is not a luxury but an imperative.
“As we come out of the recession, we won't be building in the same wasteful ways,” Harmon told a group of national media who visited the new AIANC Center in May. “With new emphasis on alternative energy and sustainable design, the AIANC Center shows us a new way to build.”
Frank Harmon Architect PA is a multi-award-winning firm previously headquartered in an old, “recycled” electronics warehouse at 706 Mountford Avenue in Raleigh’s historic Boylan Heights neighborhood. That space functioned as an open studio in which each member of the design team worked closely and personally with each other and with their clients.
According to Harmon, the firm’s new offices function exactly the same, yet within the comfort of a new, environmentally sustainable structure with a panoramic view all the way to the State Capitol.
The AIA NC board of directors had to approve the lease to Harmon’s firm. According to David Crawford, AIA NC executive vice president, the vote to welcome Harmon to the building was unanimous.
The firm’s new address is 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604. The phone numbers will remain the same (919-829-9464; fax: 919.829.2202). For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit www.frankharmon.com.
For more information on the AIANC Center for Architect and Design, go to www.cfadnc.org.
Frank Harmon To Chair Matsumoto Prize Jury
Friday, July 13, 2012
Raleigh architect puts together blue-ribbon jury for unique design competition
Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, will serve as chairman of the inaugural George Matsumoto Prize, a unique architecture competition celebrating modernist house built in North Carolina since 2006.
The Matsumoto Prize, named to honor modernist architect George Matsumoto, FAIA, is the brainchild of George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses, the non-profit organization that archives, preserves, and promotes modernist residential design. The single-family houses submitted must be in North Carolina but their designers can be from anywhere. The winners will be awarded cash prizes totally $6000. Submissions closed on July 1.
To put together a jury of professional architects, Smart turned to Frank Harmon, a veteran chair of design award juries.
George Matsumoto, retired and living in Oakland, California, will serve as honorary chair when the jury convenes on July 18. The other professionals who comprise Harmon’s blue-ribbon jury are:
• Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, Marlon Blackwell Architect, Fayetteville, Arkansas
• Larry Scarpa, FAIA, Brooks + Scarpa Architects, Los Angeles, California
• David Jameson, FAIA, David Jameson Architect, Inc., Washington, D.C.
• Tom Kundig, FAIA, Olson Kundig Architects, Seattle, Washington
“Frank has convened a world-class jury of architects all internationally known for their residential work,” George Smart said. “We’re very fortunate to have such an excellent group to kick off the first Matsumoto Prize.”
The general public is serving as the seventh juror – one of the many unique aspects of this design competition. The 19 houses entered are online at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/prize. Anyone in the world can cast a vote for his or her favorite house until 5 p.m. on July 22.
A modernist architect himself, Harmon’s residential designs have won multiple design awards and been featured in numerous journals and books, as well as the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. His residential work has received National Housing Awards from the American Institute of Architects and Custom Home Awards from Custom Home magazine. For more information, visit www.frankharmon.com.
For more information on the Matsumoto Prize, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/prize.html
Frank Harmon Architect PA Hosts Opening Night For “Modernism at Risk”
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Raleigh firm supports international photography exhibit at AIA NC headquarters
Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award winning architectural firm in Raleigh, NC, will host opening night of “Modernism at Risk: Modern Solutions for Saving Modern Landmarks,” an international architectural photography exhibit that will be on display in the new AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design in Raleigh June 1-9.
Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), the non-profit organization that archives, preserves and promotes modernist residential design, is bringing the exhibit to Raleigh, and has invited modernist architects in the Triangle to participate by hosting individual nights that it is on display. Frank Harmon, FAIA, who designed the new AIA NC Center, chose opening night, June 1, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Harmon will have samples of his work on display and be on hand to talk with those to attend opening night.
“Modern architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, George Matsumoto, and Harwell Hamilton Harris were the inspiration for my career as an architect,” said Harmon. “Now, sadly, many of their buildings are endangered, and my goal in sponsoring Modernism At Risk is to insure that buildings by these and other great modern architects survive to inspire future generations.”
A project of the World Monuments Fund, “Modernism at Risk” consists of 27 large-scale photographs, by noted photographer Andrew Moore, representing five case studies that explore the role designers play in preserving Modern landmarks. Two points central to the exhibit are: (1) engaging a larger public to care about modern buildings, and (2) demonstrating that these buildings can continue to be economically and functionally viable.
Exclusively for this exhibit, North Carolina State University is allowing TMH to display six architectural models rarely, if ever, seen by the public.
“Nothing teaches us about the history of architecture as much as walking through a building,” said Harmon, whose firm is known nationally for modern, sustainable, regionally appropriate design. “If we are to learn the lessons and promise of modernism, we need the buildings here to teach us.”
A Professor in Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, Harmon also lives in a modern house near the university in Raleigh that he designed, with gardens designed by his wife, Judy Harmon, ASLA.
Tickets to “Modernism at Risk’s” opening night are $6.95 in advance and $10 at the door. (Since the exhibit is being held in the new AIA NC headquarters, AIA members in good standing will receive free admission June 2-9, but not on opening night,) For more information and to reserve ticket, go to http://www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/atrisk.htm.
Frank Harmon, FAIA, To Discuss How Architects, Landscape Architects Can Work Together
Monday, May 21, 2012
Award-winning architect asserts: “All good buildings begin with the land.”
Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of the multi-award-winning architecture firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, will present a talk entitled “How Architects and Landscape Architects Can Work Together” during the North Carolina chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (NCASLA) 2012 Spring Conference.
The conference will be held June 14-16 in the Hilton New Bern Riverfront hotel in New Bern, NC. Harmon’s talk will take place Friday, June 15, from 3:15-4:15 p.m.
A nationally recognized leader in modern, sustainable, regionally appropriatearchitecture, Harmon says he will discuss the urban and rural landscape, how architecture fits into it, and how architects and landscape architects can combine efforts “to leave the landscape better than we found it,” he said.
“For the past two decades I’ve chosen to have a landscape architect working beside me when I begin a design,” Harmon said. “At Merchants Millpond in eastern North Carolina, for example, I canoed and camped with landscape architect David Swanson before we drew the first line for the new Environmental Education Center there. I teamed with landscape architect Gregg Bleam to design the recently completed AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh.”
As a result, Harmon’s projects successfully merge architecture and landscape and demonstrate the concept of regionally appropriate design. While many architects have embraced the principles of sustainable design over recent years, Frank Harmon has been designing environmentally responsible, modern buildings for nearly three decades. The AIA North Carolina Center for Architecture and Design is a flagship for sustainable urban design, where building and landscape are one interlocking, interdependent system.
Harmon frequently asserts that the most important decision an architect makes is how to position a building on its site, which he will reiterate during his NCASLA presentation.
“That particular throw of the dice determines everything that follows: orientation, aspect and prospect, day lighting, cross ventilation, hydrology, microclimate, and most importantly, a sense of place,” he said. “My belief that all good architecture begins with the land makes me value and appreciate landscape architects’ skills and understanding.”
Frank Harmon is also a Professor in Practice at the N.C. State University College of Design. He is married to Judy Harmon, Emeritus ASLA, and their daughter is a recent graduate in landscape architecture. For more information, visit www.frankharmon.com.
For more information on the NCASLA Spring Conference, go to www.ncasla.org.