“Frank Harmon has spent the past three decades fine-tuning his thoughtful, regional modernism.” – Residential Architect magazine

NORTH CAROLINA HOMES: “Designing Your Own Home with an Architect: An Interview with Frank Harmon of

Monday, March 17, 2014

A peek through the garden wall at Frank Harmon's own home.

When it comes to designing your own home, the process can be strenuous, tedious, and overbearing. That is when you realize it's probably best to enlist in a professionals help, such as an architect. So we interviewed Frank Harmon of Frank Harmon Architect PA to learn more about the architects involvement in the home design process...

By Frank Harmon, FAIA

Where Should Someone Who Wants to Design Their Own Home Begin?

By going to an architect. The most important aspect of designing a home is the specific site on which it will be built. Most homeowners just don't realize that. An architect can reconcile the homeowner's needs with the specifics of the site, from hydrology and which direction it's facing to how many trees or other terrain issues will be impacted. And how the house is oriented on the site will impact its access to natural light and ventilation, desired views and undesirable views, etc... READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW


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ARCHITECTS+ARTISANS: “The Nags Head Cottages”

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"...the finest houses in North Carolina."

Guest post by Frank Harmon, FAIA

A row of shingled cottages in Nags Head, N.C. has welcomed the rising sun over the Atlantic Ocean for more than 100 years. Samuel J. Twine, a craftsman from Elizabeth City, built or at least added onto many of them. Families from mainland North Carolina and Virginia originally came to the cottages by boat to enjoy perennial, summer-long vacations.

Countless hurricanes changed the shape of the seashore at Nags Head, and the automobile age ushered in motels, parking lots, and saltwater McMansions. But these dusky houses command a mile-long strip of frugal beauty.

I think these are the finest houses in North Carolina. They are built with local materials: juniper shingles, recycled lumber, even parts of shipwrecks. They are sturdy enough to resist hurricanes, yet light enough to welcome the sun and summer breeze...READ MORE...

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WALTER MAGAZINE: “Forms That Function”

Friday, February 28, 2014

Frank Harmon: 360 degrees

Architect Frank Harmon may have designed his own office, but it wasn’t originally meant for him. His third-floor space on East Peace Street was designed as an office for lease atop the American Institute of Architects North Carolina Center for Architecture and Design – a way to bring in revenue to help pay for the new structure.

But as the Great Recession dragged doggedly on, tenants were less than forthcoming. So Harmon, having paid off the mortgage on his office in nearby Boylan Heights, decided to lease the new space himself.

All the moving parts came together to benefit each party involved. READ MORE...

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AECCafe: “Architect Frank Harmon Receives Prestigious Gold Medal and Four Project Awards”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Frank Harmon, FAIA

After an evening aboard the USS North Carolina, the Raleigh architect took home AIA NC’s highest honor as well as four awards for his firm’s completed projects.

September 19, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) -- After what turned out to be a very big night for his small, Raleigh-based firm, architect  Frank Harmon, FAIA, went home with the  F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honor the  North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC) bestows on an architect, as well as four other prestigious awards for projects when the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC) presented its 2013 AIA NC Design and Chapter Awards recently onboard the USS North Carolina in Wilmington. READ MORE...

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Meet 2013 AIA TN Convention Speaker Frank Harmon

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It’s not often practical to build what one designs, but the occasional foray into the construction process has given Harmon a trust in wholesome materials and confidence that he can use them to make elegant spaces. The result is a vernacular modernism as slyly sophisticated as any found in New York

The following is an excerpt, follow this link to see the article in its entirty.  

Who is your dream client and why?
Our best clients are those who want something really passionately: a school teacher who wants a nature classroom open to the outdoors where her children can learn from what they see and hear; a church building committee that wants to bring community to its family of buildings; or a retired couple who want to live gently on the land.

Are there unique ways you engage your client in the design process?
We listen to our clients' needs and document what we have learned. For public projects we hold design workshops. For private projects we visit the clients in their homes, workplaces, or places of worship. For a recently completed $9M church renovation,for example, we observed and documented the church activities over a one-month period, presenting graphic analytical drawings that were invaluable in reaching consensus on design.

There is a current assumption that architecture graduates and young interns are not prepared when they enter the real world or the profession.

Most of our interns have little idea of the importance of the site: its topology, hydrology, geology, ecology and climate. Listening to our clients and the site is a life-long skill to practice.

There is the current topic that architecture graduates and young interns are not prepared when they enter the real world or the profession. What have been some key things about the real world and the design profession you've learned that you wished you learned early on?
There is a limit to what I can do by myself. Though I admire the Australian architect Glenn Murcutt's ability to maintain a one-man practice, I learned that I am more productive working in a team. Besides, it's more fun!

Any other advice to young architects or students or those wanting to study architecture?
My advice to any young architect is to travel: travel to see other cultures and observe how culture informs architecture and design. This may enable you to understand your own culture more clearly. Le Corbusier sewed a special pocket for a sketchbook in his trousers when he traveled as a young man. Those sketches he made formed his life. By the way, he kept a sketchbook with him for the rest of his life.

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NEWS & OBSERVER: “Architect Frank Harmon believes in learning by sketching”

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Architect Frank Harmon, 72, sketches at his downtown Raleigh firm, Frank Harmon Architect PA, Thursday May 16, 2013. Harmon believes that every building offers lessons to be learned – and that the best way to absorb them is to sketch. Photo by JULI LEONARD

On a late spring morning in 2011, a motor coach jam-packed with North Carolina architects nosed into the parking lot at Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s Palladian retreat in rural Bedford County, Va.

An entourage of 50 disembarked, to be divided into two groups. One would follow the estate’s director of archeology and landscape through the grounds surrounding the early 19th-century home. The other was to tour the interior of the house with its architectural historian. After lunch, the groups would switch tour guides.

But one individual, wearing a Panama hat and a white, short-sleeved linen shirt, elected to do neither. Instead, he quietly pulled out his sketchbook and pens, and strategically positioned himself on the lawn beneath the shade of a spreading tulip poplar. Slowly, he began to draw the contours of Jefferson’s octagonal-shaped masterpiece, a lyrical essay on light composed in deep-red brick, cream-colored mortar and limestone-plastered columns. He was working to discern the nature of the building, its site and its landscape, using the fewest number of lines possible.

His name is Frank Harmon, and he’s known to some as the unofficial dean of North Carolina architects... (READ MORE)


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URBAN HOME: “Triangle Stylemaker”

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

(left: current edition, Urban Home - Raleigh)

By UH staff

We asked the team of the well known Triangle architecture firm Frank Harmon Architect what some of their favorite and inspiring things are currently. True to form, this team knows what's hot. Check out their picks for inspiring style and design... READ MORE

ARCHITECT mag: Project Gallery - AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design

Monday, May 6, 2013

AIA NC CfAD: elevation facing the parking garden


Located at a busy intersection in downtown Raleigh, the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIANC) Center for Architecture and Design is the first-ever AIA chapter headquarters built from the ground up. Clad in cypress and other locally available materials, the 12,000-square-foot building also is a flagship for the future of sustainable design. Frank Harmon Architect PA, Raleigh, was selected as the Center’s architect of record, topping more than 70 other firms in a statewide design competition. Principal Frank Harmon said his company’s design deliberately emphasizes building materials that are sustainable and that reflect the history and heritage of the Tarheel state. READ MORE...

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: “TBJ reveals Triangle’s Most Influential Business Leaders” (2012)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Prepared by the Staff, Triangle Business Journal

Welcome to the inaugural “The Triangle’s Most Influential Business Leaders” list.

The 100 names for this list were chosen by the TBJ editors after going through hundreds of names across various sectors that fall under the general coverage guidelines of this newspaper.

In the next few pages, you will read about the influence and impact these individuals have had on our communities.

The 2012 list contains many familiar names in business, education, philanthropy and government. It also contains some names you may not recognize right away because they have just started their jobs but hold tremendous promise for our communities...

Frank Harmon


Frank Harmon Architecture.


A native Georgian, Frank Harmon is one of the nation’s most respected architects, and he continues to inspire new creations through his firm, Frank Harmon Architects in Raleigh. He also inspires creativity by training new designers as a professor of the practice of architecture in the N.C. State University School of Design.

Frank Harmon Architects, in 2010, was ranked 13th among the nation’s top 50 firms by Architect magazine. In 1995, Harmon was awarded the Kamphoefner Prize for innovative modern design over a 10-year period. Harmon writes a column on architecture, landscape and design for the Independent newspaper.

His firm was selected in a statewide competition to design the recently completed AIA N.C. Center for Architecture and Design on Peace Street in downtown Raleigh. Click HERE to see the entire list.


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