Award-winning House by Frank Harmon Featured on Triangle Modernist Homes Tour

photo by Timothy Hursley
photo by Timothy Hursley

March 13, 2009, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – An ultra-modern home that’s won three design awards and has been featured in Architectural Record, Dwell, the News & Observer, Triangle Business Journal and Raleigh Metro Magazine, as well as on numerous design and/or “green” websites, will be open for touring during the Triangle Modernist Homes (TMH) Tour to be held in Raleigh April 4.

The Strickland-Ferris Residence, designed by Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh will give TMH tourists a chance to see exactly what’s beneath the huge butterfly-shaped roof that seems to flutter above the treetops on a steep hillside overlooking Crabtree Creek in the Laurel Hills subdivision in West Raleigh.

The house is perched on nine, broad-shouldered wood trusses that allowed Harmon to save every single major tree on the site and that permit air and water to flow under the building. The butterfly-shaped roof opens the interior to views northwards to the creek and funnels rainwater into a collection system on the south side. The entire creek-side elevation is glass.

Entrance to the house is a progression from the top of the hill, across a bridge, and into a balcony foyer, at which point the drama of the scenery outside fills the interior through north-facing glass walls. From the balcony, a metal staircase descends past the glass (in essence, through the trees) to the main living/dining room, which, in turn, opens onto a partially secluded south-facing terrace below the entrance bridge. The kitchen and second bedroom are located on this level. The master bedroom is located on the upper level, off the balcony entrance.

Under the roof’s deep overhangs, the view of nature fills every room. Laminated wood columns and beams, plainly bracketed together and reminiscent of a tree house, also strengthen the presence of nature indoors. Partition walls between rooms stop short of reaching the exposed-wood ceiling. Pocket doors between spaces feature “frosted” central panels in the spirit of shoji screens.

Owned by Lynda Strickland and Marty Ferris, the house has received design awards from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (NC/AIA), NC/AIA Triangle section, and from the Triangle Architecture Awards program. The TMH Tour is the first time the house has been open for public touring.

The April 4th tour celebrates the 60th anniversary of North Carolina State University’s College of Design. All of the modernist houses on the tour represent the work of NC School of Design alumni and/or faculty, including Frank Harmon, James Fitzgibbon, Brian Shawcroft, George Matsumoto, Henry Kamphoefner, Robert Burns, Vinny Petrarca, John Reese, Milton Small and Carter Williams.

For more information on TMH and the tour, go to For more information on Frank Harmon and the Strickland-Ferris House, visit

posted by blueplate pr

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