Leaving The Land Better Than We Find It: Frank Harmon Takes His Message To Idea Exchange

Frank Harmon, FAIA

February 2, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) — For three decades, Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, has insisted that architecture can and should do more than produce buildings, especially since conservation of energy and natural resources has become imperative. It should also make a didactic contribution, he says, demonstrating the best use of the land by responding to, respecting, and conserving the site; integrating building and landscape; and promoting both passive and technological sustainable design principles.

Harmon, a multi-award winning architect and frequent speaker at seminars and symposia on design, will again make his case for sustainable building and development at the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem, NC, when he participates in the CDI’s Idea Exchange on Tuesday, February 16, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

CDI is a multi-campus research center for the statewide University of North Carolina. According to its website, the Idea Exchange is “a public forum for considering creative processes, digital techniques, business strategies, and other interests related to developing the knowledge economy of North Carolina’s Piedmont region.”

Frank Harmon is well known nationally for his firm’s modern, innovative, “green” and regionally appropriate architecture. From September to November 2009, he saw the completion of three high-performance, or “green,” projects in North Carolina, including the NC Botanical Gardens Visitor Education Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill that is slated to be the state’s first LEED Platinum building – the highest level of certification given by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system.

“It seems natural to me to design green buildings,” he said, “to catch the sun, accept the breeze and grown naturally out of the earth.”

In lectures and seminars, and as a Professor in Practice at  NC State University’s College of Design, Harmon frequently asserts the necessity for modern buildings to be regionally appropriate – to address the specific context, materials, textures, colors and forms of a special region, using both traditional and non-traditional methods.

“The most sustainable – and liberating – thing we can do is acknowledge the places we are in,” he told Dwell magazine in January of 2008 when he was featured in the magazine’s “Conversations” section.

The CDI’s Idea Exchange is held in the Winston Tower, Suite 2105 (21st floor) at 301 North Main Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

Currently CDI’s constituent schools are the UNC School of the Arts and Winston-Salem State University, collaborating with Forsyth Technical Community College. Sessions are recorded and web-streamed for remote access. For more information, go to www.centerfordesigninnovation.org.

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit www.frankharmon.com.

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning firm headquartered in downtown Raleigh, has extensive experience with projects that blend architecture with enhancement of the environment, including the recently completed Walnut Creek Urban Wetlands Park Educational Center in Raleigh, Duke University’s Ocean Science Teaching Center in Beaufort, the NC Botanical Garden’s new Visitors Center in Chapel Hill, and Merchants Millpond Outdoor Educational building in Gatesville, N.C. His work has been featured in numerous books, journals and magazines on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.

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