Frank Harmon Wins High Award for Simple Project

The JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House at NC State University wins AIA NC Honor Award 

September 15, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Frank Harmon Architect PA has received a 2011 Honor Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC) for the firm’s design of North Carolina State University’s JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House in Raleigh.

The Lath House received one of only two Honor Awards presented this year, and it was a pro bono project for Harmon’s firm as a gift to the Arboretum.

The Lath House is an open-air laboratory for horticultural research. Its screen of wood two-by-twos fulfills the specific light-to-shade ratio young plants need before they transition into the larger gardens.

According to the firm’s principal, Frank Harmon, FAIA, the structure was designed as an abstract of a tree that spreads its branches to protect the plants.

The Lath House replaced an older structure that sheltered approximately 700 young and tender plants that perform best in shade. The new structure may provide space for 1000 new plantings.

The 10 and a half-acre JC Raulston Arboretum is a nationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants, shrubs and trees adapted for use in Southeastern landscapes from over 50 different countries. Plants are collected and evaluated in an effort to find superior plants for use in southern gardens. The Lath House is a key element in the arboretum’s work.

“Over the last three decades, the JC Raulston Lath House has nurtured some of the most successful plants for use in Southern gardens, including hostas, ferns, hydrangea and rhododendron,” Harmon said. “We were honored to be a part of the Arboretum’s mission by designing the new Lath House.”

Will Lambeth, a former member of Harmon’s design team who left to attend Harvard University, served on the design team for the Lath House, which received a Merit Award this summer from the Triangle section of AIA NC and has been published at

Harmon’s firm is known for designing projects that celebrate plant life, such as the cluster of buildings for the NC Botanical Gardens Visitors Education Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Walnut Creek Wetlands Education Center in Raleigh, and the NC Museum of Natural Science’s open-air classroom at the Prairie Ridge Eco-station, also in Raleigh.  For more information visit

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Frank Harmon Architect PA is an award-winning architectural firm located in Raleigh, NC, and recognized nationally as a leader in modern, innovative, sustainable and regionally appropriate design. For the third consecutive year, the firm is ranked as one of the Top 50 Firms in the nation by Architect magazine, and Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder and principal, was included in Residential Architect’s recent “RA 50: The short list of architects we love.” The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines, journals and online magazines on architecture, including, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to

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