The young firm’s partners will represent an emerging and innovative design-build practice.
Robby Johnston, AIA, and Craig Kerins, AIA, founders and partners of The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) in Raleigh, will discuss their design-build work during the American Institute of Architects’ Winston-Salem section meeting on Tuesday, May 19, beginning at 12 noon in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in downtown Winston-Salem.
According to section president Jason Miller, AIA Winston-Salem has developed a “dual-pronged approach to section meetings: one focused on policy issues…and another devoted to emerging and innovative practices from across the state.” The RACo partners will represent the Triangle area for the latter theme.
Miller said he’s particularly interested in RACo’s work since he teaches in and practices through the “design-build-centric” Building Science program in Appalachian State University’s Department of Technology and Environmental Design in Boone, NC.
The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design/build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture, and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers us to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. Our office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Segments of the video will be updated as AIA NC (the American Institute of Architects North Carolina chapter) moves in and the landscape matures.
Harmon explains at the beginning of the video that the project is the result of his firm winning a professional design competition. One of the reasons Harmon won, according to the judges, was that his concept for a modern, thoroughly sustainable, and regionally appropriate Center embraced building and landscape as a single interdependent, interlocking whole.
“We knew this was a landscape problem,” Harmon says, because of the oddly shaped, triangular site and the parking requirements. As a result, he enlisted Bleam “before we drew a single line” and felt including Bleam in the video on the building was imperative.
features Harmon in his warehouse-turned-office in Raleigh’s Boylan Heights neighborhood and Bleam in his office in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. It also includes a variety of footage of the building under construction; of Harmon and Bleam walking the site, looking over plans and laughing together; and behind-the-scenes moments in the construction trailer.
This is the first video that Frank Harmon, a multi-awarding winning architect and Professor in Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, has done for his website. Why did he choose this particular project?
“Because of its design, the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design is destined to be an icon in downtown Raleigh,” said Kim Weiss, Harmon’s public relations coordinator. “It’s also the first from-the-ground-up, ‘green’ AIA headquarters in the nation.
“But equally important,” she continued, “is that the general public rarely gets to hear an architect talk about the process that lead to the design of a building, especially one as iconic as this one. Through the video, Frank is creating a rapport with his audience, whether that means students, clients, future clients, or folks just interested in architecture. Together, he and Gregg are communicating more than a written description could.”
She also pointed out that “videos are entertaining. It’s simply a fact that people today are more likely to click on a video than to read a written description.”
The man behind the camera, Allen Weiss, noted how comfortable Harmon and Bleam were in front of the camera. “There was no script,” he said. “They just started talking and were of such a similar mindset that I could easily cut from one to the other as they discussed the design process. I was impressed.”
The video opens and closes with audible off-camera voices. Weiss said he purposefully left the “chatter” in during the edit to give the piece a casual, relaxed feel, “unlike the garden-variety, industrial, talking-head videos that are dry and offer no clues into the personalities behind them. I don’t believe you can separate the product from the dynamic and interesting personalities that lead to its creation. My intention was not only to showcase this important structure, but to allow viewers to get to know Frank and Gregg in a simply, personal, human way.”
Frank Harmon Architect PA is an award-winning architectural firm that is recognized nationally as a leader in modern, innovative, sustainable and regionally appropriate design. Its competition-winning design for the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design is currently under construction in downtown Raleigh. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines, journals and online magazines on architecture, including ArchDaily.com, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect and Residential Architect. The firm ranked 21st in Architecture magazine’s Top 50 firms in the nation this year and Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder and principal, was included in Residential Architect magazine’s first “RA 50: The short list of architects we love.” For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.
“We are proud to be a supporting member of the AIA NC building. It is wonderful to be a part of such an important project in our own backyard,” said Daniel Nicely, an associate member of the AIA and UBP’s Director of Market Development.
Officially named the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, the building was designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, a multi-award-winning firm well known for its modern, green, regionally appropriate design. Under the direction of principal Frank Harmon, FAIA, the firm won a professional design competition for the project.
The design competition required submissions to be as “green,” or environmentally sustainable, as possible. Among the building’s many eco-friendly features will be the zinc roof.
“The three main environmentally sustainable qualities of architectural zinc are its durability, its recyclability, and the moderate amount of energy required to manufacture it,” said Nicely. “Using architectural zinc for roofing materials or exterior cladding helps architects achieve LEED points.”
The new building’s other green features include: careful siting, extensive use of glass, operable windows, and open porches to maximize natural lighting and ventilation; a geothermal heating and cooling system; an underground rainwater collection cistern, the use of locally available and recycled materials wherever possible; a broad roof overhang to protect the interior from harsh summer sun; a special energy-conserving elevator; and an innovative parking “garden” comprised of porous paving that will eliminate all storm water run-off.
“There were three irreplaceable elements in the design of the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design: stone walls, landscape, and the metal roof,” said Frank Harmon. “Of these, the zinc roof was the most generous donation, and I think it will shelter the AIA for generations.”
The red pigment in the PIGMENTO® Red panel is created through a factory process that adds the red pigment to the coil during the manufacturing of the sheets and coils. The advantage of adding the pigment during manufacturing is that the panel will not require any reapplication of color, and the color will weather evenly and smoothly as it ages. VMZINC is recognized for blending well and easily with other architectural products, such as the AIA NC Center’s wood siding (cypress), stonework, concrete, steel, and glass.
The AIA NC building and landscape were designed as one interlocking system with the majority of the site left as green, open, park-like space in this urban setting. The building should be complete by the end of November. The landscaping will not be complete until the spring of 2012. For more information on the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, visit www.frankharmon.com and click on “current projects.”
Umicore is a world-leading producer of architectural zinc. For over 160 years, Umicore has been providing innovative solutions for building owners, architects and contractors. Umicore has offices and representatives all over the world. In the United States, Umicore Building Products USA, Inc., is based in Raleigh, NC. For additional information, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.
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 ArchDaily.com.
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 www.frankharmon.com.
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 ArchDaily.com, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.
Raleigh architect will discuss modern, sustainable design in San Antonio
March 1, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architects PA in Raleigh, will be the featured speaker for the AIA Lecture Series in San Antonio, Texas, on March 30, beginning 6 p.m. in the historic Pearl Studio conference center on Grayson Street.
Harmon is a multi-award-winning leader in modern, innovative, sustainable architecture, and frequently lectures on the importance of regionally appropriate architecture – which address the particulars of climate, topography, forms, colors and culture of a region — as a means of creating both environmentally friendly architecture and a sense of place.
“A simple pleasure I enjoy each day is drinking tea from a hand-made bowl,” he explains. “I know that a potter made the bowl, and touching its shape I indirectly touch his or her hands. It’s also possible to imagine the creek bottom where the clay was dug, and the geology that millions of years ago laid down the earthy sediment that I now hold in my fingers. In this way, however small, I feel a connection to the world.
“I believe that one of the primary goals of architecture is to make it possible for people to understand the world around them. If we sense that a building is rooted in the earth and warmed by the sun, that fresh air flows through its windows and its materials are friendly to the touch, then we may feel that the building belongs to its place, and so do we. I’m not certain that architecture, whether a house or town, can always have the friendly familiarity of a hand-thrown clay bowl. But I am certain there is virtue in trying.”
The AIA San Antonio Lecture Series began in 1999 as a collaborative effort between the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the University of Texas at San Antonio. It is now presented independent of the University and focuses on architects’ professional development and continuing education credits.
Harmon’s lecture and all others in the series are free and open to the public. For more information on the entire series, visit www.aiasa.org.
Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, is also a Professor in Practice at NC State University and a frequent speaker at AIA and other design conventions and conferences throughout the US and Canada. In 2010, his firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine and Harmon was included in Residential Architect’s recent “RA 50: The short list of architects we love.” His firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines and journals on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.
Raleigh architect will discuss modern, sustainable, regionally appropriate design in
February 18, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architects PA in Raleigh, will be the featured speaker for the Wright Lecture Series in Madison, Wisconsin, on March 10, beginning 7 p.m. in the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center.
Harmon will also serve as a juror for the AIA Wisconsin Design Awards program.
Frank Harmon is a multi-award-winning leader in modern, innovative, sustainable, and regionally appropriate architecture, and he frequently lectures on the subject “Place Making: America’s New Regionalism.” The AIA Wisconsin lecture will follow a similar presentation he is making at the Dalhousie University School of Architecture in Nova Scotia on February 28.
Both lectures will discuss how regional architecture can produce high-performance, or sustainable, buildings by addressing context, materials, textures, colors and form particular to the region in which they are built, using both traditional and non-traditional methods.
“I believe that one of the primary goals of architecture is to make it possible for people to understand the world around them,” Harmon says. “If we sense that a building is rooted in the earth and warmed by the sun, that fresh air flows through its windows and its materials are friendly to the touch, then we may feel that the building belongs to its place, and so do we.”
The Wright Lecture Series is sponsored by AIA Southwest Wisconsin, the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin Heritage Program.
Harmon’s lecture free and open to the public. For more information on the entire series, visit www.aiaw.org.
Frank Harmon, FAIA, is a Professor in Practice at NC State University and was the 1995 recipient of the Kamphoefner Prize for Distinguished Design over a Ten-Year Period. He founded his firm, Frank Harmon Architect PA, in 1985. In 2010, his firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine, and was included in Residential Architect magazine’s “RA 50: The Short List of Architects We Love.” Harmon’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines and journals on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, Residential Architect and Environmental Design + Construction. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.
According to editor Claire Conroy, “This collection comprises [firms] whose names keep rising to the top.” Along with Harmon’s firm, the list includes such illustrious names as Glenn Murcutt, Brooks-Scarpa Architects, Lake/Flato, and Michelle Kaufman.
Senior editors Nigel Maynard, Cheryl Weber, Meghan Drueding, and Bruce Snider say the RA 50 represents “a broad collection of people who simply – day in and day out – do very good, interesting work.”
Frank Harmon Architect PA is no stranger to Residential Architect’s pages. In 2003, the Taylor Vacation House the firm designed for a couple in the Bahamas was named RA’s House of the Year. In 2005, the firm received the magazine’s Top Firm of the Year accolade.
“One of the most exciting things about this is that my firm is featured on the same page as Glenn Murcutt, the most important contemporary architect working today, and a designer from whom I have learned so much,” said Harmon. “I’m also honored simply to be included in the pages of Residential Architect. RA is truly the finest publication on residential design and construction in the nation.”
Residential Architect is an award-winning national magazine focusing exclusively on the residential architecture profession.
“We put this short list together as an end-of-year tribute to this admirable profession,” the editors state.
Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning firm headquartered in downtown Raleigh, is recognized nationally as a leader in innovative, modern, and regionally inspired “green” architecture. The year the firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine, an annual rating that emphasizes ecological commitment and design quality as much as profitability. Recent projects include Duke University’s Ocean Science Teaching Center in Beaufort, the NC Botanical Garden’s new Visitors Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Merchants Millpond Outdoor Educational building in Gatesville, N.C. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines and journals on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, Arch Daily, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.
Future LEED- Platinum building breaks ground in downtown Raleigh.
December 8, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) – After two years of planning and waiting for financing, the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects will finally hold its official, public groundbreaking ceremony for its new headquarters building and design center on Thursday, December 9, at 11:30 a.m. The building will be constructed on an oddly shaped, previously unused lot on Peace and Wilmington streets between Peace College and the NC Government Complex.
Designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA after the firm won a professional competition for the project in 2008, the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design will be “a modern building with a green heart,” as Frank Harmon, FAIA, likes to call it.
The building has been designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards at the highest Platinum level, and 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.
“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 AIA NC Center will show us a new way to build.”
Harmon also believes the Center will be a compelling example for responsible revitalization of the cores of towns and cities across the state, including Raleigh.
“It will demonstrate sustainable urban development and put Raleigh ‘on the map’ as a leader in this endeavor,” he noted, “from re-using every shovel of earth removed for the footprint, to the porously paved parking garden and state-of-the-art ‘green’ technology.”
Deferring to the natural topography, the new building will be situated along the edge of the property and porously paved so that the majority of the site will be park-like – a public park in an area of the city that doesn’t have one. This will provide an outdoor gathering space for AIA NC and community events and effectively expand AIA NC’s outreach program.
“One of AIA NC’s goals is to contribute to the vitality of that section of downtown by transforming an awkward, unused piece of property into a ‘people center’ that will, in turn, impact the businesses around it,” Harmon said.
Architecturally, the overriding objective of the building’s concept is “to demonstrate and encourage aesthetic and ecological integrity – to create a flagship for green architecture in North Carolina that is architecturally, environmentally, socially, and aesthetically inspiring,” Harmon said.
Harmon and three other prominent architects will discuss region-based urban design.
November 16, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) — The American Institute of Architects 2011 National Convention Education Advisory Committee and the AIA staff recently informed architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, that his proposal for a seminar entitled “Architects Discuss Region-Based Urban Design” has been selected as part of the AIA 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition to be held May 12-14, in New Orleans.
“Regional architecture conserves and celebrates the landscape and culture of place. Regional urban architecture engages local culture, climate, building patterns and materials,” said Harmon. “Through exemplary urban projects — low-income infill houses and a high-rise ‘vertical neighborhood’ in New Orleans, plus an ecologically sustainable office building in Kansas City — this seminar will explore regionalism’s influence on contemporary urban design and techniques that meet social, cultural, economic and environmental needs for urban sustainability.”
AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA, reported that the AIA received a record number of proposals for a limited number of program slots, and that the selection of Harmon’s proposal “is a testament to the quality of the program content and the merits of your contribution.”
Joining Harmon on the presentation panel will be Coleman Coker, AIA, founding principal of buildingstudio in New Orleans; David Dowell, AIA, principal of el dorado inc in Kansas City; and Steve Dumez, FAIA, principal of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, also in New Orleans.
“The greatest potential for architecture today is in urban locations – in the number of clients, the varied urban conditions, and the particular ‘sticks and stones’ with which each urban region has to build,” Harmon said. “This is significant nationally and internationally as the need rises for every region to draw inspiration from its own context and rely on its own resources.”
He also noted that the architects’ case studies used in the 2011 seminar “demonstrate real applications of the principles of modern, innovative, regional urban design. They illustrate alternate working relationships for architects, clients, and contractors. And they examine successful new design methods.”
A regular speaker at state, regional and national architectural conferences and conventions, Frank Harmon has presented successful seminars during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 AIA National Conventions in association with Architectural Record magazine. He has also been a featured speaker at the Dwell on Design national convention and Residential Architect’s Reinvention Symposia.
The exact date and time of Harmon’s seminar will be determined later. For more information on the AIA 2011 National Convention & Design Exposition, visit http://convention.aia.org.
Frank Harmon Architect PA was founded in 1985 by Frank Harmon, FAIA, who is also Professor in Practice at NC State University and the 1995 recipient of the Kamphoefner Prize for Distinguished Design over a Ten-Year Period. This year the firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine, an annual rating that emphasizes ecological commitment and design quality as much as profitability. Recent projects that blend sustainable architecture with stewardship of the natural environment include Duke University’s Ocean Science Teaching Center in Beaufort, the NC Botanical Garden’s new Visitors Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center in Raleigh. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines and journals on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.
June 11, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) — Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect in Raleigh, NC, and an adjunct professor in architecture in N.C. State University’s College of Design, will discuss the evolution of Modern architecture in the South when he presents his popular “Grits, Glass & Steel” lecture during the upcoming Alabama and Tennessee conventions of the American Institute of Architects in June and July, respectively.
Using his own work as examples, Harmon’s address examines the elements and themes that inform contemporary Southern architecture — landscape; materials and construction (the “sticks and stones” of a place); weather and climate; roof forms that shelter or collect; and clients.
Through his address, which he has presented to many AIA chapters, he also illustrates the importance of “place” in the process of creating innovative, appropriate and sustainable contemporary design.
Frank Harmon is widely recognized as a leader in sustainable architecture. He was recently a guest on Dick Gordon’s “The Story” and the featured architect in Dwell magazine’s “Conversation” section (Dec/Jan ’08). In both, he discussed how he has come to design innovative, sustainable and Modern structures by studying old Southern barns and farmhouses and realizing just how sustainable, or “green,” they really are.
“I am not interested in vernacular to be sentimental,” he told Dwell. “I am interested in what it can teach us. All vernacular architecture is sustainable. It is always inherently related to the region. But let me emphasize that regionalism should not be confused with parochialism any more than you would call Faulkner a local Southern writer.”
The Alabama Council/AIA 2008 Convention will be held from June 20-22 at The Battle House in Mobile. Harmon will address attendees on June 21. The Middle Tennessee component of the AIA will hold its annual Meeting & Exhibition in downtown Nashville July 16-19 with Frank Harmon’s address taking place on July 18.