New Design Book Features Three Houses By Frank Harmon, FAIA

Representing Southern architects whose styles vary as much as the

Frank Harmon
Contemporary Southern Houses by Ashley Rooney


Contemporary Southern Homes, a new hardcover book published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, features three Modern houses designed by Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA: the Low Country house in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; the Strickland-Ferris house in Raleigh, NC; and Harmon’s own home, also in Raleigh.

In her introduction, author E. Ashley Rooney explains that her latest architecture book spotlights “twenty-one Southern design professionals whose architectural styles vary as much as the region. Their award-winning work ranges from the classical symmetry of Georgian Paladian to modernist traditions infused with fascinating flair…The work of these forward-thinking architects and designers helps us to envision new ways of living in the world.”

Frank Harmon is the founder and principal of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA and a Professor in Practice at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. His projects represented in the book exemplify Rooney’s appreciation for the “expansive, open floor plans, the seeming disappearance of the boundary between the exterior and the interior, and the use of indigenous materials” found in Southern contemporary homes:

The Low Country house both welcomes nature and protects against it: The one-room-deep floor plan gives each room windows and porches overlooking Shem Creek while a series of handcrafted metal screens on the exterior can be lowered to protect all the glazing from flying debris during hurricanes. In their upright position, they provide shade for the glass.

Harmon’s own home is an example of a house and gardens designed simultaneously as halves of the greater whole and equal parts of the living experience. Harmon designed the house with his late wife, landscape architect Judy Harmon. To give the house a sense of both strength and lightness, the couple used steel for the structure and an abundance of glass.

The Strickland-Ferris House. Photo by Jeffrey Jacobs.
The Strickland-Ferris House. Photo by Jeffrey Jacobs.

The Strickland-Ferris house perches on broad-shouldered trusses to avoid disturbing the natural hydrology of its steep site. The entire two-story rear elevation is glass that, combined with clerestory windows on the other three elevations, makes the wooded exterior a constant presence inside the house’s open floor plan.

Contemporary Southern Homes (9-in. x 12-in., 424 color photos, 288 pages) is available from Schiffler Publishing at and on Amazon.

For more information on Frank Harmon and these projects, visit


About Frank Harmon, FAIA:

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is principal of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, a Professor in Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, and the 2013 winner of AIA North Carolina’s F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honor presented by the Chapter to an AIA NC member to recognize a distinguished career and extraordinary accomplishments as an architect. In 2010 Harmon was included in Residential Architect’s inaugural “RA 50: The Short List of Architects We Love.” In 2013, his firm was ranked 21st among the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect Magazine. Frank Harmon is also the author and illustrator for, a series in which he uses hand-drawn sketches and mini-essays to examine the relationship between nature and built structures. For more information: Contact information:; 919.829.9464; 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.

The Raleigh Architecture Co. Announces Addition To Its Design-Build Team

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) is pleased to announce that John Whitaker,

The Raleigh Architecture Co.
John Whitaker, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Associate AIA, LEED AP, has joined the downtown Raleigh design-build team as project manager.

Whitaker received his professional Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2007 from Drury University’s School of Architecture in Springfield, MO., where he minored in graphic art, global studies, and art history. In 2006 he studied abroad in Volos, Greece. In 2008 he obtained LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Whitaker’s specialties include concept development, project design, document production and graphic representation, 3D modeling, and rendering and presentation graphic design.

“John is a very motivated, enthusiastic designer with a wealth of knowledge in many design-related subjects,” said Craig Kerins, AIA, co-founder and principal at The Raleigh Architecture Co. “We are extremely pleased to have him on the RACo team.”

Before joining RACo, Whitaker initially relocated to North Carolina to work with Szostak Design in Chapel Hill. Before Szostak, he worked with MGA Architecture in Honolulu, Fitzsimmons Architects in Oklahoma City, and Dake Wells Architecture in Springfield, MO. His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the AIA’s Young Architects Forums in both Honolulu and Springfield.

In service to the community, John Whitaker has served as a team member for Hurricane Ike Relief in Galveston, TX; for Hurricane Katrina Relief in New Orleans, LA, Gautier, MS, and Slidell, LA.; and he has participated in AIA’s “AIA 150,” which supports local community schools by teaching interactive lessons on the architectural profession.

In his spare time, Whitaker enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking, and hoarding vintage modern furniture.

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Co., visit

Raleigh Architecture
The Raleigh Architecture Co. logo

About The Raleigh Architecture Company:

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, call 919-831-2995, or email:

“Appetite4Architecture” Dinner Features Special Guest Frank Harmon

The first in a series of dinners sponsored by Triangle Modernist Houses.

Frank Harmon, FAIA

January 18, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) – Frank Harmon FAIA, founder and principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, will be a featured guest at the first 2012 “Appetite4Architecture” dinner on Tuesday, January 31, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in 18 Seaboard restaurant in Raleigh.

Now in its third year, “Appetite4Architecture” dinners are sponsored by Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting Modernist residential design. The purpose of the dinners is to give the general public a chance to dine with, and talk with, some of the Triangle area’s finest architects in a relaxed, informal setting.

Frank Harmon is well known for modern, innovative, sustainable and regionally appropriate architecture of all types, including houses. Among his best known, award-winning residential designs are:

  • The Taylor Vacation House in the Bahamas, which is included in the book Tropical Modernism and was featured in an exhibit in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., among many other accolades.
  • The Strickland-Ferris Residence in Raleigh, which has been featured in a number of architectural magazines and received both Custom Home and Wood Design awards.
  • The Low Country Residence in Mount Pleasant, SC, which also received a Custom Home Design Award and a national AIA Housing Award.
  • And the own modern home and gardens he shares with his wife, landscape architect Judy Harmon, in Raleigh, which were featured in Sarah Susanka’s book Outside The Not-So-Big House.

In 2011, Frank Harmon was included in Residential Architect magazine’s “RA 50: A Short List of Architects We Love,” and in 2005 his firm received the magazine’s “Top Firm of the Year” honor. He has been profiled in Dwell magazine and Architectural Record, and he has been a featured guest on American Public Media’s “The Story” with Dick Gordon.

Joining Harmon for TMH’s inaugural 2012 “A4A” dinner will be Durham architect Ellen Cassilly, AIA, who worked in Harmon’s firm before founding her own firm Ellen Cassilly Architect Inc., and Randy Lanou, president of BuildSense/Studio B Architecture, also in Durham. Dona Aguayo of Go Realty is co-sponsoring the January 31 dinner.

The TMH “A4A” dinners are all held at 18 Seaboard, 18 Seaboard Avenue, No. 100, Raleigh, NC 27604. The dinners include three courses from a preselected menu (vegetarian options are available) plus coffee, water, tea, tax, and gratuity. Price per person is $53. Tickets are available at Payments are nonrefundable except for event cancellation. All proceeds benefit TMH’s ongoing documentation, preservation, and house tours programs. For more information on TMH call George Smart, 919-740-8407 or visit

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit

About Frank Harmon, FAIA:

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is principal Frank Harmon Architect PA, and Professor in Practice at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. His work has been featured in numerous books, journals and magazines, including Dwell, Architect, Architectural Record, Arch, and Residential Architect. A frequent lecturer on modern, sustainable, regionally appropriate architecture, he serves on design awards juries across the nation. For more information, visit

Frank Harmon Architect PA Welcomes New Team Member

Project manager Tika Hicks joins the award-winning firm.

Project manager/designer Tika Hicks joins Harmon's award-winning team.

March 15, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, NC, has announced that project manager/designer Tika Hicks of Raleigh has joined the firm’s award-winning team.

Hicks brings 12 years of experience in architectural project management, design and production services to the firm, which includes educational/institutional, commercial and residential projects, as well as historic preservation. Among other notable projects, she was instrumental in the restoration of the modernist Henry Kamphoefner residence and in its subsequent renovation/addition in conjunction with the late North Carolina State University’s College of Design Professor Robert Burns, FAIA.

Born in Chicago, Hicks grew up in Ithaca, New York, and moved to Raleigh in 1989. She attended Pennsylvania State University, where she concentrated in architecture, design and sculpture. She then studied abroad in Florence, Italy, before entering the N.C. State University College of Design, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Design in Architecture.

Hicks’ previous work experience includes stints with Raleigh firms Kurt Eichenberger, AIA, Richard Hall Associates, Clearscapes, and Cannon Architects, and with the Chapel Hill firm Lucy Carol Davis Architects.

Harmon’s firm’s reputation for innovative, sustainable and regionally appropriate design led Hicks to his office.

“I want to be part of a great team that creates excellent and exciting projects that contribute to the sustainability of the built environment,” she said recently. “A huge part of why I’m here is because I want to work on projects that change and improve the built environment. Frank was ‘green’ before ‘green’ was ‘green.’ I couldn’t be happier to be a part of his team.”

Hicks has already been assigned to work on several of Harmon’s projects that are in design development or construction, including the Shellfish Research Hatchery at UNC-Wilmington, the site plan and new facilities for the Audubon Sanctuary on Pine Island, NC, the United Therapeutics Field House in Durham, and Riverworks in Jacksonville where a former wastewater treatment plant is being converted into an Environmental and Education Center.

For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit


About Frank Harmon Architect PA:


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, journals and online magazines on architecture, including, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to

Charleston’s Studio A Launches New User-Friendly Website

May 27, 2009 (CHARLESTON, SC)  – Architect Whitney Powers, AIA, principal of Studio A, Inc., in Charleston, South Carolina, recently underscored her commitment to innovative design by launching a new and improved website and news blog at Created by Buff Ross of Alloneword Design in Charleston, Studio A’s revamped site is intended to be more inviting, informative and user-friendly than its previous site and to increase search engine optimization.

Studio A is an award-winning, full-service architecture firm located in downtown Charleston, specializing in contemporary “green” architecture and the preservation or adaptive re-use of historic structures. On the website’s simple, clean home page visitors immediately have access to all of the firm’s areas of expertise via a series of unfolding photographic “hints” that, with a simple click, take the visitor to one of five architectural categories: Residential, Institutional/Commercial, Renovation, Sustainability, and Multi-Family & Affordable Housing. Each category brings up professional photography and descriptions of projects’ program requirements, design solutions, and site considerations.

Another click at the home page “hints” takes visitors to the Firm Profile, which features Studio A’s design philosophy, select sources of inspiration, and credentials (professional certification, honors and awards, etc.).

The Firm Profile also includes a new link to Heritage Strategy Group, a planning initiative headed by Edwin Gardner that recently became a subsidiary of Studio A. HSG’s planning initiatives focus on recreational areas, scenic byways and other public natural or historical resources that allow local businesses and other stakeholders to enjoy growth and prosperity while the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the effected areas are preserved and enhanced.

Other options that kick off from the site’s home page take visitors to Contact information and to the News section. The News section includes media coverage Studio A receives and access to Studio A’s new blog where news from the firm is posted. The News section also provides access to television and video segments featuring the firm’s work.

To see Studio A’s new website, visit

Frank Harmon Architect PA Makes National “Top 50”

L-R: Erin Sterling, AIA; Matthew Griffith, AIA; Ashley Ozburn; David Cole; Frank Harmon, FAIA; Judy Harmon, ASLA
L-R: Erin Sterling, AIA; Matthew Griffith, AIA; Ashley Ozburn; David Cole; Frank Harmon, FAIA; Judy Harmon, ASLA

MAY 19, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Frank Harmon Architect PA, a Raleigh, NC-based architectural firm headed by Frank Harmon FAIA, is one of the top 50 firms in the nation, according to Architect Magazine’s 2009 “Architect 50” ranking.

The professional journal’s annual ranking of the top U.S. firms is intended to promote “a more well-rounded definition of success,” according to senior editor Amanda Kolson Hurley. “The criteria for inclusion comprise a trifecta of critical goals for every practice: profitability, sustainability, and design quality.”

Harmon’s small firm, headquartered in a revamped warehouse in downtown Raleigh, is no stranger to design awards and professional rankings. In 2005, Residential Architect selected Frank Harmon Architect PA as the “Top Firm of the Year.”  In 2008, an award-winning “green” vacation home in the Bahamas Harmon designed was included in a Wall Street Journal list of “the most influential and inspiring houses built during the past decade.” That same project was featured in a special exhibit on green architecture in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Harmon’s firm has received more North Carolina design awards than any other firm in the state and recently won three national accolades: two Custom Homes Magazine’s 2009 Design Awards for residences in Raleigh, NC, and Charleston, SC, and an American Institute of Architect’s 2009 Housing Award for the Charleston home.

As one of Architect Magazine’s top 50, Frank Harmon Architect PA is in the company of such large and luminary firms as Rafael Vinoly Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Perkins+Will; William McDonough + Partners; and Gwathmey Siegel & Associates.

“Most ranking of firms is by dollar volume,” observed Frank Harmon, who is also an adjunct professor of architecture at the North Carolina State University College of Design. “The Architect ranking, by contrast, includes design and sustainability, two things we love best.”

Harmon’s firm ranks 26th. The only other North Carolina firm to make the list is Little Diversified Architectural Consultants in Charlotte at 43rd.

Frank Harmon is recognized nationally as a leader in innovative, modern, and regionally inspired “green” architecture, and every project that emanates from his firm embraces the principles of sustainability. The Raleigh architect’s work has been featured in numerous magazines, journals, and books on the subject and he is a regular speaker at design conferences and conventions across the country.

Architect Magazine is one of HanleyWood LLC’s publications that focus exclusively on North America’s residential and commercial construction industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the online version of the journal is also available at

For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

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Frank Harmon Wins Two Custom Home Design Awards

February 9, 2009, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Two houses designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, NC, have received 2009 Custom Home Design Awards in the “less than 3000 square feet” category. The awards are presented by Custom Home Magazine.

The 1800-square-foot Strickland-Ferris house in Raleigh received the coveted Grand Award. Completed in 2004, the house perches on a steep, wooded hillside above Crabtree Creek on broad-shouldered wood trusses for minimal site disturbance. The northern elevation features a glass and steel façade from floor to ceiling. A butterfly-shaped roof seems to hover above it.

The house is entered at a balcony. The master bedroom suite is located on this level. From the balcony, an open staircase descends past the glass (in essence, through the trees) to the two-story-clear main living floor. Deep roof overhangs extend a visual link to the natural environment, which is visible throughout the house. Laminated wood columns and beams, plainly bracketed, impart warmth to the sleek, modern interior.

This is the third design award the Strickland-Ferris house has received.

A 2500-square-foot house Harmon designed in Charleston, South Carolina, won a Custom Home Merit Award. The house is based on a long, one-room-deep floor plan that gives each room windows and porches overlooking Shem Creek. Bedrooms are located on opposite ends of the central, loft-like living/dining/kitchen area, beneath a single shed roof. Carports are dramatically cantilevered.

To capitalize on the view, a large glass wall fronts the southwest side of the house. To protect that wall from harsh sun and hurricane debris, Harmon designed a series of hand-fabricated metal screens hinged above the porch. In their horizontal open position, they shade the house. Closed, they create a shaded porch that allows cooling breezes into the house and protects the glass from flying debris. An abundance of operable windows provide natural ventilation and lighting.

This Charleston house also has received three other design awards.

The 15th annual Custom Home Design Awards received 513 entries in nine categories. Just 24 projects were singled out for accolades. Houses entered had to have been designed for a specific client and site. For more information visit

For more information on Frank Harmon’s winning houses and other projects, visit


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When Objects Become Art: N.C. Architect Turns To Artists To Get The Job Done

January 11, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – “We talk about a concept and the artists take it from there,” Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, told Residential Architect magazine in a recent article on the benefits of working with artists, rather than contractors, when a design detail needs a creative and often handmade solution. “Working with craftspeople is the most efficient way to get things done.”

Harmon was one of seven architects interviewed by author Cheryl Weber for the article, entitled “Supplied by Architect: working with fabricators to blur the boundaries between objects and art.” (RA, September-October 2007). He and the others regularly work with artists and craftspeople on their projects.

Harmon was specifically singled out for his award-winning work on a residence in Charleston, SC, that features 10 pivoting, perforated-metal panels which span, protect and shade the west-facing side of the house. Fabricated by Christian Karkow, a local metalsmith, the panels received an award in Residential Architect’s 2006 design competition in the “details” category.

“I knew that if I made a detailed drawing and gave it to the contractor, he would have charged $200,000,” Harmon told Weber. By working with a Karkow, “I got it done for a fraction of that.”

However, Harmon and the others stressed that saving money is certainly not the primary reason for bringing artists and craftsmen to the table. Their hands-on ingenuity is often invaluable.

“You don’t design it for them; then they become the worker,” he said. “You make a sketch and enroll them in the concept. They take it from there and usually make it better… We just leave it off the contractor’s drawing and say “supplied by architect.’”

The entire article can be read at by entering a search on the site for “supplied by architect.”

Frank Harmon’s work, which ranges from small sheds to 70,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, has received more AIA/NC awards than any other firm in the state and has been published in international, national and regional periodicals and books, including Architectural Record, Dwell and Waterfront Homes & Design. His work has become synonymous with sustainable, or “green,” architecture, and his firm was named Top Firm Of The Year by Residential Architect magazine in 2005. For more information, visit


Design Judge Has High Praise for AIA Seattle Architecture Awards Program

According to Raleigh, NC-based architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architect’s 2007 Honor Awards program, which took place in November, is “the best state or local design awards I have juried. They should all be done this way.”

Harmon, principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect, is a frequent juror for AIA awards programs across the nation. This was his first awards jury in Seattle, however, and the format was quite different from the others. A typical awards program lasts one day, he explained, and the judges only see photos of the entries, often meeting in the city where the jurors live, not in the city or state of the awards projects.

“The real uniqueness of the Seattle jury was that it took place in Seattle over a three day period,” Harmon said. “The first day we reviewed 140 or so entries and at the end of the day had two dozen projects on a short list.” This was no easy task, he noted, “because most of the entries were at a very high level of accomplishment. This is one of the best chapters in the country.”

The second day, Harmon and fellow jurists Jeanne Gang and Joshua Prince-Ramos visited the short-listed projects in the Seattle area. “No other jury that I know of does this except the national AIA Honor Awards,” said Harmon, who served on the National AIA jury in 2004. “It is a invaluable way to choose honorees because there is nothing like seeing the project to judge its quality.”

The third day the jury deliberated, chose the winners, and prepared their presentation.

On the night of the design awards ceremony, over 700 people first gathered for evening socializing and viewing a slide show of all the programs entries, not just the winners. When participants gathered in the hall afterwards for the presentations, they found the stage set with a couch and chairs rather than a podium. The jurors were then invited to have a seat on stage.

The awards were presented in Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. The presentation involved a discussion format moderated by the University of Washington’s dean of Architecture, Daniel Friedman. For more information on the AIA Seattle 2007 Honor Awards for Washington Architecture visit

Frank Harmon is also a frequent speaker at architectural events and conferences, including the 2007 American Institute of Architects’ National Convention held in San Antonio, Texas, in May, Dwell magazine’s design conference held in San Francisco in September, and Residential Architect magazine’s annual conference to be held in Charleston in December.

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit