Frank Harmon Architect PA Makes “Architect 50” List For Third Straight Year

The small Raleigh, NC, firm ranks 21st this year among the top 50 firms in the nation in terms of design quality, sustainability ethos, and profitability.

May 16, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – For the third consecutive year, Frank Harmon

Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal/founder, Frank Harmon Architect PA © f8 Photo Studios

Architect PA has made Architect magazine’s “Architect 50” list of architectural firms from across the nation, placing 21st.

Architect magazine ranks firms for its annual Architect 50 list based on a composite assessment of the firms’ commitment to sustainability, design quality, and profitability.

“The usual rating of firms by gross billing, number of employees, etc., would not include our firm,” said Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA. “But when we are rated on design recognition for our clients, sustainability, and financial performance, our firm shows up well.”

“By looking at the whole picture, we’re able to honor not the biggest, but the best,” writes executive editor Amanda Kolson Hurley in the May 2011 edition of the national journal. “The 2011 Architect 50…shows that [architecture] and [architecture/engineering] firms, large and small, can do well in this economy.”

Frank Harmon Architect PA, an intentionally small firm, specializes in modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate design. Among the firm’s 2010-2011 design awards, its thoroughly “green” Sunday school addition at the Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston, SC, received three awards: a national award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture; an AIA NC Honor Award; and an AIA Triangle Honor Award.

Harmon’s firm also received three awards for the Walnut Creek Wetland Center over the past year: an AIA NC Merit Award; an Environmental Design award from the City of Raleigh; and a Sir Walter Award for Community Appearance, also from the City of Raleigh.

The only other North Carolina firm to make the 2011 list is Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee of Raleigh and Asheville, at 23rd.

For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

To see the entire Architect 50 list, go to

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

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, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, Residential Architect, and Recently, Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder and principal, was included in Residential Architect magazine’s “RA 50: The short list of architects we love.” For more information, go to

Frank Harmon Architect PA Announces New Project Architects

John Caliendo, AIA

John Caliendo, AIA, and Michael Spinello, LEED AP, join the award-winning firm.


October 13, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) – Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal and founder of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, has announced that John Caliendo, AIA, and Michael Spinello, LEEP AP, have joined his award-winning firm.

Michael Spinello, LEED AP

Originally from New York City, Caliendo is a LEED AP Professional and an adjunct professor of architect at NC State University’s College of Design. Before joining Harmon’s firm, he was principal of his own firm, John Caliendo Architect in Raleigh. Previous work experience includes years of practice with Peace Brinkley Cease + Lee and Kenneth Hobgood Architect, both in Raleigh. He has extensive experience in commercial, institutional and residential architecture.


Caliendo received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and economics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1990 and graduated cum laude with a Masters in Architecture from NCSU in 1995. He has served on the Advisory Board for the Department of Interior Architecture at UNC-Greensboro, on the Advisory Board for Design Corps in Raleigh, and as a member of the Isosceles Awards Committee with the Triangle chapter of the American Institute of Architects.


“I first met Frank Harmon as a student at NC State College of Design,” Caliendo said. “From my student years and throughout my professional career, Frank has been extremely supportive and has served as a source of inspiration. Now, given the opportunity to work alongside him, it’s a rare privilege. I am very excited.”


Michael Spinello was born in Berkeley, California in 1971, the son of university professors who moved around the country before settling in Auburn, AL. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Chapman University in Orange, California, in 1994. He received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Auburn University in 1999 and spent a semester at Auburn’s acclaimed Rural Studio. In 2004, Spinello earned his Master of Architecture degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a LEEP AP Professional.


Spinello’s previous work experience includes five years at Cooper Carry Architects in Atlanta in the Planning, Mixed-use and Science & Technology studios where he led the successful effort to win the competition for the Gwinnett Tech Life Sciences Building, now in construction.


Spinello has taught architecture and landscape architecture studios at MIT, Georgia Tech, and Auburn University. He also taught Professional Practice of Architecture at Auburn and has been a guest speaker at the annual Auburn University Rural Studio alumni event. This year, he worked with Professor Emeritus Norbert Lechner of Auburn University on a high-efficiency, region-specific, low-cost housing prototype called the Alabama Energy House, currently seeking construction funding.


“Many of the extraordinary challenges to be faced in the 21st century will be solved through design,” Spinello said. “Issues ranging from rapid urbanization and energy conservation, to preservation of regional cultures and the creation of environments of distinction and delight, will require a holistic approach to designed solutions. I am extremely proud to be a part of the Frank Harmon Architect team. I can think of no better place to engage these issues first-hand and to make architecture that matters.”


Frank Harmon Architect PA is recognized nationally as a leader in innovative, modern, and regionally inspired “green” architecture. For more information visit


About Frank Harmon Architect PA:


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