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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Raleigh Architect To Address International Expo

Frank Harmon, FAIA
Frank Harmon, FAIA

October 9, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of the award-winning Frank Harmon Architect in Raleigh, NC, will present a seminar entitled “Building Greener, Smarter, Sustainable Structures” during the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo to be held in Charlotte, NC, October 21-23 at the Charlotte Hilton Hotel.

Harmon will discuss several sustainable projects to illustrate how environmentally friendly, sustainable buildings and structures contribute to their communities by saving energy use and costs, and building materials.

Harmon’s address is part of the IFAI’s Architect’s Workshop and will be presented on Wednesday, October 22, beginning at 6 p.m.

IFAI is a not-for-profit trade association representing the entire spectrum of the specialty fabrics industry. The Expo is a showcase of existing and emerging technologies in industrial and technical fabrics, bringing together all levels of the technical textile industry value chain – from fiber producer to end product manufacturer. This gathering of suppliers and buyers is a global marketplace with over 8,000 industry professionals—exhibitors and attendees–representing more than 64 countries. For more information visit

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit


Charleston Architect Named “Green Goddess”

August 20, 2008 (CHARLESTON, SC) – Whitney Powers, AIA, president and principal of Studio A Architecture in Charleston, SC, is featured this month in Skirt! Magazine as a “green goddess.”

“Whitney Powers…has pushed the green edge of sustainable design for over a decade, creating award-winning buildings in and around Charleston that treat lightly on the landscape,” according to Skirt!.

Calling Powers’ work “fresh, urbane and beautiful” the articles describes her green designs as “capitalizing on natural breezes and daylight to conserve energy, using locally sourced or recycled materials as much as possible.”

Of her work, Powers told Skirt!, “Sustainability is about acknowledging the rituals of living and honoring place. If you can capture the poetics of a building and its place, you’re on your way to being green.”

Whitney Powers’ work in sustainable design has received numerous design awards and has been featured in local, regional and national design magazines and journals. One of her “green” houses on South Carolina’s Dewees Island, will be showcased on HGTV’s new “Extreme Living” show on Thursday, August 21, at 9:30 p.m.

To see more of this “green goddess’ ” work, visit