NCSU Landscape Architecture Lecture Series To Feature Frank Harmon, FAIA

Award-winning architect will discuss how the two professions can,

Frank Harmon, FAIA

and should, work together.

February 22, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) – Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh and Professor in Practice at the North Carolina State University College of Design, will give the February 27 lecture for the 2011-12 Landscape Architecture Lecture Series. His theme will be “How architects and landscape architects can work together.”

Free and open to the public, Harmon’s lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the Burns Auditorium in Kamphoefner Hall.

A nationally recognized leader in modern, sustainable, regionally appropriate architecture, Harmon says he will discuss the urban and rural landscape, how architecture fits into it, and how architects and landscape architects can combine efforts “to leave the landscape better than we found it,” he said.

“For the past two decades I’ve chosen to have a landscape architect working beside me when I begin a design,” Harmon said. “At Merchants Millpond in eastern North Carolina, for example, I canoed and camped with landscape architect David Swanson before we drew the first line for the new Environmental Education Center there. I teamed with landscape architect Gregg Bleam to design the recently completed AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh.”

Harmon frequently asserts that the most important decision an architect makes is how to position a building on its site. “That particular throw of the dice determines everything that follows: orientation, aspect and prospect, day lighting, cross ventilation, hydrology, micro-climate, and most importantly, a sense of place. My belief that all good architecture begins with the land makes me value and appreciate landscape architects’ skills and understanding.”

The 2011-12 Landscape Architecture Lecture Series is produced by the Department of Landscape Architecture in partnership with the Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Landscape Architecture Advisory Council.

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit

About Frank Harmon, FAIA:

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 2011, his firm was ranked 21st 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,, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to


Frank Harmon To Deliver Special Lecture at NC State University

January 28, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) — Frank Harmon, FAIA, will deliver the annual Harwell Hamilton Harris Lecture on February 15 at 7 p.m. in the Burns Auditorium of Kamphoefner Hall at North Carolina State University’s College of Design in Raleigh.

The Havens House by Harwell Hamilton Harris. Photo by Man Ray.

Sponsored by the College of Design and the Triangle section of the American Institute of Architects/North Carolina, the annual lecture is endowed by the estate of the renowned architect Harwell Hamilton Harris, FAIA (1903-1990) who served on the faculty of NC State’s College of Design from 1962 to 1973.

Frank Harmon is a fellow of the American Institute of Architecture and a Professor in Practice at the College of Design. He is the founder and principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning, LEED AP, green architecture firm established in 1985. He was also a close friend of Harris for many years, and he credits Harris with steering his design sensibilities towards modern, innovative and regionally appropriate design.

In 2005, when Harmon’s firm was named Top Firm of the Year by Residential Architect magazine, he told writer Vernon Mays, “[Harwell Harris] taught me that every client and every situation is different and new. And it is the architect’s job to understand the needs of every situation and every client. He loved to say that the house is a portrait of the client.”

Harris also taught Harmon to infuse warmth and familiarity into modern architecture by embracing what Harris called the “sticks and stones” of the place:  the landscape, materials, climate and culture specific to the region in which a building will be built.

“What people thought was cold and threatening modernism, he made warm and approachable,” Harmon says.

Harmon’s lecture will focus on “why Harwell Hamilton Harris is important today,” he said. “His work embraces the whole of the environment – from the living room to the city – and all the particulars that go into making a building. He was also the first architect to write about the importance of regionalism in modern architecture.”

Harmon will discuss specific Harris projects – including his personal home and office on Cox Avenue in downtown Raleigh and St. Giles Presbyterian Church in North Raleigh – that strongly influenced Harmon’s own work.

Originally from California, Harwell Hamilton Harris was a sculptor who changed careers after he visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House in Los Angeles. He worked with Richard Neutra from 1928 until 1932 then merged the ideals of modern and California regionalist architecture into his residential work of the ‘30s and ‘40s. He served as Dean for the University of Texas School of Architecture from 1952-1955 and practiced in Dallas until 1962 when he moved to Raleigh to teach at NC State. He retired from teaching in 1973 but continued to practice until shortly before his death. He was a professor emeritus at the university when he died at the age of 87.

The Harwell Hamilton Harris Lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Coliseum parking deck. Limited parking may also be found in the Riddick or Peele parking lots after 5 pm. Parking along campus streets is not permitted unless otherwise noted.

For more information on the lecture call 919.515.8350.

For more information on Frank Harmon, go to

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning firm headquartered in downtown Raleigh, has extensive experience with projects that blend architecture with enhancement of the environment, including the recently completed Walnut Creek Urban Wetlands Park Educational Center in Raleigh, Duke University’s Ocean Science Teaching Center in Beaufort, the NC Botanical Garden’s new Visitors Center in Chapel Hill, and Merchants Millpond Outdoor Educational building in Gatesville, N.C. His work has been featured in numerous books, journals and magazines on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to