University of Kansas Welcomes Frank Harmon as Distinguished Guest, Keynote Speaker

For Studio 804’s 20th anniversary celebration in March 2015.

Frank Harmon, FAIA. (photo by William Morgan)
Frank Harmon, FAIA. (photo by William Morgan)

North Carolina-based architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, will be the distinguished guest and keynote speaker when the University of Kansas’s School of Architecture, Design & Planning holds its celebration of Studio 804’s 20th anniversary on March 27-28, 2015.

The celebration will include speakers of international stature who will support the theme “[Re] Engaged Architecture” as they present work and processes that reflect this topic. Those speakers are: Andrew Freear, Brigette Shim, Ted Flato, Brian MacKay-Lyons, and Marlon Blackwell.

Studio 804 is a not-for-profit organization within KU’s School of Architecture, Design & Planning that is committed to the continued research and development of sustainable, affordable, and inventive building solutions. Under Distinguished Professor Dan Rockhill’s leadership, Studio 804 educates students through the experience of all aspects of design/build, a delivery model that is gaining widespread popularity in the architectural profession.

A Professor in Practice at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, Frank Harmon is a recognized leader in Modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate design. He is well known for bringing an appreciation for simple, vernacular architecture and its implied environmental stewardship to every project that his firm, Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, designs. Harmon’s work has been described as “buildings rooted in the earth, warmed by the sun, with fresh air flowing through the windows and made of materials friendly to the touch.”

“Studio 804 is one of the most successful design-build education programs in the world,” Harmon said. “Students learn by doing and in the process create memorable architecture. Studio 804 is a leader in socially responsible design and practice.”

For more information on Studio 804 and the event, go to www.studio804.com.

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit www.frankharmon.com.

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 “Native Places,” a website where he uses hand-drawn sketches and mini-essays to examine the relationship between nature and built structures. For more information: www.frankharmon.com. Contact information: frank@frankharmon.com; 919.829.9464; 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.

Frank Harmon Wins High Award for Simple Project

The JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House at NC State University wins AIA NC Honor Award 

September 15, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Frank Harmon Architect PA has received a 2011 Honor Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC) for the firm’s design of North Carolina State University’s JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House in Raleigh.

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.

The Bridge at Concord

By Frank Harmon, FAIA

At museums and visitors centers, less interpretation is more.

One day in the 1970s, I wandered into the rare documents room at the British

North Bridge at Concord, sketch by Frank Harmon.

Museum, where cloth-shrouded glass cases held poems, speeches and letters written by famous people. You could pull back a cloth, read the document, and cover it up again. When I pulled back one of the cloths, I caught my breath: Before me was the Magna Carta. How amazing, I thought, to find the most important document in British history displayed so diffidently, in a glass case with a curtain over it. I was thrilled.

In America, we handle our history differently. The Declaration of Independence, for example, is encased in bulletproof glass in a gold-plated, titanium frame filled with argon gas. The case is lowered each night into a crypt beneath the National. Archive. The display is so overpowering that it is possible to feel that the container is more important than the founding document inside. It makes me feel as if I am being told of its importance rather than invited to discover it. Yet history is best discovered by each of us, just as democracy is best preserved as a personal responsibility.

I had another epiphany recently when I visited the North Bridge at Concord, Massachusetts, where the first battle of the American War of Independence took place. Now preserved as part of the Minute Man National Historical Park, the Bridge at Concord is a simple wooden structure spanning a stream about fifty feet wide. At each end of the bridge stand two stone monuments, one erected by the Americans, one by the British, many years after the battle. There is no visitors center nearby, no auditorium with a twenty-minute film, no interactive video recreating the battle, and certainly no titanium cases containing artifacts in argon. Instead, in a clearing next to the bridge, visitors sit in a small semicircle of wooden benches. A park ranger stands and tells how the British army, marching out from Boston to intimidate the colonists, approached the bridge and was met by a volunteer group of Minutemen.

The effect of his story is compelling. We can see the short distance between the two groups of men, who, muskets drawn, faced death that morning. We can imagine how the roar of guns silenced birds’ songs on that spring day. We can see the road where the American farmers approached the bridge, and we can see the road down which the British fled. The ranger quotes a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson for the dedication of the American monument on July 4,1837:

On the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard round the world.

There at the North Bridge, nothing stands between our history and us except sunlight reflected in the dust. We are enlightened without being pushed, always a welcome experience.

Sometimes the best thing for a designer to do is to not get in the way.

 

About the author:

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is an award-winning architect. He is the founding principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA and a Professor in Practice at the NC State University College of Design. He writes frequently on the subject of architecture and his observations of architectural and historic places during his travels. For more information visit www.frankharmon.com.

 

Frank Harmon Architect PA Takes Home Two Different Awards in One Night

The firm scores high with the City of Raleigh, AIA Triangle. 

Walnut Creek Wetland Center


April 26, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – The evening of April 21, 2011, was a busy one for Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA. After collecting a City of Raleigh Environmental Design Award at the Marbles Museum in downtown Raleigh, he dashed over to the NC Museum of Art in west Raleigh just in time to collect another award from the Triangle section of the American Institute of Architects’ North Carolina chapter.

On the same night, the state’s Capital City praised Harmon’s Walnut Creek Wetland

JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House at N.C. State University

Center for demonstrating green design concepts and a positive ecological footprint, and AIA Triangle bestowed a Merit Award for overall design excellent on the firm’s Lath House for N.C. State University’s JC Raulston Arboretum.

“The Walnut Creek Wetland Center was the result of nearly a decade of advocacy by the board of Partners for Environmental Justice,” Harmon said. “It was a privilege to help them build an environmental center that will serve generations of children. As Walnut Creek nurtures children, the Lath House shelters plants, and both aspire to make North Carolina a better place.”

The City of Raleigh created its annual Environmental Awards Program to recognize individuals and organizations that demonstrate “outstanding work in sustainable development and environmental stewardship.”

The Walnut Creek Wetland Center, phase one of a project that is transforming abused wetlands near downtown Raleigh into a natural resource and learning center, won the Green Design (Built Environment) category. The 7000-square-foot building is poised six feet above the wetlands flood plain. All-wood construction utilizes recycled materials wherever possible, and windows welcome the surroundings into the building as they facilitate natural ventilation and illumination. Circulation occurs outside the building across a large porch that projects out into the environment. A geothermal system provides HVAC needs, photovoltaic panels generate electricity, and the metal roof’s deep overhang protects the interior from the summer sun. Rainwater runoff is collected in cisterns and storm water runoff is filtered before it returns to Walnut Creek.

Designed by Harmon’s firm as a pro bono gift to the JC Raulston Arboretum, the Lath House is an open-air laboratory for experimental horticultural techniques and methods. Designed as an abstract of a tree spreading its branches to protect the plants, according to Harmon, the structure is comprised of wooden two-by-twos that fulfill the specific light-to-shade ratio young plants need in the spring and shelter the plants as they prepare to be transitioned into larger gardens in the arboretum. The Lath House also provides an accessible community garden for the City of Raleigh, and an educational asset to the State of North Carolina within this nationally acclaimed arboretum.

Both the Walnut Creek Wetland Center and the JC Raulston Arboreum Lath House have already received international attention, appearing on ArchDaily.com, one of the largest architectural websites/ezines in the world.

For more information on both projects and on Frank Harmon Architect PA, 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. In 2010, the firm was ranked 13th out 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.

John Isner Tennis Exhibition Dedicated to Raleigh’s Rhyne Andrews

November 1, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC ) — ATP Touring Professional and North Carolina native John Isner will headline a tennis exhibition in Raleigh on Saturday, November 20, 2010, with proceeds going to the Duke Hospital Ovarian Cancer Research in support of Rhyne Andrews of Raleigh, daughter of former professional tennis player Andy Andrews and his wife Carol. Isner will be joined by Luke Jensen, Irina Falconi and Lauren Herring.

 

This special charity event will begin at 5pm on the J.W. Isenhour Indoor Tennis Center on the NC State University campus. Play will begin at 5 pm and will include women’s singles, mixed doubles, and men’s singles

 

John Isner

Currently ranked #17 on the ATP Tour, Isner’s rise began In 2007 when he led the University of Georgia to an undefeated season and an NCAA Championship. He turned professional later that same year. As a professional, Isner had a break-out performance in the 2009 U.S. Open when he defeated fellow American and the world’s fifth ranked player Andy Roddick. His most famous victory came this past summer at Wimbledon when the 6-foot 9-inch Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut in “the longest tennis match ever played.” Currently, he is a member of the 2010 US Davis Cup team.

 

Isner and his friends are donating their time to play an exhibition in Raleigh to honor Rhyne Andrews, a friend and fellow Georgia Bulldog, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Isner’s mother is an ovarian cancer survivor, so the diagnosis of his 22-year-old friend hit home. Andrews has taken the semester off while she undergoes treatment

 

“We are truly thankful to John Isner for headlining this event. Many thanks also go out to Duke Hospital, NC State University, Gateway Bank, Melanie Bachelor, Bobby Mariencheck, NC Tennis Association, John McDonald, Luke Jensen, Lauren Herring, Irina Falconi  and others for making this event possible.” says Andy Andrews, organizer of the event.

 

Tickets are limited and can be purchased at www.ovarianawareness.org. General seating tickets are $50 and VIP seating is available for $75.  Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. for the event.

Frank Harmon Architect PA Completes New Lath House for JC Raulston Arboretum

 

The new structure will help young plants transition to the gardens.  

 

October 27, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) – Frank Harmon Architect PA, an award-winning firm located in Raleigh, NC, well-known for designing projects that showcase and celebrate plant life, has completed the design and construction of the new Lath House at the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University in Raleigh.

 

The ten and one 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. Every October since the early 1990s, the JC Raulston Arboretum gives away literally thousands of rare and choice plants it has cultivated during its Friends of the Arboretum Plant Distribution event.

 

The Lath House is a key element within the Arboretum’s work. An open-air laboratory for horticultural research, the original structure sheltered approximately 700 young and tender plants that perform best in shade as they transition towards planting in larger gardens.  The new lath house may provide space for 1000 new plantings.

 

When the Arboretum’s previous lath house needed to be replaced, Frank Harmon, FAIA, volunteered his firm to design a new structure pro bono that would fulfill the specific light-to-shade ratio needed for the plants, using a screen of wood two-by-twos. According to Harmon, the new structure was designed an abstract of a tree that spreads its branches to protect the plants.

 

“Over the last three decades, the JC Raulston lath house nurtured some of the most successful plants for use in Southern gardens, including hosta, ferns, hydrangea and rhododendron,” Harmon said. “We were honored to be a part of the Arboretum’s mission by designing the new Lath House.”

 

Other projects the firm has designed that involve support and protection of plant life include the North Carolina Botanical Gardens Visitors Education Center at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Prairie Ridge Outdoor Classroom and Garden Pavilion at the NC Museum of Natural Science’s Prairie Ridge Eco-station in Raleigh. The firm is currently designing Prairie Ridge’s future Eco-Lodge, a residential dormitory for students, teachers and visiting researchers.

 

The design team for the Lath House included Frank Harmon, FAIA, Erin Sterling, AIA, and Will Lambeth, architectural intern. For more information, visit www.frankharmon.com.

 

Located at 4415 Beryl Road in Raleigh, the JC Raulston Arboretum is largely built and maintained by NC State University students, faculty, volunteers, and staff. It is named for the founder, former director, and Horticultural Science Department teacher the late J.C. Raulston, Ph.D. For more information, visit www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum.com.

 

 

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

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. 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 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, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to www.frankharmon.com.

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 www.frankharmon.com.

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 www.frankharmon.com.

Lather Hair Salon To Prepare Models For “Threads”

Threads logo lather-logo2

April 13, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Lather, a Raleigh hair salon, is donating its stylists’ hair and make-up expertise to prepare the runway models for “Threads: Senior Collection 2009” to be held Thursday, April 16, at College of Textile’s Courtyard, North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, NC, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

“Threads” will showcase the work of 21 seniors from the College of Textile’s Senior Design Studio. Each student designer created three to six ensembles that the models will present during the show.

Lather is a full-service, upscale Raleigh hair salon that specializes in complete makeovers, including airbrush makeup application, so owner and senior stylist Jessica Williams was delighted when the budding fashion designers at N.C. State asked her to design the hair and makeup for their models.

“Preparing models for the runway is just like doing a complete makeover,” said Lather’s owner and senior stylist Jessica Williams. “And we always enjoy doing hair and makeup on location. It allows us to be really creative. Besides that, we love working with up-and-coming designers, such as the seniors in the College of Textiles. I was honored when they asked us to participate. I can’t wait to see the fashions they’ve created!”

Opened in October 2008, Lather Hair Salon marked its sixth month in business last month by going on location to provide professional hair styling for a fashion spread for Social The Magazine featuring spring couture from Catch 22, a boutique in Raleigh’s trendy Glenwood South district.

“Threads: Senior Collection 2009” coincides with the College of Textile’s Industry Open House. Seats are available for $5. Standing room is free. For more information, email
senior-collection@googlegroups.com.

Lather Hair Salon in Raleigh is located at 8521 Cantilever Way near the corner of Glenwood Ave./Highway 70 and Ebenezer Church Road. . For more information, including business hours and the salon’s “Hair Academy” blog, go to www.latherhairsalonnc.com. Lather is also available on Facebook and at triangle.citysearch.com.

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