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


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