HOME BUILDER DIGEST: “The 18 Best Residential Architects in North Carolina”

North Carolina is one of the most popular states to live in the country. The “Triangle” region of the state, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, provides visitors and residents with a myriad of reasons to enjoy the state…

For those considering relocating to the region and those seeking to upgrade their North Carolina homes, the best residential architects are necessary. 

The [HBD list] showcases the best residential architects in North Carolina. These firms were selected based on their experiences in residential designs, awards won, years in the industry, and media coverage, and they are the best in the industry. (Click here to see the entire list.)

…Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Architect

A fine example of the firm’s accomplished projects is Wolf-Huang Residence on Lake Orange, NC. Photo by Tzu Chen

What separates multi-award-winning firm Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect, from the other architects is a clear understanding of how each project is about more than designing an exceptional space. Each project has the capacity to enhance people’s lives and lifestyles, and this small firm is dedicated to doing exactly that. READ MORE

North Carolina Modernist Houses Announces the 2016 Matsumoto Prize Jury

North Carolina Modernist Houses

Nationally known architects to judge annual Modernist house competition.

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state, has announced the 2016 George Matsumoto Prize Jury.

The 2016 jury will include luminaries in their field including Ray Kappe, of Los Angeles, CA; Alison Brooks of London, England; Joshua Prince-Ramus of New York, NY; Harry Wolf of Los Angeles, CA; Charles McMurray of Miami, FL; and Nathan Crowley of Los Angeles, the architect-turned-production designer whose most recent work was seen in the sci-fi feature “Interstellar.

Now in its fifth year, the Matsumoto Prize honors George Matsumoto, a founding faculty member of North Carolina State University’s School of Design (now College of Design) and architect of some of the state’s best-known and historically significant Modernist houses.  Matsumoto serves as the honorary chair.

The Matsumoto Prize is a unique awards program. It is the only juried architecture competition in North Carolina that focuses solely on Modernist houses, provides financial awards, involves a national jury of Modernist architects, offers the opportunity for public voting, and connects to a major architectural archive.  Residential architects and designers entering the competition can be from anywhere but their houses must be in North Carolina.

“The Prize powerfully engages the greater community to be involved with the architecture they love,” says NCMH Executive Director George Smart. “The competition publicly showcases a new generation of outstanding Modernist architects and houses, promoting new talent and providing motivating honors and incentives in our state.”

The call for submissions will be announced in 2016.  For more information on the 2016 Matsumoto Prize, visit http://www.ncmodernist.org/prize2016.  To see past winners, go to http://www.ncmodernist.org/matsumotoprize.htm.

About North Carolina Modernist Houses:

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is an award-winning 501C3 nonprofit established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design. The website is the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential design in America. NCMH also hosts popular architecture events every month, giving the public access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present. Its many homes tours and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations. For more information: www.ncmodernist.org.

Design Team Member Becomes Registered Architect

Matt Griffith, AIA, of Frank Harmon Architect PA
Matt Griffith, AIA, of Frank Harmon Architect PA

May 26, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, is pleased to announce that Matthew Griffith has successfully completed his registration exams and is a registered architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Griffith joined Frank Harmon, FAIA’s award-winning firm in November of 2006 after moving to Raleigh from Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is a 1996 graduate of Davidson College (BS Mathematics) and a March 2002 graduate of the NCSU College of Design where he concentrated in Urban Design and was awarded the Kamphoefner Fellowship for outstanding service, the Faculty Design Award, and the AIA School Medal.  In 2004, he received the Boston Society of Architects’ Unbuilt Architecture Award for his design of a community center for Camden, New Jersey.

As an intern architect/designer and project manager, Griffith has served on the design team for many of the firm’s significant projects, including the North Carolina Botanical Garden Visitor Education Center in Chapel Hill, First Presbyterian Church renovation and addition in downtown Raleigh, and the future headquarters for the North Carolina Chapter/American Institute of Architects in downtown Raleigh, a project the firm won in a professional design competition.

Griffith’s areas of expertise include programming and site analysis, schematic design, construction detailing, physical modeling, and graphic design.

Before joining Frank Harmon Architect PA, Griffith worked in the office of Marlon Blackwell Architect and served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas from 2002-2004.  He is currently a Visiting Professor of Architecture at the NCSU College of Design, teaching design studios.

Frank Harmon Architect PA is a nationally recognized leader in modern “green” architecture. The firm was recently included in Architect Magazine’s annual ranking of the top 50 firms in the nation in terms of design innovative and commitment to sustainability. For more information, visit www.frankharmon.com.

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Raleigh Architect Serves As Judge For AIA/Northern Virginia Awards

Frank Harmon, FAIA
Frank Harmon, FAIA

May 12, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) — North Carolina architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, will serve as juror for the North Virginia Chapter of the AIA 2009 Design Awards. The judging will take place in the offices of Pearce Brinkley Cease & Lee in Raleigh on May 15. Harmon will present the winners in Alexandria, Virginia on June 8.

Frank Harmon is a recognized leader in modern “green” architecture and an adjunct professor of architect at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. He is also a frequent juror for design awards programs across the country and a frequent speaker at design conferences on the subject of modern, innovative, regional architecture.

The AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Design Awards recognize its members’ achievements in the design of the built environment. Any licensed AIA member of the Northern Virginia Chapter may enter a project. All work submitted for the 2009 awards program had to be completed after June 1, 2004.

Categories for the awards are: Institutional Architecture, Commercial Architecture, Residential Architecture, Interior Architecture, Historic Architecture, Conceptual / Unbuilt Architecture, and Urban Design and Master Planning. A special category — the Herlong Memorial Award – recognizes work by associate or intern AIA members.

AIA/Northern Virginia is headquartered in Alexandria, VA. For more information on the chapter’s awards program, go to http://www.aianova.org.

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

Frank Harmon Selected As Commencement Speaker

Frank Harmon, FAIA
Frank Harmon, FAIA

December 10, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) –  Frank Harmon, FAIA, an award-winning “green” architect and Professor in Practice at N.C. State University’s College of Design, will deliver the commencement address for the College’s December graduates, dean Marvin Malecha  announced recently.

College of Design commencement exercises will take place December 17 at 1:30 p.m. in Stewart Theatre in N.C. State’s Talley Student Center.

“Frank has gained a national reputation for his work and is now a regular speaker at universities and conference programs around the country,” Melecha said. “He has built a reputation for environmentally sensitive work that is underpinned by a deep understanding of regionalism and a special care for craft. His accomplishments have reflected well on our community.”

Harmon is a 1961 graduate of N.C. State University. He joined the College of Design’s architecture department faculty in 1985. He has also served as a visiting critic at Columbia University, the University of Toronto, the University of Virginia, UNC-Charlotte, the University of Liverpool, and Cambridge University. In 1995 he received the Kamphoefner Prize For Distinguished Design Over A Ten-Year Period, an annual honoring the founding dean of the College of Design, Henry Kamphoefner.

A fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Frank Harmon founded his firm, Frank Harmon Architect PA, in 1985. Since then, he has become a nationally recognized leader in sustainable, regional design. His work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibits on the subject, including the book The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and a special exhibit on green architecture at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

From 2005-2007 he served on the United States General Services Administration’s National Register of Peer Professionals, which strives to improve the quality of public buildings.

Last year, he received First Place in a professional competition to design a new, thoroughly sustainable headquarters facility for the AIA’s North Carolina component, to be built in downtown Raleigh, which dean Melecha says he believes “will be recognized internationally.”

For more information visit http://www.frankharmon.com.

UNC Asheville Selects Frank Harmon as Architect for Craft Campus; Site Set To Go From Landfill to Landmark

The view captured Frank Harmon’s imagination.

Frank Harmon, FAIA
Frank Harmon, FAIA

Standing on a grassy bluff overlooking the French Broad River, the third oldest river in the world, the acclaimed Raleigh architect knew for sure that he wanted to design the buildings that would one day become UNC Asheville’s Craft Campus.

The natural beauty of the Craft Campus site as well as its surprising past inspired Harmon. Its sweeping vistas offer “a view that’s every bit as good as Biltmore Estate and yet it was a former trash dump,” he said.

The site, once a Buncombe County landfill, has been re-purposed as UNC Asheville’s Craft Campus. The site, just four miles from main campus, will be a complex of environmentally friendly classrooms and studios for the teaching and learning of the region’s renowned studio craft traditions. Methane and other alternative fuels generated on-site will serve as “green” energy sources to power kilns, furnaces, forges and other critical infrastructure.

The University has set the Craft Campus on a mission to become the leading undergraduate craft studies program in the nation, while re-centering the modern American studio craft movement in Western North Carolina.

It will be no small task to create the buildings that will encompass this expansive vision. But Harmon, who was recently tapped to lead the design of the Craft Campus, is more than up to the challenge.

At 67, Harmon has spent more than three decades creating critically acclaimed spaces for people to live and work. His craftsmanship is highly regarded by both his peers and architecture critics. He has won more than a dozen honors from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, including one earlier this year. Time magazine named his Rake and Hoe building in Raleigh as one of the 10 best in the nation in 1988. BusinessWeek and Architectural Record lauded his metalworking studio at Penland School of Crafts.

Jean McLaughlin, Penland School of Crafts director, is quick to add her voice to the praise.

“Students and instructors truly love the iron studio. Our studio coordinator who first worked in the facility said that he thought the studio itself motivated students to do even better work,” McLaughlin said. “At Penland we teach through demonstrations and one-on-one guidance, so it has been important to have instructors tell us that the space functions really well.”

In addition to the metalworking studio at Penland School of Crafts, Harmon has also designed a number of other working and learning spaces for artists, including the North Carolina Pottery Studio in Seagrove, the Star Works Factory for artists in Star, N.C., and several private studios.

But Harmon isn’t just passionate about the arts, he’s also dedicated to sustainability. He’s worked on a number of ecologically sound projects from the Ocean Conservation Center in Beaufort, N.C., to the Walnut Creek Urban Wetlands Educational Park in Raleigh. This ethos fits perfectly with UNC Asheville’s Craft Campus mission.

“The possibility of being able to use methane on the site as a fuel source was very attractive to me,” Harmon said. “Our firm has been focused on sustainable buildings for decades. This just seemed a beautiful opportunity to give something back to a piece of landscape that had, in a sense, been taken away.”

Craft Campus Director Brent Skidmore said that these sensibilities, as well as Harmon’s impressive design record, made his firm the clear choice. The eight-member committee fielded 19 applicants and held interviews with five architectural firms. They agreed unanimously on choosing Harmon’s firm.

“Frank’s signature is an excellent match for our project,” Skidmore said.

Harmon’s vision for the campus began to materialize during the search process and is continuing to take shape.

“It will be a place that respects the land where it is built and the ecological traditions of the region. It will seem very much at home in its surroundings. And it goes without saying that it will be a building that is provident of energy and resources; it will be sustaining,” Harmon said. “So, it will be very much at home on the site but at the same time we’d like it to express that it is a building of today and represents the best that crafts have to offer as we move forward into the 21st century.”

Through a generous lease arrangement with Buncombe County, UNC Asheville’s Craft Campus will be located on a 153-acre site north of the University. The design process will begin in December. The campus is expected to open in four to five years.

The design team includes Frank Harmon Architect, Altamont Environmental Inc., Ambient Design Group, Cavanaugh & Associates, Costing Services Group, 4SE Inc. and RMF Engineering Inc.