Founded in 1983, Frank Harmon Architect was a design studio of architects, designers, and makers whose work engaged pressing contemporary needs such as sustainability, placelessness, and the restoration of cities and nature. Located in a building the firm designed – a flagship structure for urban, environmentally sustainable design – the studio also functioned as a workshop in which ideas were tested on various scales, from cities and wilderness areas to stair treads and birdhouses.
Each project that came into the studio was approached as specific to its place yet universal in impact. Among other works, this innovative approach created the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center, where a wall of science and learning saves an endangered wetland and promotes public respect for nature; the Sunday School at the Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, where a 21st-century addition to the oldest church in South Carolina situates modern architecture in a historic setting, bringing respect to old and new; and the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design in Raleigh, a prototype for sustainable urban architecture and construction in the Middle South.
In 2013, AIA NC honored the firm’s principal, Frank Harmon, FAIA, with the F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest award AIA NC presents to an architect. In all, Frank Harmon Architect won over 60 design awards, and the most AIA NC awards of any North Carolina firm.