• Grand Award - Custom Home / Less Than 3,000 Square Feet
Strickland-Ferris Residence, Raleigh, N.C.

Frank Harmon Architect, Raleigh

According to the home's architect, Frank Harmon, lifting it up was the surest way to minimize disturbance to the steeply sloped site. A butterfly roof channels the flow of rainwater off the house. Deep overhangs work with the mature trees outside to shade the dramatic, glass-walled main living space.

    Credit: Timothy Hursley

  • Deep overhangs work with the mature trees outside to shade the dramatic, glass-walled main living space.

    Credit: Jeffrey Jacobs

    Deep overhangs work with the mature trees outside to shade the dramatic, glass-walled main living space.

The judges admired the way this 1,820-square-foot house touches the earth lightly, appearing almost suspended in the midst of the forest around it. “You can see it floating off the ground,” said one. According to the home's architect, Frank Harmon, lifting it up was the surest way to minimize disturbance to the steeply sloped site. “My immediate thought was, How can I build with as little damage as possible?” he says.

The house rests atop a set of sturdy timber trusses supported by concrete piers. Rainwater flows underneath it, unimpeded by the building's presence. A wood footbridge from the highest point on the property leads to the main, second-floor entry, which presents the owner and her guests with bucolic forest views through the northwest, glass-walled side of the house.

Such off-the-shelf materials as exposed LVL roof beams, plywood ceilings, and a fiber-cement panel rainscreen also caught the judges' attention. “It has a really interesting palette of materials inside and out,” said one.

Project Credits
Entrant/Architect
: Frank Harmon Architect, Raleigh, N.C.
Builder: Owner, Raleigh
Living space: 1,820 square feet
Site: 1.3 acres
Construction cost: $260 per square foot
Photographer: Jeffrey Jacobs, except where noted

Product Specs


Bathroom fittings and fixtures: Hansgrohe (Axor), Kohler Co.; Bathroom cabinets: Robbins Bearly Rustic Furniture; Countertops: CaesarStone USA; Dishwasher: Bosch USA; Exterior siding: James Hardie Building Products; HVAC equipment: Carrier Corp.; Kitchen cabinets: dopko; Kitchen fittings: Blanco America; Lighting fixtures: Cooper Lighting (Iris), Foscarini SRL, Leucos USA, George Nelson, Vetreria Vistosi srl; Oven/range: Dacor; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore & Co., Samuel Cabot; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero; Windows: Kawneer North America