Design/build is a family tradition. Frank’s father is a furniture designer who crafts and sells his bespoke creations, and his uncle is a contractor who builds high-end residences. To help pay his way through college, Frank identified and bought tumbledown classic furniture – often designed by prominent architects such as le Corbusier, Eames, Saarinen, Breuer, Van Der Rohe – and proceeded to refurbish and resell them to collectors around the world. He was studying the manufacturing and marketing end of the furniture business at High Point University when he realized that design held more interest for him. “I was finding these wonderful chairs, many of which were designed by architects, and the connection led me in that direction,” he says. After college he earned his Masters of Architecture at North Carolina State University, where he and several fellow students captured first prize in the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual design contest with their passive solar house. Their prototype was used for three Habitat for Humanity homes.

In collegiate summers Frank also worked as a designer and builder – drawing plans and pounding nails for a local design/build firm. “I found that building things is the best way to become a better designer of things,” he says. “You appreciate the practical consequences that will flow from your plans, how things will be implemented down the line by various building contractors.” After college, Frank worked for a Raleigh architectural firm on health care and residential projects and was on the team that won a design competition for a public plaza and clock tower for Wake Tech Community College. He joined Centerbrook in 2013 and has contributed to projects at Quinnipiac University, including a new building for its School of Law.

FACTS

  • Remodeled and renovated his family’s house and kitchen
  • Spearheaded a competition to design and build bus shelters for a North Carolina women’s shelter
  • Has a vintage modern chair collection