Kristin Dispenza

Kristin Dispenza

Kristin graduated from The Ohio State University in 1988 with a B.S. in architecture and a minor in English literature. Afterward, she moved to Seattle, Washington, and began to work as a freelance design journalist, having regular assignments with Seattle’s Daily Journal of Commerce.

After returning to Ohio in 1995, her freelance activities expanded to include writing for trade publications and websites, as well as other forms of electronic media. In 2011, Kristin became the managing editor for

Kristin has been a features writer for since January 2010. Some of her articles include:

Tight Construction Timelines Affect Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena

Thu, Oct 06, 2011
Architects, engineers, and contractors streamline their process to ensure a quick delivery of the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ new home, Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Along the western edge of downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, lies the historic Haymarket District. An industrial and commercial area in use since the 1870s, the district had nevertheless become blighted and run-down. In the 1980s, the Haymarket District began to attract some mixed-use development, including art galleries, coffee houses, and residences. In more recent years, rehabilitation efforts have extended westward, and an official redevelopment plan was established.

House of the Month: The Environmentally Conscious Cottage

Tue, Sep 27, 2011

In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of a cottage located near federally protected land, David Jameson Architect, Inc., quite literally reduced the building’s footprint. When a Washington, D.C., couple purchased their Church Creek, Maryland, property, it was equipped with an existing cottage, but Hurricane Isabel damaged that structure in 2003, and erecting a new building on the site became controversial.

Ehrlich Architects' ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

Mon, Sep 26, 2011

The use of metal panels as building cladding continues to enjoy a surge in popularity, since improvements in their design and performance has coincided with a taste for high-tech aesthetics. Ehrlich Architects, designers of The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University (ASU), used this cladding to reference the patterns of the U.S. radio broadcast frequency spectrum. The top floors of the six-story, 110' tall building are wrapped in colored metal panels; in addition to drawing inspiration from the broadcast spectrum, the orange and red metal cladding evokes the earth tones of the local landscape. The building is located on the ASU campus in the midst of downtown Phoenix, so its attention-grabbing facades create a strong presence for the school.

Behnisch Architekten's Winning Design for the University of Baltimore School of Law

Mon, Sep 26, 2011

Having constraints can actually lead to creativity. This assumption has been confirmed by research into human psychology and can be empirically observed in many creative disciplines. Constraints were plentiful in the international design competition for the University of Baltimore’s (UB's) new John and Frances Angelos Law Center. The winning design, by Behnisch Architekten, is now under construction on the UB campus.

Zaha Hadid Architects' Edifici Torre Espiral

Mon, Sep 19, 2011

How far can a single building extend its reach to elevate, both aesthetically and economically, a surrounding neighborhood? Zaha Hadid Architects' Edifici Torre Espiral, or "spiraling tower," designed in partnership with Patrik Schumacher, seeks to become a catalyst for the development of the 22@Barcelona district. This waterfront area, which covers 115 city blocks, has been actively transforming itself from a derelict industrial zone into a commercial hub since 2000, when the city government launched its redevelopment.

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Thu, Sep 15, 2011

American urbanites are showing little inclination to give up their cars in favor of alternative modes of transit. Nonetheless, a revolution in communication technologies is changing our transportation landscape. Traffic congestion on our highways continues to increase, and improving safety is always a priority, so to address these concerns, technological solutions known as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are being rapidly developed.

College of the Desert's Tabula Rasa: The New West Valley Campus

Tue, Sep 13, 2011

Currently, the intersection of Tramview Road and Indian Canyon Drive is a quiet spot in the midst of the southern California desert, located just north of Palm Springs. However, the expanse of land on its northwest corner is soon to be the home of the College of the Desert’s Palm Springs West Valley Campus, and, once built, it should represent groundbreaking territory for sustainable planning and design.

Henning Larsen Architects' state-of-the-art Denmark Herlev Hospital

Mon, Aug 29, 2011

The healing power of nature plays a large role in Henning Larsen Architects’ winning design for an extension to Denmark’s Herlev Hospital. Here exterior spaces are as carefully planned as interior ones, affording occupants in all areas of the extension some contact with the outdoors. The organizing principles of the new addition also accommodate state-of-the-art developments in patient care.

House of the Month: Redesign of a Historic 1890s-era House

Wed, Aug 31, 2011

When architecture must subordinate itself to centuries of history, the challenge facing the designer is to create a structure that is simple and retiring while still expressive of its own generation. Estes/Twombly Architects’ redesign of the Overall House in Concord, Massachusetts, achieved simplicity not only in terms of its massing but in terms of its program as well.

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