Kristen Hess didn't always knew she wanted to work in architecture, but she always knew she should be in charge. Once she discovered an architect is akin to being the conductor of a symphony--bringing out the best of all the various players to create a piece--she knew it was for her. And once she came to Raleigh to study design at N.C. State, she never left.
Now she leads a firm that is helping shape what our city and state (and beyond) will look like for generations. The firm she founded and leads, HH Architecture, has worked on numerous projects involving museums, parks, schools, community colleges, government buildings and more, including the upcoming Dueling Dinosaurs exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (which you can hear more about in our interview with Dr. Lindsay Zanno!). We specifically discuss three projects she has worked on--the North Carolina Zoo, the State Farmers Market and the N.C. State Fairground--that are quintessential to life in this state.
Hess has been a Marshall and Eisenhower Fellow, allowing her to broaden her contacts and knowledge, and she uses those experiences not only in her work, but in giving back to her community. She serves on the Greater Raleigh Chamber Executive Committee, the Governor’s Council on Historically Underutilized Businesses, as well as the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines.
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