If you’re a person that would love to be submersed in the heart of nature with its ever changing, serene, and healing properties but prefers living conditions with a little more class and flair then Randall Kipp Architecture may be the perfect solution.
They have distinguished themselves as a modern architectural design firm known for their sleek lines and unobstructed views that invite the surrounding topography into the design. Not only does it serve as the aesthetic, but with the strategic placement and use of sustainable materials, it encompasses a thoughtful approach to energetic use. The end result truly is a work of art — simple and stunning.
Of course, that’s no surprise as the “artists” point to this intention in their website’s bio. “Art, as it relates to a building’s form, can take on many shapes…. light, materials, space, volume, structure, etc… and the relationship between these items.” A work of art is always the goal. The team behind Randall Kipp Architecture works to make sure that goal is the final product.
Wisconsin native, Randall Kipp, was introduced to Irvington when an existing client, and then owner, Bill Westbrook, asked him to redesign the Hope & Glory Inn in 1993. Many visits were made throughout the project. Randall and his wife, Alison, fell in love with the little town, moved here, and never looked back.
The couple’s firm now employs five members: Randall, as the lead architect and owner, is lovingly nicknamed the "Ring Leader" by his team; Lauren Davenport, who serves as the lead interior designer and master space planner aka “Paint Picker;” Keith Meberg, “The Brain,” who is the lead architectural designer; our friend, Whitney Lang, serves as the “Trapper Keeper,” otherwise known as the studio administrator; and of course, Angus, the couple’s Scottish Terrier. He is well known as the studio greeter and mascot, and he does his part running errands and handling other business in town.
“A big misconception people have in our area is that to design and build a modern home in rural Virginia, they must hire firms from the big cities such as Richmond, Washington, D.C., etc. People are often surprised to learn that a full-service modern architectural firm is located in the tiny village of Irvington,” says, Kipp.
Additionally, people are surprised to hear that they handle commercial projects. One of their latest works in the community is The Boys and Girls Club. Kipp had already been working with the club to redesign the site in 2018. Tragically, a fire destroyed the facility later that year. The Randall Kipp team quickly went to work with a new design. Coincidentally, Randall and Keith own the Medical Arts building in town. The Boys and Girls Club staff was able to relocate their offices and the activity center to that space in record time.
Campaign efforts and insurance legalities delayed the start of the project but construction is now in full swing and is slated for completion early 2021.
Some of the other local projects the team is responsible for are the Steamboat Era Museum, The Shops in Irvington, Westbrook Dental Office (before it became The Office Bistro), White Stone Volunteer Fire Department, The Fat Canary, The Cheese Shop, and more.
Choptank River Lighthouse is another unique project in Maryland. Along with an Airstream Travel Trailer that is now underway. (We can’t wait to see pictures when it’s complete.)
As a result of their style and versatility, the team has been covered in magazines like Archello, and House and Home. They’ve won awards in Architizer, International Property Awards, and American Institute of Architects Richmond Chapter. Their work also recently graced the cover of the annual Home and Design Portfolio book which presents the 100 top designers in the Washington D.C. area.
But it’s not all business and transactions. Their passion for architecture and education is something that they all love to share. Before COVID they frequently invited students, and anyone else, interested in architecture to visit the studio for a tour and introduction to architecture, space planning, and interior design. This year, when social distancing efforts closed schools, the team launched a “Create for Kipp Design Challenge” to keep kids inspired and having fun.
ON THE HOME FRONT
Randall says that when he and his wife moved to the Northern Neck, they didn’t intend to stay but 27 years later they can’t imagine living anywhere else. While they do work throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C., they love practicing here. For them, it’s home.
They believe the landscape of the Northern Neck is also very special — both by land and water. Their love for it and the locale, allows them to know it deeply but drives them to reveal the hidden gems. Additionally, they have made strong ties in the community between their life-long friends, and their working relationships with contractors and local officials.
They rely heavily on the owner’s input to be sure that their needs are being met, and that design carries the vision. Like pairing any mediums, it’s their expertise that allows them to select the right contractors based on their specialty for the homeowner’s individual program.
The famous painter and artist, Marc Chagall once said that “great art picks up where nature ends.” If you love the Northern Neck, Randall Kipp Architecture might be the best way to frame your favorite parts, all while giving you a masterpiece that you call home.
MAKING THE DRAW
Whether its residential or commercial design, Chesapeake Bank can finance both. Another great thing about our community is that we’re already established with many of the connections you’ll meet with Kipp’s team in the design process. We’d love to partner with you and can act as a liaison for many facets of the construction process.