Posts in Press
Using Technology to Simplify Your Home
Using an iPad to control lighting, heating, shades and more! Photo by Maxwell MacKenzie

Using an iPad to control lighting, heating, shades and more! Photo by Maxwell MacKenzie

As published in the House & Home Magazine August/September 2018 edition

By Randall Kipp
Photography By Maxwell MacKenzie and Ashley Peterson

Our modern world revolves around convenience and ease. Technology has allowed us to keep our contacts and calendar safely in one device that just so happens to be a telephone. We can easily monitor our home’s security cameras from around the world, rely on a robot to vacuum our floors, and even gather information like the weather and daily to-dos from the bathroom “smart” mirror. (Yes, it does exist.) 

In the world of interior home design, modern technology and gadgets provide us with countless opportunities to help us achieve a more convenient and simplified lifestyle.

When we design kitchen spaces, we like to use retractable outlets and charging stations in kitchen countertops and drawers to keep them hidden when they’re not in use. Weaving this smart gadget into the design allows us to have ample outlets without blemishing walls and beautiful backsplash tiles. 

Pop-up outlets and charging stations.

Pop-up outlets and charging stations.

Sleek stairway lighting.

Sleek stairway lighting.

Another clever and sophisticated go-to for Team Kipp is hidden lighting. You can never have too much lighting but you can have too many fixtures that clutter your space. Installing small lights under kitchen counters or integrated into your staircase, as seen in the photo, provides extra lighting for navigating in the evenings without compromising the sleek design of the room. We’ve installed hidden lighting in baseboards to offer a helpful midnight glow, and inside cabinets and under shelves to make lighting available only when you need it.

Perhaps the most convenient gadget of all (and our personal favorite) is the iPad. As we all know, tablets and smartphones have incredible capabilities, many of which may be used in the home. We use iPads to control lighting, heating, security, shades, music, TV, and other home systems. Not only does this allow homeowners to check on and control their home remotely, but it reduces the need for multiple separate controls and devices by consolidating it to just one. 

Many of these systems have become so customizable that they offer the ability to create personalized “scenes”. For example, you could create a goodnight scene to deactivate the lights throughout your home at bedtime, while leaving a few specific lights on for security and late-night navigation. Or, create a good morning scene that is triggered each day at your desired wakeup time. When activated, your smart lights, shades, and HVAC will work together to achieve your ideal environment. From programmable timers to solar sensors, the technology is here and it’s advancing every day.

It’s comforting (and unbelievable!) to know that whether you’re at the office or across the world, you can monitor and control your home with just a few screen taps. 

If you’re building or remodeling, we encourage you to research and consider some of the helpful technology available. Get creative with necessities such as electrical outlets, lighting, and system controls. Consider syncing your systems (lighting, HVAC, etc.) to a program compatible with smart devices. Think about what other gadgets could provide extra benefit to you based on your personal routine. How can you save time, space, and energy with the help of these systems and devices? The sky's the limit!

PressWhitney Langtechnology
International Property Award Winning Team
Randall Kipp, Lauren Davenport, and Keith Meberg

Randall Kipp, Lauren Davenport, and Keith Meberg

Randall Kipp and team will be honored at the International Property Awards in association with Salice at The Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel on September 20th for their project called Tidewater. Randall Kipp Architecture will be recognized along with a few select property professionals across the USA & Americas region.

The International Property Awards are judged by an independent panel of 80 industry experts in Chelmsford, Essex, England. Judging focuses on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability.

The International Property Awards are the largest, most prestigious, and widely recognised programme throughout the region. The Awards are in their 25th year and cover over 45 different residential and commercial categories. Regional Awards are staged for Arabia, Europe, Africa, Canada, Central & South America, the Caribbean, USA, UK and Asia Pacific. These will be celebrated at gala presentation events in Bangkok, Dubai, London and Toronto during the course of the year.

View images of the award-winning home here. 

A huge thank you to our friends at the Rappahannock Record for sharing the news!

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Chesapeake Academy's Arts & Innovation Space
Chesapeake Academy's Julianne Duvall, Head of School, and Kimberly Dynia, Instructional Technology Coordinator, display plans for the proposed Arts & Innovation Space.

Chesapeake Academy's Julianne Duvall, Head of School, and Kimberly Dynia, Instructional Technology Coordinator, display plans for the proposed Arts & Innovation Space.

As published in the Rappahannock Record on July 12, 2018

Chesapeake Academy receives Mary Morton Parsons Foundation grant to construct Arts and Innovation Hub

Chesapeake Academy recently announced the receipt of a one-to-one challenge grant for $50,000 from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation to support the creation of an Arts and Innovation Hub at the heart of the Irvington campus.

"We are delighted by this opportunity to offer Chesapeake Academy students all the advantages of a cutting edge education right here in our unique rural community. Innovation and design are integral to developing the flexible, critical thinkers who will lead in the future." said head of school Julianne T. Duvall.

"This Arts and Innovation Hub is the outgrowth of rigorous research, extensive faculty development and collaborations, and the generosity of donors who can feel the passion behind this project," said Duvall.

"Using seed money from an individual donor interested in honoring the memory of Dianne Chase Monroe, Chesapeake Academy launched a broad initiative that encompasses STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) and computer science as well as the creative components, technological applications and design thinking that are the hallmarks of well-rounded best-practice education for the 21st century," she said. With a strategic partnership with the College of William and Mary School of Education's Center for Innovation in Learning Design, Chesapeake Academy has developed a strategic vision that unites STEAM, project based learning and the arts under the broader description of Arts and Innovation.

"Through our work with the Center for Innovation in Learning Design, we realized that creation of a physical "hub" space to support our students' work is vital to fully implementing the vision for arts and innovation," said Duvall. 

Technological equipment, such as a 3D printer, robotics and laser cutter will have a home in the hub along with power tools and hand tools. In addition, a broadcasting studio set up for video and audio, plus arts and design supplies will live side by side with software design tools such as Adobe Creator. 

Architects from Randall Kipp Architecture have designed a space that includes an expansion of the current library into a courtyard bordered by classrooms. 

"By connecting the library to the Arts and Innovation Hub, Chesapeake Academy will enjoy flexible, convertible and expandable spaces for multiple uses now and in the future," said Duvall. "This vital central part of the Chesapeake Academy campus will be named in memory of Dianne Chase Monroe."

"We are looking forward to completing this project with the proceeds of the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation grant and matching funds from a diverse group of funders during the summer of 2019. This capital project will not impact the school's operating budget in any way," she said. "We are very grateful to The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation for their support of this vision for our students!"

View the original press release here.

Team Kipp is delighted to be a part of this exciting project for Chesapeake Academy. As a group of art, design and engineering professionals, development in the STEAM areas is extremely important to us. We look forward to helping the Arts and Innovation Hub come to life right next door at Chesapeake Academy.

Best of Virginia 2018

Once again, Randall Kipp Architecture has been named Best Architect in the annual survey conducted by Virginia Living Magazine every spring. 

What's unique about this honor is that all submissions are write-in's. We sincerely thank each and every one of you who submitted Randall Kipp Architecture! We're proud to be your #1!


The state is divided into five regions - Eastern, Northern, Central, Shenandoah Valley, and Southwest. We fall into the Eastern region which means our competition ranges from the Northern Neck to Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. 

AIA Richmond Design Honor
From Left: Lauren Davenport, Joe Heyman, Randall Kipp, Keith Meberg, Rosabeth Ward Kissman

From Left: Lauren Davenport, Joe Heyman, Randall Kipp, Keith Meberg, Rosabeth Ward Kissman

Kipp Awarded an Honor for Excellence in Architecture and Design

Randall J. Kipp recently accepted an Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture and Design from the Richmond Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Kipp’s work was deemed by the Chapter Honor Committee to have achieved excellence in architecture and design.

The ceremony was held at the University of Richmond Student Activities Complex on April 12, 2018. Kipp accepted the award accompanied by Keith Meberg, Lead Architectural Designer, Lauren Davenport, Lead Interior Designer, and Joe Heyman of The Allen Group, General Contractor. Randall Kipp, whose studio is located in Irvington, is a residential and commercial architect.

View images from the Tidewater project below and read our shout-out from the Rappahannock Record here.

Modern Meets Rural
Image via  The Local Scoop

Image via The Local Scoop

Modern Meets Rural

Written By Kathryn Kahler Vose

View the digital edition of The Local Scoop Spring/Summer 2018. (We're on page 36!)
View The Local Scoop's original article.


Sleek modern buildings with shiny steel and expanses of glass are changing the architectural landscape of the rural Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula once dominated by wooden-framed farm houses.

Leading this modernist growth in this area and beyond is Irvington architect Randall Kipp whose striking designs make full use of their surroundings. 

“People come here to find land on the water,” Kipp said. “Most have been living in suburbia and their only view was a garden in their back yard. Part of my job is to educate them, sort of like marital counselling. The children are gone, and they don’t need all those independent rooms. I help them understand the value of ‘commanding’ a piece of land.”

He said that by the time potential clients call him, they have most likely decided they want a modern design. And if that’s not what they want, he is honest, saying his specialty is modern architecture and they might be better served by reaching out to someone who is more of a traditionalist.

Recently, he designed a Corrotoman River retirement home for Alex and Jennifer Kilanski. At first, the couple’s ideas were far apart. Kipp listened and sketched. “He was really good about listening to what we each wanted and merging our ideas together,” Jennifer Kilanski said. 

While the Kilanskis had built two homes previously, they had never worked with an architect. “He was patient and innovative. It was a delightful experience.”

Kipp’s business is not limited to residential spaces. He’s designed several commercial structures including the new White Stone Volunteer Fire Department, the proposed Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck, and the shops in downtown Irvington known affectionately as “The Shops at Trick Dog”, as well as the interior renovations of the Trick Dog Bistro and the Rappahannock Art League. 

Greylend Horn has worked with Kipp to design two homes and three Ace Hardware stores. “Randall always exceeds expectations,” Horn said. “He’ll do a drawing and then show you a 3-D replica, which you weren’t expecting, and walk you through each room. And, he’s always up on new trends and new materials.”

Kipp has been generous to the community, doing some commercial spaces for nonprofits pro-bono or at a significantly reduced rate. Recently, he was named volunteer of the year for designing the new Middlesex YMCA. There, he donated 90 percent of his fee. 

“Randall usually works with very high-end projects,” said Rosabeth Kissman, director of the Middlesex YMCA. “When he came to the YMCA, he came with that same level of artistry and a real-life appreciation of what it means to spend donor dollars. This is money that’s been given. He understands the spirit of philanthropy.”

Kipp, who grew up in rural Wisconsin, attended theUniversity of Minnesota where he studied architecture under renowned modernist Ralph Rapson. After finishing school, he opened a small practice in Minneapolis with small commissions and remodeling. But he wanted to focus on being a modernist and decided his target audience would be those working in the advertising world. “They had a creative vision and they were well paid,” Kipp said. “They needed to outdo each other so that was the client base I aspired to capture. They worked their way up from writer to creative director to president.”

Along the way, Kipp met advertising guru and entrepreneur Bill Westbrook, formerly creative director at the Richmond-based Martin Agency. Westbrook engaged Kipp to redesign the Irvington bed and breakfast Hope and Glory.   

Nearly 20 years ago, Kipp and his Scottish-born wife,Alison, moved to the Northern Neck. In addition to working on Hope and Glory, Kipp started on an office in Irvington for his business that would be an “ad” building to showcase his design vision. Next door, but attached, was a business,Duncan and Drake, that Alison operated for five years. They lived in the apartment above, although they have long since moved to a very modern home near Windmill Point.

“I’ve always been a modernist,” Kipp said. “Some thought that it was odd that I would move to rural Virginia. Butmodern architecture can fit into the mountains, the prairies or the water.”

Like Westbrook, Kipp has shown his own entrepreneurial side. He recently purchased the former Maternity Center on Rt. 3 in Lancaster and renovated it. Belfield Physical Therapy moved in. With space remaining, Kipp is searching for an orthopedist to occupy part of the building. Ironically, he did the original design for the building when it was a Maternity Center.

Kipp, who started out alone in his Irvington business, now has a team of six which drives his projects.

Keith Meberg, an industrial engineer by training, ensures that the core and shell of the buildings Kipp designs are mechanically sound. He pays special attention to the sustainability of the design—geo-thermal, radiant heat, solar panels, rainwater collection and much more. “Most importantly, we are constantly looking for ways to bring the outside in and the inside out,” Meberg said. “Often there are no textbook answers. You must be imaginative and creative.”

He also handles the electrical design, home automation, security and more. Much of the current technology and some innovative materials were not available a decade ago. 

Lauren Davenport, the interior designer, says Meberg “is our brain. He makes sure things stand up.”  

Davenport is responsible for the interior architecture, including space planning and the overall flow of the building, whether a home or commercial structure. “I may see that we need to move the wall another two feet, so we can fit a sofa in,” she said. “So many people think interior designers just pick paint colors.” 

Currently, Davenport is overseeing the redesign and renovation of the Sara Brown Salon in Kilmarnock. Brown, who purchased an arts and crafts house on Main Street several years ago, decided to open up the small rooms in the house to have a large, unified setting to reinforce her brand and her salon’s identity.

Kipp’s team has grown organically. He found Meberg who was drafting for another architect in Kilmarnock. And he learned Davenport had a degree in interior design. At the time, she was running the now-closed restaurant and bar, Seven, in White Stone. 

Other members of the team produce construction plans, administer the office and market the firm.

And what does the future hold for Kipp Architecture and his team?

He plans to expand into the DC, Virginia and Maryland markets. “We have a good history and the chops and the credentials,” Kipp said. “I want to go where people want artistic homes.”

In the last 20 years here, he’s grown his Irvington business substantially. Now, his office has the space for one more practitioner. 

“We started out as one,” Kipp said. “Now we’ve almost reached our capacity.” 




View the digital edition of The Local Scoop Spring/Summer 2018.
(We're on page 36!)

View The Local Scoop's original article.

Check out "The Scoop" on our friend and client, Sara Brown Cockrell

Bold Statement in Chesapeake Views

Published in Chesapeake Views, Spring 2018
Text by Julie Sanders
Photography by Maxwell MacKenzie

Bold Statement

Randall Kipp designs a dynamic, three-story abode on a waterfront site in Tidewater Virginia

Seven years ago, a couple walked into Randall Kipp’s office and asked him to design their dream house on the water—in about five years. They had purchased a seven-acre lot on the western shore of Little Bay, a Chesapeake Bay tributary in Virginia’s Northern Neck, with Kipp in mind. “That’s how they wanted to approach it,” recalls the architect, known for his modern portfolio. “They said, ‘We found this property; we think you’re the guy who can do it justice. We don’t have any money now but we’ll be back.’”

Sure enough, the couple returned five years later, ready to start the process. Both endure a hectic daily commute from New Jersey to Manhattan, where the wife works as a tax attorney and the husband as a day trader. They were looking for a refuge from the chaos—a re- treat for holidays and weekends and, ultimately, for retirement. They wanted contemporary style and water views galore. 

Kipp began by walking the property—no easy feat, since “it was so overgrown we literally had to have it cleared before we could get to the water,” he recalls. Once there, however, views capturing peace- ful, scenic Little Bay at the point where it opens into the Chesapeake made the trek worth the trouble.

Kipp sited the house with this panorama in mind. “There are views in both directions,” he notes, “and the beauty is that they are never static; they are different in each direction. We wanted to get both views.” He therefore designed a structure that angles at its cen- ter to accentuate vistas to the north and south.

The 4,000-square-foot building is elevated above sea level by a four-foot-high plinth that protects it from flooding and lends it pres- ence when approached from the water. As further insurance, the lower level is clad in heavily rusticated concrete that resembles stone. “I figured in any severe weather event the building was certain to get scuffed up and I wanted to provide a material that could take the abuse,” the architect explains. Polished-concrete floors on the lower- level interiors were a practical choice in case of flooding.

Builder Joe Heyman of The Allen Group was tasked with making Kipp’s complex design a reality. He and his team framed the building out of steel to ensure that it could withstand hurricane-force winds and accommodate massive, heavy expanses of glass. “We used two-story window systems with frameless glass corners that are supported by steel beams and bar joists,” Heyman says. “They are all triple-pane windows from the German company Unilux, with hurricane-rated glass.” Challenges included installing a floor-to-ceiling, lift-and-slide door that spans 24 feet; it joins with a glass pocket door at one corner without employing any visible framework.

The house is composed of two volumes separated by a three-story atrium. At its center, an elevator shaft is wrapped by a cantilevered, three-story steel staircase. Glass bridges connect the volumes on the second and third levels, creating a line of sight down to the first floor and “a delicate, treehouse effect,” says Kipp.

One volume contains the public spaces: an open living/dining room, kitchen, powder room and screened porch on the second level and a home office and a hearth room with a fireplace and TV on the third. The other volume houses the master suite on the second floor and a solarium on the third. Guest rooms, rec room, kitchenette, laundry and mudroom occupy the lower level, which leads out to a spacious carport below the master-bedroom wing.

The emphasis throughout is on light and views. Openings in the floors and ceilings connect each level, with balconies on the second and third levels overlooking the floors below and glass walls adding to the sense of openness. Part of the second floor’s airy, open-plan living area spans two stories, while floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors in. The lift-and-slide wall of glass stacks to one side, extending the living space seamlessly out to the adjacent screened porch. The solarium, a contemplative space, features a corner wall of floor-to-ceiling glass with vistas of Little Bay on one side and the Chesapeake on the other.

Kipp embraced what he calls “a marriage of modern and industrial” for the minimalist interiors. He left the steel columns exposed, painting them bronze. Custom railings of powder-coated bronze steel and ipe, designed by the architect and fabricated by local metal worker Jeffrey Darden, maintain openness inside and out. Rift-cut oak clads the floors on the second and third levels, and the windows are set deep into alderwood frames. The kitchen and master bath are sleek and modern, with custom alderwood cabinetry and quartz countertops.

Off the screened porch, Kipp designed a triangular deck that resembles the prow of a ship. “The location on the water lent itself to the design,” he explains. “I wanted to echo those nautical influences.”

Architecture: Randall J. Kipp, AIA, NCARB, Randall Kipp Architecture, Irvington, Virginia. Builder: Joe Heyman, The Allen Group, Inc., Urbanna, Virginia.

Thanks to our friends at the Rappahannock Record for sharing the news of this honor! View the press release here. 

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