Posts in Studio News
Future Architects visit Kipp Architecture

Team Kipp recently welcomed two groups of very special guests to the Studio: 3rd graders from Lancaster Primary School and 8th graders from Chesapeake Academy.

Our 3rd grade guests (all eightyof them!) have been learning about ways to measure, specifically using area and perimeter. What better way to understand the importance of measurements than through examples of buildings and spaces?

Architects Randall Kipp and Ivy Stroud explained conceptual drawings, models, renderings, and floor plans and how math, science, and imagination are required to become an architect. Many students expressed an interest in becoming an architect when they grow up.

Interior designer Lauren Davenport and architect Trent McBride showed the students models, renderings, and final photography to explain the architectural process from start to finish. They explained how architects and designers use perimeter, area, and other forms of measurement on a daily basis as they design homes and space plan interiors. There are lots of smart kids in our community. Perhaps we'll hire a few in 15 or 20 years!

A few days later, we had the privilege of spending time with Chesapeake Academy's Algebra I students. The kids have been working on a house-building project using algebraic skills including scale, ratios, proportions, measurements, compound interest and greater algebraic functions. Each eighth grader, acting as an architect for a second-grade client (how adorable is that?), developed plans for a "dream house" while staying within allotted budget. Second-grade client requests included things like hot tubs in bedrooms, climbing walls, a room full of chandeliers, and a unicorn-themed palace. 

The architects-in-training brought their models to our Studio to present their final project. Team Kipp, joined by architect Sarah Stanton and general contractor Joe Heyman, offered professional feedback to the students. We must say, we were very impressed with their creativity and attention to detail! Well done, Ospreys!

Check out these photos of our time with our special guests!

Santa's Workshop
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Not very many people know this, as he is quite modest, but a member of Team Kipp is the mastermind behind the architectural design of Santa’s Workshop. Yes, you read that correctly.

Kipp Architecture’s very own Bradford Bond designed THE one and only Santa’s Workshop.

Santa Claus enlisted the help of Bradford Bond to design a facility that would meet his unique needs. “I had millions of prospects for the job, you know, since I know everyone.” said Santa in an article from the North Pole Press in 1996. “After reviewing the work of millions of architects and designers, it was clear that only Bradford has what it takes to design our new, state-of-the-art workshop.”

Brad often reminisces about the once in a lifetime experience during cocktail hour at the Kipp Architecture Studio. The rest of the team gathers ‘round to hear the tales straight from Santa’s little helper himself.

He shares stories of the many midnight rooftop pick-ups and the magical sleigh rides from Virginia to the North Pole to check the progress of construction. In fact, Brad admits he’s never witnessed such an efficient and productive workshop. Santa’s got things down to a science, but we suppose that’s to be expected after operating for hundreds of years.

St. Nick's’s original location in Myra didn’t offer the habitat necessary for his herd of reindeer as would the Arctic. There was also the need for isolation from corporate spying, and with the affordability of the real estate, the North Pole became the ideal location. Since 340 A.D. to the present day the Claus homestead has remained, but they outgrew their old shop. A new one was in need for the current century.

Construction, however, was a challenge.  The extreme conditions offered few choices for building materials. Brad said, “We found the climate too cold for sugar.  It became brittle with little structural integrity.  Whereas honey still had enough elasticity against the wind and snow loads and the honeycomb's R-value decreased the heat loss.”  An added benefit to the choice in materials is a stress free reindeer herd knowing that the local polar bear population are satisfied licking the perimeter walls.

As you scan the floor plans, be sure to check it twice or you’ll miss something special. It’s clear that Brad’s attention to detail is part of what landed him this job of a lifetime!

Merry Christmas from Team Kipp!

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Santa’s Helper, Bradford Bond, working with the Elves to finalize the workshop floor plans.

Santa’s Helper, Bradford Bond, working with the Elves to finalize the workshop floor plans.

Team Kipp celebrating the holidays next door at  Vine .

Team Kipp celebrating the holidays next door at Vine.

Building Great Futures with the Boys & Girls Club
The Local Scoop Magazine  and the  Rappahannock Record  recently shared the news that the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck is renovating and expanding!

The Local Scoop Magazine and the Rappahannock Record recently shared the news that the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck is renovating and expanding!


Wonderful things are happening in our community and we are honored to be a part of the excitement! Randall Kipp Architecture is working with the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck to renovate and expand their North Main Street location. Learn more about the project below.


One of the exterior renderings by Team Kipp. More renderings below.

One of the exterior renderings by Team Kipp. More renderings below.

As printed on the front page of the Rappahannock Record on October 18, 2018:

Boys & Girls Club Announces “Building Great Futures Campaign”

Kilmarnock - The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck (BGCNN) recently launched the public phase of a campaign to raise $2.6 million.

The “Building Great Futures Capital Campaign” will fund a major renovation and expansion of the BGCNN facility at 517 North Main Street in Kilmarnock. In addition, it will support the on-going operations and strengthen its financial base as the club expands.

The board of directors and a special campaign leadership group have been involved in the development of the campaign for the past year and to date have raised over 70% of the total goal from foundations, businesses, churches and individual supporters.

“We are turning now to our wonderful local community to help put us over the top,” said board chairman Karla Beale. “After 10 years, we have outgrown our facility and it is showing the effects of constant hard use by as many as 175 kids a day. We’re counting on the community to help us reach our goal.”

The campaign leadership group includes Terri Wesselman and Julien Patterson, as well as Rosemary and Paul Trible as honorary co-chairs. William and Carolyn Hines, Randall R. Greene and Donna Anderson manage the day to day planning and fundraising activities of the campaign.

The plans for the expansion and renovation of the facility have been developed by the award-winning firm Randall Kipp Architecture Inc. of Irvington.

“The design calls for the complete renovation of the main building, the construction of a new teen center to connect the two existing buildings, the development of green space and outside recreation areas, plus a dramatic new and secure single point of entry,” said chairman Donna Anderson. “Careful consideration has been given to environmental and safety issues.”

“The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck was officially chartered in the summer of 2008. From those early days the club has grown to over 400 members, primarily from Lancaster and Northumberland counties, who in many cases attend several times a week,” said chief executive officer Phillip Mumford. “The consistency of youth attendance is a powerful factor in the club’s success in preparing members for success beyond high school.

“The club offers an after-school program during the school year as well as an expanded summer program when school is not in session,” continued Mumford. “For our teens that have grown up in the club or joined with their friends, we are offering career skills assessments so they have the opportunity now to consider their interests and plan ahead for careers and college.”

“The club serves age 6-18, with age-specific programs designed to help improve grades, promote healthy lifestyles and prepare them for a great start in life,” he added.

To donate to the campaign, or tour the facility, visit or call (804) 435-9696 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Donations of any size are welcome.

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Choptank River Lighthouse
This photograph is by Jill Jasuta

This photograph is by Jill Jasuta


This project is quite special. Randall was selected to be the architect for this historic project in Cambridge, Maryland. The project was completed in fall 2012.

Here is some information about the lighthouse from the Cambridge, Maryland website. See photos below.

The History of the Choptank River Lighthouse


The Choptank River Lighthouse once stood between Castle Haven and Benoni Points on the Choptank River, near the mouth of the Tred Avon River. The lighthouse station was established in 1871 by the U.S. Lighthouse Service, a government agency that later became today's U.S. Coast Guard, the service which still manages America's navigational aids.

The lighthouse was the only manned lighthouse inside the Choptank River to guide ships to Cambridge, and farther up-river to Secretary and Denton. In the late 1880s and early 1900s, steamboats passed the lighthouse regularly, sailing from Baltimore and stopping at Long Wharf for produce, seafood and passengers. Many older residents of Cambridge remember the pleasant overnight trips to and from Baltimore past the Choptank River lighthouse.


The original lighthouse at the Choptank River Station was built in 1871 at Baltimore's Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot, moved on a barge to the site and loaded onto the iron skeleton legs which were screwed into the substrate of the Choptank River. An ice floe in 1918 demolished this first structure. Instead of building a new structure, the Lighthouse Service elected to move the spare Cherrystone lighthouse, then in storage at Cape Charles, Virginia, to the Choptank River Station. The Cherrystone lighthouse was put in place in 1921 at the Choptank River site, making it the only lighthouse in the Chesapeake that has served two states. The structure, pictured here, stood at the station until 1964, when the house was removed under the Coast Guard's modernization program. Today at the site there's a small flashing light to guide boaters.


The Choptank River lighthouse in the Cambridge marina is a replica of this last lighthouse, utilizing original plans made available by the National Archives. The hexagonal cottage-style house stands on pilings similar to its namesake screw-pile network of "legs" on a platform at the end of Pier A at the Cambridge City Marina. The footprint of the structure is 42 feet from one hex point to the other, and sits on a 60 feet by 60 feet platform with an overall height approximately 40 feet. The lighthouse is visible by water, greeting boating visitors to the marina. It can also be seen from the U.S. Route 50 Choptank River bridge and the nearby city.


The Choptank River Lighthouse is located on the end of Pier A at Long Wharf Park (Water and High Streets) in Cambridge, on Maryland's beautiful Eastern Shore. The lighthouse is normally open to the public for free, self-guided tours daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., from May through October. 

During the off-season months, visitors can see the lighthouse by appointment by sending an email to or calling 410-463-2653. 

The lighthouse includes a small museum, with exhibits about the original lighthouse's history and the area's maritime heritage. It is located just a few blocks from historic downtown Cambridge, with award-winning restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums. 
• Find out more about Downtown Cambridge

The lighthouse is located in Dorchester County, known for its natural beauty, history, and great boating and outdoor recreation opportunities. 
• Find out more about Dorchester County.


Under Construction

Photos via the Choptank River Lighthouse Facebook Page

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The Original Choptank River Lighthouse

Photo via the Choptank River Lighthouse  Facebook Page

Photo via the Choptank River Lighthouse Facebook Page

Randall and his wife, Alison Drake, at the Choptank River Lighthouse dedication.

Randall and his wife, Alison Drake, at the Choptank River Lighthouse dedication.

Photo by Eric Walker Sr. via the Choptank River Lighthouse  Facebook Page

Photo by Eric Walker Sr. via the Choptank River Lighthouse Facebook Page

September 2017 Chesapeake Bay Magazine Feature

September 2017 Chesapeake Bay Magazine Feature

Photograph by Jill Jasuta

Photograph by Jill Jasuta

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.