Divine Architecture: Crisp Architects / by Raji Radhakrishnan

 Inspired by a Federalist style barn complex, Crisp Architects created this country home with it's set of small outbuildings that repeat the materials and details to give consistency and a sense of community between them.

Inspired by a Federalist style barn complex, Crisp Architects created this country home with it's set of small outbuildings that repeat the materials and details to give consistency and a sense of community between them.

One of the fundamental joys of being a designer is working on wonderful homes. It has been a long time passion of mine to spend weekends hunting - both houses and treasures. I absolutely enjoy studying architectural gems worth a few millions as much as I enjoy discovering an unusual sixties glass vase for a song at a flea market. In both cases, I'm equally delighted with the contemporary or modern as I am with the classical and traditional. But the best discoveries are the ones I come across when I'm actually treasure hunting but end up finding a gem not in all the things that are for sale but the house that they sit in or the one I just drove by on my way.

That's how I discovered Crisp Architects - a very well regarded and respected firm in New York. Indeed there are many architects both in Washington DC and New York who I admire very much, each for different reasons. I find the work of James Crisp of Crisp Architects very soulful and in tune with the local vernacular (New England and sometimes a little California Wine Country in spirit). In all their projects though, they seem to have a gentle approach to both the exterior and interior architecture and most importantly to the surroundings. I particularly love how the firm can bring an old house to the 21st century while completely preserving the old part of the house and yet integrating them with all the new additions and transformations seamlessly. They don't just blend them, they actually seem to capture and enhance the very soul of the old house in it's new version. Not an easy feat by any measure and something that deserves a complete and thorough study. The homes they create are the kind that inherently have a lived in feel even without a stick of furniture in it. Windows, doors, beams and rafters are all so thoughtfully placed or enhanced, naturally framing views and throwing rays of light in the most beautiful moments of the day. And they seem to do all of it while infusing a sense of humility even in a rather large home. That to me is pure magic!

All photos via Pinterest and Houzz

 A historic expansion by Crisp Architects

A historic expansion by Crisp Architects

 Front entry and hallway of a historic home expanded by Crisp Architects

Front entry and hallway of a historic home expanded by Crisp Architects

 An addition like a stone barn designed by Crisp Architects

An addition like a stone barn designed by Crisp Architects

 A stone barn addition by Crisp Architects featuring a dutch door

A stone barn addition by Crisp Architects featuring a dutch door

 A stairway designed by Crisp Architects with reclaimed wood and copper pipes.

A stairway designed by Crisp Architects with reclaimed wood and copper pipes.

 A Massachusetts Farm House by Crisp Architects

A Massachusetts Farm House by Crisp Architects

 Stair hall in a Massachusetts Farm House renovated by Crisp Architects

Stair hall in a Massachusetts Farm House renovated by Crisp Architects

 Mud room in a Massachusetts Farm House

Mud room in a Massachusetts Farm House

 A quintessential country home kitchen renovated by Crisp Architects

A quintessential country home kitchen renovated by Crisp Architects

 A modern farm house renovated by Crisp Architects

A modern farm house renovated by Crisp Architects

 An old farm house renovated blends beautifully with it's surroundings

An old farm house renovated blends beautifully with it's surroundings

 A fabulous garage conversion by Crisp Architects

A fabulous garage conversion by Crisp Architects