J7 Architecture and Design

We believe architecture is a transformative practice, enhancing human experience.

Established by Jean Santelises in 2014, the firm has realized residential, commercial and hospitality projects in the United States and Caribbean, creating design at multiple scales. We embrace warm modernism with a connection to material and landscape, subtly expanding design boundaries. Working from offices in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, and the Dominican Republic, we deliver inspiring, joyful and functional spaces for an international clientele.


We center our design process on how people live—and draw the familiar into unexpected realms, combining conceptual and practical approaches. Mindful of clients’ requirements and relationships inside their space, we do not dictate. We listen and respond with personal recommendations. As a result of this collaborative approach, our houses are enhanced reflections of their inhabitants, how they live, and how they want to live. Our fresh approach to contemporary spaces is respectful, contextual and specific.

Commercial and Hospitality

At J7, we work collaboratively with clients to develop the expression of brand identity through architecture, interior space and detail. The firm interprets clients’ values in physical form. Our process with clients, suppliers and specialists leads to thoughtfully detailed spaces with conceptual harmony. These projects have provided an opportunity to develop and integrate original custom product that ranges from lighting to bespoke furniture and patterned cement flooring.

Aesthetic Explorations

We gravitate toward a warm, clear palette, using color and pattern to illuminate space. Our signature details are playful and inventive, with attention to material quality and texture. We strive to create an enveloping sense of place that challenges preconceptions of modern architecture.

Jean Santelises

A balance of creative exploration and practical training informs Jean’s approach at J7 Architecture and Design, an international architectural practice designing exciting, culturally sensitive, functional spaces for residential and commercial clients. 

Jean’s vision is to create architecture with a human touch and connection to the world in which we live. His love for nature has roots both deep and wide, from his native Dominican Republic to summer camps in Maine. His innate curiosity, keen awareness and openness to experience has formed a sensibility that connects him to different people, places and ways of working.

Jean Santelises received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU) in the Dominican Republic and his Master of Architecture from the Architectural Association (AA) in London.