25 Years: Enova

Brininstool + Lynch used several creative strategies to divide the 18,000-square-foot floor plate of Enova's office into distinct and recognizable zones. The elevator and stair core is enclosed in bright blue acrylic sheets that are offset from the wall and backlit to create a glowing blue box that is visible from almost every vantage point on the floor. Private offices and audio/video conference rooms – enclosed in either translucent or transparent glass – surround the core on the east, west, and north sides, with two of those sides facing walls of windows. Brininstool + Lynch also created a 150-foot-long feature wall, constructed of custom formed recycled fiberboard panels set in an irregular, undulating pattern that creates a wave-like effect. The design of this office successfully weaves together function and aesthetics, exceeding the client's expectations and leaving a strong and positive impression on employees and visitors.

25 Years: Basecamp

Basecamp, a web based software company in Chicago, hinges on the philosophy “less is more” in both their software design approach and their business objectives. To design an effective yet minimalistic workspace, a rectangular volume of team rooms intended for project specific collaboration was inserted into an open plan. The volume is wrapped in a custom configuration of sound absorbing material: stacked industrial felt strips reminiscent of chalkboard erasers. The felt material frames large magnetic chalkboard and glass panels that are inset into the central volume. To provide contrast to the neutral grays and blacks and increase sound absorption, custom cork panels line the interior of the team rooms and a red carpet tile was designed for the floors. In response to their new 10,000 square foot loft workspace, the company’s founder says, “our own work is all about paying attention to the small stuff, and the design brings a thoughtful response to that.”

25 Years: Coffou Cottage

This cottage was designed with a simple structural system, a horizontal red cedar rain screen on the north, and a wall of operable glass on the south. The open plan of the kitchen, dining room, living area, and porch intensifies views to the meadow and woods to the south while also maximizing solar gain in the winter. Radiant heat in the ground concrete floor is enhanced by passive solar gain and runs throughout the three-bedroom cottage. A fireplace positioned in the front hallway divides the bedrooms from the living area, and a custom sofa bench set into the wall across from it creates a traditional fireplace inglenook.

25 Years: R+D 659

To best optimize views and sunlight, this mixed-use project consists of two residential slabs set against the street and the highway—the resultant corner identifies the building’s entry while also marking an entrance to Chicago from the highway. The inner, overlooking residences are developed with full height glass and projected balconies to heighten their experience, while street side residences have floating spandrels and inset terraces to mediate their exposure. Similar materials, forms, and detail are seen in both the interior and exterior architecture of this building.

25 Years: The Fifth

In Royal Oak, Michigan, the tower of this building marks the community's commercial center, making a strong urban connection while creating unlimited vistas to the surrounding area from within. The residences utilize floor-to-ceiling glass with clear aluminum framing and inset balconies to extend their views while also mediating their exposure. Further enhancing the local context, the entry and adjacent commercial space align with the neighboring mercantile frontages—an arcade extends along the street to provide shelter for passing pedestrians.

25 Years: Claremont Furniture

In many of our projects, we have gone beyond the design of the building envelope and interiors and have created custom furniture and fixtures in response to a client's specific needs. When our residential or commercial clients want to create a complete aesthetic experience within a space, we have custom designed items ranging from furniture to lighting and plumbing fixtures, hardware, appliances and textiles. In doing this, we aim to create a cohesive stylistic experience within a given space. 

25 Years: Claremont House

Traditional materials of brick, concrete, limestone, steel, and zinc are used to form a non-traditional house on a lot on the north side of Chicago. The house further resists city conventions by uniting the front yard with the back through visual transparency, where sheets of glass more than ten feet high and fourteen feet wide terminate an open plan. A three-story volume of millwork separates the floors from the vertical circulation of the stairway and contains storage and equipment, neatly separating functional performance from open space.

25 Years: 550 St. Clair

Overlooking North Michigan Avenue, this multi-residential development contains a level of design detail typical of custom single family housing.  The forms, systems, and materials were selected to provide openness and privacy, flexibility of use, and functionality.  A translucent arcade leads to a wood entry vestibule and a lobby where glass, stone, and wood enclose a small garden and seating area.  The residential tower rises as a single eighteen story volume enclosed by window planes on the north, east, and south.  It is relieved at the corners by inset balconies delineated with translucent glazing.  

25 Years: Racine Art Museum

When we undertook the design of the Racine Art Museum, it was with a thorough understanding of the type of art that would occupy it, the environment required for the museum galleries, and the knowledge that our design would need to be a pivotal project in revitalizing a downtown community.  The design for the new museum redefines the existing structures with contemporary materials and a new spatial composition.  The facade is wrapped in translucent acrylic panels that are separated from the exterior surface—natural light subtly illuminates the surface of the building during the day, while lighting at the top of the facade causes the building to glow in the evening.  The iridescence of the acrylic panels by day and their lantern-like glow by night parallel the qualities of light and movement inside the museum. 

25 Years: Perimeter Galleries

With locations in both Chicago and New York City, our designs for the Perimeter Galleries create an optimal environment for viewing a changing array of artwork. A series of partitions along a floating wall separate the space into more intimate zones—these smaller "galleries" within the gallery draw viewer's in through fostering a sense of anticipation, light and depth.

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