Firm Profile

Chicago Architects Brininstool + Lynch

Firm Profile

Founded by David Brininstool and Brad Lynch in 1989, Brininstool + Lynch is the recipient of over 50 major design awards, including AIA Chicago Firm of the Year, 29 AIA Design Excellence Awards, 4 American Architecture Awards, and has been honored as an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York. With the average tenure of staff at over 10 years, and numerous life-long clients, Brininstool + Lynch has cultivated a tightknit, yet ever expanding, community through its built work and practice. This culture has attracted clients such as the Barack Obama Foundation, Basecamp, Grosvenor, Syracuse University, and the University of Chicago.

For over 30 years Brininstool + Lynch has produced work spanning every scale and scope. Each of the firm’s 250 plus projects have begun with the careful understanding of a client’s needs and wants, and a considered investigation into the social and environmental context surrounding the project. From that base, new potentials and unexpected solutions are rigorously explored and refined. Conscious of the human and material energy needed to produce any building, creative efficiencies are found, with the goal of making the most with the least. At the largest scale, this manifest itself as projects which directly address their place in the world, architecturally, socially, and environmentally. At the smallest scale, these same projects carefully blend long-lasting craft with responsible material choice. The results are finely detailed and culturally rich projects which represent the essence of the shared ideals of the client and the firm, and positively affect our collective community.


Brininstool + Lynch’s approach to architecture is one of process and refinement. Rather than scale, program, or budget defining a project, an underlying attention to the needs of the client, the act of building, and the composition of space guide design decisions. This is manifest at the scale of the building in the careful arrangement of rooms, at the scale of a room in the detailing of connections, and at the scale of human touch in the finish of materials. At every level, experience, aesthetics, and craft meet to culminate in projects which thread reductive modernist traditions through contemporary social conditions. More than buzz words, efficiency and sustainability are understood as broader ideals relating to pressing issues of function and economy, as well as ecology. From the beginning, spatial and material choices have reflected this understanding, which is now more relevant than ever. In the firm’s 30+ years of practice, it has formed these ideals into a philosophy which is evident in every moment of every project.


The building industry produces nearly 40% of the world’s carbon emissions. Architects must play a large role in mitigating that massive footprint and guiding clients and builders to work together in addressing the task before us. This responsibility is more than just a matter of best practices for Brininstool + Lynch, it is a defining mission.

From its beginning, Brininstool + Lynch has strived to design buildings and spaces that are both durable and environmentally considered. Through a deep understanding of construction and building lifecycle, environmental impact is defined from design through occupancy. Thoughtful material choice, carefully determined details, and the use of the latest passive and active technologies, has allowed B + L to address immediate performance needs, while providing clients with projects that last.