Firm Profile

Chicago Architects Brininstool + Lynch

Firm Profile

For more than 30 years, Brininstool + Lynch has produced work defined by elegance, clarity and rigor. Spanning every scale and scope, the firm’s 250+ projects are the result of a considered investigation into the social and environmental context, as well as a careful understanding of the client’s ambitions. From that base, new potentials and unexpected solutions are rigorously explored and refined. Always conscious of the natural, financial and temporal resources required to produce any building, Brininstool + Lynch seeks creative efficiencies, with the goal of making the most with the least. At the macro level, this manifests as projects that directly address their place in the world – architecturally, socially, and environmentally. At the level of detail, these same projects blend long-lasting craft with responsible material choices. The finely detailed and culturally rich projects that Brininstool + Lynch produce represent the essence of the shared ideals of the client and the firm, and positively affect our collective communities.

Founded by David Brininstool and Brad Lynch in 1989, Brininstool + Lynch is the recipient of more than 50 major design awards, including AIA Chicago Firm of the Year, 29 AIA Design Excellence Awards, four American Architecture Awards, and the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices honor. With an average 10-year tenure for staff, 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.


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.