Lee Residence

Brininstool + Lynch Architects: Lee Residence

Lee Residence

Chicago, Illinois


This complete renovation of a deteriorated two-flat into a single-family residence has a “split personality”.  When approached from its north-side city street, the house offers context in agreement with the neighborhood, rather than an architectural statement.  However, neighborhood context ends at the front door.  Inside, the entire first floor has been turned into one fluid space to give the house a sense of openness.  Living areas are defined by a progression of floating walls constructed of tinted plaster and structural steel, fluted glass panels and layered soffits, making the small floor area seem quite spacious.  The space is designed with a three dimensional approach.  A two-sided, asymmetrical fireplace can be experienced from anywhere in the room.  In the dining room, a marble table juts out of the wall.  Color also was used to enhance the sense of geometry in the house.  Seven different shades of white, from light to dark, were used on the walls and soffits. In addition, three tinted walls are made of color-impregnated plaster coated with a clear wax to create a rich sculptural quality.  The second story of the home was converted into bedrooms and a painting studio.

Project Type



1,700 square feet


1992 Distinguished Building Award – Citation of Merit


Spencer, Mark. “Brininstool + Lynch,” Inland Architect, August 1995, 4–10.
Buchholz, Barbara A. “The Fourth Wall,” Chicago Tribune Magazine, 24 September 1995.
Helmers, Glenn. “Space Program,” Chicago Tribune Magazine, 3 January 1993.
Ojeda, Oscar Riera. Brininstool + Lynch (Buenos Aires: Casas Internacional, 2000)