Racine Art Museum

Chicago Architects Brininstool + Lynch: Racine Art Museum

Racine Art Museum

Racine, Wisconsin


A difficult budget and site led to innovative solutions for the small museum overlooking Lake Michigan. A composite of seven structures, including a monolithic 1960 bank as well as Civil War-era buildings, the design leverages existing conditions cutting down on waste, while introducing cost and material saving techniques. Clad in translucent iridescent acrylic panels, the project quickly became a cultural icon for the revitalization of downtown Racine, WI. An inviting glazed ground floor pulls the public into the institution to explore the carefully lit largest contemporary craft collection in North America.

Project Type

Arts + Culture


46,330 square feet


Bukacek Construction


Arnold & O’Sheridan, Structural, MEP
Liska + Associates, Graphics, Wayfinding


2005 AIA Chicago Divine Detail Award – Honor Award
2004 AIA Chicago Sustainable Design Award – Special Recognition for Downtown Revitalization
2003 AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award – Citation of Merit
2003 AIA Chicago Interior Architecture Award – Honor Award
2002 Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design – American Architecture Award


“Brininstool + Lynch: Process,” December 10, 2004 – January 29, 2005. Ispace. The Chicago Gallery of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Road Trip: Racine Art Museum.” Fall 2004. Chicago Architecture Foundation.
“Racine Art Museum.” January – September 2002. Chicago Architecture Foundation.


Lynch, Brad, David Brininstool, and Reed Kroloff. Brininstool Lynch: Making Architecture. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2019.
Szatan, Jerry W. “Image Shaping,” Urban Land, March 2005.
Moxam, Charles. “Artistic Expression,” Commercial Design Trends. New Zealand, Vol: 20. No: 4, 2004.
Roberts, Lee B. “Familiar Faces,” The Journal Times, 18 November 2004.
Roberts, Lee B. “One year later, RAM has made its mark,” The Journal Times, 13 May 2004.
Hottinger, Katherine (ed.). “Art Cine,” Condé Nast Traveler, January 2004.
Adamson, Glenn. “A Corner Chapel for the Crafts,” American Craft, October/November 2003.
Hall, Peter. “Midwest Modern,” Metropolis, October 2003.
Sommerhoff, Emilie W. “Art Alive,” Architectural Lighting, September/October 2003.
McCormick, Brian. “Gallery of Competition,” Crain’s Chicago Business, 29 September 2003.
Roberts, Lee B. “New Art Museum Drawing National Attention to Racine,” The Journal Times, 14 September 2003.
Webb, Michael. “Art in the Vault,” Architecture, September 2003.
Paul, Donna. “A Museum Comes of Age,” Interior Design, August 2003.
Koplos, Janet. “Racine Museum Grows,” Art in America, July 2003, 110.
Kamin, Blair. “Rockford, Racine projects show promise for Chicago designers,” Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2003.
Lange, Alexandra. “When Buildings Became Pin-Ups,” The New York Times, 18 May 2003.
Bergin, Mary. “Art and architecture blend in Racine,” The Capital Times, 15 May 2003.
Wicklund, Pete. “RAM goes public,” The Journal Times, 12 May 2003.
Roberts, Lee B. “RAM brings ‘em home,” The Journal Times, 6 May 2003.
Auer, James. “Crafting a new museum,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 May 2003.
Berger, Philip. “Racine Art Museum aims high,” Chicago Tribune, 20 April 2003.
Cole, Kevin. “City to Bask in Glow of New Art Museum,” Dialogue, March/April 2003, 51.
Gould, Whitney. “Elegance not synonymous with cost, as Racine museum proves,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 March 2003.
Auer, James. “Midwest art museums spare no expense,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 March 2003.
Barreneche, Raul A. Brininstool + Lynch, Building on Modernism. New York: Edizioni Press, 2002.
Graf, Crystal. “Creative Solutions, Construction Becomes Works of Art in Racine museum project,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 November 2002.
Burke, Michael. “Art museum galleries to be named for donor Karen Johnson Boyd,” The Journal Times, 14 May 2002.
Lynch, Kevin. “Racine combines old and new in museum project,” The Capital Times, 27 June 2000.


Christopher Barrett, Hedrich Blessing