A Brick-Clad Modern Family Home in Chicago

Once ashamed of his lackluster Chicago abode, architect Brad Lynch tore it down and started over with a family home that’s part retreat and part public stage.

Chicago architect Brad Lynch demolished the 1940s bungalow he’d been sharing with his family for nearly two decades, and in its place built a brick-clad structure that would function as a modern counterpoint to its more traditional neighbors.

After 16 years in a nondescript bungalow, Brad Lynch was tired of being the architect who hid his own house. The Brininstool + Lynch founding principal demurred requests from high-end residential clients who wanted to see his home in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood. In a rare concession, he drove one persistent client past the house. As Lynch puts it: “After seeing the outside, he did not want to see the inside.”

In the living room, a pair of Frog chairs by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani join custom leather furnishings. The family can finally display all their books and artworks, including the large-scale piece, Topophilia-Imbuing in Monet, 2005, by Keiko Hara.

“I kept promising my wife that we would renovate,” Lynch says. But when he got down to designing, Lynch realized that the plans he’d drawn up—which he describes as “a deconstruction of the bungalow form”—would cost more to realize than a brand-new building. So he decided to tear down his cozy, if commonplace, house and build anew onsite.

Chicago architect Brad Lynch demolished the 1940s bungalow he’d been sharing with his family for nearly two decades, and in its place built a brick-clad structure that would function as a modern counterpoint to its more traditional neighbors.

On a residential street lined with late 19th- and early 20th-century bungalows, Lynch’s modern home cuts a distinctive profile while respecting its context. “It’s not like a flying saucer or a big blob trying to make a statement,” says Lynch. “The architectural statement is in the use of the space, and the experience.” The structure is in scale with the neighborhood, mimicking the volume of the other buildings on the street. Its massive front-facing window may turn some heads, but the red brick, zinc panels, and slim profile fit right in. And, like the stoops that connect typical Chicago bungalows to their neighborhoods, the Lynch family’s open-plan living floor calls out to public life on the street instead of hiding from it.

The artwork extends nearly the length of the entire north-facing wall of the living-dining-kitchen area, which overlooks the back courtyard and the garage.

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Brick-Clad Modern Family Home in Chicago
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