Chicago architect Brad Lynch, whose stylish, award-winning work included high-rises, homes and virtually everything in between, died Monday, September 26th of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 64.
Mr. Lynch was president of Brininstool + Lynch, the architecture firm he co-founded with David Brininstool in 1989.
“Brad had led our firm, along with David Brininstool, for more than 30 years, and has contributed in untold ways to the built environment in Chicago and beyond,” Mr. Lynch’s firm said in a statement issued Tuesday.
The outgoing and avuncular Mr. Lynch was first drawn to Chicago in 1967 when his parents drove him to the city from their home in Wisconsin to see the new Picasso sculpture.
“I was 9 years old, and they wanted me to see what the controversy was about,” Mr. Lynch said in a Dwell magazine profile in 2009. “It was my first urban experience. Being in this plaza, surrounded by these buildings, was just a big moment in my life. It was like I knew someday I wanted to be in Chicago.”
His firm’s most-visible work includes a 26-story residential tower at 550 N. St. Clair St. Brininstool + Lynch’s glass and concrete condo high-rise at 1345 S. Wabash Ave., was awarded a certificate of merit by the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2016.
“It’s the simple, clear use of materials; they’re crisp and taut,” one juror said of the 15-story building. “They make a lot out of only a few moves,” another juror said in praise of the firm.
And when a client couldn’t find an unused warehouse in Bucktown that could be converted into a home, Mr. Lynch persuaded the businessman to hire him to instead design a sustainable new residence in the neighborhood, using industrial materials such as brick, steel and weathered copper.
“He wasn’t really sold on the idea [at first] because he wanted his home to be old and have that sense of brick,” Mr. Lynch said in an interview for Architect magazine. “So I told him, when this is done, whatever he was dreaming about in this warehouse, I promised him he would have the same sense in the house. I think he would agree — I know that he does — that he got that.”
Mr. Lynch’s work also includes the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin.
“While paying gentle homage to both the first and second Chicago schools of architecture, Brad Lynch’s buildings are quiet, elegant and wholly original,” said his friend Reed Kroloff, dean of IIT’s College of Architecture. “Some of the best built in this city over the last 30 years.”
In addition to being among the city’s top architects, Mr. Lynch was a lecturer, architecture critic and faculty member at more than 20 universities, including IIT, during his career.