A Brick-Clad Modern Family Home in Chicago

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photos by:
January 6, 2014
Originally published in 8 Modern Renovations
as
House Proud
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.
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  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.  Courtesy of Julia Stotz .
    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. Courtesy of Julia Stotz .
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  The residence is set back a few feet from the site’s edge, allowing more light to flood into neighbors’ windows and leaving space for trees. “The idea was to make a strong gesture to incorporate ideas 
of openness,” Lynch explains. “It’s not just a box if you look at it closely. It’s a series of planes that fit together."  Courtesy of Julia Stotz .
    The residence is set back a few feet from the site’s edge, allowing more light to flood into neighbors’ windows and leaving space for trees. “The idea was to make a strong gesture to incorporate ideas of openness,” Lynch explains. “It’s not just a box if you look at it closely. It’s a series of planes that fit together." Courtesy of Julia Stotz .
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  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.
    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.
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  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.
    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.
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  The family gathers for meals at a center island from Arclinea; the bar stools are by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Entertaining was difficult in the Lynches’ old place. The openness of the new layout has resolved that problem, and the family frequently opens their doors to guests. “When designing the new home,” Lynch recalls, “I asked, ‘What have we always wanted to do more of but weren’t able?’”
    The family gathers for meals at a center island from Arclinea; the bar stools are by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Entertaining was difficult in the Lynches’ old place. The openness of the new layout has resolved that problem, and the family frequently opens their doors to guests. “When designing the new home,” Lynch recalls, “I asked, ‘What have we always wanted to do more of but weren’t able?’”
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  Custom white oak millwork creates a spine that separates the living areas from the entrance stairway.
    Custom white oak millwork creates a spine that separates the living areas from the entrance stairway.
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  “This way you have a sequence,” Lynch explains. “The stair is a circulator, and after you take off your coat, you can go downstairs to the powder room or up to the living floor.” On the other side of the millwork, he devised built-in storage and niches for display, as shown in the master bedroom, located on the second floor.
    “This way you have a sequence,” Lynch explains. “The stair is a circulator, and after you take off your coat, you can go downstairs to the powder room or up to the living floor.” On the other side of the millwork, he devised built-in storage and niches for display, as shown in the master bedroom, located on the second floor.
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  The photographs are by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. On the ground level, a CB2 sofa overlooks the back courtyard.
    The photographs are by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. On the ground level, a CB2 sofa overlooks the back courtyard.
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