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Mary Ellen Lynch

Mary Ellen Lynch

Lynch + Comisso: Architecture + Light

    • Mary Ellen Lynch is a principal architect at Lynch + Comisso and offers lighting design consulting as a value-added service to the firm’s architectural projects as well as consulting with other design professionals to light their projects. Over 23 years, Mary Ellen’s experience includes serving as Project Architect on several neighborhood redevelopment projects in East Harlem, New York City; museum exhibition design; and retail and architectural lighting design for both interior and exterior spaces. She has been responsible for unique residential renovations in Toronto that have provided Lynch + Comisso many opportunities to incorporate new construction into existing conditions to create renewed housing that is both in keeping with and enhancing the surrounding residential urban fabric. Currently, Mary Ellen is working on several restorations and renovations of churches and rectories in Toronto.

      Q&A with Mary Ellen Lynch

      Where do you find design inspiration?
      Carlo Scarpa is one inspiration. He has a minimal but rich way of detailing joints in materials, beautifully bringing old and new together. With renovation work especially, the European sensibility of respecting the old while incorporating the modern continues to inspire me. And Light - I've had the good fortune of working for two pioneers in the architectural lighting design world (George Sexton and Paul Marantz). Light is the medium by which we see the world. We as designers have the power to manipulate that media - interesting light transforms a space.

      How do you approach the design process?
      Three key principles guide my approach to the design process:

      1. Always have an open mind
      2. Carefully analyze the existing context
      3. Listen to and interpret our clients' ideas

      How does your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers/architects?
      We don't have a formula or a readily recognizable style, and we like it that way. We learn from successful design ideas and details, but we continue to evolve them with each new project. Our personalized approach allows our client’s personality to come through. Every project represents the client’s essence, making it unique.

      We bring an in-depth understanding and resource for quality lighting; a value-added service that other architects/designers may not bring to the table.

      What is the greatest value you provide your client?
      Many people are intimidated by the design and construction process. We provide validation and confidence to our clients by educating them throughout the process: education doesn’t reduce the 'magic' of design, it reinforces the marvel that a client has for the design process. Understanding the complexity of a project gives them a greater appreciation for the finished product.

      What does the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest mean to you?
      Kudos to Sub-Zero and Wolf for supporting and promoting great design. As architects and designers we rely on venues like this to validate and motivate us to explore new ideas that help move our design to the next level.

      What are some of the current design trends?
      Professional yet playful; natural materials combined with high technology; clean modern details with carefully placed splashes of color. For example, the playful touches of color found in Wolf products add pleasure and beauty to a serious tool.

Award winning kitchens

Explore award winning kitchens from the prestigious Kitchen Design Contest by this designer.


KDC 2013-14