The Alabama Couple Bringing Agrarian Notes To Their Architecture


A woman and man drawing together at a desk

Birmingham architects Lynielle and Richard Long have an inkling about destiny. Their families first crossed paths generations ago, when Lynielle’s grandparents and Richard’s great uncle were neighbors in rural Randolph County. The married Alabama natives first met as students at Auburn University. Richard went on to cut his teeth in custom residential architecture at Dungan & Nequette Architects; Lynielle at the Rural Studio, then Philadelphia’s Wallace Roberts & Todd. They launched their eponymous firm, Long & Long Design, in 2015. Core to their work is a belief in the inherent poetry of Southern architecture, with its classical traditions, deep porches and connection to the land. “Architecture is an example of our culture,” Richard says. Below, Luxe delves into their roots.

How did the agrarian influences of your youth impact you? RL: Humbleness, modesty, a straightforwardness and connection to the land. Using courtyards, porches and windows to make it feel a bit like you’re outside, even when you’re inside the house.

How do you mix those throwback details with modern ones? LL: We’re trying to impart that old-world charm with modern amenities, and to continue to edit for beauty.

What projects are coming up? RL: We have a new construction project for empty nesters on Lake Martin and another in Birmingham with amazing views of Oak Mountain; it’s inspired by European farmhouses, with lots of stone, timber beams and courtyards.

And the most rewarding part? RL: Seeing someone live their life in the building you’ve designed. LL: You know you’ve done well when they invite you back for dinner.

Brick residence with green lawn