A founding father of Modernism, Walter Gropius was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. He’s well-known for the School of Buildings called Bauhaus, but his private residence was quite amazing as well. Let’s take a closer look at the home of Walter Gropius.
The Gropius House
While Gropius was teaching at Harvard in the 1930s, he built the Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts. The design incorporated building materials found within the region, along with modern techniques and industrial elements. Materials for the home included brick, fieldstone, and clapboard all common building materials to the area.
Gropius didn’t follow the typical design of the time. Instead, he created an original design of his own allowing the materials of the area, along with the home site to dictate the overall plan.
Many of the design elements Gropius used in his home became very common to modern design. Along with the traditional elements and local building materials, the house used innovative materials, such as chrome banisters, glass block, and acoustical plaster. Of course, the latest technology of the time was used in the fixtures.
An Oasis Surrounded By Nature
While the home is a marvel, it is designed to blend with the landscape surrounding it. With plenty of large trees and green space to enjoy, the multitude of windows helps to bring the outside in.
Bringing nature inside is a trademark of modern design. The surrounding landscape was always a part of the plan for the Gropius House, along with planning for maximum simplicity and efficiency. Gropius also wanted to compliment the surrounding habitat, which includes wetlands, 90 apple trees, and stone retaining walls. Even today, everything is allowed to grow naturally outside of a little mowing done during the growing season.
Unsurprisingly, the landscaping was just as important as the actual home. A lawn extending about 20 feet around the house was created with perennial gardens by the porch. Gropius even placed the screened porch in the specifically to divide the land around the home into zones, just as the rooms inside the home are divided by walls.
Mature trees were selected from forests nearby to ensure the landscape was complete. Gropius selected oak, elm, Scotch pine, white pine, and American Beech trees to complete the surroundings for the home.
The Museum Today
In 1985, the house opened as a museum. The Gropius House is open as a museum today with access to the public. It’s located at 68 Baker Bridge Road in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Tours are available from Wednesday to Sunday between May and October. They are available on Saturdays and Sundays from November to April.
The cost to tour this beautiful home by an influential architect is $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students.