Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius designed The Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts during his tenure at Harvard University. The construction of the building, known to have been designed to accommodate his own family, was completed in 1938.

Set amongst greenery, the Gropius House blends the traditional materials of New England architecture – wood, brick and field stone – with industrial materials such as glass block, acoustic plaster, welded steel and chrome railings.

The structure consists of a traditional New England post and beam timber frame clad in white painted tongue and groove vertical siding. In the interior foyer, traditional clapboards are applied vertically to create the illusion of height.

The house has a combined living and dining room, plus a kitchen, office, sewing room, three bedrooms and four bathrooms. All bathrooms are located in the less prominent northwest corner of the house and the same plumbing flue is used for maximum efficiency.

The building has a skeletal organic quality, hence its local name Casa dels ossos [House of Bones]. The ground floor is particularly impressive with its tracery, irregular oval windows and fluently chiseled stonework. A large part of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles [trencadís], starting from golden orange tones and progressing to greenish blues.

One of the most important differences between the Gropius House and the neighbouring houses is its flat roof.

Although flat roofs have become quite common in parts of Europe and even the United States, pitched roofs with gable dormers were the norm in Lincoln and the surrounding areas.

Gropius shaped his flat roof with a slight slope towards the centre where water could drain into a dry well on the site.

The house sits on a grassy rise surrounded by stone retaining walls in the middle of wetlands and an apple orchard of 90 trees. The Gropiuses allowed this orchard to grow naturally, except for mowing during the growing season.

Gropius wanted the open space around the house to be equally civilised and created a lawn that extends twenty metres around the entire house, creating a perennial garden that extends southwards from the veranda.

The terrain of the house is very flat. The Gropiuses took care to keep the woodlands well-maintained to preserve the expansive views to the south, east and west. The screened porch was placed to divide the land around the house into multiple zones, similar to rooms within a house.

Walter Gropius worked hard to create the ideal landscape before the design of the house was completed. He selected mature trees from the neighboring forest and helped transplant them into his future garden.