Lauren Nassef

One hundred years ago this month, Walter Gropius opened the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany. As the architect’s home country celebrates a yearlong Bauhaus-centric centenary, let’s examine three buildings that exemplify the famed design philosophy.

Gropius House, Lincoln, Mass.

The Gropius family residence in Lincoln, Mass., built in 1938, mixed natural New England styles and materials with the architect’s desire for simplicity; it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000. Gropius acknowledged in 1956 that “this fusion of the regional spirit with a contemporary approach to design produced a house that I would never have built in Europe with its entirely different climatic, technical and psychological background.”

Bauhaus Archive, Berlin

Countless pieces of art and documents related to the Bauhaus live in this museum, which is based on a Gropius design from 1964—eventually altered by colleagues Alex Cvijanovic and Hans Bandel—and opened to the public in 1979. Though the only surviving element of Gropius’ original design is the iconic shed roofs, this building has taken on a life of its own as the backdrop for sciencefiction films V for Vendetta and Æon Flux, and it still serves as the most comprehensive home of Bauhaus items.

U.S. Embassy, Athens

Inspired by the Parthenon and built just a mile away, this Gropius design—with consulting architect Pericles Sakellarios—remains one of the most prominent Bauhaus-associated buildings in the Mediterranean. With its columns and façades clad with Pentelic marble—the same stone used for buildings on the Acropolis—the embassy pays tribute to Greek architecture while still channeling the classic Bauhaus need for clarity.