Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius designed this Grade II-listed Kent property in the rural village of Shipbourne. But what makes the weatherboard structure remarkable is that it’s the only one of its kind by the architect in England.
Gropius designed the 1937 interwar structure with British modernist Maxwell Fry, and unlike most of his surviving British buildings, he opted for a palette of natural materials over concrete.
The Wood House is clad in blackened Canadian cedar, inspired by his earlier work on Berlin’s Sommerfield House. To help engineer its weatherboard skin, Gropius also employed another architectural emigree – Walter Segal, who would create his own self-built timber home project in London in the 1970s.
For sale with The Modern House at £2.495m, the Kent property has been expanded from its original floorplan to 3,700 sq ft while maintaining the hallmarks of its indelible international modernist signature: namely, clean lines, an L-shaped living plan and connection to the building’s 4.5-acre-grounds.
The two-storey volume houses the living room (complete with original copper-headed fireplace), a dining room, and an extensive library on the ground floor, with four bedrooms above.
Two more bedrooms and a small study are located in the single-storey northern wing, while the kitchen, at the rear, overlooks orchard fields.
Take a tour of the modernist marvel.