Wales House Lincoln, MA
Wales House Lincoln, MA

Modern Refresh of Hoover + Hill

This home is beautifully sited below a large outcropping of granite. To reach the front door, visitors descend a curved steel and wood staircase that appears to levitate just over the stone. The one-story program is nestled under three shallow-gable roofs carried by an exposed post and beam wood structure. The cruciform plan is arranged with a central core that contains the family room, kitchen, dining, and sunken living room. Designed in 1958 by notable Lincoln architects Henry Hoover and Walter Hill, the mid-century modern bones of this house were impressively intact when Flavin Architects was asked to design renovations some sixty years after the original construction.

The renovation design by Flavin Architects focused on updating the interiors while maintaining the integrity of the original house. Our interventions included replacing a partition wall separating the kitchen and dining areas with floating wood shelving suspended on steel cables. The refurbished kitchen is accented with hand-made tiles by Heath Ceramics. Worn tile floors were replaced with large-format porcelain tiles, and the original concrete block chimney was clad with thin porcelain slabs in a dark grey finish. New LED cable lights were suspended just below the finished ceiling to avoid damaging the exposed wood ceiling. To improve thermal comfort, Flavin Architects inserted a radiant panel heating system over the existing concrete floors.

mid-century modern interior with wood ceiling
exterior of mid-century modern glowing at dusk grand piano
mid-century modern island kitchn with skylights
mid-century modern living room with rock ledge view

Colin Flavin and Heather Souza were wonderful to work with on the renovation of our mid century modern home. They are talented and down to earth professionals who listen well and offered wonderful advice to make our home modern, functional, and beautiful, but also within the budget we were striving for.

In keeping with the architect’s original intent, the tongue-and-groove paneling was left natural throughout the house, creating a feeling of warmth. In contrast, engineered -refinished hardwood flooring was used in the main living areas… The décor is minimal yet very effective and puts the perfect finishing touches on the contemplative space.
"Perfectly Balanced," Atomic Ranch, 2019
mid-century modern kitchen with large skylights and floating shelving
mid-century modern family room fireplace update
mid-century modern master bedroom large windows

Colin and Heather,

I am overwhelmed. I wish I could bring my father back for just a day to revel in how you are inspired by what inspired him, such as natural light transforming interior space varied by season and hour. One space that springs to my mind is the Wales bedroom. The tension between finite dimension and spatial openness thrills me. This isn't just a view of harmonious elements: it's the room itself. The narrowness of the interior space conjures a curtain flung open to reveal nature as a vibrant partner beckoning us downstage for an extension of the interior. Light is exploited for its power to articulate form, function, mood and flow, as in Blueberry's living/dining and kitchen.

What you've done with the Wales house is respectful, inspired and transformative. You have created a true community of living and being. It would make my father proud. I am profoundly grateful.
Harry Hoover, son of Henry Hoover

mid-century modern stair through natural rock ledge
mid-century modern furnished family room with wood ceiling and fireplace
mid-century modern cad drawing floor plan with outbuildings


General Contractor

The Ralph S. Osmond Co

Perkins Custom Contracting

Landscape Design + Construction

Lynch Landscape & Tree Service

Structural Engineer

Webb Structural Services

Site Surveyor

Sullivan, Connor & Associates

Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Heath Ceramics

Primary Bath Tile Wall

Ann Sacks

Feature Lighting



Nat Rea Photography

Awards + Publications

Gold Prism Award, BRAGB, 2021

Modernism Award, FoMA Lincoln, 2020

Design Inspiration Award, PID Floors, 2018

"Perfectly Balanced," Atomic Ranch, 2019

"Second Nature," Boston Magazine, 2019

Related Projects

carport glowing at duskcarport glowing at duskcarport glowing at dusk View Project: Wales House Outbuildings

Wales House Outbuildings

New Additions to Hoover + Hill

mid-century modern dining room floor to ceiling windowsmid-century modern dining room floor to ceiling windowsmid-century modern dining room floor to ceiling windows View Project: Sculpted to the Land

Sculpted to the Land

Henry Hoover Masterpiece Restored

exposed beam mid-century modernexposed beam mid-century modernexposed beam mid-century modern View Project: Rosenwald House

Rosenwald House

Mid-Century Modern in Lincoln

mid-century modern kitchen with floating cabinetsmid-century modern kitchen with floating cabinetsmid-century modern kitchen with floating cabinets View Project: Brown Jackson House

Brown Jackson House

Mid-Century Remodel on Tabor Hill