Headquarters for Rural Studio Architectural Designs in Alabama’s Black Belt. Established in 1993 by architects Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee and D. K. Ruth, the Rural Studio is a part of Auburn University’s School of Architecture. The Rural Studio is located in rural west Alabama in the small town of Newbern in Hale County. Rural Studio students work directly with poor communities in west Alabama to improve living conditions. This teaches the students the social responsibilities of being an architect. Students design and construct their projects.
They often have to rely on donated and salvaged materials for their projects because of limited funds. The results are clever and often stunning structures. One house has walls made of car tires and another is made of hay bales. There is also a shed with stone walls that are studded with soda bottles to let bits of light through. The Rural Studio has completed numerous homes and civic projects in the surrounding communities. You’ll find a large collection of the sites created over the years by Rural Studio here.
Rural Studio’s office, located in the Morrisette house, is a working office and not a visitor center. However, you are welcome to pick up a guide that contains a map which shows the locations of the Rural Studio projects.
Address: 8448 Alabama 61, Newbern, AL 36765
Phone: (334) 624-4483
Latitude: 32.599108 | Longitude: -87.533210
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