The Rural Studio is a design-build architecture studio run by Auburn University. It aims to teach students about the social responsibilities of the profession of architecture while also providing safe, well-constructed and inspirational homes and buildings for poor communities in rural west Alabama, part of the so-called "Black Belt".
The studio was founded in 1993 by architects Samuel Mockbee and D. K. Ruth. It is led by UK-born architect Andrew Freear. Each year the program builds five or so projects - a house by the third-year students, three thesis projects by groups of 3-5 fifth-year students, and one or more outreach studio projects. The Rural Studio has built more than 80 houses and civic projects in Hale, Perry and Marengo counties. The Rural Studio is based in Newbern, a small town in Hale County. Many of its best-known projects are in the tiny community of Mason's Bend, on the banks of the Black Warrior River.
The $20K House is an ongoing research project at the Rural Studio that seeks to address the pressing need for decent and affordable housing in Hale County, Alabama. Nearly 30% of individuals in Hale County live in poverty. Due to the lack of conventional cr for people with this level of income, and insufficient knowledge about alternative sources of funding, mobile homes offer the only chance for home ownership for many. Unlike a house, which is an asset for its owner, trailers deteriorate very quickly and depreciate in value over time. Mobile homes are also linked with higher cancer rates due to the use of formaldehydes in their construction.
The $20k House project intends to produce a model home that could be reproduced on a large scale, and thereby become a viable alternative to the mobile home in this area. The challenge is to build a house for $20,000, ten to twelve thousand of which will go towards materials and the remainder to contracted labor. Once a truly successful model has been designed, the aim is to sell the houses in conjunction with the "502 Direct Loan" provided by the Rural Housing Service. The project began in 2005, and there have been 16 iterations of the house so far. The project is typically carried out by four outreach students, international post-graduates with a background in architecture or design.
Sarah Al-Rukhayyes, Tyler Allgood, Kendra Ayers, Tanner Backman, Doug Bacon, Bob Benner, Brandon Block, Stephanie Brown, David Charney, Jordan Cox, Michael De St. Aubin, Andrew Dolder, Christine Furey, Rebecca Hayes, Alex Henderson, Randall Holmes, Clay Jackson, Stephen Kesel, Allyson Klinner, Kenneth Lao, Corey Lee, Tina Maceri, Lauren Oliver, Alex Peeples, Benjamin Pendergraft, Autumn Sikorowski, Andrew Taylor, Daniel Toner, Christina Walton, Elizabeth Whitlock, Joe Wojciechowski, Katie Woods, Mary Melissa Yohn
Michael Dowdy, Hannah Dulaney, Susie Fagg, Mallory Garrett, Sarah Hunter, Maggie Johnson, Edward May, Will McGarity, Mary Pruitt, Nourah Said, Charles Spires, Ali Tyler, Johannes Ubben, Heather Baber, Alex Baker, Cassidy Beam, Brett Bowers, Meghan Bullard, John Burleson, David Frazier, Franklin Frost, Blake Habshey, Matt Millican, Zane Morgan, Corey Moulton, Gwyndolyn Mowbray, Delvin Stephens, Kristy Swann
Amy Songer, Amy Cook, Cassandra Kellogg, Jessica Moeller, Casey Patterson, Joe Kochak, Lea Henley, April Brown, Nicole Dennis, Courtney Mathias, Katie Owens, Amanda Peterson, Michael Shows, Scott Smith, Daniel Stewart, John Thompson, Brittany Winslett, Cameron Acheson, William Batey, Nick Biship, Chris Currie, Christine Dingivan, Golpar Garmestani, Erin Graves, Sarah Hollerman, Eric Hutchinson, Adam Leonard, Frances Leon, John Mansour, Candace Rimes, Jamie Sartory, Fuller Sherrod, Walker Stone, Nick Wickersham
Anna Marie Bevil, Jason Blankenship, Brittany Creehan, Jacob Fyfe, Brittany Graeber, Jennifer Isenburg, Carrie Laurendine, Jonathan Mayhall, Don Mott, Brandon Rainosek, Haley Robinson, Christopher Terrell, Marcus Buckner-Perry, Justyn Chandler, Michelle Clark, Taylor Clark, Evan Dick, Lori Fine, Robert Hall, Drew Jerdan, Brett Randall Jones, Ben Krauss, Carolyn Norton, John Plaster, Dorothy Sherling, Casey Smith, Kathleen Webb, Terran Wilson
Perry Lakes Canopy Tower
Adrienne Brady, Natalie Butts, Paul Howard, Coley Mulcahy
Perry County Learning Center
Dereck Aplin, Sam Currie, Amy Bell, Angela Hughey, Turnley Smith
William Austin, Clifford Brooks, Kristen Kepner Coleman, Joshua Daniel, Adam Gerndt, Jo Beth Gleason, Jeremy Moffet, Justin Patwin, Hunter Simmons, Elizabeth Stallworth, Samuel Watkins, William Whittaker Jr., Heather Wootten, Jeff Marteski, Timothy Sliger, Robert Sproull, Tommy Replogle, Jon Schumann, John Ritchie, Charlie Hughes, Jimmy Turner, Jeff Johnston,
H.E.R.O. Playscape, Joe Alcock and Melissa Teng Greensboro