Sustainable, Rural Design by Auburn's Rural Studio

written by:
May 28, 2014
A director and professor at Auburn’s acclaimed architectural lab talk about the next 20 years of sustainable, rural design. Read Full Article
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  Rural Studio Graduation in Newbern
As Alabama’s famed rural studio begins its twentieth year, the site-specific, community-based architecture program continues to expand its vision with an added focus on farming and the community. 
Photo by Tim Hursley
    Rural Studio Graduation in Newbern

    As Alabama’s famed rural studio begins its twentieth year, the site-specific, community-based architecture program continues to expand its vision with an added focus on farming and the community.

    Photo by Tim Hursley

  • 
  New Greensboro Boys & Girls, Still in Construction Phase 
Director Andrew Freear: “We’ve been here for 20 years, the thing has some roots. Instead of seeking survival, the program can say well, it’s not what we can do, it’s what we should do. I think that our community projects are always either educationally based or based on the welfare of the young, such as the Boys & Girls clubs. Our challenge isn’t just to create those buildings and hope organizations survive, it’s how we help them survive.”
Photo by Tim Hursley
    New Greensboro Boys & Girls, Still in Construction Phase

    Director Andrew Freear: “We’ve been here for 20 years, the thing has some roots. Instead of seeking survival, the program can say well, it’s not what we can do, it’s what we should do. I think that our community projects are always either educationally based or based on the welfare of the young, such as the Boys & Girls clubs. Our challenge isn’t just to create those buildings and hope organizations survive, it’s how we help them survive.”

    Photo by Tim Hursley

  • 
  20K Show Homes 
The centerpiece of the Rural Studio program is the 20K House. The price is calculated by looking at the highest mortgage someone on Social Security can afford. They normally cost roughly $12,000 for materials and $8,000 for contracted labor and profit.
Photo by Tim Hursley
    20K Show Homes

    The centerpiece of the Rural Studio program is the 20K House. The price is calculated by looking at the highest mortgage someone on Social Security can afford. They normally cost roughly $12,000 for materials and $8,000 for contracted labor and profit.

    Photo by Tim Hursley

  • 
  Construction of the Rural Studio Farm 
Elena Barthel: “The idea is to design and build our own farm with the students as a prototype to extend out of the academic community. We’re building an irrigation system based on gravity; water is collected off the roof in cisterns, then pumped up into a smaller water tower, then gravity will feed a drip irrigation system. The greenhouse as a whole is a manifesto of sustainable farming.” 
Photo by Tim Hursley
    Construction of the Rural Studio Farm

    Elena Barthel: “The idea is to design and build our own farm with the students as a prototype to extend out of the academic community. We’re building an irrigation system based on gravity; water is collected off the roof in cisterns, then pumped up into a smaller water tower, then gravity will feed a drip irrigation system. The greenhouse as a whole is a manifesto of sustainable farming.”

    Photo by Tim Hursley

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