Mockbee, I Love Thee

Fred Bernstein visits Alabama to look at some amazing buildings:

Music Man’s house, with colorful glass embedded in concrete floors and shelves that move on skateboard wheels, is one of about 40 buildings conceived and built by the Rural Studio, an ever-changing troupe of architecture students who bring their tools, tenacity and talent to impoverished western Alabama. The 13-year-old program, under the auspices of Auburn University, is sometimes called the "redneck Taliesin."

Like Frank Lloyd Wright, the master of Taliesin, Samuel Mockbee, the Rural Studio’s founder, was a larger-than-life figure. Born in Mississippi, Mr. Mockbee established the Rural Studio in dirt-poor Hale County, Ala., a place where trailers teetering on cinderblocks and disintegrating barns were two of the most common building types.

I highly recommend the amazing photo chronicle of some of the project’s best work, Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency.

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