Akron Boys and Girls Club

The Rural Studio


The Rural Studio is a design-build architecture program run by Auburn University which 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,” named for its dark, fertile soil.

“Architects are by nature and pursuit, leaders and teachers.”


The studio was founded in 1993 by architects Samuel Mockbee and D. K. Ruth. The Rural Studio has built more than 80 houses and civic projects in Hale, Perry and Marengo counties. The program 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.

Find out more about The Rural Studio.


  • StiltedHouseSmall
  • BridgeENtrance
  • ButterflySmall
  • TinRoofSmall
  • AnimalShelterSmall
  • LionsParkSmall
  • MusicManHouseSmall
  • ModelHouseSmall
  • DetailWindsheildsSmall
  • WindsheildChapelSmall
  • HouseSketchSmall
  • KidsRunningSmall
  • MockbeeCatcherSmall
  • SamboTruckSmall
  • DugoutSmall
  • YancyChapelSmall
  • BackStepsSmall
  • AkronSmall
  • 20kHouseSmall
  • OrangeHatSmall
  • FireStationSmall
  • Map