Affordable Housing

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Samuel Mockbee Update


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Thanks to Rhea for leaving the following information in the comments section of the post about Samuel Mockbee:

There is an exhibition called Southern Exposure: Contemporary Regional Architecture which features the work of the Rural Studio at the Virginia Center for Architecture through June 8. It features the Yancey Chapel as well as several other projects. The exhibition also highlights the work of other contemporary architects practicing in the Regional style, including Marlon Blackwell, Frank Harmon, W.G. Clark, and the firms of Lake|Flato and Mack Scogin Merril Elam Architects

On Thursday, May 1, 2008, Jason Coomes, a faculty member of the Rural Studio, discusses the ongoing work of the studio.

The Virginia Center for Architecture is located in Richmond, Virginia. If you’d like more information, please visit


Also, I found that Rural Studio has fantastic blogs that feature current projects.  Check them out here.

photos are from the Rural Studio blogs 


Monday, April 28th, 2008

Sambo in my ‘hood


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky


I’ve been meaning to tell you about this great book my Mom brought me as a hostess gift about a year ago. It’s a monograph of the work of Samuel ‘Sambo’ Mockbee, appropriately titled Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency. I kept putting it off, because frankly, scanning stuff is a boring chore, plus, it’s really hard to pick just a few projects from this book. I doubt I can summarize it better than the book jacket:

For almost ten years, Samuel Mockbee, a recent MacArthur “genius grant” recipient, and his architecture students at Auburn University have been designing and building striking houses and community buildings for impoverished residents of Alabama’s Hale County. Using salvaged lumber and bricks, discarded tires, hay and waste cardboard bales, concrete rubble, colored bottles, and old license plates, they create inexpensive buildings in a style Mockbee describes as ‘contemporary modernism grounded in Southern culture.'”

This is the first project from Sambo I remember seeing back in architecture school. It’s The Cardboard Pod and is made from baled sheets of corrugated wax-impregnated boards:


This is the incredible Yancey Chapel, built around an existing rusted trough and constructed from 1000 dirt-filled used tires:


This property near The Yancey Chapel is called The Goat House, a former shed for animals that Rural Studio originally planned as part of an artists’ colony. The colony never, um, colonized, and the building is now a residence. You see the Chapel aesthetic influence on the structure: Read the rest of this entry »


Friday, March 21st, 2008

Bruce Weber’s New Orleans in W Magazine


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky


I am almost as obsessed with fashion magazines as I am with home magazines (it used to be the other way around). The delivery of the huge W every month is always exciting and this month it is incredible. I am so glad to see that some people are working hard to make sure the rest of us do not forget that New Orleans is still in dire straits. The April issue of W has an amazing 60-page spread of New Orleans shot by Bruce Weber. Since shotgun houses have been on my mind this week (and I’ll be sharing some more about some other shotgun houses next week), I thought I’d share this image with you today. So many houses like this one were lost in Katrina. Let’s make sure they are not erased.


To learn more about how to help rebuild the 9th Ward, check out The Make It Right Foundation. This is a really cool project that deserves its own blog post, so I’ll tell you a little more about it next week. Explore the site – the pink project (the color is so very Christo) and the tour of the affordable housing is very cool and inspiring.

Also, on a disaster-related note, for those of you in the Atlanta area who would like to help out with the tornado recovery in Cabbagetown this weekend, click here for more information.

photos by Bruce Weber for W magazine