Rural Studio's legacy: future-forward architecture in Alabama

Snip from NYT story:

Within minutes, I am standing in the Dollar General, on Tuscaloosa Street in Greensboro. Music Man has added a couple of bottles of cola and batteries for his remote control to his order. I pay the $7. It's a small price for the chance to see his house, which was designed by some of America's boldest young architects. As it turns out, Music Man gets so many visitors – architecture buffs who have seen his quirky domain in books and magazines – that he relies on them whenever he needs staples.

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."

Link. Image: The Antioch Baptist Church, constructed from new metal and old wood. Photo: Timothy Hursley, from the book Proceed and Be Bold.

Reader comment: Mark Eckenwiler says,

The truly underappreciated National Building Museum here in DC (in the kickass historic Pension Bureau building) had an exhibition about Mockbee's work last year: Link.

Also worth seeing – and open until January 29 – is the Liquid Stone exhibit that gives you reason to think that most concrete architecture is ugly because of the people who design and build it, not because of the material itself: Link.

NBM is one of those gems that most DC visitors have never heard of and thus never see. Xeni's followers should not make the same mistake.