sketched view of the front of Patriece's Home

Patriece’s Home

  • Overview

    Info

    Newbern, AL
    2022
    5th-Year Project
    Residential

  • Project Team

    Adam Davis, Daniel Burton, Laurel Holloway, Lauren Lovell

Patriece’s Home design is focused on providing more space for varying and multi-generational families in a small footprint. Often in rural areas, like Hale County, one family will live in the same home for many generations. This design offers opportunities and challenges for the home to adapt as the number of occupants and their relationships change. Although the home is designed to be adaptable, the goal for future users is to be able to modify the space without significant alterations or additions to the interior rooms. In this design, the interior of the home expands upward rather than outward, decreasing the overall cost per square footage.

“A two-story home that can adapt as its occupancy changes.”

This project also explores the use of an attic truss for occupying the roof and the option of separating the home into two independent living units, a potential for a second source of income. Because homes are such an important asset to a rural homeowner, this project seeks to optimize how the home can be used as generations of residents and their circumstances change.

So what all can the stair can do for a home besides providing circulation between the two stories? The team has found the stair to be an excellent tool for creating a threshold and sound barrier between units while also providing storage and hosting social interaction. The stair is also useful for natural ventilation as well as pushing light deeper into the home.

Scroll to Top
render of units

C.H.O.I.C.E. House

  • Overview

    Info

    Uniontown, AL
    2022
    5th-Year Project
    Residential, Community

  • Project Team

    AC Priest, Davis Benfer, Hailey Osborne, Yi Xuan (Raymond) Teo

The C.H.O.I.C.E. House: Emergency Shelter is a project designed to address the need for rapid rehousing solutions in both Alabama as well as the United States a whole. To do this, the team is working with C.H.O.I.C.E., a resource-based organization headquartered out of Uniontown, Alabama. Since 2009, Executive Director Emefa Butler and her team have worked to “bridge the gap between availability and accessibility” in Uniontown and all of Perry County. The 5th-Year student team is working with C.H.O.I.C.E. to support their rapid re-housing initiatives by designing and building emergency shelter for two clients at a time to stay for up to 30 days.

Dignity, durability and accessibility drive the design, given the varied demographics and high turnover of clients. While the student team will build to accommodate two occupants over the course of the project, the ultimate goal of this partnership with C.H.O.I.C.E. is to set an emergency shelter precedent that is replicable for many different conditions.

This is accomplished through a “machine” volume that concentrates many of the units’ services and acts as a divider between the living and sleeping volumes. The volume’s role as a divider is paramount to creating moments for privacy, a key component of a dignified dwelling.

The units embody a hierarchy of ideas where immediately, they meet the need for secure shelter. Within the shelter, clients work with caseworkers to build life skills. The way the form of the units addresses these needs is then rooted in a deeper architectural critique of the nature of transient housing.
Dignity, durability, and accessibility drive the design.
Scroll to Top

Moundville Archaeological Park Community Pavilion

  • Overview

    Info

    Moundville, AL
    2019 & 2022
    5th-Year Project
    Recreation/Community

  • Project Team

    2019 | Emily Lopez, Katie Cantine, Lauren Ballard, Sarah Page

    2022 | Brenton Smith, Caitlyn Biffle, Collin Brown, Jackie Rosborough

Moundville Archaeological Park is the historic site of one of the largest Native American settlements during the Mississippian culture. National Geographic called Moundville, “The Big Apple of the 14th Century,” as it was once America’s largest city north of Mexico. Now owned and operated by The University of Alabama, the park preserves 326 acres along the Black Warrior River, where 29 mounds remain that once served as platforms for residential, civic, and cultural life and ceremonies.

Today, a museum, an active archaeological lab, campgrounds, trails, and more surround the perimeter of the mounds, outside the now ancient palisade wall. The site is known for its annual Native American Festival, which brings visitors from all around the country, including multiple tribes for whom it serves as an ancestral home. Rural Studio is designing and building a pavilion and surrounding landscape near the campsites that will serve the visiting campers, local community members, and as a potential focal point for future Native American festivals.

A new outdoor space for events and daily park users

a “butterfly” ceiling allows users to feel connected to their surroundings while a gable roof protects them from the elements
2019 team photo
2019 Team
2022 Team
2022 Team
Scroll to Top
sketch of rosie's home from the road

Rosie’s Home

  • Overview

    Info

    Newbern, AL
    2022
    3rd-Year Project
    Residential

  • Project Team

    FALL
    Laura Forrest, Peter Harpring

    SPRING
    Jon Hunt Ficken, Anna Leach, Sarah Recht, Will Robinson, Grant Schurman, & Julia Whitt

Rosie’s Home builds upon our ongoing post-frame construction research, where we first build a roof on site and then construct the home underneath. This approach allows us to more quickly work on site in a sheltered and controlled environment. This version of a post-frame home is a multi-phased project. Our 3rd-year students in the Fall semester are analyzing both the client’s site as well as previous 20K Homes to determine the size, form, and location of the initial roof structure for Rosie’s Home. Local contractors will erect the chosen roof assembly. The Spring semester students will continue the project by designing and building the spaces below the roof.

Rural Studio is studying this type of construction for several reasons. Protection: The roof is built first, so we can work get to work quickly, even during the rainy season. Expansion: Our clients can more easily make additions under a big roof. Typology: Post-frame structures are common, affordable, and of the vernacular in West Alabama.
Scroll to Top
exterior view of Myer's Home

Myers’ Home

  • Overview

    Info

    Newbern, AL
    2021
    5th-Year Project
    Residential

  • Project Team

    Riley Boles, Madeline Ray, Judith Seaman, Robbin Reese

The Myers’ Home is designed to be easily adapted from two rooms to five as the demographics of a family change. Homeowners in rural landscapes, like Hale County, often increase the size of their home through small additions to the property over a longer period of time. This 5th-year student team was inspired by American residential “kit home” precedents: the regional Jim Walter Homes and ubiquitous Sears Modern Homes by Sears, Roebuck and Co., which were built as “shells” with unfinished interior space. 

A two-story, “shell” home that can easily expand for generations.
This design for the Myers family uses an attic truss and non-load bearing interior walls for an adjustable ground plan and attic space. The home offers a flexible ground floor interior with two rooms and one bathroom that can be changed to adapt to their needs and those of future inhabitants. The second floor provides space for added rooms, a bathroom, and storage for generations. A centralized core combines the stair, bathroom, laundry, utilities, and attic plumbing hookups to organize the plan, acting as a spatial divider.
The long front porch engages both the site and multiple spaces in the home but is structurally separate from the main shell. Keeping the home’s primary structure inside the outer envelope, with low maintenance zero eave conditions, prioritizes the longevity and lifespan of this “generational home.”
Scroll to Top