Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Model for Yancey Chapel, Hale County, Alabama

Rural Studio (Established by Samuel Mockbee, 1993)
Steven Durden (American, born 1969)
Thomas Tretheway (American, born Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 1970)
Ruard Veltman (American, born 1970)
Balsa wood
a: H. 11, W. 22 1/2, D. 38 1/8 in.; b: H. 9, W. 46, D. 29 1/2 in.; c: H. 43 1/2, W. 41, D. 23 1/2 in.; d: H. 8, W. 41, D. 24 1/4 in.
Architectural Models
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, 2001
Accession Number:
Not on view
In 1993 architect and professor Samuel Mockbee established the Rural Studio for architecture students at Auburn University. The objectives were twofold: to give students practical building experience and to encourage them to use architecture as a means of improving the lives of others. Rural Studio focused on the community of Hale County, Alabama, where the majority of residents lived below the povery line, many in shacks without heat, plumbing, or weatherproofing. During its first years the Rural Studio emphasized housing. Each year a single family was selected for whom the students, guided by Mockbee, would design and build a residence that fulfilled the family's needs.

In 1996 students Ruard Veltman, Thomas Tretheway, and Steven Durden designed Yancey Chapel, Rural Studio's first public building for Hale County. Eager to use only low-cost materials, they created walls out of worn tires packed with excavated dirt then reinforced with rebars, wrapped in wire mesh, and coated with stucco. Salvaged lumber supported by concrete beams comprised the roof. Tin recycled from old local barns became roof shingles. scrap metal gave material form to the pulpit and font.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part IV: 1975-2000," June 25, 2001–January 6, 2002, no catalogue.

"Yancey Chapel Hale County, Alabama." Architectural Record 184 (March 1996), pp. 74–76.

Philip Jodidio. Contemporary American Architects. Vol. 4, Cologne, 1998.

Christine Kreyling. "Masons Bend: Hale County, Ala." Architectural Record 189 (February 2001), pp. 77–82.

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