Alabama Modern

Samuel Mockbee creates homes for the poor that are cheap, practical--and unconventionally beautiful

Samuel Mockbee is eager to show off the buildings his Rural Studio has designed throughout Hale County, Ala. Driving his pickup truck, he barrels past catfish farms, abandoned barns and sleepy towns, pointing out houses and community structures along the way. Even the 100[degree] temperature and nearly 100% humidity don't seem to slow him down. It is only when he reaches the hamlet of Mason's Bend and the home of Alberta Bryant that this bear of a man with a bushy graying beard slips into low gear and momentarily seems to surrender to the heat. Plopping down on Bryant's couch, Mockbee...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!