Imagine a home that cost only $14K to build. What do you picture: a container home? A tiny one-room cabin? Now imagine that home is built by architecture students at the pioneering Rural Studio at Auburn University and located in the picturesque sustainable community of Serenbe in Georgia. Yup, it looks a lot the picture above.
It all started with a little matchmaking. Rural Studio is a student design-build program that suggests that everyone, both rich or poor, deserves the benefit of good design. The founder of Serenbe’s artist in residence program, Tom Swanston, was a champion of Rural Studio and reached out to them back in 2012. Rural Studio saw the alignment of shared values and mission and began a dialogue.
At Serenbe, the Rural Studio collaborated with a local developer to design and built two prototype homes, each costing only $14K. Many of the most innovative parts of the design are actually hidden, like the cantilevered foundation that saves wood and concrete yet is actually stronger than a typical foundation. For the interior, designers from KMH Interiors and Steve McKenzie’s knew the design would have to be as visually appealing and unique as the cottages themselves.
Serenbe’s location just outside Atlanta was a major consideration for the collaboration. The cottages can easily be visited by architects, designers, students and the public. In fact, Serenbe, that funded and built the cottages, has donated them to The Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture & Environment. It is using them to house artists for their AIR artist residency program. The cottages will continue to be monitored and additional cottages for a second-generation field test are in the works.
Want to see them in person? The cottages have been chosen for the Modern Architecture Tour this June 11-12. And right now, take the tour in the slideshow!