Architecture + Film

Architecture + Film



Developed in conjunction with the Charlotte chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s Architecture + Film series investigates themes in modern and contemporary architecture through the lens of film.

On June 15, the museum will screen Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio, a documentary about the late architect Samuel Mockbee and the educational design/build program he co-founded in 1993 in poverty-stricken Hale County, Alabama.

The Rural Studio program invites Auburn University architecture students to live and work together in the community designing homes and neighborhood buildings for underserved clients. The structures are built using donated and locally salvaged materials, with the results often clever and stunning.

Interviews with Mockbee and his peers and scenes with those he has influenced infuse the film with a larger discussion of the role architecture plays in issues of poverty, class, race, education, social change and citizenship.

A short presentation led by architect Ruard Veltman, founder of Ruard Veltman Architecture in Charlotte, will precede the screening. Veltman was mentored by Mockbee and helped complete the Rural Studio's inaugural project, the Hay Bale house in 1994. Ruard and his classmates built the Yancey Chapel (shown above), using roof beams harvested from an old church and tires recovered from a landfill.

Running time: 60 minutes.


Tickets are $15 and include access to museum galleries, light bites and one drink ticket. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone 704.353.9200 or at the visitor services desk.



July 20 – Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe

August 17 – Sketches of Frank Gehry

September 21 – Bird’s Nest: Herzog & de Meuron in China

October 19 – Philip Johnson: Diary of an Eccentric Architect

November 16 – Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture



Image: The Yancey Chapel (also known as the Tire Chapel) in Hale County, Alabama. Big Beard Films photo.

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ex © 2023 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
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