Rural Development has been one of the major areas of work in recent times. Modernization brought with it a gap between the urban and the rural scapes. This led to ignorance towards the rural and hence causing degradation in their surroundings. There have been attempts to regain the life of the rural areas back by renovation and reconstruction. Many firms purely focus on Rural Development and have crafted spaces that have been now recognized worldwide. 

The 10 Innovative Conceptual Projects for Rural Areas:

1. Rural House in Portugal

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Rural House in Portugal by HBG Architects ©

A community oven of 1022sq.m area housed in a preserved village of Portugal has been converted into a vacation residence. This house has been designed to give a single bedroom, garden space along with smaller recreational spaces for the family to gather.

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Rural House in Portugal by HBG Architects ©

The lighting of this house has been thoughtfully crafted giving zenithal openings, the thick stone walls have been preserved in the design, and customized carpentry has been done to add storage areas.

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Rural House in Portugal by HBG Architects ©

2. Newbattle Studio

With an area of 130sq.m, this studio is situated in Newbattle, Midlothian. This project is a renovation as well as the extension of a 19th century stable to form an artist studio along with a family garden.

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Newbattle Studio by Rural Design ©

This building was simple storage for the church in its vicinity and hence had spaces curated for the same with not much variation from one room to another. In the new design, the ground floor garden has been made into a simple glass box with the upper level as a floating shed.

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Newbattle Studio by Rural Design ©

The metallic staircase has been provided in the interior. The ceiling ties constructed previously for structural support have been raised to increase the floor height.

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Newbattle Studio by Rural Design ©

3. Self-Build Retreat

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Self Build Retreat by Rural Design ©

A holiday home designed by Rural Designs rests on the Isle of Sky landscape in a compact area of 30sq.m. The studios stand on foundation piers and timber framing for structural support. The use of standard material sizes has been used to minimize wastage of material.

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Self Build Retreat by Rural Design ©

The design tries to minimize the spatial requirements as per priority. The kitchen is two meters wide and the bathroom connected through a sliding door.

4. Inside the Shed

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Inside the Shed by Rural Design ©

This plastic sheet machinery plant was designed to create a comfortable environment for the workers as it runs through maximum hours of the day. There is a temperature difference between the shaft and the volume of this building, hence the stack ventilation system has been adapted.

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Inside the Shed by Rural Design ©

The windows have thus been designed to act as insulators from the South West sun. To treat the machine heat, exhausts have been installed and a mechanical air inlet has been used to create a dust-free zone. 

5. Self Sufficient House

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Self Sufficient House by Pieter Brink ©

Housed amidst the landscapes of Holstein, near Dwingeloo in Drenthe, this self-sufficient house is designed to exist completely on its own with no pipe or cable network connections at all. This has been designed considering the hardships faced in providing these facilities in the rural areas.

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Self Sufficient House by Pieter Brink ©

It also aims towards reducing wastage and helping nature heal. The house has its water plant and stands out to be energy efficient. The exterior, as well as the interior, have been done with recycled material modeling along with a negligible amount of new materials, this reduces the carbon footprint of the house.

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Self Sufficient House by Pieter Brink ©

6. Jerusalen de Minaro Primary School

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Jerusalen de Minaro Primary School by Semillas ©

A primary school based in Peru, designed by Semillas Architects is one of the very few rural schools which provide the utmost comfort to its students in the most sustainable forms.

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Jerusalen de Minaro Primary School by Semillas ©

The building consists of 4 modules: 3 classrooms, 1 multipurpose space, a residence for teachers, and the toilets. The three classes are towards the southern side and a tree adds to the beauty of the main entrance of the school.

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Jerusalen de Minaro Primary School by Semillas ©

Trees run along the façade to cast indirect lighting into the spaces within. The roof has a rainwater collection system. Jerusalen de Minaro Primary School has been built mostly with concrete, wood, and a roof of wooden panels covered with asphalt tiles.

7. The Uber Shed 2

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The Uber Shed 2 by Jost Architects ©

The Uber Shed 2 designed by Jost Architects was a renovation project where an old ‘off the shelf’ Australian steel shed housed in the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria was transformed.

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The Uber Shed 2 by Jost Architects ©

This was designed keeping in mind that there must never be a preconceived notion of how a building is supposed to look. Hence, the shed was converted into an elegant architectural setting.

The structure has been kept intact with no changes in them, adaptation and recladding of materials, as well as finishes, have been done to add to the aesthetic appeal of the built form.

8. Santa Elena Residence

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Santa Elena Residence by Semillas Architects ©

Santa Elena Residence housed in the rural areas of the jungle of Peru has been designed by Semillas Architects. The design of this project is channeled in 3 areas: school, residence, and recreational space. Furthermore, spaces such as the kitchen, toilets, multi-purpose rooms, dining hall, etc. have been provided as well.

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Santa Elena Residence by Semillas Architects ©

The form of the building is in the shape of the letter ‘L’ with housing on the west side and utilities in the center which act as common for both the hands of the letter.

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Santa Elena Residence by Semillas Architects ©

The design abides by Bioclimatic principles to ensure comfort. The spaces have been designed to provide natural ventilation at all times, solar energy is used for lighting and the building stands to be energy efficient as well.

9. Amairis

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Amairis by Ruta 4 ©

Amairis, a clothing studio based in rural Columbia has been designed by Ruta4 using Bamboo as the primary construction material. Ruta4 aimed to make use of local construction methodologies and materials.

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Amairis by Ruta 4 ©

The doors are placed continuously so that once opened, daylight can reach the indoors and brighten up the spaces within. Amairis has an open plan with minimal furniture within. It contains office space, storage closet, restroom, and a kitchen.

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Amairis by Ruta 4 ©

10. Community Centre for Otica Native Community

Community Centre for Otica Native Community 
Community Centre by Semillas ©

Located on the banks of Rio Tambo in the jungle of Peru, this Community Centre has been designed by Semillas Architects. Due to the harsh weather conditions in Peru, this center has been thoughtfully crafted to create a gathering space with the utmost comfort and care. 

The spaces within this consist of a multipurpose area, kitchen, office space, and a craft workshop. The building sits on a strip foundation laid of stone and cement to prevent damage due to the regular floods in this region. The structural support has been given using wood by creating a gabled roof along with fiber cement sheets. This large roof helps in providing thermal insulation. 


Shivani Singh is an architecture student who has an ardour for reading and writing. She is always on the go, trying to explore and experience the various ingredients in this recipe of life. There is a lot to perceive and not enough time for it, is what she says!