Black Mountain College

Asheville, North Carolina
Communal, Co-Op
1933 - 1957

1 Entrance and gathering hall 2 Administrative offices and meeting areas 3 Double-height exhibition hall  4 Student rooms 5 Studios 6 Classroom 7 Art studio 8 Outdoor covered studio

Founded in 1933, Black Mountain College was an arts-based liberal arts college. The progressive campus became a refuge for artists and designers fleeing Hitler’s Germany, including Walter Gropius and Anni and Josef Albers. Part artist colony, part university, and part commune, Black Mountain College students farmed, cooked, and worked on the construction of new buildings, including the new Lake Eden Campus

The College relocated to Lake Eden in 1940. Laurence Kocher, a professor at Black Mountain College proposed the four-wing design that was only partially built: The central hexagonal entrance and gathering hall (1); a short wing with administrative offices and meeting areas (2); a study wing with double-height exhibition hall  (3) and student rooms (4); and a final wing with small studios (5) for students and professors, two faculty apartments, a classroom (6), an art studio (7), and an outdoor covered studio (8).

Though the school offered no accredited degrees, the insights, discoveries, pedagogy, students, and staff of Black Mountain College far outlived the school. Perfected in the summer of 1948 at Black Mountain College, Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, and thinking, became the architectural expression for counterculture communes of the 1960s and 70s.

Nam semper semper ex
In porttitor pellentesque sapien

Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.