Rural architecture is something that I feel often gets overlooked or tends to get grouped into the abandoned genre of photography.

The definition of architecture is the art or science of building. Specifically, the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones.

In workshops that focus on architecture, I’ve heard attendees say there wasn’t any architecture in their local towns to photograph. They felt that living in a rural area made it too difficult to find architecture. 

Art or science of building

If you go by the definition of architecture, it opens up many possibilities that little towns and exploring country roads can offer. Just the word “structure” alone bring to mind bridges that are fairly easy to find. Habitable? How about all those barns and farm buildings that house livestock? It all counts in my opinion. 

Architectural photography has come to mean the sleek, modern construction in our largest cities. We may not even have these incredible buildings had it not been for those who started on a smaller scale.

The thing is, small towns in the middle of nowhere often have a ton of character. Whether old and withered or newly renovated buildings, many are full of architectural details and styles we may not ever see downtown in a city.

Bridges also qualify as architecture. There are plenty of those to be found everywhere, in cities and rural areas. Also great to photograph are train trestles, and there are plenty of them to discover. Take a few minutes to do some research as well and you’ll learn a little bit of the history, which can be fascinating.

So, the next time you’re out driving in the country, take a closer look at the architecture you find. It’s out there and it’s much more than skyscrapers. After all, the word art is included in the definition of architecture.

By the way, the header image is the Legion Hall in a town with a population of 95.