Architecture

Polar architecture experts are building experimental Mars habitat

Polar architecture experts are...
Building a Martian House is expected to open to the public in April, 2022
Building a Martian House is expected to open to the public in April, 2022
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Building a Martian House will be located in Bristol, England
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Building a Martian House will be located in Bristol, England
Building a Martian House is expected to open to the public in April, 2022
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Building a Martian House is expected to open to the public in April, 2022
Building a Martian House will consist of two floors and aim to explore how humans will live on Mars
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Building a Martian House will consist of two floors and aim to explore how humans will live on Mars
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Having been responsible for designing Britain's Antarctic Research Station, in addition to many other polar bases, Hugh Broughton Architects certainly knows a thing or two about keeping humans alive in harsh conditions. The firm is using this experience to imagine what would be required to shelter humans on Mars with a new experimental housing project.

The project is named Building a Martian House and is being constructed in Bristol, England, with local docklands standing in for the Martian landscape. It's led by local artists Ella Good and Nikki Kent, in partnership with Hugh Broughton Architects and Pearce+, and is funded by the Edward Marshall Trust. The overall idea behind it is to explore ideas on how we could eventually live on Mars.

The dwelling will measure a total of 40 sq m (430 sq ft), which will be spread over two floors. The lower level is envisioned as being buried below the Martian surface and will contain flexible living spaces that can be used as bedrooms, or a dining room, or even a Virtual Reality room to try and stave off boredom.

Elsewhere would be a bathroom and kitchenette, plus areas to support a hydroponic grow room and air filtration. The upper level will consist of some kind of gold-coated foil, chosen because it would be lightweight to transport to Mars, which would be inflated and filled with Martian soil.

Building a Martian House will consist of two floors and aim to explore how humans will live on Mars
Building a Martian House will consist of two floors and aim to explore how humans will live on Mars

"The upper level is designed to sit on the Martian landscape and is formed using a pressurized inflatable gold-coated foil, making it lightweight enough to be transported to Mars," says the press release. "Once there, the foil would be inflated and filled with Martian regolith (soil) to provide protection from galactic and solar radiation. The house has a glazed elevation, with views towards Bristol's Princes Wharf standing in for the Martian landscape. Inside, a hydroponic living room is designed to surround occupants with plants to aid relaxation. This could feed into the circular waste water system; these systems, such as waste treatment, water recycling and energy production, are currently being developed with input from Hydrock."

The project is slated to be completed by March 2022 and will open to the public in April. It will be accompanied by a five month public program of workshops, events and research.

To be clear though, this is just an exercise to explore ideas on how we could eventually live on Mars, rather than something that the team expects NASA to send up in a rocket. And Hugh Broughton Architects is not the only architecture firm exploring how we might keep humans on the Moon or Mars safe from threats like meteors and radiation. Notable examples include BIG and Foster+ Partners.

Source: Hugh Broughton Architects

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6 comments
paul314
How many people in that 40 m^2? That's a habitable volume similar to the ISS, which has a nominal crew of six, shorter residence times, and similar restrictions on going outside. (I don't know whether zero-g makes the usable area seem larger or smaller.)
Username
Nice attention to detail to have include the depiction of one of the inhabitants going stark raving mad from cabin fever!
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Millions of people are performing this experiment at this moment!
Worzel
Another architects fantasy. The 'climate' on Mars is nothing like the Antarctic, except maybe for the temperature. The inflatable would be destroyed by the first sand storm, and a small pile of sand would be all that remains, maybe. The inflatable also seems to show ventilation ducts on the roof, which would be impossible on Mars, unless humans could be engineered to breath CO2 at stratosphere pressures. In my opinion, the only habitation on Mars that would be viable, would be nuclear powered, fully sealed, underground bunkers. In other words, an ISS, but underground, to protect it from sand storms.
genegough
If you don’t ever have “Another architects fantasy” then very little new will ever be created. Making your fantasy my reality is how we progress.
Worzel
@genegough...The Donner party, experienced the effects of one mans fantasies. If you dont learn from history, you are destined to repeat its disasters. The best people to employ to design habitats in space, are space engineers, not architects!