Architecture

Conceptual shelter envisions small living on Mars

Conceptual shelter envisions s...
The Mars Case shelter is inspired by Henry David Thoreau's book Walden and his experience living simply
The Mars Case shelter is inspired by Henry David Thoreau's book Walden and his experience living simply
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The Mars Case shelter measures 2.4 x 2.4 x 2 m (7.87 x 7.87 x 6.5 ft)
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The Mars Case shelter measures 2.4 x 2.4 x 2 m (7.87 x 7.87 x 6.5 ft)
The Mars Case shelter was designed for a recent Beijing event focused on the future of housing
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The Mars Case shelter was designed for a recent Beijing event focused on the future of housing
The Mars Case shelter was produced in collaboration with Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi
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The Mars Case shelter was produced in collaboration with Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi
The Mars Case shelter is inspired by Henry David Thoreau's book Walden and his experience living simply
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The Mars Case shelter is inspired by Henry David Thoreau's book Walden and his experience living simply
The Mars Case shelter consists of a rectangular suitcase-like section attached to an inflatable bulbous front
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The Mars Case shelter consists of a rectangular suitcase-like section attached to an inflatable bulbous front
The Mars Case shelter's interior includes storage and seating
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The Mars Case shelter's interior includes storage and seating
Owing to the collaboration with Xiaomi, the Mars Case shelter is outfitted with smartphone-operated appliances
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Owing to the collaboration with Xiaomi, the Mars Case shelter is outfitted with smartphone-operated appliances
The Mars Case shelter measures 2.4 x 2.4 x 2 m (7.87 x 7.87 x 6.5 ft)
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The Mars Case shelter measures 2.4 x 2.4 x 2 m (7.87 x 7.87 x 6.5 ft)
View gallery - 8 images

During a recent Beijing event focused on the future of housing, OPEN Architecture, in collaboration with Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi, unveiled a tiny shelter for Mars. It's very conceptual and there's no suggestion the dwelling will actually be installed on the Red Planet, but it's interesting to see architects tackle the idea.

The Mars Case prototype is inspired by Henry David Thoreau's book Walden and embraces simplicity and self-reliance (the book is a big influence in the small living movement). The shelter measures 2.4 x 2.4 x 2 m (7.87 x 7.87 x 6.5 ft) and certainly looks the part, consisting of a rectangular suitcase-like section and an inflatable bulbous front area.

The idea is that the suitcase-like box would be transported to the Martian surface somehow. Then, the bulbous inflatable part with integrated windows would expand outward automatically, making a habitable shelter.

Its interior includes a main living area and what appears to be a bathroom and storage area, as well as a desk and seating. OPEN Architecture says the home would recycle heat and any condensation to minimize consumption of resources, though naturally doesn't go into how this would be achieved, given the scope of the project. Nor are other challenges like radiation and the harsh local conditions given any thought.

The Mars Case shelter's interior includes storage and seating
The Mars Case shelter's interior includes storage and seating

Owing perhaps to the collaboration with Xiaomi, OPEN Architecture envisions the Mars Case shelter being outfitted with smartphone-operated appliances too. We can't see future colonists bringing their Mi Mix 3 with them to Mars, though the firm does make mention of the little dwelling possibly being used on Earth (where at least we know smartphones will work as expected). Still, this is very much a conceptual project with no plans to produce it.

We've seen a few different takes on the kind of homes people will need to live in if we ever colonize Mars. Some of the more notable include SpaceHabs, Ice House, and Foster + Partners' 3D-printed Mars shelter.

Source: OPEN Architecture

View gallery - 8 images
2 comments
paul314
So the first thing martian colonists will have to do is put up cell towers?
Roger Aikins
Gasoline for a communication satellite would be cheaper and easier