plan + section
THE MARTIAN CRATER
sector // aerospace
location // elysium planitia, mars
year // 2019
stage // conceptual
award // top 50 in klaf2019 first colony on mars international ideas competition
THE COLONISATION RACE
We have come a long way since the first speculative Martian maps produced by Giovanni Schiaparelli of 1877 in understanding the Red Planet. Ever since, mankind have continuously flirted with the possibility of living on Mars, surveying and collecting data for many decades, in order to decipher its largely unknown history, The once mere fantasy of colonising Mars is slowly shifting towards possible reality with each passing discovery. Since 1996, scientists have started gathering evidence to prove that the planet was once a habitable place with flowing water, and now, more than ever, we are convinced that it is no longer science fiction to populate Mars. Over the course of the last few years, many private organisations such as SpaceX, Blue Origins and Orbital ATK have been rigorous and aggressive in the race to colonise Mars, which helped develop many inspiring concepts to deal with the harsh Martian conditions. The proposals often have two key reoccurring themes: terraforming and sufficiency, which are inquiries that were used to develop this scheme.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
The idea of ‘home away from home’ stems from the perception that in such isolation and solitude, coupled by the thought that as intruders, the pioneer Martians would feel foreign, and there is a void to fill in terms of belonging. After acquiring the physiological needs of food and shelter, the Martians would need to obtain psychological fulfillment through social interaction between one another. Hence, the concept of inter-connected village domes is conceived, where communal spaces are linked together, to encourage the rate of collision between each Martian community.
The layout configuration of each dwelling pod takes precedent from a typical construct of a home on Earth, so that the Martians can have a sense of ‘belonging’ and comfort’ towards their environment. Also, in order to carry out the terraform agenda, heat will be released from the dome in the form of gaseous emissions via stacks. This is to incrementally build an atmosphere around Mars and to also heat up the cold Martian surface.
Over the years, many architects and engineers have speculated and proposed countless design solutions for a conducive Martian built environment. A thorough investigation across space-architectural design deduced three main architectural solutions: underground, 3D-printing and inflatable/bio-dome architecture. After weighing-in the pros and cons of each solution, the analysis finds that the weakness of one can be complemented by the strength of another, which manifested the idea of combining the three solutions together to form an architectural resolution.