House on Mars: UK-designed home is an exciting glimpse at a Martian city

The firm designed several science stations in Antarctica before.
Nergis Firtina
Martian house in Bristol
Martian house in Bristol

Pearce+ 

Would you like to live in a Martian house on Earth?

If you like to live in one, a Martian house — designed to withstand Mars' harsh climate — was recently introduced in the heart of Bristol, United Kingdom.

The Martian house was conceived by artists Ella Good and Nicki Kent, who wanted to use Mars as a lens to focus on what we need and how we want to live on Earth.

The project was designed by two British architecture and design firms called Hugh Broughton Architects, which have designed several Antarctica science stations, and Pearce+

The structure will open to the public next week and host a series of talks and workshops about sustainable living, wrote Fast Company on August 28.

How did it start?

Building a Martian House requires a lot of teamwork. It began as an idea in 2015, with only artists Ella Good and Nicki Kent on board.

This project was inspired by numerous experiments that have been taking place worldwide for more than two decades. Many people on Earth have been practicing sending people to Mars.

In 2017, Ella Good and Nicki Kent met with Spacecraft Systems Engineer Professor Lucy Berthoud, and she joined the team.

Ella Good and Nicki Kent met architect Hugh Broughton and were awarded a small grant from the Edward Marshall Trust to collaborate on design projects with the architect firm. Dr. Bob Myhill, a scientist, also joined the team in 2018, and the conceptual design was produced in 2019.

House on Mars: UK-designed home is an exciting glimpse at a Martian city
Concept design by Hugh Broughton Architects

Bristol City Council granted planning permission in October 2020.

SCF Construct joined the project team in 2021 and recruited construction companies to donate materials and labor.

Mars' harsh climate vs. a Martian house

While the Martian house was being designed, the motto was that the red planet could keep up with the harsh climatic conditions.

“I’m sure there are technical holes, or someone would say ‘the rocket dimensions are this, and your house wouldn’t pack in like that,’ but that’s not the aim,” says Hugh Broughton — the founder of Hugh Broughton Architects.

“It aims to, as closely as possible, represent what a house on Mars would be like, but actually in the process to provoke questions about our own lives on Earth.”

Life on Mars may be possible

Unlike the flurry of fantastical renderings of Mars colonies that have flooded the internet, the Martian House is a tangible object designed to get people thinking about living with scarce resources and within your means in a constrained environment that isn't driven by consumerism.

"We’re building a Martian House. It’s going to be a real-life house that you can step into and imagine how we might live on another planet" said Ella Good and Nicki Kent.

"It’s often said we have more technology in our pockets nowadays than took NASA to the moon. This project is about seeing what is possible and how far we can get with what we have here and now," also added.

"Our house will be built by many people coming together and sharing their knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm - working with space scientists, engineers, architects, and the local community."

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