“Des espaces autres” is aimed to be the first human settlement on Mars with unlimited possibilities of growth.
It is not a utopia since they are not real places. They are the results of human dreams about an ideal place. The willingness of replicating an environment similar to that of our planet Earth on yet “another” planet and its upcoming feasibility is nothing more than a heterotopia. It is, an overlapping of places that are actually hard to imagine together. A possible coexistence of “other”-distinct-places that allows new scenarios.
The project points to “another” place which can not exist. A human habitat beyond Earth, in a quite hostile place. It emphasizes and tries to resolve the tension between the willingness to experience and to be in contact with the outside, and the need to isolate oneself from this same environment because of its hazards.
The “other” architecture presented here becomes a foucauldian “mirror”, in which “another” existence takes place. Since it is not possible to experience the planet conventionally, it arouses another existence which is neither here or there, but in a new dimension that juxtaposes the two of them.
The proposal presents continuous growth and mutations based on a fractal structure. It adapts itself to the orography colonizing the surface as well as the empty spaces left behind by lava flows from distant past. The”presence”of the”absence”.
The building system takes advantage of the latest progress in the fields of 3D-printing, biochemistry and artificial intelligence (A.I.) in order to minimize needed supplies and make the most of martian resources.
The construction is carried out by organized groups of small robo-printers which are pre- programmed and semi-autonomous. They are equipped with photovoltaic cells and two types of Ralstonia Eutropha bacteria colonies. These bacterias are genetically modified to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates -polymeric compounds- and graphene from carbon dioxide (CO2) since it is omnipresent in the martian atmosphere at a percentage of 98.
The implantation pattern is based on Thiessen polygons. As such, we minimize the amount of construction required. Given a series of points of interest over the planet’s surface-frozen water lakes, craters, access to caves, mineral deposits, spatial observation points among others-the building extends its wings along the intersection of their areas of influence in the form of linear buildings. At the intersection points of these arms appear the nodes as higher structures.
The skin is composed of several specialized layers. Since there is no magnetosphere on Mars, the outer layer is covered of graphene and passed through by an electric current that generates and electromagnetic shield and repels the radiation of space. The intermediate layer, thicker in size, provides structural support. The inner layer provides the particular characteristics of each room.
On a smaller scale, each of these layers is composed of a net of nerves whose design is based on the bone structure of birds, so that resistance is optimized by minimizing the amount of material.
Could this architecture be the germ of a “another” new spatial and social context?