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Through our proposal we envision a self-growing Martian ecosystem that efficiently exploits its inherent resources. Just like our ever-expanding yet intimate universe, our habitat grows collectively as one community strongly brought together by social bonds. The idea of communal growth is underlined by the concave form of the habitat plan that facilitates the crucial aspect of sharing. By establishing this strong bond and leaving enough room for more organic expansion, the habitat becomes more resilient to survive its first few harsh years.

Our masterplan is composed of central spiral communal spaces – nuclei surrounded by collective mixed-use living spaces. The concentric Fibonacci spiral shape of the central nuclei enables us to incorporate transitional atmospheres that allow for sheltered contact with the neoteric surrounding landscape. The genesis and birth of this plan is accomplished through a series of phases that make optimum use of the Martian site nature, climate, resources and the available earth technologies at hand. Firstly, extensive site surveying is to be carried out to locate the best site for the first settlement. After necessary excavations, 3D printing machines are to start printing the opaque components, which later are to be covered by sand accumulated by dust storms over time, thereby developing an insulation film and completing the process of formation of the structure envelope. It is in the third and final stage that humans are to inhabit their new habitat: drawing the first breaths of life into the age-old sand.

Decentralization and redundancy of primary resources are key for the settlement’s survival and growth. The green agricultural spaces are therefore not concentrated into one central space but are scattered throughout the masterplan to provide resilience to unexpected shocks. Furthermore, basic life resources are kept mobile in public transport vehicles along with humans in order to heighten the threshold of resilience. The masterplan final shape, as a result, will be a product of a series of naturally existing conditions and events combined with technological man-made shelters and infrastructure that provides ultimate protection from the harsh and unprecedented environmental conditions; a Martian vernacular colony.

The Hill Pills are compact communal mixed-use living spaces. They are half-buried pill-shaped volumes specifically designed to foster a nest of diverse life activities: sleep, nourishment – physical and social, work, play and communal contributions to the collective life environment. Each pill can be connected to adjacent pills to expand the social experience. They are designed to be self-sustainable spaces with high recycling efficiency made possible by the help of algae. The skin facing the outside world is adaptive and supports real-time control of solar radiation. This is accomplished by the ETFE gas-filled cushions that expand and contract according to solar radiation reception.

We acknowledge that these multi-scalar design ideas require holistic implementation to achieve our ambitions for a Martian utopia. For it is only through ambition and striving to be better that humans were able to fulfill their unceasing curiosity to explore. Making the once-a-dream inception of living on another planet a reality.