Inspired by the myth of Hades and Persephone, the concept addresses the dichotomy of space exploration on Mars. Mars exploration is built up by the noble aspirations of mankind to advance technology and knowledge via exploring Mars, which may even be vital for human survival. However, it also reflects and rely on the selfish nature of humans, such as tourism for personal leisure, space commercialisation and the morality of planetary contamination. Hades and Persephone are the architectural manifestation of this contrasting yet indivisible parts of exploring Mars.
Using in-situ resources requires mining for ores, subsurface ice and materials. While exploitative, this destruction on Mars is essential for long-term survival for humans. Human activities are highly-centralised into a 1km radius zone to confine the spread of human contamination. A tower accommodates the required spaces including leisure, commercial spaces, resource generation. Overlooking a mining pit which the architecture besieges, the dystopian view contrasts starkly with the beautiful landscape of Mars. This serves as a warning and dialogue of this necessary evil and urgency of sustainability to maintain life on Mars. Eventually, it is envisioned that the design becomes fully sustainable before reaching the capacity of the mine. The sunken tower thus represent the death, wealth and underworld of Hades.
There are endless sites on Mars to explore, learn and grow. Persephone is designed as a light-weight and mobile unit. Anchored on stilts, the design is elevated to limit contact with the pristine landscape as much as possible. The spaces consist of mainly laboratories and residential spaces meant to facilitate exploration and research. After harvesting knowledge from the site, the units are transported back to Hades for refuel, resource and abode. A flower shell made of ice and regolith is left behind as footprints which will slowly erode away after the change of time. The design represents the life, fruits and nature of Persephone.
The design draws inspiration from tessellating patterns commonly found in the canyons, sand dunes and natural landforms on Mars. The dodecahedron replaces the orthogonal as the module for Mars. With more edges, the form is more capable to enclose an inflatable sphere, while introducing more organic and intriguing spaces. Through tessellation, the module grow organically, providing bigger and more spaces on Mars. Built with regolith and ice, the dodecahedron shell is made up of modular panels built for radiation protection, and resource generation through absorbing water vapour and algae farming. The panels form an alluring tessellating pattern that defines the aesthetics of Mars.
Mars = God of War
Hades = God of Underworld, God of Wealth
Persephone = God of Offspring, God of Nature, God of Harvest
Myth of Hades and Persephone
Hades fell in love with Persephone and abducted her to the underworld. Her mother gathered help from other gods and tried to rescue her. However, as Persephone was tricked into eating food from the underworld, she has to spend three months every year in the underworld with Hades. She came to love Hades and lived happily together.