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Mars’ Primitive Hut | An Architectural Quest After the Native Martian Identity

Human habitation on mars requires not only a technological leap but a cultural one as well. The very first people to inhabit mars will be the ancestors of the Native Martian Society and will find themselves in a hybrid cultural situation. On the one hand, they will be equipped with an unlimited amount of human knowledge, information, and cutting-edge technologies. On the other hand, they will find themselves in a prehistoric planetary stage, as if regressed to the very beginning of humankind’s colonization of earth. They will exemplify a new futuristic interplanetary life form combining human and technology, yet they will mimic ancient tribal rituals of establishing a society on newly discovered land. In order to overcome alienation caused by the new environment, a new Martian Identity and culture will form. This new Identity will be crucial to the long-term survival of Mars’ community. The architecture of this martian culture will inextricably influence the human habitat and play a central role in the cultural development of the Native Martian.

Mars is Here

The potential for human habitation of Mars, is based on its similarity to Earth. Mars’ environment offers gravity, atmosphere, seasons, climates, landscapes, local materials and waterice, elements that make the native habitational pursuit available on earth. These similarities provide not only hypothetical parallels between the habitats but also practical and technical innovative opportunities. Thus, various analogs employed here on earth can be expected to yield high levels of accuracy on Mars. As many inventions in the space industry, this proposal takes an ‘Adhocistic’ architectural attitude (a term coined by Charles Jencks in 1968) towards Mars’ habitation challenge, namely, using existing ideas and techniques to create an innovative hybrid solution.

Mars is Now

This proposal focuses on the creation of the Native Martian Society and the Native Martian Culture by speculating the Primitive Martian Hut as the future-ancient vernacular form of human habitation on Mars. This hypothesis is based on up-to-date information, material and form finding research done here on earth. After absorbing the qualities and the architectural potentials of Mars’ environments, this proposal places the Primitive Martian Hut in the thick pure waterice layers found under Mars’ surface in mid-high northern latitudes. Taking into account the importance of waterice as a fuel, drinking and oxygen resource, it is imperative for Martian society to develop in proximity to waterice mines. When considering the dangerous surface levels of cosmic radiation, the radiation-insular nature of waterice, and scarcity of energy resources, a subterranean dwelling that manifests within the mines becomes an instinctive habitational selection. Mining the waterice by autonomous machines before and during human settlement is deeply connected to the growth of the Native Martian Community. Thus, a native vernacular relationship is formed between human, technology, material and environment. This unique relationship provides a rich cultural substance and enables the growth of the Native Martian Identity.