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mars - international mars station
13th edition

Mars has been known since antiquity as one of the six planets viewed with the naked eye, giving it an aura of mystery by its reddish color and irregular trajectory and becoming one of the most fascinating symbols of astronomy.
The interest in Mars greatly improved when it was revealed that the planet was superficially more similar to Earth, with environmental
conditions that give the hypothesis of the existence of life.
The Martian atmosphere consists essentially of carbon dioxide, which is not surprising, because the existing oxygen on Earth is the result of life and not its cause. Low temperatures and low atmospheric pressure existing on the planet, mean that there can only be water in two states: ice and steam.
However it is believed that there may be large amounts of water in certain Martians pores, especially in latitudes greater than 60 (N and S). The gathering consensus, due to certain forms of relief, is that Mars once had liquid water.
The more you know Mars, the greater the interest in the discovery of this planet, making it a prime target of major space agencies around the world.
Is this the new era of discovery for the human being? Are we prepared to inhabit the inhabitable?
The countdown will continue as long as a planet to live …

Red Planet.
The fourth planet from the sun.
Volcanic basalt surface.
Olympus Mons the largest mountain in the solar system.
radius: 3.390 km
gravity: 3,711 m/s²
Daylength: 1d 0h 40m
bulk: 6,39 × 10^23 kg (0,107 M⊕)
Surface area: 144.800.000 km²

Theme: internationl mars station
Objective: 1st men on mars
We intend to create the first mars station for receiving men on this red planet.
So it’s necessary some installations for this can be a reality.
- Localization: somewhere on mars
- Number of people : 1st group to arrived: 10 persons - (5 mens and 5 womens)
- Workzone: common area with a laboratory for studies
- Rest zone: 10 individual areas
- Social area
- Greenhouse: a big area for agriculture
- Covered farm: a big area to create the first animals in mars
- Warehouse for materials
- Storehouse for food
- Physical maintenance center (gym)
- Others - you may propose other areas that are not considered in the present brief.


1st Place

Team: Stephanie Wyant, Isabel Clay, 

Josh Rigelsford, Glyn Whibley, 

Dellanie Byron

City: Portsmouth

Country: United Kingdom

2nd Place

Team: Cosmin O. Galatianu, Horia Munteanu, Cosmin Georgescu, 

Cristian Besliu

City: Bucharest

Country: Romania

3rd Place

Team: Eduardo Chirlaque Rico, Francisco Marco Peñas

City: Alicante

Country: Spain

Honorable Mentions
Honorable Mentions

Team: Johannes Rühle, Yannick Kaiser

City: Stuttgart

Country: Germany

Team: Ana Martins, Margarita Ianev, 

Ella Quinton, Luke Grounsell, 

Miguel Martin del Castillo

City: London

Country: United Kingdom

Team: David Emmons, Claire Gaspin

City: Champaign

Country: United States

Team: Jakub Pietryszyn, Maciej Rebisz

City: Warsaw

Country: Poland

Team: Tiago Ferreira, Manuel Romão

City: Braga

Country: Portugal

Team: Polina Donchevskaia, Vasilii Potapov

City: Saint-Petersburg

Country: Russian Federation

Team:Lukas Brecheler, Francesco Pusterla

City: Basel

Country: Switzerland

Team: Luis Bautista Harris, Ernesto Ibáñez Galindo, Pablo Castillo Luna, Jorge Henríquez Yanes

City: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Country: Spain

1st place – ID000600 - Team: Stephanie Wyant, Isabel Clay, Joshua Riglesford, Glynn Whibley, Dellanie Byron; City: Portsmouth; Country: United Kingdom


“Interesting modular layout. The circular ramp between levels would create a great open space and allow light to travel down to the lower levels. The upper levels would have a great atmosphere.” Bryan Versteeg

“Silica Stilio proposes hexagonal programmatic units which penetrate into the ground of Mars. The idea of using local materials which already exist on Mars, using them for 3d printing construction elements, and the concern for recycling waste material make the project stand out in the competition.” Heves Beseli, arq.

“As a typical underground settlement which can be a very appropriate for such hostile environments, with its modular organization and its ability to transform the excavated material into the main construction material, this proposal introduces an innovative approach for generating spaces for human existence on mars. Spaces that are formed through the combination of hexagonal holes carries potentials for variety in spaces that house different functions.” Onur Yuncu, arq.

“An underground proposal is the best project for a mars building. This proposal has been remarked thanks to its curved roof which allows to received more solar light. The representation, schemes and info explain in a very effective way the main idea.” Rafael Gonzalez, arq.

“The proposal presents a very creative and innovative design. It reveals a very original construction concept from hexagonal modules that are repeated and are previously constructed by "spider robots" using the local raw material itself, in order to constitute the future habitats for the first inhabitants of mars. It also makes intelligent use of the subsoil of Mars to simultaneously serve as protection for the aggressive environment and sustainable support for human life.” Francisco Polvora, arq.


2nd Place – ID00070 - Team: Cosmin O. Galatianu; City: Bucharest; Country: Romania


“Imaginative. A very unique solution. ” Bryan Versteeg

“Detached Continent’ is a creative project which features a unique approach among the other proposals. Although it does not propose a plan layout for the programmatic requirements asked in the brief in the traditional sense, its critical approach to the problem is appreciated.” Heves Beseli, arq.

“Main idea of detaching the human habitat from mars while inhabiting it is an ingenious approach. Construction will be simpler without the need of foundations, just depending on the gravity. Human interaction with the hostile environment of mars will be controlled and safe. Detachment of the structure from the surface of mars also contributes to the preservation of mars as it is during human intervention. Long term projection for the structure as an archaeological artifact is well thought and presented.” Onur Yuncu, arq.

“Something strange, different, risky and utopian. This projects deserves the 2nd place because it’s a different idea that can lead to a different way of building in mars. However it’s an unrealistic project.” Rafael Gonzalez, arq.

“It is a proposal of great beauty and originality that develops a very interesting concept of colonization of Mars. Based on the study and prior knowledge of the planet itself, the adaptation of the future colony and its descendants to it and the transformation of the living conditions of the planet in order to make it more friendly and human. Despite the radical nature of the proposal and its confrontation with the known and difficult habitable conditions of the planet Mars, the proposal is characterized by a deep hope in the success of its colonization.” Francisco Polvora, arq.


3rd PLace – ID0001510 - Team: Eduardo Chirlaque Rico, Francisco Marco Peñas; City: Alicante; Country: Spain


“Well thought out and executed underground levels. Wonderfully represents the interior spaces. Very strong graphical presentation.” Bryan Versteeg

““Argonout" displays a skillful integration of environmental factors and functional requirements given in the competition program. The proposal to build a self-sustaining living environment drilled underground with respect to the physical context of Mars is successfully executed considering the 24 hour time constraint. Consistent spatial layering of different levels and the clear plan organization are appreciated.” Heves Beseli, arq.

“This is a typical interpretation of an underground settlement appropriate for the hostile environment of mars. Its well organized interior and some innovative particular solutions such as the inverted dome provides a well thought solution for this typical approach.” Onur Yuncu, arq.

“As the winner, this project hit the target designing the project in the underground. It has a very big surface facing the sun, but the levels belows get bigger and smaller for no reason, so they will lose the temperatue more easily than the winner panel.” Rafael Gonzalez, arq.

“The proposal develops a fairly complete program through a large "argonauta nau" that takes advantage of the soil morphology of the planet Mars by building the negative of a crater. Through its interesting geometry and deployment in the subsoil establishes the necessary conditions to guarantee its sustainability.” Francisco Polvora, arq.



Some considerations about the competition


“This competition was very interesting to judge. The incredible diversity of entries made each submission a unique puzzle to solve while discovering the intent of the designers. Although there were many variations on common themes, each had some creative interpretations that dealt with different problems. Congratulations to all who entered. There easily could have been 20 in the top 3.” Bryan Versteeg

“The 24 hour format of the competition provides a chance for the generation of innovative ideas on a certain topic by focusing on the problem for a limited time. Within this process of charette, it brings forth the significance of the idea since there is not enough time for detailed development, hence it fits well to the name "ideas forward".

Although the theme "mars" provided insights for generating ideas on an unfamiliar and hostile environment, among the 98 proposals submitted, most of the ideas were developed around typical, familiar (from science fiction) space station images, mostly underground. This was a bit surprising. There are only a few proposals suggesting different forms of interaction with the mars environment. However, there were interesting investigations on this typical, underground, modular space station image in terms of particular structural systems, construction techniques, materials and space organization. Therefore, as a result, the topic "mars" provided the ground for  fruitful design research in various levels of depth, focusing on the possibility of human existence in unfamiliar and hostile environments.” Onur Yuncu, arq.

“It has been a pleasure being a jury member. Maybe some day we will build in Mars, who knows? The proposals allows the participant to dream about how can be life in another place very different to where we live”. Rafael Gonzalez, arq.

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