A troglodyte city on planet Mars.

First Prize – Mars City Design competition 2019 (Jury NASA, SpaceX)

Valle Marineris is one of the deepest place on Mars and maybe the best one to land as the atmosphere is thick enough to allow spaceships to brake.

It is where we imagined our Troglodyte Village for Future Settlers. By digging houses under the rock, humans are protected from cosmic rays and radiations. In this first living unit, behind a thick layer of water ice, people from Earth will find a comfortable place to live, work, even exercise on Mars.

We’ve been inspired by the antic city of Petra, in the Jordan desert. In this place, there is no wood at all to build structures or scaffoldings.

Inspiration: Petra’s Khazneh – Jordan desert

25 centuries ago, people had to innovate by sculpting their monuments directly in the mountain itself. The first thing to do was to find a way to reach the top of the cliff. Then, to rappel it down to study the rock and finally, find the perfect place to carve from the top to the bottom.

It is an exeptionnal  building method which has also been found among Anasazis Indian in Colorado.

In order to get an equivalent result on planet Mars, we think to use rovers to carve and sculpt the cliff before the arrival of the first astronauts.

Rovers dig the rock before the arrival of the astronauts.

Rovers will cling themselves the cliff and then rappel it down to start the building of the troglodyte house.

As our ancestors did, they will start from the top to the bottom of the cliff. This first uninhabited mission could be fully automatic or controlled from one of the moon of Mars.

This level is dedicated to life support equipment, tanks and containers for water, oxygen and nitrogen. This space would also be used as a garage for rovers and equipments during storms.

Bigger rovers will then be needed to build the village. They will also be used as a transport for the crew when astonauts land on Mars.Such a vehicule has several functions.

For example, it can carry heavy loads such as life modules that will be placed Inside the cave.

Big rovers will build the village before the arrival of the astronauts.

When humans arrive here, they will be tired by their long journey in space. For this reason, the base will at first be built by machines.

The lower level is dedicated to supply modules, tanks for oxygen, nitrogen and water. Inflatables living modules are on the upper level. Each unit is protected from radiations by a thick rock.

Windows are made of multiple layers of water ice to protect and also provide natural light Inside. It is possible to build an entire city with this unique principle.

Troglodyte house protected from radiations and storms.

This work requires that the location have been well studied. Machines and Artificial Intelligence must find the appropriate topography to spend the minimum of energy and time.

The more a city grows, the more it needs connections. In addition to the horizontal tunnels that are between the modules, we have imagined Ice tubes that connect floors to each others.

A need inspired structure that can stand on itself with a lift in the middle.

A vertical city will be adapted to the rocky shape of Valles Marineris canyon.

Downtown Olympia.

A standardized concept that can be adapted into several architectural typologies.

The sports complex with an indoor arena will allow the inhabitants to participate in many compétitions.

Many living modules will be used for sports. With three times less gravity on Mars, human’s health is a priority.

Olympia’s sports complex. (Arena)

With the help of the martian gravity, they will be able to break many Earth records.

Sports rules will be very different on planet Mars. Running in a straight line is not a problem but in the curves, the track will be inclined for a better grip.

The curved Arena.

Let’s imagine together this martian troglodyte city, protected by rock and ice with natural light Inside.

Obviously, all of these equipments require a lot of energy. That’s why large and flexible solar panels will be deployed by rovers. They could be folded quickly before a storm.

This biomimetic project incorporates many knowledge that both Nature and Antic civilizations have given us to think about the futur of humanity.

Flexible solar panels like ocean waves.