October 26, 2015

Designing for Mars

Mars_Ice_HouseIn September, NASA announced the winning submission to the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge to be Ice House. Designed by UW Master of Architecture alumnus Masayuki Sono, ’96, a founding partner of Clouds AO in New York City. Partnering with SEArch, Masayuki explains the concept proposes the primary material for the structure be the planet’s water supply, thought only to exist in the form of ice until a few weeks ago. The Ice House design is made up of two ice pods, one inside the other to insulate inhabitants from the Mars’ extreme climate. Astronauts would live within the inner pod, which is also surrounded by a vertical greenhouse. Using a 3D printer, Mars Ice House is built with translucent ice that shields the crew from radiation. For the submission, the team was asked to create a space that would accommodate four astronauts, use 3D printing techniques and incorporate elements already existing on Mars.

Maskayuki is also known for his design of the University of Virginia Art Museum, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA and for the Staten Island 9/11 First Responders Memorial on Staten Island, NY.