In Sept 2017, the UAE government launched the project Mars Science City which is slated to be the world’s largest space simulation city, designed by Bjarke Ingels led firm BIG.
In Sept 2017, the UAE government launched the project Mars Science City which is slated to be the world’s largest space simulation city, designed by Bjarke Ingels led firm BIG. The project will cover 1.9 million sq ft (176,516 sq m) at a cost of nearly US$140 million dollars. The city will span several domes, including a space for a team to live for up to a year as part of a Mars simulation.
The UAE is a great country with vision and understanding of the challenges we face and the rapid changes our world is experiencing. We believe in the potential of space exploration, and in collaborating with global partners and leaders in order to harness the findings of this research and movement that seeks to meet people’s needs and improve quality of life on earth.
Vice President, Prime Minister and
Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid
This project will include advanced laboratories that stimulate the red planet’s terrain and harsh environment through advanced 3D printing technology and heat and radiation insulation. It seeks to attract the best scientific minds from around the world in a collaborative contribution in the UAE to human development and the improvement of life. It also seeks to address global challenges such as food, water and energy security on earth.
The plan for the Mars Science City project include an experiential element which will involve a team living in the stimulated red planet city for one year. It is hoped the experience will form an important reference model for future innovation around sustaining life in a hostile planetary environment. A range of experiments are to be devised which will lead to innovation around self-sufficiency in energy, water and food.
The Mars Science City structure will be the most sophisticated building the world, and will incorporate a realistic simulation environment replicating the conditions on the surface of Mars.
The city will consist of several domes, with innovative construction techniques providing support for the structures. A team of Emirati scientists, engineers and designers, led by a team from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and Dubai Municipality, will carry out the project, in cooperation with BIG.
Name: MARS SCIENCE CIT Y
Program: Culture, Status: In Progress
Size in m2: 56810
Project type: Commission
Client: Government of United Arab Emirates
Collaborators: Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai
Municipality, BIG Landscape, BIG Ideas, BIG Engineering
Location Text: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange,
Andreas Klok Pedersen
Project Leader: Dimitrie Grigorescu
What BIG says about the project
At its most fundamental, architecture is the art and science of making our world more suitable for human life. This becomes fundamentally clear when we venture beyond our Terran origins to settle in foreign worlds. The architecture that captivates us the most is vernacular architecture, that have evolved by adapting to the local climates and landscapes. With the Mars Science City, we have attempted to explore what a Martian Vernacular will look like. Designing to low gravity, low pressure, extreme colds and high levels of radiation, radically changes the architect’s tool kit and the resulting forms and spaces.
“When you begin to inhabit a world that has no existing eco-system, environmentalism takes on a whole new meaning. The challenge is not to preserve the existing environment, but rather to design and engineer a whole new man-made ecosystem, making us take the step up from custodians to creators of our own little Martian circle of life.” - BIG
(Text courtesy – Dubai Media Office & BIG)
(Image courtesy – BIG)