Neurosynthesis - Mars city design

Innovation, Master Planning
  • Architectural design proposal of a city on the Planet Mars.
  • Location: Mars, Solar System, Orion Arm
  • Area: 968,000 m²
  • Year: 2016
  • Status: Won


Mars is not just a scientific curiosity, it is a resource-rich world - an opportunity waiting to be explored. The science of space today has all the technologies required for undertaking an aggressive programme of human mars exploration, with the first piloted mission launched by human species reaching the red planet within the decade. The proposal provides the blueprint for the first city on Mars.

In this design thesis, I aim to establish a systemic design approach to facilitate the harbouring of life successfully on the red planet. Using technologies that exist today on earth, The project attempts to remove the manned Mars mission from the realm of mega-fantasy and make it a near-future reality that which can be achieved by recognizing the hurdles and solving them one by one. This design involved research on-site selection in an unexplored alien environment, on the psychological changes in human behaviour in deep isolation, on intensive resource management, about the closed river-loop system and human-non-human relationship. 

Conceptual sketch on the Martian Terrain. 


Systemic urban divisions for circular and regenerative city

Site selection based on topographical study



The central challenge to building a city on Mars is to create a closed system that can sustain itself for long. Urban areas on Earth survive only by relying on a much larger footprint than their metropolitan boundaries. The more Isolated a space city is - the farther from external resupply resources - the more closed its oxygen, food and water loops must be. Our longer-term capacity to thrive in Space depends not only on the initial construction of closed living quarters but also on how the infrastructures of life are propagated throughout interplanetary and cosmic space. In other words, architecture must be concerned not just with sealed habitats and closed ecosystems, but also with the processes of ‘ecopoiesis’ – the transformation of barren, non-dynamic planetary surfaces such as Mars into primitive elemental cycles that generate planetary-scale systems of exchange. To simplify the complexity of the urban plan, i divided the city into nodes and connections, where individual nodes would become the primordial structures and the connections would become the paths leading to them respectively.

Unless we can design sustainable environments that do not just focus on resource conservation but promote life, our chances of supporting interplanetary colonies are extremely slim. City walls or a complete atmospheric barrier would also be required to shield Martian citizens from the brutal radiation bombardments of the deep space.



Section showing zonal structures, modular housing, & river system


Exploded Axonometric


Physical model testing the Zonal structure


Physical model testing the Zonal structure


Physical model testing the Atmospheric barrier


Physical model testing the Atmospheric barrier


For creating the first blueprint of society on mars, it is imperative to think about how this new world and new civilization will function?  What language will they speak? What values and traditions will they imbibe, to make it another anchor point as from there humanity will continue to move out into the solar system and beyond? We now have the opportunity to be the founders, the parents and shapers of a new and dynamic branch of the human family, and by so doing put our stamp on the future. Before envisioning this, however, we need to have a strong geospatial understanding that controls our survivability. 


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Landis, Geoffrey A. (2009). "Meteoritic steel as a construction resource on Mars". Acta Astronautica. 64 (2-3): 183.

Rachel Armstrong and Neil Spiller, Protocell Architecture, March, 2011.

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