Throughout our evolution, mankind has developed cities in order to fulfill two general basic requirements in its life: the need for shelter and the need for social interaction. History of civilizations is often described by the way those civilizations’ individuals were living together in their human settlements. Modern civilizations however few times started a new settlement from scratch: the new city grew between the buildings or patterns of older ones. In the years to come, human settlements in Mars will face the challenge of establishing the first footsteps in a completely virgin environment while solving all the problems such a harsh environment will pose us.
This report describes the first steps of a urban design and the architecture for a human settlement in Mars established in a basis of a growing community of 21 people in Gen 1.5 to about 2000 people in Gen II. A growing scheme based on a circulation pattern has been presented and also the small architectures that initially might populate the spaces in between those paths. A deeper view into the Gen II would definitely provide new architectures more adequate to the growing complexity both social and technological of the settlement.
3.6.3. Construction Staging
The following figures show the evolution of the growing Mars community in terms of people. Gen II will increase its population by adding new rings to existing city. Some bigger constructions will become milestones for the city development and will provide social reference points.
Because of the different functions, the density in the different parts of the city is very variable. The industrial areas are less dense areas both in construction acreage and population, while the residential areas are very dense. In Gen II new types of rings will be developed and some of them will be built with fulfilling structures that will increase the density even more.
3.6.2. Transportation system
Transportation around Gen II stands on what was said for Gen1.5 but it is increased in two levels.
· Major rings appear surrounding the growing pattern of the basic rings. These new rings provide faster transportation from one side to another of the city and would implement faster transportation systems such as multiple lane highways on the surface and either elevated tramway on the surface of underground subway below surface.
· Interior two-lane roads would be built straightly crossing the settlement: they would provide with fast connections inside the new order of bigger rings and would bring access to the earlier smaller rings.
Public services will be developed in order to provide with common transportation around the settlement both as tramway/subway or electrical buses. Private transportation will also be developed in the shape of electrical cars and scouters. Pedestrian and bycicle paths will be implemented and emphasized since the begining.
The following drawing shows a close-up of one of the new „neighbohods” around the new scaled transportation rings:
3.6.1. General configuration
Gen II increased the size of Gen1.5 in about 100 times. The project intended to implement the growing scheme developed in Gen1.5 in this larger community. In order to do it, two major decisions are taken in the development of the general configuration for the Gen II settlement:
· The ring strategy is scaled by adding new rings in a certain pattern but also by increasing the size of some of them that will house special functions. Bigger transportation rings will surround the smaller rings.
· The project couldn’t develop new typologies of building that would surely appear during the years. Instead of that, the project has simulated a growing considering the archetypes developed for Gen1.5 but understanding that there will be also a scaling factor in the buildings size. Therefore, some rings will have buildings that fulfill their surface.
Large attention is put into the need for arriving to any part of the settlement with heavy machinery. In this direction, the rings are set up in a pattern that always leaves empty areas to go into the more crowded areas. The areas closer to these “natural” empty spaces are principally dedicated to the mining and refining functions in order to have direct entrance from the mining areas away. Accommodation areas are naturally getting denser and bigger structures appear. New government sieges and other socially relevant buildings will be built in strategically points such as the crossing point of the new ring axes.
The following drawing shows the distribution of Residential Rings and Industrial Rings in the Gen II growing settlement. The „city center” is naturally filled in with Residential Rings while the oustkirts fo the city grow with Industrial Rings:
3.6. Gen II Settlement
Based on the previous Gen1.5 settlement, a future planning on the further development of the Mars community is been considered. The work has focused mainly on the growing pattern schemes of such a community but further study is required.
This computer animated image shows a view from the ring towards the courtyard where the common area stands. Greenhouses and Private Accommodation can be seen in the background.
This computer animated image shows a general view of the growing community of Gen 1.5.
The following graphic shows the implementation of theGen1.5 in the site, nearby Victoria Meridiani crater.
The following table shows the actual figures for the Gen1.5 Mars settlement:
3.5.5. Construction Staging
Prior the settlement construction, the settlers will live in some temporary habitats sent to Mars and mostly assembled. These buildings would be either vertical or horizontal inflatable structures with a small inflatable greenhouse to start the production of vegetables and agricultural experiments. After initial settlement construction is complete, the temporally habitats will remain in place as support buildings for further construction of the settlement.
Construction will be divided in different phases:
1. Temporary habitats, power and agriculture.
2. Surface ring roads.
3. Power and water facilities in the Industrial Area.
4. Mining and manufacturing in the Industrial Area.
5. Agriculture and Aquaculture in the Residential Area.
6. Private buildings and common areas in the Residential Area.
7. Underground ring road and pedestrian paths.
3.5.4. Industrial Area
On the rings that initially configure Gen1.5, four of them are devoted to the Accommodation Area. Three of them are just outdoor spaces with the material stockings on the mining and refining areas and the berms for the nuclear reactors. The fourth ring is dedicated to the conditioned spaces with “harder” industrial functions such as manufacture areas, maintenance and repair or MEP and Water/Waste Areas.
3.5.3. Accommodation Area
On the rings that initially configure Gen1.5, one of them is devoted to the Accommodation Area. Here, there are placed all the buildings with “softer” functions: private accommodation, common areas and greenhouses.
One of the main criteria during the development of the project was the use of multiple technologies and therefore geometries for each of the functions and buildings to implement in the settlement. This brings into the project an inherently eclecticism and look of disorder, an idea that is even strengthened by an apparent random when placing the buildings.
This effect is not considered as a negative value for the project due to the fact that the ring structure offers a larger scale order where every piece is submitted. However, buildings have certain order when placed into the ring: greenhouses and common areas are closer to the perimeter in order to provide easier access from the wheeled underground ring road to bring goods in and out. The private accommodation buildings, on the other hand, can be just connected between them with the pedestrian paths.
The Accommodation Area therefore includes 3 transparent greenhouses, 2 opaque greenhouses, 2 common area buildings (including laboratories) and 4 private accommodation buildings. These include three 8m diameter and 4 storey building with a total of 9 single apartments and 3 double, and one 12m diameter building and 3 storey building with a total of 3 single apartments and 3 double (that could be divided into 12 single). The final number of apartments is 12 single apartment and 6 doubles for a total of 24 people in the Gen 1.5 settlement.
In order to provide some extra light to the ground floor of the common area buildings and, on the same time, provide the perimeter ring circulation with some views and light, a courtyard is planned around them.
3.5.2. Transportation system
Transportation around Gen1.5 Settlement is provided in three levels:
· Surface transportation: wheeled heavy transportation non-conditioned roads will be conducted in the surface level following the ring growing pattern. A perimeter road will connect all the rings between them and allow access to every corner of the settlement for any construction machinery needed. The construction of these roads will stand on the underground transportation roads and will be very simply built in the Martian regolith by placing perimeter light buoys.
· Underground transportation: wheeled light transportation conditioned roads will be provided in further stages of the settlement development when an underground perimeter ring corridor for light electrical cars such as the ones used in golf courses. This transportation might not be needed in the very beginning of the settlement but further on will be very useful for community transportation between one ring to another. The construction of these roads will require open air tranches to be able to build the steel framework for the tunneled sections that afterwards will be covered with regolith. Some parts of the ring-road system will let the light in through courtyards and then glazed sections will be built.
When all the underground transportation system will be built, it will connect the whole settlement in a continuous volume. This would become a problem if decompression occurs in any point. In order to avoid it, several floodgates will be built in every ring to divide the system into smaller volumes that can be isolated in case of a loss of pressure.
· Underground paths: pedestrian underground conditioned paths will be built in order to connect all the buildings between them. Access to every building will be provided through pressure doors that will automatically close in there is a pressure loss. All of the buildings will have at least two accesses to ensure emergency egress loop. The construction of this net will require open air tranches in order to build the steel sections with continuous welding that afterwards will be covered with regolith.
3.5.1. General Configuration
The concept design is then driven by two main considerations:
· An actual planning that allows future growth of the settlement.
· The risk of mission failure due to the fact of not reaching the desirable construction technology.
In order to attend to those considerations, two major decisions are taken in the development of the general configuration for the Gen1.5 Settlement:
· A ring strategy is set in order to provide a pattern that will drive the future growth of the settlement by just adding new rings to the actual configuration.
· A set of construction technologies that do not compromise the general development in case any of them is not conducting results as were desired. This is then translated in a set of different building techniques and geometries for each of the functions required.
3.5. Gen 1.5 Settlement
Considering the above mentioned, the document focuses now on the urban and architectural design for a Gen1.5 settlement.
3.4.9. Settlement Construction Areas
These are provisional areas to carry on the further construction of the settlement. They are conceived as inflatable moving structures that can be brought from one place to another when a settlement construction is finished and another one starts. Some of the facilities can be conditioned, just pressurized or non-conditioned as needed.
To compensate the inner pressure that tends to lift the building up, wires are attaching it to the ground in a tent type like structure.
3.4.8. Nuclear System Areas
These facilities need to be away of the living areas but not much in order to minimize the wiring and the energy loses. Therefore a berm strategy would allow allocating, inside one ring, three nuclear reactors in individual spaces protected by Martian regolith berms preventing direct exposure of the surroundings to the radiation. Perimeter circulation would provide access to the interior of these spaces. In the accesses are placed the nuclear control room and the cooling tower for each of the reactors inside the berms.
3.4.7. Mining and Refining Areas
These are external areas dedicated to the temporary storage of materials coming from the mining areas and the refining of the materials to further use and manufacture.
They would be organized also in a ring basis with a perimeter ground circulation for trucks and vehicles and inner organization in six (6) piles of different materials. Staging area would be provided through inflatable structure that would allow a occasionally pressurized inner space. Gas plant and deposits would also be placed inside the ring.
3.4.6. MEP and Water/Waste Areas
The main concept in these facilities is that of a goblet: an elevated reservoir of water supported on a foot that actually contains other activities that requires pressurized conditions. The reservoirs should also be pressurized to avoid the water evaporate but would not require the same level of pressurization.
In this building the inner pressure is kept by a steel plate surface built with steel plates of about 90cm wide attached together by continuous welding. These plates would work also as outer structure to protect against sand storms. In the interior of the “foot facilities”, gel bags would protect from radiation and they would be covered with fiber glass panels as revetment.
The foot would then contain several floors to allocate support activities such as water purification facilities and mechanical and electronic equipment rooms.
3.4.5. Maintenance and Repair Areas
Concrete shells could also be used in the Maintenance and Repair Areas where some skylights with 7cm of water could let the light in and work. Several buildings dedicated to this activity would be connected between them and also to the wheeled corridor ring around the settlement. An airlock building in concrete without skylights would provide access to the Martian surface.
3.4.4. Opaque Greenhouses
Opaque Greenhouses would be built using concrete shell technology with a non-reusable inflatable form that would contain the inner pressure. The concrete shell would support the gravity loads of the concrete and the 30cm regolith above it for radiation protection. This technology would allow large span structures, very appropriate for the greenhouses.
Geometry of the building would be shaped using parabolic surfaces that would allow very thin concrete shells as Earth based architecture have demonstrated with very fine examples in the work of Felix Candela, Eduardo Torroja, Pier Luigi Nervi and many others.
Access from the net of pedestrian corridors would be placed in the underground level and plantations would be organized in the upper floor and mezzanine. In the underground water would be also recovered from the plants and initial storage of the vegetables produced. Wheeled access to the main wheeled ring would be provided in order to distribute the production to the other areas.