This commission from NASA covered the concept design for a space age house that could be transported to the planet Mars.
The brief was that during transportation the module should fit within a 3 m-diameter cargo hold within a spacecraft, which would carry the unit.
The design is based on a series of structural steel hoops fixed to a longitudinal spine which opens up on arrival to form the expanded accommodation. Due to the lower atmospheric pressure and reduced gravitational forces it is proposed to use the fabric space suits are manufactured from, to form the external envelope of the unit, which is stretched to form a tensile membrane by the steel frame below. This material is very durable and is capable of taking extreme ranges of temperature without the loss of strength.
We worked with Foreign Office Architects on this project, which was displayed in a series of NASA exhibitions during 2000.
NASA-commissioned design of a house comprising steel and a tensile membrane fit for use on the planet Mars
Foreign Office Architects