The world-famous architects from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) are designing a massive Mars simulation city in the desert of the UAE near Dubai. The purpose is to build a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of the red planet. Welcome to the future and into space!

The Mars Science City by Bjarke Ingels Group
Image: Bjarke Ingels Group

Designing for space

The Mars Science City is to be led by a team from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and Dubai Municipality in cooperation with BIG and a team of scientists, engineers and designers. As part of the project, the architects from BIG have attempted to explore what a future life on Mars would look like.

The Mars Science City by Bjarke Ingels Group
Image: Bjarke Ingels Group

Check out: Colony on the moon

The design has taken into account low gravity, low pressure, extreme colds and high levels of radiation – something that is not normally part of the architect’s tool kit. The result is a city of domes engineered to create a whole new man-made ecosystem in a new world that has no existing ecosystem.

The Mars Science City by Bjarke Ingels Group
Image: Bjarke Ingels Group

Life on the red planet

The Mars Science City spans 1.9 million square feet and even though there is no timeline for the construction yet, the plan is that a team of astronauts will spend a year living in the simulated city.

The Mars Science City by Bjarke Ingels Group
Image: Bjarke Ingels Group

The domes will include a giant greenhouse, laboratories for food, energy, and water, agricultural testing, and studies about food security in the future. The greenhouse plan calls for the use of an agricultural technique called vertical farming. Instead of natural sunlight, crops would grow under LEDs on stacked trays in a climate-controlled environment. The ceiling would be made of materials that can block solar radiation which is stronger on Mars due to its lack of protective atmosphere. The city will also include a museum to showcase humanity’s greatest space achievements – and this will be behind museum walls that are 3D printed, using sand from the Emirati desert.

The Mars Science City by Bjarke Ingels Group
Image: Bjarke Ingels Group

BIG stands for Bjarke Ingels Group

Bjarke Ingels is the Danish architect who is the founder and creative partner of Bjarke Ingels Group – also known as BIG. The company is recognised throughout the world for creating buildings that defy convention while incorporating sustainable development principles and sociological concepts. Some of their most famous designs include 2 World Trade Center, the new Google North Bayshore Campus and the world’s best restaurant Noma in Copenhagen.

The Mars Science City by Bjarke Ingels Group
Image: Bjarke Ingels Group

More information on The Mars Science City:

Mars Science City is part of the United Arab Emirates’ larger mission to create a viable community on the red planet within the next century.

The development is estimated at $140 million.

Learn more