Gold Inflatable Martian House Envisions Us Living Comfortably On Red Planet

Image via University of Bristol / Luke O’Donovan


As scientists begin exploring the idea of construction in space, including inventing “extraterrestrial cement,” a separate group of space scientists, architects, engineers, and designers have come together to consider future life on Mars. 

Will it be possible to live on the Red Planet with low power, emissions, and waste? And can these principles be applied to our homes here on Earth? 

To answer these thought-provoking questions, the team led by Hugh Broughton Architects created a gold, inflatable Martian house as a prototype for what our abodes could look like in outer space.

“This project is a place for research and experiments about the future. Using Mars as a lens because of its resource-limited nature helps focus our conversations around what we need and how we want to live,” explain local artists Ella Good and Nicki Kent, who spearheaded the concept.


Now on display at M Shed Square in Bristol, UK, the two-story home runs on power sourced from its own solar panels. Of course, in order to withstand the extreme temperatures in space, its façade was specially designed to protect inhabitants from temperatures averaging -63°C (-81.4°F) and cosmic radiation. 


Image via University of Bristol / Luke O’Donovan

The team tapped on specialists from Inflate to craft the home’s eye-catching upper level, which is made from pressurized inflatable gold-coated foil. On Mars, the walls would be filled with regolith (soil), though the display is filled with air so the prototype can be reused at a later date. 

It’s envisioned the structure will sit atop the sandy Martian landscape, with a hydroponic system built into the living room so occupants can enjoy an environment surrounded by plants for relaxation and a healthy diet. 

Additionally, the lower level of the home is designed to hunker underground within the planet’s lava tubes, which will protect residents from high levels of radiation present due to the thin atmosphere. 


Within the basement is an environmental control room that will comprise all the systems powering the building, along with two bedroom ‘pods’ that come with a shower and an exclusive ‘Martian loo’ designed by Duravit that boasts a low-water waste treatment system.


Image via University of Bristol / Luke O’Donovan



Going forward, the team will work together with volunteers to come up with the interior design of the project, hoping to include everything from the usual furniture to essentials such as clothing, toiletries, and wallpaper—with an emphasis on multi-functional, zero-waste products.

If you’re in the area, head over to the M Shed Square to check out the lower floor of the home every Wednesday and Saturday from August 31 to October 16, 2022. 

“The design draws upon principles developed for extreme environments on Earth overlayed with solutions to the logistic and environmental challenges of building on Mars, which we have developed with the help of space scientists,” quipped Hugh Broughton, Director of Hugh Broughton Architects. 

“It is a prototype, intended to challenge people’s perceptions of what life on Mars might be like and to provide a canvas for them to suggest their own ideas to make the house as comfortable and welcoming as possible,” he added. 




[via BBC and University of Bristol, images via University of Bristol / Luke O’Donovan]