Nine leading contractors are collaborating on the project preparing for life on Mars

Nine leading construction companies and SCF donated time, expertise and resources to the “Martian House” project, preparing for life on Mars

The construction industry is gearing up for life on Mars as the Southern Construction Framework (SCF) and a network of suppliers have supported the construction of a large-scale ‘Martian’ home, an inflatable house d ‘or two floors in the heart of Bristol, designed to show the possibilities of human life on Mars.

Nine leading contractors and architects collaborated on the project

As part of a group of construction companies led by SCF Construct, BAM, Galliford Try, ISG, Kier, Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine, Wates Construction and Willmott Dixon have generously donated time, expertise and resources to an estimated value of £170,000 to bring the art project to life.

Businesses swung into action in support of the five-year project led by artists Ella Good and Nicki Kent after they asked SCF to help turn their vision into reality.

Based in Bristol’s M Shed Square, the project has so far brought together space scientists, architects, engineers, designers and the public to explore how we live today and stimulate visions of new ways of living here on Earth and on Mars.

The team worked alongside scientific and engineering experts Professor Lucy Berthoud, Dr Bob Myhill and Professor James Norman from the University of Bristol.

Casa Marciana must be able to handle traffic and inhospitable conditions

Designed in collaboration with Hugh Broughton Architects and Pearce Plus, the futuristic 53 square meter house consists of two floors with an external staircase and a lift platform on the upper level.

The top tier is powered by solar panels and formed from gold-coated pressurized inflatable foil, making it light enough to be easily transported to Mars while withstanding its inhospitable conditions.

The building considers what life on Mars would actually be like, with the lower level of the house designed to be built underground in Martian lava tubes.

Within this level is a flexible and private living space that can be used as a bedroom, virtual reality (VR) area and an integrated ecosystem.

Preparing for life on Mars by looking at our own lives

SCF Framework Senior Manager Emma Bull, who led SCF’s response, commented:

“Collaboration is at the heart of everything Southern Construction Framework does, so we are all delighted to have played a part in creating a truly extraordinary Marciana House bringing together the main contractors.

“The way in which the companies in the Southern Construction Framework supply chain have collaborated is also extraordinary and for nine separate bodies to come together in one artistic project seems unprecedented.”

The artists behind it Marciana HouseElla Good and Nicki Kent, praised the contractors for their contributions and reflected on how the project can inform decisions made for Earth-based housing.

Nikki Kent said: “Considering how we might live on Mars helps us rethink all aspects of our lives here on Earth. Mars is a place where you should live carefully and sustainably, and so it helps to focus clearly on how we live today. Our project shows that we can all have input into how we think about the future.”

Building a Martian house is open to the public from 17 August to 30 October 2022 at M Shed Square in Bristol.

There will be a three-month program of workshops, talks and events for all ages, including a live panel discussion with the design team.

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