Mars Ice House

Winner: 1st Place NASA 3D Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge Phase 1. SEArch (Space Exploration Architecture) and Clouds AO, an architecture and space research collective, were awarded the top prize in the NASA and America Makes sponsored competition for a 3D Printed Habitat Challenge for Mars. The competition asked teams to design a habitat for four crew members while highlighting 3D printing techniques and using material indigenous to Mars. Recognizing that water is the building block to life, the team used a ‘follow the water’ approach to conceptualize, site and construct their design. Mars Ice House was born from the imperative to bring light and a connection to the outdoors into the vocabulary of Martian architecture. The winning proposal stood out as one of the few entries not to bury the habitat beneath regolith, instead mining the anticipated abundance of subsurface ice in the northern regions to create a thin vertical ice shell capable of protecting the interior habitat from radiation while celebrating life above ground.

Project Year


Team Members

Michael Morris (SEArch Project Lead), Christina Ciardullo (SEArch), Kelsey Lents (SEArch), Melodie Yashar (SEArch), Jeffrey Montes (SEArch), Ostap Rudakevych (CloudsAO), Masayuki Sono (CloudsAO), Yuko Sono (CloudsAO), Jared W. G. Atkinson (MIT Planetary Geophysics), Maria Banks (Planetary Sciences Institute), Kim Binstead (Univ of Hawaii), Eric Barnett (Laval University), Casey Handmer (CalTech), Stefan Harsan Farr, Jeffrey Hoffman (MIT Aeronautics), Norbert Koemie (Space Research Institute), LERA Consulting Engineers, Petr Novikov (Asmbld Construction Robotics), Yaz Khoury (Asmbld Construction Robotics), Javier Roa (JPL), Pavlo Rudakevych, Markus Scheucher (Univ of Graz Space Sciences), Pieter Sijpkes (McGill Univ), Dr. Ron Turner (ANSER), Lawrence W. Townsend (Univ of Tennesse)


SEArch / CloudsAO

Further Information