Eleven Magazine has announced the winners of the international design competition “Moontopia,” which asked architects to imagine a self-sufficient lunar colony designed for living, working, researching and space tourism.
From a pool of proposals from hundreds of applicants worldwide, 9 schemes were selected by an expert jury including space-architects, academics and NASA designers as the winners of the competition. Check out the winning projects below.
TEST LAB / Monika Lipinska, Laura Nadine Olivier and Inci Lize Ogun
A medium-scale lunar colony, Test Lab invasions a base point in the frontline of space exploration and Lunar colonisation. Beautifully presented in their sheets, this winning team have developed a design which acts as an initial base on the Moon to conduct further testing on our satellite. The architecture can be allowed to grow and construct itself through a method of 3D printed self-assembly, gradually colonising the Moon over time. The most important structure of the Test Lab is the outer membrane. Based on a simple origami pattern and made of programmed carbon fibre, it has the ability to shape itself once it senses pressure variation with the first solar wind.
MOMENTUM VIRIUM in L1 / Sergio Bianchi, Jonghak Kim, Simone Fracasso, Alejandro Jorge Velazco Ramirez
For the runner-up team, it was important that the Moon kept a significant meaning for us here on Earth. This is why they decided to base their Moontopia in the lunar orbit rather than on the surface of the Moon itself. A space elevator links the man-made space-city with our beloved natural satellite: a sensitive and elegant solution which mixes poetry with science-fiction.
People’s Choice Award
MODULPIA / Alessandro Giorgi, Cai Feng, Siyuan PanEsteban Analuiza
The general public’s favourite entry is designed as a unique form. According to a so-called aggregation system Weair-Phelan structure, it gives shape to an expandable landscape which could accommodate Moon dwellers in relatively economical, sustainable and simple solutions. Modular in nature, Modulpia could grow organically in time and, by employ bioregenerative strategies, it would be able to provide its own food, plants (for CO2 removal and oxygen production), and generate drinkable water from gray water.
PLATINUM CITY / Sean Thomas Allen
The fantastic graphics of this entry are equally matched by the extensive research which has given birth to its design. In its form alone, Platinum City is a fantasy-driven utopia. In its research, it is a new extraterrestrial urban model based on cutting-edge science and technology available to us today. Could this be a vision of what mankind living on the Moon at a large-scale could actually look like?
UPSIDE DOWN / Ryan Tung Wai Yin, Ho Wing Tsit Teresina, Joshua Ho
There is clearly a lot of passion, thought and work behind this beautiful design. What makes this proposal so interesting is its phasing. In Upside Down, the design team set out a plan for interplanetary exploration and subsequent colonisation. Their real objective: Mars! The Moon is cleverly used to gather experience and resources... a sort of test-training site for a bigger galactic goal.
WOMB / Prapatsorn Sukkaset, Saran Chamroonkul
Womb is an idea. A utopia. A retreat. But one which we can all buy into from time to time. In this design, the Moon becomes an almost ego-less meditation ground. An escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on Earth which drowns our senses and generates stress. In Womb, the Moon becomes a place of contemplation, where mankind can seek solace for deeper meanings in human consciousness. And for those times when meditation and contemplation is all but a little too much, then WOMB provides a space-motel catering for the perhaps more ‘animalistic’ human needs.
LOOKING THROUGH THE MOON / Yiling Chu, Yao Ding, Yan-Fei Jiang, Hui Tian
If pioneering 19th and early 20th century town planners (think Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities for example) would have been catapulted to the contemporary time and asked to design their ideal city on the Moon, they would have designed this wonderful entry. Placed in a natural crater and given an atmosphere of its own thanks to a see-through canopy (called a Solar Dome), this Moontopia is a fully functional city designed to bring a bit of earthly comforts to the Moon.
LUNAR OASIS / Edward Chew
Lunar Oasis is a system of colonising barren and hostile territories such as the Moon. It is not built with the aim of establishing a static perfection, but rather designed to allow for natural processes to evolve in time. Thanks to an emphasis on greenery and vegetation, Lunar Oasis is a biophilic sanctuary that reconnects lunar inhabitants back with Earthly nature and provides an alternative to the outside world of barren moonscape. In doing so, the oasis becomes a life-support for human life on the Moon.
THE AEROSPHERE / Stephanie Stiers
In scale, the Aerosphere is a tiny shelter, the smallest of all of the Moontopias submitted through this competition. In concept, however, it is huge! This interpretation of Moontopia focuses on Space Tourism. It designs a one-person transportable pod-suit which acts as a life-support and companion for its user adapting and catering to his or her every need. With the Aerosphere, you become a lunar explorer, allowed to explore our satellite through a series of tourists routes set out on the Moon. Can’t you just imagine the likes of Richard Branson producing these fun little suites for his space tourists in a few years time?
Learn more about the Moontopia competition, here.
News and project descriptions via Eleven Magazine.