Atlas of Habitats Beyond Earth. Architectural Solutions for Space Applications



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


The development of Space Architecture demonstrates how human settlement on planets beyond Earth is no longer science fiction, but a challenge to develop a specific architectural way of thinking, both technologically and conceptually. Ongoing research and design provide architects with new opportunities to experiment with orbital and planetary habitat spatial solutions, extending some architectural concepts to extreme environments such as the Moon and Mars. This paper describes a study conducted as part of a thesis with the purpose of tracing a path of research and design reflection through eighteen case studies selected from some of the extra-terrestrial habitat solutions proposed so far and attempts to develop the first Atlas of habitats beyond Earth. It is structured for constructive, morphological, and settlement types through examination, redesign, and comparison, with the aim of consolidating and defining characteristics necessary to structure a thinking process. The study also develops a design hypothesis for a settlement on Mars that tries to respond to the challenges in outer space environments while also reflecting on ‘living in Space’, a synthesis of consciousness and technology, while making use of Artificial Intelligence throughout the whole settlement process, from surveying and construction to living and maintenance. The lack of oxygen, the atmosphere, thermal excursion, cosmic radiations, micrometeorites, and the reduced sound propagation, are some of the factors that influence formal decisions made in a city concept that is no longer only thought of as a survival strategy in extreme environments. Rather, they serve as a constitution based on the ideas expressed by Paolo Soleri in the city of Arcosanti, Arizona, that propose critical models in the face of rampant consumerism, alternative expressions of a futuristic and sustainable architecture that dialogues with the environment without abandoning the founding architectural principles.


Giacomo D'Amico, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy
Marina Tornatora, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy
ICES502: Space Architecture
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


space architecture, habitat, artificial intelligence, extreme environment, human outpost, human settlements