Mars Dune Alpha

Renowned architecture studio BIG and advanced construction technologies company ICON have joined forces to establish a 3D-printed structure for NASA that simulates a Martian environment and circumstances on Earth.

We are proud to introduce this fairly unusual animation, created for this cross-disciplinary collaboration that contributes to extraterrestrial research. It aims to illustrate the habitat that will simulate realistic circumstances at the Mars station, and will be instrumental in supporting long-duration exploration-class space missions. The visuals are also used to recruit volunteers willing to spend a full year in the simulated Mars base located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.



The next step

The rust-toned planet has aroused humanity’s curiosity for many years. While space probes and rovers have supplied a wealth of information about Mars, technological developments, such as additive manufacturing and automated systems accelerate these discoveries. We might not even have to wait too long for the first humans to land on the Red Planet – NASA’s ambition is to fulfill this objective by 2030.

Several design competitions and investigations have been launched in the wake of these developments, involving design thinkers and architecture studios in the discourse. From manufacturing resilient building materials to designing entire 3D printed habitats and self-sustaining villages, research has skyrocketed lately to enable a manned landing on Mars.




Mars Dune Alpha

ICON has also collaborated with BIG on “Project Olympus” with the goal to research and develop a space-based construction system for further exploration of the Moon and imagine humanity’s first home on another world. Now, they have united their expertise once again to design and build Mars Dune Alpha. The two companies designed the innovative structure containing both living and working units, that replicate the conditions of the targeted planet – temperatures, gravity, and atmospheric pressure, among others. The material of the habitat is a reference to that of Mars while the form was inspired by the dunes of the Red Planet.




Our latest mission

Through creating the animation for the project, our team pushed the frontiers of the framework we regularly operate in. Not only did we illustrate the interiors and exteriors in question, but we also placed a special emphasis on communicating the mission and setting a call to action to explore Mars. The heightened emotional appeal is perhaps what sets this animation apart from our other works – the feeling of adrenaline-pumping heroism that space exploration sparks.

A special thanks to ICON and BIG for involving us in such a stellar project!


  • Client


  • Year


  • Category

    Promotional Campaing

  • Creative Director

    András Vida

  • Executive Producer

    Márton Tóth

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