AI Spacefactory, the architects behind MARSHA, the NASA-award-winning Mars habitat, have revealed TERA. It’s the first eco-habitat on Earth created through space-grade technology and materials developed for long-term sustainable missions on Mars. Before TERA makes the 54.6-million-kilometer trip to the Red Planet, though, the first version of this futuristic abode will sit in the woods of Upstate New York overlooking the Hudson River.
The residence is now accepting pre-bookings for nightly stays starting in March 2020 via indiegogo.com.
Based on the 3D printing technologies and compostable materials employed for the MARSHA prototype, AI Spacefactory realized the use of these components had the potential to be considerably more sustainable than traditional construction methods. Out of this came TERA, which seeks to apply this technology within the context of Earth and beyond.
TERA is built from a 3D-printed biopolymer basalt composite, a material developed from crops like corn and sugarcane, which has been tested and validated by NASA to be at least 50% stronger and more durable than concrete.
The project presents a break from the building industry’s use of energy and waste-intensive materials and serves as an example of a new type of structure that is incredibly durable, while also recyclable and compostable.
Harvested from the Earth and able to be returned back to it, TERA is designed to be minimally invasive to its surrounding environment able to fit seamlessly into the natural world.
TERA’s design was inspired by the conditions of its wooded site location. The habitat stretches two-stories with an exterior 3D printed shell covering a wooden, structurally independent interior. Porous windows scattered along one of its sides fill TERA’s interior with light and provide captivating views of the Hudson River.
On the ground floor lies TERA’s living area, which contains a bathroom, shower, food preparation counter, and a living room with a seating area that transitions into a 3D printed terrace. Spiraling stairs connect the second floor, a space that can be adapted to the preferences and activities of the inhabitants. Furniture can be freely rearranged allowing this more private space to serve a multifunctional role within the home.
TERA is just an hour and a half train ride away from New York City. Every stay at this residence will inform improvements to future designs for Earth and space habitats. By emphasizing the use of renewable technologies for building on Earth, while understanding ways to live on Mars, TERA can help achieve a greater degree of sustainable living — regardless of planet.
All images via AI Space Factory