Marsopotamia

Project

Time reveals itself throughout architecture and this kind of expression occurs when time turns into space throughout built shapes.

The first interplanetary civilization, however, is timeless, except for the one from which it was conceived: the age of the pioneers. The projection of space thought as a projection on a physical dimension aims at transforming the unknown hostile and impracticable space, into a measurable and possessed orientable space. Space and time are the benchmarks of our world and their meanings are both contained in architectural shapes. Spatial art that arises from architecture has, until now, represented the time and place in which it was conceived, but if there are no time and known places, the configuration of space can represent cultural values of the society that conquers it.

Geometric signs, paradigms of the spatial control, are based on the classical concept of building a society that has been forgotten by contemporary culture and this concept nowadays defines architecture as a way to celebrate the tensions that architecture is able to generate, not its relationship with society. The formal appropriation of the classical figures allows to have a spatial control that is able to generate an architecture that balances the specificity of the place with the autonomy of shapes and it is exactly in this “equilibrium” status that our architecture manages to create a sentimental connection with reality and by transcending time, it reaches self-governance.

An independence that has the ability to define architecture as intimate and monumental, specific and autonomous, a manifesto of a specific place but at the same time that belongs to human culture. In a time where technological changes rule the principles of flexibility, classical forms assume an even broader meaning, extended spatiality makes it possible for dimensional monumentality with spatial flexibility and spiritual necessity with social evolution to coexist. In a condition of perfect coexistence between sentimentality and technology, the word “utopia” changes the meaning. The reorganization of the society of pioneers through the classical forms allows us to overcome every preconception.

Eternal, peacekeepers, symbols of identity capable of representing the pioneers and inspiring future generations.

Interview

What prompted you to enter in the Marsotopia competition hosted by Seven?

The Eleven competition asked to think about the image of the vernacular architecture of Mars, without too many beat around the bush we can say the complete tabula rasa, social, cultural and architectural. Mars for engineers and scientists is a land of technologicaland experimental expression, but for architecture it becomes a moment of rebirth and complete rethinking.

What was your work process in terms of concept/project development and drawing?

We started to ask ourselves what really meant tabula rasa, when there is no architectural context not a social context and the natural context is adverse to human life, what form does architecture take on? We did not look for the answer in the technocracy (which has been offering ideas for survival in hostile conditions for decades) because, according to us, vernacular architecture should not represent the technological development but the values of the society that conceives it, we have therefore found a starting point of the concept in the meaning of the conquest of a new territory.

We developed a concept that took into consideration the environmental conditions of the red planet but that formally recalled the forms of the eternal architecture of the great terrestrial civilizations. The graphics we used are necessary to enhance this reasoning.

What dictated the various drawings you choose to format within the two boards?

First, we studied the ways in which we could actually inhabit the planet, different research of NASA and SpaceX have developed a theory for which it will be possible to inhabit the planet underground protecting itself from solar radiation while large solar sails catalyze the solar rays to the poles melting the ice and thus allowing the creation of oceans and therefore an atmosphere.

We have studied the topography of the planet and elaborated a settlement strategy that aims at a linear colonization along the equatorial belt identifying those areas whose terrain allows, once the oceans have been formed, to create an interconnected coastal type settlement. Once the atmosphere has been formed and the inside can come out, the connections through the different settlements take place directly using a series of porticoes that have the task as well as connecting different settlements as to create for their overlap a sequence of hanging gardens, a symbol of life and prosperity. Within this idea the first board elaborates this urban strategy, dividing it into six concepts and proposing a global vision of the new world at the center.

The second board instead defines the settlement methods individually, with the idea that each settlement should be a small self-sufficient community, we proposed the symbolic space of community life, the court, these hypogeal multi-storey courtyards exploit the filtered light in the middle of the court to cultivate plants and water with hydroponic systems, while a system of double heights creates domestic / laboratory spaces in close contact with each other and which overlook the court becoming protagonists of community life.

How do these together talk about the project as a whole?

The two Board present a vision of Mars in 500 years, the first board aims to elaborate an urban vision reasoned and localized In a precise point of the planet, the second board defines its spatiality and gives back an image, an overall criticism that our project expresses is underlined by the typology of graphic representation that for the urban strategy refers to the ancient stellar cartographies and for the architectural one to the representations of the classical period.

What is your take on contemporary architecture competitions as the ones proposed Eleven?

We are not a fan of the competitions, but there are some themes that could become interesting moments of criticism and research. After all, what’s the meaning of competing if not to highlight different points of view? We believe that competitions especially those “call for ideas” should reward and encourage different nuances of the same discourse, it is important that contemporary architecture finds a different path from the defined one that contemporary architecture is following.

How and to what extent have your studies at Politecnico influenced how you approach architecture at large?

Hard say, for sure our studies at the Politecnico di Milano have taught us to be critical first of all, contemporary architecture in its formal resolution represents a precise historical path that has led to a tendency to standardize late modernist architecture with intent to create a global society. The Milanese school in which we have grown for better or worse teaches that architecture must, first of all, respond to the specific case, which means asking ourselves which kind of relations our architectures have with the context and why.

Do you see a future where we will effectively inhabit planets as Mars?

Of course, it is human nature to be a wandering species, we have seen it with Colombo, Magellano, Vespucci and so on, the great discoveries shape the “known world” and radically change it, conquering Mars as well as is going to be an important historical moment, would guarantee the species human survival in the event of an apocalyptic event, a backup in case of extinction let’s say.

How will we as architects operate within this context?

It is strange to use the word “context” referring to Mars, as architects we are used to thinking and design spatial device that respond specifically to a functional or social program integrated or not with a specific context that is there because of precise reason. Operating in a “context” like Mars and thinking of its vernacular architecture requires a step backward, we must ask ourselves what are the principles of our architecture and which one is the “image” of the first interplanetary society.

Can we talk about architecture on earth as on mars?

Hard to say, for some maybe yes, but our project tries to send a clear message, in addition to giving a practical, technological and functional solution we must think of different formal and symbolic solutions, we must ask what it means to think of an architecture that represents thefirst interplanetary civilization.

About

Andrea Bulloni is an Architect based in Milan. Co-Founder of AAS Architectural Advisory Services. He earned his Master Degree in architecture in 2018 at Politecnico di Milano, granted 110/110,  with the thesis “Remixing Architecture through urban culture, The Bronx revolution” awarded cum laude and selected as one of the best thesis of Politecnico di Milano.

From 2013 he worked more than 2 years in Milan for Archistudio-architecturalgroup service (2013), Moa Architects (2013) and LAND srl (2014) where he gained experience in interior design, architecture and landscape architecture, then for more two years in the Netherlands at Karres en Brands Landscape architects (2014-15) and at De Architekten CIE (2015-16). During this experience, he worked and won many international design competitions like;-IFC Moscow –Skovlunde -Serp&Molot -Soyuz Riverfront -ING Head office – Hotel Rai and many others.

After this experiences he has been assistant professor at the M.Arch II Urban Design studio (2017) and is he’s working as freelance architect and designer with Matteo Ciabattini at AAS Architectural Advisory Services (2017) where he’s the co/founder, in the last year they took part to more than 15 professional projects on different scale, they built 8 of them and they got published on websites and newspapers and magazines several times.

Matteo Ciabattini is an Architect based in Milan,Co-Founder of AASArchitectural Advisory Services. He worked as a freelance on many interiors, retails and art galleries, realizing projects  with Arch. Stefania Capotorti(2013-2014). He worked as a young project designer for six month at AtelienArchitecturein Milan(2014), realizing the new masterplan for the old town center of Segrate(MI) Italy.

After winning the Piranesi prize(2014) in Rome and finishing his 1st level master program(2016) become a collaborator of the Accademia Adrianea, School of Architecture and Design Museum for Archaeology. He’s a member of Kean Etro’s “the circle of Poets” and he has beenassistant professor at the Architecture Faculty  of Politecnico di Milano for the Scenography design studio of Prof. Gabriele Amadori(2015) ,Prof. Silvia Cattiodoro(2016) and for the conservation and design studio of Professor Pier Federico Caliari (2017)

He’s now working as freelance architect and designer with Andrea Bulloni at AAS Architectural Advisory Serviceswhere he’s the co/founder, in the last year they took part to more than 15 professional projects on different scale, they built 8 of them and they got published on websites and newspapers and magazines several times.

Marco Papagni earned his Master Degree in architecture and sustainable technology granted 110/110 cum laude in 2018 at Politecnico di Milano, with the thesis “Remixing Architecture through urban culture, The Bronx revolution”selected as one of the best thesis of Politecnico di Milano. In 2014 he had worked in Milan for D3 Associated Architectswhere he gained experience in interior design and small-scale architecture. During this experience, he projected several private houses, shops, and offices.

In September 2017, he has started his experience at De Architekten Ciewhere he is currently employed as an architect. In addition, he works as a freelance architect and recently he started his first personal project for a private villa in the south of Italy.

Nicolò Sabbadin earned his bachelor’s Degree in architecture in 2015 at Politecnico di Milano,with the thesis ”Following a trail: investigation on existent and existed” that analyze and compare a different kind of design processes which are the result of the study of the context. In 2014 he obtain the second place in “Urban-promogiovani”his first international design competitions. After his degree he has worked for Studio associato Raimondi e Lazzati, where he applied the acquired design and representation skills for the preparation of preliminary and practical building projects; he still collaborates with this office.

In the last year he took part to several projectson different scale, getting some publications on websites.

Recently he obtained a Master’s degree in Architecture with a specialization in sustainable technology, with thesis “Quarryland, Sustainable redevelopment of territories and extractive landscapes”thath that seeks innovative solutions for the redevelopment of abandoned quarries.

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