Friday, September 4, 2020

Earthscrapers (inverted underground skyscrapers) could be perfect for Mars

When building on Mars you need to seriously consider measures to protect the inhabitants from cosmic radiation. You can cover your very first Martian outpost with few meters of regolith or use expensive materials with radiation blocking properties but for larger structures the obvious choice is to build underground. Lava tubes could be a solution but they are not present everywhere on Mars. So most likely you will need to dig your habitats.

One of the building types perfect for Mars could be earthscrapers (or would you call them marsscrapers on Mars?) - inverted underground skyscrapers with large vertical central void (covered with a transparent dome on the surface) for natural lighting. The living and public space is arranged in multiple levels encircling that central void. Here is an example of such structure designed by Fernando Castiñeira, Hernan Goldfarb, Alejandro Ispani, Alex Nelken, Javier Maratea & Malena Verni for 2007 Skyscraper Competition by

Central void of Martian earthscraper (inverted underground skyscraper)
Simple diagram of the design:
Diagram of Martian earthscraper (inverted underground skyscraper)


  1. Skyscrapers - Groundscrapers

    1. The term "groundscrapers" is used for flat buildings covering a large area.

    2. On Terra, it can be different designation on Mars.

  2. I used the term "moonscrapers" for the lunar equivalent in my novel: