Building A Martian House is a real collaboration. It started as an idea in 2015 with just artists Ella and Nicki as the project team. It since grew into what you see across this website. We thought a good way to chart its history is a simple timeline.

This project was inspired by experiments that have been happening all over the world for more than twenty years. Lots of people have been practicing to send people to Mars here on Earth. Here are a few examples to get you started; Mars 500 (Russia+ESA), Hi-Seas (NASA), MDRS (the Mars Society), Biosphere 2.

Building A Martian House is a contribution to this field of research, created collaboratively by ideas from many people.


2015 – Ella Good and Nicki Kent decide to Build A Martian House

2016 – Ella and Nicki go on a research trip to the Mars Desert Research Station, Utah + Biosphere 2, Arizona

2017 – Ella and Nicki meet Spacecraft Systems Engineer Professor Lucy Berthoud and she joins the team.

2018 – Ella and Nicki meet architect Hugh Broughton and receive a small grant from the Edward Marshall Trust to work with the architect firm and develop concept designs. Scientist Dr Bob Myhill also joins the team.

MBR Space Settlement Grant and The Brigstow Institute fund small parts of project development.

Ella and Nicki run workshops at We The Curious (Bristol, UK), University of Bristol and University of West of England to develop designs; the project team came and supported these.

December 2018 – workshop with Hugh Broughton architects to consolidate public design ideas.

2019 – Conceptual designs created.

Ella and Nicki have 6 month exhibition at We The Curious (Bristol UK) including conceptual designs and mock up of parts of the house.

Hugh Broughton Architects and Pearce+ begin developing concept designs into a buildable design.

Funding from Edward Marshall Trust for the build secured.

Buro Happold and Hydrock join the project team and donate engineering expertise.

Inflate joins Design Team to create bespoke inflatable structure.

2020 – Ella and Nicki are selected for The Watershed’s Winter Residency and explore themes of technology and sustainability.

M Shed Square site secured and partnership with M Shed begins.

Design Team continue developing technical designs.

October 2020 – Planning permission granted by Bristol City Council.

2021 – SCF Construct joins project team and enlists construction companies to donate materials and labour to build the house. They join many design team meetings to work out the details of the build.

June 2022 – Building started on M Shed Square, Bristol UK. Ella and Nicki run a call out for volunteers to join the interiors team and select a group of around 20 participants.

August 2022 – Building a Martian House opened to the public. Summer holiday family workshops about textiles and natural dying techniquies run with Anurita Chandola and Ella and Nicki. Ella and Nicki started running sessions with their Interiors team, and start thinking about how to fill the Martian House. Viewings of the Martian House for the general public begin.

September 2022 – Ella and Nicki give a talk at the Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio about the work in progress of the interiors team. They also join a panel discussion event with Bristol Tiny House Community and Mollie Claypool about building hopeful futures, chaired by Professor Martin Parker.

October 2022 – M Shed runs primary school workshops about resourcefulness and sustainable building in the Martian House. Katy Connor runs workshops about hydroponics. Ella and Nicki run a closing weekend event displaying the results of the interiors team work.

November 2022 – The Martian House is removed from M Shed Square. The lower level is donated to a family to be made into extra bedrooms and the inflatable top floor is packed away for future touring.