Sander Nevejans

Sander Nevejans

Tokyo, JP


Marstopia - Exotopia


An out of this world challenge...

Welcome to Eleven’s visions of Marstopia, the official sequel to our award-winning international competition Moontopia, and the second challenge in Eleven’s ‘Architecture in Space’ series. In this competition, we set our sights on Mars, and asked the creative community one question: what does Martian vernacular architecture and design look like?

Today, the human race is edging closer to becoming an interplanetary species. The colonisation of Mars, which up to a few years ago existed in science fiction visions, is today just a matter of time. Private industries, public efforts, and prestigious space agencies around the world are set on the Red Planet, and the race is now on for who gets there first.

In this competition, we accepted the fact that soon, man will walk on Mars, but decided to question the methods in which our species will be able to inhabit the planet. The question moved to how rather then if.

Hundreds of people from all across the world responded to this challenge. Some with visions of utopias, others with dystopias. Some focusing on small-scale exploratory units, others with urban models for fully fledged Martian cities. Whatever the intention, one thing is certain: the red planet has been an inspiration for some fascinating concepts, and the idea of a martian vernacular has given rise to some truly creative, out-of-this-world visions, paving the way for a future beyond our planet.

We where so luck to welcome such a fascinating group of creatives judged by an equally mind-blowing panel of judges to this challenge. The awarded entries showcase the sheer vairiety of ideas: each completley different from the next, but all united by the same high caliber quality of their visions. Such inspirational creativity had to be rewarded, and for this reason we decided to expand our Honourable Mention’s award from 6 to 14.

We hope you enjoy all these equisite visions of Marstopia!


Exotopia : A society that is located on a planet other than the earth.

In a few hundred years earth will be overpopulated. There is no more land left to build on, but the demand for housing on or near Earth increases extensively. Skyscrapers thought to have been the solution to this problem, but they will have to adapt. By manipulating existing architecture in Tokyo and integrating my love for photography and symmetry, 19 designs where born to show the world what the future will hold.

Discovering perspectives in residential and commercial skyscrapers resembles the search for rare and unusual gemstones on Earth. While most of the architectural compositions feature diamond shapes, a significant group stood out with unique characteristics that tend towards the contours of gemstones. The quality of a gemstone or diamond’s cut is considered the most important factor in determining its beauty. This quality factor was taken out of context and merged with modern photography. The angle and position of the shot determines the shape of a building. Just like a well cut diamond, those factors also determine the clarity and color of the architectural body.

These floating bodies exhibit the architecture that was forgotten or overlooked by most of Tokyo’s residents. They relive through transforming them into levitating structures which will influence future generations to use existing architecture as a fundamental guideline.

Just as Christopher Columbus inspired himself on European building techniques, the most dependable and successful way to build a colony on Mars is to manipulate earlier created architecture on Earth. The diminished gravity and maintaining a constant level of oxygen, are vital changes to the structural design. Replacing crucial building materials such as concrete and steel for high graded aluminium and Martian concrete ( a mixture of Martian aggregate and cement ) are key to constructing these buildings. This doesn’t only make the transportation of building materials more economical but also helps to integrate Earth’s Architecture into the Martian landscape.

Mars will generate knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It will encourage and embolden all Humans and inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue their destiny.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Mars
My Role: Lead designer