ICON Project Olympus, Concept Render 2. Image credit BIG Bjarke Ingels Group
ICON Project Olympus, Concept Render. Image credit BIG Bjarke Ingels Group

3D printed habitats on the moon project by ICON, BIG and SEarch +

“Project olympus” to reach for the stars with off-world construction system for the moon

A new partnership between ICON, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and SEArch+ brings about an audacious space construction project.

The answers to our challenges on Earth very well might be found on the Moon.

Bjarke Ingels, BIG Founder/Creative Director
ICON Project Olympus, Concept Render. Image credit BIG Bjarke Ingels Group

Building humanity’s first home on another world will be the most ambitious construction project in human history and will push science, engineering, technology, and architecture to literal new heights. NASA’s investment in space-age technologies like this can not only help to advance humanity’s future in space, but also to solve very real, vexing problems we face on Earth. We are honored to begin our research and development on ICON’s Project Olympus and the Olympus Construction System.

Jason Ballard, Co-founder of ICON, developer of advanced construction technologies including robotics, software, and building materials

NASA has signaled that, through the Artemis program, the Moon will be the first off-Earth site for sustainable surface exploration. Building a sustainable presence on the Moon requires more than rockets.

For a permanent lunar presence to exist, robust structures will need to be built on the Moon that provide better thermal, radiation, and micrometeorite protection than metal or inflatable habitats can provide. From landing pads to habitats, these collective efforts are driven by the need to make humanity a spacefaring civilization.

Known for its advanced 3D printing technology for homebuilding on Earth, ICON has been awarded a contract to advance the development of its 3D printing technology, advanced materials and software.

In partnership with NASA, ICON will test lunar soil simulant with various processing and printing technologies. The tests will help design, develop, and demonstrate prototype elements for a possible future full-scale additive construction system that could print infrastructure on the Moon.

ICON Project Olympus 3D Print House on the Moon Concept Render 3. Image credit SEArch
Image credit SEArch

3D printing with materials found on the Moon is a sustainable and versatile solution to off-world construction.

SEArch+ co-founders

ICON has engaged two award-winning architecture firms as partners: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, renowned for their iconic international architecture and SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture), a company recognized on a global scale for their innovative ‘human-centered’ designs for space exploration. SEArch+ has over a decade-long association with NASA’s Johnson Space Center Human Habitability Division, Langley Research Center, Ames Research Center and leading aerospace corporations.

To explain the power of architecture, “formgiving” is the Danish word for design, which literally means to give form to that which has not yet been given form. This becomes fundamentally clear when we venture beyond Earth and begin to imagine how we are going to build and live on entirely new worlds. With ICON we are pioneering new frontiers – both materially, technologically and environmentally. The answers to our challenges on Earth very well might be found on the Moon.

Bjarke Ingels

For ICON, the journey to transform construction began with their delivery of the first, permitted 3D-printed home in the U.S. in 2018. Since then, the team has broken ground on the world’s first 3D printed community of homes in Mexico, completed a series of homes serving the chronically homeless in Austin, TX.

In 2020, the Austin-based technology company breaks ground on additional projects including a multi-unit mainstream housing project in Texas while continuing to deliver dignified, resilient homes for those in need.

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About ICON

ICON develops advanced construction technologies that advance humanity. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials, ICON is shifting the paradigm of homebuilding on Earth and beyond.

About BIG

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group is a Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona based group of architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers and inventors. 

About SEArch+

SEArch+ is a startup developing human supporting design concepts for space exploration. The SEArch+ mission is to conceive, investigate, and develop innovative ‘human-centered’ designs enabling human beings not only to live, but to thrive in space environments beyond Earth. 

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