Several hundred years from now, humans have successfully terraformed the Moon. It has become a fad for the rich and powerful to have exotic residences built in exotic locations. The richest person in the Solar System decides to have his built on the newly terraformed moon. You are the architect. What does his home look like?

Some constraints & assumptions:

  • We realize the Moon will eventually lose its atmosphere. Either they have a method of replenishing the Moons volatiles or the humans are shortsighted enough to not care - so do not worry about doing a reality check on this.
  • Atmospheric pressure is standard Earth atmospheric pressure at sea level.
  • The hydrosphere is at the reference "Datum".
  • Colonization of the Moon is just starting so there's no restrictions on which location you pick

Other stuff (some neat factoids that might be useful in your design).

  • To create Earth atmospheric pressure on the Moon requires a great deal more mass of air (6x more) - meaning radiation levels on the Moon are much lower than on Earth
  • Under these conditions a fit person can, with their arms, generate 1.3 - 1.5x the amount of force required to fly.
  • Under these conditions a fit person should be able to run fast enough to cross a body of water without falling in.
  • A person should be able to survive falls 6x higher than the ones they could survive on Earth.
  • Running would be awkward. The decreased gravity gives the runner much less traction (friction).
  • It'd take a while to relearn how to catch falling objects.
  • The Moon would still experience Solar Tides with a high tide occurring every 15 days and I'd expect it to be about 3x as high as terrestrial tides.
  • Earthlight would be about 40x brighter than Moonlight is.


  • Based upon utilization of the environment for the "wow" factor.
  • The owner wants to show off his new house, so it needs to be accessible to his friends.
  • This location needs to be reachable for resupply too.
  • Use of architectural features (probably but not necessarily to tie into location) to wow his guests
  • Use of the environment differences of the Lunar Colony from Earth to wow his guests.


  • Any unique situation experience which is especially pleasing or
    pleasurable that can't be done on Earth (e.g. how would it feel to float on an air hockey table as a bed?)
  • $\begingroup$ Without a magnetic field, would an atmosphere really decrease the cosmic radiation that much? $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2015 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. Water is probably the best cosmic ray shield but atmosphere does the job nicely. Since a Lunar atmosphere with STP requires 6x as much mass per unit area, the cosmic ray radiation will be something like $0.5^{3}$ as that on Earth or about 1/8 as much. $\endgroup$
    – Jim2B
    Oct 28, 2015 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


Swimming Pools and Perches

The house would essentially be designed like a giant bird cage. Platforms that must be flown to and the best pool in the solar system.

The relevant xkcd wasn't mentioned yet, which is surprising. Many of the same facts listed in the question can be found there, except one of the more exciting ones, humans could swim fast enough to leap from a pool.

enter image description here

Additional features would be building on the equator for installation of a space elevator to ferry guests and supplies. As well as having a large telescope room for "live Google Earth" images.

  • $\begingroup$ I never realized xkcd wrote one on this! I read his book but don't regularly follow his blog. Happily, I think that will have to change :D $\endgroup$
    – Jim2B
    Oct 28, 2015 at 21:07

I immediately pictured a golden foil dome, so something like a yurt. But the gold foil would have many uses, plus it's gold, which shouts "rich!". It'll shield from radiation and help fend off too much heat. You'd probably need something harder to cover the top dome in case of meteors or something. You'd also want an interior pod to act as a house so one could take off their space suit.

Doesn't have to be a yurt. Just something I pictured. Gold foil definitely, though.

Here's a little article about the foil: http://www.geek.com/science/geek-answers-why-does-nasa-use-so-much-gold-foil-1568610/

  • $\begingroup$ If teraformed the moon would cave more protection from its atmosphere than the earth does. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2016 at 17:35

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