Master Thesis conducted in Politechnico di Milano, supervised by Erik Fenstad Langdalen, Kai Justin Reaver and Filippo Orsini.
Communication runs through emails, knowledge is obtained from search engines and moments are shared on social networks. While we are completely absorbed by this virtual reality, we rarely consider its physical weight. As our devices are getting smaller and lighter there is a “thing” in the world that gets bigger and heavier: the Data Center. We don’t know what they are, where they are placed and how they operate. The thesis aims to give an answer to this questions by exploring the tangible space of data and by defining a new emerging typology.
The project is a direct manifestation of the basic needs of security and temperature control required by Data Centers. The building becomes a protective fence itself, a squared frame that borders a portion of space. Between its walls there are series of servers that are internally flooded by a water cooling system, reaching a temperature of 85°C. The high waste thermal production is then collected and pushed, through a urban “floor heating” system, at the center of the framed space. The exterior temperature will raise to a maximum of 35°C, creating a new climatic landscape.
The result is a new typological definition that is mainly composed of two parts. One, the premise, is the building, that contains and provide basic infrastructure for the servers to operate. The other, the consequence, is the surreal climatic landscape, a public space where is possible to feel in a tangible way the immaterial production of the servers through temperature and humidity.
The modular division of the building allows to scale and stretch the original 630x630m prototype to fit different contexts. On a global scale are spotted 3 sites to test its potentiality: Detroit (Michigan,USA), Oslo (Norway) and Anshan (China). The programmatical value of the Data Center interior changes according of what each context needs the most. In Detroit it becomes a tropical forest, in Oslo a public bath and in Anshan a platform for public dancers.