World’s Most Beautiful Data Center
Beauty is subjective, and these architectural gems might be eyesores to you. Do you like rigid functionality, decorative embellishment, or clever repurposing?
As part of our campaign for better looking facilities, we are calling on the DCD Community to decide which sites look the finest.
A public online vote will determine the winner of the 2017 World's Most Beautiful Data Center Award. Read about the finalists, register to vote via our Awards Platform and cast your vote for your favourite!
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Mare Nostrum Barcelona Super Computing Center wins! Watch the video:
Check out the gems below and let us know which one is your favourite.
Google Mayes County
In Google's Data Center Mural project, launched in 2016, murals represent data center activity on their outside walls. In Oklahoma, artist Jenny Odell found man-made features in Google Maps' satellite images, gathering views of swimming pools, circular farms, water treatment plants and salt ponds. Working from giant cradles, 15 painters used 400 colors, transferring the images to the wall using a chalk tracing technique similar to that used by Michelangelo in painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
Gak data center
Naver, South Korea
Naver, Korea’s leading web portal has a data center at the foot of Mount Gubong in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, which stores its customers’ online content. It’s called Gak, after Kyujanggak, the royal library of the 18th century Joseon Dynasty, where Buddhist documents are stored on wood blocks. The building incorporates traditional design elements, as well as cutting-edge environmental techniques such as reuse and recycling of rainwater.
Green Mountain DC1-Stavanger
A retired NATO ammunition store at Stavanger was reimagined as a 146,000 sq ft (13,600 sq m) data center by Green Mountain. The Tier III reliable underground site is inside the mountain, leaving the landscape unspoilt. The site has abundant green energy from two hydroelectric sources. Year-round cold water at 8°C (46°F) from the fjord below cools the servers, using a duplicated circulating system for reliability. The site also has a strong aesthetic. Inside, tunnels are carved from solid rock, and outside is a green and peaceful mountainscape, above the fjord.
Telehouse North Two
Architecturally, it is a landmark building, with its striking ‘Circuit Board’ façade providing an identity of the Telehouse campus – the most connected campus in Europe. It is geographically located at the centre of the Greenwich Mean Time, the Prime Meridian of the World, and encapsulates a physical centre/core location as well as a core trading/connectivity platform, connecting you to the rest of the world. Our DC is ‘putting you at the centre of the connected world’ physically and digitally. The laser beam from The Royal Observatory in Greenwich shines across Greenwich Park and into Telehouse North Two, proving that this data centre is at the centre of the Earth – where East meets West. This data centre is not only beautiful but truly symbolic of the history of the Docklands – trading spices and cotton to the peering/trade of data we utilise today
DigiPlex Fetsund is a pioneering zero carbon emissions, low energy data center in Oslo. Comprising 4200m² of IT housing white space, the precast concrete shell has clean architectural lines and distinctive etched façade panels, which incorporate a fir-tree design to help it blend into its semi-rural surroundings. The innovative infrastructure includes an indirect air-cooling system designed specifically to exploit the naturally cool Nordic climate, delivering ‘free cooling’ throughout the year and a PUE of 1.2 or less. To further minimise the scheme’s environmental impact and improve its resilience, rainwater is harvested in a pond and used to supply these units.
MITA Data Centre
Santa Venera, Malta
With an inspirational facade design that correlates with technology and IT. More specifically, its design instils the concept of connectivity through various mediums of technology, namely circuit boards, software processes and the Internet in general.
The futuristic look of the facade is made up of sharp white aluminium cladding and glass which embrace durability, practicality and energy conservation.
The MITA Data Centre was commissioned in 2011 and has been certified as a TIER III Data Centre Facility by Uptime Institute. This facility is specifically designed to cater for the growing ICT hosting requirements, which satisfy the myriad of ICT business solutions procured by the Maltese Government.
All of Switch’s data centers have a trademark exterior and interior style based on patented power and cooling systems. The Pyramid site near Grand Rapids also includes an adaptive reuse of an iconic building. The seven-story steel-and-glass structure was originally created by Steelcase as a design center. Switch has opened a 225,000 sq ft (21,000 sq m) data center built into the lower two floors. With other buildings alongside, Switch will create a campus wih up to 320MW of renewable energy, 1.8 million sq ft (170,000 sq m) of data center space, and 435,000 sq ft (40,000 sq m) of disaster recovery office space.
Bahnhof’s data center in Stockholm pioneered the creative data center movement, when it opened in 2008 in a former nuclear bunker. Pionen's design is consciously based on a James Bond bad guy’s crib, and makes several references to the 1970s movie Silent Running. Built by Jon Karlung and briefly the home of Wikileaks, it has backup power from diesel engines designed for submarines, and features waterfalls, a salt-water fishtank, and plants growing under simulated daylight.
Barcelona Supercomputing Center
Opened back in 2005, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center is built in a former 19th century church. The Torre Girona was rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War and is now part of the campus of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Now it holds the MareNostrum supercomputer, a joint venture built by IBM and the Spanish government. For a time it was one of the world’s fastest machines. It may not hold that claim anymore, but it’s still one of the best looking.
NGD’s Newport data center was opened in 2010 in former LG semiconductor plant, a property that had stood vacant for more than a decade. The data center space has been expanded repeatedly within the building. All the power needs are supplied by the nearby Dinorwig hydroelectric facility.
Amsterdam Data Tower
Digital Realty took over Telecity's AMS 1 shortly after it was completed in 2016, opening it as the Amsterdam Data Tower. The 72m-tall building has 5,000 sq m (54,000 sq ft) of data space on 13 floors, and 9MW of power. The building uses outside air and groundwater for cooling, and also stores warm water underground. The building was designed by Rosbach Architects of the Netherlands.
AQL Salem Chapel
AQL built its headquarters in Salem Chapel, the only surviving 18th century dissenting chapel in Leeds, UK. Opened in 1791, with seating for 1,000 people, the chapel closed after more than 200 years in 2001. AQL turned the ground floor of the chapel into colocation data center space with a glass roof. Above that, the chapel's balcony was refurbished as a conference auditorium. The British government launched its "Northern Powerhouse" program there in 2016, but for most people, it is better known as the place where Leeds United football team was founded.
At first glance the IT building looks like a vault made of a single and solid metal piece. Reflected on the water mirror surrounded by the sky clouds it seems like an unreachable suspended perfect cube. In order to get the perfect cube. The water mirror had to be built at a distance of 27,5 meters from the top of the IT building and be wide enough to also gather the sky around reflected. Every time taking advantage of the technical benefits of such architectural characteristics to improve the overall facility efficiency
LuxConnect DC 2
Luxembourg is a popular location for reliable data centers. LuxConnect’s DC 2 has multiple Uptime Certifications giving users the option of Tier II, Tier III or Tier IV reliability.
The 51,600 sq ft (4,800 sq m) building uses the award winning KioWatt plant that runs on biomass to provide cooling and power. The building has functional stainless steel mesh walls which double as a Faraday Cage for security and a grass roof to reduce environmental impact.
RagingWire Dallas TX1 Data Center
TX-1 is designed to be toured by savvy high-tech guests who will come away feeling that that “the cloud lives here.”
Outside, visitors first notice a unique sculpture of multi-colored wires stretching toward the sky. The roof line is punctuated by bright yellow mesh boxes that hide powerful cooling equipment and complement an exterior color palette of rich purple, cool white and strong black.
Inside, visitors clearly see all the critical infrastructure while feeling as though they were walking in the clouds. A dramatically day-lit lobby and showcase glass conference room provide vibrant places to meet. A glass bridge enables guests to review the data hall, while an exterior skywalk and secured courtyard are beautifully integrated into this state-of-the-art, mission-critical data center.