In 2008, for the first time in history, 50% of the global population now lives in cities. But something else happened in 2008, and perhaps this is the key to our future cities:
1. There were more mobile hand help devices than traditional computers, and
2. there were more ‘things’ than people connected to the internet.
These events, coupled with our desire to live more ‘urban’ has resulted in the insatiable desire to produce and move incredible amounts of data in 'real' time, has led to the proliferation of the Data Centre. However, the production of these large factory like buildings have escaped architects and the profession.
The future of our cities and the superficial desire to be urban, is deeply dependent on technologies and the processing of data, therefore, the Data Centre and other such industrial production complexes must be a type architects pursue with much greater ambition and vigour…otherwise, we will be facing a future, were we will have little to no influence.
Our approach to the Data Centre, is two fold: eliminate the inherent waste and redundancies in the standard design approach; represent the structure as it is- exposing the real and physical of the 'virtual'.
The proposal consists of four distinct volumes that are unified via a datum that travels 200m, from north to south, whilst simultaneously negotiating the topography of the site.
The four programmatically distinct volumes -servers, technical equipment, offices & VIP- are integrated, via a primary circulation route, that is embedded within the Datum. Each volume is designed to function both structurally and mechanically as independent, however, they have been inserted to allow for deliberate contamination, specifically at the edges, which will allow for the rooms to collectively perform as a singular machine, without diminishing the function of each.