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Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

China Architecture News - Dec 24, 2018 - 04:02   15690 views

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

Mecanoo has unveiled its competition proposal for the Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen, China in which the studio won the 2nd prize in an international competition. 

Dubbed Qianhai Data Centre, the 113m-tall digital lighthouse intended to act as a new urban beacon with its dynamic facade bearing the image of clouds in the style of a traditional Chinese painting.

"Infrastructural facilities are the functional heart of modern cities. Although usually concealed, these buildings are essential for urban daily life. When visible, they have the capacity of being a symbol of the technological achievements of our time," said Mecanoo.

"The aqueduct was a symbol of the development of the Roman Empire, and broadcast antennas have become icons in city skylines. Likewise, data centres are relatively new infrastructural facilities that can substantially contribute to a city’s identity."

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

The Qianhai Data Centre fulfills this representational role for the rapidly growing commercial development on the coast of Shenzhen. The 15km2 Qianhai Free Development Zone is a pilot district for the collaboration between mainland China and Hong Kong, aiming to promote the development of IT services and of the modern service industry. 

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

The Data Centre serves both the municipality and third-party companies operating in Qianhai. Prominently located along the Yanjing highway, the new building will mark the arrival to the district and symbolize its innovation ambition. 

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

The architectural concept divides the Data Centre programme into a closed and an open component: a well-insulated opaque tower containing only racks, and an open plinth with offices and support spaces. Wrapped in a full-facade pixelated screen, the tower becomes a 113m-tall digital lighthouse.  

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

By day, the tower’s facade bears the image of clouds in the style of a traditional Chinese painting. By night, it comes alive as a dynamic digital screen. 

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

The facade consists of 3.2m x 1.8m concrete panels, each with a grid of 15 x 12 "pixels". The pixels are composed of two layers: protruding concrete elements that form the cloud image, and light sources in the centre and around the edges of each pixel. This layering gives the screen a sense of depth.

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

The plinth opens the Data Centre towards its surroundings and offers a pleasant green working environment. The publicly accessible areas of the building – a post office and the Data Centre’s main lobby – face Tinghai Avenue, the main city boulevard. Above that are the three-level control centre and a double-height operational centre hall with management offices and technical support spaces. 

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

The office areas are arranged along the fully glazed outer facades, so that workers have a direct view onto the shifting landscaped terraces. 

"Pocket" terraces provide access to the planted outdoor areas. The Data Centre’s users can thus enjoy a feeling of being surrounded by nature while working in the dense Qianhai commercial district. 

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

Axonometric drawing

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

Location map

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

East elevation

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

West elevation

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

South elevation

Mecanoo unveils design for digital Qianhai Data Centre in Shenzhen

North elevation

Project facts

Programme: 63,000m2 data centre (15,000m2below ground and 48,000m2above ground) with a post office, network control centre offices, control room, double-height operation centre hall and technical support offices, a management office and meeting rooms in the plinth; data infrastructure (racks) and supporting spaces in the tower above; technical spaces and a regional cooling station in the underground levels.

Design: 2018

Local Architects: Huasen Architects

Client: Shenzhen Qianhai Development & Investment Holding Co., Ltd.

Award: 2ndprize competition 

All images courtesy of Mecanoo

> via Mecanoo