Urban Data Center: An Architectural Celebration of Data
Throughout the last century, the popularization of the automobile and development of roads and highways has changed the way we live, and how cities develop. Bridges, aqueducts, and power plants had comparable impact in the past. I consider each of these examples to be "icons" of infrastructures that we humans build to improve our living environments and to fulfill our urge to become better.Fast forward to now. The last decades showed us the development of new sophisticated networks that connect people and continents. Communication grids, satellite communication, high speed fiber optics and many other technologies have made possible the existence of the ultimate human network - the internet. A network created by us to satisfy our needs to connect, to share, to socialize and communicate over distances never before imagined. The data center is the icon of this network.Through modern digitalization methods, text, sounds, images, and knowledge can be converted into zero's and one's and distributed almost instantly to all corners of the world. The data center is the center piece in the storage, processing, and distribution of this data.The Urban Data Center hopes to bring this icon closer to its creators and users. Let us celebrate its existence and shed some light into the inner workings of the world's largest network. Let the users that inhabit this critical network come inside of it and understand where it lives. This thesis explores the expressive potential of networks and data through the design of a data center in Washington, DC.