Conversion of an industrial building into a datacentre
September 2009 at our architectural practice
Reid Brewin Architects have recently been working on a permit application for the conversion of an old postal sorting office, in the north of Paris, into a datacenter for new generation computer servers.
The existing building is impressive in size and with its brutal 1970’s reinforced concrete façade, it touches on the sublime. With this in mind the architectural concept aims to keep the essence of the strong linear lines of the existing façade, however adapting the building to its new requirements as a datacenter. With 11,400m² of computer server storage, the datacenter must allow for large volumes of ventilation at specific points, so the façade has been developed with alternating solid and louvred metal painted panels.
One of the difficulties encountered with this project is the fact that the site sits across two district councils. The permit application therefore has to be made to each council separately, who do not have the same requirements or planning rules. This complexity has determined certain signigicant design choices in the concept to comply with all the planning constraints of both districts.