In 2005 HSBC announced their vision of building stand alone data centres around the world to serve their global business portfolio. The data centre in Hong Kong will have 10,000 sq m net areas of computer equipment rooms that will provide 99.999% of operation resilience, equivalent to Tier 4 standard defined by the Uptime Institute of New York. This required extensive security provisions and two mirror sets of plant for the equipment rooms that is fault tolerant for each system. The centre also provides office space for 700 staff to support their IT operation.
An industrial estate was selected as the site for the project; a flat land reclaimed by rubbish fill at the foot of a natural vegetated hill side. The wide industrial avenues dominated by heavy vehicle traffic void of pedestrians border two sides of the site, in contrast with the wooded spur of the adjacent hill slope. Such was the challenge to design a new home for the bank’s IT staff that were inhabiting the iconic headquarters in the central district of Hong Kong.
The equipment rooms have no staff occupancy and are organised in a highly functional linear block shielding the inner site from the vehicle noise and industrial built environment. Within this space a very attractive and humane work environment is created for the working staff, opening up to the beautiful landscape of the hillside. A skylit atrium is designed in the heart of the development as a social hub with open escalators leading up to the office floors.
The floor of the atrium is furnished for rendezvous in a relaxing and peaceful setting with a coffee bar, leading off to a restaurant and gymnasium that enjoy the views of the landscaped garden. The centre was well received by the staff and has won local recognition for its rare and green approach to industrial development.