Shining a light on sensitive design

James
Wednesday 16 Nov 2011

Contemporary sky-lit Data Center incorporates historic facade in Springfield

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Tier 3 N + 1 Springfield Data Center (SDC) will support over 170 agencies and public authorities as a 24/7/365 facility covering mission critical applications. It will become the primary information technology disaster recovery site for the Commonwealth.

Currently under construction, the SDC is located in the Quadrangle Mattoon Historic District of Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. The building will be constructed by integrating and preserving the front façade of the historic Springfield Technical High school. The programme is broken into two massing components: the office and administrative components and the technical and mechanical components.

Though only accounting for 13% of the space, employee areas were given high consideration. Offices and conference rooms with exterior views abut the historic façade utilising the large school windows for extensive day lighting. A sky-lighted multi-faceted core that relieves the intense operational environment separates the technical components from the administrative. This atrium provides additional spaces for breakout brainstorming that encourage creative exchanges and complement the adjacent mechanical and computer rooms.

The major vertical circulation within the building - open stair and elevator - are also located in this central space. The building materials - terracotta, glass and steel - create a crisp contrast with the historic brick, while giving the façades a refined modulation and scale. An historic steel fence has been designed to surround the facility and provide appropriate security.

Current and evolving best practices in technology were incorporated with a full build out capacity to accommodate 20,000 sq ft of computing space. The project has undertaken extensive analysis in its design, seeking to establish new thresholds in Green Data Center performance. The center is seeking LEED® Gold certification with high levels of energy efficiency and sustainability metrics.

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Architecture
United States
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