Old Gas Tower to Become Futuristic Data Center

Lanord’s design calls for five floors of server rooms, with an open corridor down the middle that divides the facility into two half circles, with the empty area in the center crossed by bridges and stairs. The top floor would be used for cultural activities. This design could support up to 3,500 servers. Here’s an illustration of Lanord’s design concept.


A second design concept from SplitVision features just two floors of servers for a total of 10 megawatts of IT load. “Here the goal is to use the gasometer as more of a landmark, and a spectacular building for a data center,” said Karlung.

The bottom two levels would house the data halls, giving way to a large open space in the upper part of the tower. A center elevator would provide access to a glass conference room on the third level (similar to the “floating” conference room at the Pionen facility). The sixth level will house a bar, topped by an “air walk”: a 360 degrees floating glass walkway with spectacular views of the interior and roof construction. The elevator will also provide access to a rooftop vantage point overlooking Stockholm. Here’s a diagram:


Of course, these projects are in the design phase, and it’s early to know whether these visions will be fully realized. But with White Mountain and Bahnhof’s nascent modular business, Karlung has already brought several stylized data center visions to reality.

Some of Karlung’s marketing efforts will be controversial among the broader data center community, such as the claim that the new facilities will have Power Usage Effectiveness ratings of 0.8 and 0.5. A measurement below 1.0 is theoretically achievable if on-site power generation and heat reuse is included. Many data center professionals don’t recognize claims of a PUE below 1.0, saying it is not in the spirit of the metric. In an latest update on PUE measurement (PDF), the Green Grid has included guidance for companies using on-site cogeneration or reusing waste heat from servers.

Karlung believes that data centers filled with cutting-edge technology should also look cool, and that his flair for futuristic visual design can build a distinctive brand. With these latest proposals, the industry will see if Karlung can deliver his vision for another distinctive project.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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