The largest of several murals that grace the walls of the Google data center in Dublin, Ireland, depicts a girl struggling to hold on to four air balloons as strong wind tries to rip them from her hands.
Fuchsia MacAree, the local illustrator Google commissioned to beautify what was until recently a boring grey warehouse building, drew inspiration for this particular mural by the concept of free cooling, or using cool outside air instead of energy-guzzling mechanical chillers to cool the computing equipment inside. The mural is painted over massive louvers through which outside air is sucked into the facility.
The Dublin facility is one of two latest Google data centers to get large-scale artwork on their outside walls as part of the company’s Data Center Mural Project, started last year. With the project, Google declared war on boring data center walls, setting out to commission local artists in communities around the world where it’s built computing facilities to make the buildings more interesting than your typical server farm.
MacAree “was inspired by how Ireland’s unique climate and fresh air, rather than mechanical cooling, regulates the temperature of Google’s data center,” Joe Kava, VP of Google Data Centers, wrote in a blog post. “She’s created a series of whimsical murals depicting a windy day in Dublin, including scenes from local landmarks like Grand Canal Square, Phoenix Park and Moore Street Market.”
The largest of several murals illustrator Fuchsia MacAree painted on the walls of Google's data center in Dublin (Photo: Google)
The second of the two newly decorated data centers is in Council Bluffs, Iowa. There, painter Gary Kelley drew on the area’s history as an information hub for inspiration. A series of monotype images he painted on the facility’s walls catalogue that history, “from Lewis and Clark to today.”
Painter Gary Kelley documented the area's history as an information hub on the walls of Google's data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa (Photo: Google)
The Data Center Mural Project has now transformed the look of four Google data center sites. Artists in Mayes County, Oklahoma, and St. Ghislain, Belgium, painted murals on the company’s computing facilities in those communities.
Find many more photos of all four Google data centers that have been transformed by the project so far here.