The Qianhai Telecommunication Center, currently under construction in Shenzhen, China, has already reached a height of 92 metres – and with it, the shell of the world’s first high-rise data center has reached the 18 storeys. Control rooms, in which the IT specialists will later observe data traffic, are to be located on the top floor. Two terraces with large glazed frontages will provide ample light in the workplaces and outdoor spaces with stunning views. The building will grow another 20 metres before it is finished. Façade construction is the next stage about to start on site. schneider+schumacher planned the façade as a binary representation of the number Pi, in which the zeros are moved by the wind.
Many publications have reported on this unusual building. For instance in “[Umrisse] Zeitschrift für Baukultur”, the current issue on data centers entitled “Upload-Download” devotes seven pages to a detailed presentation of Qianhai Telecommunication Center. Additionally – in his new book “Server Manifesto” – Niklas Maak, a journalist and editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, cites the building as an example of a data center with an impressive aesthetic. The book was written together with students from the Städelschule in Frankfurt and uses their designs to show what the future of “the most important new building typology of the 21st century” might look like.