Inhabiting the Cloud : architectural excess to surplus
Author(s)Little, Patrick Evan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
William O'Brien Jr.
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The Cloud is the new public utility of digital networks that can be found in urban and rural areas that reaches both locally and globally simultaneously. These low occupancy maximum security infrastructures collect virtual exchanges, encounters, and interactions into physical manifestations known as data centers. In return from their high degree of computational power, the data center servers exhaust an extreme amount of heat. This thesis argues that the mass amount of waste heat generated from the servers can be diverted from simply polluting the air and instead funneled into newly added civic programs that inhabit the spaces of the Cloud, turning the ultra-private architecture into public participants of the city they are embedded in. Although commonly found in large isolated buildings in the countryside, many data centers are actually in Manhattan along a single corridor adjacent to the Hudson river, all due to the landing of the transatlantic fiber optic network cable. Each year more square footage is being dedicated to housing these servers in one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The current trend is to create more security and fortify the servers against the city and its population, closing all physical relationships to the city. This demonstrates how our data is currently becoming prioritized spacially over the occupants of the immediate city that it is serving. This thesis reverses the trend by creating public space from the Cloud, not in spite of it, allowing both to benefit from the other. This research investigates a specific case by utilizing the construction eccentricities of the AT&T Long Lines building in Manhattan while consolidating and reorganizing its newly added data center servers to create a new thermodynamic symbiotic relationship. A new public promenade inhabits the building and captures the excess heat, winding upward and comprising itself with programs of leisure and surplus that are literally defined by their heat as a physical collection of biomes from around the world. The biomes become a sublime gathering of exotic fauna from as far away as the Cloud reaches.
Thesis: M. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2016.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 51).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology