Swedish internet service provider Bahnhof recently completed construction of a new data center in a retired nuclear bunker in Stockholm using modular building techniques. The resulting underground building looks more like a space station.
Located 100 feet beneath the surface, the space was originally built to withstand a nuclear blast. Bahnhof leased the bunker more than two years ago from the city for an undisclosed period.
Apparently, Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung wanted to build a data center that didn’t look like a data center. The project required the blasting out of an additional 141,000 square feet of space for the servers and modular units that now reside within the caves. Bahnhof also installed waterfalls, a glass-enclosed conference room and a bar.
The Space Station
“The goal with this installation is to make it look like a space station,” said Karlung, in an interview last year. “I think design is too often neglected in our field of business. Designing sleeker and larger modules can turn around reservations about containers and modular designs.”
Wired Magazine reported that its design was so inspirational that Douglas Alger, an architect for Cisco, wrote a book about the best looking data centers in the world, declaring that anybody who decided that they needed waterfalls in their space was part of a “very fascinating discussion.”