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Antwerp, Belgium 2018

Data-Center in a public urban park

with : Louis Fiolleau & Louis Serrin

supervision : Shérif Hannah & Sabine Guth (ensa nantes)

Fort IV, a urban park in the suburbs of Antwerp is a relic of Brialmont's defensive belt. All the remaining buildings may be covered in vegetation nowadays, they still are in a great state of conservation and are only waiting to be re-used by some more pacific activities. In order to fund a rehabilitation project that would cover the 12 hectares park and its 7000 square meters of indoor space, we suggest to sell the fort to a private company that would install in it its business activity. As a counterpart, this private partner would pay for the maintenance of the public part of this mixed-use park. The global shape of the complex and the situation of the lot is ideal to install a data-center in the reduit (this specific building).
The public part of the program takes place in the caponniere with a cyber-coffee, a fab-lab, an e-sport room etc... Finally, to link together all the parts of this newfound system, we develop a network of extruded pathway that take inspiration form the modenature of the historical buildings and the shapes of the electronic cables of a data center.


By hosting the data center, the reduit becomes the real economic driver of our project, and thus anchors it in reality. Indeed, this building offers a large, highly partitioned surface area of 4,000m2, which is easy to control, both from a security and a hygrometric point of view, two essential points in data centers. The existing building is divided into 28 sections on each of the two levels. Each section on the second floor houses around twenty server racks, and its ground floor equivalent houses the necessary cooling system, fed by the groundwater that gorges the ground in Antwerp.


Following our  goal of openness to the public, the digital fortress is crossed by one cable that links it the park. Thus, in the manner of a digital "shark tunnel", visitors will be able to observe the data center as close as possible, without ever being able to cross the security glass and endanger sensitive data.
In addition, a double museum is being developed in the arcades that surround the street/public moat that circles the brick bastion. Here the ancient military history of the site and the contemporary history of new technologies are linked in the same playful journey.


servers room

public path


public path

cool down room




servers room

cool down room


break room

secure entrance

public access

to the roof

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