From the air this is clearly marked out as a data centre as the entire roof is packed with cooling units (click on aerial view to open in Google maps).
The building itself was designed and built as a six-storey office block in 2000 as this planning application shows. The building was almost immediately turned into a data centre and was operational in 2001. Over the next 10 years the building has been upgraded and further areas turned to data centre use – as this planning history shows.
As with most office to data centre conversions, the building has almost no signage, high levels of security, and tinted windows. Through the windows here it is possible to see the insulation propped against the windows to reduce heat loss.
The building’s entrance is remarkably dull (below), with no company branding and looking slightly old and scruffy. There was only one sign that demonstrated the high level of security at the building.
At the back of the building were several secure loading bays. But more interestingly the ground floor of the building next door, a car park, was humming loudly. In the image below the data centre is on the left and the car park on the right. From the red louvred ground floor large metal pipes head up the building.
On closer inspection a sign revealed that the data centre was indeed colonising the car park, built in 1993, and has occupied the ground floor.
I decided to head up the car park to get a different view of the data centre and got some nice picture of the building (see below). However, I was unable to get on the roof as this space had also been colonised by the data centre.
It seems that the data centre is now using the ground/basement level and the roof of the neighbouring building. On a tight urban location it seems that the data centre needed more space for cooling and power generation and has converted the car park that was already on site.
[Edit: After further research on the planning site I found out that the car park was converted at the same time as the office building was turned into a data centre in 2001 – the planning application is here. I thought that as the data centre expanded extra cooling / power was need, but it seems that this was part of the original design.]
And some more images of the data centre and the various telecoms covers outside: