Hear East is the cluster of Olympic legacy buildings that includes the former Press Centre and the huge (80,000m2 / 275 metres long) long) Broadcast Centre. Originally designed by Allies and Morrison the buildings have been reconfigured by Hawkins\Brown, with a data centre occupying much of the core of the Broadcast Centre.
The original building was effectively a huge steel shed (see construction pictures here), with a giant floor plan, so was ideal to be converted into a data centre.
Although the building is isolated from London’s key clusters of data centres, I assume the huge amount of fibre laid for the Olympics makes this an extremely connected building.
This data centre has taken the desire to be hidden to its (possible) logical conclusion as the facility is almost fully wrapped in office and retail space, so that the data centre is almost invisible from the exterior.
Hawkins\Brown explains this logic on its site: “To make environmental and commercial sense of the 850,000 sq ft former Broadcast Centre we imagined it as a ‘crust’ and a ‘core’, removing the windowless façade to create a 16m deep ‘crust’ of flexible work, studio and retail spaces around the perimeter of the building, maximising natural daylight, ventilation and views, and converting the ‘core’ into the data centre and state of the art broadcast studios BT Sport.”
The building’s plan (below) makes this arrangement clear.
Offices space are behind the glazed facade (below) as the ‘crust’ of the building around the data centre core.
The building does have a digital aesthetic, as it is aiming to be a technology innovation centre, with a pixelated printed facade that is “one of the largest bespoke digitally printed façades in the world featuring 8,000,000 dots.”