Project Spotlight: Bresler's Hip Parliament Street Data Centre
The Parliament Street Data Centre, nearing completion at the edge of the Distillery District, is the first purpose-built data centre downtown in decades. It’s also an awesome-looking building designed to resemble a punch card. We met up with the guys who created it.
Developed by Bresler, the centre is a five-storey, 237k SF facility designed for lead tenant Equinix, which is taking about one third of the building’s white space. WZMH Architects principal Nicola Casciato, snapped here with Zenon Radewych (also a principal) tells us it was a challenge to make the data centre look interesting when design requirements meant extremely limited use of windows. “There are privacy issues involved, but also heating and ventilating issues,” he explains. “Putting windows into a building like this compromises the mechanical systems.”
The data centre features black metal cladding and terra cotta panels that tie it in with the red-brick character of the surrounding area, while also evoking the look of an old-school computer punch card. Though windows are few, it has glass on the ground level for the tenant's offices. There’s also a glass cube at the southwest corner that houses conference rooms on the upper floors, with great city views. (Conference daydreamers: beware.) Nicola notes glass is used here to connect the building with street life on Parliament and the pedestrian traffic coming from the Distillery District.
The facility's interior isn’t shabby either...so we're told. While we weren’t granted entry to the top-secret data centre, Nicola tells us “there’s a high level of design inside—it’s not just some basic space.” He notes the lead tenant values good design. “We visited a couple of their buildings in New York and the interiors are really cool, so we’re lucky to be able to implement that here.”