2012 Peter Franz WeberFrank Baum & Peter Franz Weber - Datacenter/ Thermal Bath, Bruxelles
Overwhelmed by impressions, the traveller spends his first hours in this large, chaotic city. People, traffic, noise and scents, all of them are present in abundance to which the visitor gladly exposes himself since he cannot escape. Soon, he feels the vulnerability – his own, but also much more indeterminate, concerning everything that needs comfort and protection. Retreat and rest contradict the nature of the city, but not on the scale of a building.
A Colocation Center within a city embodies such a place, hidden and sealed off, but most of all an alien amidst buildings in which people live and work. Its function requires solidness, inaccessability and anonymity. It is inevitably contradictory to its environment: A place in the center of town, in an exposed position, difficult to comprehend, only of abstract use for the community. The idea of giving the city something that does not yet exist and that is closely linked to the primary purpose of the Colocation Center, embeds the hidden place in its environment and makes it accessible to inhabitants and visitors of the European metropolis: Water-cooled servers allow the establishment of a public thermal bath, free and constantly accessible, without additional energy consumption. The visitor passes through various sceneries, based on European and Ottoman bathing culture in their layout and concept. However, they always display the sensuously and physically perceptible part of the processes in the server farm.
A refuge is created, a place of warmth and quiet. The existence of such a place is not a necessity but a wish, not an indispensable municipal facility but a gift to everyone willing to live here.

Download PDF