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Julia Wilkosz - "Data centers as a holistic city-forming structure of the digitization era".

20 of June '22
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2020
Author: Julia Wilkosz
Wydział Architektury Politechniki Śląskiej

Dr. Jan Kubec

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture".

Questions of proportion in the coexistence of man's environment with the organization of his economic activity have absorbed his intellect for generations. Attempts to strike a balance after the tumultuous period of the industrial revolution of the 19th century and the devastation of two world wars have established long-term directions for achieving a consensus on aspects of global civilizational and social change caused by the evolution of the capitalist economic model.

wizualizacja, widok z lotu ptaka

visualization, bird's eye view

© Julia Wilkosz

The ongoing Industrial Age 4.0, the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution with transnational corporations operating with full investment freedom, creates the risk of an uncontrolled proliferation of the IT industry's technical infrastructure to support systems of bureaucratized administration and capital circulation, in general terms - information, an essential part of which is the archiving of digitized data. Archives - once a contributor to the inner-city structure - are now migrating to non-urbanized areas as megaservatories.

orientacja, sytuacja i oś czasu

orientation, situation and timeline

© Julia Wilkosz

The dispersion of the environmental burden of energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions today poses a challenge to the realization of the sustainable economy model. The way to sanitize this model is the functional transformation of abandoned urban industrial zones as a result of their technological obsolescence and the global migration of entire branches of production. Shown in the study on the example of the revitalization of an old industrial plant in Lodz, it addresses the problems of the return of new industry to urban structures defined on the principles of coexistence of centripetal functions with a dispersed typology of medium-sized industrial servers. These solutions, on the way of fragmentation of centralized hardware structures, data transfer and archiving, make it possible to relieve the environment from excessive thermal energy emissions and infrastructure overgrowth.

schemat pokazujący proces kształtowania projektu

diagram showing the design process

© Julia Wilkosz

aksonometria struktury

axonometry of the structure

© Julia Wilkosz

The proposed ideological formula is the concentration in the structure of an autonomous urban unit of functions of defined and undefined nature, juxtaposed on the basis of flexibility and mobility of use. The adopted model, as in Cedric Price's InterAction Center, corresponds to the local, current needs of the ever-transforming community, leaving a considerable margin of mutable(mutability) creative space for temporal activities or with functions open to their future definition.

wizualizacja, wnętrze biblioteki

visualization, interior of the library

© Julia Wilkosz

An element of fundamental importance for the new typology of server centers located in urbanized structures is the circulation of the excess heat generated by them, used for heating the other functional elements of the neighborhood/complex, as well as in reverse - cooled air in part of the technological circuits of the accompanying functions/facilities for air conditioning of the industrial function. The directions proposed in the design idea for the cohabitation of variable function and revitalized form, defined on the grounds of social mobility, outline, in my view, the future essence of architectural creation focused on achieving the growth of awareness and capacity of individuals in transforming urban communities.

wizualizacja, wnętrze galerii

visualization, gallery interior

© Julia Wilkosz


Illustrations: © Author

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