Technical information

  • Project: Data centre
  • Location: East India Dock, Canary Wharf, London
  • Client: Telehouse International Corporation ofEurope Limited/ KDDI (Data Centre Provider)
  • Lead designer: NWA plc
  • Architect: NWA plc
  • Landscape architect: NWA plc
  • Transport/highways consultant: TTP Consulting
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Consultant: SLR
  • Fire engineer: Cundall Johnson & Partners Llp
  • Lift engineer: Cundall
  • BREEAM consultant: Cundall
  • Acoustic engineer: Cundall
  • Mechanical & electrical engineer: Cundall
  • Civil/structural engineer: Cundall
  • Planning consultant: GVA Grimley Ltd
  • Security consultant: Guidepost Solutions Llc
  • Principal contractor: MACE
  • Phase 1: Completed in 2016. Consisted of the PBBconstruction, including two data hall floors fitted out,
    together with the electrical and cooling plant
  • Phase 2 and 3: Progressive t out of remaining datahalls with the last two storeys fit out to start on Q1 of 2018

Location: East London, United Kingdom
Client: Telehouse
RIBA: stage 7 – Phase 1: 2016, Phase 2 (fit out): 2017, Phase 3 (fit out): 2018
Role: Lead Architect & Construction Architect
IT power: 2.02kW/m²
IT cooling: Indirect air cooling
IT area: 6,900m²
Total area: 27,000m²

In July 2013, NWA were commissioned to develop a site in East London, as part of the client’s campus expansion to deliver:

  • 6 technical Halls of approximately 6500m²
  • 2 meet-me rooms for data connectivity
  • Equipment to provide uninterrupted power supply
  • 8 parallel synchronised operation MV generators
    situated on the ground floor, with air intake from the
    west and exhaust to the east facade
  • Indirect air cooling system (IAC) to technical floors
  • Chilled water cooling to plant areas
  • Pre-action sprinkler protection to technical floors
  • Gas protection to switch rooms and meet-me rooms
  • Delivery area with de-box and build room
  • Entrance via bridge connection to the existing north
    building. 2 vertical circulation cores including stairs, lifts, goods lifts and reman’s access

The design

With a site area considerably smaller than that of a typical scheme that involves IAC cooling, an innovative, cutting edge design was essential; NWA’s proposal was for a multi-storey data centre with an external vertical IAC gantry. This concept had never been built before. Telehouse TN2 was entirely designed using the latest BIM tools and it required working closely with the rest of the design team, the client, planners and all the way across to the construction company, to ensure the most efficient, accurate and timely effective design was delivered. TN2 was the first multi-storey data centre with indirect air cooling (IAC) in the world.

The facades

The planform, which maximises the plot usage, the building height of 62m overall and the location of the site, all meant that the building would form a “gateway” from the suburban corridor to the east, into the dense, high rise, urban environment of Docklands, Canary Wharf, and the City of London beyond. TN2 would became the facade of the city and more importantly the face of Telehouse to the public.

That constituted the need and the opportunity to display some aspects of what is going on inside the building; a contemporary design approach incorporating high quality materials, with low maintenance requirements was vital.

Awards; 2017 Data Centre Dynamics Awards Finalist - The Most Beautiful Data Centre of the Year & The Data Centre Eco-Sustainability Award

Due to the very nature of the data centre industry, privacy is crucial, so at NWA we worked closely with our client and the planners to design a bespoke cladding solution that is a tale of the data centre function, yet doesn’t reveal anything key to the business.

The bespoke cladding represents an electronic circuit board – some say it is the image of that of a phone – which in essence would be the core of the facility. Just like nowadays a data centre has a key function on everyday living.

Using innovative manufacturing techniques, the facade panels are incredibly strong while delivering the intended design. The design of the cladding was also key to sustain the BREEAM “Excellent” rating achieved throughout all stages of the project.