Kolos Data Center Wins Architizer A+ Award

Rendering of Kolos Data Center, winner of Architizer's A+ Award in the Unbuilt-Commercial category (Jury selection)

HDR has won an Architizer A+ Award for Kolos Data Center, selected by the jury in the “Unbuilt Commercial” category.

The design of the data centre, which made international news when it was revealed last fall, challenges conventional expectations of the data centre typology.  Located in Ballengen, Norway, the four-story data centre is designed to take advantage of the country's extensive green energy, cool climate and large technical workforce, as well as access to international high-performance fiber.

The building design is seamlessly integrated with its site on a fjord surrounded by mountains, taking cues from the spectacular landforms of alluvial fans, mountains, and glaciers that define the site. Organized along a central spine, the building forms are arranged to mimic a glacier's movement as it displaces swaths of land. At the base, the spine creates a collision of land forms reinterpreted to become modular data halls that are secure, scalable and connected. At the terminus on the water, the central spine emerges as a public element clad in copper, a reference to the area's copper mining history. This architectural gesture articulates the entrance to the data centre while acting as a gateway to the public waterfront promenade.

“It is great to see Kolos Data Center honored in this way,” said Brian Kowalchuk, HDR’s global design director and lead designer on the project. “This design is truly indicative of how data storage facilities can be reinvented for the better across our society as a whole. I hope it inspires corporations and entrepreneurs alike to consider how good, contextually responsive design is not just good for the communities where data centres reside, but also good for business.”

The Architizer A+Awards is the largest awards programme focused on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture and products, with a global audience of 400+ million. Its mission is to nurture the appreciation of meaningful architecture in the world and champion its potential for a positive impact on everyday life.

Winners are chosen by a jury including such industry luminaries as Denise Scott Brown, Bjarke Ingels and Tom Kundig, as well as personalities from beyond architecture including Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos), Yves Behar (Fuseproject), John Edelman (CEO, Design Within Reach), Cameron Sinclair (Architecture for Humanity) and Barry Bergdoll (MoMA).

About HDR’s Architecture Experience

At HDR, we design to unite people and elevate the human spirit. As a full-service practice that combines architecture, engineering, experience and many other related design services, collaboration is at the heart of what we do. Our rigorous process balances the needs of the project with the needs of the client — delivering tailored, human-centered solutions informed by qualitative and ethnographic research, data analysis and a deep understanding of local context and genuine need.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.