Merlot 3 Data Centre

HDR-Designed NEXTDC Data Centre Duo Accelerates Design Revolution

HDR has designed two NEXTDC colocation data centres in Melbourne scheduled to house Australia’s largest and most comprehensive cloud ecosystem.

The data centres — M3 Melbourne (150 MW and 100,000 square metres) in West Footscray and M2 Melbourne (60 MW and 16,000 m²) in Tullamarine — will collectively deliver 210 megawatts of critical IT infrastructure to enterprise and government in a climate of unprecedented digital innovation.

With Stage 1 of the masterplan complete, M3 operates as a colocation facility for retail, enterprise and hyperscale customers, with HDR-designed administrative offices, collaboration spaces and highly adaptable data halls. Close to major electricity substations, the campus is situated 10 km from Melbourne’s CBD and resides at the junction between large industrial developments and low-scale residential dwellings.

“Knitted into West Footscray’s semi-residential urban fabric, the building form has been set 20 metres back into the site to respect the neighbours,” said Sam Faigen, project leader at HDR. “This setback zone features a community café along the tree-lined perimeter, that gently transitions the site context from residential to industrial and puts community well-being first.”

HDR designed sister facility M2; a high-grade contemporary workspace and campus near Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport and its surrounding transport and telecommunications network. With commercial office space, meeting rooms, training spaces, an auditorium and customer amenity, the future-proof campus is designed to transform and scale into interconnected data halls on demand.

“The building’s dynamic form and striking red filigree façade of articulating blades juxtaposes the aluminum structure,” Faigen said. “Not only do these blades respond to the high level of solar exposure and optimise sun shading, but they create a dappled effect on what would otherwise be a rather monolithic structure.”

HDR has utilised computational and generative design to rapidly evaluate manipulated parameters in real-time and test the project’s specific programmatic needs.

With the ever-increasing digitisation of work, life and play, data centres are becoming fundamental infrastructure in our built environment,” said Graeme Spencer, HDR’s national director of education and science. “By thoughtfully integrating deeply technical, data-driven processes, while still maintaining focus on community well-being, we have conceived two resilient, sustainable and high-performance campuses that enable digital transformation.”

About HDR
For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 11,000 employees in more than 200 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.