global architecture and engineering firm HDR has proposed a design for the world’s largest data center to be built in ballangen, norway — 225 kilometers (140 miles) north of the arctic circle. in developing the ‘kolos data center’, the architects took cues from its setting, a fjord surrounded by mountains and glaciers. organized along a central spine, the building’s forms are arranged ‘to mimic a glacier’s movement as it displaces swaths of land, like a mountain’.

kolos data center HDR norway
the spine creates a collision of landforms reinterpreted as modules, or data halls
all images © HDR



kolos’ data halls are organized around the central spine of the expansive center and are covered in green roofs. at the terminus on the water, the spine emerges as a public element clad in copper, a reference to the area’s copper mining history. the center opens onto the public’s waterfront promenade, contributing to the wider community.

kolos data center HDR norway
the data center deploys the latest innovations in security technology



the 600,000 square meter (6.4 million sqf) facility is expected to be fully operational within ten years, at which point it will consume more than 1 GW of power. the cold climate, low humidity, and the abundant supply of hydropower available in the area will ensure a consistent flow of green energy and significantly cut other power costs.


slated to open in 2018, the center has been described as ‘a fortress for data’ as a result of its remote location. the computing power of the facility will scale beyond 1,000 megawatts with kolos servicing high-speed internet traffic in nearby continental europe and as far away as the united states’ east coast.





    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news