The aim of this project is twofold: firstly, to consider the reinterpretation of the exercise of storing data and, secondly, to propose a modern purpose for decommissioned military structures that lie in abundance on the coasts of the British Isles.
Using an abandoned Victorian fort as the site for an “off-grid” data centre, this project investigates the housing of new technologies within historic surroundings. More specifically, it explores how power is embodied in the architecture of the past and present. The aim is to provide an appropriate and thoughtful setting for storing data, arguably today’s most valuable commodity. This fort is located on the British Channel Island of Alderney, a place with a controversial history of environmental, political and military power structures.
Importantly, the project takes into account the complexities of data security, the internet’s storage and operational energy demands and, finally, the physical requirements of the “cloud”. It seeks to analyse the poetics and forms of the cloud through architectural conditions. The desired outcome is a maritime data fortress that acts as a catalyst for a network of other similar transformation schemes.