BITS, BYTES AND BATH in Åkrehamn
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Data centers are physical buildings for storage of digital information. It is easy to forget that these machines even exist, let alone to comprehend the amount of energy they need to operate 24/7. The contradiction being; that they require almost the same amount of energy to be artificially cooled, as to be kept in operation. This makes the data centers account for almost 2 % of the global power demand while the excess heat they produce is released into the atmosphere and rarely utilized. This project is about making the data centers that are so often out of sight a beneficial and visible part of a society. This by both utilizing the excess thermal energy to heat public pools and introducing the program to a more urban context. The context being the city of Åkrehamn, Karmøy. A western city of southern charm, its history and identity is connected to the sea. Here almost in the city center, lies a small islet, crushed and broken by human forces into nothing that would remind of the archetypal textures and tactility of the stone and sand that meets the water elsewhere on Karmøy. The project became about restoring the island and creating a new landscape while respecting the surroundings. The project is therefore mostly brought under the ground with a few key volumes brought up in daylight; such as the entrance, which is an extension of the ramp that brings you down into the facility.