Type: Data Center & Exhibit Location: Boston Size: 20,000 SF Year: 2021
A proposal considering the physical effects of our digital world.
Above the Boston Seaport, data servers are elevated into a civic monolith. Placed over the entrance to a decommissioned dry dock, the monolith pulls water from the local harbor to cool itself before draining into the historic void.
But inhabiting the void is another structure: an exhibition hall making sense of the site’s historic and contemporary conditions. Resting just above the highest water line, the hall bears witness to an odd phenomena of the site: a digital tidewater.
The dry dock fills and empties at unnatural rates, following the cycles of unseen data servers cooled within the monolith. It’s output water provides a heated amenity year round. Runoff then slowly fills the outdoor garden galleries within the dry dock, hiding historic artifacts and exposing them when drained. Excess water circulates across the site to newly possible salt water marshes.
Among the plant life, odd objects can be found: large props for structures that might have once existed, or maybe haven’t yet arrived? Some are inhabitable and some are not.
Similar props support the exhibition hall and monolith. Perhaps to lift above rising sea levels. Or, in acknowledgment that like the dry dock they rest on, their purpose may someday end.