manni group design award 22 data landscape
Metaverse, avatar, cryptocurrencies. The digital world is
just as real as the material world. Whatever the activity we
carry out online, its ultimate and univocal implication in the
empirical world will be data.
Despite their apparent volatility, digital data have deeply material roots. Physical spaces are needed to file them,
technologies are needed to secure them and huge quantities of energy are needed to access them at any time.
Datacentres are the material trace of the digital world. The
more this world grows, the more they multiply, thus acquiring an essential value and playing a key role for the society
of the future.
For a long time, they have been considered infrastructures
rather than architectures. Yet, numerous recent experimentations show that datacentres can become landmarks
of modern cities. They can be an opportunity to repurpose
abandoned architectures and places that are no longer in
use in an innovative way.
This is the case of a former military bunker along the Venetian Prealps. It is an architecture that is considered difficult
to reuse due to the presence of isolation segments and
underground spaces – characteristics that, in fact, turn out
to be advantages when building a datacentre.
How to make the most of the characteristics of a military
architecture in designing a modern datacentre? How to integrate this function into the jaw dropping landscape?
These are the underlying questions of Data Bunker. This is
Manni Group’s competition to imagine a new generation of
datacentres which fit in the landscape to generate magnificent and iconic architectures.
Datacentres are the sign of contemporaneity. They are intended to change the face of cities just the way railway
stations, factories, and large buildings have always done in
order to meet the needs of the time. Taking an interest in
datacentres today means writing a significant chapter of
the cities of tomorrow.
Manni Group thanks all architects who will take up this
Moving from Verona to Trento and leaving behind the renowned Valpolicella, following a tangle of windy streets, visitors get into the regional natural park of Lessinia. The park is a natural wonder, made of monu - mental abandoned quarries, centuries-old forests, and local stone outcrops. The stratifications of the stone evoke scenarios of an ancient time, before nature was dominated by humans. At the western border of the park, a short step from Lake Garda, there is a plateau delimited by a large enclosure – a former military base, which has become the perfect setting for the typical Italian postcard, with Chianina cows grazing and bel - lowing surrounded by majestic mountains. There is not much left of the imposing NATO telecommunications centre – of the dozens of towering antennas, today only the bases remain and antinuclear bunkers have been covered by thick vegetation. Yet, despite the pres - ence of harsh military architecture, there is a predom - inant sense of peace and tranquility conveyed by the breath-taking pre-alpine scenery. Here, among gentle grass-covered elevations, a modern datacentre will be - come the highest example of a digitally-driven architec - ture which perfectly fits in the surrounding natural land - scape.