The architectural style of a data center is not what you would think as being unique.

But data centers can have a certain style as illustrated in a recent post on Data Center Knowledge, which put together a collection that shows a level of creativity in how data centers are being designed.

Rob Snevely is the author of Enterprise Data Center Design and Methodology. He says the primary function of building a data center is in the detailed mechanical process of laying out the building for maximum density and equipment loads.

But he also says design philosophies are being applied to data centers that fit with the modern times of the 21st century.

Here are a few that stand out:

“The Spy Who Loved Me” Bunker

The Bahnhof “James Bond Villain” Data Bunker in Stockholm, Sweden

On the city streets, people go about their day, unsuspecting that deep below the asphalt lies a bunker where Dr. Evil would feel right at home. It’s the data center for Banhof, one of Sweden’s largest ISPs. The features of this subterranean data center are a bit quirky. It includes greenhouses, waterfalls and German submarine engines. Your data is safe here. It is designed to withstand the force of a hydrogen bomb. Unusual? Yes. The architect started with the view that rock has its own symbolic representation of life. Space-themed conference room? Sweet.

Super-Sized Data Center

Microsoft Container Data Center in Chicago

In the city of broad shoulders is the big gulp of data centers. And who else but Microsoft would build a data center with such scale. The Microsoft data center is 700,000 square-feet and cost a whopping $500 million. It has its own “container canyon.” This is like a garage where 40-foot trucks don’t move but the data does. Truly massive.

Which Came First: Chickens or Computers?

Yahoo Computing Coop in Lockport, NY

Now this is our kind of data center. Chickens need good ventilation and so do servers! So why not build a data center that looks like a chicken coop and is meant to breathe, too?

And here we thought data centers were just big boring buildings.

alex williams