Think outside the church: Chapel houses ‘World’s Most Beautiful Data Center’
From the outside, the Torre Girona Chapel at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona looks like any one of the thousands of old churches that can be found throughout Spain, with a large cross mounted on the roof and a rose window perched above the entrance. Step through the chapel doors, however, and you won’t find any religious iconography or a congregation in prayer.
Instead, you’ll find the 25th most powerful supercomputer in the world: the MareNostrum 4. The supercomputer came online in 2005 and was heralded as ‘World’s Most Beautiful Data Center’ in 2018.
The chapel required relatively few modifications to host the supercomputer, such as reinforcing the soil around the church so that it would hold the supercomputer’s weight and designing a glass box that would house the supercomputer and help cool it.