Data Centers

QTS Shellhorn

QTS Shellhorn

  • Ashburn, Virginia
  • 305,000 total SF
  • Data Hall: 169,900 SF
  • Critical Load: 42 MW
Located on 24 acres in Loudoun County, Virginia, the QTS Shellhorn data center was designed with function and aesthetic in mind along with unique features, allowing it to stand out in the dense data center alley.

Aspiring to accommodate everchanging tenant needs, QTS Shellhorn facilitates selective buildouts in order to maximize on flexibility and speed to market. The facility boasts QTS’s modular power PODs, allowing rapid customer deployment and the opportunity for future expansion. Additionally, the data center provides extensive solutions to meet customer needs including varying densities, both raised floor and slab on grade environments, as well as dedicated critical gear. Structural ceilings are also incorporated within the data halls to allow for customized overhead conditions. Agile circulation is achieved by introducing multiple docks and freight elevators to allow for efficient deployments. In addition, the site utilizes a robust fiber loop with multiple points of entry and carriers, to maintain the highest network redundancy.

The team paid close attention to user needs while designing the facility and incorporating engaging and innovative amenities that are unrivaled across the data center industry. Based on amenity-centric ideologies, these spaces reinforce QTS core values. These spaces include Freedom Café, which provides an area for visitors and tenants to grab coffee or a snack while taking a break. The fitness center, allowing occupants to focus on physical health, while the wellness room was designed with a focus on mental and personal health. With the addition of showers and locker rooms, health and wellness again come to the forefront, catering to those who choose to use the facilities on-site or those who bike to work. There’s a space for everyone on the Shellhorn site. In addition to indoor amenities, the facility features outdoor amenities including the Freedom Park which is a vast outdoor space lined with tables and benches for tenants and visitors. Bike racks and EV stations are available to those with sustainability in mind.

Focusing on building elements, the main exterior façade emblemizes the QTS brand and sets the benchmark for data center design in Northern Virginia. Starting with the QTS red metal panels, the linear canopy extrusion frames the office face and drives the focal point to the highly finished lobby. The lobby is highlighted by a two-story curtainwall, creating a brightly lit beacon at night showcasing its dominant presence on the busy Loudoun County Parkway. Moving inside the lobby terrazzo floors branded with QTS insignia are present and symbolize stability and integrity – something QTS tenants have come to expect. Within the lobby stands a floor to ceiling Freedom Wall, proudly presenting a custom American Flag and dedication text to commemorate service members and first responders. The Freedom Wall utilizes the QTS red metal panels, tying the interior and exterior experiences together. In addition to the significance of the Freedom Wall, it also acts as an anchor for visual connectivity to all functions and is highly visible from within and afar. Storefront glazing on the upper floors and a monumental stair within the lobby allow for a continued unique experience of this space.

Continuing the well-thought design approach around the exterior of the facility, the south façade incorporates ornate elements to break up the repeating precast panels. Metal panels and curtainwall systems together conceal critical building functions that would typically be exposed. The QTS red metal panels are again integrated as a main feature to further exemplify the presence of QTS along the Dulles Greenway. Overall, function, materials, and finish quality were highly scrutinized to provide a world class experience for QTS and their customers. This successful implementation of QTS’s vision for a world class facility sets the stage for future developments in Northern Virginia.


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#1 Data Center Architect in the United States

Building Design + Construction, 2019