Data Centers

RiCloud Data Center

RiCloud Data Center

  • San Jose, California
  • Size: 80,158 square feet
  • Data hall: 44,650 square feet
  • Critical load: 10 MW
This adaptive-reuse project is exemplary in its creative approach to sustainability by reappropriating a long vacant building from the 1980’s to serve as a state-of-the-art data center. The design team reinforced the existing structure and tied it into new rooftop mechanical equipment dunnage that covers most of the building to increase the structural importance factor to 1.5. The front facade and lobby were enhanced to denote entry into a high-tech space. The main communal area located just past the secure lobby celebrates the intersection of new and old by exposing the existing structure below an LED lighting design that is reminiscent of a circuit board. Orange accents are located throughout the communal and office area, as well as in the wall mounted lights that line the corridors to reinforce the client’s brand identity. Floor to ceiling windows at the lobby and adjacent an existing internal break room courtyard invites natural light to the far reaches of the space. In the theme of green reuse, the building's mechanical system utilizes a refrigerant cooling system that uses significant less energy and no water given that the surrounding area is prone to frequent droughts.  The network operation center opens up to the main corridor and showcases technology that echoes in its design.

The design focused on redefining what RiCloud’s brand messaging meant in the local North America market. The disconnect between the existing condition and owner’s visioning was identified and addressed early during the design phase. As RiCloud’s first data center in the United States, the client envisioned a contemporary and sustainable data center with a particular emphasis on connections between employees, the customers, and the world. Built in 1980s, the building was initially developed for manufacturing  and saw multiple repurposes such as a research and development facility, an office building, and most recently as a long vacant office and warehouse. Although the existing condition was not an ideal match with RiCloud’s vision, the design team carefully assessed the existing condition and identified building elements that would work with RiCloud’s brand messages. These existing elements were carefully preserved during demolition and intentionally celebrated so pieces of the building’s past shine through The retrofit is sustainably implemented to reduce its environmental impact and celebrate this building’s rich building history.

The workspaces are inclusive of the data center operation team, on-site customer representatives, and visitors. The open office layout for both the onsite operations team and customers introduces and emphasizes the collaborative nature. Versatile seating arrangements promotes various collaborations, conversations to increase productivity. Open common spaces promote connection among all users that further contributes to a collaborative environment. The break area also offers a direct post-security courtyard for the staff to recharge from screen fatigue.


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Our practice is designed around what we call “the speed of trust” — being responsive to client needs while providing a collaborative process of solution-finding. User-centered design and detailed craftsmanship are hallmarks of our work. We routinely meet the evolving challenges of the most demanding clients around the globe — leading with foresight, evidence-based design, and innovative delivery.

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#1 Data Center Architect in the United States

Building Design + Construction, 2019