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375 Pearl Street-Sabey Intergate-Verizon Data Center

With the surging demand for space to store databases, servers and other technological hardware, architectural practice is now seeking a new balance between aesthetics and functionality. Columbia University architecture students in the study project, “Necessary Buildings for the New Economy” recently toured the new Intergate.Manhattan high-rise data center at 375 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan. It’s a retrofit of the Verizon building downtown and is the largest high-rise data center in the world, with over one million square feet of space.

On the tour, the managing director of Sabey said, “The Internet economy is creating a new form of architecture that is designed to be comfortable for computer equipment. For example, people love architecture with glass and windows. But windows create heat, and equipment doesn’t like heat. That’s why data centers usually don’t have windows.” Kara Anderson, Sabey’s in-house director of architecture also added, “Nonetheless, we design our lobbies and reception areas to make people welcome and comfortable. We have lots of glass in those spaces!”

Sabey Intergate Data Center-375 Pearl Street-Manhattan-NYC-Columbia University Architecture GSAPP-3The wall of insulation, photo and all following by Steve Friedman

The 32-story building uses state-of-the-art climate control systems and electrical systems. More astounding is the security around the building. According to Sabey’s website, there is

Over $50 M invested in perimeter security. Building access monitored by state of the art CCTV and biometric and card access controls. Entire facility is secured within the boundaries of 1 Police Plaza; guarded by NYPD and Homeland Security personnel.

The building’s ConEd substation is also on the second and third floor, “virtually eliminating the risk of storm surge damage,” said Mayor Bloomberg at a press conference at the opening. In fact, it survived Sandy unscathed.

Sabey Intergate Data Center-375 Pearl Street-Manhattan-NYC-Columbia University Architecture GSAPP-5Joseph B. Ryan Jr., Managing Director of Development New York/Sabey Data Centers conducts tour of the Back-up Generator Room to the visiting Columbia Students and – to his left – David Curtis, Associate Principal of Callison, the global architectural firm.

In the same press conference, Bloomberg also contended that the secure storing, access and sharing of data is key to the city’s flourishing tech presence and a technologically advanced economy. He mentions that in the last three years, local firms have leased 5 million square feet of data center space in the Tri-State area. Integate.Manhattan’s first tenant was the New York Genome Center and will later serve the new tech institutions on Roosevelt Island.

Sabey Intergate Data Center-375 Pearl Street-Manhattan-NYC-Columbia University Architecture GSAPP-2

Inside, the building is also built for data storage and connectivity. According to Sabey, the building has “34,000-square-foot floor plates will accommodate tenant expansion and are augmented on all four sides by large basement-to-roof open shafts, or ‘bustles,’ which allow almost unlimited vertical transportation potential for fiber and MEP commodities without disturbing existing tenants. High clear heights with easily-accessible, open, overhead cableways obviate the clutter and confusion of raised floor cabling.”

Sabey Intergate Data Center-375 Pearl Street-Manhattan-NYC-Columbia University Architecture GSAPP-7

We’d be remiss not to mention the incredible views from the top of this building:

Sabey Intergate Data Center-375 Pearl Street-Manhattan-NYC-Columbia University Architecture GSAPP-6Looking east to Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges from roof of Sabey Data Center Building

Sabey Intergate Data Center-375 Pearl Street-Manhattan-NYC-Columbia University Architecture GSAPP-1Looking southwest from roof Sabey Data Center Building

All photos except top by Steve Friedman.

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