Data Centre Portugal Telecom

The Data Center PT (Portugal Telecom) inhabits the grounds of Covilhã’s former airfield, a territory greatly changed by means of its former use. The lot is located in the intersection of the runways of the former airfield, and occupies a slight elevation facing the city of Covilhã.

The project is composed of five buildings: four Technical Blocks (of which only one was built on the 1st phase), each destined to house the data storage and data processing facilities, and one Support Building essentially destined for office spaces, storage and an indoor parking.
The four Technical Blocks, generically machines, with a virtual inexistent permanent human occupation, are longitudinally organized along the Southeast end of one of the former runways. With 4 levels above ground, clad in a structure of metallic grate that allows for the necessary air permeability for the ventilation and HVAC systems, they are pure prismatic volumes with a square plan, 55 m wide and 34 m tall, distanced 20 m from each other, surrounded by a water surface. The reflected volumes of the Technical Blocks — visible above the water level in a height approximately equal to half their horizontal dimension — result in four virtual cubes, in apparent levitation, creating the iconographic image of the complex.

To the Northeast, facing the city of Covilhã and the Estrela mountain range, the long and segmented development of the Support Building’s upper floor, 335 m long and 20 m wide, largely glazed on all its sides, draws the limit of the water surface, as if it were a dam. Under the body of water, a semi-underground level establishes the connections between the Support Building and the Technical Blocks, and houses several support areas as well as the indoor parking. The working spaces of the complex are located on the upper level: South of the main entrance the working and meeting areas for clients, the telepresence room and the auditorium; to the West, the employees working areas, namely the NOC network operations centre, the crises room and other working spaces, interspersed with vertical access nucleus connecting to the lower floor, toilets, meeting rooms, and leisure and meals areas.

The Support Building has achieved LEED Platinum certification and the Technical Building LEED Gold certification, based on the project’s sustainability aspects that include free cooling of the Technical Block, a photovoltaic solar park and the use of the water surface as a heat exchanger.
site area: 74.280 m²
building gross floor area (Technical building + Support building): 16.898 m²