Master´s Thesis 2020 Material Turn

Hybrid Territories: Towards a New Sublime and the Cybernetic Meadow

Permanence, Ability to Defy Time and Materiality

This ultimate act of design (the visual link between human and machine component) is part of those architecture qualities (Landscape roof, Vault system, Observation windows, Visual link) that emerged throughout the design process which is meant to transcend the condition exposed by the already existing server farms: Declare their unimportant status by being deliberately un-designed, to look less provocative in their appearance which is strictly related to their temporality as most of times servers can be relocated and the data centre disassembled and forgotten.

In contrary the prototype deliberately suggests qualities of an architecture which celebrates its presence in the landscape and the value of its content by embracing instead permanence – referred to the ability of a building to endure based on its material strength, defying time’s events and deteriorating effects – over temporality


This assumption makes it easier the choice in terms of materiality which represents at best the qualities of the prototype. In contrary to the cheap prefabricated concrete panels and after several studies, is suggested to use a brushed platinum cladding system for its ductility (ideal due to the curved roof) and the effect which creates by reflecting a blurred image of the surrounding landscape which can change depending on the available source of light during the day.

Daylight effect study

Views illustrating the chosen material (brushed platinum / Top) and how changes the appearance of the building throughout the day and its responsiveness according to the available source of light (below).

Defied events and time-line

The events that the proposed prototype defies, are strictly linked to the topic and are projection into the future. These fictional scenarios are meant to demonstrate, not only the building’s ability to endure time’s deteriorating effects but also how time preserves if not strengthens its position as an integrated feature in the landscape due to its geological scale. Scale is not a flaw anymore but rather an asset.

(Alternative) Present
2030 / Automation takeover
Far future / Rediscovery
Time-line: Time and scale define the building as an integral component in the landscape.
Outdoor illustration: Once the building has been uncovered, becomes a site of pilgrimage for future civilization.
Unintentional monument

Nonetheless, to borrow from Alois Riegl, age and the course of events become the sign which defines the object as a monument for assuming an irreplaceable value for future civilisations, not only for being this highly symbolic component in the landscape but also for the different kind of experience that the building delivers to the human component…

Indoor illustration: Just then, in a far future, the abandoned server farm becomes accessible to the human component.

… Indeed, the only thing to do not defy time is its inaccessibility, becoming a site of pilgrimage and a public territory that just then owe us access.