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Building the Part of Facebook No One Ever Sees
gizmodo.com | Article Link | by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan
Ever since we humans gave up the nomadic life and started building homes, architecture had one goal: To make life better for humans. But now, a new architecture is taking shape in remote, frozen corners of the world. And it's not designed for humans. It's for machines. In this case, for the remote machines that keep Facebook churning.
In northern Sweden, just below the Arctic Circle, a new form of modular design is being pioneered by architects based more than 5,000 miles away in the heart of Silicon Valley. They're being led by architects like Marco Magarelli, the Datacenter Design Engineering Manager at Facebook, where he's led the company's unusual approach to data centers for the past five years.
As tech companies compete to build smarter, faster, and cheaper, they're sparking a renaissance in modular, prefabricated architecture, and Facebook is leading the pack. I got the chance to chat with Magarelli to find out what it's like to be an architect building houses for most the world's online identities.
Your Selfies Are Energy-Hogs
Most of us think of the internet as something intangible, a floating, invisible, ectoplasmic world. In reality, the internet is tethered to the physical world by data centers—thousands of them—that handle all of the bits and bytes delivered to your computer.
Magarelli uses the term "magic box" to describe these spaces: the masses know they exist, but they don't quite know how or where. And his job as the architect is "trying to make that box as elegant and effective as possible," he explains.