3. Branding Strategy
The goal of the project briefed by IT company Cloud DCS to Hong Kong based design firm Arboit Ltd is to create an identity to the brand in communicating what the company is and how it works. Design of data centers’ architecture and interior is also an opportunity to define the web’s industrial culture, its crucial role in today’s reality, its past history and its future. Data centers are normally industrial buildings filled with thousands of cabinets containing server boxes, a power station, a cooling plant and a broadband center. Once the temperature inside the buildings is set rather low by air conditioning to compensate the heat produced by servers and once the electricity is provided to get machines running only a few security guards and technicians checking on the status of the servers are needed in the building. It seems to be a very high-earning and low- maintenance type of business. Interior appearance of these buildings is utterly impersonal and when visited the only impressive thing is the monotone noise produced by servers while working: a constant tone echoing the noise of airplanes when flying. The concept of ”flying through the sky” emerged naturally as figurative theme to translate in a design vision the idea of digital highway as a stream of data crossing the skies to serve our lives
Taking in account the name of the company , Cloud DCS, the theme of the project is about the image of a stream of clouds containing knowledge carried by winds and defining in the sky flowing layers of fading tones of blue to portray today’s digital communication. Fluidity and dynamism of clouds shaped by winds, is expressed by a layered ceiling 30 meters long sculpture to epitomize digital communications across space and highlight its immaterial and yet powerful nature. This ceiling feature is made of metal profiles painted in seven gradients of blue, covered by Barrisol’s stretch fabric back-illuminated by neon lights. The same rarefied artwork defined by the ceiling is reflected on the floor as a gigantic painting printed on the resin creating the impression of walking on the sky .
The aim of the project is a figurative celebration of internet seen as a stream of information crossing the space and people are involved in this unearthly reality finding themselves walking clouds. To reinforce this concept some other spaces like the product gallery or the meeting room are covered in clouds pattern designed in Illustrator software and printed out on a plastic film then laminated between glass panels, in order to get amazing results for an artwork on a floor both in terms of color resolutions and reflections
All colors used interior design are exclusively white and seven tones of blue : these colors define the brand identity as also for the signage and the artworks. Most of design features are though to make visitors feel an aura of immateriality and positive energy at the same time
Inside the data center a new concept of factory is proposed: why not developing a cooling pipe room into a concept? The intricate design of the pipes painted different colors are balanced by the digital artwork printed on the wall. The theme of the project is changing the factory from a sad, depressing, productive place to a happy, positive, productive place .
Hallways in between data centers rooms are defined by artworks, colors and graphic suggesting the concept of travelling through the skies. Along with some leisure areas for break time within the typical floor plan the intent of the project is to transform an impersonal work-place in a more joyful kind of work space to introduce maybe for the first time in a Chinese factory the vibe of the “work and live” : as for some of the notorious headquarters of American IT companies the vive of the office evolves from a serious and corporative look into an informal, cool, more human-like type of atmosphere.