Google paints giant, colourful murals on its Irish and US data centres

15 Mar 201791 Shares

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The largest of the murals created for the Dublin data centre is on the louvred walls that allow fresh air to pass freely through the building, cooling the servers inside. Image: Noah Kalina

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Art meets data in this bold new data centre initiative by Google.

Google has painted giant colourful murals on its data centres in Dublin and in Iowa, similar to the art adorning data centres in Oklahoma and Belgium.

The move makes a refreshing change from the traditional nature of data centres to be almost invisible to the naked eye for security reasons.

Typically, these buildings are drab affairs, with row after row of machines humming mechanically in step with the staccato beat of the digital world.

Last year, Google embarked on the Data Center Mural Project, a partnership with artists to bring a bit of the magic from the inside of data centres to the outside.

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Two artists in Iowa and Dublin created murals that celebrate both the work that happens within the building walls and the communities where the data centres reside.

In Dublin, illustrator Fuchsia MacAree was inspired by how Ireland’s unique climate and fresh air, rather than mechanical cooling, regulates the temperature of Google’s data centre.

Last year, Google officially opened its second data centre in Dublin as part of a €150m investment.

The new data centre ranks among the most energy-efficient in the world, with its advanced air-cooling system to keep its computers running smoothly.

Google is now one of Dublin’s biggest employers, with 6,000 people employed directly and indirectly.

Google paints giant, colourful murals on its Irish and US data centres

On this wall, Fuchsia MacAree illustrates Phoenix Park in Dublin with its roaming deer and Tea Rooms. Image: Noah Kalina

“She’s created a whimsical mural depicting a windy day in Dublin, including scenes from local landmarks like Grand Canal Square, Phoenix Park and Moore Street Market,” explained Joe Kava, vice-president of data centres at Google.

In Iowa, painter Gary Kelley’s mural shows how Council Bluffs has served as a hub of information for centuries. Ideas have always flowed throughout the region, from Lewis and Clark to the transcontinental railroad to the internet.

Google paints giant, colourful murals on its Irish and US data centres

This mural on the wall of the Council Bluffs data centre is one of the largest reproductions of a monotype print ever. Image:Noah Kalina

Google paints giant, colourful murals on its Irish and US data centres

This mural depicts Lewis and Clark conversing with a member of the Otoe tribe during their first council. Image:Noah Kalina

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com