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A new form of architecture for data and machines—almost liberated from human intervention and entirely shaped by technological rationales—data centers are the testing ground of alternative models for post-human institutions. In collaboration with OMA and Royal College of Art in London (RCA), and in dialogue with other partners and cultural forums, Het Nieuwe Instituut embarked on a long-term project on the architecture of data centres.

The Netherlands is the second largest data hub in Europe, with a quarter of its GDP dependent on the data center industry. Accommodation of the main submarine cable landing points and core data distribution nodes, as well as access to renewable energy and a cool climate, have attracted numerous international companies to locate data centers and headquarters within Dutch borders. Through the analysis of a selection of present-day case studies in the Netherlands, the project addresses different manifestations of the emerging typology in both urban and rural environments.

The first phase of the research on data centers was developed by RCA students and the faculty, within the framework of the architectural design studio ADS8: ‘Data Matter: Digital Networks, Data Centers & Posthuman Institutions’ lead by Marina Otero Verzier and Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, together with Kamil Dalkir.

Research Team

Research Department, Het Nieuwe Instituut: Marina Otero Verzier; Marten Kuijpers; Ludo Groen; Anastasia Kubrak.

OMA: Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli; Laurence Bolhaar; Aleksandar Joksimovic; Anton Anikeev.

RCA: Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli; Marina Otero Verzier; Kamil Dalkir; and the students: Bahnfun Chittmittrapap, Jade Blanchard-Mckinley, Jake Arnfield, Rhiarna Dhaliwal, Ibiye Camp, Matthew Darmour- Paul, Teresa Boulting, Emmy Bacharach, Kristofers Sciapanovs, Maria Barnes, Maess Hadi, Lwanga Tikaka, Grace Schofield, Anabel Garcia Kurland.



Marina Otero Verzier & Marten Kuijpers
Víctor Muñoz Sanz (TU Delft); Marina Otero Verzier, Marten Kuijpers, Grace Abou Jaoudeh (Het Nieuwe Instituut)
Marina Otero Verzier, Marten Kuijpers, Ludo Groen, Ameneh Solati, Anastasia Kubrak & Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Het Nieuwe Instituut); Merve Bedir, Jason Hilgefort, Junwen Wang & Lucy Xia (Future+ Aformal Academy), Víctor Muñoz Sanz
Víctor Muñoz Sanz & Grace Abou Jaoudeh (TU Delft); Marina Otero Verzier, Marten Kuijpers, Ludo Groen, Emma Paola Flores Herrera & Chris Zogopoulos (Het Nieuwe Instituut)
Marina Otero Verzier, Marten Kuijpers, Anastasia Kubrak & Ludo Groen (Het Nieuwe Instituut); Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Laurence Bolhaar, Aleksandar Joksimovic & Anton Anikeev (OMA); Kamil Dalkir & students (RCA)
Lichun Tseng
Design Trust Hong Kong, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Guangzhou and Hong Kong

Automated Landscapes is a long-term collaborative research initiative on the implications of automation for the built environment, launched in 2017 by Het Nieuwe Instituut, and directed by its Research department.