Scottish Construction Now
The prize had more entries than ever before with 33 nominations from the top UK architecture schools. Tutors were invited to nominate their best Part II students with the chance for a shot at the £1,000 prize. This year the judging criteria were revisited to reward projects that care about societal and environmental challenges.
Tiia’s project, Cloud Cooperative, tackles the subject of data, challenging the current monopoly on the ownership and storage of our private information. Her response to an infrastructure which is otherwise hidden, inaccessible, remote and abstract is a community-owned research facility that is accessible to all and marries architecture and technology beautifully and responsibly.
Grounding the concept in a real location, Cramond Island in the Firth of Forth off the coast Edinburgh, the Cloud Cooperative responds to the significant environmental impact of the exponentially growing data industry. Based on real technologies, such as deep-water server farms and 5D optical storage, the Cloud Cooperative proposes a three-phase process to achieving carbon-neutral data storage.
The excess heat produced by traditional hard-disk drives is used to heat nearby homes, server farms are submerged in deep, cold waters for passive cooling, and, in the final stage, data is engraved into near-permanent quartz glass blocks – all of this is powered by a tidal power plant, plugged into a new district heating scheme. The Cloud Cooperative has set out to prove that, if we act now, the internet can become both socially and environmentally sustainable.