Design Team

Ben Williams, Prasanna Lachagari


SDI Architecture, Inc.


Lowell, MA




Commercial (Data Center)


70,000 sq. ft.

Project Year





Vanderweil Engineers, Saiful Bouquet Structural Engineers, Stantec, Thornton Tomasetti, Code Red, & VDA Associates

For this project we were asked to design a new 70,000 s.f. three-story building addition to house; scalable co-location data center, office space and new building entry. The new design was to visually blend into phase I but have the building lobby visually project and connect the new to the existing.

The opportunity to design a new building lobby into the addition gave us a chance to design a portion of the addition to visually stand out and create a focal point for visitors pulling onto the site. We used the concept of the lobby as bridge and accentuated it by placing glass along the entire base. With the upper floors housing co-locations, windows were not needed and, in fact, discouraged. The lobby addition also gave us an opportunity to design a new vertical circulation area that could be used by the new addition and existing building not yet renovated.

On the first floor and mezzanine, we located new office spaces that can double as “hot seats” for clients. Being a new addition, this space gave us the chance to incorporate a client’s request to not have columns interfering with views and sunlight from the windows. He liked the long ribbon windows and how one turned the corner but didn’t like the interruption of the columns. Working closely with the structural engineer to eliminate columns in these areas by including a specialized truss system to support the floors above. The new office layout and finishes would match the existing in order to give occupants the feeling that they are remaining within the same building, unifying the space.

By putting the electrical rooms on the first floor, we were able to allocate the entire second floor to the co-location data hall. To assist in optimizing the space, column grid spacing was sized to maximize the server rack layout.

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