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BP Center for High-Performance Computing 31

Houston, Texas, USA

Located on BP’s Westlake campus, the

Computing floors on levels two and three

Employees and visitors can access the

Center for High-Performance Computing is a

embrace a “box within a box” concept for the

computing spaces via an elevator or

three-story, standalone building that houses

server rack space, with the office and support

cascading stairway. A wall adjacent to the

functions and equipment for computing and

space placed outside the box. A service

stairway separates the computing rack

PUE Design: 1.35

processing geophysical data. According to

corridor surrounding the computing space

space from the office space. This wall is clad

PUE Annual Average: 1.33

BP, it is the world’s largest supercomputer for

provides access to the racks and creates a

in a vibrant yellow wood panel system that

commercial research.

buffer from the exterior. The offices’ location

graphically reinforces the concept of a box

along the building’s north face provides

within a box.

Completion: 2013

BP’s campus is in the Houston Energy

daylight and views while reducing direct heat

Corridor, 20 miles west of downtown Houston

loads. To the north, the offices' undulating

The overall orientation supports sustainability

along Interstate 10. The building’s public

glass facade creates collaboration alcoves

goals by limiting the building’s glazed areas

program components face the highway

between the glazed exterior wall and the

to the north. The facility is designed to

and feeder road to the north. A service

office space.

deliver a power use effectiveness (PUE)

access drive, loading area, cooling towers

of 1.35, compared to a global average of

and generators are contained to the south

The building’s east and west facades align

approximately 1.85 according to a 2012

between the building and an existing garage.

with the garage. Pulling the main entry

Uptime Institute survey.

volume to the west creates a clear entry The facility is a data center consisting of

sequence from the campus while cantilevered

“white space” (closed server racks) with

conference and team areas above the entry

supporting offices on levels two and three and

strengthen visual connectivity to the main

mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems


on the first level. The design expresses the building’s nature by layering and stacking its functions, with the materiality conveying the programs of the spaces inside.

◄ main entry

2014 design annual

110,000 sq. ft. / 10,200 sq. m.

2014 HOK Design Annual