How a dead paper mill in Finland became a model for future Google data centers

"In February of 2009, Google paid about $52 million for an abandoned paper mill in Hamina, Finland, after deciding that the 56-year-old building was the ideal place to build one of the massive computing facilities that serve up its myriad online services." Wired on the future of Google data centers, with a focus on this odd story of creative re-use.


    1. The article claims it has a 450 meter long tunnel beneath it drilled through solid bedrock into the Baltic sea.

        1. Still, at that price in today’s real estate market, one would hope the lair would include a fluffy white Persian cat, fencing chamber and escape pod.
          Now they should install a man-sized blind spot in the alarm system (an air duct, maybe) and hire tons of armed guards in one-piece uniforms who couldn’t hit the ground if they pointed their Uzis at it.

    2. I wouldn’t call it abandoned. The paper mill was closed in 2008 and sold to Google in 2009.

      Unfortunately that is not the only paper mill to close in Finland, and as they usually are in small towns like Hamina where they usually are the biggest employer, it has been a disaster for these towns. Therefore the sale of the mill to Google was really welcomed here in Finland as at least one small glimmer of hope for this town.

      One interesting fact from (sorry, only in Finnish)… the oldest two buildings of the plant were designed by the architect Alvar Aalto, who also designed the headquarters of the company that owned the mill.

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