First Impressions of the new CSCS Building

Last week CSCS started moving from the old location in Manno to the new building in Lugano. The first to move have been the employees not related to the operations of the supercomputers. The supercomputers together with the technical staff will start moving by the end of March.

The move to Lugano started with a “house warming party” in the new building on February 10th. In this occasion the employees  had the possibility to visit the new buildings (offices, computer rooms) together with their relatives.

In the next picture the director of CSCS, Prof. Thomas Schulthess invites the participants of the house warming party to visit the infrastructure.

Maria Grazia Giuffreda (Head of User Support) describes as follows her first impressions of the new building:

“I am truly impressed by what advanced construction technology and environment friendly design have been able to achieve. Not only does the new building draw upon the natural resource lake water to cope with the ever-present cooling problem of large supercomputer centers, but it has become a functional and beautiful workplace alike. Offices are distributed along the outer perimeter of the administrative building, all with large windows for maximal use of daylight. Interior design is just pleasant, and you simply feel well staying there. Office windows are facing the nearby woods on one side of the building, and offer spectacular views of Monte Bre on the other.

It suffices to just look out of your window to refresh your mind and feel better about the world. What else can an employee wish for? The spacious, still almost empty machine room is inspiring. Free of pillars, with no obstacles obstructing your view, it is there to tell you to just open your mind, to take a deep breath, and to jump into the future. I see the new supercomputer center literally as a new beginning for CSCS, emerging from intense efforts over the past few years, that offers us the prospect of a challenging and rewarding adventure into future generations of supercomputing.”

John Biddiscombe (Computational Scientist) describes in a longer article on the user blog of CSCS his first impressions of the new centre:

“Initial impressions of the structure and quality were good, huge spacious windows to let light in, efficient heating with automatic computer controlled blinds, glass wind buffers around the structure – all the trimmings one would expect from a modern design. A machine room so cavernous that it evokes visions of the Mines of Moria (though without the trolls we hope), large enough to host Olympic events as well as racks of equipment – connected to the offices via an elevated space-age walkway. From the machine room ceiling dangle arrays of smoke sensors like holiday bunting that allow pinpoint detection of problems should they arise. Light switches abound with LCD screens for precise control of every watt of illumination – Everything about the building smacks of the 21st century and one is left with a feeling of awe that this is our new home (and yes, we do sometimes work long into the night).”

Here below are some pictures of the new machine room. The floor looks still quite empty: The supercomputers will be moved starting by the end of March. In the background you may see the cooling islands that will host clusters and storage.