In pictures: The world's coolest datacentres

Data centres need to be secure, temperature controlled, spacious, redundant, reliable – nothing sexy. But that doesn't mean they can't be. Here are a few that rise above the crowd and take advantage of the possibilities.

In France, the OVH hosting company data center in Roubaix is shaped like a cube, but it's got a hollow core that's open to the sky where heat is vented. Air drawn in from the outside of the cube circulates through server racks and is blown out into the courtyard where it dissipates upward. The design eliminates the need for air conditioning, making the 35,000-server facility more green. Also helping to eliminate the air-conditioning is water cooling of the servers that works in tandem with the circulating air. The company says the design, with the servers deployed on six floors, occupies a footprint a quarter of the size it would need if it were all on one level.

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