“Waste not want not,” is a phrase that is often repeated by people who hate the idea of throwing anything away, or not taking advantage of something that they feel could be used. A company in Stockholm called Bahnhof, an internet service provider, embody this idea with the way they have repurposed an amazing property in the center of the city.
For a great deal of time it seemed as if this unusual piece of real estate would go unused but, in 2008, Bahnhof decided that they would use it as their new office and as a place to store their servers.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
What makes this so remarkable is the fact that the building that houses Bahnhof could withstand a nuclear attack—it is so secure that it could survive being attacked by a hydrogen bomb. It is one of Sweden’s most advanced and cleverly engineered nuclear bunkers. It was built during World War Two in order to protect the government, and it functions in the event of a nuclear attack.
It is on the island of Sodermalm, a place much more well known for its trendy coffee shops, hipster bars, and thriving contemporary art scene, than for being a potential target for a nuclear attack. Sweden tried not to get involved during World War Two but feared that its proximity to the Soviet Union could place it in danger—and thus they decided that it would be a good idea to take the necessary precautions.
They, therefore, built this bunker called Pionen 100 feet below the ground and with a door that is 40 centimeters thick. When it was designed, it was absolutely state of the art and it remains capable of withstanding a massive blast.
When the Cold War ended and Sweden no longer felt under threat from any of the nuclear powers, the bunker was, as a result, no longer useful to the Swedish government. So they looked for people to take it off their hands. It might not have been a traditional space but the fact it was so unique and unusual meant that several people, and companies, were interested in using it.
The move to data center
It was Bahnhof’s CEO, Jon Karlung, who decided that it would be a great space for a data center. It is brilliantly well insulated, is a great selling point for anyone looking for data storage solutions, and it is a space that Karlung felt he could put his mark on. As a big fan of Sci-Fi movies from the 1970s, Karlung felt that moving into Pionen was a chance to design a modern, futuristic, and exciting office space that wouldn’t look out of place in a James Bond film. It certainly bears a resemblance to the villain Hugo Drax’s lair in 1979 Bond film Moonraker.
When you step through the door of the data center, you are met by small waterfalls, along with indoor plants that look like they have come straight from the rainforest and a conference area that hangs over the server room and features a walkway that looks like something out of Star Wars, as well as a picture of the moon on the ceiling. It even has a saltwater fish tank. If there are ever any issues with the power supply, then there are two backup generators that were once submarine engines. It is a unique, quirky, and decidedly special place.
It received a great deal of press attention, owing to the fact that in 2010, Wikileaks took advantage of the center’s colocation services (when companies rent data services from other companies) and leased server space in Pionen.
The bunker further embodies the idea of “waste not want not,” as it is connected to the local area’s heating system. This is because a data center creates a great deal of heat, so rather than that energy being wasted, it is harnessed and used to heat other buildings and houses in Stockholm. This is a very innovative solution which helps to keep energy costs down and ensures that nothing goes spare.
The data center then is truly like something out of a Sci-Fi film. It is a place that is really born in the image of its creator, Bahnhof CEO Karlung, and a testament to clever thinking, as well as the philosophy that you should make maximum use of space in the most creative way you can.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.