At least if the flooding is confined to the basement then they should not be able to fill their helicopter
Royal Dutch Shell's London headquarters has been shuttered since Monday (15 November) after the River Thames decided to pour into the iconic office building. The Register understands that the oil giant's Shell Centre, which stands on London’s South Bank in Waterloo, is awash with water from the River Thames, scuppering …
Lots of companies have server rooms in basements, which has always bothered me! IT take all the crap locations, "We don't want nasty server rooms in view of the office so down to the depths of Hades with you foul IT demons!".
This is all very well, but liquids, like most things on earth, have a tendency to follow the laws of gravity and head downwards at the first opportunity. Liquids having the advantage of squeezing into smaller gaps than other objects like rocks, pencils, giraffes, etc.
Once worked in a place where the sewage main burst right under the server room, it was about 2 inches from the base of the cabs before it starting dropping. The clean-up and removing the stench was a very long job indeed!
"The company’s London office at one point contained a travel agency, hairdresser, restaurants and bars, a gym, bank, cinema and huge swimming pool – all operating underneath the tower."
And also a theatre, complete with fly tower (you can see it from the river bank side if you look carefully). I was shown around the theatre in 2003, quite an odd experience as it was all completely intact but had been unused for around 5 years by that point.
...at least when I worked there back in the early 1970s. I whiled away many evenings during transport strikes burning up the ammunition they paid for until the crowds on the suburban lines had died down. They also had a full medical and dental service in the Upstream building which was useful on occasion. However, the crowning glory was the Lensbury employee club in Teddington. Once you had been there you could have no doubt the oil companies were making money hand over fist.
At that time the computers (Univac 1108s, IBM 360s) were in the Downstream building on the first floor, but I believe that building was sold off and converted to appartments.
Quite takes me back...haven't lived in Blighty since 1978.
Then yes, the servers are in the basement, as we now have a couple of racks of servers down under the old shell building in Manchester, not a bad set up either, but then we're not next to river up here!
Judging by the design of the building I'd say that was opened around the '60s as well
Wow, this is funny! I'm shocked this story is true - I thought this was another one of those stories from the Register with a totally bonkers, not what it first seems, headline!
I was expecting another story about a google earth mistake which had placed the Shell building in the middle of the Thames or something!
I just love the thought of some oil exec pushing the call button for the lifts and moments later "ding", door opens and out pours a torrent of eel infester water!
I remember 20 years ago, on my first night out in London, listening to some drunken (old) architect in a pub on Charing Cross Road, saying that planning permission was dependent on them building an olympic swimming pool for public use.
So they said ok, and then built it two inches too short so it could never be used for competitions, thus making it useless.
No idea whether it was true. The man was hideously drunk, which is coincidentally what I'm going to be by 6 o'clock.
The story I heard about a certain swimming pool was that the dimensions were absolutely accurate, up until the point where it was lined with tiles which threw things off a little. Was suggested as being more of a drawing cockup than a deliberate plan.
I also remember hearing a story about some slightly non-standard material being used as aggregate substitute in the concrete, at least in the foundations, as it made a discrete way of disposing of certain surplus components.
Last time I worked there, the comms rooms were on the higher floors. There was a tunnel which lead between the two buildings where some of the cabling went, that was in the basement. Oh and the rifle range of course, oh and the olymic size (less 2 inches) swimming pool in the basement, that's all.
The data centre(s) now they were a different matter. Even the locals didn't know where they were or what they did. Same with most data centres I've worked in - well away from any threat of disaster and running in tandem with others just on the off chance. You don't see them on any maps.
I'm not surprised. I'm now retired, but I worked for about 25 years in IT and every organization
I worked for had their gear in the basement. One of these was by the Thames, like Shell.
The, as it was known then, Machine Room was three floors below the river level. These were
extremely expensive mainframes. Madness.
Oi, 'Av a Banana...
Any time of any day, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah..
You'll find us all doing the Lambeff Walk
Maybe it's becoz a'I'm a landerner that I luv landon town...
Tra la la la la
Eeel Problim Mate!!?
Luv a Duck, I just happened to be passing with this lorry tanker full of gelatine. Where do I stick the pipe?
Do What Dick?
Hook up my son....
Pumpa Pumpa Pumpa
Here they come..
Aaaaaaannnnnnnnneeeeeeee Time your Lambeff Way, Oi, hav a banana...
Squeaky clean now Guv ay?
Gosh, thanks. How...
Nah Mate, Nah Mate, Doo What? Call it a favour. Glad to help out.
Nice reception Dick.
I got called to Shell Centre on last Tuesday morning. Most of the fishes, goo and debris was cleared with just couple millimeters of mud on the -1 level comms room floor. Stank pretty gross. Some equipment got zapped, by eels or water short-circuiting them, no one knows :P
Tough shit placing one of the comms rooms below waterline... and by far not the only place in London for that matter.