Largest Office Building in the World.
In India’s diamond hub, Surat, located in the state of Gujarat, a recently constructed office building has outdone the Pentagon as the largest structure of its kind. Surat is known for manufacturing 90% of the world’s diamonds.
Spanning an impressive 7.1 million square feet, the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) far exceeds the Pentagon’s headquarters building in Arlington, Virginia, which covers 6.5 million square feet. The Pentagon held the title of the world’s largest building for 80 years until it was surpassed by the SDB.
CNN reports that the colossal 15-story building, characterized by a series of nine rectangular sections emanating from a central “spine,” was constructed at a staggering cost of 32 billion rupees (equivalent to $388 million).
The Indian architectural firm, Morphogenesis, encountered several interruptions during the four-year construction process due to pandemic-related delays. Nevertheless, the completion of the building is now scheduled, and it is set to open its doors in November 2023, with the inauguration to be carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and former Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, praised the Surat Diamond Bourse, emphasizing its representation of Surat’s diamond industry’s vibrancy and progress. He commended it as a symbol of India’s entrepreneurial drive, foreseeing its potential to become a thriving center for trade, innovation, and collaboration. He also anticipated that the bourse’s establishment would have a positive impact on the economy, generating job opportunities. This commendation came in response to a CNN video showcasing the Surat premises, and the Prime Minister quote-tweeted it on July 19.
At the Surat Diamond Bourse, the numbers speak volumes about its scale and features:
- There are 4,700 office spaces, which were purchased by diamond companies before construction. These offices can also function as small workshops for cutting and polishing diamonds, according to project CEO Mahesh Gadhavi.
- The bourse can accommodate 65,000 diamond professionals simultaneously, including cutters, polishers, and traders. In addition to offices, the premises offer dining, retail, wellness, and conference facilities.
- There are 9 spacious 1.5-acre courtyards with seating areas and water features, providing convenient casual meeting places for traders.
- The bourse boasts an impressive 131 elevators to facilitate efficient movement within the building.
- It takes a maximum of 7 minutes to reach any office from any of the building’s entry gates, ensuring easy accessibility for everyone. The allocation of offices was determined democratically through a lottery system.
- The Surat Diamond Bourse is three times larger than its counterpart, the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), in Mumbai.
- During the anticipated opening in November 2022, only 400 merchants were willing to move in, leading to a postponement. Many Palanpuri diamantaires from Mumbai opted to remain in their current location to avoid incurring establishment and transportation costs, as well as overheads of maintenance, especially when the trading business was facing challenges.
Yahoo News on Largest Office Building in the World
Regarding the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) in India, it is considered a comprehensive hub for over 65,000 professionals involved in the diamond industry, including cutters, polishers, and traders.
Although the building’s official website stated its readiness to commence operations in November 2022, the grand opening was postponed due to a limited response of only 400 members willing to relocate to the new premises. However, the bourse is now set to welcome its occupants in November of the current year.
The 15-story building, designed and developed by the Indian architectural firm Morphogenesis, covers an impressive area of over 7.1 million square feet. It includes a remarkable 4,700 office spaces, 131 elevators, and various amenities such as dining, retail, wellness, and conference facilities.
The total project cost amounted to 32 billion Indian rupees (approximately $388 million). The construction process spanned four years, with two years being impacted by delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a remarkable feat, the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) surpasses the Pentagon by approximately 600,000 square feet in floor space. While the Pentagon boasts around 6.5 million square feet, the SDB’s floor area exceeds it.
Source: Yahoo News
CNN on the Surat Diamond Bourse Building
Antwerp, the renowned diamond trading hub, may be recognized globally, but the majority of rough diamonds come from Russia or Africa. However, tucked away some 150 miles north of Mumbai, India, lies Surat, a lesser-known gem capital. Surat holds the distinction of being responsible for cutting approximately 90% of all the world’s diamonds.
Now, this city in the state of Gujarat has proudly unveiled a groundbreaking building to accommodate its massive diamond industry. The recently opened Surat Diamond Bourse is hailed as a comprehensive “one-stop destination” catering to over 65,000 diamond professionals, including cutters, polishers, and traders. The 15-story complex sprawls across more than 35 acres of land and features a unique design comprising nine rectangular structures that extend from and interconnect via a central “spine.”
The newly constructed Surat Diamond Bourse, designed by Morphogenesis, boasts an impressive floor space of over 7.1 million square feet, surpassing the Pentagon as the world’s largest office building. After four years of construction, including delays due to COVID-19, the building is set to welcome its first occupants in November. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a native of Gujarat and former Chief Minister of the state, is expected to inaugurate the building later this year.
Exclusive photos shared with CNN showcase the building’s elegant marble floors and light-filled atriums, connecting more than 4,700 office spaces that can also function as workshops for cutting and polishing diamonds. The $388 million development features 131 elevators and provides dining, retail, wellness, and conference facilities for workers.
According to Mahesh Gadhavi, the project’s CEO, the Surat Diamond Bourse will save thousands of people from the daily hassle of traveling by train to Mumbai for business. The building’s design, conceived by Morphogenesis following an international competition, offers a “level playing field” for businesses of all sizes, with offices connected by a long central corridor akin to an airport terminal. This democratic layout ensures similar access to amenities for all occupants, with no office taking longer than seven minutes to reach from any entry gate. The allocation of offices was determined through a lottery system.
Morphogenesis considered the functioning of the Indian diamond trade during the design process. Notably, they incorporated nine 1.5-acre courtyards with seating and water features, resembling traditional bazaars, providing casual meeting places for traders. These landscaped areas acknowledge that many informal transactions occur outside the office environment, fostering a human-to-human connection in the bustling surroundings.
The Surat Diamond Bourse’s aerial images reveal its significant size amidst a relatively low-rise surrounding area. However, this landscape might undergo a significant transformation with the ambitious plan for a major redevelopment known as “Dream City.” Endorsed by Prime Minister Modi, the plan aims to create a “smart” city over nearly 700 hectares (1,730 acres) in south Surat. The new diamond hub will serve as an anchor tenant for the region, according to Gadhavi. Furthermore, Morphogenesis, the architecture firm behind the Surat Diamond Bourse, is exploring potential projects in the area, including a convention center.
While Surat may not currently have a distinctive architectural identity, there is hope that sustainable design will play a crucial role in shaping the city’s future development, especially considering soaring summer temperatures that can exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Morphogenesis claims that their design consumes up to 50% less energy than the maximum allowed to achieve a “platinum” rating from the Indian Green Building Council. The building’s central spine is thoughtfully designed to channel prevailing winds through the structure, while “radiant cooling” circulates chilled water under the floors to lower indoor temperatures. Although individual offices may use traditional air conditioning, approximately half of the building is cooled using natural ventilation, and common areas are powered by solar energy.
The goal was to create an iconic structure that harmonizes with the surrounding context and community while prioritizing environmental and sustainable design principles over adhering to a specific architectural style, as expressed by Rastogi, co-founder of Morphogenesis.