This Indian Building Claims the Title of the World’s Largest Office, Outshining Pentagon
Written by Sanjay Kumar
Surat, an Indian city known for crafting 90 percent of the world’s diamonds, now boasts a remarkable building to accommodate its thriving industry. The recently inaugurated Surat Diamond Bourse has become a comprehensive center for more than 65,000 diamond professionals, including cutters, polishers, and traders.
World’s largest office building is now Surat Diamond Bourse, Gujarat overtaking Pentagon. (CNN) pic.twitter.com/3VVZ4y4omc
— Indian Tech & Infra (@IndianTechGuide) July 18, 2023
Spanning over an impressive 7.1 million square feet, the bourse is reported by CNN to have surpassed the Pentagon, making it the largest office building in the world. Standing tall with its remarkable 15-story complex spread across 35 acres, the bourse features a unique design comprising of nine interconnected rectangular structures that emanate from a central “spine.”
After a four-year construction period, which faced certain delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Surat Diamond Bourse is set to welcome its first occupants in November. The official opening ceremony is scheduled for later this year and will be graced by the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The bourse offers an impressive 4,700 office spaces, which can also be utilized as small diamond-cutting and polishing workshops. Additionally, it provides 131 elevators along with dining, retail, wellness, and conference facilities for the workforce.
Mahesh Gadhavi, the CEO of the project, emphasized the advantages of the Surat Diamond Bourse, highlighting how it will save thousands of individuals from the daily commute to Mumbai for business purposes. He stated that it provides a “better option” for conducting diamond trade activities.
The construction of the Surat Diamond Bourse was led by the Indian architecture firm Morphogenesis, which secured the project through an international design competition. The scale of the project was determined based on the demand, with all offices being purchased by diamond companies prior to the commencement of construction.
The layout of the bourse has been carefully designed to create a fair and level playing field for both small and large businesses. The offices are interconnected through a central corridor, ensuring convenient access to amenities and facilities.
Sonali Rastogi, the co-founder of Morphogenesis, explained to CNN that the design aimed to ensure equal accessibility for all occupants, with no office taking more than seven minutes to reach from any entry gate.
The building’s design was also influenced by the firm’s extensive research into the Indian diamond trade. Rastogi highlighted the presence of nine courtyards within the complex, which can serve as informal meeting places for traders.
These landscaped areas, reminiscent of traditional bazaars, acknowledge the prevalence of informal transactions that occur outside the office environment. Rastogi described the courtyards as public parks where various activities are expected to take place.
Currently, the surrounding areas of the bourse feature a low-rise setting. However, plans for a significant redevelopment project called “Dream City” could alter this landscape. This ambitious plan aims to establish a smart city covering almost 700 hectares in the southern part of Surat, with the new diamond hub serving as a key anchor tenant.