This unassuming town in Gujarat, India, has recently created history by establishing the Surat Diamond Bourse, a colossal structure dedicated to the diamond industry. The Surat Diamond Bourse, a vast 15-story complex spread over 35 acres of land, boasts nine interconnected rectangular buildings forming a central “spine.” The designers of this massive structure boast that it will be larger than the Pentagon, with a total floor area of nearly 7.1 million square feet.
The Surat Diamond Bourse has been under development for four years, and its first tenants will move in this November. The project was delayed for two of those years owing to problems with Covid. Expectations are that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a former governor of the region who grew up in Gujarat, will officiate the opening before the year’s end.
More than 4.000 office spaces
CNN has exclusive photographs showcasing the exquisite marble flooring and light-filled atriums that connect more than 4,700 office spaces. These offices will also serve as mini diamond factories for cutting and polishing. The head of the project, Mahesh Gadhavi, estimates that thousands of people might be spared the time and expense of driving to Mumbai every day if the $388 million complex is built as planned. The complex has 131 elevators and provides amenities such as dining, retail, healthcare, and gathering spaces for employees.
The project’s CEO, Mahesh Gadhavi, thinks the Surat Diamond Bourse would prevent thousands of people from having to go to Mumbai every day for work. He adds that some individuals endure arduous journeys of up to four hours to travel from their homes to their workplaces and back home again. According to him, shifting enterprises to Surat is seen as a far more convenient and practical choice. He shared these thoughts via a video chat, emphasizing that shifting enterprises to Surat is a “better option” for many individuals who face long and tiring commutes.
Surat Diamond Bourse Beating the Pentagon
The architectural firm Morphogenesis from India emerged victorious with this project after participating in a number of international design competitions. Gadhavi, in statements to CNN, explained that beating the Pentagon was not a requirement of the competition. He stated that demand was the primary factor in determining the scale of the project, and diamond businesses had already bought all of the office space before work began.
Morphogenesis has stated that its layout provides a “level playing field” for enterprises of all sizes. Sonali Rastogi, the co-founder of the architecture company, characterized the design as “democratic,” and mentioned that an extensive central corridor connects the offices to one another, evocative of an airport terminal.
During a video chat from New Delhi, she stated that they designed working there “to be absolutely the same for everyone,” and reaching any office in the building from any of the complex’s access gates takes less than seven minutes. (Gadhavi, on his part, stated that they utilized a lottery to select which companies would be assigned to which offices.)
Morphogenesis drew inspiration for the design from their research on the functioning of India’s diamond market. Rastogi focused on a set of nine courtyards, each 1.5 acres in size and equipped with seats and water elements, which may function as informal gathering spaces for merchants. The fact that many casual interactions take place outside of the office atmosphere motivated the company, and Rastogi compared the landscaped spaces to “a traditional bazaar.”