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A CUT ABOVE THE REST

Surat Diamond Bourse by Morphogenesis, Delhi



Among the many transformations India is currently witnessing, one particularly remarkable one is unravelling in Surat. The diamond trading capital of the world – Surat – is reclaiming its position in the marketplace. For the diamond traders based in the city, travelling in the mornings daily to Mumbai and back home in the evenings was the norm for many decades. But now the traders have taken a bold step forward! Coming together as a collaborative, the diamond trading community has chosen to change the norm. The Surat Diamond Bourse is a catalyst for this change.


Designed by Delhi-based architecture firm Morphogenesis, co-founders Manit and Sonali Rastogi are well known for their work across varied typologies. The Surat Diamond Bourse, recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however surpasses everything they have done before.



Picture from the  restoration of the  Chhatrapati Shivaji  Maharaj Vastu  Sangrahalaya Museum  (CSMVS), Mumbai

“Our design philosophy, SOUL – Sustainability, Optimisation, Uniqueness, and Livability, forms the bedrock of all our work. These grounded principles enable us to take on projects of varying scales and typologies and still develop contextual solutions every time. And we have realised that when our projects fulfil these four criteria, they automatically create a balanced solution that is also cost-effective,” says Manit Rastogi, co-founder and principal architect of Morphogenesis.


View of the iconic  Royal Bombay Yacht  Club, Mumbai,  restored in 2010

The Surat Diamond Bourse seems to have challenged the Morphogenesis ideology intensely, at all levels. For starters, of course, it is much more than a building – in fact, it is almost like a whole city! Housing 67,000 professionals in 4,717 offices, it boasts a 10,000 square meter food zone, a retail plaza, and 8,000 square meters of health and wellness facilities. “The Surat Diamond Bourse was not commissioned as the world's largest building,” informs Sonali. “Rather, it was commissioned to bring this vast community together, uniting all activities of cutting, polishing, and trading under one roof.”


Text: Ar. Roopa Sabnis Pinge with inputs from Ar. Swara Ganatra

Images: Mr. Edmund Sumner




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