Steel Marvels

Kartarpur Corridor, Punjab

On the eve of 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, a messenger of god, missionary and reformist who preached oneness, harmony and unity, Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and Prime Minister of Pakistan unanimously took an initiative to open up a corridor so that pilgrims from both the countries could visit various shrines of Guru Nanak at Kartarpur.

The work on this corridor would be a landmark in the history of these two countries and shall be a helpful resource in creating unity and both the nations can look beyond physical boundaries and collectively work for the economic growth for this part of the sub- continent.

The very vision of the state-of-the-art Landport, a terminal building at Dera Baba Nanak is being carried out by Landport Authority of India. The objective was to construct a world class, State of the Art infrastructure for ICP Passenger Terminal Building at Dera Baba Nanak, to help the Sikh pilgrims from India to visit Dera baba Nanak at Kartarpur located about 7kms from the International boundary.

The project brief was aimed at providing comprehensive architectural services for the terminal building which will house adequate immigration and customs clearance facilities to process the smooth movement of nearly 10,000 pilgrims per day. The Terminal Building and associated land development was to cater to the utilities and amenities like toilets, waiting areas, security hold areas, adequate number of Immigration counters, drop offs & pickup areas, parking areas, allied facilities like safety, security, barrier free environment, retail & concessionaires etc. Our endeavour was to design a building that will always be looked upon a global facility which is Green, Smart and Sustainably relevant to the topography, culture, heritage and social fabric of the state it belongs to.

This was a step towards spreading universal message and the teachings of great Guru Nanak in terms of creating peace, harmony, unity amongst particularly between the two nations. This dream project is visualised as a physical homage to the great Guru Nanak Dev ji and also to create the sensitivity of Art & Architecture in symbolizing the universal message of oneness and humanity through various elements of visuals, dimensions, space and volume, particularly in creating State of the Art& Architecture thus establishing an environment which is spiritually empowered, emotionally bonded and solely connected which justifies the statement of Prof. Charanjit Singh Shah that : “A Building should not be treated as a mass of brick and concrete but as a living organism which breathes and embodies within the nature.”


This project showcases engineering capability of developing India wherein we are able to conceive and build a design of such magnitude and complexity in a record time. It is also an initiative to create a zero ground for both the countries and provide access to historical shrines of Guru Nanak for Sikh pilgrims.

Gurpreet Shah
Principal Architect, Creative Group


Using Steel
The flexibility of steel was utilized to create a large open span structure with limited columns. Surreal form of the building was realized by the malleable nature of steel, making it possible to construct the exact computer engineered design. Integration of steel frames, use of tubular sections and I-sections, reflective metal panelling, and façade glass has enabled to achieve large wide-open spaces with natural light in abundance.

Concrete and wet construction was kept to a minimum to save time. Steel fabrication was propagated wherein fabrication could take place in a yard and quick assembly can be achieved at site with not only guaranteed precision but also enabled an unheard timeline for the project.

The building form originates from Khanda, of Sikhism symbolizing unity, peace, and sending out a universal message of global brotherhood and coexistence. Disabled – friendly building will have immigration and clearance facilities to process movement of 10000-15000 pilgrims a day and provide a visa free access. The gateway crowning the port with the composition of 5 petals symbolizes the 5 vows of Sikhism.

The frame of the building is entirely constructed out of steel, with the use of trusses and various steel sections to achieve large open spans. The cladding on the roof is of aluminium standing seam while some areas also use zinc cladding and double-glazed glass units used in the façade enable natural lighting within the building while use of aluminium composite panels reflect the contemporary aspirations of the project.

The Wall of Fame will be showing the journey of Guru Nanak Devi ji since his birth, episodes of his understanding, his realizations and his journey towards enlightenment. His various Udasi’s or travel covering more than 40,500km across the globe where he preached the message of truthfulness, brotherhood and oneness of God, while criticizing and protesting against the rituality and fanaticism of religion is depicted in the form of Modern Art. The artwork also depicts certain other profound figures in Sikh history. The Guru’s philosophy of Mool Mantra’s essence is felt by the kinetic art which is unique in the world and is seen as sending the message of peace across the world.

Geometrics and Software used
It has been designed in a manner that it can efficiently respond to the future growth of the passengers in a logical manner to ensure that the increasing passenger movement can be dealt in a manner without negatively impacting the existing process. The passenger movement has been planned in a linear manner by providing a centralized position for immigration, customs and security check posts by minimizing confusion. The simple layout is designed to ease the passenger movement and function as an efficient transit point. This complements the otherwise dynamic form of building which has a spiritual inspiration behind it.

After the conceptualisation of the project and basic decisions regarding the planning, architectural software like AutoCAD and modelling software like Google Sketchup were used for generating drawings and 3- D for the project.

This was a very challenging project with such magnitude and of international importance, which had to be created with a signature design. It was a major challenge to design and tender this project within 2-3 weeks and construct a project with a site area of 50 acres, 3000 tons of steel and execute within 4-5 months.

The project had to be completed in six months. Both Creative Group and Shapoorji Pallonji worked Day and Night along to finish the project on time. The project was inaugurated on 9th November 2019, in lieu with Guru Nanak’s 550th Birth Anniversary.


Fact File

Client: Land Port Authority of India
Architects: Creative Group
Contractors: Shapoorji Pallonji
Steel Supplier: TATA Steel & APL Apollo Tubes Ltd
Steel Tonnage: 3000 tons