The pentagonal building serving as the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, near Washington, DC. The Pentagon's unique shape makes it a highly efficient office building. Although the Pentagon has 3,705,793 square feet (1,129,526 meters) of office space, it is possible to reach most points in the building within 10 minutes, a remarkable architectural achievement. In a building which coordinates the armed forces of the United States along with organizations responsible for intelligence and security, workers often need to be able to access each other quickly.
The idea of the Pentagon was conceived in 1941, when Brigadier General Brehon Sommervell was trying to solve the problem of limited space for the Department of Defense, a serious issue in the Second World War. It was agreed that a new building was needed, and a groundbreaking ceremony took place on 11 September, 1941. It took just two years to complete the building on former marshlands along the outskirts of Washington, and the Pentagon was quickly filled with communications equipment and staff to coordinate the Department of Defense.
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