Google+ London Architecture Blog: Week 28 13 Feature #21 Lloyds of London

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Week 28 13 Feature #21 Lloyds of London

Lloyds of London
Architect: Richard Rogers
Date Constructed: 1978-86
Location: 1 Lime Street, City of London, EC3M 7HA

The Lloyds Building is the headquarters for the Lloyds insurance group, completed in 1986 and located between Leadenhall Street and Lime Street in the City of London. The building was designed towards the end of Rogers' partnership with Renzo Piano (which included the Pompidou Centre in Paris) and marked the beginning of his own practice, the Richard Rogers Partnership, later to become Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. The building opened to much criticism but after campaigns by the Twentieth Century Society, the building became the youngest ever to be awarded Grade I listing in 2011.

The original London home of Lloyds was located at 12 Leadenhall Street, built in 1925. Owing to the expansion of the firm and an increase in demand for further office space, additional buildings were constructed at 51 Lime Street. Further expansion during the 1970s led to plans being introduced, initially for the expansion of the Lime Street site, and then for the redevelopment of the entire site. Prior to the appointment of Rogers, designs were submitted by leading architects such as Norman Foster, I.M.Pei and Arup, but Rogers design was chosen and the majority of the site was demolished to make way for the new building. The original frontage at 12 Leadenhall Street remains however and provides a contrast to the high tech modern design of the new building.

The design of the building continues the concept of 'inside out', where the services are placed on the outside of the building, an approach originating in the designs of Archigram in the 1950s and seen in Rogers earlier projects such as the Pomopidou Centre in Paris. At the centre of the building is a vast 60m glazed atrium space covering the entire height of the building. The base and external frame of the building is constructed from a combination of reinforced concrete and steel. Polished aluminium is used for the exterior surfaces, such as the stairs and lift shafts. 

The ground floor of the building is used as the underwriting room overlooked on each side by galleries linked by a series of central escalators. The upper floors are then closed to the atrium (via glass screens) and are accessible only from the external lifts. On the 11th floor of the building is the Committee Room, an 18th century dining room designed by Robert Adam for the 2nd Earl of Shelburne in 1763. The room was originally located in the previous building at Lime Street and was dismantled and reconstructed within the new building.

Occupying a prominent location within the City of London, neighbouring buildings include 30 St. Mary Axe, The Willis Building, both by Foster and Partners and the new RSHP building at 122 Leadenhall Street (also known as the cheesegrater). In the south west corner of the building is Leadenhall market.

The building covers 14 floors and is 88m high. It is owned by Ping An Insurance who bought it from the Shelbourne Development Group in 2013 for £260m. Whilst the building is closed to the public, it is open each year for Open House London in September.

Lloyds Building and 122 Leadenhall Street

Lloyds building from Leadenhall Street

Detail of the stairs and services tower.

Elevation detail.

The Willis Building (left) and the Lloyds Building (right)

Elevation detail.

East elevation and 122 Leadenhall Street under construction.

Stairs detail.

Elevation detail.

External stairs detail.

Structural detail.

Balustrade detail.

Detail of the lift shafts

Handrail and balustrade detail

Canopy above the entrance from Lime Street

Handrail detail

Detail of the structure and external frame
Interior Photographs courtesy

Central atrium. Photograph courtesy

Atrium and escalators. Photograph courtesy

Inside the external lift. Photograph courtesy

The escalators. Photograph courtesy

Inside the committee room. Photograph courtesy

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