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  5. Richard Rogers
  6. 1986
  7. AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers

AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers

AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers
AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers

AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers +15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Leadenhall St, London EC3A 4AX, United Kingdom
  • Architect

    Richard Rogers
  • References

    greatbuildings.com, wikiarquitectura.com, galinsky.com, emporis.com
  • Project Year

    1986

From the architect. After the completion of Centre Pompidou in 1977 with Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers was commissioned to design a new building to replace the original Lloyd’s insurance building in London. 

It would be the second expansion in the history of the company’s headquarters due to the overcrowded conditions of hundreds of people working with international insurance cases.  Completed in1986, the Lloyd’s building brought a high-tech architectural aesthetic to the medieval financial district of London that was previous implemented in the design of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Since 1928, the site has been home to the Lloyd’s of London; one of the largest insurance firms in the world dating back to the 17th Century.   After it originated in the 17th Century, the Lloyd’s of London has grown from an insurance company dealing from within the United Kingdom to working on a global scale, taking on staff and clientele at an unprecedented rate, which has required several expansions; the largest and most prominent being Roger’s.

Similar to Centre Pompidou the Lloyd’s building is designed “inside out.” All of the service functions are removed from the interior and placed at the exterior of the building.  This not only allows for easy replacement and maintenance on the elevators, plumbing, or electrical facilities, but it frees up the interior to create an open and flexible plan that allows for uninterrupted activity on each level.  

With the open spatial planning, the interior is capable of being reconfigured on a moment to moment basis with partition walls that can subdivide each floor and create new and interesting spaces.

The Lloyd’s of London building consists of three main towers-each attached to their own service tower-that are concentrically oriented around a 60 meter atrium at the heart of the building.  Each floor acts as a gallery overlooking the atrium; however, only the first four floors are open to the atrium whereas the rest are enclosed by glass panels. 

Throughout the atrium, there are a series of escalators cutting across the void to create an interior circulation that links the floors of the underwriters adding to the dynamism of the space.

When Roger’s took on the project, it required the demolition of the original 1928 building, but rather than completely demolishing all traces of history for the Lloyd’s of London, he retained part of the original façade as an homage.  The historic architecture of the past juxtaposed to the high-tech style of the new Lloyd’s building seems almost contradictory and forced, but the two styles seem to coexist in a manner depicting the modernization of London.

Besides the mechanical and circulatory systems being placed on the exterior, the façade of the Lloyd’s of London building is not contiguous in the sense that it appears to be a “kit of parts,” where interior spaces seem to be modular.  Its seemingly compartmentalized façade reinforces its modularity in the plan, but is visually more apparent in the elevation.

The entire building is wrapped in stainless steel giving the building a high-tech, almost post modern, aesthetic.  The streamlined façade juxtaposed to the mechanical and service functions on the exterior evoke the technological advances of its construction, as well as express the building’s main focus on functionality.  

The aesthetic appears to have an almost unfinished quality to its construction; Roger’s even left the cranes from the construction on the top of the building as a decorative feature to the building, but their presence suggests insight into the modern aesthetic as well as creating a place for the Lloyd’s of London building within architectural modernism.

model
model
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Andrew Kroll. "AD Classics: Lloyd's of London Building / Richard Rogers" 21 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/90668/ad-classics-lloyds-of-london-building-richard-rogers/>
Read comments

40 Comments

BG · July 25, 2016

this building, and the pompidou have to be some of the ugliest buildings I have seen

Akshay Narwekar · June 23, 2016

The only wrong thing about this project is its location on the map on this web page!

Artie Kolyev · August 25, 2012

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Renata Tobar · February 16, 2012
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Rafael L. Carlesso · November 25, 2010

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Shine.com · November 23, 2010

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Maria Henriques · November 23, 2010

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Francoise Murat · November 23, 2010

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Ian Spector · November 23, 2010

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R Goldschmidt · November 23, 2010

I don't like this project, because,I really don't belive that this is it place, like George Pompidou as well. Maybe it will be invisible nearby modern or contemporaine architecture, but heare nearby the neoclasic buildings (please corect me if I'm wrong about the architectural style in the area of both oh theme) it is a radical contrast. This industrail pice of art will have lots of fan all the time, I like the volume, rithm, their atention to detail, the high lobby. Great pice of architecture, but I think that this building has not find here "home" to stay. That is just my opinion.

B H · November 24, 2010 01:38 AM

but consider that paris is much more neoclassical than london, I've never been there, but I've seen that the city of london has a very interesting mixture of styles, and the gherkin is just a block to the north of lloyds. is a matter of taste, but london offers a particular combination between new and old, that is much more interesting than entirely new places like La Defense (by the way, it is in paris), in which the lloyds wouldn't have that image of modernity.

Nicholas Patten · November 23, 2010

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Oliver D G Childs · November 23, 2010

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Andy Marshall · November 23, 2010

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benjamin howard · November 23, 2010

UM: But Lloyds building isn't a cultural centre, is a corporation building. Anyway that makes a lot of sense, because in 1993 the IRA detonated a bomb just where the gherkin is now, if I'm not wrong. I could say I'm somehow thanked of the blitz and those bombings, because that cleaned up space in london for constructing some of the best buildings I've seen.

URBAIN trop URBAIN · November 23, 2010

Revoir un grand classique contemporain: la Lloyd’s of #London de Richard Rogers http://ow.ly/3dv19 #architecture

Fabitto · November 22, 2010

Fodástico parece uma indústria RT @ArchDaily AD Classics: Lloyd’s of London Building / Richard Rogers http://archdai.ly/aESZ51 #architecture

Douglas Murphy · November 22, 2010

"A high-tech, almost post modern aesthetic". Archdaily, what the hell are you on about? http://tinyurl.com/2waf52r

um · November 22, 2010

benjamin howard - I think some of the building was open to the public, but was closed due to security threats (i.e. IRA bombings). I need to check though

um · November 22, 2010

Aren't the cranes on top for cleaning the exterior, not "Roger’s even left the cranes from the construction on the top of the building as a decorative feature." !!! An important distinction

observer · November 22, 2010 11:22 PM

I was thinking the same, the cranes aren't decorative, they are for cleaning the facade. They do seem quite big but so is the building.

thomas foral · November 22, 2010

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DEZIGN · November 22, 2010

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Scott @ Cube Studio · November 22, 2010

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csstone · November 22, 2010

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Barry Maguire · November 22, 2010

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Engy · November 22, 2010

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arch_related · November 22, 2010

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Ítalo Fernandes · November 22, 2010

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Peter Newton · November 22, 2010

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rainsea · November 22, 2010

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Valentina Rozas · November 22, 2010

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GR2TF · November 22, 2010

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Vincent Beneche · November 22, 2010

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jesus · November 22, 2010

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ArchitecturePassion · November 22, 2010

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Bocetos Digitales · November 22, 2010

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benjamin howard · November 22, 2010

sometimes the son surpasses the father. if this building was public and everybody could enter it like the pompidou centre, i´m sure it would have more recognition. but it doesn't have it because it's private, and doesn't belong to the people.

jr · November 22, 2010

Centre Georges Pompidou's son

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