Lloyd's Building is the headquarters of the famous Lloyd's of London insurance institution. It has a unique design that stands out significantly against the backdrop of the other buildings that surround it at 1 Lime Street in The City of London.
Lloyd's Building was originally designed by Richard Rogers, an architect that had worked on numerous projects throughout the world. Rogers was one of two architects that designed the famed Pompidou Centre in Paris, France. Rogers began his design in the mid-1970s and was greatly influenced by Archigram's work.
Design and Construction
Lloyd's Building was one of the most innovative buildings of its time in London. To this day, it is still seen as one of the most unique buildings in London by many architectural scholars. It is comprised of six towers, three of which are considered to be the "main" towers. The other three towers are considered service towers. The design places the staircases, lifts, and service conduits on the outside of the building. This was intended to give the rectangular interior of the building a less cluttered feel. It also imparts an industrial and unique look to the outside of the building. There are a total of 12 glass lifts attached to the outside of the building.
The building is 289 feet tall and has a total of 14 floors. Construction began in 1978 and was completed 8 years later in 1986. It cost roughly 75 million GBP to complete the project and was contracted by Bovis Property Development. Ove Arup and Partners was the primary structural engineer on the project during the construction of all 14 floors.
The site where the current Lloyd's Building sits was once home to the original headquarters of Lloyd's of London. The original building was constructed in 1928 and was abandoned during an expansion of the institution during the late 1950s. In 1958, Lloyd's of London moved to another building across the street at 51 Lime Street. Lloyd's of London continued to expand into the late 1970s and found itself once again in need of an expansion to larger offices. This is when the prospect of creating a new building on the site of the original headquarters originated.
At this point, Lloyd's contracted famed architect Richard Rogers to create a design for their new building and to help redevelop the original site. The original building was demolished quickly and construction began on the new building in 1978. At the opening of the new building in 1986, Queen Elizabeth II herself was on hand to open the building.
Lloyd's Building is the home of Lloyd's of London. Lloyd's of London is not a company by the standard definition of the word. It is instead a convergence of investors that pool risk as part of one of the most unique insurance institutions in the world. Lloyd's has become famous through most of the world over the years due in part to the sometimes unusual insurance policies it writes. For example, many movie stars' legs and voices have been covered by the company.