Lloyd’s building, London

Lloyd's buildingThis futuristic building looks like it belongs in a sci-fi film rather than on 1 Lime Street in London. The award-winning Lloyd’s building, known also as the Inside-Out building, is an iconic architectural landmark and one of the most recognizable buildings on the London skyline.

The original Lloyd’s building was built in 1928. Due to expansion of the market, a new building was built across the street at 51 Lime Street in 1958. By the 70s, Lloyd’s was in need of another extension and architect Richard Rogers was hired to develop the site. The original Lloyd’s was demolished to make way for the new Lloyd’s building.

Lloyd's Building Interior
Lloyd’s Building Interior

Today’s Lloyd’s building was built between 1978 and 1986. The design was an innovative one since its staircases, water pipes, electrical power conduits, and elevators were constructed on the outside, quite similar to Paris’s Centre Pompidou building, both influenced by the work of Archigram.

Rather than completely removing all traces of history from Lloyd’s, Rogers kept a part of the original façade as an homage. The historic architecture of the past paired with the postmodern high-tech style of the new Lloyd’s building seems to coexist in a way that perfectly depicts the modernization of London.

Lloyd’s building consists of three main towers and three service towers that surround the main rectangular space. The ground floor’s core contains The Underwriting Room (the Room) which houses the Lutine Bell within the Rostrum. The Room is overlooked by galleries, which form a 197 foot high atrium lit by natural light through a massive barrel-vaulted glass roof. The highest floors are glassed in and can only be reached by the exterior elevators. The 11th floor contains the Committee Room, a lavish 18th-century dining room designed for the 2nd Earl of Shelburne in 1763. It was moved piece by piece from the previous Lloyd’s. The Lloyd building is a spectacular site not to be missed by anyone visiting London.

 

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