The Emporis website (visit
link) tells us:
"Architecturally, the Lloyd's Building draws heavily on
architect Richard Rogers' earlier Centre Georges Pompidou in
At the heart of the building is a huge atrium, 14 floors
and 76 meters (249 feet) tall.
On the ground floor of the atrium sits the Lutine Bell,
salvaged from the French frigate La Lutine which surrendered to the British in
1793. The bell is rung once for good news and twice for bad, and the expansive
atrium carries the sound to everyone in the building.
This was the first in a trio of City office buildings
designed by Richard Rogers; it was followed by 88 Wood Street in 1998, and the
Lloyd's Register of Shipping Building in 2000.
Inside the glass and steel hides an unexpected treasure:
the classical Italianate wood-panelled Adam Room. Used by the Council of
Lloyd's, it was designed by Robert Adam in 1763 and was originally the dining
room of Bowood House until brought to Lloyd's piece by piece.
The building won the PA Award for Innovation in Building
Design and Construction, 1988.
The imposing rostrum on the ground floor which houses
the famous 'Lutine Bell' is fashioned from mahogany and was brought to the
current building from the previous Lloyd's Building of 1928 designed by Sir
Thomas Edwin Cooper.
Part of the original Sir Thomas Edwin Cooper-designed
Lloyd's Building's retained façade along Leadenhall Street is incorporated into
the current structure.
Construction costs at completion were around
The building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II and the
Duke of Edinburgh on November 18th 1986.
The building is noted for its multi-storey,
free-standing escalator array within the atrium; the mechanisms within are
exposed and are punctuated in yellow.
Awarded the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering
Excellence, the Award's highest accolade.
The atrium was influenced by Joseph Paxton's Crystal
Palace of 1851.
Essential services are sited on the exterior of the
building in six vertical towers, thus creating large and uninterrupted spaces
The building's height rises from seven storeys on the
south elevation through a series of terraces to its full height on the north
Due to its original glazing system the building emits a
warm glow visible from the exterior and is even more spectacular at
The building's extravagant design led to numerous
awards, including Civic Trust Award, Concrete Society Commendation and Financial
Times 'Architecture at Work' Award in 1987, crowned with RIBA Award in 1988
certifying its success and recognition.
The building takes its name from one Edward Lloyd who
founded a coffee shop on this site in 1688, from where maritime insurance was
The external windows have triple layered solar control
glass with a ventilated cavity enabling it to refract back artificial light into
the interior. This helps to decrease the need for light after
The 12 external glass lifts were the first in
33,510 cubic metres of concrete were used in the
building's construction, as were 12,000 square metres of glass, 30,000 square
metres of stainless steel cladding, 5,000 square metres of anodised aluminium
frame and 2,000 square metres of painted steel.
Incorporated into the building are 1,400 kilometres (864
miles) of window gasket seals and 80 kilometres (49 miles) of ducts and
The total possible underwriting area is 19,000 square
The Lloyd's Building is one of the finest examples of
British High-Tech architecture and has been described as a 'mechanical
The building was awarded the Eternit 8th International
Prize for Architecture (special mention), 1988."
The English Heritage website (visit
link) tells us that the building became Grade I listed in December
"A bold modern vision in the heart of the historic City
of London inspired by Victorian architecture listed at highest possible
The Lloyd's building - one of the few modern buildings
that can rightly claim iconic status - has been afforded the accolade of being
listed at Grade l, it was announced today (19 December 2011). Combining immense
architectural expressiveness, futuristic design, and technical and engineering
hyper-efficiency, the building - now thirty years old - has been listed on the
advice of English Heritage, by the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John
English Heritage's Designation Director Roger Bowdler
said: "We are delighted that the Minister has endorsed our advice to list the
landmark Lloyd's building at Grade l. Its listing at the highest grade is
fitting recognition of the sheer splendour of Richard Rogers's heroic design.
Its dramatic scale and visual dazzle, housing a hyper-efficient commercial
complex, is universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern
Construction began on the Lloyd's building in June 1981
by the Richard Rogers Partnership. The Queen Mother poured concrete for one of
the main columns in a ceremony in November, and returned in May 1984 for the
topping-out. The building was finally occupied in May 1986. As a commercial
building, Lloyd's is remarkably innovative and fit for purpose as flexibility of
use was core to its design. The materials are of high quality and its futuristic
High Tech design has an extraordinary timelessness that makes it appear
futuristic even 25 years after opening.
Richard Ward, Chief Executive of Lloyd’s, welcoming the
listing said: “Lloyd’s was ahead of its time when it approved the building of
One Lime Street – it’s a world famous building that has gone on to embody the
world famous Lloyd’s brand. The building remains modern, innovative and unique –
it has really stood the test of time just like the market that sits within it.
This listing decision will protect the building against unsuitable alteration or
development whilst retaining its flexibility to adapt with the market’s
Roger Bowdler added: "Flexibility of use is the very
essence of the Lloyd's building, as for many commercial properties, and English
Heritage fully recognises this quality. Listing celebrates the special interest
of a building, and ensures that its qualities are respected while enabling
appropriate change to happen. We have worked closely with the owners at every
stage and a management agreement is in hand, involving the original architects,
which identifies future options for change within this extraordinary successful