The Lloyd’s building is the home of the insurance institution Lloyd’s of London, and is located in Lime Street, in the City of London.
It was designed by architect Richard Rogers and built over eight years from 1978 to 1986. Like the Pompidou Centre (designed by Renzo Piano and Rogers), the building was innovative in having its services such as staircases, lifts, electrical power conduits and water pipes on the outside, leaving a clean uncluttered space inside. The 12 glass lifts were the first of their kind in the UK.
The building consists of 3 main towers and 3 service towers around a central, rectangular space. Its focal point is the gigantic Underwriting Room on the ground floor, which houses the famous Lutine Bell. The Underwriting Room (often simply known as ‘the Room’) is overlooked by galleries, forming a 60-metre (200-foot)-high atrium lit naturally through a huge barrel-vaulted glass roof. The first four galleries open onto the atrium space, and are connected by escalators through the middle of the structure. (The higher floors are glassed-in, and can only be reached via the outside lifts.)
The 11th floor houses the Committee Room, an 18th century dining-room originally designed for the 2nd Earl of Shelburne by Robert Adam in 1763: it was transferred piece-by-piece from the previous (1958) Lloyd’s building across the road.
The first (1928) Lloyd’s building was demolished to make way for the present one. However, its main entrance at 12 Leadenhall Street was preserved, and forms a rather incongruous attachment to the 1986 structure.
The Lloyd’s building height is approximately 76 meters (250 feet), and features 14 floors. Each floor can rapidly and easily be altered with the addition or removal of partitions and walls. The building is named after Edward Lloyd who founded a coffee shop on the site of the present building in 1688.
At present, the building is owned by Irish based real estate firm Shelbourne Developments, who purchased the building in 2004 from a German investment bank.
It has been featured in a number of films such as Entrapment and also in an advert for a car, the Rover 800.