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Lloyd's building

Lloyd's building
Lloyd's building in 2011
General information
Type Office building
Location 1 Lime Street
London, United Kingdom
Construction started 1978
Completed 1986
Cost £75,000,000
Antenna spire 95.1 m (312 ft)
Roof 88 m (289 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 14
Lifts/elevators 14 (12 external, 2 internal)
Design and construction
Architect Richard Rogers
Services engineer Arup
Main contractor Bovis
Designations Grade I listed

The Lloyd's building (sometimes known as the Inside-Out Building)[1] is the home of the insurance institution Lloyd's of London. It is located on the former site of East India House in Lime Street, in London's main financial district, the City of London. The building is a leading example of radical Bowellism architecture in which the services for the building, such as ducts and lifts, are located on the exterior to maximise space in the interior.

Twenty-five years after completion in 1986, the building received Grade I listing in 2011; it was the youngest structure ever to obtain this status. It is said by Historic England to be "universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern epoch".[2]


  • History 1
  • Design 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • Gallery 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The first Lloyd's building (address 12 Leadenhall Street) had been built on this site in 1928. In 1958, due to expansion of the market, a new building was constructed across the road at 51 Lime Street (now the site of the Willis Building). Lloyd's now occupied the Heysham Building and the Cooper Building.

By the 1970s Lloyd's had again outgrown these two buildings and proposed to extend the Cooper Building. In 1978, the corporation ran an architectural competition which attracted designs from practices such as Foster Associates, Arup and I.M. Pei.[3] Lloyd's commissioned Richard Rogers to redevelop the site, and the original 1928 building on the western corner of Lime and Leadenhall Streets was demolished to make way for the present one which was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 18 November 1986. The 1928 building's entrance at 12 Leadenhall Street was preserved and forms a rather incongruous attachment to the 1986 structure. Demolition of the 1958 building commenced in 2004 to make way for the 26-storey Willis Building.


Inside the Lloyd's building

The current Lloyd's building (address 1 Lime Street) was designed by architect Pompidou Centre in Paris (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 an uncluttered space inside. The 12 glass lifts were the first of their kind in the United Kingdom. Like the Pompidou Centre, the building was highly influenced by the work of Archigram in the 1950s and 1960s.

The building consists of three main towers and three service towers around a central, rectangular space. Its core is the large Underwriting Room on the ground floor, which houses the Lutine Bell within the Rostrum. The Underwriting Room (often simply called "the Room") is overlooked by galleries, forming a 60 metres (197 ft) 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 exterior lifts.

The 11th floor houses the Committee Room (also known as the Adam Room), an 18th-century dining room 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 at 51 Lime Street.

The Lloyd's building is 88 metres (289 ft) to the roof, with 14 floors.[5] On top of each service core stand the cleaning cranes, increasing the overall height to 95.10 metres (312 ft). Modular in plan, each floor can be altered by addition or removal of partitions and walls.

In 2008 the Twentieth Century Society called for the building to be Grade I listed[6] and in 2011 it was granted this status.[7]

The building was previously owned by Dublin-based real estate firm Shelbourne Development Group, who purchased it in 2004 from a German investment bank.[8] In July 2013 it was sold to the Chinese company Ping An Insurance in a £260 million deal.[9]

Simplified plan and rotating 3D model (requires CSS3 support)

In popular culture

Use in feature films and record album covers

It is seen on the cover of British pop group Five Star's 1986 album Silk and Steel; Hundred Reasons' debut album Ideas Above Our Station; and the 2001 reissue of British electronic musician Mike Paradinas' 1993 album Tango n' Vectif, under the alias µ-ziq.

Use as a location in films


See also


  1. ^ Lloyd's of London Homepage. Page accessed 20 May 2010.
  2. ^ Waite, Richard (19 December 2011). "Rogers' Lloyd's becomes youngest Grade-I listed building". Architects Journal. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "English Heritage Listing Information" (PDF). English Heritage. 19 December 2011. p. 2. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Richard Rogers Partnership
  5. ^ Skyscrapernews
  6. ^ Thompson, Max (24 January 2008). "Call for 'urgent' Grade-I listing of Lloyd's building". The Architects' Journal [2]. 
  7. ^ Lloyd’s Building Gets Grade I Listed Status
  8. ^ "Lloyd's Tower Purchased".  
  9. ^ "Lloyd's building sold to Chinese insurance group in £260m deal".  
  10. ^ Lloyds building appears briefly in a sequence where Xandar is under attack
  11. ^ Total of 16 seconds from 3min. 10sec. mark after film start
  12. ^ Lloyds building masquerades as a New York office, from where Pierce Brosnan's character leaves at the beginning of the film for the Greek island. Yellow cabs and an actor representing a New York mounted policeman were used for authenticity.
  13. ^ K-9 rolls about the building, examining different coloured Smarties candies that represent stars at various points in their life cycles, while being cheered on by Ace and challenged by the Seventh Doctor.

External links

  • Galinsky: Lloyd's building
  • Lloyd's official website
  • 0lll Architecture Gallery: Lloyd's building (images)
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