Futuristic Architecture of the Lloyds of London Building

November 27, 2013

Lloyds Building exterior_530x669

Intro to the Vision of the Architect - Why Cover Up?

The Lloyds Building located in London is also referred to the "inside out building" because of its mechanical-like architecture. From an outside perspective, the way that humans tend to cover up what makes something work, such as the gears or mechanical substances, is quit bizarre. A lot of times it is for efficiency and practicability, but in many cases we should show off the bones. After all engineers design too, therefore they should get some visual credit too! Although I am glad to say that the idea of exposed beams and such is becoming more of a trend today.

Lloyds Building interior_530x795

The Architecture Part

 The architect was Richard Rogers and built between 1978 and 1986, that's 8 years! The building remains like new even though it was constructed more than 30 years ago, but read on because it is further explained why. This modern-futuristic building was not cheap, using 30,000 square meters of stainless steel cladding and 12,000 square meters of glass. Everything in the building is exposed, even the escalator's inner workings.

A building's framework typically lasts for a far greater amount of time than the buildings inner workings, such as toilets, plumbing, electric. Many historic buildings exist today, but how many of them are in the exact shape that they were when originally built? The Lloyds Building gave a juxtaposition of intricate mechanical like framework and facade to reveal this habit within architecture. Many of the "service" commodities such as elevators and staircases were placed on the exterior of the building's facade to give the idea of a mechanical facade and to give the center a less cluttered feel.

The building is situated next to a Victorian building and the Edwardian office blocks. From my perspective, the Lloyd Building reveals a Gothic-like or Victorian style (within intricate design components), yet completely modern. That is what is so awe-inspiring about architecture. What I believe makes a great architect from just a good one is the ability for their work to not only inspire but bring enlightenment. This enlightenment might not be the architect's intentions, yet it makes a what is supposed to just be a shelter more interesting and coherent with society and how we progress. Bottom line: you can always be inspired from art, including my personal favorite, architecture.


The Architect's Words (from greatbuildings.com):

"Buildings are not idiosyncratic private institutions: they give public performances both to the user and the passerby. Thus the architect's responsibility must go beyond the client's program and into the broader public realm. Though the client's program offers the architect a point of departure, it must be questioned, as the architectural solution lies in the complex and often contradictory interpretation of the needs of the individual, the institution, the place and history. The recognition of history as a principle constituent of the program and an ultimate model of legitimacy is a radical addition to the theories of the Modern Movement."
— Richard Rogers. from Barbie Campbell Cole and Ruth Elias Rogers, ed. Richard Rogers + Partners. p19.

Key Factoids 

Address: 1 Lime Street, London, United Kingdom

The Lloyds of London is the insurance company that occupies the building.

Floor count: 14

Lifts/elevators: 12

Type: Office Building

Construction: A complete dinning room design from 1763 was transferred to the building from the previous headquarter building across the street piece by piece.

Structural engineers (that must have been hard)

      • Peter Rice
      • Russell Hawkins


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2 comments on “Futuristic Architecture of the Lloyds of London Building”

  1. Great building by one of the biggest architectors of the time. However, I prefer the Leadenhall building by Rogers.

  2. Hi,
    Lloyd's of London has identity of it's own. And this building contrubutes toward the objective.

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