Lloyd's of London
Richard Rogers Partnership 1986
'One glimpses bits of gleaming
stainless steel, or electric-blue light at night, patched onto the sober City landscape.
More like a vertical street, its close proximity to other buildings allows it physically
to penetrate its surroundings. The unusual configuration is a result of its location
within the irregular medieval street pattern and the dominant philosophy of the architect
that the building should appear to be assembled from a 'kit of parts'... All the
structural details are fully on display, giving the viewer an understanding of just how
the building is supported and braced.
'Inside, the atmosphere is awesomely
cathedral-like... Light pours down into the canyon-like atrium space and additional light
comes from large fittings, which also act as air extractors, set into the ceiling. The
triple-glazed external cladding skin acts as an air duct from ceiling to floor.'
Samantha Hardingham in London: a
guide to recent architecture (Ellipsis 1999) - see below.
Richard Rogers is particularly
enthusiastic about the client partipation in developing the Lloyds building:
'My own experience has taught me
that enlightened and committed clients are as crucial a part of the 'design team' as
architects and engineers... For example, with a responsible client such as Lloyd's, our
contact with its Chairman, Head of Development, board of directors and numerous user
committees was on literally a day to day basis... In cases such as this, the finished
building reflects the dedication and sensitivity of the client just as much as the
contribution of the architect.'
Richard Rogers, Architecture: A
modern view, 1991 - see below
This vision of the dedicated and
sensitive senior client, as an exhortation to others, have lost some of their impact with
the later knowledge that the financial crisis that devastated Lloyd's was brewing during
the period of the building design.
How to visit
The Lloyd's building is in the heart of the City
of London, close to Bank underground station. Access inside the buildig is possible only
by booking in advance; Lloyd's may also charge a fee for this.