The Lloyd’s building is a symbolic contemporary office building that was erected in 1978-1986 for the Lloyd’s insurance company. Its name stems from the 17th century Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House, where ship-owners and insurers would write his name at the bottom of a paper which portrayed the planned route and the shipment, hence the word underwriter. These pacts led to the foundation of Lloyd’s in 1688 which became the world’s leading insurance market.
Lloyd’s shifted in 1774 from its original place on Pope’s Head Alley to the Royal Exchange. In 1928 it reconciled at its existing site on Lime Street in a purpose-built structure which was intended by Sir Edwin Cooper.
The Lloyd’s building consists of a rectangular 14 story tower with a concrete frame, measuring 45 meters wide and 67 meters long. A large barrel-vaulted glass ceiling covers a extravagant 60 meter high entrance hall. Several service towers of different height, housing stairways, pipes and glass elevators flank this innermost office tower. The service areas are not enfolded, generating a first notion of an oil refinery set smack in the focus of London’s financial district.
However the construction of Lloyd’s was quite controversial, but this futuristic looking building represents London’s historic heart in a great manner.