Lloyd’s of London is home to a global insurance market spanning the entire sector. From its beginnings in a London coffeehouse in 1686, its 20th-century Lime Street location has seen Lloyd’s outgrow its building twice: in 1958 and again 20 years later. In the 1970s, Lloyd’s brought in Arup make a new incarnation adaptable to the ever-changing needs of the insurance business.

Working with architect Richard Rogers, as Arup had done with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, we set to designing a new, avant-garde Lloyd’s. By moving the building’s services to the peripheries of the site including six modular service towers ranging around the building in an ‘inside-out’ approach similar to the Centre.

Services located outside the main building, Lloyd’s now had huge internal spaces, and service modules, that could be reconfigured as the market grew. Engineering an air conditioning system that can balance large vertical spaces became an influential design for the industry.

Growing recognition

Like most new aesthetic works, the Lloyd’s building initially divided opinion when it was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986. Today it is recognised and valued as an exciting expression of a radical design philosophy and, in 2011, was awarded Grade 1 listed status and has starred in films from The Avengers and Mama Mia! to Guardians of the Galaxy.