The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

© Laurence Mackman

100 Buildings 100 Years

1986: Lloyds Building

Status: Listed Grade I
Condition: Good condition
Type: Commercial/offices
Architect: Richard Rogers Partnership, Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners
Location: 1 Lime Street, London, EC3M 7HA

Res ipsa loquitur: it speaks for itself, and doesn’t really need a supporting statement.

I had just graduated from University, and had started my first job in the City as the Lloyds building neared completion. It was a building like no other and it stood out in so many ways. In the early 80’s there were very few tall buildings in London, and it (literally) stood out on the London skyline (like Wren’s spires must have been after the rebuilding of London following the Great Fire). But it also stood out as being radically different from any other London building. No other London building had its services – plumbing, electricals, staircases and lifts on the outside, leaving an uncluttered space inside. The inherent flexibility in the design has meant that it has survived as a commercially useful building remarkably well. The 20th Century Society sought a Grade 1 listing in 2008 and this was granted in 2011, just 25 years after its completion.

As it says in the listing entry, the building “firmly retains the splendour of its awe-inspiring futuristic design, 25 years (at the time of listing in 2011) after it opened.” Doesn’t it just?

by Nicholas Aleksander

Listing description

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