Saturday, 22 September 2012

Lloyd's Building - Open House 2012

If you happened to see massive queues around the City of London during the weekend on 22nd and 23rd they were not for the iPhone 5 release but for the Open House London 2012. Many buildings, institutions and places that are usually closed to the public opened up for this event, hence the queues. From many structures old and new, big and small, tall and short, we have chosen the Lloyd’s Building. Structure which is the most modern 1st grade listed building in UK.

It is self explanatory that the building is resided by Lloyd’s, an insurance market set up in 1700s which originally insured ships (most famous was Titanic, which brought one of the biggest losses to the company) but branched out in 20th century insuring various matters, from damages caused by earthquakes to other insurance companies to Betty Grable’s legs and Bruce Springsteen’s voice.

But, the true genius of this building lies in the way Lord Richard Rogers exposed all the services of the building. What other architects always try to cover he showcased. Drain, water, air conditioning, pipes are all on the open, structural aspects like concrete floor frames and columns of the building are also on the show and finally I’m getting to the LIFTS. I have written this in capital letters for a reason. First of their kind in the UK. They provide magnificent views across London and once you enter one its difficult to get off. You just want to go up and down, up and down. The photographs made by Ewa describe the feeling perfectly. 

Lloyd's building model

View from the lift

The Adam Room - designed by Robert Adam in 1763 as part of Bowood House. Lloyd's originally just wanted fireplace but after the auction of the contents of the estate, came back with the whole room"

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