Lloyd's Register Group
- Original design
- Thomas Collcutt, 1901
- Richard Rogers Partnership, 2000
Welcome to Lloyd’s Register’s London office. We hope you enjoy your visit. This factsheet will help guide you around our buildings. As you leave you can also pick up a more detailed colour brochure, this is free of charge but donations in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are welcome. The building brochure can also be downloaded from our website: ww.lrfoundation.org.uk/public_education/Building-History/
Lloyd's Register (LR) is one of the great City institutions, founded in 1760, with the same maritime and coffee-house roots as Lloyd's of London. Lloyd's Register has occupied this site on the corner of Fenchurch Street since 1901 when Thomas Edward Collcutt completed the splendidly decorated Edwardian baroque palazzo. Ninety-nine years later, the Richard Rogers steel and glass towers building was completed.
The two belong to very different architectural worlds, yet each is characteristic of its time and a particular aspect of stylistic fashion. The old and new buildings can be encountered together at close range from the former churchyard, which now serves as our entrance space, a haven amongst the busy city streets of central London.
Today's walk-through begins in the Rogers building. Sleek, decoration free and transparently clear in its structure, the contrast with the Collcutt design could not be more obvious, or more deliberately intended. The new building replaces a jumble of piecemeal additions to the 1901 building, which had grown up over the previous century, around the former churchyard of St Katherine Coleman.
The Rogers building is set to the south and west of the Collcutt building, now pruned back to its original dimensions. At the planner's insistence, the existing shell of flanking buildings had to be retained, making it difficult to ensure adequate natural light and efficient circulation. Rogers overcame these problems by building high, in the form of two glazed towers of office accommodation, 12 and 14 storeys tall, with another seven storeys of additional space behind the retained facade on Lloyd's Avenue.
The three towers, arranged on a fan-shaped grid, are connected by two soaring glazed atriums which act as "climatic buffers" between the external and internal environments. Top vents open in hot weather; the building also has automatic internal blinds, external shutters and chilled beams to help control the office environment, so avoiding the need for conventional air-conditioning.
‘Served and servant spaces’ are a key item in many of Rogers' buildings and here, the distinction is marked by the transparent steel and glass towers containing stairs and lifts which are attached to the concrete frames overlooking the entrance. Topped by lift-motor rooms – elegant objects in their own right – they give an exhilarating verticality to the building, as well as demonstrating Rogers' usual attention to engineering and design details. The use of colour – blue for the main structure, yellow for the stairs, red for the lifts – is particularly notable.
Our Main Reception area, please take your time to appreciate the light from the glazed atriums as you pass through the space.
Continue on past the security gates, to enter the Collcutt building completed in 1901.
The Link Gallery Mezzanine, carved out of what was once a General Office, houses models representing some of the industries we serve, it also is used for archive and library exhibitions. Today you can find out more about Project Undaunted which aims to digitise part of our historic ship plan and survey report collection.
The stairs lead down to the Heritage & Education Centre Library which is open to the public for research Monday to Friday. Continuing through the double-height mahogany doors, you enter the restored Collcutt interiors, beginning with the Old Reception Hall.
Like Richard Rogers, Thomas Edward Collcutt (1840-1924) was also a prolific architect of his age, with a major City and West End practice. His projects included the Savoy Hotel, Wigmore Hall, the Palace Theatre, and the Imperial Institute in Kensington, as well as the interiors of several P&O passenger liners. With generously rich clients, Collcutt was able to embellish his Venetian and French inspired designs with work by the very best decorative artists of the period, many of whom were members of the Art Workers’ Guild.
In this building, Sir George Frampton (best known for his Peter Pan sculpture in Kensington Gardens) supplied most of the external sculpture and carved friezes; Gerald Moira and Sir Frank Brangwyn created the various murals (Brangwyn’s murals have long since been removed and disposed of); and William De Morgan designed the colourful tiles. Throughout, metalwork, joinery and gilding are of the very highest quality with much use made of inlaid woods, expensive marbles and other costly materials such as bronze and mother of pearl; all intended to convey an impression of success and continuity, while taking inspiration from Lloyd's Register's traditions.
The Journal Room, accessed from the Old Reception Hall, houses part of the Heritage & Education Centre library collections and also contains portraits of former LR Chairmen. To the left as you exit the room you can view the Original Entrance into the building. Rich wrought-iron gates guard a central arched entrance and loggia, which stretches each side with a vaulted ceiling stenciled with shells, seaweed and fish by Shrigley & Hunt, a firm best known for producing stained glass.
The richly decorated Old Library is an example of high quality joinery. Mahogany bookcases, inlaid with rosewood and fruitwoods, line the room. The lightness of finishing was a fashionable reaction against the earnest designs of the earlier Victorian Gothic revival. The barrel-vaulted ceiling is elaborately stencilled by Shrigley and Hunt, incorporating nautical motifs, and the coats of arms of the great shipbuilding ports of the day: Belfast, Glasgow, Stockton-on-Tees, Greenock, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hartlepool, Sunderland and London.
A Grand Marble Staircase leads from the Old Reception Hall. You ascend past memorials to the dead of the First and Second World Wars, as well as a splendid stained glass window by Gerald Moira. A bronze and marble sculpture, The Spirit of Maritime Commerce, sits at the head of the stairs. It is a remarkable example of how arts and crafts, symbolist and art nouveau influences came together at this time.
The General Committee Landing is framed by a richly decorated bronze frieze, also by Frank Lynn Jenkins, which depicts maiden goddesses and the development of shipping from Viking longships to 17th century vessels.
From the landing you can enter a small lobby that leads to our Old Board Room. To the left is our Old Chairman’s Office, originally the Classification Committee Room. Straight in front of you is a portrait of Thomas Chapman by Edward Gregory RA, and to the right, the Temeraire chair and a painting showing Amsterdam in winter by Jan Abrahamsz. van Beerstraten.
Across the landing, double mahogany doors lead into the General Committee Room, one of the great Italianate interiors of pre-1914 London. This dazzling classical saloon is the architectural climax of Collcutt's building. The scale and quality of the decoration celebrate its status as nautical and maritime symbols abound. The barrel-vaulted ceiling and panels are decorated with tempera paintings by Gerald Moira. The Italianate architecture of the room inspired Moira to produce a composition largely drawn from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in the Vatican.
Above the Western fireplace, the white relief by Bertram Pegram, was hidden behind a painting by Brangwyn for many years as the Committee of the early 1900s disliked the chill pallor of the marble. The original furniture, three rows of curved tables and a crescent-shaped Chairman's desk, was produced by Maples & Co. to Collcutt’s design. Today the room hosts meetings of our General Advisory Committee.
Energy efficiency and environmental conscience
Included among the energy-saving systems are external solar protection, reinforced concrete soffits, and a system of chilled beams. By reducing solar heat gain inside the building and using thermal surfacing made of reinforced concrete, it was possible to reduce cooling needs, and a cooling joist system was installed instead of a more conventional air conditioning system. The installation of solar protection was a big investment, but without it, the building would not have been able to benefit from the reduced cooling requirements, and the low-level energy usage of the cooling joists. The water refrigerant system design, including the refrigeration towers and the heat exchange unit, offers free cooling during long periods.
Reduced energy consumption was one of the prime objectives of the project, defining the type of structure, its surfacing, and cooling system. The building was designed to use 30% less energy than a conventional office building. The estimated energy usage for the building is 300kWh/m2 (a conventional building uses 570kWh/m2).
The spacious floors were designed to be flexible, accommodating an open work environment, or one with cubicles. The building can also be divided so that it houses three different tenants, each one with its own entry and service connections.
Materials like asbestos, lead, rubber urea formaldehyde, any pneumatogenic material with CFC, HCFC or HFA, calcium chloride for the reinforced concrete, chlorofluorocarbon, polychlorinated biphenyl, bricks or tiles made of calcium silicate, polyurethane, isocyanide, and polyisocyanate rubber have not been used in this environmentally non-toxic construction. Glass and toxic materials were either separated out from the other materials or received special treatment.
The building was designed using recyclable or long-lasting materials (steel, concrete, glass aluminium) with a planned lifespan of 120 years. During the construction of the project, only wood from regulated sustainable resources was utilized.
The project was built using energy saving procedures. The prefabricated pieces of light concrete for the main elements of the structure were manufactured off-site and transported to site in order to be set up using concrete in situ. The surfacing and steel platforms, etc., were set up off-site. Even the building facilities were pre-fabricated off-site (conducts, combined facilities joists).
Special attention was given to the “deconstruction” of the building as part of the risk evaluation for Health and Safety. Non post-tensioned concrete was used, and a large portion of the cladding is made of single-piece pre-fabricated platforms in order to facilitate future dismantling.
The building is located on a brown-field inner city site, and the number of storeys is higher than before, with a plot ratio of approximately 8:6.
Lloyd's Register Group Limited is owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a registered charity. Our reputation is founded on the skills and experience of the people who make up our teams around the world. Every piece of advice we give is underpinned by a global research and development network that is continually helping us to find new ways of improving safety and quality in the industries we serve.
The Society for the Registry of Shipping, which later became Lloyd’s Register, was founded in London in 1760 to survey merchant ships and 'classify' them according to their condition, and classification is still our principal activity in the marine sector.
Today, Lloyd's Register is an independent classifcation society and risk management organisation employing over 7,000 technical and administrative staff in 78 countries world-wide. Work is undertaken on behalf of numerous national administrations. We have many experts in the industrial, off-shore, shipping and engineering fields, as well as those working in soft-ware engineering and management systems.
Members of the Lloyd's Register Group provide independent assurance to help clients achieve their business goals, while enhancing the safety of life, property and the environment. Our expertise and activities cover shipping, oil and gas and other land-based industries like food production. This helps our clients to create safe, responsible and sustainable supply chains.
The Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charitable organisation formed in 2012. After Lloyd’s Register converted its status from an industrial, provident society to a company limited by shares, the Foundation became the parent and owner of Lloyd’s Register Group Limited.
The LR Foundation aims to secure for the benefit of the community, the high technical standards of design, manufacture, construction, maintenance, operation and performance for the purpose of enhancing the safety of life and property at sea, on land and in the air. Moreover, it endeavors to advance public education within the transport and engineering industries.
Our Heritage & Education Centre based in London is one of the finest library and archives of its kind, holding material concerning 257 years of marine and engineering science and history. Our aim is to enhance public understanding in these areas, encourage and support current research and to assist with research concerning the history and development of the Lloyd’s Register group globally.
The Lloyd's Register Foundation Heritage & Education Centre has a vast and unique collection of ship plans and survey reports. We are presently in phase 1 of an ambitious project to digitise 10%, more than 120,000 of these documents to make them more accessible for the public.
The collection charts a wealth of information from Lloyd's Register's growth and expansion, to the progress of technology, shipbuilding and engineering.
Find out more: www.lrfoundation.org.uk/digitisation