Thursday, 29 March 2007
Tourist London Part 5
Back to the City of London walk, leaving Leadenhall Market and turning towards Lloyds of London, which gives a good view of 'the gherkin' as well. We are now in the area where buildings show the latest architectural thinking.
The Lloyds Building was designed by Richard Rogers and built bewteen 1978 to 1986 on the site of Edward Lloyd's coffee house (founded in 1688). All its services are on the outside, leaving a clean uncluttered space inside. The 12 glass lifts were the first of their kind in the UK. There is a huge Insurance Underwriting Room on the ground floor, which houses the famous Lutine Bell. The 11th floor houses the Committee Room, an 18th century dining-room originally designed by Robert Adam in 1763 and transferred from its prior location across the road.
And I suppose to keep that the architectural theme running, the Gherkin across the road was designed by Sir Norman Foster and is already something of an instant icon for modern London. More correctly called 30 St Mary Axe, or Swiss Re, it could be something from another world, looking here as if it has set itself down next to the adjacent church.