Richard Rogers’s hi-tech, postmodern Lloyd’s building, with its pipes, lifts and toilets presented on the outside, has become one of only a few modern buildings to be given Grade I listed status.
The listing was recommended by English Heritage. Its designation director, Roger Bowdler, said it was “fitting recognition of the sheer splendour of Richard Rogers’s heroic design. Its dramatic scale and visual dazzle, housing a hyper-efficient commercial complex, is universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern epoch.”
Bowdler said its listing, which provides substantial protection but did not mean it is “pickled in aspic”, had been enthusiastically supported. Penrose said the Lloyd’s building “stands the test of time with its awe-inspiring futuristic design, which exemplifies the hi-tech style in Britain. It clearly merits the extra protection against unsuitable alteration or development that listing provides.”
The Lloyd’s building was opened in 1986, built after the success Rogers, with Renzo Piano, had with that other great inside-outside building, the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Providing a headquarters for Lloyd’s of London, it manages to be both head-turningly futuristic and resolutely traditional. It includes the traditions and fabric of earlier Lloyd’s buildings, not least the Adam Room, which was moved from Bowood House in Wiltshire, and the Lutine Bell, which was once rang to indicate an “overdue” ship but is these days is only used for ceremonial occasions.
It is one of only a handful of postwar buildings and structures to be given Grade I listing, joining Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral (listed in 1988) Norman Foster’s Willis Corroon Building in Ipswich (listed in 1991) and the Severn Bridge (listed in 1998).
Lloyd’s chief executive, Richard Ward, said: “The building remains modern, innovative and unique – it has really stood the test of time just like the market that sits within it. This listing decision will protect the building against unsuitable alteration or development while retaining its flexibility to adapt within the market’s needs.”
Lord Rogers’s practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, said in a statement that the listing was an honour: “It is important to conserve buildings of architectural and historical significance, and the work of English Heritage is central to that. It is also of vital importance for buildings to remain flexible spaces which meet the changing needs of those who live or work in them. English Heritage has recognised this, ensuring the spirit of the original design is retained while the building remains adaptable in the future.”
At the other end of the heritage timeline, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport also announced that the early Mesolithic settlement Star Carr, near Scarborough – which contains what may be the earliest building in Britain – is being made a scheduled monument because of its rarity and archeological importance. The status gives the site an extra layer of protection against unauthorised change.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010
HeritageDaily Archaeology News Press Release – News for Archeology by Archaeologists© Copyright 2011 HeritageDaily, All rights Reserved. Written For: HeritageDaily - Archaeology News