The owner of the Lloyd’s of London building has brought in architects to come up with ideas of what to do with the London tower if the insurance market decides to leave.
Ping An, the Chinese insurer, has asked Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) to draw up new designs for the building to make sure it remains commercially viable should it lose its longstanding occupier, according to React News, the property trade website.
The Lloyd’s lease does not run out until 2031, although it has a break clause in 2026 if it wants to leave early, which it has hinted at doing. The market said in January that it was “considering a range of options around our workplace strategy”.
A decision is expected before the end of the year.
“As we adapt to new structures and flexible ways of working, we are continuing to carefully think about the future requirements for the spaces and services our marketplace needs,” a spokeswoman said.
Lloyd’s, created in London more than 330 years ago, is made up of syndicates that write insurance policies. The syndicates are among the biggest underwriters in the world of high-risk coverage, including cyberthreats and aviation. The insurance market has been based at the 298ft-high tower, which is also known as the “inside out” building because its lifts and pipework are on the outside, since it opened in 1986.
The Lloyd’s building was designed by the late architect Lord Rogers of Riverside, who went on to form RSHP. It was bought by Commerzbank for £231 million in 2005 before Ping An paid £260 million for the building eight years later.
Ping An has asked RSHP to explore a redesign of the existing layout or see if the building could be turned into a hotel or events space, according to the report, which added that designs “remain in an early stage”.
While Lloyd’s is considering its options, there is no certainty that it will decide to leave its long-term base.
Ping An and RSHP did not respond to requests for comment.
The Times (Tom Howard) - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/3bf8cf34-f24b-11ec-b7b8-d1bfbe7f1c7e?shareToken=bdb7c2b3c3969fb0a98225bf0c2beb1e
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