Two RSHP projects on the CTBUH's most influential tall building list

04 October 2019

The Leadenhall Building and Lloyd’s of London have been selected as two of 50 most influential tall buildings of the last 50 years.

The Leadenhall Building and Lloyd’s of London have been selected as two of 50 most influential tall buildings of the last 50 years.

In its 50th anniversary, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has named both buildings in the 50 Most Influential Tall Buildings of the Last 50 Years. The full list will be revealed in the lead up to “50 Forward | 50 Back”, CTBUH’s 10th World Congress in Chicago at the end of October 2019.

CTBUH is the world’s leading resource for professionals focused on the inception, design, construction and operation of tall buildings and future cities. The list of 50 buildings has been compiled through an open call to the CTBUH member constituency at large, with input from on-staff tall building experts.

The Leadenhall Building and Lloyd’s of London demonstrate significant developments in tall building construction and chart the evolution of the practice.

The 50-storey tower Leadenhall building is a modern landmark in slender form creating a tapering profile on the London skyline, respecting views towards St Paul’s Cathedral. The CTBUH highlight the building’s innovative structural design as a strong influential architectural feature. They state “the design strategy of the Leadenhall Building centers around its lobby’s elevation above the ground plane, creating a generous public plaza, and its offset steel ‘megaframe’ core, affording column-free floor plates of varying depths. It is the world’s tallest building to have used this strategy.”

Graham Stirk, Senior Design Partner says, “We are delighted that both Lloyd’s of London and the Leadenhall Building have been recognised in CTBUH’s 50 most influential buildings in the last 50 years, particularly as it places them alongside some of the finest towers that have also influenced us over this period. The influence and language of the Lloyd’s of London building can be traced within the design and manufacture of The Leadenhall Building, which reflects the construction technology of its time. It is a powerful distillation of the key components that make a successful tall office building and its placing within a particular London context, resulting in its distinctive profile and a cathedral-like public space at the base. The profile is further emphasised by a clearly legible structure that when combined with the dynamic and visible service cores and vertical movement within the single north core; create what we believe to be a building of immense, if not heroic, clarity.”

While charting recent RSHP design it also has a more intimate connection with the practice, providing a home for its head office on floor 14 from where staff can look across Leadenhall Street to the practice’s earlier work, the second of RSHP’s to be listed in the 50 most influential tall buildings, Lloyd’s of London.

Lloyd’s of London was completed during the early days of Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP). It is regarded as one of the great architectural achievements of the 1980s and is one of the buildings that confirmed the practice’s position in the front rank of international architects. The building was Grade I listed in 2011, the youngest structure to obtain this status.

In selecting Lloyd’s of London for the list, CTBUH have said “One of the most-recognisable exemplars of the British High-Tech movement, the Lloyd’s Building is distinguished by its ‘inside-out’ transposition of internal services to the exterior, leaving an uncluttered space inside. Modular in plan, each floor can be altered by addition or removal of partitions and walls.”

As Richard Rogers has said about the building “Lloyd’s wanted a building that would last into the next century - we met that one - and they wanted a building that could meet their changing needs. The real critical thing in architecture is having a good client. A good client is not somebody who just says 'yes', it’s a client that is engaged in the evolution of the building, who responds.”

View the first 25 of the 50 Most Influential Tall Buildings of the Last 50 Years here