International architect Gensler has been appointed to develop “a blue-sky strategy” for one of Richard Rogers’ most controversial works, the Lloyd’s building in the City of London.
The firm is looking at changes to the interior of the building, which will be carried out in 2006.
John Mitchell, head of property at Lloyd’s of London, said Gensler was appointed to advise on how to change the use of space in the building.
He said: “We are looking to upgrade the underwriting room and the reception areas.
We have also done some blue-sky thinking on opportunities for modifying the space use, but we have made no final decisions yet.”
It is understood that another practice has also been signed up by Lloyd’s to draw up plans for detailed changes to the interior. Mitchell said these designs were still at an early stage and had yet to be put to the board.
He added that he would not be consulting the Richard Rogers Partnership on any of the proposals, as they did not affect the outside of the building.
However, Gensler said it would go to RRP with the designs. A spokesperson for the practice said: “It’s very likely that we will be showing RRP our designs. We like to work with the base building architects when we do interiors. We did the same with Kohn Pederson Fox when we did the inside of the Clifford Chance building.”
We always try to respect the external architecture
The spokesperson said it was not a problem that Gensler, an American-owned international practice, had been chosen to work on the iconic English building.
She said: “We always try to respect the external architecture. We are modern but we don’t clash with the existing space. We are not signature architects, and will support the ideas at Lloyd’s.”
RRP completed the Lloyd’s building in 1986 but several repair works have since been carried out on the exterior of the structure.
In 1995 Bovis, Arup and RRP all faced legal action over severe corrosion on the external service ducts of the landmark building, just nine years after it was built. The corrosion of the distinctive ducts, which dominate the exterior of the building, was caused by leaks.
A spokesperson for RRP said: “Lloyd’s of London was designed as a flexible, long-life building that could be adapted to the changing needs of the client. The proposed changes to the interior are part of the original strategy for future flexibility.”