The Chinese insurance giant that owns Lloyd’s of London’s City headquarters has brought architects into the Grade I listed building to come up with ideas for what to do with it if Lloyds decides to leave.
China’s biggest insurer Ping An – which bought the Lloyd’s building for £260m in 2013 – has brought in architects from London firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), to ensure it remains commercially viable if Lloyd’s ends its lease, React News first reported.
The Chinese firm has asked RSHP to explore options around turning the Lloyds building into a hotel or events space if Lloyds makes its exit from the City of London landmark.
The news comes after reports emerged in January that Lloyds was considering plans to leave its purpose-built headquarters, as the insurer said it is aiming to make its plans public this year.
At the time, the insurer said its evaluation comes part of its efforts to “adapt to… flexible ways of working” in the wake of the global pandemic and the rise of remote work.
The plans could see Lloyd’s use a break clause in its contract to end its lease five years early, by exiting in 2026.
The news comes after Lloyd’s first moved into the City of London tower shortly after the building opened in 1986.
The opening came after the 336-year-old insurer commissioned British architect Richard Rogers – whose architectural firm RSHP is now set to evaluate the buildings options – to design the building, after his hypermodern “inside-out” plans won a competition in 1978.
RSHP said it would not comment while Ping An did not respond to inquiries from City A.M.