The Willis Building
(c) Stanhope by Hufton + Crow.

The Willis Building is a spectacular 28-story skyscraper positioned directly across the street from Lloyd’s, in the world’s original insurance capital, the City of London.

Designed by world-renowned architects Foster + Partners , The Willis Building’s elegant stepped design and modern glass exterior won the 2007 New City Architecture Award for its unique architectural form and contribution to the streetscape and skyscape of the City of London.

At its completion in 2007, The Willis Building’s 410-foot height made it the fourth tallest building in the City.

Owned by British Land and developed by them in conjunction with Stanhope, The Willis Building received an “excellent” BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) sustainability rating which measures the environmental impact of buildings. This is the highest possible score that can currently be achieved and is given to less than one in five newly completed buildings.

Vital Statistics

  • 125 meters in height—two and a half times the height of Nelson’s Column
  • 320,000 lettable square feet, with an additional 50,000 square feet of space in the basement levels
  • 2,700-person capacity
  • 30,000 people worked on the development from start to finish--1,500,000 man hours were needed to complete the project
  • 65,000 tons in weight—the equivalent of 650 blue whales
  • 38-meter-deep piled foundations—the length of four and a half London buses
  • Over 15,000 cubic meters of concrete—enough to fill six Olympic swimming pools
  • 5,500 tons of steel—the equivalent of 55 blue whales
  • 67,500 square meters of overall area—equal to 11 football (soccer) pitches
  • 21 high-speed lifts (elevators), which move at speeds of 15 miles per hour
  • 3,771 windows
  • The adjacent Fenchurch Avenue Building comprises 120,000 lettable square feet and has a maximum capacity of 1,000 people

What's Inside

  • 375-seat auditorium
  • 6,000-square-foot wellness center
  • 4,000-square-foot Associates’ terrace
  • 2,500-square-foot client terrace
  • 200 bicycle / 90 motorbike / 30 automobile spaces in the parking garage
  • 300-seat Associates restaurant –the One Flag Café, named after Willis’ culture of global teamwork
  • 40-seat private client dining room called the Client Advocate restaurant, in recognition of Willis’ commitment to being a true advocate for its clients’ needs
  • 27 conference / dining rooms
  • Video conference room

What Makes it Green

  • The Willis Building was awarded an Environmental Performance Indicator of 10/10 for its low energy consumption and the high standards of sustainable construction employed.
  • The building received the top rating from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as all wood products used in the construction were from sustainable sources.
  • The energy-efficient façade incorporates high-efficiency double glazing and a distinctive saw-tooth design to prevent overheating, reduce air conditioning usage and optimize the amount of natural light.
  • Automatic light sensors and low-energy light bulbs help beat requirements for fuel and power conservation by 20 percent.
  • The Willis Building is designed to achieve a daily water consumption of less than 20 liters per full-time Associate. Water conservation measures such as automatic taps, individual flush sensors and leak detection/isolation have also been introduced, helping reduce water consumption to 30 percent below the average. Rainwater is collected across the site, filtered, stored in tanks in the basement and used for irrigating the landscaping around the plaza.
  • A six-story planted “green wall” concept on the North side façades encourages biodiversity on the site.
  • Rubbish bins have been replaced by desktop paper receptacles. Recycling is encouraged by use of waste segregation methods.
  • Although required to meet the energy conservation targets defined in the 2002 Building Regulations, the development actually exceeds the far more stringent 2006 regulations by 20 percent for its carbon dioxide emissions.
  • During construction, material from the demolition of the old building was re-cycled and crushed for use in the foundations of the new building, reducing wastage and vehicle movements to and from site. By weight, 77.6 percent of construction waste has been recycled or reused.
  • The building services equipment (boilers for heating, chillers for cooling) is all highly energy efficient and centrally controlled to maximize performance.
  • The Willis Building was designed by Norman Foster’s company, Foster + Partners, which was also responsible for the landmark Willis building in Ipswich, a pioneering example of energy-conscious design.
  • There are 200 bike spaces and shower/locker facilities to encourage Associates to cycle to work.


The Willis Building,
51 Lime Street,
London, EC3M 7DQ

Switchboard +44 (0) 203 124 6000

Fax: +44 (0) 203 124 8223


Click to enlarge the map of
The Willis Building location.
  • Copyright © 2014 Willis Group Holdings