The first stone of the building was laid on December 6, 1880, the day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of sailors, based on a project by the architect Heinrich von Ferstel, famous for the construction of many architectural works in Vienna. The building stands on the place where once there was the old squero di San Nicolò which was buried and then occupied for a period by a square used as a market. Reminiscent of the Renaissance style, symbol of the Trieste lordship on the sea.
On the façade, at the top, the inscription “Lloyd Triestino” is visible, placed in the 1930s to replace a large coat of arms of the Austro-Hungarian Lloyd. At the top two Winged Victories: the one on the left raises an oak branch symbol of strength and at its side a young man symbolizes work, the one on the right raises a laurel wreath symbol of glory flanked by a young man sitting on a boat that symbolizes the sea . On the parapet, from left to right, the statues of Aeolus (god of winds), Mercury (god of trade), Vulcan (prince of earthly fire) and Neptune (god of the seas) dominate.