Tower 42

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London

Tower 42


Tower 42, rising from behind Gibson Hall

Tower 42 is a skyscraper located at 25 Old Broad Street, in the City of London. It was officially opened in 1981 as the new headquarters of the National Westminster Bank and was informally known as the NatWest Tower. Seen from above, the tower forms the shape of the bank’s trademark device, a chopped-cornered triangle made from three chevrons. Bizarrely, the building’s architect – Richard Seifert – at one time denied that the resemb­lance was inten­tional.

The tower was badly damaged by a Provisional IRA truck bomb in 1993 and the bank did not reoccupy it after its renov­ation.

Subsequently renamed Tower 42, in a reference to the number of floors, the building is now owned by a real estate consortium and occupied by a mix of tenants, including a top-floor ‘champagne bar’.

Tower 42 was the tallest building in the City of London until the Heron Tower exceeded it by a fraction in 2011.

The photo­graph on the right shows Tower 42 looming above Bishopsgate’s Gibson Hall, the former headquarters of the National Provincial Bank, now a ‘presti­gious event venue’ special­ising in weddings and confer­ences.