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, until recently, a top-floor ‘champagne bar’.

Tower 42 was the tallest building in the City of London until Heron Tower (110 Bish­ops­gate) 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.