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.