Tower 42

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Tower 42
Location London, United Kingdom
Status Complete
Constructed 1971-1979
Use Commercial
Roof 183 meters
Floor count 42
Architect Richard Seifert
Tower 42 from directly below
Image:Tower 42 from street level.jpg
Tower 42 viewed from street level.

Tower 42 is the tallest skyscraper in the City of London and the fifth tallest in London as a whole. It was originally built for the National Westminster Bank, hence its older name, the NatWest Tower. Seen from above,[1]the Tower closely resembles the NatWest logo (three chevrons in a hexagonal arrangement). The tower, designed by Richard Seifert, is located at 25 Old Broad Street. It was built between 1971 and 1979, and opened in 1980, costing a total of £72 million.

It is 600 ft (183 m) high, which made it the tallest building in the UK until the topping-out of One Canada Square in the Docklands in 1990.

Its status as the first skyscraper in the City was a coup for the NatWest, but was extremely controversial at the time, as it was a major departure from the previous restrictions on tall buildings in London. The building is constructed around a huge concrete core from which the floors are cantilevered, giving it great strength but significantly limiting the amount of office space available. On opening, this was not a consideration — but following the Big Bang in the City, trading in banks changed and the tower became obsolete thanks to the lack of large trading floors. The cantilever is constructed to take advantage of the air rights granted to it and the neighbouring site whilst respecting the banking hall on that adjacent site, as only one building was allowed to be developed. For a time it was the tallest cantilever in the world.

On April 24 1993, the Provisional IRA exploded a large truck bomb in the Bishopsgate area of the City of London. The bomb extensively damaged the NatWest Tower and many other buildings in the vicinity, causing over £1 billion worth of damage. The tower suffered severe damage and had to be entirely reclad and internally refurbished (demolition would have been too difficult and expensive). After refurbishment, NatWest decided not to re-occupy and renamed the building the International Financial Centre, then sold it. The new owners, small UK property company Greycoat, renamed it Tower 42, in reference to its 42 floors. It is now a general-purpose office building occupied by a variety of companies.

The tower features a seafood and champagne bar on the 42nd floor called Vertigo 42. Its height affords patrons an excellent view westwards across central London and beyond.

[edit] General information

  • Tower 42 was the tallest building in London and the United Kingdom for 10 years. At its completion in 1980, it claimed this title from the BT Tower (175 m / 574 ft), a transmission tower located at 60 Cleveland Street in Fitzrovia, London.
  • One Canada Square surpassed Tower 42 in 1990, ending its ten-year reign as Britain's tallest building.
  • Tower 42 contains two restaurants: Rhodes Twenty Four, which is situated on the 24th floor and operated by renowned chef Gary Rhodes; and Vertigo 42, a champagne and seafood bar located on the 42nd floor.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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