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Tower 42

From Academic Kids

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Tower 42 is the tallest building in the centre of London

Tower 42 is a skyscraper in London, the tallest in the City of London, at 25 Old Broad Street. It was originally built for the National Westminster Bank, hence its older name NatWest Tower. Seen from above, the Tower closely resembles the NatWest logo (three chevrons in a hexagonal arrangement). The tower, designed by Richard Seifert, 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 Europe until the construction of 1 Canada Square in the Docklands in 1991.

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 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.

See also

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Tower 42 from below

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