Tower 42 is a skyscraper located in the City of London. It is considered as the second tallest skyscraper in the city and the fifth tallest in the whole of Greater London. It was originally called as the National Westminster Tower as it was initially built to be the headquarters of the National Westminster Bank’s International Division.
Tower 42 History
The planning and construction of the Tower 42, or the National Westminster Tower at that time, in the 1960’s was somewhat positive publicity for NatWest. It came with the status of being the first skyscraper to be built in the City of London. But there were also controversies bearing the fact that its construction was a departure from the previous restrictions that the city had on tall buildings. The construction of the building also required the demolition of the 19th Century bank building at 15 Bishopsgate which brought in some complaints. But the plans eventually pushed through.
Construction on the site began in 1971, with the tower taking almost a decade to complete. It was constructed with a large concrete core from where each floor is being cantilevered. It provided great stability but also significantly limiting the amount of office space available for each floor. The building was officially opened in 1981.
Tower 42 Features
Tower 42 was designed by Richard Seifert and engineered by Pell Frischmann. It stands 183 meters or 600 feet high. It was considered as the tallest building in the UK when it was completed but was later surpassed by One Canada place in 1990. It also held the distinction as the tallest building in the City of London for 3 decades until it was surpassed by the Heron Tower in 2009.
The tower contains a total of 47 floors and is being services by 21 elevators. The building is made up mostly of Grade A office spaces and restaurant facilities. It was also one of the first buildings in the UK to make use of double-decked elevators. Other innovative features that are found in the tower include the use of an internal automated mail train for mail deliveries and document distribution. It also makes use of an automated external window washing system and a computer controlled air conditioning system, both of which were innovative features for a building during the time of its completion.