Tower 42 and Guide to the Galaxy
  1. Architecture »

Tower 42 and Guide to the Galaxy

This is one of London's biggest skyscrapers.


Tower 42 is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the City of London at 183 metres high, originally called the National Westminster Tower or NatWest Tower - the logo can be seen when flying over it.

It was designed by Richard Seifert and engineered by Pell Frischmann and formally opened on 11 June 1981 by HM Queen Elizabeth II. It replaced the former bank buildings designed by architect John Gibson which dated back to 1865.

The tower was damaged in the April 1993 Bishopsgate bombing, by the Provisional Irish Republican Army truck bomb. The tower had to be entirely reclad and internally refurbished at a cost of 75 million.

In medieval London the first building on the site was Gresham House, built in 1563 by Sir Thomas Gresham. It later became Gresham College where students included Robert Hooke, Sir Christopher Wren and the composer John Bull.

Connections with Douglas Adams are unfounded, but in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy film, the tower is shown in the sequences leading up to the destruction of the Earth. Perhaps the tower does have some bearing on the Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

Location: 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ