Tower 42 Unofficial Webpage

Tower 42 Statistics

Roof Height: 183m (no spire)
Floors: 47
Maintainance Floors: 3
Underground Levels: 2
Floors In Use: 42

Primary Use: Office
Secondary Use: Retail
Floorspace: 23,230 metres squared.
Cost of Construction: Around £72 million
Market Value: Around £226 million


Tower 42 was orignially built in 1979, and was something of a departure from the conventional, low-rise architecture that had developed up until then. The building was controvercial as it departed from various restrictions on tall buildings in the Capital.

The building was constructed from a solid concrete core, from which the cantilevered sections were hung. This created a small floorplate, and meant that with the so-called 'big bang' (the deregulation of the stock markets, during which time electronic trading replaced the traditional open-outcry from of trading) the tower became somewhat obsolete. Fortunately, however, it found a use in the form of offices. The tower was finally overtaken as the tallest building in the UK with the topping-out of One Canada Square in 1990, signalling the beginning of a drift of financial institutions away from the City and into Canary Wharf.

On April 24th 1993, the Provisional IRA detonated a car bomb in the City. Tower 42 was extensively damaged, leading NatWest to consider demolition. This would have proved too expensive and difficult, so the tower was refurbished at a cost of around £1 billion.

NatWest decided not to remain in the tower after its refurbishment, and decided to sell it under the name of the International Finance Centre. The UK-based property company Greycoat decided to buy the tower, renaming it Tower 42, after its 42 floors. It is now home to offices, and the Vertigo 42 bar, which ofers unparralelled views of the Capital.


Tower 42 has been linked with 'The Ultimate Answer To The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything', both due to its name, and its appearence in the film 'The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.'

Vertigo42 was where the fourth Top Gear race ended, with Jeremy Clarkson beating Richard Hammond and James May in his Bugatti Veron (they used a Cessna 182 light aircraft to fly through France before taking the Eurostar).