Views from tops of tall towers are always impressive, so the chance to go up to the 18th floor of a newish City skyscraper is not to be missed for us Tower Completists.

The Broadgate Tower is one of what will eventually be a cluster of towers near Shoreditch, although it actually sits within the framework of the 1980s Broadgate development and was constructed between 2005 to 2009.

It sits directly over the train tracks on a huge concrete slab, the construction of which caused considerable delays as they could only work when the trains weren’t running.

The building is also the first in the UK to sport double-decker lifts, with the lower deck doors opening to odd-numbered floors and the upper deck, unsurprisingly opening on even-numbered floors. The entrance escalators also reflect that demarcation. Double-decker lifts have the advantage that you can carry a lot more people in far fewer lifts – a problem which can eat up valuable floor space in tall buildings.

Otherwise, its a fairly generic tall building with the core running up one side, so that the windows can wrap around about 300 degrees of each floor (pdf of the floorplan). Studying the floorplan shows that men get 6 toilets (3 urinals, 3 cubicles) and women get just 4 cubicles. No wonder women’s toilets always have a queue outside!

There are some very odd nooks in the corners of each floor as the steel supports jut into the office space, and personally floor to ceiling glass scares me – I prefer something solid by the floor to reassure me I wont smash out of the building by accident.

Anyway, you only came here for the photos, so here they are:

Looking up from the main entrance

Looking up from the main entrance

Entrance escalators

Entrance escalators

Empty 18th floor of the Broadgate Tower

Empty 18th floor of the Broadgate Tower


Towards the city cluster

Towards the city cluster

St Pauls and the Eye

St Pauls and the Eye

Towards the BT Tower

Towards the BT Tower

The East London Line at Shoreditch

The East London Line at Shoreditch

Towards Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf in the distance - morning haze spoiling the view a bit

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  1. Cool pics. Beautiful day in London. Imagine how different the sky looked in 18th and 19th century with all the coal smoke!

  2. Jason

    I love the ELL. Looks like a train set just plonked on top of London.

  3. I think they may have been misinformed about the double decker lifts!
    I was up Tower 42 later in the day (by which time the clouds had closed in somewhat, so my photos aren’t quite as impressive) – and they told us that some of their express lifts were “double aspect”. One of them is used as the express lift to the top, which is where the NatWest chairman’s office used to be, and it was his private lift – but the lower half of it is used as a goods lift.

    • IanVisits

      Hmm, they might have installed a double-decker lift, but if so it is new, as there wasn’t one there when I used to go to the top floor for drinkies in the bar a few years ago.

    • You wouldn’t necessarily know it was there – visitors are subtly guided to the lower lift lobby, or up the escalator to the upper one. (And presumably the goods lift is hidden out of the way)

    • Johann

      Yep, I was also one of the 40 people that got tickets to Tower42 and it is not only the express lift that goes to Vertigo 42 that is double decker but most of the lifts in the main core. Just like this (hideous) building this post refers to you have to depart from a specific level at the bottom to be able to get to certain floors. All colour coded to help.

  4. I can see Underground Village in the foreground of that ELL photo, on the line of the old Broad Street viaduct after the ELL turns off.

    How do they reconcile double-decker lifts with disability access legislation? Surely it’s necessary to have a lift from the ground floor which accesses all floors, even if it only goes up as far as the first to make the connection with the top deck, otherwise the entire odd-numbered half of the building is shuttered off to wheelchair users!

  5. Towergirl

    I work in The Broadgate Tower for the company that manages the building, and our double decker lifts are the first passenger double deckers in the CoL.

    And we comply with DDA regs because there are transfer floors, and an accessible lift that allows access to either the upper or lower cars.

  6. Towergirl

    Also, both upper and lower decks on the lifts are still able to stop on either odd or even floors, but from the first and second floor lift lobbies they can only call the odd or even floors respectively (if that makes any sense at all).

  7. Stirling Attfield

    Are any floors in the building open to the general public? I was hoping to take the lady on a bit of a Skyfall tour, and was hoping to get a great view of London thrown into the mix.

    Failing that, anywhere else local?



    • IanVisits

      If the London Eye has been ruled out for some reason, then Tower 42 has a champagne bar at the top.

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