What is the structure that leans westward a full 18 degrees ?
Most engineers don’t want their skyscrapers to lean. In fact, a building that begins to list after construction almost always indicates a failure of design. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, for example, was built on weak, unstable soil, which caused the foundation to sink on one side. As a result, the famous tower pitches almost four degrees off-center.
Then you get crazy engineers who decide to make their structures lean on purpose. That’s the case with Capital Gate, a 35-story skyscraper situated on the island city of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. By design, the structure leans westward a full 18 degrees — more than four times greater than Pisa’s famous tower.
To pull this off, engineers drilled 490 piles almost 100 feet (30 meters) into the ground and built a solid foundation consisting of a dense mesh of reinforced steel. Then they erected what’s known as a pre-cambered core ,a steel-reinforced concrete spine with a case of scoliosis, which contains more than 15,000 cubic metres of concrete reinforced with 10,000 tons of steel. The core, deliberately built slightly off centre, has straightened as the building has risen, compressing the concrete and giving it strength, and moving into (vertical) position as the weight of the floors has been added. Because the core curves, the whole building curves with it. Workers had to cut the diamond-shaped panels to slightly different dimensions because each one fit at a unique angle.
When fully complete by the end of this year, Capital Gate will house the 5-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel as well as approximately 20,000sqm of premium office space.
In 2010, Guinness World Records designated Capital Gate as the Farthest Man-made Leaning Building. Not to be confused with the Farthest Man-made Leaning Tower, which, unlike a building, doesn’t have usable floor space.