It is only coincidental that I talk about a tower again, following my post on my visit to the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa. The heart of the news in the UAE since yesterday is the certification of Capital Gate as the furthest leaning manmade tower from Guiness World Records.
(The tower’s construction began in September 2007. The incline started to take shape the last time we visited the area in August 2009 and the construction of the atrium roof commenced when we visited there in April 2010 for the Sheikh-filled Cityscape event .)
Most of the people has the misconception that the name of the leaning tower is Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) because of their proximity to each other. However, Capital Gate is a separate establishment which is owned and developed by ADNEC. It was built to lean 18 degrees westwards, which is more than four times that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre pendente di Pisa) in Italy. The evaluation from the Guiness Awards Committee started in January of 2010. The recognition was given after the completion of the exterior of the 160-meter and 35-storey tower. It was by intention to be leaning, unlike the Tower of Pisa which was intended to stand vertically. It began to lean southeast due to poor foundation and loose substrate in 1173 that led it to shift direction. Currently, it is leaning to southwest.
Capital Gate will be fully completed by the end of of 2010. It will house the 5-star Hyatt Hotel and 20,000-square meter premium office space. Among the several elements that I found distinctive about it are that (a) each room is different as each pane of facade glass and every interior angle; (b) outdoor pool’s panoramic view; and (c) the compliance with sustainability (environmental concerns), i.e. the existence of stainless steel splash that descends from the 19th floor that will serve as a shading device to eliminate at least 30% of sun’s heat before it reaches the building. The splash will also twist around the tower to shield it from direct sunlight.
National Geographic made a documentary about this leaning tower which was translated into 44 languages. This will be aired in 166 countries (to be televised in the Middle East next month).
Images, except for the first photo which was a scanned article from Al Bayan newspaper, were taken from the Capital Gate website.