Earlier this year, Dubai, stunned the world with the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. Now Abu Dhabi, the capital and second largest city in the United Arab Emirates,has unveiled another architectural miracle - One that leans an astounding 18 degrees, or more than four times the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
While the Italian structure's lean is the result of a faulty foundation, Abu Dhabi's leaning tower was designed to be that way. To achieve the tilt, the developers stacked the first 12 floors in the normal manner. They then staggered the next 17 floors anywhere from 800mm to 1400mm, depending on the lean and twist of the exterior. From the 19th floor onwards, the floor plates were still staggered, but less so, ranging between just 300mm to 900mm.
To ensure that the tower does not 'lean' over and fall off from the pressures of gravity or wind, the foundation is constructed from dense reinforced steel and sits atop 490 piles, which have been drilled 30 meters under the ground. Also, unlike conventional buildings, the core support or shell of Capital Gates, is around the building, like an exoskeleton. This not only allows for the unusual shape, but also requires less steel than a conventional frame.
The building, which boasts of no symmetry is fitted with 12,500 unique glass panels and looks different from every angle. Thanks to its unusual shape, not only is every floor unique, but so is every room!
Though not completely 'green', Capital Gates has many energy saving features, most geared toward keeping the building cool. The double-glazed windows help by recycling air. The low emissivity glass used in the facade not only keeps the building cool, but also, reduces glare, while maintaining the transparency. Lastly, a stainless steel 'splash' or canopy, that starts at the18th floor and twists around the building towards the south, helps shield it from direct sunlight.
Expected to be open to the public later this year, the iconic building comprises of office space on the first 16 floors and a world-class Hyatt hotel, complete with a gigantic atrium and swimming pool suspended 263ft. above the ground, from the 18th-35th floors.
Designed to be the centerpiece of a $2.2billion USD business and residential micro city, Capital Gates is truely an architectural marvel and not surprisingly, the pride and joy of the people of Abu Dhabi!