Wednesday, Jun. 09, 2010

Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Pisa's famous tilt may have been an accident, but the tipsy new addition to Abu Dhabi's skyline is not. The United Arab Emirates' Capital Gate tower pushed its Tuscan cousin out of the limelight this week when the Guinness Book of World Records certified the new building as the "World's Furthest Leaning Manmade Tower." It's not clear how stiff the competition for that category ever really was, but the 35-story structure does lean a gravity defying 18 degrees — nearly five times further than its Italian inspiration. Like Bilbao, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, the UAE built Capital Gate to put its premier city on the world's architectural map. The sloping result — "designed to provide no symmetry" — looks a little like a shiny drunk slouching against a wall. Built with over 15,000 cubic meters of concrete reinforced with 10,000 tons of steel, the tower houses over 20,000 feet of "premium" office space and a five-star Hyatt. Whether hotel guests will be inclined to sleep in this off-center wonder is another question.