Capital Gate

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Capital Gate
Capital Gate.jpg
Capital Gate in 2013
General information
Type Commercial offices; Hotel
Location Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Coordinates 24°25′07″N 54°26′05″E / 24.418637°N 54.434692°E / 24.418637; 54.434692Coordinates: 24°25′07″N 54°26′05″E / 24.418637°N 54.434692°E / 24.418637; 54.434692
Construction started September 2007
Topped-out 2010
Completed 2011
Owner Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company
Roof 160 m (520 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 35
Floor area 53,100 m2 (572,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect RMJM
Main contractor Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises

Capital Gate is a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi adjacent to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre designed with a striking lean. At 160 m (520 ft) and 35 stories, it is one of the tallest buildings in the city and inclines 18° to the west.[3] The owner and developer of Capital Gate is Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company. The tower (also known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi) is the focal point of the Capital Center/Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre master development.



The structure sits above an extensive distribution of 490 piles that have been drilled 100 feet underground to accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building.Of the total 490 piles, 287 were 1 m (40 in) in diameter, and 20–30 meters (65–100 feet)deep, the remaining 193 piles had a diameter of 600 mm (24 in) with a depth of 20 m (65 feet). All 490 piles were capped together using a densely reinforced concrete mat footing of nearly 2 meters deep (7 feet).The piles which were initially in compression during construction to support the lower floors of the building, are now in tension as the stresses caused by the overhang have been applied.[1]

Core of the structure[edit]

Core of the capital gate is built using jumping form work, the center concrete core had to be specially designed to account for the immense forces created by the building’s lean. The core, which contains 15,000 m³ of concrete reinforced with 10,000 tons of steel, uses vertical post-tensioning and was constructed with a vertical pre-camber,[4][5] this pre-camber means that the core was constructed with a slight opposite lean, as each floor is installed, the weight of the floors and diagrid system pull the core and slowly straightening it out. it is constructed in the opposite direction. 146 steel tendons are vertically placed in the concrete core, each 20 m long, which is used for post tensioning.[5]


The capital gate employs a fine grid that fits this 160 m tower, Diagrid made construction of this tower possible given its lean of 18 degree. There are two diagrid systems, an external diagrid defining the tower’s shape and an internal diagrid linked to the central core by eight unique pin-jointed structural members,[5] the external diagrid consists of 720 sections each of different shape as it is based on the direction in which it leans. The external grid carries the weight of the floor while the internal digrid connects with the external and transfers the load to the core [2] .There by creating no columns in the floor.[4]

World records[edit]

In June 2010, Guinness World Records certified Capital Gate as the "World’s furthest leaning man-made tower."[6][7] The new record shows that the Capital Gate tower has been built to lean 18° westwards; more than four times that of the Leaning Tower of Suurhusen. Investigation and evaluation, which was made by a Guinness appointed awards committee, started in January 2010, when the exterior was completed.

The gravitational pressure caused by the 18° incline is countered by a technique called pre-cambered core, using a core of concrete reinforced with steel, with the core deliberately built slightly off-centre, it is also anchored to the ground by 490 piles which are drilled 20–30 metres underground.[8]

Architecture and design[edit]

The building has a diagrid especially designed to absorb and channel the forces created by wind and seismic loading, as well as the gradient of Capital Gate. Capital Gate is thought[by whom?] to be the Middle East's first building to use a diagrid; others around the world include London's 30 St Mary Axe (Gherkin), New York's Hearst Tower and Beijing's National Stadium.[9]

The Capital Gate project was able to achieve its inclination through an engineering technique, known as pre-cambering, that allows floor plates to be stacked vertically up to the 12th storey, and staggered, one over another by between 300 mm to 1400 mm.

Capital Gate was designed by architectural firm RMJM and was completed in 2011. Capital Gate now houses the 5-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel and additional office space.

Project time line[edit]

  • September 2007 – Enabling works commence
  • November 2007 – Pile driving starts
  • April 2008 – Core wall construction starts
  • February 2009 – Façade commences
  • May 2009 – Reaches 100 m in height
  • June 2009 – Incline starts to take shape
  • October 2009 – Attains final height of 160 m
  • December 2009 – Completion of exterior core structure
  • January 2010 – First phase of splash completed
  • February 2010 – Interior fit-out commences
  • March 2010 – Commencement of link bridge to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
  • April 2010 – Commencement of atrium roof
  • 2011 – Completed construction
  • Opening date 21 Dec 2011

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Capital Gate at Emporis
  2. ^ "Capital Gate". SkyscraperPage. 
  3. ^ "Capital Gate". Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC). 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Know about". Constructing world. 
  5. ^ a b c "Know about | ConstructingWorld". Main page | ConstructingWorld. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  6. ^ "Capital Gate Tower in Abu Dhabi certified world's furthest leaning manmade tower". World Interior Design Network. 7 Jun 2010. Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Mail Foreign Service (2010-06-10). "Abu Dhabi's Capital Gate 'leans nearly five times more' than Tower of Suurhusen to claim world record". Mail Online. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  8. ^ Laura Salmi (28 October 2008). "Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates". World Architecture News. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Mace Group, | retrieved=July 29, 2015

External links[edit]