“Capital Gate” Hyatt Hotel + Offices 

Capital Gate, located in Abu Dhabi, now holds the Guinness Record for the ‘Worlds Furthest Leaning Manmade Tower.’ Completed in late 2010, this 35 story building with an incline of 18 degrees is the focal point of Abu Dahbi National Exhibition Company’s (ADNEC) new mixed use development. Because of its unique posture, Capital Gate is being constructed on top of an incredibly dense mesh of reinforced steel. The dense mesh sits above an intensive distribution of 490 piles which have been drilled 30 metres underground to accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building. Features of the tower include 728 unique custom-made diamond-shaped glazing panels that due to the structure’s curving shape, will be will be fitted at a slightly different angle. Below is background information on the Capital Gate and it’s Guinness Record as included in press release from ADNEC.

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Capital Gate, owned and developed in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company), has been certified as the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Manmade Tower,’ by Guinness World Records.
Capital Gate has been built to lean 18 degrees westwards – more than four times that of the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa — and, earned the Guinness recognition after rigorous evaluation by the Awards Committee since January 2010, when the exterior of the 160-metre (524.9 ft), 35-storey tower was completed.

Commenting on Capital Gate’s record-breaking achievement, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, ADNEC’s Chairman said: “Capital Gate is a landmark development for Abu Dhabi and with this recognition the tower takes its place among the world’s great buildings. It is a signature building which speaks to the fore-sight of the emirate.”

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Capital Gate’s floor plates are stacked vertically up to the 12th storey after which, they are staggered over each other by between 300mm to1400mm giving rise to the tower’s dramatic lean. The tower features other innovative construction techniques including the world’s first known use of a ‘pre-cambered’ core, 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.

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“Capital Gate has been a true design-and-build project from the very start. There have been numerous challenges, which I am pleased to say we have surmounted thanks to a structured partnering programme and the hard work and commitment of everyone involved. Both ADNEC and our partners have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to create an iconic structure which is not only distinctive in appearance but also extremely functional,”
said His Excellency Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, ADNEC’s Managing Director.
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.

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Besides Capital Gate’s gravity-defying lean and its pre-cambered core, the tower has several other elements that enhance its reputation as one of the world’s most distinctive projects. Each room is different as is each pane of façade glass and every interior angle. Capital Gate’s shell comprises a super-strong exo-skeleton called the diagrid that carries all the weight of the floors while also providing an unobstructed floor plate precluding the need for pillars or internal beams. Other high-profile buildings that use diagrid technology include New York’s Hearst Tower, the Swiss Re building (‘The Gherkin’) in London and Beijing’s CCTV tower.

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Capital Gate’s double-glazed façade achieves greater energy efficiency with waste air being pre-cooled between the inner and outer façades, before being expelled. The tower’s façade glass is of low emissivity and is the first time it has been used in the UAE. It keeps the building’s interior cool and eliminates glare, while maintaining transparency. The distinctive stainless steel ‘splash’ that descends from the 19th floor, is a design element and a shading device that eliminates over 30 percent of the sun’s heat before it reaches the building. The splash also twists around the building towards the south to shield the tower as much as possible from direct sunlight. Capital Gate’s 19th storey outdoor swimming pool has an unrivalled panoramic view.

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A cantilevered tea lounge overhangs the tower’s exterior, 80m above the ground. Capital Gate also has an internal diagrid that has been used to create a tapered, 60m high atrium. The tower’s foundation is a dense mesh of reinforced steel above 490 piles, drilled 20 – 30 meters underground. Capital Gate’s status as one of the world’s most complex engineering projects has been further endorsed by a recent exclusive National Geographic television documentary. The ‘Megastructures’ programme devoted to the project – ‘The Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi’ – has been translated into 44 languages and will be broadcast in 166 countries reaching a potential audience of 200 million viewers. ‘The Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi’ is due to air in the Middle East next month.

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