The World’s Most Inclined Building

October 29, 2021

The Capital Gate building, the tallest inclined building in the world.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most famous leaning or inclined building in the world, but its degree of leaning pales in comparison to a modern building that intentionally inclines more than any other free-standing building in the world.

The building is the 35-story Capital Gate building located in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Construction began in 2007 and was finished in 2011. The building has an incline of 18 degrees west from the bottom to the top, making it the tallest inclined building in the world. By comparison, the previous record holder of most inclined building, the Leaning Tower of Suurhusen in northwestern Germany, has an incline of 5.19 degrees, and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa leans at 3.97 degrees. 

Suurhusen tower
The previous record holder, the Leaning Tower of Suurhusen Alex Haymann/Wikimedia

The Capital Gate cost $231 million (US) to construct and is a mixed-use building with office and retail space, and the upper floors house the Hyatt Capital Gate hotel. The building has a central core that leans in the opposite direction to the inclination at the base and then straightens with the tower’s height. Four hundred ninety piles were drilled 98 feet (30 meters) into the ground to counter the effects from wind, gravitational, and seismic forces because of the extreme inclination of the building. There is an atrium between the 17th and 18th floors that has a lounge and a swimming pool.

capital gate building 2
A view of the 18-degree inclination of the Capital Gate building

Two other buildings have a greater inclination than Capital Gate, but they are much shorter, and the building’s inclination appears to be a design feature. These buildings don’t have full rooms that hang at that inclination. They are still impressive, nonetheless.

One building is the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Poland. It is six stories tall and inclines 56 degrees. The second building is the Dockland office building in Hamburg, Germany, which is eight stories tall and has an inclination on two sides of 66 degrees. It was built on land that was the site of a former dock, and the building resembles the form of a ship.

Museum of the Second World War
Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Poland
dockland germany
The Dockland office building in Hamburg, Germany

Sources: Design Build Network, Arch Daily, CNN, Design Build Network (2)

Join the Knowledge Stew Roundup and get a free fact ebook

See what's been added to the Stew by subscribing to the Roundup and get Quick Facts: Facts to Pass the Time for FREE.

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites (you can find out how to join below). I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

Follow the Stew


How to Join the Knowledge Stew Ad-Free Subscription Site on Medium

Join Medium now and get access to every story from Knowledge Stew and Fact World plus thousands of others ad-free. Your membership fee directly supports a continued stream of great content on Knowledge Stew and Fact World, and you’ll also get full access to thousands of other writers and stories on Medium. ($5 per month)