From the Tower of Pisa in Italy to Britain’s Big Ben, some of the world’s most famous buildings have a distinct list.
However, architectural leanings are not confined to history.
A few modern buildings — like the 541 foot (165 meter) Montreal Tower, whose 45-degree lean makes it the tallest tilted building in the world — are intentionally inclined, but those that lean without design are a property developer’s nightmare.
As leading civil engineer John Burland explains to CNN, although most slanted skyscrapers are safe, people don’t want to live in them.
“If residents know their building is leaning, they’re not going to be very happy — unless of course it’s leaning so much that they can charge people to go up it,” says Burland, an emeritus professor in engineering at London’s Imperial College. Burland designed the solutions that stabilized the Tower of Pisa and Big Ben.
The reason why some buildings develop a lean, and how such problems can be corrected, is a complex area of geology and engineering called geotechnics. […]