- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 14 Dec 2018
Stabilising the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the freestanding bell tower of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. Famous for its unintended tilt, the 56 m tower took nearly 200 years to build - work started in 1173. Five years later it started tilting.
Work completed in 2001 saw the tower straightened by 38 cm.
A 2013 study found that 'the bell tower is stable but tending to straighten' and that it had moved a further 2.5 cm vertically since 2001.
The structure is expected to straighten another couple of millimetres and then start to lean again – but at a much slower rate.
The method – known as soil extraction – saw engineers dig a series of tunnels on the north side of the tower and remove small amounts of earth. (The tower leans to the south.) Steel cables helped pull it back into its original position.
 Fascinating facts
There are other buildings that lean more than the Tower of Pisa. The Capital Gate building in Abu Dhabi, UAE is the world's most tilted man-made tower. It has an 18-degree slope – 5 times more than Pisa – although it was deliberately constructed to slant.
This article was originally published here in 2018 by ICE.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Seven steps to defining a digital twin.
Achieving air tightness in buildings.
What are the benefits of smart homes for Millennial end-users?
How dynamic briefing can result in an efficient project.
Achieving sustainable roads funding in England.
Your chance to comment on the draft BS 851188 - flood resistance products and flood protection products.
Rebuilding could take 20 to 40 years.
RSHP’s high-rise residential towers win a tall buildings award for excellence.
BSRIA study reveals strong growth in 2018.
Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed as keynote speaker – one year on from the Hackitt Report.
Save £100 on tickets.
Modern slavery in the construction sector.
What to bear in mind when claiming damages in construction.
How do we achieve sustainable clean-water infrastructure for all?