Build your life on the rock

Nathan Law

It’s one of the most iconic buildings in the world: The Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was only supposed to take a few years to build, but five years into construction, when the builders reached the third story, the tower began to lean ever so slightly to the south. The […]

It’s one of the most iconic buildings in the world: The Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was only supposed to take a few years to build, but five years into construction, when the builders reached the third story, the tower began to lean ever so slightly to the south. The builders tried to correct the lean by making the remaining stories shorter on the uphill side, but the extra weight of the upper stories made the lean worse. 

In the 600 years since the tower was completed, it kept leaning more and more. It became clear to engineers that the tower wasn’t just leaning — it was actually falling at a rate of one to two millimeters per year. By the late 1980s, the tower was leaning by more than 5 degrees.

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