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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

The New New York

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There are two battles going on involving building in New York.

1) The mosque near Ground Zero
2) Penn Station near Empire State building.

Here’s my thoughts on each project:
1) Build it.
2) Build it.

It’s 2010, practically 2011. Both disagreements are issues started by people who are against progress. In the case of the Mosque: people are trying to stop other people from practicing their religion in a city that is built on openness. Going against the mosque is the most Un-New York thing a person can do. And the people in DC, Florida, Kansas and Albany that are against the mosque really do not have a voice in this one since this is our backyard, not theirs. Ask the average New Yorker and we’ll say “Yep. Build it. It’s not a big deal.”

As for the Empire States building vs Penn State issue: the problem has come up because the people at the Empire State Building are concerned this would destroy the skyline. The Empire State building would be blocked from midtown views across the hudson in Jersey. And it would create an interruption in the skyline. SO WHAT?!

Personally, I loved the Chicago skyline when I lived there. And I loved that it was constantly changing. The building owners want to keep their tower a tourist trap. But if the owners of the Empire State Building really had balls, I mean REAL balls they would remember that the Empire State Building is only as tall as it is, and carries its weight as it does, because the original developers said “hey! We’re going to make the tallest fucking building in America!” The story of the race to the top between Empire State Building and the Chrysler building is historical (and that is what they sell to tourists, along with the views… not the elevator ride).

If you go to Chicago, you’ll see the original skyscrapers, tallest churches and many other once-been-giant buildings ecliplsed by surrounding buildings two and three times their height. Personally I hate the city of Chicago but I love their willingness to go higher and create more. I would hate to see Chicago even try to be compared with New York but the owners of the Empire State Building seem to want that.

So if the men owning the building had real balls they would build their own building and quit standing on the shoulders of the dead. They might even include a mosque on the top floor if they were truly ballsy. But, to try to heed progress in a city known worldwide for being #1, they’re acting like complete idiots and I will proudly say

Build it.

{PS: My thoughts one the matter are not altered by the fact that the owners of the ESB refused to light up the building blue and white to celebrate Mother Theresa’s birthday. I DO find it terrible that they would be willing to change the light for a turkey sandwich or to celebrate the birthday of a twinkie, but refise to change the lights for one night to honor a peace keeper)


Written by Michael Donovan

28/08/2010 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Architecture, Culture

New York

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I’m in “Celebrate NY” mood. Here is a shot I took of the skyline last spring when I was first getting in to the city.

Later gators.

Written by Michael Donovan

15/11/2009 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Architecture


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People use the word “luxury” too much. So, just to put some at rest, I’m showing 15 Central Park West. It costs $6,000+ per square foot. Just to be clear, that is $6m for a 1,000 square foot apartment. And you still have to buy food. There are more places like this.

Written by Michael Donovan

15/11/2009 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Architecture, Culture

Foster & Partners Break Ground on Virgin Galactic Spaceport

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We are one step closer to finally seeing Virgin Galactic’s spaceport in the New Mexico desert! The ground was just broken so construction could begin. Get ready to start booking your flight to Mars soon…

PS: Thanks Richard Branson and friends, New Mexico might actually end up becoming a cool state now!

Written by Michael Donovan

24/06/2009 at 8:24 pm

Burnham Pavilions by Zaha Hadid Architects & UNStudio

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The temporary pavilions designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and UNStudio are coming to Millennium Park in Chicago soon. I hope all my friends back in Chi get the chance to enjoy them!

2 Blue Bars and 4 Red Stars!



Written by Michael Donovan

24/06/2009 at 8:15 pm


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I lost one of my best friends today. I didn’t lose her to death, I lost her to life. It stings with one of those feelings that reminds you “We’re alive and we can never predict the future.”

start a new beginning>> http://michaeldonovanphotography.com

Written by Michael Donovan

19/05/2009 at 10:37 pm

Architecture to Inspire

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Here are a few out-of-this world but REAL projects I am most excited about at the moment:

Heerim Architects designed Full Moon for Baku, Azerbaijan

The Cloud designed by Nadim Karam

Manned Cloud is a flying hotel proposed by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud

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And while the above buildings stand a chance of getting built soon, here is fantasy building for my home, NYC:

It’s called The Dragonfly and would be an urban vertical farm on Roosevelt island. This is designed by Belgian architect, Vincent Callebaut.

It would be 132 floors and 600 vertical meters, be able to accommodate 28 agricultural fields for the production of fruit, vegetables, grains, meat and dairy. It would be ran from solar and wind power.

Written by Michael Donovan

17/05/2009 at 5:37 pm