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This Week In Social: The View From the 100th Floor of WTC, #DroughtShaming, and FIFA Fallout

Welcome to Curbed's new weekly round-up of architecture and design on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and (god forbid) even LinkedIn. Collected from retweets, intra-office chats, and, well, anything that sent us into a 140-character tizzy, this is what Curbed editors actually read this week. Please be in touch if you have a recommendation for next week.


1. In what Kriston Capps described as a "sick dad burn," Richard Weber, chief of criminal investigations at the IRS, said "This is the World Cup of fraud, and today we're issuing FIFA a red card." In short, FIFA is in serious trouble and the architects charged with the construction of the Qatari World Cup campus are deeply implicated. A lot of people are talking about Zaha Hadid, not many are talking about Arup or Populous, and Kriston Capps is calling his own red card.


2. Calling all Prentice Women's Hospital devotees: MAS context just published a perfect epitaph to Bertrand Goldberg's embattled capsule hospital. These fourteen snapshots of the empty icon will give you a solid 15 minutes of demolished-brutalist-building-cry at your desk (oh, you know the type) right before you leave work.


3. Sometimes, a four-year-long drought happens. Sometimes, that drought becomes an excuse for socially responsible cyberbullying. In case you aren't familiar with #DroughtShaming, let Curbed LA briefly introduce to you to the most entertaining (and deeply disheartening) thing that's happened on the internet this week.


4. One World Trade Center recently opened the doors of their brand spankin' new observatory and Curbed was lucky enough to tag along. The observatory, which sits a princely 100 floors above Lower Manhattan and costs a hefty $32 to enter, is the undisputed Most Instagramm-able view in New York City. Go ahead, click on the hashtag and ogle away.


5. An architectural dream team—Olafur Eliasson, BIG, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Steven Holl Architects, Annabelle Selldorf, Robert A.M. Stern, OMA, and Renzo Piano Building Workshop—assembled to transform New York's High Line. The only plot twist: It's only up until September 30th, anyone can participate, and the building material is hundreds, upon hundreds of 4x4 Legos. We highly recommend stopping by to see the work enfold.

A photo posted by SHoP (@shoparchitects) on


6. Somehow, the tension of Silicon Valley's nascent architectural identity is perfectly embodied within Gehry's astronomically-priced campus for Facebook—the scruffiness of a start-up married to the sleek purchase of a dad undergoing a midlife crisis. Christopher Hawthorne expertly takes the new campus to task and explains, in very simple terms, why it matters. Here's a choice quote, "The aesthetic marriage between Zuckerberg and Gehry succeeded because it allowed both sides to commit to a comforting fiction." Get thee to this article, posthaste!

7. It's time to celebrate MoMA.com's original layout which, at 20 years old, is still looking pretty sharp. The original site was authored by Paola Antonelli and Barbara London, the formidable curators of mid-90s MoMA, as an "electronic pilot project" for two inaugural video and design exhibits. The whole internet thing was so new that SVA had to host it on their servers; MoMA didn't have their own site until the following year. Take a moment and bask in MoMA's 200 project-specific websites.

8. It's been a sobering week for the Bay Area—The Ruth Asawa fountain was lifted out of Union Square to make room for an Apple Store, Hawthorne lauded Gehry's Facebook campus as a new kind of architectural icon, and, according to Redfin, residents are fleeing because of absurd rent prices, but that's old news. Pop culture critic Peter Hartalaub reframes the entire conversation with this archival snippet from a '79 copy of the San Francisco Chronicle.