Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin


Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

by Matthew Soules

In Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin, Matthew Soules issues an indictment of how finance capitalism dramatically alters not only architectural forms but also the very nature of our cities and societies. We rarely consider architecture to be an important factor in contemporary economic and political debates, yet sparsely occupied ultra-thin “pencil towers” develop in our cities, functioning as speculative wealth storage for the superrich, and cavernous “iceberg” homes extend architectural assets many stories below street level. Meanwhile, communities around the globe are blighted by zombie and ghost urbanism, marked by unoccupied neighborhoods and abandoned housing developments.

Learn how the use of architecture as an investment tool has accelerated in recent years, heightening inequality and contributing to worldwide financial instability:

  • See how investment imperatives shape what and how we build, changing the very structure of our communities
  • Delve into high-profile projects, like the luxury apartments of architect Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Avenue
  • Understand the convergence of technology, finance, and spirituality, which together are configuring the financialized walls within which we eat, sleep, and work

Includes dozens of photos and drawings of architectural phenomena that have changed the way we live. Essential reading for anyone interested in architecture, design, economics, and understanding the way our world is formed.

Hardcover | 240 pages | Princeton Architectural Press | 2021

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