Some Pyongyang-watchers believe the changes are merely skin deep, and do not portend or reflect deeper political or economic changes. ‘There is still all this state influence. There is no free development [...] The production of the city has not yet changed. Only the shapes of the buildings have changed.’
‘There is this thing among North Koreans about developing...an architecture that is reflective of their society. So what is an architecture that reflects their society?‘ — Los Angeles Times
More on Archinect:‘Pyongyang Speed:’ North Korea miraculously cranks out massive residential development for scientists in only one yearPyongyang's inner Wes Anderson shines through in its architecture, then and nowAs bicycle ownership in North Korea rises, Pyongyang introduces bike lanes
North Korea held a ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate Mirae Scientists Street, the residential sector dedicated for scientists or engineers of North Korea.
Mirae (“Future”) Scientists Street, located in the center of Pyongyang, directly next to Pyongyang Station adjacent to the Taedong River, is nearing completion. [...]
Wednesday’s report emphasized the term “Pyongyang Speed,” the idea that North Korean workers can produce miraculously fast construction speeds. — nknews.org
"KCNA reports revealed that one of the buildings is 53 floors high, designed with an artistic exterior and guided under Kim Jong Un’s orders. The street also had a kindergarten, daycare center, school, stores, sports park and more, according to KCNA."h/t CTBUHRelated news on...
'Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland,'...Throughout the city, you now encounter the recurring colour schemes of salmon and teal, or pink and baby blue...These new spaces look like they have been assembled from crisp, unreal planes of colour and exude an anaesthetising aesthetic, candy-coloured decoys that distract from a reality of mass poverty across the country. — The Guardian
More on Archinect:This Wes Anderson-designed bar is retro with a capital RBuilding Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" out of 50,000 LegosChristopher Hawthorne reflects on the spatial design in "Citizenfour" and other Oscar nomineesArtist Charles Young crafts mini paper metropolis on the daily
“Let us usher in a great golden age of construction,” exhorts one of the 310 official patriotic slogans published this year. The ambition is already evident in the number of cranes that dot the skyline [...]. The most prominent structures are the 47-storey shafts of the Changjon Street apartments, an 18-tower complex completed last year in less than 12 months and nicknamed “Pyonghattan” by foreign diplomats. But other emerging skyscrapers go undiscussed and unphotographed [...]. — theguardian.com
Related stories on Archinect and our sister site Bustler:“Crow’s Eye View”, from the 2014 Venice Biennale Korean Pavilion, returns as a NY exhibition (Bustler)North Korean architect of new Pyongyang airport reportedly executed by Kim Jong UnNorth Koreans hesitate to move into Kim Jong Un's...
North Korea has installed cycle lanes on major thoroughfares in Pyongyang in an apparent bid to cut down on pedestrian accidents, as more residents are able to afford to buy bicycles.
Bicycles are an expensive but increasingly popular mode of transport for many in the country where private car ownership, although on the rise, is still rare. [...]
As recently as 2014, cycling was still illegal for women, though the ban was much flouted. — theguardian.com
North Korea's propaganda machine has spent days promoting a new airport in Pyongyang, showcasing the building's sleek glass walls and espresso stations. But the images, which feature Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, fail to mention that the building's principal designer was likely executed last year because Kim was unhappy with the design. — ibtimes.com
While the starving population of North Korea will likely never going to enjoy the airport's amenities (under the current circumstances), it has shown more direct feedback to other key-interest projects of the supreme despot, like the 46-story Taedong River Apartment Towers which remain...
The site is located in Kaesong, the old imperial capital of medieval Korea, now a small industrial city located in North Korea, just north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). [...]
“There were wars of nerves between South and North scholars due to differences in methodologies, but we were in a same boat on the achievement of this excavation.” — qz.com
Despite seeing completion last October, following orders from leader Kim Jong Un, only half of the units of a major apartment complex built near Pyongyang’s Taedong River are currently occupied. [...]
“The elevator runs only during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours, so for long spans of time it will be impossible to get to the 40th floor,” the source said. “There isn’t even a place for people to put their bicycles, which are the most fundamental tools for people’s livelihoods.” — dailynk.com
Friday, August 29:MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bike: The prototype is currently being used to create a mental-map and guidebook for NYC, and an upcoming Kickstarter campaign will attempt to fund the project for commercial sale.In Beirut, a grassroots push for more grass...
The North Korean government has approved plans by two Norwegian artists to open an art academy in the country. Henrik Placht and Morten Traavik travelled to North Korea together for the first time in August to flesh out the proposal and to look for potential sponsors. So far they have received financial support from the Prince Claus Fund. [...]
“One of the reasons for us going to North Korea is that we don’t believe in sanctions and the boycott of art,” Placht tells The Art Newspaper. — theartnewspaper.com
[...] One of its latest projects: Inviting a North Korean architect to imagine the future of local design for travel.
The Jetsons-style results include hovercraft hotel rooms and cone-shaped mountain villas connected by ski slopes. Nothing looks like it would be that out of place in a 1950s magazine, down to details like an old-fashioned rotary phone. This is what the future looks like to someone living in a place that's been cut off from the rest of the world since 1948. — fastcoexist.com
The project Utopian Tours, initiated by English-born landscape architect turned Beijing-based North Korea tour operator Nick Bonner, was part of the Korean Peninsula’s “Crow’s Eye View” pavilion for the 2014 Venice Biennale (previously on Archinect).
In the Korean Peninsula's response to the 2014 Venice Biennale theme of rediscovering national identity through architecture, the "Crow's Eye View" pavilion explores the divided state of North and South Korea, and extends that discussion to the global state of architecture itself. The multi-themed pavilion uses architecture as a key to discovering new narratives of the peninsula's complex past, present, and future in an architectural and social perspective. — bustler.net
The Korea pavilion has been a part of the Venice Architecture Biennale since 1993, when the optimism of the post-Berlin Wall era made reunification between North and South Korea seem plausible. But getting equal representation from both Northern and Southern architects in 2014 has proved nearly...
I foresee that major urban spaces of Pyongyang, such as Kim Il Sung Square, will be used as “public” space with a greater variety of urban activities, such as commercial activities and show events. [...]
The last thing that may happen in North Korea, or the thing that should not happen in some sense, is the Chinese model. Considering the scale of the economy and the potential of the North Korean market compared to China, it is hard to picture radical and massive urban development in Pyongyang. — NK News
Part two of NK News' interview with Dongwoo Yim pushes the discussion of North Korean urbanism into the future, comparing potential development methods to those seen in China and South Korea. Focusing on capital Pyongyang, Yim proposes a "Bilbao effect" development strategy that is heavy on...
They conceive of urban space as space owned by the public, not space for real estate development. — Dongwoo Yim, NK News
Much of the North Korean news that reaches the United States reads like tabloid hearsay, as glimpses of a totalitarian dictatorship rife with human rights violations are peeked through Dennis Rodman and military showboating. NK News, an independent and private news source based in Washington...
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