project managers at a building site in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang are openly supplying their exhausted work force with powerful methamphetamines called “ice,” North Korean sources say. [...]
Officials in charge of the project are pushing workers hard to finish frame construction on the buildings, which include a 70-story high-rise apartment building and at least 60 other structures, before the weather gets too cold, sources said. — Radio Free Asia
Hoping to show the world his country is doing just fine despite sanctions and outside pressure over its nuclear weapons program, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has put his soldier-builders to work on yet another major [skyscraper] project
Pyongyang’s new Pyonghattan, officially called “Ryomyong Street,” is to have the country’s tallest apartment building, at 70 stories, along with a 50-story building and a handful of smaller ones in the 30-40 story range. — The Japan Times
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
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
'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
“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
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
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
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
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
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