'The Pyonghattan Project'

John Hill
16. September 2015
May Day Stadium, 1989 (Photo: Oliver Wainright)

The Guardian architecture critic Oliver Wainright goes on a rare tour of Pyongyang, revealing the architecture of the North Korean capital as well as his own sharp eye for capturing the city and its buildings through words and photos.

Wainright's article, titled "The Pyonghattan project: how North Korea's capital is transforming into a 'socialist fairyland'," is long but well worth reading. He illuminates how "every project is a collective effort, built to the close directions of the leader," how the city resembles "a fairytale landscape," and how in the thorougly planned city "every vista is carefully framed, every route choreographed for maximum spatial impact."

Additionally, the article is accompanied by a slideshow, a visual tour of the city's architecture. Some of the photos come from the company that arranged the architecture and some come from the AP, Getty and other sources, but the majority were taken by Wainright, who proves adept at capturing the city's "theatrical" architecture, as the few photos here attest.

Apartments on Kwangbok Street, 1989 (Photo: Oliver Wainright)
Arch of Triumph, 1982 (Photo: Oliver Wainright)

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