Pyongyang's newest residential street now open to tourists
Morning has broken. -Cat Stevens
Pyongyang – There is a new street in town. Ryomyong Street (려명거리) is the latest in a series of renovated districts following Changjon Street (2012) and Mirae Scientists’ Street (2014). Formally known as Kumsong Street, the area is primarily located in Pyongyang’s northern Taesong District, although the western entrance is in the Moranbong District below the country’s largest Immortality Tower. Ryomyong Street officially opened on April 13 in preparation for the Day of the Sun Holiday. The name means ‘Dawn’.
Preparations for work on the street started around two years ago, although the main construction was done in the past year with work going on around the clock. For much of the past year one could see the flashes from welders illuminating the midnight city skyline from points around the city. Rather than renovating one or two buildings at a time, it is been said that the local government feels that it is more practical to complete large areas and avoid sporadic closures over many years. This is the work of the Soviet ‘shock brigade’ in its modern manifestation.
Since April new residents have been moving into the apartments on the street. Like Mirae Scientists’ Street, the apartments are primarily for academics and scientists, especially from the nearby Kim Il Sung University. The Ryomyong area is also now open to foreign tourists to take a stroll along the street and its high rises – futuristic with a large dose of modernism and even a touch of art deco.The tallest buildings are built to resemble space ships, a fitting addition to what is turning out to be a great year for science fiction all around the world, and making us wonder what will Pyongyang look like in 2049?
For those interested in the planning and development of Ryomyong street, see below for a detailed (and dramatic) 48 minute documentary. This year our Korean Architecture, Art, and Design Tour (October 21-28) will provide a great the chance to learn more about the latest developments in urban Pyongyang with some of the architects who have helped shape the city. You can also check out more photos of the street on Instagram @adventurerich #ryomyongstreet.
If you are curious what the apartments look like inside, see the video below.
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