Posted in: The Engine in the Room by engineroom

Earlier this year, the London-based architecture critic, Oliver Wainwright, visited North Korea and gained exclusive access to some extraordinary interiors. The resulting photographic showcase is drenched in pre-Glasnost interior design schemes which feature kitsch kindergartens, pastel-coloured swimming pools and the “pre-school charm” of functional spaces.

Oliver Wainwright North Korea 1 Oliver Wainwright North Korea 3

The images captured are awash with vast colourful murals that act as a centrepiece to the symmetry observed in so many of the interiors. More often than not, these are coupled with profiles of the nation’s most senior representatives who are all sporting government-approved haircuts!

Oliver Wainwright North Korea 4

As Wainwright points out: “It’s a very theatrical device, which is why I think so many North Korean spaces feel like stage sets – they’re designed to evoke an emotional response, usually one of monumental power of the leader, compared to the insignificance of the masses.”

Wainwright’s images may soon be testament to the past given the North Korean government’s desire to modernize a country clearly stuck in the 20th Century.

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