Kim Jong-un selects architect for Pyongyang airport upgrade

News: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has revealed his architectural taste by inviting a Hong Kong firm to design a new airport for Pyongyang.

PLT Planning and Architecture has been asked to submit proposals for an upgrade to the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport in the North Korean capital, according to the South China Morning Post.

North Korean leader favours Hong Kong architect for airport redesigns
Main image and above: Kim Jong-un is said to have been impressed by PTA's proposal for Wonsan airport

"We were approached by a potential investor who is very close to the North Korean government," Otto Cheng Ping-lun of PLT Planning and Architecture told the Chinese newspaper.

The architect, whose firm specialises in large commercial and infrastructure projects, said the Korean leader saw his firm's drum-inspired designs for the conversion of an abandoned military airport in Wonsan, a city of North Korean's eastern coast.

"We were told that Kim [Jong-un] was happy with our design. However, Kim said the airport in the capital should not look worse than the one in the economic zone. That's why we were also asked to upgrade the airport in Pyongyang."

North Korean leader favours Hong Kong architect for airport redesigns
The Wonsan designs feature glazed facades with branching columns and central courtyards

Plans for the airport conversion in Wonsan, revealed in North Korea News last month, show two 3345 square-metre donut-shaped terminals - one international and one domestic.

PLT Planning and Architecture says the shape of the buildings was based on drums used in traditional Korean dances, with glazed facades criss-crossed by branching columns and courtyard gardens at their centres.

North Korean leader favours Hong Kong architect for airport redesigns
Wonsan proposal: first floor/departures

Each will be able to accommodate six planes and the designs also propose a 3500-metre civilian runway, a kilometre longer than the existing army airforce landing strip.

The $200m international airport is designed to cater for around a million passengers every year and will serve the Kangwon Province near Mount Kamgang Tourism Zone, where South Korean tourists have been able to visit since 2002.

North Korean leader favours Hong Kong architect for airport redesigns
Wonsan proposal: ground floor/arrivals

North Korea's notorious Ryugyong Hotel, nicknamed the Hotel of Doom, is due for completion this year - 24 years behind schedule.

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