The picture attached shows the golf clubhouse in front of the auspicious Mt Kumgang (Diamond Mountain) range, around the time of opening in 2008.
Australian lighting design company The Flaming Beacon is saddened to hear that one of its projects, its first of several with noted South Korean Architect Ken Min, seems set to be bulldozed as part of a North Korean operation instigated at the personal command of Kim Jong Un.
According to the BBC, Kim has recently visited a former tourism enclave at Mt Kumgang in the South East corner of North Korea and declared that all the hotels in the enclave will be demolished. One of the hotels – a beautifully designed golf club located on what was at the time a new and very stylish golf course built some kilometres from the low-brow central zone of the tourism area – was a lighting design project of The Flaming Beacon.
The Flaming Beacon director Nathan Thompson says the trip he and his wife Jytte took to the site for the commissioning visit was indeed challenging and that the experience of crossing in and out of the North was eye-opening. “We never imagined paper-mache rocket launchers as features of a resort hotel arrival sequence but it just goes to show you have to stay open to cross-cultural design differences.”
Thompson, says they lost touch with the project soon after its opening around 2008 following the collapse of North/South cooperation, which was at the time fostering a thawing in the acrimonious cross-border relationship, after one of the hotel guests wandered off and was shot and killed by a North Korean soldier.
“We were horrified to hear of the guest’s death – such a terrible thing. And we subsequently heard the project had been commandeered by the North around 2012, but the team remained hopeful the hotel would eventually re-open somehow. It was an inspired building in an awesome location and had the possibility to play a part in the promotion of positive North South dialogue.” Thompson said.
“Of course it’s pretty hard to know what’s going on up there but if it’s true, it will be such a terrible waste and shame. From the news, unless this recent Trump/Kim pantomime may perversely save the project to allow a presidential round of golf at the foot of Mount Kumgang, it looks like its curtains for our Ananti Club in North Korea.”