- 香港大學專業進修學院: Architecture課程
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Architecture, Environment & HousingArchitecture

The Last Iron Curtain - Architecture in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with Architecture Tour to Pyongyang

New Course | Walk In Hong Kong Limited (License no.: 353919)
Jointly Organized by
Walk In Hong Kong Limited (License no.: 353919)
Course Code
Application Code
Study mode
Start Date
To be advised
1 month
Course Fee
(including HK$3,850 tour deposit to HKU SPACE, remaining fee to be collected by Walk In Hong Kong Limited (License No. 353919))

* HK$1,000 discount for HKU SPACE staff, and HKIA, AIA (HK), & RIBA members

Targeted for architects and design professionals, the lectures will provide the participants insights into the history and developments of DPRK's architecture, as well as, the socio-economical and historic factors behind the current status of architectural design and construction practices in DPRK. The lectures are followed with an architecture tour to DPRK. While in DPRK, the participants will have a chance to visit the State's architecture institute, gain insight into their construction process, and have an opportunity to see and/or visit a variety of new and old Communist buildings of great value that are not easily accessible to outsiders

With the fall of USSR in 1989, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains to be one of the few nations that inherited the practices and policies from the Soviet era. While much of the design and construction activities are controlled by the State, architects and planners are striving to modernize the architectural design of DPRK. The highly secluded country, has limited exchanges with other parts of the world, developed a unique and peculiar architectural aesthetic.

Architecture is an important means for showcasing states' ideologies and building a political and social environment to help regimes implement policies that are in line with socialism, if not communism. Large statues, grand open spaces, rectilinear buildings and realism are no strangers to those who had experienced the Soviet era or in China prior to the Open Reform. The importance of visiting DPRK and its capital lies in not only the country is the last remaining communist country in the world, but the fact that Pyongyang's total destruction during the Korean War provided an opportunity for DPRK architects to rebuild a city that can be entirely aligned with the Socialist blueprint, making the capital a perfect exhibition of Socialist architecture.


Course Objective

  • To understand the history, politics, economies, as well as international relations of contemporary DPRK.
  • To understand the socio-political factors affecting the architectural scene of present-day Pyongyang.
  • To study and compare practices of architecture between DPRK and other countries.
  • To appreciate the latest efforts and study the developments of DPRK’s architecture and monuments.

Pre-tour Lecture Schedule

Date     Time   Content
Lecture 1 7 - 9pm A Brief History of Architecture in Pyongyang.
Lecture 2 7 - 9pm Understanding North Korea: How North Korean Society Works and the Market Era.
Lecture 3 7 - 9pm Everyday Life in Pyong Yang - an Architectural Discourse and the pre-tour talk.


Tour Schedule

The tour is jointly organised by HKU SPACE and Walk In Hong Kong Limited (License No. 353919).

Date       Details

Day 1 

  • Flight from Hong Kong to Shenyang
  • Arrive at Shenyang and overnight stay at Vienna International Hotel, Shenyang (維也納國際酒店 - 瀋陽火車站店)
Day 2 
  • Train from Shenyang to Dandong (丹東市)

    Dandong is a Chinese city bordering Sinuiju (新義州), a special economic zone built by North Korea modeling on Hong Kong, where you will be able to locate a hidden Korean presence.
  • Train from Dandong to Pyongyang City (平壤市)

    The train journey is a great opportunity to meet with and talk to some local North Koreans. This will give you some ideas about the world's most isolated country beyond what is publicized in popular media.


  • Arrive in Pyongyang City, to be greeted by local guides
  • Visit to Kim Il Sung Square (金日成廣場)

    At the heart of the capital, this is where massive military parades commonly take place.
  • Walk along Changjon Street (長箭街)

    Nicknamed "Pyonghattan", this street houses some of Pyongyang’s most prominent structures, part of Kim Jong-un's plan for a “great golden age of construction".
  • Overnight stay at Yanggakdo Hotel (羊角島飯店)
Day 3
  • Visit to Mansudae Grand Monument (萬壽台紀念碑)

    Visit to the two giant statues of the country's two most important leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
  • Visit to Juche Tower (主體思想塔)

    The Juche Ideology is the cornerstone of party works and government operations; it is also immersed into every aspect of social and cultural life of North Koreans. Learn more about the country's governing idea and its survival logic.
  • Visit to Workers’ Party Foundation Monument (勞動黨創黨紀念碑)

    The monument is the symbol of Workers' Party: the hammer, brush and the sickle representing the workers, intellectuals and farmers of the country respectively.
  • Extended Ride on the Pyongyang Metro (平壤地鐵)

    This may sound mundane to Hong Kongers living in a city with one of the world's best public transport systems, but the Pyongyang Metro is a great opportunity to mingle and mix with the local urban dwellers! We will also have the rare chance to travel up to 6 stations, so that you can see the smaller, modest stations alongside the big ones.

0716-1     0716-2

  • Exclusive Tram Ride (獨特電車遊)

    Most of the trams were assembled in the former Czechoslovakia during Soviet times before 1991. This is a rare chance to try out this common transport tool of Pyongyang citizens.
  • Visit to Arch of Triumph (凱旋門)

    Modeled after the Arc de Triumph in Paris, but is slightly taller on purpose!
  • Visit to Grand People's Study House (人民大學習堂)

    This is one example of the extent that North Korea is developing access to a wide range of educational facilities for all its citizens. This place houses an extensive library of books in addition to classrooms, study halls and lecture theatres.

    We will get to interact with adult students who are from various segments of society in an English Class.
  • Mansudae Art Theatre

    Completed in 1976, the theatre consists of a lobby, a main theatre, a small theatre, stages and makeup rooms. It is arranged with modern equipment including stage control, machines and air conditioners.
  • Kaeson Amusement Park (凱旋遊樂場)

    Another spot that is not open for normal tourists but only frequented by local people. We will see firsthand how the Kim Jong Un administration establishes more entertainment facilitates for its people.
  • Overnight at Yanggakdo Hotel (羊角島飯店)

0716-3    0716-4

Day 4
  • Departure to Pyongsong City (平城市)

    You will be able to have a glimpse of this second tier city.
  • Visit to Kim Jong Suk No.1 Middle School (金正淑第一中學)

    Kim Jong Suk was North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung’s first wife, former leader Kim Jong-il’s mother, and current leader Kim Jong-un's grandmother. A number of institutions were named after her, including this one.

    The language exchange session will give you the opportunity to talk with local students within an informal environment.
  • Wisong (Satellite) Scientist Residential park

    This newly built district is for scientists working on satellites.

0717-1   0717-2

  • Private walk along the Future Scientist Street (未來科學家街)

    Walk along this newly built modern street for Pyongyang's professors and scientists.
  • Lunch in the Pizza Restaurant in Pyongyang

    To ‘taste’ the increasing influence of Westernization in the country.
  • Ryugyong Hotel (柳京飯店)

    Nearly 30 years after its construction began and an estimated $750 million spent, the Hotel remains empty and unused. It was supposed to be the world's biggest hotel showing casing North Korea’s power, yet today, it is essentially a glorified telecommunications antenna.
  • Reunification Ice Rink

    The cone-shaped structure share similarities with Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral in England.
  • Wolhyang Exhibition Hall (月香展示館)
  • Science-Tech Complex

    Designed in the shape of an atom with elliptical orbits, the center acts as an e-library for scientific work and papers produced by North Korea scientists.
  • Overnight at Yanggakdo Hotel (羊角島飯店)
Day 5
  • Ministry of Architecture and speak to DPRK architecture experts
  • Exchange session with Students from Paektusan Academy of Architecture (白頭山建築學院 )

    Discussion on recent and future architectural and urban development in Pyongyang and strategies in efficient spatial organization within the city. One of the top universities for the study of Architecture.
  • Work on an assigned task with North Korean students and come out with solutions together
  • Departure to Kaesong City (開城市)

    Located 8km north from the DMZ, Kaesong is a small city that changed hands between North and South Korea as a result of the Korean War.
  • Overnight at Minsok Folk Hotel in Kaesong City (開城民宿)

    Traditional Hanok houses inherited from Koryo Dynasty.

    *Erratic hot water supply at night.



Day 6
  • Kwangdok jong balcony and private walk around Kaesong Old Town Centre (開城中心城區)

    The walk along this simple and traditional city will give you a very different Korean image, one that is the exact opposite of the hustle and bustle in Pyongyang.
  • Visit to Demilitarized Zone/Panmunjom (三八線/板門店)

    The most fortified border on Earth that still sees the standoff between the two Koreas


  • Return to Pyongyang
  • Farewell with our Korean guides at a duck BBQ Restaurant
  • May Day Stadium
  • Visit to Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (祖國解放戰爭紀念館) and USS Pueblo

    All societies and cultures possess their own stories or narratives about their past and their present, and sometimes about their view of the future.

    At the museum, we will learn more about the North Korean version of the Korean War.
  • Dinner
  • Grab a drink at Taedong River Bar (大同江酒吧)

    A local bar in Pyongyang, where we will relax and have a chit chat with our friendly Korean guides there.
  • Overnight at Yanggakdo Hotel (羊角島飯店)
Day 7
  • Visit to Sino-Korea Friendship Tower (中朝友誼塔)

    A gift from the Chinese to the DPRK and our last stop; we will discuss the relationship between China and North Korea, a subject that traces back to the time of the Korean War and extends to the present day.
  • Travel to Dandong


  • Overnight at Great Wall Hotel (長城酒店) in Dandong, China (丹東市)
Day 8
  • Train from Dandong to Shenyang
  • Flight from Shenyang to Hong Kong

*Gather and Dismisses at Hong Kong.  

*Accommodations are single rooms (1 person) or twin rooms (2 persons).

*Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.​

**Due to the nature of visits in the DPRK, cancellation or reshuffle of itineraries might happen without prior notification; final itinerary will be subject to local circumstances and the decisions of our DPRK tour guides. We will however give our best endeavor to maintain the itinerary as planned, and find suitable alternatives when one is not applicable.

About the Lecturers

Mr. Charles Lai (黎雋維講師), HKU SPACE Part-time Lecturer

Ccharles_laiharles Lai is a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He graduated from the University of Hong Kong, Department of Architecture and Diploma School, AA School of Architecture in London. He is a blogger/columnist at _Standnews', and writes regularly on the architecture and built environment of Hong Kong. Charles is the founder of the studio, a o n a, and designed projects in China, Hong Kong, Nepal and Thailand.

Mr. Rubio Chan (陳成軍先生), Director and Co-founder of Eastern Vision

rubio_chanRubio Chan graduated from the University of Hong Kong and joined the Hong Kong Government to oversee the Hong Kong-ASEAN trade relation. Later he co-founded Eastern Vision with a view to bringing global insights to Hong Kong students and young professionals via curating tours to the world's most intriguing places. In particular, Rubio has visited the DPRK (aka North Korea) over 20 times and has been working closely with local institutions including Pyongyang Foreign Language University, Pyongyang Institute of Architecture, Pyongyang Morang Deaf Children Centre, Kim Jong Suk No.1 High School in Pyongsong etc. Having established a direct working channel with Pyongyang, Rubio has earned unprecedented access to North Korea's cities and places for Eastern Vision.

Application Code 1535-1635NW -
Time 7:00 - 9:00pm (Pre-tour Lectures)
Venue Island East Campus


Age 20 or above.

Course Fee
  • HK$18,850*
    (including HK$3,850 tour deposit to HKU SPACE, remaining fee to be collected by Walk In Hong Kong Limited (License No. 353919))

    * HK$1,000 discount for HKU SPACE staff, and HKIA, AIA (HK), & RIBA members

Application Form Download Application Form

Enrolment Method

HKU SPACE provides 24-hour online application and payment service for students to make enrolment for most open admission courses (courses enrolled on first come, first served basis) and selected award-bearing programmes via the Internet.  Applicants may settle the payment by using either PPS, VISA or Mastercard online.

  1. Complete the online application form

    Applicant may click the icon Apply Now on the top right hand corner of the programme/course webpage to make online application, and then follow the instructions to fill in the online application form.

    Some programmes/courses may be admitted by selection, and may require applicants to provide electronic copy of any required documents (e.g. proof of qualification) as indicated on the programme/course webpage.  Only file format in doc, docx, jpg and pdf are supported. 

  2. Make Online Payment

    Pay the programme/course fees by either using:

    PPS via Internet - You will need a PPS account and a PPS Internet password. For information on how to open a PPS account and how to set up a PPS Internet password, please visit http://www.ppshk.com.

    Credit Card Online Payment - Course fees can be paid by VISA or Mastercard including the “HKU SPACE Mastercard”.

To know more about online enrolment and payment, please refer to the user guide of Online Enrolment and Payment:


In Person / Mail

For first time enrolment

Applicants must provide all the required information on the application form and any additional information as required after the intial application assessment. Otherwise the School may not be able to process the admission/enrolment further.

  1. For first come, first served short courses, complete the Application for Enrolment Form SF26 and bring or post the completed form(s), together with the appropriate application/course fee(s) and any required supporting documents to any of the HKU SPACE enrolment centres.  
  2. Award-bearing and professional courses may require other information. Forms are usually available at the enrolment centres or on request from programme staff. Bring or post the completed form(s), together with the appropriate application/course fee(s) and any required supporting documents to any of the HKU SPACE enrolment centres.

For continuing enrolment in the same course

In person or by post
  1. The standard ‘Enrolment/Payment Slip’ is designed for students of award-bearing programmes or remaining programmes in a suite of programmes requiring continuing enrolment and it applies to most programmes.
  2. Students should complete the “Enrolment/Payment Slip” which will be made available by relevant programme staff and return the slip to any HKU SPACE enrolment centre or post it to the relevant programme staff with appropriate fee payment.

If you are in doubt about the procedures, please check the individual course details, or contact our programme staff or enrolment centres. 

Please note the followings for programme/course enrollment:

  1. To make an application online, you will need a computer with connection to the Internet and a web browser with JavaScript enabled. Internet Explorer 5.01 or above is recommended for the web browser.
  2. Applicants should not leave the online application idle for more than 10 minutes.  Otherwise, applicants must restart the application process.
  3. Only S-MILES and Early Bird Discount are supported in Online Applicants (Application).  To enjoy other types of discount, please visit one of our enrolment centres.
  4. During the online application process, asynchronous application and payment submission may occur.  Successful payment may not guarantee successful application.  In case of unsuccessful submission, our programme staff will contact you shortly.
  5. Applicants are reminded that they should only apply for the same programme/course once through counter or online application.
  6. For online enrolment, payment confirmation page would be displayed after payment has been made successfully.  In addition, a confirmation email would also be sent to your email account.  You are advised to keep your payment confirmation for future enquiries.
  7. Fees paid are not refundable except as statutorily provided or under very exceptional circumstances (e.g. course cancellation due to insufficient enrolment).
  8. If admission is by selection, the official receipt is not a guarantee that your application has been accepted.  We will inform you of the result as soon as possible after the closing date for application.  Unsuccessful applicants will be given a refund of programme/course fee if already paid.


The School provides a platform for online services for a selected range of products it offers. While every effort is made to ensure timeliness and accuracy of information contained in this website, such information and materials are provided "as is" without express or implied warranty of any kind. In particular, no warranty or assurance regarding non-infringement, security, accuracy, fitness for a purpose or freedom from computer viruses is given in connection with such information and materials.

The School (and its respective employees and subsidiaries) is not liable for any loss or damage in connection with any online payments made by you by reason of (i) any failure, delay, interruption, suspension or restriction of the transmission of any information or message from any payment gateways of the relevant banks and/or third party merchants for processing credit/debit/smart card or other payment facilitation mechanism; (ii) any negligence, mistake, error in or omission from any information or message transmitted from the said payment gateways; (iii) any breakdown, malfunction or failure of those gateways in effecting online payment service or (iv) anything arisen out of or in connection with the said payment gateways, including but not limited to unauthorised access to or alternation of the transmission of data or any unlawful act not permitted by the law.

Payment Method
1. Cash or EPS

Cash or EPS are accepted at any HKU SPACE Enrolment Centres.

2. Cheque or bank draft

Course fees can also be paid by crossed cheque or bank draft made payable to “HKU SPACE”. Please write the programme title(s)  and the applicant’s name on the back of the cheque. You may either:

  • in person by submitting the payment, completed form(s), and required supporting documents to any of our enrolment centres; or
  • by mailing the above documents to any of our enrolment centres, specifying “Course Application” on the envelope. 
3. VISA/MasterCard

Course applicants, who are holders of HKU SPACE Mastercard, can enjoy a 10-month interest-free instalment period for courses of HK$2,000 and over. For enquiries, please contact our enrolment centres.

4. Online payment

Online payment for short courses (first come, first served) and selected award-bearing programmes is available using PPS, VISA or Mastercard. Please refer to the Online Services page on the School website.


  1. For general and short courses, applicants may be required to pay the course fee in cash or by EPS, Visa or Mastercard if the course is to start shortly.
  2. Fees paid are not refundable except under very exceptional circumstances (e.g. course cancellation due to insufficient enrolment), subject to the School’s discretion. In exceptional cases where a refund is approved, fees paid by cash, EPS, cheque or online PPS will be reimbursed by a cheque; fees paid by credit card will be reimbursed to credit card account used for payment.
  3. In addition to the published fees, there may be additional costs associated with individual programmes. Please refer to the relevant course brochures or direct any enquiries to the relevant programme teams for details.
  4. Fees and places on courses are not transferrable. Once accepted onto a course, the student may not change to another course without approval from HKU SPACE. A processing fee of HK$120 will be levied on each approved transfer.
  5. HKU SPACE will not be responsible for any loss of payment, receipt, or personal information sent by mail.
  6. For additional copies of receipts, please submit a completed form, a sufficiently stamped and self-addressed envelope, and a crossed cheque for HK$30 per copy made payable to ‘HKU SPACE’ to any of our enrolment centres. Such copies will normally be issued at the end of a course.
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