Neo-Andean Architecture at the Highest Altitudes in the World. Highest City in the World Celebrates Its Indigenous Culture with Freddy Mamani’s Neo-Andean Architecture. City, El Alto isn’t just distinguished by its impressive altitude over 13,000 feet above sea level or its self-governing status. This Bolivian municipality also sets itself apart with the distinctive architecture of Freddy Mamani Silvestre.
The architect, who goes by Freddy Mamani professionally, got his start as a bricklayer and studied civil engineering in college. He completed his first building this style in 2005 and has since created dozens more designs that incorporate circular windows. Have sharply angled rooflines and vibrant pink, green, and orange facades.
Last fall, Mamani built a ballroom in Paris opening work in Cartier Foundation‘s exhibition on Latin-American art and architecture. You can get to know the architect in the Great Big Story video below. Photographer Peter Granser also published a book in 2016 about Mamani’s builds.
The Neo-Andean buildings is a multi-purpose mansion
The massive buildings seem to tower above their architectural neighbors, but they aren’t private mansions.
Many of Mamani’s constructions are multi-use structures. Filled with ground-floor rental stalls for vendors, a second floor party venue, and apartments on-top.
His buildings are nicknamed cholets, a portmaneau of chalet (a Swiss mountain house) and cholo (derogatory slang for indigenous person).
Mamani’s indigenous tribal chic of buildings use historical inspiration from the pre-Columbian era
Though draw to comparisons, Mamani clarifies that the shapes, colors, and patterns he uses are drawn from Bolivia’s pre-Columbian history.
Mamani shared in an interview with The Guardian, “My designs are a modern expression of our culture,” he adds.
“Since Evo Morales country’s first indigenous president became president, things have changed a lot. We feel proud of being Aymaran.”
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