Neo-Andean Architecture in The Highest City in the World

zakary · 9 days ago

Great to see some playfulness and whimsy in this architecture. So many architects today only pursue minimalist grey boxes in everything they do.

It might be garish when it’s this bold, but I really wish a little more of this kind of thinking would make its way to western buildings

clueless123 · 9 days ago

"His buildings are nicknamed cholets, a portmaneau of chalet (a Swiss mountain house) and cholo (derogatory slang for indigenous person)."

Just a small comment on the above paragraph from the article:

While in mexico the word "cholo" is used on a derogatory manner, in the andes (Peru and Bolivia) the word Cholo is used also as a pride term (like the N word can be used in the US) So people often claim "Cholo Power" for amazing endurance or Cholo Pink for a vivacious color on clothing or "100% Cholo" as a term of proud heritage.

In this particular case, I believe "Cholets" is used as a proud "originality" term.. but it certainly could be used as a demeaning term by the local equivalents of the infamous USA "Karen" type :)

barry-cotter · 9 days ago

> In this particular case, I believe "Cholets" is used as a proud "originality" term.. but it certainly could be used as a demeaning term by the local equivalents of the infamous USA "Karen" type :)

You might want to consider your use of gendered slurs.

rrdujay · 9 days ago

Am I right in understanding that you're referring to misgendering slurs?

barry-cotter · 9 days ago

No. Karen is a sexist, usually racist insult.

chrisco255 · 9 days ago

It's creative and original. I like the style and would love to see these buildings in person. And if it kicks off a movement in the city, all the better for it. There's too much cookie cutter construction in the world. This colorful style seems like it would be right at home next to St. Basil's cathedral.

edwcross · 9 days ago

The Cartier Foundation for contemporary art had an exhibit on "geometric art" from South America some time ago, and there remains a 7-minute video (in French only, but the automatically-translated subtitles seem fine) on Youtube about Freddy Mamani, the architect:

Very beautiful images from these buildings.

mark336 · 9 days ago

I am a Peruvian Native. I think his designs are ok. They seem to be based on the Caporales dancer costumes and the typical Native garmets. If they have to be based on the traditional the buildings should be based on traditional architecture from Incan other Peruvian/Bolivian civilizations. And maybe, if possible, something that can be imagined by extrapolating what Incan/Other peruvian civs architecture would look like if the culture had been allowed to survive for another 500 years.

rendall · 9 days ago

With respect, you seem to be saying he should not be designing the buildings he does, but he should rather design a set of buildings that you have clear ideas about. Honest thought: try sketching out your ideas. Send them to him, and ask for feedback, from him and others. It sounds like you have some vision!

Barrin92 · 9 days ago

a lot of the interiors remind me of Super Mario 64 for some reason, I think it's all the pillars. Kind of like it but I think actually having to spend an entire day in it would be pretty taxing

rocky1138 · 9 days ago

I can't decide whether I love it or hate it.

beloch · 9 days ago

Viewing this feels sort of like listening to speed metal for the first time. At first, it's jarring and off-putting, but you recognize that it's unique. You may decide you like it, but probably only after a fair bit of exposure.

I wouldn't dismiss this style as ugly until you've seen it enough to get over the initial shock. The real test is if you can walk by one of these buildings every day for a year and either appreciate it more each time or, alternatively, hate it more each day.

notahacker · 9 days ago

Context is everything in architecture. The rest of El Alto is unfinished, artless concrete and terracotta like the adjacent buildings in some of the photos, so it definitely lifts the neighbourhood, and the centre of nearby La Paz is dominated by concrete towers painted in similarly bright colours that just aren't as interesting. It's the graffiti of the architectural world, and sometimes the neighborhood feels more lively for it.

Not sure it would fit quite as easily in the historic centre of Sucre.

clueless123 · 9 days ago

I recently found out that "unfinished" structures in Peruvian emerging towns is by design, as you don't start paying property taxes on a building until is "finished" , leaving it on an eternal state of construction, avoids you those taxes..

robarr · 9 days ago

Your story may be apocryphal. I live in Peru and the unfinished aspect is rather the result of the extended period (we are talking years) it takes poor families to build their houses and also from the fact that the vertical growth of the house reflects the growth of the family: the children as they become adults build and live on the second floor, the grandchildren on the third etc. These houses are always getting upgrades as the families grow and round up money and therefore are never finished. You can always see the metal rods sticking out of the cement columns because they always plan to add another floor. (Housing in Peru is mostly built on cement and bricks, except the poorest people, because of earthquakes).

tdsamardzhiev · 9 days ago

Unlike the concrete-and-glass boxes, it makes you feel things, which is already a plus in my book.