Peter Granser

Since 2005, Bolivian architect Freddy Mamani Silvestre has been transforming El Alto, Bolivia, with over sixty completed projects.

Hailing from the  Aymara people, an indigenous tribe residing in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America, the local architect earned his fame by building mixed-use homes for El Alto's upper class. Each home has a futuristic façade, and features a commercial ground floor, party hall, a couple stories of apartment buildings, and the owner's penthouse.

Sometimes called a cholet, a combination of "chalet" and "cholo," a racial epithet for Latin Americans with Indian blood, the homes incorporate motifs from Aymara weaving and ceramics, and the neon colors reflect the traditional Aymara dress. While Mamani's architecture honors the Andean temples, it is also inspired by sci-fi , particularly by the Transformer movies. 

To see Mamani's projects, visit 

The New Yorker

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