New Andean: a new indigenous architecture / Elisabetta Andreoli / The Architectural Review / 2015

New Andean: a new indigenous architecture / Elisabetta Andreoli / The Architectural Review / 2015


Footnotes

The Party Hall buildings are built using basic modern techniques and materials: reinforced-concrete structures infilled with brick, pre-moulded beams for large spans, industrially produced metal window frames for the glass facades. The artisanal components of the decoration such as the ceiling roses for the chandeliers and the reliefs on the columns are made in situ by Mamani’s trained teams, using wire frames and abundant quantities of plaster and polystyrene: ‘They are decided on the spot. We make the mould and fill in with polystyrene. Everything is done by hand.’

The Andean fondness for parties has to be understood within the Aymara tradition of support and reciprocity. In El Alto’s informal economy with relatively little banking infrastructure, locals rely on their own indigenous traditions such as the pasanaco, a rotating credit system, to raise the capital necessary to start a business. With the pasanaco, a group of individuals pool financial resources to fund each community member’s business venture in turn. Similarly, ayni, as a verb, commands members of the community to help each other for private purposes such as construction and agricultural tasks. As a noun, the law of ayni states that everything in the world is connected: humans, animals and natural elements including mountains, river and soil. Both pasanaco and ayni are still very much alive in El Alto, and many of the parties are hosted by rich entrepreneurs to thank the community for their financial help in establishing their business successfully. ➡︎


Sources

◼︎ Party Halls in El Alto, Bolivia by Freddy Mamani Silvestre /  Elisabetta Andreoli / The Architectural Review / 2015


Hambre / Gepe feat. Wendy Sulca / Ian Pons Jewell / 2015

Hambre / Gepe feat. Wendy Sulca / Ian Pons Jewell / 2015

Cholets: los extravagantes edificios de lujo de la burguesía aimara / Univision Noticias / 2016

Cholets: los extravagantes edificios de lujo de la burguesía aimara / Univision Noticias / 2016