Bolivian Architecture to Dream About

For some lovers of architecture, unique buildings speak for themselves. Like art, there is no wrong answer. But for the depth and history involved with these beauties, some of the back story simply must be shared.

On one photographer’s recent trip to El Alto, Bolivia, these extravagant and whimsical buildings caught his eye. And thanks to the great talent of traveler and photographer Yuri Segalerba, the inspiring designs from that trip can be seen here. But with buildings like these, one has to wonder — where did this come from? And the answer to that is the locals.

“…colorful nuevo andino (new andean) style buildings are called cholet, a mix of the words ‘chalet’ and ‘cholo’ — a dismissive racial epithet that is used in some latin american countries to identify the indigenous population.” – designboom

Inspired by indigenous folklore, these statement buildings have a very set structure. On the bottom floor, there is room for shops. Local merchants and business that offer saleable items can be found here. The second level of each contains space for large celebrations. These rooms can host large parties. On the third floor, you will find apartments for rent. And the top floor is where the building’s owner resides. No doubt a great ecosystem structure, each ‘chalet’ has its own character, colors, and personality.

Seeing structures like this is so richly inspiring and truly adds unique elements to the local area. By bringing alive the colors and history of the indigenous people in a modern way, these fascinating buildings are a welcome look at the past and the future of El Alto.

bolivian building

El Alto Building

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