Here we are just slightly past mid January. And in true January form the cold has set in and the snow, well the snow. So I thought, lets have fun! Let’s look at architecture with colour! I stumbled upon a pic of a building by Freddy Mamani on Pinterest. At first I was more amused and admittedly perhaps horrified at what seemed rather kitsch.
Then I started to search for more pictures and read about Mamani. A former bricklayer he eventually studied Civil Engineering at UBI if only to be taken more seriously. Mamani was born in Catavi, Bolivia in 1971. He is very conscious of developing a style that reflects the Bolivian culture, more so than any other Bolivian architect, the style has been given the name of Neo-andean. With the public he has acquired more accolades than established architects – and getting a very negative reaction in the process from his peers.
The facades of his buildings are called transformer, cholas, or cholets. Mamani had wanted to make “an architecture that spoke an Andean language since what is taught in universities has nothing to do with it”
“Some of the forms have been taken out of Andean art. Mamani uses the Andean cross, the diagonal juxtaposition of the planes, the duplicity, the repetition, the circle, which makes all this a stylization theme, that is its source.”
He has built several dance halls, the buildings follow a typical layout. The ground floor is commercial, the second is the dance hall, above the dance hall are apartments that can be leased and above that is the owners house. The owners may be portion similar in colour and may well be quite different in style, shape, and size.
And if you enjoyed our visit with Manami, perhaps you’ll enjoy this documentary.