La Paz, the historic de-facto capital of Bolivia, is widely renowned for its incredible setting, colonial architecture, and cultural buildings. El Alto, on the other hand, is not. It was, in fact, La Paz's rather dismal satellite city, all low rise brick and commuting. Yet El Alto has become the centre of an entirely new, independently evolved architectural style that is rapidly catching on across South America.
Not just a form of vernacular architecture, this new style - which has come to be called New Andean, among other names - has become a fully articulated type, adaptable and flexible yet totally distinctive, and one which owes almost nothing to western styles or convention. Instead, the innovative mix of commercial units, event areas and residential space, and the local textile-inspired flamboyant decoration, grew entirely out of local culture and needs, something explored in the video above by The Architectural Review, which comes alongside their full study of this emerging style.