La Paz is the third most populous city in Bolivia.  It perches at 3,650 m above sea level, making it the highest capital city in the world.  Sopocachi is a bohemian neighbourhood in La Paz and a concrete jungle.  We proposed a 30-storey mixed-used tower with terraces to introduce green space in the neighbourhood.   Our design intention was to incorporate environmental analysis in our workflow to develop parametric design of the façade maximising the use of daylight and natural ventilation.

Sopocachi Tower



La Paz is cool with moderate wind throughout the year but with distinguished seasons.  Summer is the rainy season and Winter is dry due to high sunlight radiation.


The north-facing façade provides the best opportunity for use of daylight in interior and collection of solar energy.



Wind analysis shows that people experience moderate wind nearby the tower throughout the year.   Thermal comfort is acceptable to pedestrians.


Massing exercise using Infrared to explore the impact of multiple towers.


Interior is organised according to daylight autonomy, whereas the office area will enjoy adequate daylight throughout the year.   The analysis also informs the need for shading devices.


Due to the high attitude and topography, most buildings are facing north in La Paz.  Our analysis confirms this local knowledge for maximizing the use of daylight and thermal comfort.   The use of solar energy should be encouraged as the north-facing side is receiving abundant radiation throughout the year.   People experience a high diurnal range of temperature and wind comfort in a winter day.  Urban greening should improve local pedestrian comfort.  However, during our exercise, we found that the climatic data does not full represent the actual climate in Sopocachi.  It is known in La Paz that one part of the city can feel very different from another because of attitude and aspect.   In our case, InfraRed, using machine learning algorithm to approximate the site conditions, can be more fruitful.

Environmental Analysis – Sopocachi Tower, La Paz // Bolivia is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in Advanced Computation for Architecture & Design in 2021/22 by:

Students: Rodrigo Alvarez & Alexander Tong  Faculty: Angelos Chronis, Aris Vartholomaios & Hager El-Sokaily