‘billboard house’ by julio gomez trevilla, polanco, mexico city
‘billboard house’ is a small dwelling annexed to one of the large urban canvases ubiquitous in densely populated mexico city. the campaign by scribe,
underwritten by a consortium of ad agencies and marketing firms, recently hosted artist cecilia beaven for ten days while she drew the bold and
whimsical requests of twitter followers. the prefabricated home served as her living quarters while she painted the imaginary creatures,
absurd visions and fantastic dreams populating the minds of people across the city.
the artist speaks about her 10 day experience of living in her work. video in spanish only.
video courtesy of scribe
view of the roof deck
image © julio gomez trevilla
image © julio gomez trevilla
on the corner of one of the most active and upscale streets in mexico city stood an oddly blank billboard backed by a boxy protrusion.
often referred to as the ‘5th avenue’ of distrito federal, avenue masaryk was to house the unified characters of some of the 20 million
city dweller’s ideas. the mural began with a red bird that quickly developed into a surrealistic sky, with fantastic creatures borne of
tweets sent to local artist cecilia beaven. the in-process mural became a harbor of the country’s collective imagination, while every morning
the artist would wake up in her prefabricated home and decide which tweets would come to fruition on the monumental 9 meter by
4.5 meter urban canvas. groups of people gathered around the billboard to watch the fantastic creatures and scenes materialize.
celebrities, comedians and even musicians joined the collaboration.
when she wasn’t working, the illustrator-turned-muralist resided in a corrugated plastic and steel frame home that used the
billboard itself as the primary structural wall. designed by local architect julio gomez trevilla, the modest dwelling used lightweight
modules and industrial materials to weave seamlessly with the architectonic makeup of the city center. the billboard itself was fitted
with an ample walkway so as to make the platform workspace as comfortable as possible. for thermal control, a slatted wooden roof was
offset from the primary orthogonal form so as to provide shade and an pleasant upper deck. a retractable bed and wheeled furniture
optimized flexibility and movement, while almost all spaces served a dual purpose. a small tower contained the bathroom which doubled
as a shower, while the closet became a dresser. above the small desk and workspace was a horizontal window that could open to the
billboard front thereby allowing the artist to afford views of her living space through her painting. of living in her work, the artist said:
they were 10 amazing days that I’ll never forget. If you ever have the opportunity to live in a billboard, take it.
project: billboard house
client: scribe méxico
design : julio gómez trevilla
site : alejandro dumas 123, polanco, df.
date: febrero- marzo 2013