Currently based in Kings Cross, the House of Illustration is set to move to a restored New River Head building in Islington. It’s also changing its name to the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration.

When it opens in the autumn of 2022, it aims to be the world’s largest public arts space dedicated to illustration.

New River Head (c) Justin Piperger

The site is made up of four 18th and 19th-century industrial buildings that were instrumental in the history of London’s fresh drinking water supply. These historic buildings will be redeveloped by architecture practice Tim Ronalds Architects, making them accessible to the public for the first time ever.

The £8 million development is about a 10-minute walk from Angel tube station.

When it opens, the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration will be home to exhibition galleries, education studios, events spaces and a shop and cafe. It will also become a permanent home for the archive of the venue’s founder, Sir Quentin Blake, after whom it will be named.

Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, Prospective Foyer and Cafe (c) Tim Ronalds Architects

The House of Illustration currently leases space in a building at 2 Granary Square, Kings Cross which provides three galleries, a learning studio, administrative offices and support areas.

Closed for due to the pandemic, the House of Illustration now won’t be reopening as the organisation focuses on developing its new site, although work will continue offsite through a series of education and events programmes and touring exhibitions.


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