MinaLima, the consultancy behind the Harry Potter films’ graphic and prop design, is set to open a shop and exhibition space that aims to encourage theatre-goers to experience designs from the film.
House of MinaLima, based in London’s Soho, will take over four floors showcasing the consultancy’s work for Harry Potter, other self-initiated work and a product range.
Coincides with new Harry Potter play
Based in a townhouse, the space has been designed by the consultancy itself, and will feature a shop on the ground floor, other works by MinaLima on the first floor, such as its Illustrated Collective Nouns and illustrations from Disney books, and graphic art of the Harry Potter films on the second and third floors.
The opening of the exhibition space coincides with the launch of the new Harry Potter two-part play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, taking place at the Palace Theatre, just a few doors down from the exhibition.
Miraphora Mina, co-founder at MinaLima, says the aim was to tie in with the opening of the play, which is set in two parts with a two-and-a-half-hour interval in between. She says being so close by will “give people the chance to come and see the exhibition” between shows, and witness a “culmination of [MinaLima’s] film and graphic design experience”.
“We wanted it to feel like it’s in a house”
She says the exhibition design aims to “move on from the conventional gallery environment” by replicating a homely aesthetic with especially-sourced props.
“We’ve been trying to source furniture and lighting that will feel as though it might have been there for some time,” says Mina. “We were led by the fact that we wanted it to feel like it’s in a house.”
The exhibition design will “immerse” visitors
She adds that each room has a different colour to reflect the content within it, and certain rooms are themed to reflect different scenes in the Harry Potter films. For example, The Library will feature book covers from the films alongside props, while the Wizarding Press Room will feature all the lettering press from the films such as newspapers and posters, alongside a prop printing press machine.
“We want visitors to be very immersed in the building,” says Mina. “The building is part of the exhibit as well.”
MinaLima previously designed another temporary exhibition space to showcase its Harry Potter work, which saw special design features and installations such as flying letters and suspended “floating” candles, replicating well-known scenes from the films. Mina promises these elements will be returning for the new exhibition.
First steps into retail
The venture will also be the consultancy’s first steps into a retail space, where products such as limited edition prints, stationery, mugs, t-shirts and posters will be sold, all designed by the consultancy itself. “We’re hoping this will be a slightly more tempting proposition for visitors,” says Mina. “We’ve been toying with the idea of retail, and this seemed like an appropriate way to do it. We’re designers and want that to be at the core of it.”
House of MinaLima will run 3 June 2016 – 4 February 2017 at 26 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 5DE. Entry is free.