Back to Hogwarts: the House of MinaLima has reopened at a new location in London. You would never think 157 Wardour Street was once a grey little office space that has been magically transformed into not only a new gallery for Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima’s stunning graphic designs used in the Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies but into a true flagship headquarters. We got to visit the gallery’s new home and catch up with the team behind the magic.
While the House of MinaLima’s former address was a charming four-story townhouse, the precious props and prints have far more space in the new location, which has two floors: the shop area on the ground floor and a basement gallery. Due to Soho’s protected status, the house is not fully accessible but so much more of it is than before. No ghosts have been detected yet but the building can boast of artists among its former inhabitants. Miraphora Mina, one half of the fantastic design duo, told us about the search for a new home:
We were looking for a building where we could have our studio and a shop in one building but the idea was to keep Greek Street because it was so successful and everyone loved it. Then lockdown happened and there was no way we could have continued to operate in the restricted spaces. We kind of had that thing where okay we either just shut everything down or we keep the momentum going and just try our best to kind of reinvent ourselves. We thought the best thing was to try and evolve rather than try and recreate inch by inch. My analogy is that Greek Street was the child and this is the grown-up, the lady.
The new site can host ten visitors, plus the staff, whereas the old address could have only had two. “Strangely, actually, it is the same square footage as Greek Street it’s just distributed differently,” Mina added, indicating the welcoming ground-floor area piled with magical items. “We had the four floors piled up like that, this feels bigger. It’s similar but I think it’s been really nice having the gallery as a defined space and the shop area as a defined space.”
“There are so many things that kind of develop organically,” Mina said, emphasizing the importance of having a conversation with the space she works with to overcome challenges. “There are so many things that were in the other shop that we so mixed and muddled up and now we have space to breathe and you can actually focus on things.” Could this mean the growing collection of owls on display?
“We’ve been collecting them for a while,” Mina admitted, indicating the top of the shelves where they are perched, but only half of them.
We were saying the other day, oh, no, they’re going to have to go all the way there, so we wondered whether we should invite people to bring an owl. Not that I’m asking for presents but our old and loyal customers, if they’re traveling from abroad or something, maybe they can bring us an owl and it will go up.
You heard it here first: donate and owl to MinaLima!
On top of the move, the team has been busy with lockdown projects, from postcards to the Blocketeering contest. “It was so nice to sit down and be creative and buy myself a new printer,” Mina said about the Hogwarts at Home print released last month. “It was like what can we do at home? You know, it was before we could even go back to our print studio.”
While we can’t reveal any spoilers, MinaLima’s illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, out next month, was a serendipitous coming home to where the story began. Home is the magic word as Mina adds: “There is no coincidence that we called it House of MinaLima at the beginning because we wanted it to feel like a home in all the different senses.” The gallery has truly reminded us that Hogwarts is our home.
House of MinaLima: see, shop, studio
Following four successful years and over one million visitors at the Greek Street gallery-shop, MinaLima has transformed an entire four-storey townhouse on 157 Wardour Street – also in the heart of Soho – into a brand new House of MinaLima.
As a flagship HQ for MinaLima founders Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, the building will be home to their immersive gallery and theatrical shop as well as MinaLima’s design studio – uniting the many facets of the design duo’s creativity under one roof.
As serendipity would have it 157 Wardour Street is an important historical landmark, and one imbued with creative enterprise. Now a celebrated creative quarter, over a hundred years ago Soho was known as the violin-making centre of the British Isles and Soho’s Wardour Street was its headquarters. A vivid reminder of this illustrious past is No. 157, the former shop of noted violin-maker Monsieur Georges Chanot III, and now home to MinaLima.
House of MinaLima will showcase Miraphora and Eduardo’s nineteen years of creative and award-winning collaboration in graphic design. The ground and lower-ground floors boast a spectacle of visual surprises: distinctive designs are on display and available to purchase, from MinaLima’s work on both the Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ film series to their interactive MinaLima Classics book series and illustrated Collective Nouns.
Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts
House of MinaLima features iconic graphic designs from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film series by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima – creators of the graphic universe of the films – reproduced as collectible art prints, accessories, stationery, homeware and books, all available for purchase.
As the designers of the Marauder’s Map, the Daily Prophet and every other graphic prop in the film series, Miraphora and Eduardo have an exceptional and passionate understanding of the Wizarding World films. Each piece of artwork was originally designed on the film set at Leavesden Film Studios. With the designs being an integral part of the storytelling, MinaLima’s attention to detail is paramount in their work. Much historical research and experimentation with techniques was employed, from finding the perfect ageing effects to scanning old typefaces and peculiar surfaces to enrich their visual reference library.
Authentic film props are on display, kindly on loan from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – the Making of Harry Potter, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the visual worlds of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts by examining details of the artworks as they were originally created for the films.
MinaLima Classics, a growing collection of children’s stories, which have been enjoyed by many generations and remain some of the most beloved tales in literature, are completely reimagined by MinaLima from the outside to the pages within.
In the distinctive MinaLima style, the opulent hardcovers of the deluxe editions are debossed and gold foiled, encasing the delightfully redrawn stories. In addition to the vivid illustrations on almost every page, interactive elements throughout each book create an immersive experience for the readers, allowing them to truly become part of literature’s most treasured characters. Each title – Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, The Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Secret Garden, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through The Looking-Glass, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and the upcoming The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – is complemented by a collection of limited edition art prints featuring artwork from the book, available exclusively at House of MinaLima and MinaLima.com.
From A Charm of Finches to A Murder of Crows, MinaLima’s illustrated Collective Noun prints celebrate one of the joyful eccentricities of the English language through an explosion of colour and humour. Visitors to House of MinaLima will discover much more than a gallery and shop; this enchanting building and the wonders within will offer a truly immersive experience. For any Harry Potter fan or graphic art enthusiast it’s a must on their destination wish list!
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima started working together in 2001 to imagine and create the graphic universe of the Harry Potter™ film series. Sharing a common artistic vision, they crafted the entire graphic style of all the Harry Potter movies.
Motivated by this creative collaboration, in 2009 they founded a graphic design studio, with the objective of creating distinctive and unconventional design and illustration for the entertainment and publishing industries. They named it MinaLima.
Miraphora and Eduardo have continued their involvement in the Wizarding World franchise with numerous design commissions, from theme park design to marketing and publishing. A new chapter of imagining this world came in 2015, designing the graphic props for the Fantastic Beasts™ film series.
In 2016 House of MinaLima opened its doors: a gallery and shop showcasing their treasury of graphic works. This immersive gallery offers a narrative environment for the graphic designs of the Wizarding World franchise, as well as MinaLima’s other artwork and publications. The experiential space celebrates the idiosyncrasies of their ideas and their passion for storytelling through pictures.
About Wizarding World
More than two decades ago, a young Harry Potter was whisked onto Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, and readers everywhere were swept along with him into a magical universe, created by J.K. Rowling. In the years since, the seven Harry Potter bestsellers have inspired eight blockbuster movies, an award-winning stage play, and, more recently, the start of the Fantastic Beasts five-film series. People of all ages have been enthralled by these extraordinary adventures, set within an expanding universe, inspired by the vision of J.K. Rowling. For today’s growing worldwide fan community, and for generations to come, the Wizarding World welcomes everyone to explore more of this magical universe — past, present and future. The Wizarding World also provides fans with an instant, trusted kite-mark of quality and authenticity.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Media Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world. WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, HBO, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s20)