Partner Programme

17 — 18 Sept 2022

Architecture / Landscape, Graphic Design & Visual Communications

Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration

Rear of 28 Amwell Street




Visit the derelict industrial site that will become the national centre for illustration, with new installations by Laura Copsey & Philip Crewe and Sharpay Chenyuè Yuán. A one-time chance to see this unknown and atmospheric raw space and view plans for its restoration, designed by award-winning Tim Ronalds Architects.

We are restoring a 300-year-old former waterworks to create the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration. The official opening will be in 2024, but during London Design Festival you can visit the site's spectacular 18th and 19th century buildings. On show will be models and drawings from Tim Ronalds Architects, whose scheme for the site will create a new cultural destination for London. The site - New River Head - has a fascinating 400-year history as the hub of one of London's first major pieces of urban infrastructure. On your self-led visit, you can find out more about its architecture and influence on the city. Installations of experimental illustration will reveal New River Head's hidden stories. New River Folk by Laura Copsey & Philip Crewe is a fictional museum commemorating three real people connected to the site. With storied objects made by traditional craft and site-specific processes, Copsey & Crewe give insights into the lives of the working-class people and women who are little-seen in New River Head's 'official' histories. Sharpay Chenyuè Yuán’s Lost Springs, Coming Spring is an epic 25 metre-long drawing that overlays New River Head's abandoned buildings with scenes from its active past. She references major moments in the site's history and the labour of the men and women who worked there. Also on display will be prints and film made by the New River using cameraless photography.