Originally the Imperial Institute, the body was first established in 1887, following the Colonial and Indian Exchibition of 1886.
The II was located in a bulding in Exhibtion Road, South Kensington from 1893.
The Commonwealth Institute Act of 1958 changed the name of the institute and its purposes from education to education.
In 1962 the Institute moved to a distinctive new building on Kensington High Street. It was closed in 2002, with exhibits being variously returned to member countries and to the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol.
The building will be taken over by the Design Museum.
The Wikipedia article is at