Sleek design for Museum of Bond Vehicles and Espionage in Illinois honours 007
Yesterday, Gensler unveiled its design for the Museum of Bond Vehicles and Espionage, which is slated to open in Momence, IL, in 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No. The 14,000 sq ft museum will house the exclusive collection of the Ian Fleming Foundation, including the world's largest collection of vehicles used in Bond films. A partnership between the Ian Fleming Foundation, the Kankakee County Museum and the City of Momence, this Gensler-designed museum will also feature cultural artifacts of espionage with exhibits exploring contemporary culture’s impact on the Bond films as well as Bond’s influence on popular culture.
With projections of 20,000 visitors per year, the museum hopes to revitalise Momence, Illinois, a historic ‘border town’ located 50 miles south of Chicago. Gensler Design Director Brian Vitale said: “The project itself is a bit of a double agent. At face value, we’ve designed a showcase for a world-class collection of James Bond vehicles and the culture that surrounds them. But its real mission is to become a powerful catalyst for the revitalisation of a once-vibrant city.”
With a limited budget, Gensler focused on a single bold design move to make a statement against a simple backdrop. The result is the ‘007’ window (named so because the window’s angled jamb resembles a ‘7’), located at the building’s prominent corner. The window does quadruple-duty, providing exhibit display space, signage, a day lit interior, and an iconic backdrop for photographs. The remainder of the building is clad in black horizontal corrugated metal. “It’s a mysterious silhouette that reveals very little of the museum’s content, much like James Bond himself,” said Vitale.