Gensler Designs James Bond Museum

SPIES LIKE US. A rendering of the Museum of Bond Vehicles and Espionage
We’ve always thought that “Gensler” would be an excellent name for a James Bond villain—distinguished by a G-shaped cheek scar, he would wear a titanium pith helmet and brandish an uzi with chilling elegance—and so the architectural firm seems an inspired choice to design the Museum of Bond Vehicles and Espionage in Momence, Illinois (about 50 miles south of Chicago). A partnership among the Ian Fleming Foundation, the Kankakee County Museum, and the City of Momence, the new museum will house the foundation’s collection, which includes many of the vehicles used in Bond films, as well as what Gensler describes as “cultural artifacts of espionage, with exhibits exploring contemporary culture’s impact on the Bond films as well as Bond’s influence on popular culture.”
The firm recently unveiled its design for the 14,000-square-foot museum, slated to open in 2012, 50 years after the first Bond movie. Gensler made the most of a limited budget with a single bold design move: the “007” window (pictured above). Located at the building’s prominent corner, the multitasking window (Q would be so proud!) provides 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,” said Gensler design director Brian Vitale, “much like James Bond himself.”