The Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage
Leah Ray in Museums, Urban Planning
Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage

We’re delighted to present the design for The Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage, which debuted to the public today on the WGN Morning News.

The Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage will display the exclusive collection of the Ian Fleming Foundation, including the world’s largest collection of vehicles used in James Bond films. Slated to open in 2012, the 50th anniversary of the first Bond movie, Dr. No, the Gensler-designed museum is a partnership between the Ian Fleming Foundation, the Kankakee County Museum, and the City of Momence, Illinois. In addition to showcasing an unparalleled collection of Bond vehicles, the museum will also feature cultural artifacts of espionage. Exhibits will explore contemporary culture’s impact on the Bond films and conversely, Bond’s influence on popular culture.

Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage

With projections of 20,000 visitors per year, the museum hopes to catalyze development in Momence, Illinois, a historic “border town” located 50 miles south of Chicago. Today, Momence’s architecturally significant Main Street has been abandoned. “The museum’s design acts as a deceptive double agent,” says Gensler Design Director Brian Vitale. “On the surface, the museum appears to showcase 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 revitalization of a once-vibrant city.” 

With a limited budget, the need for a single impactful element was critical. 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 provides the museum with exhibit display, signage and an iconic image that will provide a backdrop for thousands of tourist photographs every year. Vitale explains: “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.”

Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage

The Ian Fleming Foundation’s permanent collection includes the Lotus Submarine Car used in The Spy Who Loved Me, the Aston Martin Volante seen in The Living Daylights, Bond’s BMW R 1200 C Motorcycle used in Tomorrow Never Dies, and the Bomabardier Rev 800 MXZ Ski-Doos from Die Another Day, among many others.

Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage
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Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage

The Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage is not associated with either Eon Productions Ltd., Danjaq S.A., MGM/UA, Sony Pictures Entertainment, or Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. Neither these promotional materials nor products associated with them suggest or imply an endorsement by these entities or other parties not associated with this project.

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