Gensler Designs Bond Museum, James Bond Museum
by Nicholas Tamarin | Monday, July 12, 2010 | 8 Comments
Slated to open in 2012—the 50th anniversary year of the first James Bond movie, “Dr. No”—the museum will house the collection of the Ian Fleming Foundation, including the world’s largest stockpile of vehicles used in the 23 Bond films. Its cache includes the Lotus Submarine Car used in “The Spy Who Loved Me,” the Aston Martin Volante seen in “The Living Daylights,” the BMW R 1200 C Motorcycle used in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and the Bomabardier Rev 800 MXZ Ski-Doos from “Die Another Day.”
Located in Momence, a historic town 50 miles south of Chicago near the Indiana border that already can claim to a bit cinematic history as one of the Depression-era locales in the dark 2002 drama Road to Perdition, the 14,000-square-foot museum is testing Gensler’s considerable talents as it seeks to be both a paean to one of film’s most fantastic characters and part of a rural recovery tale.
Gensler, with a minimum of moneypenny due to a limited budget (the project is a partnership between the local non-profit Fleming foundation, the City of Momence and the Kankakee County Museum), decided to focus on single bold design move to make a statement against a simple backdrop. Dubbed the 007 window because of an angled jamb that resembles a 7, the feature piece will do quadruple-duty by providing exhibit display space, signage, a day lit interior, and an iconic backdrop for photographs. It will be located at the museum’s most prominent corner and set against the building’s remaining cladding of black horizontal corrugated metal. “It’s a mysterious silhouette that reveals very little of the museum’s content, much like James Bond himself,” says Gensler design director Brian Vitale.
With a projected 20,000 visitors per year, the museum hopes to help spur a revitalization of Momence. “The project itself is a bit of a double agent,” adds Vitale. “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 revitalization of a once-vibrant city.”
Images courtesy of Gensler.
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