Museums of Movies: The Bond Vehicles + Espionage Museum
James Bond returns this time to show off the contents of his garage and maybe put a small Illnois town back on the map.
Museums have played many starring and supporting roles in films in the past. But a new museum is set to reverse this and become a venue for the display of vehicles and props from the James Bond movies. Scheduled to open in 2012 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first Bond movie, The Museum of Bond Vehicles + Espionage will display the collection of the Ian Fleming Foundation, including the world’s largest collection of vehicles used in James Bond films.
The museum won’t be located in the UK or Hollywood or even a favorite Bond locale like Monaco. Instead, the Ian Fleming Foundation is hoping to replicate the Bilbao-effect and chose the historic but neglected town of Momerce, Illnois which is located 50 miles south of Chicago. The Ian Fleming Foundation partnered with the City of Momence and the local Kankakee County Museum to move the project forward. Gensler architects were brought in to design the building. Gensler’s Design Director Brian Vitale revealed the real goal of the building’s mission.
The museum’s design acts as a deceptive double agent. 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.
The most prominent feature of the building is the “007” corner window. Facing a tight budget, the design team used Bond’s iconic agent designation as a signature architectural element.
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.
This is the first museum project of its kind for a film franchise that we can think of. We wonder if it might inspire the creation of a movie museum category as another extension to generating revenues from films.