Cloak and dagger in New York as David Adjaye's spy museum prepares for public launch

An interactive museum dedicated to the art of spycraft, designed by the studio of David Adjaye, opens in New York tomorrow (16 February) – “empowering visitors to seek the truth, form their own opinions and question everything.”

Guests will enter the enigmatic world of code-breakers, spycatchers, hackers and undercover agents at SPYSCAPE, which has been developed in collaboration with investigative journalists, former directors of intelligence agencies and station chiefs.

Conceived as an “iconic destination that draws visitors into the secretive universe of espionage through a collection of world-class artefacts, dynamic storytelling and customised experience”, the three-level museum is located in a 60,000sq ft (5,500sq m) building in Midtown Manhattan, two blocks west of the Museum of Modern Art.

Visitors are guided into a 350sq ft (32sq m) multimedia briefing elevator – one of the largest in the world – that orients them to the experience before transporting them to the first exhibition level. Galleries are housed across seven bespoke pavilions – themed around encryption, deception, surveillance, hacking, cyber-warfare, special ops and intelligence.

SPYSCAPE
The Experience

Upon entry, visitors receive a unique identity band, which uses RFID technology to personalise their experience. They then enter the Briefing, a high-tech theatre which rises up through the building as it introduces the world of secret intelligence via an immersive film developed with the studio that creates VFX for films such as Avengers, Ex-Machina and Blade Runner 2049.

Their spy profiles are later analysed in Debrief, where they discover which of the 10 archetypal Spy Roles they are best suited to. This authentic profiling system was developed with a former Head of Training at British Intelligence and top industrial psychologists. The spy roles are: agent handler, cryptologist, hacker, intelligence analyst, intelligence operative, special ops officer, spycatcher, spymaster, surveillance officer and technical ops officer.

Key Experiential Elements:

• Encryption Challenge: Visitors will use ciphers to send and receive coded messages to and from agents behind enemy lines. These messages, and how quickly and accurately they’re sent, will determine the success of missions, which then play out as short animated stories based on real-life events.

• Deception Challenge: Visitors will learn to lie, and learn the art and science of spotting lies, in an interrogation room. A pulse monitor and facial and audio recognition software track heartbeat, facial expressions, and vocal cues as they try their hand at lying.

• Surveillance Challenge: Surrounded by a 360-degree projection of live and pre-recorded CCTV imagery, visitors wear special headsets fitted with microphones and use voice-recognition software as a surveillance officer takes them through authentic surveillance missions to test their powers of observation.

• Special Ops Challenge: Visitors will make split-second decisions, reach for illuminated targets, and negotiate a path through laser beams to reach the end of the tunnels while scoring against the clock. This challenge tests agility, strategy and reaction times in this thrilling twist on a laser maze.

Source: SPYSCAPE

As well as exhibitions on subjects like the agent who brought down the FBI’s most damaging traitor, and the teenager who hacked the CIA’s website, SPYSCAPE also features interactive experiential ‘Spy Challenges’, in which visitors can test their own spy skills, including lie detection in interrogation booths, observation in a 360-degree live surveillance mission, and agility in special ops laser tunnels. Question Stations test their spy attributes, such as risk-tolerance, brainpower, and personality.

To evoke the world of espionage through the design, architectural flourishes are inspired by the world’s largest spy organisations, and include the use of smoked glass, bespoke fibre cement, dark grey acoustic panelling, black linoleum, mirror polished steel and a dramatic vaulted LED light canopy.

According to Adjaye Associates’ design narrative, “spaces will continually shift the visitor's vantage point and prioritise the experiences of discovery and observation, using lighting, screens and transparencies between floors and partially obscured interstitial circulation spaces that open up into immersive, fully interactive multimedia environments.”

Audio design was done by composer and sound designer Nick Ryan and lighting design was helmed by Lighting Workshop.

The museum will also house a café, private event spaces, a ‘spy shop’ and a bookshop with over 1,000 rare and first edition espionage-related titles.

The attraction has been masterminded by private investment group Archimedia, which has previously invested in Aman Resorts, along with spy-themed television and film projects, such as acclaimed adaptations of John Le Carré’s The Night Manager and A Most Wanted Man.

SPYSCAPE  New York  Manhattan  David Adjaye  Adjaye Associates 
Related stories

Adjaye Associates collaborate with former spy chiefs to design New York museum dedicated to espionage

Work starts on Washington's Spy Museum, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

An interactive museum dedicated to the art of spycraft, designed by the studio of David Adjaye, opens in New York tomorrow (16 February) – “empowering visitors to seek the truth, form their own opinions and question everything.” Guests will enter the enigmatic world of code-breakers, spycatchers, hackers and undercover agents at SPYSCAPE, which has been developed in collaboration with investigative journalists, former directors of intelligence agencies and station chiefs. Conceived
CLD,VAT,HAM,ARC,DES
Guests will enter the enigmatic world of code-breakers, spycatchers, hackers and undercover agents at SPYSCAPE / Scott Frances for SPYSCAPE
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6806     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6806     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Dornbracht GmbH
Dornbracht is turning the bathroom into a LifeSpa: Dornbracht’s LifeSpa vision has taken the idea of health-oriented bathroom design to a new level.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Profile: John Rhodes
John Rhodes
"It’s about the celebration of people coming together. If you can manage that well, a venue can become very special"

HOK has been tasked with designing a truly flexible arena for Valencia. John Rhodes is up for the challenge

CLAD people: Kanye West
West announced the donation to the Roden Crater after a recent visit
"We will all live in Turrell spaces one day"

Musician Kanye West to help fund the still unfinished Roden Crater, designed by American artist James Turrell

MVVA are leading the design of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr Centennial Park
Van Valkenburgh studied landscape architecture and fine arts at Cornell University and the University of Illinois
"Building a park is the ultimate act of democracy"

The US landscape architect on why the Obamas are his kind of clients

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
CLAD people: Vincent Callebaut
"It’s about tracing the evolution of thermal practices"

Eco architect Vincent Callebaut has won a competition to redesign ancient thermal baths in the Savoyard town of Aix-les-Bains, France

Partners clockwise from bottom right: Alexandra Champalimaud, Ed Bakos, Winston Kong, John Kastl
Bakos joined Champalimaud in December 2012. He previously worked for the Rockwell Group
"Construction is one of the largest generators of landfill waste, so it is important to create spaces that transcend trends"

It’s time for a new approach to sustainability, argues Champalimaud’s managing director

features
"I like art that is against the mainstream, slightly off, with a twist"

UNStudio’s co-founder on the unexpected challenges of designing Australia’s tallest skyscraper

The design cuts decibel levels from the nearby highway in half
David Polzin is executive director of design at CannonDesign. He studied at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture
"We were able to create an ‘acoustic shadow’ cutting decibel levels nearly in half"

How to design the perfect community leisure centre 100 13th century pilgrimage The Vietnamese village being created using historic methods

The Volcano at Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark
Ole Barslund Nielsen founded Monstrum in 2003 with Christian Jensen. The two met when working in theatre scenography
"Failing and falling can be a good thing"

How his background in theatre set design inspired Ole Barslund Nielsen to create playgrounds with a difference

cladkit product news
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
cladkit product news
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
cladkit product news
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates