Acclaimed British architect Sir David Adjaye’s much anticipated Spyscape museum has opened in New York City. Located on the first three levels of a building in Midtown Manhattan, occupying an area of 5,574m2, the attraction is part museum and part interactive centre, which showcases the fascinating world of espionage, exhibited in the form of stories, tools and characters. Visitors can also participate in challenges that range from surveillance skills to special ops training.
Adjaye’s firm developed Spyscape’s architectural, exhibition, and even fixture design, having worked closely with advisors like museum officials, former intelligence agency directors, and ex-hackers, creating a complex that provides an immersive experience in the mystery, intrigue and subterfuge of spying world.
The museum features seven spy-related themes, including encryption, surveillance, deception and hacking. Within each sub-topic, visitors are introduced to key characters related to the subjects, such as Virginia Hall, the one-legged spy who fled the Nazis over the Pyrenees. You can also explore vintage spy paraphernalia such as dominoes with tools hidden inside, spy plane cameras, and code-protecting Enigma Machines from WWII. If you need a stronger dose of thrill-seeking, you can even take part in a skill challenge such as lie detection and interrogation practice or duck and jump over laser beams.
Ambient design elements include dark fibre cement walls, grey acoustic panelling, stainless steel kiosks, and reflective black linoleum and polished concrete floors, embedded with LEDs. The museum also features event spaces, offices, a bookstore, and a spy gift shop.