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Opening on July 12, 007 Elements - a new exhibition in the Austrian Alps - offers an immersive experience into the world of Bond
Eduan R. Maggo
The Bond universe has captivated the world since Ian Fleming first introduced the character in 1953’s Casino Royale. Through twelve novels and two short story collections, the suave British Secret Service agent known for the catchphrase “The name’s Bond. James Bond” has taught generations of men what it means to be a man. And while some of what that entails is questionable by contemporary standards, the character has evolved under various other writers and through film adaptations (of which there have been 24 already) to create an image of the ideal man.
Daniel Craig will continue his on-again, off-again relationship with the franchise next year, starring in the imaginatively titled Bond 25, under director Danny Boyle. While we still don’t know much about the film (production only starts later this year), it’s safe to expect a very British affair.
But before then, Bond returns to Sölden, the Austrian Alpine location home to the Ice Q restaurant, which became the Hoffler Klinik, and the location for that spectacular snow chase sequence in 2015’s Spectre. This month sees the opening of 007 Elements here, a singular James Bond cinematic experience at the top of the Gaislachkogl Mountain.
The project draws inspiration from ’60s and ’70s Bond production designer Sir Ken Adam, while Bond art director Neal Callow (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre) designed and developed the concept for the installation.
Housed in a striking new structure by award-winning architect Johann Obermoser set at 3,040m above sea level, it’s is the highest museum of its kind. Taking an innovative and dynamic approach, 007 Elements is designed to take visitors on an emotive experience through a series of dramatic spaces.
Sölden was chosen as the home of 007 Elements after the Ice Q restaurant located there featured in Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, as the Hoffler Klinik, and several surrounding areas formed part of the snow chase sequence in the film. The emotive experience takes the visitor on a journey through a series of dramatic spaces.
“Our aim with 007 Elements is to tell the story of the making of 007 films in an ultra-modern, emotive and engaging way.”
“Our aim with 007 Elements is to tell the story of the making of 007 films in an ultra-modern, emotive and engaging way,” says Callow. “We want to use this incredible location to place our guests into Bond’s environment, and bring the stories to life in a unique and unforgettable way.”
According to a release, “The galleries within the building explore the legacy of the making of 007 movies with a special focus on Spectre. It is a purpose-built, next-generation experience that places visitors inside the world of 007 while also revealing how that world is created. Visitors are taken on a multi-sensory journey, with emotive soundscapes, dramatic programmed lighting and high-quality visual projections. The structure of the storytelling, the rhythm of the spaces within the building and the movement between light and shadow was designed to give visitors an experience closer to a movie than a traditional museum.”
Spectre is the eighth Bond film set in a snowscape. The film’s relationship with the mountaintop location began when production designer Dennis Gassner discovered Ice Q restaurant. “The Klinik was really the beginning of the adventure for me,” he says. “We went to the Alps in Switzerland and Austria and Italy. Luckily, we found Sölden in Austria, and a restaurant, the Ice Q, at the top of this ski lift, which became the foundation for what we needed.”
As we wait for Craig to cash his reported $25 million cheque for Bond 25, is it too early to restart the Idris Elba chatter? Maybe we should get him to this exhibition?