Discover your inner James Bond in starchitect-designed spy museum

Visitors to Spyscape can hone their skills in "laser tunnels"
Visitors to Spyscape can hone their skills in "laser tunnels"(Credit: Scott Frances/Spyscape)


If you've ever considered yourself spy material then a recently-opened museum by Ghanian/British starchitect Sir David Adjaye's firm Adjaye Associates may be of interest. Named Spyscape, the Manhattan museum features installations and challenges which let you test your secret agent skills to see if you're up to the job.

Spyscape takes up 60,000 sq ft (5,574 sq m) of floorspace, spread over three stories in a high-rise in Midtown Manhattan, New York. Visitors step into a large multimedia elevator to watch a movie briefing before entering into the museum proper. With its exposed concrete and moody lighting, the interior design certainly looks the part, though the focus is definitely on the experience, not the architecture.

One prominent area of the museum tells stories of codebreakers, spy catchers and other tales of espionage, with artifacts and multimedia exhibits, while another offers challenges meant to test visitors' suitability for the job of spy. The creators clearly had a bit of fun with this and willing participants can clamber through "laser tunnels" which look like something from a Hollywood movie.

Visitors can also use ciphers to send and receive coded messages, as well as visit an "interrogation room" and try to successfully lie while hooked-up to a pulse monitor and audio recognition software that's meant to detect untruths.

Visitors to Spyscape will be tasked with using ciphers to send and receive coded messages

Another activity involves being asked a series of questions to measure risk-tolerance, intelligence and personality traits, from which visitors will be told what kind of spy they are suited to being. Examples include Agent Handler, Intelligence Operative, and Spymaster. These were developed with a former Head of Training at British Intelligence and psychologists.

Naturally there's also a bookstore packed with spy-themed fact and fiction, as well as a cafe and bar to get the obligatory Martini, shaken not stirred.

Spyscape is open now and admission will set you back US$39 for adults and $32 for children.

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