International Spy Museum

Washington, DC

Project Size: 20,000 square feet
Designers: Gallagher and Associates

From safe house to permanent headquarters

A move to a new dedicated building at 700 L’Enfant Plaza from Penn Quarter where The International Spy Museum had been leasing took several years looking for a permanent place to call home. The $162 million museum project was under construction for nearly two years more. The The Spy Museum’s exhibit space practically doubles from 19,000 to 32,000 square feet, and includes a 145-seat theater, rooftop terrace and top-floor event space and will entertain an additional 100,000 visitors annually. The museum hosts the foremost collection of spy artifacts in the world  including engrossing items, from micro-documents, to poison needles, to the actual Aston Martin DB5 used in the iconic Bond spy films.

Accepting the mission

When Gallagher and Associates took on the 13 million plus project, kubik maltbie had already helped to inform the project with design development insights, budget review and containment solutions to ensure a project that would maintain the design intent that created an immersive visitor experience to learn and experience this covert aspect of our global society.

kubik-maltbie’s scope of work included pre-construction, fabrication, design development, budget review, schedule management, prototyping, creation of custom showcases, graphic and photo production and extensive immersive and highly interactive exhibits. Notably among the exhibits is a lock picking and lie detector interactive enabling visitors to experience many of the “tricks of the trade” in espionage.