Designing 007

The name's BondÖ James Bond. Anyone who has uttered those immortal words whilst posing in the mirror brandishing their menacing finger gun and thinking how cool they look, will probably be pretty excited to get themselves along to the Barbican in London over the next few months to see the definitive James Bond exhibition.

To Celebrate 50 years of the most famous, and quite frankly, suave movie franchise in the world the exhibition entitled Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style visitors will be treated to a multi-sensory experience which will allow them to explore the behind the scenes making of the films from character creation, the costumes many of which were designed by famous names like Versace, Oscar de la Renta and Armani to name but a few, the suave cars and of course the famous spy gadgets used by bond and his many Nemesis's.

Perhaps the most interesting part after you have got past all the toys for grown up boys will be the iconic set designs many of which are down to the vision of Sir Ken Adam who made his name with his semi-futuristic sets which featured in the films until 1979, Moonraker being the last Bond film he worked on.

Having originally trained as an architect at the Bartlett School of Architecture, he first entered the movie world as a draughtsman in 1948, in the mid 50ís he went to Hollywood where he worked uncredited on epics such as Ben Hur before being approached to do his first Bond movie, Dr No in 1962. The rest as they say is movie history.

Even as a student, despite being educated by the architecture school more in the art of Lutyens than anyone, Adam was already rejecting that in favour of more modernist designs such as Lubetkin's High Point. When given the cash by James Bond production company EON to actually follow his own ideas through, Adam was finally set free to indulge.

Amongst Adam's most impressive sets is the volcano hideout of Blofeld that was used in You Only Live Twice. 50 metres tall it contained a working monorail, and was large enough to fly a helicopter in. The most influential however was arguably the lair for Dr No.

Drawing on the painted lights and shadows that were used in The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, Adam took this expressionist edge and added a high-tech sixties bent to it. The design was hugely influential, and soon found its mark was made on the headquarters of corporate clients who had money to burn.

These days the influence remains, with the word Bondesque used to describe a certain style of architecture that belongs in a Bond movie, the sort that Ken Adam would have dreamed up.

Once you have relived your dreams of being the ultimate manís man, you can stop for a quick sip of the bond life at the Martini Bar that will be serving unsurprisingly a selection of Bond-themed cocktails which come either shaken or stirred.

The exhibition runs from 6th July 2012 - 5th September 2012 and is open from 11am to 8pm with the last admission 90 minutes before closing. Advanced booking is recommended as a timed admission policy is being run and a standard ticket will cost a rather reasonable £12.

Details of how to book can be found at