International Spy Museum, Washington, DC, L’enfant Plaza

Washington DC CIA / FBI • Museums & Edu-tainment • 2007

Discover real-world events, real spies, and their stories shaping the world we know today. In the end, you’ll find all is not what it seems…


The International Spy Museum opened in Washington, DC, on July 19, 2002. It is the only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on an all-but-invisible profession that has shaped history and continues to have a significant impact on world events. The museum features the most extensive collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. Many of these objects are being seen by the public for the first time. These artifacts illuminate the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions and help bring to life the strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secretive espionage missions in world history. The International Spy Museum’s mission is to educate the public about espionage in an engaging way and provide a context that fosters an understanding of its essential role and impact on current and historical events. The museum focuses on human intelligence and reveals the role spies have played in world events throughout history. It is committed to the apolitical presentation of espionage history to provide visitors with nonbiased, accurate information.

A&ES Build Highlights

Danger lurks around every corner in the International Spy Museum. For six months, working onsite and in-house, A&ES collaborated with the museum’s directors to create the most thrilling and authentic spy adventure possible for all guests’ participatory involvement. Real spy advisors say the spy museum’s fabricated environment to be so precise that it’s surreal. The museum’s interactive exhibit Operation Spy A&ES created immerses visitors in the roles of covert agents. They participate in a one-hour Hollywood-style spy simulation where they move from area to area, challenged with puzzles, tasks, motion simulators, sound effects, and video messages. They work through a mission involving the interception of a secret arms deal involving a nuclear trigger.

A&ES Design and Fabrication

  • Themed bus depot with ticket window and snack bar, including scenic painting, signage, and authentic set dressing
  • Themed marketplace heavily themed with authentic textures, scenic painting, doors, props, and set dressing
  • Themed courtyard and tunnel with stamped concrete, stucco walls, and authentic wall painting, aging, and graffiti
  • Themed Minister’s Office with custom painted plaster walls and authentic tile flooring
  • Themed safe house with heavy timbers, custom banquette, themed doors, fireplace and custom painted plaster walls
  • Themed escape hallway with the authentic floor, wall, and scenic ceiling treatments
  • Themed signage
  • Onsite installation, custom cement sculpting, texturing, scenic and aging/distressing treatments
  • Coordination with curators and directors for authenticity

A&ES Services Details

  • Research and analysis of the client’s goals and requirements
  • Assessment of preliminary space plans
  • Provision of project management services, including preparation of project budgets and schedules
  • Preparation of construction documents, consisting of plans, details, and specifications
  • Preparation of construction documents to adhere to regional building and fire codes
  • Identify facility impacts between contractor and A&ES components
  • The organization, coordination, and planning
  • Pre-production and prototyping
  • SketchUp
  • Rhino

  • Thermoplastic fabrication
  • Shop drawings (CAD)
  • Water-jet metal shapes
  • CNC machining
  • Architectural millwork
  • Specialty automotive paint prepping and finishing
  • Fiberglass production (FRP)
  • 3-Dimensional design and fabrication
  • Complete design specification services
  • In-house fabrication
  • Turnkey installation

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Welcome to the International Spy Museum


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