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Bennett Winch SC Holdall

The Ken Adam Archive by TASCHEN is available for pre-order

17 March, 2023

TASCHEN has revealed The Ken Adam Archive book, a comprehensive history of the famous production designer. Limited to 1,200 signed copies, the book can be pre-ordered at TASCHEN.

The Ken Adam Archive by TASCHEN, limited edition

Sir Ken Adam (1921 - 2016) is widely acknowledged as the world’s most influential production designer, famous for the grand set designs for the James Bond films. Adam was a Winner of two Academy Awards, two BAFTAs, and the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and knighted for distinguished services to film.

Originally conceived in collaboration with, and signed by, the late Sir Ken Adam in 2014, the book has been a work-in-progress for almost a decade, undergoing conceptual reformatting and expansion as new material has posthumously been discovered.

The book was originally conceived in collaboration with, and signed by, the late Sir Ken Adam in 2014
Photo (left): Ken Adam at his home desk, from the ‘Lines in Flow’ installation at the “Bigger than Life” exhibition, 2014.
© Boris Hars-Tschachotin, “THIS IS THE WAR ROOM” (2017). Film still by Andreas-Michael Velten

Now, seven years after Adam’s death, the legacy project, in cooperation with the Deutsche Kinemathek, is at last presented in this celebratory edition.

Ken Adam’s designs were indispensable to the look and feel of seven of the early James Bond films. In The Ken Adam Archive, his artworks are carefully complimented by a wealth of behind-the-scenes photographs, documents, and archival material on the films, courtesy of EON Productions.

Ken Adam contemplates his volcano set for You Only Live Twice at Pinewood during construction.
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE © 1967 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq LLC. All rights reserved

Adam was hired for the first James Bond film, Dr. No, in 1962 and in 1964 he designed the famous Pentagon war room set for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.

He continued with his innovative, semi-futuristic sets for further James Bond films such as Goldfinger (1964, the famous Fort Knox Interior), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Docking bay inside the supertanker Liparus, from The Spy Who Loved Me.
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME © 1977 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq LLC. All rights reserved

The supertanker set for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) was the largest sound stage in the world at the time it was built. Adam's last James Bond film was Moonraker (1979).

Not only did Adam craft the space stations, bunkers, and laboratories of 007’s villains, he was responsible for many of his memorable vehicles, as whimsical as they were menacing: from the amphibious Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me to Goldfinger’s gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5, the ultimate combination of futuristic weaponry and tongue-in-cheek wit.

The book also recalls, through a series of illuminating interviews between Adam and author Sir Christopher Frayling, the highs and lows of his close but tumultuous collaborations with Stanley Kubrick – including the design of the War Room in Dr. Strangelove – alongside many more standout moments from his career. Steven Spielberg called the War Room “the best set in the history of the movies”.

Design for the Space Station Walkway in Moonraker: ‘a series of cylinders bolted together like a mobile sculpture in an irregular form that rotates’.
MOONRAKER © 1979 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq LLC. All rights reserved

Accompanied by authoritative essays and introductions from Frayling, who is also Adam’s biographer, The Ken Adam Archive reflects upon the life and work of the German-British refugee and fighter pilot who would go on to realize a celebrated career in production design, spanning seven decades and over 50 films.

The Collector’s Edition of 1,200 numbered copiescomes with an with acrylic, engraved bookstand.

The Ken Adam Archive Collector's Edition of 1,200 numbered copies comes with an with acrylic, engraved bookstand.

The Ken Adam Archive
Edition of 1,200
Hardcover bound in iridescent bicolor fabric with tipped-in, four-phase lenticular, 36 x 36 cm (14.2 x 14.2 in.), 3.88 kg (8.54 lb), 360 pages, with acrylic, engraved bookstand.
Availability: June 2023

Pre-order at TASCHEN (£850 / $1,000)

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