Scheme in Washington DC is firm’s first US cultural work

A museum dedicated to the role of spies designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners opened in the US capital at the weekend.

The International Spy Museum in Washington, DC is the practice’s first cultural project in the US and will display a collection of spy artefacts from around the globe.

The 140,000 sq ft museum is designed to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of an area in the city known as L’Enfant Plaza. The museum had previously been housed in a 19th century building in the Penn Quarter district.

The seven-storey building tops out at 130 ft high and includes sections of the Berlin Wall among the 1,000 artefacts of spycraft on display.

Other items featured include code-breaking equipment, hidden cameras and the ice-climbing axe used in the of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Also on display is a suicide needle hidden in a silver dollar made for pilots in the U2 spy planes of the 1950s and 60s and a full-face latex mask used by US Navy Seals.

Work on the $162 million (£124m) museum completed earlier this year.

Client on the scheme is US philanthropist Milton Maltz.