I am standing on top of the Austrian Alps outside a new temple to all things 007. At least I think I am. From the outside, however, there is nothing to see. The mountain is just another white peak framing the bright blue sky. But, beneath the thick layers of snow lies a concealed concrete maze of connected rooms and tunnels - all paying homage to Ian Fleming’s Bond.
As I push through the hidden entrance, I find myself in a long, dark tunnel. Sam Smith’s ethereal voice sings, ‘For you I have to risk it all, because the writing’s on the wall,’ and at the end of the tunnel, Daniel Craig’s Bond is shown against a burning background.
This is 007 Elements, designed to look exactly like a Bond villain’s lair. It is built 3,048 metres above sea level - beneath the very spot where Spectre was filmed - at the top of one of Solden’s highest mountains. Just metres away lies the impressive futuristic glass restaurant Ice Q, which became the movie’s Hoffler Klinik, while the bottom of the mountain is home to the winding roads where Craig’s Bond chased after Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann.
“It’s an authentic James Bond location,” explains Neal Callow, creative director of both 007 Elements and all Craig’s Bond films. “We wanted people to feel like they’re walking through the world of James Bond while learning about how the films are made in a new and modern way. It’s more a cinematic installation than your archetypal museum.”