You only Live Twice (GB, US 1967, Lewis Gilbert)

“Ken Adam’s Hollowed Out Volcano – The Pantheon Of Film Architecture” Limited Master Studies Booklet (145 x 145mm / 80 Pages) Edition Of 007 Copies. This Booklet Is Number 006 (Special Thanks To Roland Hasler)

The Swiss Author Roland Hasler Finished His Master Studies In Architecture At The ETH Zurich In 2016. Beforehand He Wrote This Academic Paper, Which Combined His Profession With His Passion. He Was Assisted By Marcel Bächtiger, Who Wrote On Different Occasions About Ken Adam’s Works And Was Also Part Of The 2014 Exhibition Bigger Than Life At The Deutsche Kinemathek To Inaugurate The Ken Adam Archive. The “Wahlfacharbeit” Was Part Of The Elective Course “Film & Architektur” By The Professorship Gigon/Guyer. The Paper Was Handed In On Ken Adam’s 95th Birthday. There Are Only Seven Copies Existing. One Copy Was Sent Personally To Ken Adam, Just A Few Weeks Before The Former Production Designer Sadly Passed Away

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The Hollowed Out Volcano From “You Only Life Twice” Is One Of The Most Recognisable Movie Sets In History. But How Was This Masterpiece made? How Did Legendary Production Designer Sir Ken Adam Came Up With The Idea And What Was He Influenced By? This Paper Not Only Gives An In-Depth Insight Into Film History, But Also Names The Impact This Set Had On Our Cinema And Pop Culture. Find The Complete “Ken Adam’s Ausgehöhlter Vulkan – Das Pantheon Der Filmarchitektur” Original Master Study In German Here

Introduction – The Explanation Of A Genius
The First Chapter Gives A Short Introduction To The Man Who Designed It All – Ken Adam. Born In Berlin As Klaus Hugo Adam He Flew From Nazi-Germany To London. After A Short Career In Architecture He Found His Way To The Movies After The War. Quickly He Became A Renowned Production Designer And Got Hired To Design The James Bond Films. Here He Had The Opportunity To Create His Own Reality And Establish His Extraordinary Design For Evil Masterminds. The Paper Is An Attempt In Understanding The Master, In Knowledge That A Whole Picture Is Impossible To Create. Therefore The Focus Was Set To The Vast Volcano Set. It Was Of This Work Ken Adam Himself Declared: «I No Longer Considered This To Be Treated Like A Film Set – This Was Architecture»

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History – How Do You Build A Volcano?
After The Huge Success Of The First Four Films The Producers Of The James Bond Series Had The Difficult Task To Top All Expectations And Deliver Even More Spectacle. They Began Preproduction Of “You Only Live Twice” In February 1966 With Location Scouting In Japan. But The Crew Couldn’t Find The Castle At The Seashore Fleming Wrote About In His Novel. Luckily What They Did Find Was A Landscape Full Of Volcanoes And The Idea Of The Secret Base Underneath A Volcanic Lake Was Born. Cubby Broccoli Offered One Million Dollar To Build The Set, But Ken Adam Had No Idea How To Do It. Nevertheless He Agreed And Then His Worries Started. Just Three Months After The Japan Trip The Construction At Pinewood Studios Began. Up To That Point Adam And His Team Had Completed 379 Drawings And Built Three Models, In The Scale Of ⅟16″, ⅛″ And ¼″. The Set Was Completed On November 1st, Although No Company Was Really Able To Calculate The Stress Of The Construction. The Technical Challenges Were Not Only The Size (Too Big For Any Sound Stage), But Also The Modifications With A Mobile Helicopter Pad, Real Monorail And A 70-Foot Diameter Sliding Fake Lake At An Angle At The Top. The Structure Had A Dimension Of Roughly 400 Feet In Diameter And 120 Feet High And Was Made Of 700 Tons Of Steel, 200 Tons Gypsum, 200 Miles Pipes And 300’000 m2 Canvas. In The End Director Of Photography Freddie Young Had The Task To Light This Huge Set. He Did So By Literally Confiscating All Lights Available At Pinewood Studios. The Shooting Inside The Rocket Base Took Place From October 31st To December 23rd 1966. Although Only Four Weeks Were Planed, They Used Almost Eight Because Ernst Stavro Blofeld Was Recast

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The Movie – 30 Minutes On Celluloid
This Chapter Analyses The Movie Scenes Featuring The Volcano And Lists The Architectural Elements, Which Play An Important Part In The Story Telling. Through The Movie We Keep Learning The Real Dimensions Of The Rocket Complex With The Commando Centre, Blofeld’s Apartment And The Prison Wing. The Viewer Is Not Sure, Whether There Are Any More Rooms Or Not – The Underground Lair Could Be Infinite. Technology Is Heavily Presented, Not Only By All Vehicles, But Also By The Commando Centre And Its Machinery, Which Stands For The Control Of The World. Another Theme Is The Nature, Which Goes Hand In Hand With Modern Architecture. Nature Is Used As Hideout And Deadly Weapon. James Bond Sets In General Feature Often Hidden Entrances And Trap Doors. This Oeuvre Makes No Exception And Can Even Be Seen As A Climax Of This Development

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Context Analysis – The Volcano As A Building Of Its Day
Despite Being A Genius, Ken Adam Had Some Precedents While Creating This Volcano Lair. The Analysis Begins With A Review Of Some Hidden Underground Bases In Film History And Continues To Compare The Monumental Structure With Boullée’s Cénotaphe And The Roman Pantheon. The Similarities To Those Two Works Are Seen As The Most Significant Inspirations To The Formation Of The Volcano. Further Influences Can Be Seen In The Japanese Metabolism. Also The Fascination Of Technology And Combination With Nature Are Discussed, While The Overlay Of Old And New Is Compared To Architects Like Le Corbusier. The Minimalist Style And The Concrete Construction Is Eventually An Indication To Name This Masterpiece As A Work Of Brutalism, Which Was Very Much Contemporary In The 60’s Japan

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Effect Analysis – The Volcano Is Being Referred to
The Impact Of This Vast Set Was Huge. It’s No Surprise That It Did Feature On All Possible Posters And Merchandising Items. Even In The Digital Age The Hollowed Out Volcano Is Being Copied To Videogame Levels. Other Films Pay Homage To The Volcano Rocket Base, Like The Series “Moonraker” And “Spectre” Or Parodies Like “Austin Powers” And “The Simpsons”. Especially The Reality Somehow Seems To Acknowledge The Genius Of This Lair And Try To Use Hills As Secret Rocket Bases Or Get Inspired By The “Bird One” Landing Mechanism. A Movie Set Inspires At Least Sometimes Even Architecture. Offices Like Oscar Niemeyer Or Renzo Piano Had Been Building Volcanoes. And Sometimes Architects State Specifically That Ken Adam Was An Inspiration, Most Famously For An Underground Datacentre In Sweden Or The works Of Sir Norman Foster

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Conclusion – The Pantheon Of Film Architecture
This Ken Adam Set Is A Masterpiece, Because Of Its Unique Idea, The Design And The Cultural Impact. As A First In The Series The Set Piece Was A Major Plot Element. The Result Of His Size, Complexity And Originality Makes It A Contribution To Architecture. The Design Is A Child Of Its Day And Reflects The Architecture Of 60’s Japan With The Brutalist Style. The Comparison With The Pantheon Is Not Only Of Formalistic Nature, But Also Of The Symbolical Meaning And The Cultural Status. With This Iconic Set Ken Adam Created Therefore A Blueprint For Any Villain Lair

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