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Utzon and Tenix partner to help CSIRO telescope bid

(Tenix news release, 9 November 2006)

Renowned Danish architect Jan Utzon has teamed with Tenix and CSIRO to help Australia win a bid to build the world's largest radio telescope.

Australia and South Africa are the remaining contenders in the site selection for the giant radio telescope, known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

In Sydney today, Tenix, a partner in the CSIRO-led Australian SKA consortium, unveiled Utzon's schematic design proposal for the SKA visitor centre. The proposed Australian SKA site is located near Geraldton in Western Australia.

According to Tenix Chief Technology Officer, Dr Paul Scully-Power, securing the SKA will maintain Australia as a major player in world astronomy.

"The SKA will be a global technology landmark. Sydney Opera House, a global cultural landmark, was designed by Jan Utzon's father, so it is fitting that the public face of the SKA should also be an Utzon building," Dr Scully-Power said.

Dr Carole Jackson, from CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility, said the Australian bidding team was extremely pleased with Utzon's design and impressed by its uniquely Australian approach and its connection to the site area.

"Mr Utzon's design for the site entrance is both architecturally and artistically brilliant. The design, which features rock boulders at the entrance to represent the world's oldest rocks, found in the nearby Jack Hills, links the site's antiquity and the infinity of space," Dr Jackson said.

If Australia is chosen as the site for the project, it is expected to bring an A$2 billion injection to the economy.

Further information: Liam Bathgate, Tenix 0417-268-210

Added by Helen Sim on 2006-11-09

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