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New Zealand to host da Vinci Machines

Press Release 16 November 2005

New Zealand to host da Vinci Machines Exhibition

Working models of Leonardo da Vinci’s designs will be on display in Auckland in an exhibition presented by Beca. The da Vinci Machines Exhibition, never seen outside Europe, opens at Auckland Museum on 18 November and will be on show until 5 March 2006. Over 50 models of da Vinci machines have been built and toured by the Italian artisan company Teknoart s.r.l.

The exhibition also features Leonardo’s famous codices along with pictures, sketches and notes for the machines. Leonardo’s futuristic mechanical designs formed the foundation for many inventions almost five centuries later, such as the ship's hull with watertight compartments to stop it from sinking.

"We are very proud to be associated with this exhibition,” says Gavin Cormack, Beca's executive chairman. “Leonardo da Vinci was not only a great painter, but also an engineer of the highest class. He continues to be an inspiration to all of us who recognise that our future depends on our innovation."


Also part of the exhibition are the Beca Lecture Series starting from 29 November, and the Beca Flying Machine Competition on 12 February. Beca’s Dale Turkington will join lateral thinker Dr Cris de Groot from Unitec to explore Leonardo’s perceived ability to access both sides of the brain. Dale will also chair a lecture by Auckland artist and author John Lyall examining Leonardo’s three-dimensional thinking ability. The Beca Flying Machine Competition aims to encourage people to create their own flying machines, with advice from Beca engineers.

Leonardo’s forward-thinking designs and Beca’s strive for innovative engineering work find a natural synergy. Beca’s endeavour to achieve innovation saw it win six Innovate NZ 2005 awards from ACENZ (Association of Consulting Engineers) earlier this year.


Beca’s association with the Auckland Museum dates back to the 1920s when Beca were the structural engineers for the original museum building.
Beca’s widely-recognised work in New Zealand now extends to international projects including:

- A road in Tanzania that would stretch from Auckland to Taupo
- A small city in Jakarta (Gandaria Main Street) with the total built area equivalent to 100 football fields. The city is relatively self-contained for its utility needs including water, backup power and LPG station.
-A shopping complex in Jakarta (Pacific Place) which will be equal to 20 large shopping centres in New Zealand.
- A tower in Macau (China) taller than Auckland’s Sky Tower (also designed by Beca)
- Engineer to one of the largest nickel producers in the world in Indonesia for the last 20 years (PT Inco)

ENDS

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