Mr. Laurie Virr, Architect

17 Meredith Circuit

Kambah, A.C.T. 2902, Australia

(02) 6231 2480




From 1950 thru 1961 he was employed, and gained formal qualifications, in Civil Engineering.    Works with which he was associated included bridges, water storage reservoirs, major storm water drainage works, high rise buildings and turbine installations.


From 1962 thru 1966 he studied Architecture, graduating from the University of Melbourne with Honors in Design.   This time included a period, 1963-64, in the studio of Malcolm Wells, Architect, then domiciled in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States of America.


In January 1967 he established his own practice at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, where he has remained since that date.   His practice has been based, by choice, on commissions  for custom residences, altho it has also extended into the design of workshops for light industrial processes.   The majority of the residences have been at rural sites, and all of them have been either solar houses in cool temperate climates, or of low mass, as is required in tropical locations.  Spasmodically, he has been involved in the planning and design of a scheme for the establishment of solar precincts in areas of cities and towns subject to urban renewal.   This work has attracted the attention of local authorities in New South Wales, and of a private developer in Massachusetts, U.S.A.   In addition to this work he has also received numerous commissions for the design of furniture, and a few for jewelry.


In 1972 an example of his work was chosen for display as part of the Australian Exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute in London.   Another work was selected as part of the Australian Exhibit at the 1982 Paris Biennale.


Thru’out his career he has been invited to conduct, as a guest of the Faculty, classes in Architectural Design and the Theory of Architecture, at a number of universities.   Such invitations continue to arrive in his mailbox.  As a consequence of a paper he gave, by invitation, at the University of Canberra, on 24 October 1991, the University did him the honor of printing and distributing a copy to each of the students in the Department of Architecture.


He has been a guest lecturer at universities in Australia, at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Spring Green, Wisconsin, United States of America,. and at the College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, United States of America.   The house, at Kambah, A.C.T., in which he lives, and which was constructed substantially with his own hands, has been published on three continents, and visited by more than 1600 people from around the world.   It has achieved a minimum temperature at night, in winter, without artificial heating, of 12 Celsius.   This, when the minimum temperature outdoors was -9 Celsius. 


Laurie Virr belongs to no clubs, plays no golf, and has never gone in search of a commission in his life.   He would not know how to go about it..   In all matters of design he feels strongly that the client should find the person to do for him or her, what they, in their wisdom, know they cannot do for themselves.   Nevertheless, during a period of 50 years he has been involved in the design of many things, and at many scales, from a pair of cuff links to a suspension bridge.



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