John Morphett (architect)

John Neville Morphett AM OBE (1 August 1932 – 25 March 2016) was an Australian architect.


John was born in Johore Bahru, Malaya, a son of surveyor John William Morphett and his wife Nellie, née Ireland. He was educated at Christ Church Grammar School, Perth and St Peter's College, Adelaide, and studied architecture at the University of Adelaide and the South Australian School of Mines and Industries.[1]

During University semester breaks, Morphett worked part-time for architects Hassell, McConnell and Partners, with whom he was employed after graduation, and had a continuing relationship for forty years. He undertook further training in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School, where lecturers included Le Corbusier, Philip Johnson, Richard Neutra and Paul Rudolph, and graduated with a Master of Architecture degree, then from 1957 to 1961 was employed with The Architects' Collaborative in Boston, where he was involved in a collaboration with Walter Gropius.[1]

He returned in 1962 to Adelaide and Hassell, McConnell and Partners, and was made a partner in Hassell Architects in 1967 and a director in 1975. He managing director of the Hassell Group in 1979 and in 1992 was made chairman of Hassell Pty Ltd. He retired in 1997, but continued to act as a consultant to the company.

The works which he is most associated are the Bragg Laboratories for the University of Adelaide (1962) and the Adelaide Festival Centre, which opened in 1973.[2]

Other interests


  • Associate of the South Australian Institute of Architects 1956
  • President, SA chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects 1981/1982
  • Awarded RAIA State president's medal 1997 and Gold medal 2000
  • He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1996[3]
  • Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) both in 1996


John Morphett married Vivienne June Williams in 1955; they had four sons and a daughter.


  1. Christine Sullivan, Julie Collins (2008). "Architects of South Australia: Morphett, John Neville". Architecture Museum, University of South Australia. Retrieved 26 August 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. "Vale John Morphett AM OBE, 1932–2016". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  3. "John Neville Morphett". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
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