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ORPEN, John Joseph Overton

Born: 1903
Died: 1959 02 06


Reg No: 2050
Year registered: 1960

Born in Johannesburg, Orpen trained in London where he studied at the Architectural Association from 1931. His contemporaries there included George STEGMANN and Herbert Gould PORTER with whom he later entered into partnership in Pretoria. On graduation he worked in the office of Wellesley & Wills in London before returning to South Africa; while a student he travelled in Prussia, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Austria. On his return to South Africa about 1936, he spent ten months in Gordon LEITH's office in Johannesburg. He then spent six months in G Stegmann's newly opened office in Klerksdorp (c1937) and in 1938 entered into partnership with Stegmann and Porter (cf. STEGMANN, ORPEN & PORTER). He resigned from the Institute of South African Architects in 1957 in order to act as executive director of the Timber and Allied Materials Development Association. Orpen was President-in-Chief of the Institute of South African Architects from 1956 to 1957. In 1969 he was a partner in the firm FARROW, SMALE, ORPEN & PARKER in East London. He died in Johannesburg.

Was the President of the East London Local Committee of the Cape Province Institute of The Institute of South African Architects (Now BKIA) from 1968 to 1969.

ISAA 1936; ARIBA 1937. (ARIBA nom papers (1937) 6602; Tanton 1987; ISAA mem list; RDM Aug 15, 1957:3 port; SAAR Aug 1956:34 port; TAD MHG 2912/59)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Municipal Library: 1970. East London, Eastern Cape - Design Architect

Books citing ORPEN

ISAA. 1969. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1968-1969 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1968-1969. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 98, 163