vale john howard fraia
Born and bred in Launceston, John lived and worked as a practising architect in Tasmania, interstate and overseas (London) for more than 35 years.
Graduating in 1975 from the University of Tasmania (formerly the Tasmanian Centre for Adult Education, TCAE) with a Bachelor of Environmental Design, his major study featured a project on providing shelter for homeless men in Hobart.
After graduating in Tasmania, he headed west across the Nullarbor and enrolled at Curtin University (formerly WAIT) where he participated in the WAIT-Abroad programme – a three-month study tour of western Europe and the UK. His major thesis was titled the Revitilasation of the Inner City – Australian Pedestrian Precincts (1977).
After graduating from Curtin University in the late 1970s, he spent the next few years working and traveling interstate and overseas for practices including Avery Associates Architects, Watkins Gray International, Glenn Smith Associates/Howlett+Bailey (Architects in Association) and Woods Bagot.
He established his private practice in 1988, designing a range of building typologies, ranging from educational, community housing, aged care, hospitals, and commercial, to private residential work.
In the 1990s, he was instrumental in a review of the governance procedures of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects as an elected Chapter President (1994–1997 and 1998–1999) and a National Councillor representative for Tasmania. His passion in architectural education also saw heavy involvement in both Tasmania and nationally, as a member on a number of inspection panels to various schools of architecture and was an AACA Architectural Practice Exam examiner for Tasmania, a position he had held since 2006.
Due to an ongoing family illness through the early 2000s, it was necessary for him to scale back his practice activities until being appointed as manager of a state-wide practice in 2006 in Burnie in North West Tasmania. With the onset of the GFC in 2008, he was engaged as a senior project officer for the rollout of the Federal Government’s ‘Building the Education Revolution’ programme in Tasmania, overseeing some 50 projects across 45+ primary and district high schools (with a value in excess of $50M) from Bicheno on the east coast, to King Island.
More recently, John worked as a principal architect/project manager with CBM where he was responsible for overseeing the re-building of Coastline Church ($5M) in Gosford, NSW, and co-ordination of all contract documentation for the Performing Arts Centre, Central Coast Grammar ($9.5M), also in Gosford. He also acted as mentor to a number of young architectural graduates within the firm.
John was a very keen car enthusiast and travelled many times with his old friends to Adelaide and Symmons Plains for days of racing. Over his life, John has been an active member of the Institute and made incredible contribution to the architectural landscape in Launceston and across Tasmania. The Australian Institute of Architects wish to send our deepest condolences to his sons Alex, Andrew and James, his many grandchildren, and his colleagues and friends.