Context: Current visualisation systems are not designed to work with the large quantities of data produced by scientists today, they rely on the abilities of a single resource to perform all of the processing and visualisation of data which limits the problem size that they can investigate. Objectives: The objectives of this research are to address the issues encountered by scientists with current visualisation systems and the deficiencies highlighted in current visualisation systems. The research then addresses the question:” How do you design the ideal service oriented architecture for visualisation that meets the needs of scientists?” Method: A new design for a visualisation system based upon a Service Oriented Architecture is proposed to address the issues identified, the architecture is implemented using Java and web service technology. The implementation of the architecture also realised several case study scenarios as demonstrators. Evaluation: Evaluation was performed using case study scenarios of scientific problems and performance data was conducted through experimentation. The scenarios were assessed against the requirements for the architecture and the performance data against a base case simulating a single resource implementation. Conclusion: The virtualised visualisation architecture shows promise for applications where visualisation can be performed in a highly parallel manner and where the problem can be easily sub-divided into chunks for distributed processing.