Dr Mervyn Miller

Dr Mervyn Miller

Dr Mervyn Miller


11 Silver Street, Ashwell, Baldock, Herts SG7 5QJ (01462) 742685

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L E C T U R E N E W S L E T T E R + S P R I N G 2009


These striking images show the titles from two of my power point lectures: Lutyens/New Delhi (top), Oscar Niemeyer/Brasilia (below). Others will be added gradually: Frank Lloyd Wright and Cuban Panorama are next. Lectures with 35mm slides will remain available, but will not be updated: these have high quality material, which will not date and are still acclaimed by Societies.


*Oscar Niemeyer: Brazilian Impressions: ‘Baroque to Brasilia’ (Digital only)

Now aged 101, Niemeyer transformed the white cubist forms of Modernism with exuberant sculptural forms updating his Brazilian heritage. From 1956, he was the City Architect of the new capital city, Brasilia, designing iconic buildings including the Congress group and Cathedral.

*American Architect Supreme: Frank Lloyd Wright (Digital in preparation + slides)

Over a 70year career, Wright thrived on hyperbole, from his refined early Prairie houses to his controversial swan song - the GuggenheimMuseum in New York.

*A Century of Chicago Architecture: Prairie style to Post-Modern

Chicago's architecture has been renowned since the late 19th century when Louis Sullivan and his pupil Frank Lloyd Wright were the leaders. Today, the skyscraper has attained technical virtuosity and stunning variety in the Midwest metropolis.

*Cuban Architectural Panorama (Digital in preparation + slides)

The rich architectural heritage of Cuba ranges from Spanish Colonial to Art-Deco and Revolutionary functionalism, an eclectic mixture, concentrated in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Havana.

*William Morris : Romantic and Revolutionary

This lecture provides a comprehensive overview of Morris's achievements and seminal influence on decorative art, architecture, printing and politics.

*The Arts and Crafts Movement : Morris to Mackintosh

This lecture highlights Morris's reforms in decorative arts and architecture and its influence on the Arts and Crafts, and the architecture of Voysey and Mackintosh.

*The Arts and Crafts House : Voysey, Baillie Scott, Mackintosh

Arts and Crafts domestic architecture at the turn of the century was internationally renowned. This lecture includes homes by Philip Webb, Norman Shaw, Voysey, Baillie Scott, Lutyens, Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright and Greene and Greene.

*Building with wit and grandeur : Sir Edwin Lutyens

Now recognised as one of the greatest British architects, Lutyens's career spanned from the Arts and Crafts Movement to the 'high game' of Classicism, epitomised by his work in New Delhi, and the War Memorials of the Somme.

*Partnership in Planting : A Lutyens House with a JekyllGarden

The collaboration of Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll produced a unique interaction between architecture and planting, seen at its best at 'Munstead Wood', 'Hestercombe', and 'Folly Farm'.

*Picturesque Illusion : The Architecture of Clough Williams-Ellis

Clough Williams-Ellis will always be remembered for Portmeirion, the Italianate village on the fringe of Snowdonia, but his long career embraced building in natural settings throughout Britain.

*The Triumph and Tragedy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

This wayward Scots genius was a leader of early 20th century architecture and furniture design, and acclaimed throughout Europe. This lecture also assesses the contribution of his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh.

*The Garden City Movement

Ebenezer Howard's vision of a 'joyous union' of town and country set housing and environmental standards for the twentieth century at Letchworth Garden City (centenary 2003) and Hampstead Garden Suburb (centenary 2007).

*Utopia NW11: HampsteadGarden Suburb

Founded by Dame Henrietta Barnett, with houses by Parker and Unwin, Lutyens, and their contemporaries allied to an Arts and Crafts lifestyle produced 'the most nearly perfect example of the unique English invention and speciality - the Garden City' (Pevsner).

*Ideal Villages : Milton Abbas to Poundbury

Whether created by the landed gentry or developer, the image of the village has remained a potent symbol: this lecture includes Milton Abbas, Blaise Hamlet, Old Warden, Bournville, Port Sunlight, Thorpeness and Prince Charles's Poundbury, Dorchester.

*Vision of Splendour : The Architectural Legacy of Imperial Delhi (Digital + slides)

Delhi was selected as the new capital of Imperial India in 1911. The brilliant layout plan and Viceroy’s House by Edwin Lutyens and the GovernmentBuildings byHerbertBaker are at the heart of a burgeoning metropolis.

*Williamsburg, Virginia : Colonial Capital to Heritage Centre

18th century capital of British North America, Williamsburg contains the choicest American Colonial architecture; awakened by the Rockefeller-funded restoration in the 1930s, the city remains a top visitor attraction.

*Antoni Gaudi and the Catalan Modernisme

Gaudi's unique buildings, including the Sagrada Familia, reflected a lifelong concern for the fundamental integration of structure and form, and were set in the context of a burgeoning Catalan culture in Barcelona.

*Prague : gem of European architecture

Notwithstanding its popularity, Prague retains its charm and eclectic historic legacy. My lecture, updated in 2004, gives an architectural perspective from Romanesque, through Baroque to Secessionism and Post-Modernism.

*Architecture of the Viennese Secession

The artistic revolution of the 'secessionism' of Klimt and Schiele was matched by the architecture of Otto Wagner, Olbrich, Hoffmann and Loos – eclectic, decadent, with the seeds of Modernism. Material on Prague, Budapest and Darmstadt added.

*The Architectural Splendour of St. Petersburg

The architectural wealth of St. Petersburg embraces the Peter and Paul fortress, the Baroque Winter Palace, neo-classical and monumental Communist-era housing schemes and underground stations.

*Through the Millennium : the work of British Architects since 1975

Recent work of British architects has been acclaimed and criticised, ranging from the Classical revival of Quinlan Terry to the 'High Tech' of Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, and Michael Hopkins's Glyndebourne Opera House.

*Lest we Forget : War Memorials of the mainland and the Somme

The Memorials of the Great War were an architectural expression of the sacrifice of a generation. Monuments by Lutyens, Blomfield and Baker provide eloquent testimony, particularly when the lecture is presented on, or near Remembrance Day.

*Form and Space : the sculpture of Henry Moore

Moore's sculptures adorn public squares and museums worldwide. In addition to this, my images include his sculpture garden and studio at Perry Green, Herts, where he worked for 45 years. The Henry Moore Foundation co-operated in the preparation of this lecture.


Highlights of last year included a February trip to India with my City Livery Company, the Worshipful Company of Architects, for an intensive tour of the Temples and Palaces of the Deccan, from Hyderabad to Kochi, including the stunning ruined city of Hampi. As a leading international authority on the Garden City, I spoke at conferences in Chicago, Dresden and Budapest, the last two at centenary celebrations for important Garden Suburbs. At Dresden, I witnessed the remarkable restoration and rebuilding of the historic south bank and the Frauenkirche (possible lecture subject) and reacquainted myself with Budapest, obtaining new digital material.

Travel this year begins in April, with a Worshipful Company of Architects tour of the western USA states and coast. Together with trips to Chicago and the Midwest, this will provide me with the material for a major digital presentation on Frank Lloyd Wright. In October, as Architectural Adviser to The Lutyens Trust, I am collaborating with Paul Waite, a fellow Trustee, on leading a trip to South Africa, to see the CapeDutch heritage, and work by Herbert Baker, Lutyens and their contemporaries in Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Pretoria and Johannesburg – a new lecture will surely follow.

Clough Williams-Ellis gave the title The Pleasures of Architecture to his 1924 book. It encapsulates the enriching experience of fine architecture of all periods, which I endeavour to reflect in my lectures. All are updated, as time and resources allow. Most can also be used as or for, or combined as study days, to explore the subject less formally, in greater depth.

Travel diaries, giving ‘tasters’ for my lectures are available for Barcelona, Berlin, Brazil, Chicago, Cuba, the Deccan, Delhi, Prague and St Petersburg, and are available by email, from:

WEB SITE under rebuilding:



£260, plus expenses and VAT (Lectures)

£460, plus expenses and VAT (Study Days)


Mervyn Miller PhD BA BArch (Hons) MUP M Arch RIBA FRTPI

VAT Registration No. 476 1152 49