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Peter Muller

Peter Muller and Adrian Zecha (founder of Aman Resorts), by unknown photographer

Born 3 July 1927

Peter Muller is an Adelaide born architect with works in Bali, Sydney, South Australia and Melbourne. Citing Frank Lloyd Wright as a major influence, Muller's alternative organic conception of architecture gives him an important place in post-war Australian Architecture.

Peter Neil Muller was born in Adelaide on the 3 July 1927. He was educated at St Peter’s College, an independent boy’s school, from 1942 to 1944 and later attended the South Australian School of Mines and Industries and the University of Adelaide between 1945 and 1948, where he acquired his architectural education. In 1948 he graduated in Architectural Engineering with a Fellowship of the South Australian Diploma in Applied Science.

Muller received several scholarships which allowed him to travel, including a Fulbright Travelling Scholarship in 1950, where he went to the University of Pennsylvania in the United States of America and studied his Masters of Architecture between 1950 and 1951.

Muller holds a significant place in Australian architecture as he takes an alternative approach of design to the style at the time, being that of the modern movement. He has travelled and lived in many places around the world including France, London, Bali, South Australia and Sydney. He had many major influences including Adrian Snodgrass (1952), Albert Read (1954) and lastly, Frank Lloyd Wright (1952) whom in particular “influenced him at the beginning of [his] practice” (Peter Neil Muller). In Sydney 1953, Muller worked in his own architectural practice called ‘The Office of Peter Muller’. He was strongly determined to avoid synthetic finishes and instead used natural materials as he felt strongly about the Australian landscape. This is reflected in many of his Sydney contemporaries.

He later moved to Marulan in New South Wales where he practiced at home in his grazing property ‘Glenrock’. In 1962 Muller tutored at the University of New South Wales and worked as a director of the National Capital Branch of the National Capital Development Commission in Canberra from 1975 to 1977. This helped and allowed him to author ‘The Esoteric Nature of Griffin’s Design for Canberra’ in 1976.

Shortly later in 1978 he was the founding Principal of Regional Design and Research and from 1988 forward he has acted independently from locations all around the world as a consultant for ‘Peter Muller International'.

An architect genuinely devoted to the ideal of environmental harmony, Peter Muller's houses, of which the Audette House (1952), Castlecrag, Sydney, the Richardson house (1956), Palm Beach, Sydney, and his own house at Whale Beach (1954), Sydney, were the most accomplished and shaped domestic architecture and a generation of Australian tastes in a powerful, if not always consciously recognized way. He is an individual who sought new and innovative solutions to problems which arose from his particular response to a site or client. The result was a genuine regional architecture produced by a designer who was not in any way striving for a conscious local style.

Over the past three decades, Muller has applied these concerns predominantly to hotel resort designs in Goa, Kerala, Luxor, Malaysia, Philippines, Vanuatu and Indonesia where he has played an adaptive and interpretive role in researching the naturally organic traditional forms of building within these countries....notably the Bali Oberoi Hotel (1974), the Amandari Hotel (1990) near Ubud, Bali, and the Lombok Oberoi.
Sources: image, unknown photographer. copy, Wikipedia & Jacqueline Urford.