Dick's house in France

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​The design of the garden. (pictures here)

Having started with the Fibonacci spiral in the house, it was obvious that the spiral had to appear in the garden as a recurrent motif.

Garden design had to take back seat, however, to turning 9000 square metres (2 1/4 acres) of nettles, thistles and brambles into usable land.  The site had been a dairy farm, but the land had been unused for 7 years and nature had taken its course.

My French house

I had thought that my little house in Camberwell would be my last house. However, I started visiting France frequently with Lesley Delacourt, in particular Montreuil-sur-Mer, and changed my mind!

I realised that I could afford to buy a plot of land large enough for a house, a garden, and a vegetable plot.  In the summer of 2013 we were walking in the valley of the Course and saw a lovely plot for sale.  Of course, one doesn't buy the first thing one sees, but after looking around I returned to that lovely plot, in Inxent, and started thinking.

The design of the house.

I knew that I wanted a house that was as "eco" as possible, so the obvious standard was Passive House.  I also wanted a modern design and had in mind something like the Farnsworth House (Mies van der Rohe).

I asked John Eger, who had designed my London house, to do a sketch.  He did a brilliant design, based on my rough outline but with an unusual twist - the asymmetric roof, based on the Fibonacci spiral.