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.
Dick's house in France
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.
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.