The architect whose grand designs bring inspiration and beauty to the British countryside

Richard Hawkes joins James Fisher to talk about architecture, the British landscape, and what it's like to see your own house appear on Grand Designs.

The award-winning architect Richard Hawkes is no ordinary designer of buildings. He has made his name and forged a career by creating some of the most astonishing new homes build in Britain in the past two decades.

He joins James Fisher on the Country Life Podcast to talk about the homes he designs, many of which are built under the Paragraph 84 rules, which allow the creation of new homes in rural areas where development would otherwise be forbidden.

Richard’s own house, centred beneath and around a magnificent arch, was featured in a memorable episode of the Channel 4 TV programme Grand Designs, and he talks about how appearing on the programme played its part in building his reputation.

Richard Hawkes.

He also tells James about the many factors that come in to play with creating such houses in the countryside — and why he regularly turns potential clients away if he feels the land in question is simply too important, ecologically speaking, to build on.

The greatest tribute of all? Not a single one of the homes he and his team have built has ever come back on to the market, each one instead still being lived in by the clients for whom he built it in the first place.

Inside Richard Hawkes’s home in Kent.

Episode credits

Host: James Fisher

Guest: Richard Hawkes

Producer and Editor: Toby Keel

Music: JuliusH via Pixabay

Special thanks: Adam Wilbourn