Five minutes with… David & Harry Rich
The Welsh brothers run their design practice Rich Landscapes from Hoxton in East London. Written by Jackie Bennett.
What do you wish you’d known when you started out?
That it’s all in the detail.
Do you have a mentor or design/horticultural idol?
Frank Lloyd Wright. We are inspired by Wright’s philosophy in designing structures that are in harmony with humanity and their environment – a design philosophy which he called organic architecture.
What has surprised you most in your career?
Becoming the youngest designers to get a Gold medal on Main Avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.
What would you say is your favourite style of architecture?
We don’t have a preferred style; it’s more the relationship between modern and traditional. Being sympathetic to the landscape is an important factor as well.
What skill do you wish you had learned earlier?
Studying as landscape architects, we originally concentrated more on design and construction and spent less time on plants. Over the last couple of years, we have directed a large proportion of time to horticulture. We’ve come to realise that to create a beautiful garden, there must be a balance between all three aspects.
What is your favourite material to work with in the garden?
This always changes! At this current point, we have a love of concrete – being able to create a seamless floorscape that allows other parts of the garden to do the talking is important, subtle and clean. We always like to play with something more textured to contrast this.
What new initiatives are you involved with this year?
We have become more involved in public spaces. It’s a pleasure to create something that you know so many people will use.
Which part of the design process do you like best?
Early concept stages are always fun, it’s a lovely process working alongside your brother.
And finally… is there an issue you’d like to rant about?
No… we’re very happy.