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Architekton CEO Dominic Richards shares his vision of sustainable development in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 14:53 18 September 2017

Dominic Richards,  founder and CEO of Architekton,

Dominic Richards, founder and CEO of Architekton,

Archant

An innovative developer has shared his vision of sustainable development with business leaders in Suffolk.

Ipswich Suffolk Business Club event supporters: (Left to right) Andrew Doole (Greene King): James Rogers (Lexus Ipswich), Luke Morris (Vice Chair, Ipswich Suffolk Business Club), Sue Tasker (Milsoms Kesgrave Hall), Clive Underdown (Chair, Ipswich Suffolk Business Club), Penny Arbuthnot (Genesis PR)Ipswich Suffolk Business Club event supporters: (Left to right) Andrew Doole (Greene King): James Rogers (Lexus Ipswich), Luke Morris (Vice Chair, Ipswich Suffolk Business Club), Sue Tasker (Milsoms Kesgrave Hall), Clive Underdown (Chair, Ipswich Suffolk Business Club), Penny Arbuthnot (Genesis PR)

Dominic Richards, who is founder and CEO of Architekton, a London-based architect-development firm, was guest speaker at an Ipswich Suffolk Business Club lunch event held at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, near Ipswich last Friday.

Mr Richards spoke about his involvement with a newly-built private members club and spa called Retreat East based near Coddenham in Suffolk, which opened this year. Retreat East is a complex of barn buildings that have been converted into high quality living spaces as a ‘bolt-hole’ for business people, primarily from London. The concept of the scheme is that people buy a share in a property in return for a number of nights stay, as an alternative to buying a second home in East Anglia.

Mr Richards said Retreat East represented “a socially sustainable second home ownership model”.

“We’ve built and invested in property in a traditional way but are using a sharing ethos. It’s about sharing an asset and using it in a much more sustainable way rather than people buying second homes, which leads to problems for local people searching for affordable homes.”

Architekton’s current project is a £100m mixed-space development of old industrial buildings in Norwich; St Mary’s Works and St George’s Works. The planned development will include a tech quarter, warehouse hotel, new homes and an enterprise incubator hub linked to a sister hub in Spitalfields near Liverpool Street rail station in London.

Mr Richards spoke of a “post-commute vision of living” where business people don’t have to endure a “horrible commute every day”.

“People can enjoy a great quality of life in Norwich and conduct most of their business from there but when they do come to London they have the use of a hub office that is shared with others.”

Friday’s Ipswich Suffolk Business Club’s event was sponsored by Lexus Ipswich, whose general manager, James Rogers, brought a brand new Lexus LC 500 along for guests to test drive.

The Ipswich Lexus and Toyota dealerships were bought by the privately-owned Steven Eagell Group in February this year.

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