Duo launched Maude and Edwards Architects in Bury St Edmunds after gaining experience working in Australia

Rachel Maude and Benjamin Edwards of Maude and Edwards Architects

Rachel Maude and Benjamin Edwards of Maude and Edwards Architects - Credit: Archant

A couple have established an architectural practice in Suffolk following a number of years plying their trade on the other side of the world.

Rachel Maude and Benjamin Edwards launched Maude and Edwards Architects, based at Fornham St. Genevieve near Bury St Edmunds, in February after three years working in Melbourne, Australia.

Rachel and partner Ben, who grew up in Suffolk, met while studying to become architects before moving to work in London and then going travelling. After gaining further experience Down Under they have moved back to start their own venture.

And Rachel says the duo have been pleasantly surprised at the way their business has been received.

“We thought the first year would be tough in terms of generating work,” she said.

“People naturally want to see things that you’ve worked on in the area, but it has surprised us how open people have been and how they have put their trust in us.”

Recent projects include designs for small extensions and a number of new build properties for small developers and private clients.

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Rachel says the business is “trying to push a modern and contemporary aesthetic” and “moving away from in-keeping”.

She added: “We’ve found that in Suffolk and the East in general that councils are a lot more open to contemporary architecture than people might think. We haven’t had any rejections on planning applications yet, which in our experience isn’t always the case.”

And Rachel says their experience of working as architects in Australia has helped broaden their perspective on the work they do.

“The approach to building is different in Australia – they do things a bit bolder,” she said.

“It was an interesting place to work for a while and we learnt about different techniques and technologies. Not everything they do in Australia is better than here but the experience has certainly strengthened our knowledge.”