Architekton CEO Dominic Richards shares his vision of sustainable development in East Anglia
PUBLISHED: 14:53 18 September 2017
An innovative developer has shared his vision of sustainable development with business leaders in Suffolk.
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.