Richard Burton trained at the Architects Association and in 1961 became a partner and director in the architectural practice of Ahrends Burton & Koralek. The principal works undertaken by this company were Trinity College Dublin Library, Chaveldon and Northlands Housing Basilon, Templeton College Oxford the British Embassy Moscow and the Docklands Light Railway Extension.
His work is innovative and derives from a modernist vocabulary. The design of his family home that is built around a London plane tree has been highly favourably received. In November 1995 The Sunday Telegraph Magazine featured it in their Sunday Colour Supplement.
Richard Burton is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Architects and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.