With an extensive portfolio of completed residential projects throughout East London and North East London over more than a decade, we at Scenario Architecture see this part of London as our backyard. Our clients have made us the East London architects of choice: changing East London’s architectural landscape house by house.
We established Scenario back in 2007 with a vision to develop a uniquely collaborative architecture. We always take a considered approach to our clients’ needs and desires, placing their aspirations for a new, architect-designed space in high definition. The clients’ needs are the main drivers of our design process.
A beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle – and that shows in everything we do. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell the story of each owner – not the architects.
Our landmark project Scenario House, located in Stoke Newington, London, was covered widely by the media and shortlisted for several prestigious architecture awards – including the 2018 RIBA London Awards. It demonstrates our successful approach to domestic architecture projects.
Your East London project
If you’re considering a residential architectural project in East London or North East London, we’re here to help, whether it’s a renovation, extension or new-build.
We’ve put together a brief illustrated overview to help you understand each stage of the design process, whether you’re planning a home extension, renovation or new-build in East London or North East London.
Most architecture projects in London require planning permission from the local council. With our successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across all of East and North East London.
To help you understand everything it takes to obtain planning permission in London, we’ve created this helpful guide. Download it below.
Discover if your architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the “planning applications” page of your council’s website and enter the architect’s name in the search criteria.
Scenario is an established architecture practice focusing on contemporary residential design. We take on projects of every scale and scope, from home refurbishment, renovation and expansions to new-builds.
Working with Scenario Architecture
Scenario Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. We tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity – from interior alterations and refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds – through our bespoke architecture service.
Our experienced and highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We’ll collaborate closely with you from the initial drawings and planning through tender and construction to the successful completion of your project. On time and on budget.
Scenario Architecture is a RIBA Chartered Practice. We always comply with the strict criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management systems.
Early adopters of the latest technology, we use 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard for all projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are efficient tools for choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, and simulating natural light.
We use 3D building information modelling (BIM) technology to produce reliable construction information, so every piece of data comes from an accurate, coordinated 3D model. Using this cutting-edge technology collaboratively with our consultants and contractors is proven to save our clients time and money.
A Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) case study featuring a Scenario project demonstrates the great benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.
In our client's words
Great ideas and vision to help with our substantial improvement of a Victorian terrace. In our experience Scenario's method prioritises the final result. That may mean more professional fees or higher quotes from contractors, as they understand the exact requirements.
Great, professional service. Good drawings and models and ultimately passed planning at the first attempt with Hackney Council. Would certainly recommend!
Scenario Architecture have created an outstanding design and space that was beyond my expectations. The design was through their unique process of understanding the client’s daily scenarios and collaborating with the client to come up with a unique design. The design process is one of the most memorable parts of the process and they also stretched my existing ideas to help create this unique space. A stress free journey throughout the whole process which Scenario were indispensable by giving advice on many difficult design and build decisions.
We wanted to renovate our house in a conservation area in central London. Given this involved a complete demolition and new build with an extra floor on top, getting planning approval was always going to be tricky. Scenario did an amazing job on the new house 'envelope' and throughout the planning phase. We couldn't have wished for better from them and having succeeded in gaining planning approval owe them a very big 'thank you'.
Scenario were great at thinking imaginatively and coming up with a design for a ground floor extension that was more ambitous than other architects we spoke to. They also helped us find a contractor who was able to complete the project working within timescale and our tight budget. I would recommend for mid to large sized projects with sufficient budget to allow for full utilisation of their creativity.
Thanks to its proximity to the ancient City of London, you’ll find some of the oldest architecture in the capital across the east end. You’ll also find some of the newest. Large gaps in the architectural fabric – a result of disused industrial land, subdivided gardens and bombing from the Second World War – have encouraged contemporary regeneration. In some places, building and renovation restrictions can be more relaxed, allowing experimental thinking to flourish. Lower prices, traditionally, have also attracted creative business and culture.
All this goes to say that East London can be one of the more exciting places to live today. The great collection of Victorian houses available on the market is ripe for improvement. And brownfield sites between those houses are available for creative development. The RIBA East Awards – sponsored by the Royal Institute of British Architects – are some of the most anticipated in the UK. In fact the RIBA London Award shortlist disproportionately honours East London homes. Our Scenario House, completed in London’s E5 postcode, appeared on the shortlist for the 2018 RIBA London Award. If you are considering building or improving a property in East London, you will have the opportunity to create something truly outstanding.
Hackney, the oldest borough in East London, is filled with three- and four-bedroom family homes with great potential for expansion into side return spaces, disused underground storage holes and lofts. The sprawling borough of Tower Hamlets, encompassing Spitalfields, Victoria Park the Docklands and Canary Wharf, is burgeoning with exciting restaurants and shopping and postindustrial regeneration. Newham began taking huge steps toward gentrification after the Olympic Games in London in 2012. It covers most of the former Olympic Park out to City Airport, and includes large tracts of prewar and postwar housing that can be easily and spectacularly reconfigured.
Living in East London means exposure to a long, storied history. Communities here survived the Blitz, saw the growth of London’s middle class and welcomed millions of newcomers over the ensuing decades. Out on the streets you’ll hear a hundred languages spoken and learn about dozens of exotic foods in the markets and restaurants, from the Bengali communities in Whitechapel to the Afro Caribbean and East Asian communities around Stratford. And you’re never far from some vestige of London’s past, from the Roman artefacts in the Museum of London, Docklands, to the Cable Street Mural in Shadwell, depicting local residents fending off a fascist march in 1936. The small Spitalfields community alone is a living witness to London immigration, starting with the Huguenots, then housing the Jewish diaspora until Asian populations arrived.
This part of London promises to improve as much as, if not more than, any in the coming years.
Frequently Asked Questions
- As a dynamic practice operating in London’s premium residential market, managing projects remotely and conducting virtual meetings was a very familiar territory for us, long before the pandemic began and ‘working remotely’ became the norm.
- Our clients have very busy lifestyles and may move between several different locations, both within the UK and beyond, during the lifecycle of a typical project.
- To accommodate such client needs and enable us to run their projects smoothly we had all the technology and know-how associated with remote working in place for several years.
- Read our full (Virtual) Process
- Scenario based design – We start each and every project with a meticulous analysis of our client’s vision, requirements and aspirations. We do this by asking our clients to imagine their everyday scenarios living in the completed house and describe their desired interaction with it.
- Uniquely interactive - Our client’s deep involvement in the process does not stop with completion of the brief. Our design meetings are highly interactive, informal and fun.
- Designed to reflect you – Based purely on your lifestyle, aspirations and requirements and free from externally imposed concepts, metaphors and pre-conceptions, a completely fresh and unique design will gradually emerge and it will tell your story not ours.
- Collaborative – We start the conversation with planners early and advise most of our clients to seek pre-planning advice prior to submission of a full planning application. Our experience shows that when properly consulted and liaised with, most planning case officers will be receptive to conduct a professional dialogue, increasing chances of successes.
- Strategic – We tailor a custom planning strategy for each project based on its circumstances such as planning history, local context and specific challenging elements. We sometimes split applications or introduce minor tweaks to the scheme during the consideration period in conversation with the officers to prevent one contentious element from jeopardising approval of the main scheme.
- Professional – Our experience shows that the quality and clarity of the submission in terms of background research, planning history of the property and context, precedent and of course the arguments presented to support the case has a tremendous effect on success rate.
- The decision period clock only starts ticking once the application is validated by the Council, This requires then to check that the forms are completed correctly and that the submission contains all the necessary drawings, statements and reports.
- Although required by law to provide a decision within the statutory eight weeks period, it is not uncommon for councils to miss the deadline of the consideration period, normally only by a few days, sometimes longer.
- In some cases the council may ask us as your agent for an extension of time, this may be requested due to internal reasons or as an acceptable result of a professional discussion that we are conducting with them about certain aspects of the application that they are not sure about.
- Our experience shows that planning officers respond better to projects when they feel consulted and collaborated with. We find that when we truly listen to their often helpful and valid feedback and treat them as consultants for the projects and not representative of an evil enforcing authority, they tend to collaborate well with us and demonstrate increased flexibility.
- Although the council in theory have eight weeks to consider your application, in practice they are constantly overloaded. They will only look at your application in the last few days of the consideration period. If this is the first time that they come across a scheme that they were never consulted about, our chance to secure permission for you in a single attempt is significantly compromised.
- The standard practice is for the council to consider the full planning application as submitted and then issue a yes or no decision. Case officers are not required or even encouraged to enter a discussion with us or accept resubmission of minor changes to the proposed scheme during the consideration period.