North London Architects

With an extensive portfolio of completed residential projects throughout North London and North West London over more than a decade, Scenario Architecture sees the capital as home terrain. Our clients have helped propel us to North London architects of choice: changing North London’s architectural landscape house by house.

We established Scenario in 2007 with a vision to develop a uniquely collaborative method of architecture. We take a considered approach to our clients’ desires, placing their aspiration for a new, architect-designed home in high definition. The clients’ needs are the main focus of our design process.

A highly functional home is the result of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle – and that shows in our work. A Scenario house tells the story of the owners – not the architects.

Scenario House, our landmark project in Stoke Newington, London, was covered widely and shortlisted for several prestigious architecture awards – including the 2018 RIBA London Awards. It is proof our successful approach to domestic architecture projects.

View Our Projects

North London Architects Your North London project

Starting your North London / North West London project

If you’re considering hiring North London architects, we’re here to help, whether your project is a renovation, extension or new-build.

We’ve created a brief illustrated overview to help you understand each stage of the process for your home extension, renovation or new-build in North London or North West London.

Most architecture projects in London require planning permission from the local council. North London architects with a successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across the capital.

Tip

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.

North London Architects

Advice

To help you understand what it takes to obtain planning permission in London, we’ve created this helpful handbook. Download it below.
Planning guide

North London Architects Your North London project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your North London / North West London project

Scenario Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects around London. We tackle domestic architecture of every scale and complexity, from interior refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds, through our bespoke architecture service.

Our friendly, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We’ll all collaborate closely from the initial drawings, detail design and planning through tender and construction to the successful completion of your project. On time and on budget.

Scenario is a RIBA Chartered Practice. We comply with the strict criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management.

Early adopters of the latest technology, we use 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard on all projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are extremely efficient for choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, and simulating natural light.

We use 3D building information modelling (BIM) to produce reliable construction information, so all our data comes from an accurate, coordinated 3D model. Using this cutting-edge technology collaboratively with 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.

North London Architects

Personal Sky Garden: Roof extension and open plan. London Fields

North London Architects

The Nook: full renovation with space saving solutions. Islington, London

North London Architects

Scenario House: Self-built extension and full renovation. Hackney, London

North London Architects >> Your North London Project Further Reading

When you buy a property in North London you are buying into a long and illustrious history. Once a rural landscape dotted with farms, it attracted country folk and weekend visitors as well as religious and political rebels who didn’t fit into other London communities. Parts of Hampstead were known for their wells of fresh, medicinal water and encouraged many to relocate from neighbourhoods further south toward the City. Some of the ivied brick cottages you see across North London today appeared in the 18th century, for residents escaping the intensity of central London.

By the 19th century, veritable villages had emerged, with distinguished churches and public schools, and railways station that made the wealth of parkland accessible to all of London. People who lived here enjoyed superlative views down over the city, particularly from Highgate and either side of Parliament Hill. Even today, the landscape across much of the north retains its charming Georgian qualities, even with the addition of Victorian and Late Victorian housing stock.

Some neighbourhoods in North London are known to be more affordable than their West London counterparts. That feature, as well as the area’s association with dissidents, has attracted generations of artistic people to the north. Artists from John Constable to Barbara Hepworth, musicians from Dave Stewart to Amy Winehouse and authors from John Keats to John Betjeman to Zadie Smith have lived here for periods of their life. There are also extensive international and Jewish communities across the north. Lately, access to St Pancras Station, with its connection to Europe via the Eurostar, has become an asset to North London homeowners.

North London is one of the greenest corners of London, with access to extensive tracts of public land and opportunities to enjoy nature. If you have a dog, you’ll be spoiled for choice around the three “H”s: Hampstead, Highgate and Highbury. The further south you live, the more that parkland begins to taper off. Camden is well known as a neighbourhood for shopping and nightlife, spreading out from the Regent’s Canal. Ditto Islington and Stoke Newington. Though the latter have their share of working-class and immigrant communities, they are no less distinguished, culturally, than their greener counterparts, with well-regarded theatres and museums worked into the fabric.

Living in North London, you’re far enough from the centre to benefit from a village atmosphere with independent shops and neighbourhood restaurants. Yet many spots are well-connected by Tube, Overground and bus lines to Central London.

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North London Architects In our clients words

scenario-architecture-testimonial-michael

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.


scenario-architecture-testimonial-guy

Great, professional service. Good drawings and models and ultimately passed planning at the first attempt with Hackney Council. Would certainly recommend!


scenario-architecture-testimonial-kauser

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.


scenario-architecture-testimonial-brendan

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-architecture-testimonial-michael-gauer

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.

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FAQ

North London Architects

FAQWhat is unique about the Scenario design process?
The scenario design process was developed, tested and perfected through over a decade of extensive delivery of residential projects within and around London, some of its key features are listed below:   
  • 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. 
We then translate the resulting high definition brief into an informative and revealing 3-dimensional simulation, illuminating aspirations, requirements and patterns of habitation. 
  • 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. 
Sitting together in front of a real time 3D model of the proposed design with realistic materials, lighting and textures we push and pull the proposed scheme together to explore its full potential and drag and drop different materials to explore various options. hen we invite our clients to take a virtual reality tour through advanced equipment that is always available in our practice for our clients to explore their projects at different stages of development. 
  • 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. 
It will not look like an image cut out of a trendy architecture magazine and not designed to intentionally impress anyone. It will feel familiar, warm and inviting and you will recognise yourself in it because it will be a genuine expression of the unique way in which you and your family wish to interact with it and enjoy it for many years to come.

North London Architects

FAQWhat is Scenario’s approach to planning?
Planning in the U.K in general and in Greater London in particular is admittedly a tricky business. It is a complex maze of policies, standards and regulations that requires specialised and up to date knowledge and skills to navigate successfully.  Over the years we developed a strong approach and an effective methodology, allowing us to maintain an outstanding track record stretching over more than a decade. Successfully securing planning permission for our clients across Greater London and the Home Counties.  The key aspects of our approach to planning are listed below: 
  • 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. 

North London Architects

FAQWhat is Scenario’s approach to sustainability?
In the past, it was common practice for local authorities to impose sustainability standards on residential developments. However, the 2015 Deregulation Act removed the obligation on local authorities to require any standard at all, which means the only requirements having fallen back to those of the Building Regulations.  With no clear and improved targets to work towards, in collaboration with Envision (www.envisioneco.com), we have created optional Sustainability ‘Levels’ to offer our clients the chance to drastically improve the sustainability credentials of their home. These ‘Levels’ encompassing Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond, traverse a clear and applicable route from basic compliance with current Building Regulations all the way to the full and rigorous HQM (Home Quality Mark) certification within Level Diamond. As the packages become more elaborate in terms of sustainability, analysis and implemented measures, they provide increasing tangible benefits. Ranging from thermal and acoustic comfort and wellbeing, to reduced carbon foot print, savings on running costs and significant advantages through the planning process.  The more elaborate packages obviously entail higher cost in terms of professional fees as well as impact on the construction cost, although each sustainability ‘Level’ will endeavour to not overly burden the construction budget.

North London Architects

FAQWhat is the cost of building an extension?
Currently we recommend allowing between £2,500 and £3,000 per square metre for side extensions, rear extensions or front extensions. For basement extensions, which are most expensive way to add space to your home, we recommend that you allow between £3,000 and £3,500 per square metre. When it comes to roof extensions, our experience shows that it is better to allow a lump sum of £40,000-£60,000 for loft conversions with dormer windows and between £80,000 and £120,000 for mansard roof extensions. These ranges are based on averages from numerous actual projects that we have completed in and around London since we established Scenario in 2007. We only use these rough costs per square metre during the early stages of design to maintain awareness of your target budget until a cost professional is appointed and more accurate methods of estimation are employed. The actual cost for your project will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the design, level of structural support required, and selection of fixtures, fittings material finishes. Using these rough ranges as a guide we will work together with you in an interactive process to optimise budget and scope and find the balance that works best for you. The estimated costs per square metre mentioned above are for the build costs only and exclude VAT and professional fees.

North London Architects

FAQWhat is the cost of an internal refurbishment?
Currently we recommend allowing between £2,500 and £3,000 per square metre for areas which will undergo an extensive renovation. We designate an area of the project as extensive renovation if the planned works includes substantial changes to layouts, significant structural works, re-plumbing, re-wiring and full redecoration. For areas of lighter internal renovation which do not require significant changes to layout or substantial structural works but do require full redecoration, re-plumbing and rewiring, we recommend allowing between £2,000 and £2,500 as an estimated cost per square metre, we designate these areas as requiring medium renovation. If there areas in your project which only call for a light renovation such as re-plastering, and painting, installing new floor finishes and light modifications of electrics and plumbing fittings, we will designate these as areas of light renovation and recommend that you allow £1,500-£2,000 per square metre or even as low as between £1,000-£1,500 if you only have light touches in mind. The real cost for your project will depend on several different variables including the complexity of the design, extent of structural works and level of fixtures, fittings and material finishes. These estimated costs per square metre are for the build cost excluding VAT and professional fees.

North London Architects

FAQWhat is the cost of building a new house?
If you are thinking about building a new house from scratch for which the term Self Build is often used, we currently recommend allowing between £2,500 and £3,500 per square metre for projects in and around London. This may sound like a very wide range initially, perhaps too wide to be useful? As soon as we can establish even a few of the basics of your requirements and aspirations for the project we can safely narrow it down and customise it to match your intentions. The key parameters that will help us to refine initial estimates are whether or not a basement is required to achieve your target floor area, the likely construction method and corresponding structural approach and of course your desired level of fixtures, fittings and material finishes. Another key parameter that we must consider right from the outset is the level of sustainability that we are aiming at, are you satisfied with the base line requirements as defined by current building regulations, or should we aim higher? Working together with sustainability experts we have created our own bespoke set of sustainability packages which allows you to place your sustainability target anywhere you wish. This can range from basic compliance to an extremely sustainable and energy efficient standard which comes with great savings on running costs, future proofing and wellbeing benefits such as improved air quality, thermal comfort, and considerate and healthier surface finishes.