South London Architects

With its vast green spaces, excellent public transit links and affordable heritage housing, South London is on the up. A steady stream of creatives has migrated south of the Thames, leaving art degrees for neighbourhoods like Clapham, Camberwell and Greenwich. And a lack of major development has kept the heritage streetscapes intact. Major renovations and extensions are commonplace, opening up historic houses with glass, steel and style.

Many owners of single-family homes south of the river are preserving distinctive woodwork, masonry and window bays while installing new, striking elements that complement the original structure and improve daily life. Most major updates and expansions in South London require permission from the local council, and one of the many South London architects to ensure work is functional, respectful and up to code. Scenario Architecture has worked successfully with planning departments across London to transform historic London homes with a compassionate eye. Our reputation has made our boutique practice one of the most sought-after in London.

Scenario has devised a unique style of working that marries heritage architecture and modern details. We collaborate closely with our clients to keep their needs and objectives at the forefront of every project. Together we have designed practical, user-friendly spaces with striking contrasts – exceptionally modern homes that are easy and enjoyable to live in.
Our signature project Scenario House showcases our commitment to period properties with contemporary elements. In 2018 it was shortlisted for a prestigious RIBA London Award.

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South London Architects Your South London project

Starting your South London project

Most building projects in South London require approval from the local authority. South London architects can help you through the process, collaborating with council officials to see through your application. Scenario Architects has successfully steered clients through the permissions stage.

We’ve drawn up an illustrated synopsis to help guide you through the planning process for a South London renovation, restoration, addition or new-build.

Tip

Visit the building controls section of your council’s website to find out if your architect can navigate the planning process for you. Just located the search engine for planning applications and enter your architect’s name.

Advice

We have created guides for homeowners to provide additional advice and help with your project. The following eBooks are currently available for you to download:

1. Planning in London and the home counties - A guide for homeowners
2. Self build - A guide to building your own new build home
Download eBooks

South London Architects Your South London project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your South London project

Our boutique studio specialises in residential architecture, offering bespoke services for home additions, renovations and new-builds. Based in Hackney, we practice across London and beyond.

A RIBA Chartered Practice, Scenario complies with the UK’s strict health and safety criteria. We collaborate closely with our clients throughout every stage of the process, from the design phase, through planning and construction. We aim to deliver every project on time and on budget.

Our skilled team works with the latest 3D design technology: real-time digital visualisations and virtual reality. We feel they are the most effective and efficient tools for seeing through our work, choosing fittings and simulating natural light.

This Chartered Institute of Building case study features a recent Scenario project, demonstrating the benefits of advanced technologies in designing for the domestic sphere.

Full-width extension opens to the beautiful garden of this Victorian property
Complete renovation and extension of a family home
We are always investigating new, clever ways to bring light into your house

South London Architects Your South London project >> Further Reading

South London has been occupied for thousands of years. Southwark, the neighbourhood encompassing the South Bank, was the city’s first official suburb. But only now is the vast south-of-Thames area exerting the same pull as the north.

Architecture has a lot to do with South London coming into its own. As its Georgian and Victorian infrastructure began falling into disrepair and its postwar buildings lost their original heroic purpose, architects took notice. With compassionate restorations and adaptive reuse, some of South London’s most neglected architecture has enjoyed a renaissance. Professionals have moved in and opened up old, dark terraces; small businesses have occupied warehouses; shopping malls and car parks have been reimagined by artisans and grassroots businesses. In the process, South London has become a celebrated model for how historic architecture can survive in the digital age.

As our lifestyles have changed, so has our capacity for design savvy. Most homeowners know by now that a period home can be opened up and converted into a contemporary one without altering its integrity. Because of its underdog status, South London is one of the capital’s most affordable areas to take on such a project.

South London architects have capitalised on the fact that their work can have a major impact south of the Thames. Between the major construction projects at Battersea Power Station, Vauxhall, Bermondsey and North Greenwich, they have torn up floor plans and rebuilt from the inside out. They have offered clever solutions for sneaking in storage, an extra toilet or an essential workspace. And an experience eye will see where you’ll need to, say, sacrifice on living space to get the kitchen you want – or see that you won’t need to sacrifice after all.

South London architectures are slowly transforming the built landscape. The cookie-cutter homes builders envisioned 150 years ago are morphing behind heritage facades to suit evolving lifestyles and specific needs. Kitchens are growing, and serving multiple purposes as entertaining spaces and home offices; with separate dining rooms less important nowadays, they’re being folded into the new so-called Great Room. Meanwhile massive units for music and screens are shrinking. The focus of the lounge has changed entirely in just a handful of years. En suite bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes are being carved out of eaves and poky bedrooms – not to mention spaces for yoga and meditation. Stairs are hiding storage to reduce clutter coming from small children, while walls are hiding appliances nobody could have even conceived of 50 years ago.

At Scenario, we know where and how to incorporate these changes into your home before you even know you want or need them. And we’ll pinpoint the perfect materials with which to achieve it all. In the end, your house will be a true original.

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South London Architects In our clients words

FAQ

South 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.

South London Architects

FAQWho will be assigned to work on my project?
Any architectural project comprises three main aspects, Creative design, Technical design and Project Management. A successful architectural project can only be achieved when all three aspects are properly performed and harmoniously integrated by an experienced professional. But can we really except a single person to specialise and shine in all three aspects and furthermore skilfully negotiate and balance the often contradictory challenges these aspects present? The basic assumption underlying the common structure of almost all other architectural practices today is that it is possible and this is precisely what is expected from the lone and often junior Architect that would typically be assigned to run your project start to finish. Scenario works in a completely different and new way, we believe in specialism and teamwork and therefore assign three experienced specialists for each and every project. A project team in Scenario is composed of a Project Director, a Designer and a Technical Designer, seamlessly collaborating to deliver results, which are noticeably superior to anything that a single person, skilful as they may be, could ever produce.

South 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.

South 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. 

South London Architects

FAQHow long will it take to obtain planning permission for my project?
The standard consideration period for a residential project is eight weeks, this is the official time frame for your local council to carry out consultation with the neighbours and reach a decision.  We recommend allowing for a minimum of ten weeks from submission to decision as in practice the process always takes slightly longer for the following reasons: 
  • 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.
Validation can take anything from a few days to couple of weeks when the council is very busy, which is most of the time…
  • 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. 
While there are some effective measures to apply pressure, which we do not hesitate to use when appropriate, it is generally beneficial for the project to bear with the council a little 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.