Scenario Architecture are among the new crop of London architects restoring and enhancing the heritage fabric of the city. Scenario take a unique approach to our residential projects, applying contemporary angles and fluid lines to housing stock dating back hundreds of years. Working across Greater London for over a decade, we’ve become the London architects of choice for people who aspire to a new archetype for London living: open and comfortable, luxurious yet accessible. Our goal is to transform the city’s old architectural landscape house by house.
Established by two London architects in 2007, Scenario began with a unique vision: to develop an architecture practice that’s compassionate and collaborative. We take a considered approach to our clients’ desires, pushing their needs and ambitions to the next level. Our clients’ aspirations are the main drivers of our London architecture.
A highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell a story about each owner – not about the architects.
Our landmark project Scenario House established us as one of the top London architects working today. located in Stoke Newington, London, it showcases the potential of the city’s period housing stock and sets the bar for residential architecture in London. In 2018, Scenario House was shortlisted for several prestigious prizes – including the RIBA London Awards. Still as fresh and efficient today as when we first put it to paper, it demonstrates our out-of-the-box customised approach to domestic architecture.
Your London project
Starting your London project
If you’re considering a residential project using London architects, we’re here to help, whether it’s a renovation, extension or new-build. We’ve created an illustrated overview to help you understand each stage of the process. Most new London architecture projects require planning permission from the local council. We’ve built a successful record securing planning permission for our clients and claim home advantage across the city.
TipDiscover 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.
AdviceWe 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
Your London project >> Scenario Architecture
Working with Scenario Architecture on your London architecture project
Scenario is a boutique London architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. Through our bespoke architecture service we tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior alterations to full renovations and new-builds.
Our highly skilled team will take you step-by-step through every stage of the design process. We’ll consult with you from the initial drawings, through every design detail, steering you through local planning and tender. We’ll be present throughout construction and see you through your project’s successful completion. We always finish on time and on budget.
Founded by two London architects, Scenario prides itself on being a RIBA Chartered Practice. We comply with the strict criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, meaning our clients are protected with insurance, health and safety measures and quality-management systems.
We have always been early adopters of the latest architectural technology. Our architects use innovative 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard on all projects – our experience has shown that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are most efficient tools for choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, and simulating natural light.
We produce reliable construction information using 3D building information modelling (BIM) technology, so our project data derives from accurate, coordinated 3D models. Using this technology to collaborate with consultants and contractors saves our clients time, money and worry.
This case study from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), featuring a Scenario project, demonstrates the benefits of advanced technology for domestic architecture.
Your London Project >> Further Reading
London is unique in its great selection of elegant period homes. Whatever your neighbourhood, you’ll find a stock of desirable homes dating back to the Georgian, Regency or Victorian era. Often, though, what these homes reflect on the outside does not compare to how they look on the inside.
London’s strict conservation laws mean many buildings must maintain their architectural integrity on the façade. Yet details hidden from the street view are vulnerable to change. Over centuries, domestic London architecture has been subdivided, fragmented, modernised, replumbed and repaired – and not always compassionately. That doesn’t mean a home with wonky floors, awkward functionality and obliterate period details cannot be salvaged. When looking to buy a home or trying to envision the future of an existing home, it’s always necessary to look past unnecessary walls and difficult corners to what a home can be. There is always new space to incorporate or dead space to recoup, whether in a dark loft, a rear kitchen, a stubborn side-return or barely-there basement storage.
Owners of London architecture must always be prepared to discover deeper problems throughout a renovation. Yet a problem in the hands of a good architect can often lead to a more beautiful and more efficient solution. Defunct electricals and obsolete plumbing can lead to smart systems that promise to save time and energy in the future. A troublesome roof can open up the possibilities for a roof of eco-friendly sedum or a bank of solar panelling. Remember when working out your remodelling budget that good design today may eradicate untold costs in the future.
It is possible to maintain the best period details like original mouldings, timber beams and gables while expanding Victorian and Edwardian homes – just as it’s possible to open up interiors to light and greater ease of movement and reintroduce an original fireplace or floor. New cutting-edge materials and a creative approach can help transform a period home not only for the way we live today, but for future generations. Prioritising good design, incorporating personal habits into the flow of your space and having a liaison throughout the process will speed up the process and eliminate any drama.
Renovating London architecture is more than a luxury in today’s landscape. Renovating well is a necessity for maintaining the rich architectural fabric of the city and housing large families in once-poky spaces. It reduces the need for new construction and cuts down on wasted energy in the long term. Most of all, improving your home goes toward building more beautiful, liveable London.
Your London Project >> In our clients 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.
- 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.