Architects Essex

Architects Essex

Architects Essex

As London expands outward and its centre of gravity shifts eastward, it’s only natural that people looking to put their personal stamp on a home search beyond the city confines. Essex has become wildly popular – for families as well as young professionals. Connected to central London by a trusty motorway network and a thick web of public transit, Essex makes the commute extremely doable. And it doesn’t disappoint in terms of natural beauty. In Essex, you can have the best of both worlds: a cosmopolitan urban lifestyle and access to unspoilt outdoors.

Looking toward Essex give you access to all manner of property, from historic townhomes to suburban revival architecture to country estates. If you plan on renovating, expanding or building anew, however, you’ll need the wisdom of a local architect to help you navigate the local building regulations, wherever you land.

For a pool of architects, Essex based, search the database of your local council’s “planning and building controls” microsite; visit the RIBA website for a list of its member-architects; or contact Scenario. We’ve collaborated successfully with councils throughout London and Essex on period and modern homes. Our experience, along with our reputation converting historic homes with a compassionate eye, has made our boutique architecture practice one of the most sought-after in the UK.

Since launching Scenario in 2007, we’ve established a unique, collaborative style that fuses architectural heritage with modern silhouettes. That fine balance generates striking contrasts, and homes that are easy and enjoyable to live in. Our clients lead the design process, collaborating from drawing table to completion on personalised elements that enhance their way of life.

Our work speaks volumes. We were shortlisted for a RIBA London Award in 2018 for our residential project Scenario House, a showcase of our commitment to period properties with modern details. Elements of this project can be adapted to any homeowner, in any period or contemporary home in the UK.

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Architects Essex Your Essex project

Starting your Essex project

Undertaking a renovation, restoration, addition or new build in Essex? The architects at Scenario can help you understand the process. But first, take a look at this illustrated synopsis.

For most building work in Essex, you’ll need approval from your local council’s building department. Architects, Essex-based, can help you through the process, collaborating with officials to see your application through. We at Scenario have successfully secured planning permission for all our clients, so we can help, too.


Discover if your chosen architect is up to the task. Visit the building controls section of your council’s website, find the search engine for planning applications and enter your architect’s name.

Architects Essex


Download our guide for navigating the planning process in Essex and beyond. It will help anyone seeking the council’s consent to alter a property with planning basics and strategies for successfully completing the process. Download it below.
Planning guide

Architects Essex Your Essex project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your Essex project

Scenario specialises in residential architecture in all varieties and scales. Our London-based boutique studio offers bespoke services for refurbishments, home additions, renovations and new-builds.

We pride ourselves on being a RIBA Chartered Practice, which means we comply with the UK’s strict health and safety criteria for architecture. Though we are based in London, we practice across Southeast England and beyond, so visit our online portfolio if you’re seeking an architect, Essex-based. Our skilled architects collaborate closely with our clients on every stage of the process, from sketches through detailed designs, planning and construction. We deliver on time and on budget.

We work with the latest 3D design technology on all projects. We believe real-time digital visualisations and virtual reality are the most effective and efficient tools for seeing through our work, choosing fittings and simulating natural light.

Read this Chartered Institute of Building case study to find details of a recent Scenario project. It demonstrates the benefits of advanced technologies for our domestic work.

Architects Essex

Full-width extension opens to the beautiful garden of this Victorian property

Architects Essex

Complete renovation and extension of a family home

Architects Essex

We are always investigating new, clever ways to bring light into your house

Architects Essex Your Essex project >> Further Reading

Where does London end and Essex begin? It’s hard to say. Over the years the borders between the city and counties to the north and east have shifted as neighbourhoods sought to be independent from or part of the capital. Suffice it to say: if you can take the Tube there, you’re not in Essex.

What is Essex transcends its reputation as a cluster of bourgeois commuter towns. Take Saffron Walden in the north, as pretty as it sounds amid golden fields, half-timbered houses and a twice-weekly produce market. It connects to Stansted and the City and yet enjoys its own bubble of local theatre, design shops and proper gastro-pub fare. At the opposite end of Essex is Burnham, all frilly Victorian and leaded glass on a landscape of emerald lowlands. Two minutes outside town you can take your pick of deserted beaches with resident seals and skip stones in the breeze. From your converted farmhouse in Waltham Abbey, you can sail down the Lea River to your desk in London. Or you can hole up in Frinton, nab yourself a sherbet-coloured beach hut and get into golf.

Nobody much talks about the history in Essex, the fact that Colchester was the first Roman town (and thus the first target of the murderous Queen Boudicca). Or that Chipping Ongar still has an original Saxon wood church – and the feeling of a Medieval village less than an hour from London. The area is often overshadowed by Suffolk to the north and Kent below. But, of course, Essex was one of the first proper counties in the UK. It was the first route into the country for legions of explorers, invaders and immigrants. And still it boasts quite a bit of natural beauty.

For homes with period features and large gardens that still allow some alterations and expansions under the local codes, go to the outer borders of the county: villages like Dedham on the River Stour, with its Gothic parish church, or the seaside resort Walton-on-the-Naze, with its wind-swept maritime feel and waterfront that falls far short of kitsch. Or explore the tidy hedgerows of the little bedroom communities around Epping Green, from where you can commute into London through forests and marshlands.

Stick to the main centres of Chelmsford and Cheltenham for the amenities of a big city in a small-town environment. Wherever you do go, you’ll be able to find an architect with the talent and compassion to transform your house into a home with a sense of personality and place.

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Architects Essex 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.

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Architects Essex

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.

Architects Essex

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 (, 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.

Architects Essex

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.

Architects Essex

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.