Architects Guildford

Architects Guildford

Architects Guildford

Our clients move to Guildford to get the best of both worlds. Guildford offers homeowners more space and quiet than a life in London with the benefit of excellent transport links to the capital and proximity to vast green spaces. The historic centre is a gateway to the rolling Downs with the West Country beyond, but also a hub for great shopping and dining. The housing landscape is a mixture of historic, half-timbered villas and modernised 20th-century homes.

Renovating or expanding a home in Guildford requires close attention to local regulations, and it pays to have an architect helping to navigate the local permissions process. Since its inception in 2007, Scenario Architecture has built both a reputation for transforming English homes and successful relationships with planning departments across the Southeast. Our experience has helped make Scenario one of the region’s most coveted architecture practices.

Scenario began with a vision to combine a passion for vernacular English architecture with contemporary design to create striking living spaces. To achieve this harmony, we put our clients’ needs and desires at the forefront of every design. A home that functions for the present and the future is the product of a deep understanding of each client. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell a story about each owner – not about the architects.

To understand our talent for transforming period homes with beautiful, functional results, look at our landmark project, Scenario House. Shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards in 2018, this family home showcases our fresh, customised approach and our commitment to the needs of today’s homeowners.

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Architects Guildford Your Guildford Project

Starting your Guildford project

The architects at Scenario have put together an illustrated synopsis of the planning process in England’s southeast to help you understand what it entails, whether you hope to extend your home, renovate or build a new home entirely.

Most property expansions and renovations in Guildford will require approval by the planning department of the Guildford Borough Council. Our continual success securing planning permission on behalf of our clients means we can help you navigate that process, collaborating with Guildford officials to see through your project application.


Discover if your chosen architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the Guildford Borough website, click on “Planning and Building Control”, go into the search engine for planning applications and type in your agent’s name.

Architects Guildford


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

Architects Guildford Your Guildford Project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your Guildford project

Scenario Architecture takes on residential projects of every scale and complexity, from refurbishments to renovations, expansions to new-build homes. Our London studio provides bespoke architecture and design and a team of skilled architects.
Scenario is a RIBA Chartered Practice. We comply with the health and safety criteria of the country’s professional body.
We use 3D design technology on all our projects. Real-time visualisations and virtual reality are the most efficient tools for choosing fixtures and fittings, simulating natural light and seeing a project come to life. This Chartered Institute of Building case study – featuring a project by Scenario Architecture – demonstrates the benefits of advanced technology for residential architecture.

Architects Guildford

Wrap-around extension and full renovation

Architects Guildford

Extensive renovation within a conservation area

Architects Guildford

Full refurbishment of a terraced house

Architects Guildford >> Your Guildford Project Further Reading

Since Saxon times, people have been settling at this spot overlooking the North Downs, then known as the Hog’s Back. They called the town Guildown, either for the golden colour of the marigold and wildflowers that coated the hills, or for the fact that it housed the country’s mint under the Anglo-Saxon kings.

Either way, there is no dispute that this high ground 30 miles southwest of London has a spectacular vantage point onto the surrounding countryside. The River Wey, running up through town, meanders between two chalk hills that rise over Surrey, with views to London in one direction and pretty rolling green in the other. Guildford High Street gets the gamut of well-known British shops, plus a good share of independents as well. Head to the other side of the river, just shy of the striking 20th-century cathedral, and The Mount climbs up past a cemetery to a patchwork of farmland. Distinguished Georgian houses give way, the higher you climb, to white stucco mock Tudors, built after the war. The local train hubs connect to London Waterloo in less than 45 minutes.

The city has the highest number of property millionaires in the county – nearly 6,000 in all. They live in the steep roads beyond the grounds of the thousand-year-old castle, or in the tidy residential streets north of the centre, where outstanding schools dot the neighbourhoods. Sprawling detached homes with four bedrooms are plentiful here, and homeowners add onto them with glass conservatories. There is ample opportunity for the expansion of smaller, newer homes, whether detached or semi-detached, nearly doubling their square footage in the process.

Enlarging a historic property in the city is not unheard of. There is some recent history in the area of local architects converting Grade II-listed properties and expanding houses that fall under conservation laws. Basements, garages, garden rooms and orangeries are popular forms of expansion. Some families have had the opportunity to build from scratch, adding pools and double-height great rooms. Further out into the surrounding rural area, old barns and farmhouses are being converted into family homes, using traditional oak frames to support wide banks of glass.

Ask your architects about their knowhow navigating the local permissions processes. The best architects will pilot your project through the Guildford regulations and liaise with you throughout the life of your home extension, renovation or new build.

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Architects Guildford In our clients words


Architects Guildford

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 Guildford

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. 

Architects Guildford

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 Guildford

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.

Architects Guildford

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 Guildford

FAQWhat is the fee structure used by Scenario Architecture?
The fee structure that we will offer will depend on the type and scale of your project as well as the scope required from us. The vast majority of the projects we take on are what we call ‘full projects’, these are projects for which we will provide full Architectural services from inception to completion, covering the standard scope of services offered by most RIBA Chartered Architects and more. For these full projects our fees will be calculated on the basis of an agreed percentage of the final cost of the building works exclusive of VAT and professional fees. At any given time, we will calculate our fees based on the latest construction cost estimates available until the final cost of the building works has been ascertained. Our fees will be adjusted both forward and retrospectively to reflect any increase in budget and scope of the project, and forward only (due to work already completed) to reflect any decrease in budget/scope. During early stages, our fees will be calculated based on our in-house estimation tool and once available, on estimates by the appointed Quantity Surveyor, followed by actual prices of returned tenders and finally, the contract sum reflecting any changes during construction. Under unusual circumstances we may agree to take on projects only up to a certain stage, for example up to planning, and sometimes from a certain stage if we are taking over from another Architect. For these ‘partial scope projects’ we will normally put forward a simple fixed lump sum proposal.