Architects Guildford

Architects Guildford

Architects Guildford

Architects Guildford About us

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.

Architects Guildford 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

Architects Guildford

Scenario is an established architecture practice focusing on contemporary residential design. We take on projects of every scale and scope, from home refurbishment, renovation and expansions to new-builds.

Architects Guildford Working with Scenario Architecture

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

Architects Guildford In our client's words

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Architects Guildford 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.

Architects Guildford Frequently Asked Questions

    There is no doubt that choosing an architect is a big decision and there’s a huge amount of information to consider. As you may have already experienced, different firms and architectural practices across London tend to differ in terms of the language they use, which aspects they emphasise and in their fees and scope structures. We have compiled an essential guide to choosing an architect, which includes the three most important considerations to have on your list whilst you come to a decision. This guide is based on our fifteen years of experience as a top architectural practice in London and includes our expert recommendations to ensure you make the right choice and select the architect that is best suited to you and your project. Click here to read the full guide.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQHow should I decide which architect to work with?
    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 unique about the Scenario design process?
    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

    FAQWho will be assigned to work on my project?
    A key aspect, absolutely necessary to ensure successful delivery of your project is appointing a suitable and competent professional team. If we work together on your project we would be appointed as your Architects and Lead Consultants and help you to assemble the rest of the professional team. Most projects in and around London will require at least four additional consultants, a Structural Engineer, a Quantity Surveyor for cost control, an Approved Inspector to ensure and certify compliance with building regulations and a Party Wall Surveyor if any work is to be done to a party wall or structure. For some projects, depending on scale, complexity and your specific aspirations it may be recommended/required to use the services of additional consultants. Including but not limited to: Planning, Heritage, Right of Light, Landscape Designer, Audio Visual and Building Services Engineer. When appropriate, we will discuss these options with you and obtain relevant quotes for all additional consultants for you to consider.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQWhich additional consultants are required for my project?
    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 planning?
    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.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQHow long will it take to obtain planning permission for my project?
    Once we have an initial scheme designed for your project which you are happy to proceed with, we will advise whether we recommend obtaining pre-planning advice or proceeding directly to the submission of a full planning application. Most of our projects are submitted first to pre-planning when the following applies.
    • 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.
    In practice our established working relationships and long-standing experience working across Greater London and the Home Counties often enables us to have a meaningful discussion and even introduce minor tweaks to the submitted scheme within the consideration period and prevent the application from being rejected. The chances for this strategy to deliver the desired results increases significantly with projects which were submitted first for a pre-planning advice.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQWhat is pre-planning and will it be required for my project?
    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

    FAQWhat is Scenario’s approach to sustainability?
    In a nutshell building control is the means by which Local Authorities enforce compliance with current Building Regulations.  In practice there are two main ways to go about obtaining the required advice and certification for your project, via your Local Council’s Building Control Department or via direct appointment of an Approved Inspector who is authorised to carry out the inspection and certification on behalf of any local authority.   The role of either the Council’s Building Control Officer or an Approved Inspector is to verify that your project meets all current Building Regulations. They will review and approve all the drawings, inspect the actual work carried out on site and once the project is completed, issue the final compliance certificate. Due to an open market, healthy competition between local councils and approved inspectors, the process and associated costs are almost identical. Having said that, our experience is that the private inspectors still feel and behave more as your appointed consultants and the council’s service still feels more like a statutory inspection and it is often slower and less responsive.  While it is always good to be informed and understand the process well, as your appointed architects we will take care of this aspect of the project for you and save you considering comparable quotes that we will obtain on your behalf and appointing the selected provider. You can leave this aspect of your project entirely with us.  Building control is required for almost all projects, and for all the projects we ever worked on as only minor renovation works may be exempt.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQWhat is building control and is it required for my project?
    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.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQWhat is the cost of building an extension?
    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.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQWhat is the cost of an internal refurbishment?
    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 cost of building a new house?
    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.

    Architects Guildford

    FAQWhat is the fee structure used by Scenario Architecture?

Architects Guildford Can I Renovate My Period Home?

If you are looking to improve your period home this year, we have a couple of ideas for you…

Improve your home with a wood window design

It will soon be time to welcome the wonder of autumn for another year. Planning ahead is important. For a lot of people, autumn is a favoured season because they get to enjoy the beautiful rustic red and warm brown colours that come to the fore. They get to embrace the warmer fashions without dealing with the horrific winter weather. Whether you are a fan of autumn or not, one thing is for certain; this is a period whereby you must adapt to the style of your home. You need to move away from the light colours and thin materials of the summer and make your home more inviting and warm. How can you do this? Well, there are lots of different options at your disposal, however, a stunning wooden window design is definitely one of the more recommended ones.

Wood is a material that is fantastic for autumn and winter. This is because it is a material that literally brings warmth into your home. When you consider the terrible weather that usually descends during this period you see why it is so important to take warmth in any way you can. And wooden windows are certainly a fantastic way of doing this. After all, who can deny how stunning wooden windows look? Wood is a material that is extremely rustic and homely. It possesses much more character than any other material does. Imagine a wooden window. Now, imagine a PVC window. There is only one clear winner isn’t there? Wooden windows will upgrade the image of your home dramatically. It is additions like this that turn a property into a home so to speak. In addition to this, keeping on the subject of wood’s appearance and style, one of the great things about it is the fact that wood will never go out of fashion. It has achieved the elusive timeless status which ensures you never have to worry about your windows being considered unstylish or outdated. This is important when you consider the fact that replacement windows can mark a substantial investment.

This leads nicely to the next point; you can benefit from a gorgeous wooden window design without having to break the bank. If you have a good look online you will see there are companies offering wooden windows at favourable rates. This is important. Furthermore, not only do you have the benefit of low costs, but you also have the advantage of great variation. There will be a wealth of different designs for you to choose from. You can opt for something contemporary or you can go down the vintage route. The choices are endless. No other type of material offers you this much flexibility.

The weather may be about to turn dull and dreary but this does not mean your home has to. You can really update the look of your property with a stunning wooden window design. There is no home addition that is more fitting for the current autumn period. You will add warmth, style and a wealth of character!

How to give your home a new look with a staircase design

There is little refuting the fact that your staircase has a massive effect on the overall look of your home. After all, it is one of, if not the, biggest structure in your property. It usually tends to be situated in a central location as well. Thus, the impact is huge. You should definitely take advantage of this. Choose your staircase design with care. Enhance the overall image of your home; make it spectacular, extravagant and simply stunning. Nothing gives you greater potential to do so than your staircase does.

There is a wealth of fantastic options to choose from. Designs vary from string built, to open tread, to straight, to winders, to cut and mitred, to door leg. The possibilities are endless. Take a peek online and familiarise yourself with each one via looking over a selection of pictures. Open tread stairs are very popular at the moment, they have a real contemporary feel about them. Winder staircases are great for adding a show-stopping effect. Of course their practicality is one of the main reasons they are chosen; they can change the direction of your stairs without requiring a landing. Nonetheless, their style is also a major factor. The choice is of course up to you. But don’t rush into your decision. Moreover, it is recommended that you speak to a professional as well. You may have ideas of what looks nice but you also need to discuss the practicality with them too.

In addition to this, you also want to determine the overall feel you are looking to generate. Essentially, this is where theme and style comes into play. Do you want something simple? Or do you want the spectacular? Do you want a contemporary design? Or would you prefer a traditional option? What about intricate detailing? Or do you want to go for the minimalistic approach? These are all worth mulling over. Minimalism is a trend that is very much in fashion at the moment. However, if you want something timeless then you may prefer to go down the traditional route. At least by doing this you know that your staircase will never go out of style.

You should also think about the finishing touches as well. From metal work, to carved wooden posts, to a continuous handrail. The possibilities are endless. However, this is something a lot of individuals tend to forget about. They pick their staircase design and overlook all of the added extras. This is a big mistake. After all, these finishing touches are what truly complete the look and make your staircase unique.

There is very little getting away from the fact that your staircase makes a massive impact upon your home. This is something you should certainly use to your advantage. You can generate a five star feel in your property with a stunning staircase design. The options are endless. There is no rule book when it comes to selecting the right staircase to go for. So, consider all possibilities and make your decision with care.