Architects Highgate

Architects Highgate

Architects Highgate

With an extensive portfolio of completed residential projects throughout North London over more than a decade, we see Highgate as our backyard. Our clients have made us the architects of choice in the area: changing Highgate’s architectural landscape house by house.

Our boutique architecture practice was just months old when we won a commission to renovate and extend a vast family home in North Grove, Highgate, incorporating bespoke shelving and cabinetry and our trademark sinuous curves. Thus began a long and fruitful relationship with Haringey Council’s Planning Department and, later, Camden Council. Over more than a decade, we’ve developed an extensive portfolio of completed projects in Highgate and North London, earning our way to becoming the local architects of choice.

When our Highgate clients moved into their completed home, they recommended Scenario Architecture to friends who had decided to embark on an extensive renovation of their imposing North London family home. Local commissions snowballed from there. Our latest project in the area is an innovative scheme in Muswell Hill, recently granted planning permission from Haringey Council.

We established Scenario in 2007 with a vision to develop a uniquely collaborative architecture. We take a considered approach to our clients’ desires, placing their aspirations for a new, architect-designed home in high definition. The clients’ needs are the main drivers of our design process.

A beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle – and that shows in our work. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell the story of the owners – not the architects.

Our landmark project Scenario House, located in Stoke Newington, was covered widely by the media and shortlisted for several prestigious architecture awards – including the 2018 RIBA London Awards. It demonstrates our successful approach to domestic architecture projects.

View Our Projects

Architects Highgate

Ground floor extension of a Highgate house

Architects Highgate

Kitchen and dinning area opening up to the garden

Architects Highgate Your Highgate project

Starting your Highgate project

If you’re considering a residential architectural project in Highgate or North London, we’re here to help, whether it’s a renovation, extension or new-build. We’ve created a brief illustrated overview to help you understand each stage of the process, whether you’re planning a home extension, renovation or new-build in North London. Most architecture projects in Highgate require planning permission from Haringey or Camden Council. With our successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across North London.

Tip

Discover if your chosen architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the “planning applications” section of your council’s website and enter the architect’s name in the search criteria.

Architects Highgate

Advice

To help you understand what it takes to obtain planning permission in London, we’ve created this helpful guide. Download it below.
Planning guide

Architects Highgate Your Highgate project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your Highgate project

Scenario Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects across London. We tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior alterations to full renovations and new-builds, through our bespoke architecture service.

Our experienced, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We’ll collaborate closely from the design and planning stages through tender and construction to the successful completion of your project. On time and on budget.

Scenario Architecture is a RIBA Chartered Practice. We comply with the strict criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management.

Early adopters of the latest technology, we use innovative 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard for all projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are extremely efficient tools for choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, and simulating natural light. We also use 3D building information modelling (BIM) technology to produce reliable construction information, so all our project data comes from an accurate, coordinated 3D model. Using this cutting-edge technology collaboratively with consultants and contractors is proven to save our clients time and money.

A Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a Scenario project demonstrates the great benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.

Architects Highgate

Built in library with a partly glazed back, allowing natural light into the stair hallway behind

Architects Highgate

The highgate extension from the back with a built in bench, housing the AV equipment indoors

Architects Highgate

Built in garden storage design

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Architects Highgate In our clients words

scenario-architecture-testimonial-michael

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.


scenario-architecture-testimonial-guy

Great, professional service. Good drawings and models and ultimately passed planning at the first attempt with Hackney Council. Would certainly recommend!


scenario-architecture-testimonial-kauser

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.


scenario-architecture-testimonial-brendan

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-architecture-testimonial-michael-gauer

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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FAQ

Architects Highgate

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 Highgate

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.

Architects Highgate

FAQWhat is pre-planning and will it be required 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 Highgate

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.