Scenario is a dynamic architectural practice based in London. Our young, highly skilled team focuses on residential projects throughout the capital and beyond, redesigning and rebuilding period homes for 21st-century living. We work closely with all our clients to create tailor-made architecture that adapts and grows with their lifestyle.
A Scenario home respects historical detail and structural integrity and sits at home within a specific landscape. Each of our designs is unique to the client and their place in the world.
Every home in London is a product of a moment in time and a way of living. But the way we live today has evolved over time, so that few meet our specific needs. An optimal living space today blends the finest heritage elements with contemporary comforts and hardy, efficient materials. Our job is to balance the beauty of the past with the demands of the present. Our home expansions, renovations and new-builds deliver efficient, light-bathed layouts that respect their surroundings and address the way we live.
Visit the building controls section of your council’s website to find out if your architect can navigate the planning process for you. Just located the search engine for planning applications and enter your architect’s name.
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.
Working with Scenario Architecture
At Scenario, we specialise in residential architecture for everyone. Our projects range from refurbishments and renovations to new-build houses across London and the Southeast. We are a small, dynamic RIBA Chartered Practice. As such, we comply with the health and safety criteria of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
We design all our projects with the help of 3D design technology for the most accurate, up-to-date visualisations. Our architects are fluent in real-time visualisation and virtual-reality tools for choosing finishes and fittings and simulating natural light. Our building information modelling technology (BIM) produces reliable construction information, rendering accurate data on all our models. This saves our clients time and money.
In our client's 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.
Moving house is a daunting prospect even before you consider the work yet to be done. It is increasingly rare, in and around London, to find a home that suits you and your family to a T. The longer you live in your new home, the more you’ll recognise what needs to change in order to live comfortably and efficiently for the long term.
Finding an architect near you, who understands the architectural landscape you’re part of, is crucial for transforming your living space while adhering to local building regulations and fitting into the neighbourhood. A good architect will understand the sacred nature of the built environment as well as the period look of your home. The job of a good architect is to accept these existing variables, and play to them in a way that will allow you to live a modern life in a period setting.
This does not mean you and your architect will be working at cross-purposes. The charm of living in a place with history is embracing that history in a way that works for you. And the challenge is achieving a unique, contemporary space with nods to the past that succeeds without compromise. Architect and client should work in close conjunction from start to finish, on the same team. The sum should be greater than its parts.
Even a new-build home can sit happily within a neighbourhood with history if your architect understands the area, its people and the protectors from the local council. Within a reasonable envelope, with dimensions that respect local height caps and sightlines, interiors can take on all manner of styles. Bedrooms can be enlarged and reworked, or carved out under the ground. Extra bathrooms can be magicked from awkward corners; play rooms for children can emerge from lofty gables or expanded kitchens. Space can be captured from fallow driveways or rafters.
One of the drawbacks of a period home is the inevitability of dark, windowless spaces. A deft architect can work within the confines of neighbourhood traditions to draw in light with glass extensions and two-storey voids in the floor plan. They can introduce rooflights, clerestory windows or tempered-glass room dividers. At the same time, they can harness storage space in unused corners to give the illusion of open, minimalist living in a busy family home.
In these ways, altering a heritage home in a conservation area can be as fulfilling as building anew.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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.