Architects Oxfordshire

Architects Oxfordshire

Architects Oxfordshire

Bordered by Banbury and Reading, Burford and the Chilterns, Oxfordshire is one of the most appealing and aspirational counties in England. At its centre, it boasts the storied university with its bustling city of 150,000, home to cultural and architectural treasures. Oxford’s magical beauty rivals the pastoral outskirts, incorporating two major areas of natural beauty and a slew of charming market towns.

With the city growing and the countryside increasingly popular, real estate in Oxfordshire is highly coveted. But what exists is often charming and well sited, close to green pastures, stylish taverns and ancient fabric.

To renovate or expand a home in Oxfordshire, you will need to win permission from the local council. Seek the help of architects, Oxfordshire-based, to explore local regulations and design a respectful design solution sympathetic to the local vernacular.

Since founding Scenario Architecture in 2007, we have built a reputation for transforming English homes that respect their environment and historical foundation – thanks in no small part to our successful relationships in planning departments across the country. Our experience and talent for heritage conversions have helped make Scenario one of the region’s most coveted architecture practices.

At Scenario we’ve developed a unique architectural style that marries heritage details and modern silhouettes. Our clients guide our process every step of the way on personalised elements that enhance their way of life. Our collaborations generate user-friendly spaces with striking contrasts – homes that are easy and enjoyable to live in.

Our flagship project Scenario House showcases our commitment to period properties with modern details – elements that can be adapted to any homeowner and any property, historic or contemporary. In 2018 it was shortlisted for a prestigious RIBA London Award.

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Architects Oxfordshire Your Oxfordshire project

Starting your Oxfordshire project

If you are undertaking a renovation, restoration, addition or new-build project in Oxfordshire, take a look at this illustrated synopsis we’ve drawn up to help you understand the process.

Most architectural projects in Oxfordshire require approval from the local council. Architects, Oxfordshire-based, can help you through the process, collaborating with officials to see your application through. Scenario is well versed at successfully steering clients through the planning permissions process.


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

Architects Oxfordshire


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 Oxfordshire Your Oxfordshire project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your Oxfordshire project

Scenario Architecture specialises in residential projects of all varieties and scales. Our boutique studio offers bespoke services for home additions, renovations and new-builds. Based in London, we practice across England, so visit our online portfolio if you’re seeking an architect, Oxfordshire-based.

We’re a RIBA Chartered Practice, complying with strict health and safety criteria. Our skilled staff collaborate closely with our clients throughout every stage of the process, from the design phase, through planning and construction. We deliver on time and on budget.

We work with the latest 3D design technology. 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 Oxfordshire

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

Architects Oxfordshire

Complete renovation and extension of a family home

Architects Oxfordshire

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

Architects Oxfordshire Your Oxfordshire project >> Further Reading

To people outside the UK as in, Oxfordshire represents a special, romantic version of England: stately homes, honey-coloured thatched-roof cottages, rolling green landscapes and Gothic churches. In many corners of the county, stringent building regulations and passion for the inherited environment has allowed the area to maintain its natural beauty. From the bucolic magnificence of the Cotswolds to the golden pillared monuments of Oxford, the area has a storybook quality. Modernity has crept into the Tudor shopfronts, the Asian restaurants, the swish country pubs, yet in many corners of the county, with views across stern steeples and clay-tile roofs, it’s like the past five centuries have never happened.

Retreating to Oxfordshire with means to buy a home is something of a dream. Save up and buy a plot near Christmas Common, or on the river at Henley, or a smart little terraced house in Faringdon. Prices are increasingly tough to swing, yet there still remain affordable pockets in the villages surrounding Blenheim Palace and the old farming communities toward Cheltenham. Oxford has always had a lively community whether or not you play a part in the illustrious university. Some 150,000 year-long residents bounce between the urban downtown and the museums and music halls of the university grounds. Residential neighbourhoods take on all architectural styles and characters, from Georgian and Victorian to mid-century modern. There are opportunities aplenty to expand, renovate and rebuild to improve function, access and quality of life.

Altering a heritage property in Oxfordshire is not unprecedented. There is a history of local conversions and expansions of listed properties falling under conservation laws. Lofts, basements, side returns and garden rooms are popular plans of action. Some families have had the occasion to build anew, adding swimming pools and so-called great rooms. Further out into the countryside, old barns and farmhouses are being transformed 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 Oxfordshire regulations and liaise with you throughout the life of your home extension, renovation or new build.

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Architects Oxfordshire 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 Oxfordshire

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 Oxfordshire

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 Oxfordshire

FAQWhich additional consultants are required for 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 Oxfordshire

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 Oxfordshire

FAQWhat is the cost of building an extension?
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 Oxfordshire

FAQWhat is the cost of an internal refurbishment?
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 Oxfordshire

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.