Architects Richmond

Richmond is that unique of London neighbourhoods: a true village within the city. Its heritage landscape covers London’s most gracious architectural eras – Georgian, Regency, Victorian – and the built fabric is fiercely protected. Walking the cobbled, lantern-lit streets from park to park feels like a throwback. And yet, if you want to update a home in Richmond, there are many ways to alter a dated floorplan or a poky kitchen.

Expanding or improving a home in Richmond requires permission from the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames. Over 10 years, Scenario Architecture has forged successful relationships with planning departments across London, and will be able to see through a renovation or expansion with a deft hand and compassionate eye. We are one of the most coveted boutique residential architecture practices for our contemporary treatment of heritage London homes.

As young graduates of the Architecture Association, we formed Scenario in 2007, bringing a unique vision for a truly collaborative architecture into being. With our fresh approach to residential architecture in historic homes, we’ve built up a portfolio of striking projects that speak to the changing lifestyles of today’s Londoners. A highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding of each client. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell a story about their owners’ needs and ambitions – not about ourselves.

We were already considered one of the top practices working in London when our landmark project Scenario House was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards in 2018. A Victorian conversion with sweeping spaces, soaring ceilings and singular details, it demonstrates our commitment to period properties and the modern needs of Londoners today. Homeowners seeking architects, Richmond based, should examine its fresh, customised approach to a typical London heritage home.

Richmond Architects Your Richmond project

Starting your Richmond project

Are you looking into architects for a residential project in Richmond? Scenario can help. We’ve put together an illustrated rundown of the architectural process to help you understand what it entails, whether you’re planning to extend your home or renovate – or even build a new home entirely.

Home renovations and extensions must be approved by the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames. Our successful track record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients will be of use when you set out to navigate that process. We will work collaboratively with Richmond officials to see through your application.

Tip

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

Architects Richmond

Advice

We’ve created a tailored guide to help steer you through planning in Richmond and beyond. You can download it below.
Planning guide

Richmond Architects Your Richmond project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your Richmond project

At Scenario Architecture, we tackle residential architecture of every scale and scope. We’ve taken on interior refurbishments and full renovations in the most historic homes, establishing a logical contrast between old and new. From our London studio, we offer a totally bespoke service with our team of highly skilled architects.

We collaborate closely with all our clients from the initial meetings and drawings, through planning, tender and construction. We complete all our projects on time and on budget. If you’re searching for an architect, Richmond based, check out our portfolio of high-end residential projects.

We use 3D design technology in all our work. This Chartered Institute of Building case study – featuring a Scenario Architecture project – demonstrates the benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture. As a RIBA Chartered Practice, Scenario complies with RIBA’s strict health and safety criteria.

Architects Richmond

Full renovation and extension in a conservation area, London

Architects Richmond

Contemporary refurbishment of a family-home in West Hampstead, London

Architects Richmond

Basement extension and full renovation in Kensington and Chelsea, London

Richmond Architects Your Richmond project >> Further reading

Though its neighbours the Sheens were mentioned in the Domesday Book, Richmond came into being during the reign of King Henry VII, the former Earl of Richmond in Yorkshire. He built Richmond Palace on the River Thames, only a few remains of which survive. Ever since, the neighbourhood hosted some of the most recognised names in British lore: writers like Alexander Pope and Virginia Woolf; actors like Richard Burton; royals back to Queen Elizabeth I, who stayed at Richmond Palace en route between Hampton Court and Woodstock.

The allure of Richmond’s location cannot be overstated. It is surrounded by green and blue: deer parks, heaths and golf courses. The spectacular Thames, which dips toward the neighbourhood on both sides, is where sculls and pleasure-boats glide all year long – to stroll along the river on a sunny morning is to be thrust back some 300 years. Just upriver is Sion Park, with its 16th-century crenellations. Downstream is Marble Hill, one of a handful of grand, old houses where wealthy city types stayed centuries ago. Abutting the old deer park is Kew Gardens, which recently reopened Temperate House, a hanger-sized Victorian glasshouse. Some say there are 2,500 deer living in the park today.

The District Line will whiz you into the City, yet breaking away from the bustle of town is easy when you’re living in Richmond, with Heathrow Airport barely 30 minutes away and all of the West Country beyond. Old Windsor is closer to Richmond than Soho.

The elegant Georgian townhouses abutting the park and lining the river bear special heritage status – they deserve it, having escaped the worst of the bombs during the Second World War. If you were after a home with history, though, you’d find a wealth of them, resembling the finest in mien and stature. A brown-brick cottage with a white picket fence, a Regency terrace as graceful as any in Kensington, a detached Georgian with a park view… they’re all available in Richmond, and each can be tailored to the needs of a growing family. Not only are the houses protected by conservation rules, but the bakeries, the schools, pubs and hotels. So even if you’ve opted to live somewhere new, your views will forever be “period”.

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Richmond Architects 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 Richmond

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 Richmond

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 Richmond

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.

Architects Richmond

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 Richmond

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 Richmond

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.