Architects Sevenoaks

Architects Sevenoaks

Architects Sevenoaks

The team at Scenario Architecture specialises in restoring and enhancing the heritage fabric of London and the Southeast. We take a unique approach to our residential projects, applying contemporary angles to housing stock dating back centuries and building anew. Working throughout Greater London for more than a decade, we represent a new archetype for contemporary living: luxurious yet accessible, open and comfortable.

We founded Scenario in 2007 with a passion for client-led residential design that merges the contemporary with England’s incomparable period architecture. Our clients see us through every stage of the design process, so the finished product is entirely tailor-made – a home that respects its past, present and future and deeply understands the residents.

In 2018 our landmark project Scenario House was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards. The Victorian conversion and extension in East London exemplifies our fresh, customised approach and our commitment to the needs of today’s homeowners.

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Architects Sevenoaks Your intention to build a house

Read our illustrated synopsis of the planning processes across London and the Southeast. It will help you to understand and navigate the permissions stage of your project, whether you’re undertaking a home extension, renovation or new-build.

Building, rebuilding or expanding a home in Sevenoaks requires adherence to building regulations dictated by the Sevenoaks District Council. This takes time and perseverance, but a good architect can guide you through the process. Scenario Architecture has a flawless record securing planning permission for our clients, and can help homeowners negotiate with local councils across the southeast.

We’ve created this guide to help steer you through planning in Sevenoaks, London and the Southeast. Download it below.

Tip

Discover if your architect has been successful in steering planning applications through your council. Visit you district council’s website, click on “Planning”, go into the search engine for planning applications and type in your agent’s name.

Architects Sevenoaks

Advice

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 Sevenoaks Build a house with Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on your Sevenoaks project

At Scenario, we design residential homes of various scales and complexities, from refurbishments and renovations to home expansions and new-builds. A RIBA Chartered Practice, we comply with the health and safety criteria dictated by the UK’s professional body.
Our architects use 3D design technology to achieve the best results possible. Visualisation tools and virtual reality are extremely efficient for choosing fixtures, simulating natural light, maximising available space and seeing our designs come to life. Read this Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a Scenario project – it demonstrates the benefits of advanced technology for residential architecture.

Architects Sevenoaks

Wrap-around extension and full renovation

Architects Sevenoaks

Extensive renovation within a conservation area

Architects Sevenoaks

Full refurbishment of a terraced house

Architects Sevenoaks >> Your Sevenoaks Project Further Reading

The affluent, family-oriented reputation of Sevenoaks makes it a great place to come from, live in and move to. Located a few moments outside the M25 ring road, it connects to London Bridge Station in less than a half hour and Charing Cross thereafter, making it popular with professionals. And the wealth of top schools – public and private – produces the next generation.

Like most market towns south of London, the area grew up more than a thousand years ago. A logical stop between the Kent coast and the city of London, it became popular with travellers and pilgrims heading to and from Canterbury, inspiring its motto: Floreant Septum Quercus, or “May the Seven Oaks Flourish”. The Sevenoaks market, still a major presence in town, has operated constantly since the 1200s. The Vine cricket ground is the oldest in the world.

The whole of Sevenoaks is ringed by green, so that every home in town sits within walking distance of a vast park – most of them protected by the National Trust. The High Street, slicing the city in two halves, veers off into Deer Park, a bucolic idyll inhabited by red and fallow deer. The 1,000 wild acres are a vestige of the 15th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, who built the great house Knole at the southeastern edge of town 600 years ago. The lavish stately home passed down to King Henry VII and then to Queen Elizabeth I – she gave it to her relatives the Sackvilles, who maintain it to this very day. The house has its own 26-acre walled garden, which inspired writer Vita Sackville-West; the house itself inspired Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando.

Knole sets the tone for the elegant housing stock across Sevenoaks – which alternate between the local brown and red brick, with touches of white. Family homes dominate, running from small two-bedroom cottages to rambling estates. Homes bordering the parks tend to be the largest, oldest and most coveted.

But where many families feel they can make their mark is in the serpentine streets lined with postwar homes just outside the centre. Here, with the right architects, homeowners can add contemporary two-storey annexes to the rear façade, rooms over attached garages and expand basements beneath. If you’re interested in learning about the potential of extending or renovating a home in Sevenoaks, explore our site or ask your preferred architect. A good architect will pilot your project through the Sevenoaks regulations process and liaise with you throughout the life of your home extension or renovation.

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Architects Sevenoaks 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 Sevenoaks

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 Sevenoaks

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 Sevenoaks

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.

Architects Sevenoaks

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 Sevenoaks

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

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 Sevenoaks

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.