Scenario Architecture’s work in St Albans began with an exciting brief from a young, local family. They had purchased a detached house in poor condition and planned to replace it with a contemporary new-build. Our challenge was to design a sustainable, contemporary new-build home that respected and complemented the traditional residential architecture of the St Albans streetscape.
We knew that securing planning permission in St Albans for such an ambitious scheme would not be easy. However, our innovative design process helped us reinterpret the traditional house typology in a unique way. The contemporary new-build house strikes a fine balance within its traditional surroundings.
We submitted a robust planning application featuring advanced 3D visualisations of the proposed scheme and a strong planning statement. Our collaborative pre-planning strategy gained support from the St Albans City and District Council planning department – even before we’d submitted a full planning application.
More than just a commercial opportunity, we saw this contemporary new-build project as a chance to develop and refine our unique approach to residential architecture.
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 an architect-designed home in focus. The clients’ needs and desires are the main drivers of our design process.
Our experience with residential architecture in and around St Albans shows that a beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle. Our tailor-made homes tell the story of the owners – not the architects.
Your St Albans project
Starting your St Albans project
If you’re considering a residential architectural project in St Albans, 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 St Albans.
Most architecture projects in St Albans require planning permission from the St Albans City and District Council. With our successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across St Albans.
TipDiscover if your architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council: visit the “planning applications” page of your council’s website and enter the architect’s name in the search criteria.
AdviceTo help you understand what it takes to obtain planning permission in St Albans, we’ve created this helpful guide. Download it below.
Your St Albans project >> Scenario Architecture
Working with Scenario Architecture on your St Albans project
Scenario Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. Through our bespoke architecture service we tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior alterations to full renovations and new-builds.
Our experienced, highly skilled team will take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We’ll collaborate closely from the initial drawings, design and planning 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 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard on all our projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are 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.
This Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a Scenario project demonstrates the great benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.
Of all the cities in all the Home Counties around London, St Albans has perhaps the richest history. The area has been settled since Celtics lived here in the Iron Age, when it was called Verlamion. When the Romans took over, renaming it Verlamium, they built it into one of the largest towns under its control in Britain. Boudicca, queen of the Iceni tribe, ordered her armies to sack Verlamium in the year 60AD, after which it floundered for nearly a thousand years. You can still see vestiges of Roman occupation and ruins of the old city walls in Verlamium Park and the Verlamium Museum, a 20-minute walk west of the centre. The city also remembers that era of its history with the River Ver and Verlaum Road, both of which slice through the centre of town.
Saxon settlements followed, north of today’s boating lake. But development properly began after the arrival of the Normans to Britain. St Albans still centres on a medieval belfry, built in 1405 and open to the public on weekends. But the city’s pride is its Abbey church, built by the Normans a few decades after they conquered England. It survived the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, and in the mid-1800s George Gilbert Scott, architect of London’s St Pancras Station, was tasked with restoring and reviving it. Coincidentally, St Pancras Station is the main connection for people coming to London from St Albans. Trains into the station take only 20 minutes.
St Albans has its share of Georgian properties, yet the lion’s share is Edwardian and mid-century. The mix of Victorian and postwar building stock gives St Albans a comfortable suburban roominess within an urban setting.
The allure of St Albans to home-buyers is not only its accessibility to London but its outstanding schools and green spaces. Landscaping was increasingly important to the growing middle classes in the early 20th century, and those values inspired an attention to sizeable gardens that continues even in today’s modern developments. As for the architectural fabric, it is ripe for renewal and expansion. The current trend toward “don’t move, improve” means families are staying in this prime Hertfordshire location and expanding their houses considerably. In 20th-century St Albans homes, regulations are more permissive than in Central London.
Scenario Architecture >> In our clients words
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 designed a kitchen extension for us, and we are delighted with the results. The process was well organised, planned and delivered, and the whole team were a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend them for their design, planning and project management skills.
Worked with these guys on the internal development of our office. From start to finish they were great. They got what we wanted first time and really made working with them very easy. Their aftercare has been great too helping us deal with something that they were not involved with in the first place. Will highly recommend them to anyone.