A half hour from London Waterloo, not much further from Heathrow and a gateway to the West Country, Woking sits within that happy place many homeowners seek out. It offers quiet family living with the potential for world-class culture and travel, along with homes that touch every era of the British architectural timeline. Residential plots deliver all the desirable extras: front and back gardens, space for storage and parking.
As for the house itself, you can find one with heaps of space at about half the price of a similar place in London. Increasingly, Woking’s real estate is being snapped up by exiles from the city who love the look of its period architecture but nonetheless want to adapt it to their personality or personal life. Our contemporary brand of residential architecture is best suited for these situations: to overhaul heritage homes with modern amenities, larger windows and details that make sense to the way we live today.
The way we work at Scenario Architecture puts the client at the heart of every project. That’s why every one of our domestic projects has a unique look and feel. We translate the home you’ve chosen into a have that works for you and with you.
Scenario was born in 2007 with an ambition to transform London’s beloved heritage architecture for a new generation. From our earliest days we invited clients into the design process, parsing their routines and crafting a distinctive home in response. Our clients are still instrumental to designing every house. A tailor-made Scenario home reflects their story, their lifestyle, their future.
Our landmark Scenario House, shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards in 2018, presents our commitment to this harmony between old and new. If you are seeking an architect in Woking, take a look at its fresh, customised approach to a typical city home.
Your Woking project
Our illustrated synopsis will help homeowners in their quest for a residential architect, whether they are extending a house, renovating or building anew. Many of these projects in Woking require building approval from Woking Borough Council. With our solid track record securing planning permission for our clients, we can help you undertake and see through a planning application in Woking.
Has your architect been successful in steering planning applications through the local council? Find out. Visit the Woking Borough Council’s website, click on “planning and building control” and enter your architect’s name in the planning archives.
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
We specialise in domestic architecture across London and beyond. We are a RIBA Chartered Practice. Our boutique studio is made up of experienced, highly skilled architects who comply with the health and safety criteria of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Our clients are central to our process, collaborating on drawings, detail design and planning. If you are looking for an architect in Woking or the Southeast, visit our online portfolio to see how we could work for you.
We are constantly upgrading our knowledge of innovative 3D design technology. We use virtual reality and real-time visualisations for all our projects, the most efficient tools for choosing the right fixtures and fittings and simulating natural light. This Chartered Institute of Building case study demonstrates the benefits of 3D design technology for our residential projects.
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.
When you find Woking on your radar, generally you fall into one of two categories: the Londoner for whom it is time to leave, or the person who doubted the speed and financial sacrifice of London were ever really necessary in the first place. Because the 30-minute train commute to Waterloo means you may be closer to work than many Londoners, while spending half the average London budget on your home.
Once upon a time, the only people living in this small acreage southwest of the M25 were dead. A special train from Waterloo commissioned in the 19th century transported bodies to the Victorian cemetery at Brookwood. Only after the cemetery sold off some of its excess land that the town was born – first with Victorian terraces and detached family homes, then with Edwardians and unassuming interwar developments, by the time HG Wells lived near the rail line.
Still, Woking spent a lot of the last century in the shadow of Guildford, with its older housing stock and prettier shopping streets. It is neither the quaint village nor the important county centre. But the Surrey settlement has come up in the world. The oldest homes, grandfathered into the town before it was a town, have been rewired, replumbed, renovated and much loved over the past few decades. Some lovely old 19th-century houses cluster around the Basingstoke Canal, which runs across the north of town and boasts its own uninterrupted footpath. New, modern apartment complexes are hints to Woking’s increasing popularity with young professional. Developers have discovered the watery riverbeds of Old Woking, south of the town centre, and have built homes with a view, a swift walk away from the pretty old St Peter’s church tower. That’s set off a building trend that’s migrated westward toward Sutton Green Golf Club. Apart from a handful of tall buildings fringing the area, you’ll rarely find a building topping five storeys.
Generally, this is a bedroom community putting residential first. And what’s more: as the crow flies – and the train tracks too – Woking is closer to London than Guildford.
The wide range of housing stock in Woking means you can choose your era and often find a house that doesn’t require a long and complicated process of seeking planning permission to adapt. The neighbourhoods running north from the town centre are the most desirable: close to the station, shops, canal path and a clutch of good schools. Follow the canal westward and the landscape becomes more bucolic, as parks lead into golf clubs which in turn lead into the old Brookwood cemetery. Life isn’t as quiet here as it may seem – you can have a raucous night out at one of your local cocktail bars or pubs, and London is just up the way. But its peacefulness is Woking’s asset.
Frequently Asked Questions
- As a dynamic practice operating in London’s premium residential market, managing projects remotely and conducting virtual meetings was a very familiar territory for us, long before the pandemic began and ‘working remotely’ became the norm.
- Our clients have very busy lifestyles and may move between several different locations, both within the UK and beyond, during the lifecycle of a typical project.
- To accommodate such client needs and enable us to run their projects smoothly we had all the technology and know-how associated with remote working in place for several years.
- Read our full (Virtual) Process
- 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.