Scenario is a London-based practice offering architectural services from concept through completion. Our highly collaborative team produces thoughtful, original, sustainable designs that evolve with changing lifestyles. We use leading-edge design technology to boost our efficiency and drive down costs at every stage of the process.
Designing a new home or remodelling a period property requires vision, skill and a profound knowledge of the local area. Our architects develop efficient, light-bathed designs that reconcile historical details and pristine landscapes with structural integrity. We cultivate relationships with planners, regulators and tradespeople across the UK to make every project run smoothly.
Discover 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.
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
Scenario is a small, dynamic RIBA-chartered practice complying with the health and safety criteria of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Our architects are fluent in cutting-edge 3D visualisation technology for designing reliable floor plans, choosing finishes and fittings and simulating natural light. Our building information modelling technology (BIM) produces reliable construction information, rendering accurate data on all our models. This saves our clients time and money.
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.
It is increasingly rare, in and around London, to find a home that suits you and your family to a T. Even after moving in to your dream home, you may find yourself keeping a list of elements that need to change in order for your family to live comfortably for the long term.
Hiring a good architect who understands the neighbourhood streetscape and protocols is crucial for tailoring your living space to your needs. But sourcing architectural services from a reputable firm does not have to translate to a team effort from concept to moving day. Of course, if architect and client work in close conjunction from start to finish, the sum will be greater than its parts. But an architect can play a major or minor role in your project, depending on your needs, and many will offer their architectural services at any stage of the process.
Retaining the services of an architect, you’ll inevitably start with a consultation. This is a good opportunity to meet potentially like-minded professionals and develop rapport. The architect will take down your requirements, discuss roundabout budgets and timelines and generally demystify the design and building process. In a way, each side will be conducting an interview of the other, and there will usually be no fee applicable.
If you wish to carry on using the services of your chosen architect, you can request measurements and sketches of the proposed work, for a fee. You can even retain the architect to translate these drawings into 3D visualisations, graphics and/or animations, in order to see the desired results more clearly. If you already have drawings of the work you’d like to do, you can skip to the next step and ask the architect to apply to your local council’s planning department for the applicable approvals under the local building regulations. Most architects offer this service in isolation, whether or not you hire them to carry the project forward.
After all permissions have been granted, most architects will offer more detailed, structural drawings for the sake of the builders. If you’ve asked your architect to hire on builders, the team will be able to draw up the relevant quotations and timelines for the work. If you’ve decided to work with an independent builder of your choice, your architect can pass along the initial sketches, detailed drawings, budgets and timelines.
This is the stage at which building usually begins. If you’ve decided to stick with an architect from start to finish, the process will be seamless. But you can just as easily pick and mix the architectural services you require most.
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.