Scenario has worked in and around North London since launching our boutique residential architecture practice in 2007. We’ve built up an extensive portfolio of completed work across Highgate, Archway and Muswell Hill. We consider the storied streets of Islington and Haringey our professional backyard.
We established Scenario with a uniquely collaborative process. We take a considered approach to our clients’ desires, placing their aspirations for a new, architect-designed home in high definition. The clients’ needs are the main drivers of our design.
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Your Archway project
We’ve had positive experiences working within Haringey, Islington and Camden councils and many successes securing planning permission for innovative home conversions and extensions. Our clients have largely come via referrals from our earliest commissions.
Our landmark project Scenario House was covered widely by the media and shortlisted for several prestigious architecture prizes – including the 2018 RIBA London Awards. It demonstrates our successful approach to domestic architecture projects.
Discover if your chosen architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the “planning applications” section 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 Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects across London and the Home Counties. Our bespoke architecture service tackles domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior alterations to full renovations and new-builds
Our highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We collaborate closely from the planning stages through tender, construction and the successful completion of your project. As 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 innovative 3D design and visualisation tools as standard on all projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are the most efficient tools for choosing finishes and fittings, simulating natural light and saving our clients time and money. Our 3D building information modelling (BIM) technology produces reliable construction information, so all our project data comes from an accurate, coordinated 3D model.
This Chartered Institute of Building case study demonstrates the benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.
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.
At some point, more or less two centuries ago, Archway skipped over the typical evolution that most London neighbourhoods follow and became somewhere from practically nowhere at all.
By virtue of its position – between Islington and Highgate on the ancient road north – this steep, leafy hill-rise seemed the perfect place to build a junction in the early 19th century. John Nash, at the height of his popularity, was anointed to design the viaduct connecting the east and west sides of residential North London at what is now Hornsey Road. It was named, aptly, Highgate Archway, and it bypassed the toll on the old road, now known as the A1 or Archway Road.
Nash’s engineering was replaced in 1897 by the current cast-iron version, designed by Alexander Binnie. But in the meantime, the area around it had become more accessible and, as a result, more desirable. Young families came to fill in the gaps between established neighbourhoods and a motorised cable car – the city’s first – popped up to help them get around. The Whittington hospital, named for the old Lord Mayor and philanthropist Dick Whittington, expanded to the west of Archway Road. And the area got its first Tube station in 1907. Between them sits the memorial Whittington Stone featuring a small statue of Dick Whittington’s fabled cat – and a pub of the same name.
Forming a stretch of the A1, Archway Road eventually widened to several lanes. The mitigating factor is that it’s a rather beautiful stretch. Heading down Archway Road from the north gives you one of the great views of London’s skyline, dominated by St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard.
Much of the real estate around here benefits from similar views. Streets meander off Hornsey Lane into intimate enclaves where terraced and semi-detached houses peek over the hill-rise. The streets are blessed with mature trees and behind the terraces are larger-than-average gardens for what is essentially central London.
The housing stock becomes progressively larger and more family-oriented as you climb toward Highgate. Smaller midcentury terraces and estates with potential cluster around Archway Tube, with more gracious, more suburban enclaves benefitting from the top views. Either way, you get a surprising amount of space for your investment around here. Walk 10 minutes west and you’re in Hampstead; leap beyond the Parkland Walk (a boon to cyclists and joggers) and you’re in the thick of Georgian Highgate. And yet in Archway you get the bragging rights.
We have had a wealth of experience serving clients in Archway and beyond. If you’re considering purchasing a home in the area, or if you’re contemplating an alteration of your existing home, have a look around our online portfolio to see the potential we can help you realise.
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.