Scenario Architecture’s experience in Buckinghamshire began early in our history as a boutique residential architecture practice. Our first brief in Buckinghamshire challenged us to design a contemporary extension to a Grade II-listed cottage, just next door to the Grade I-listed Milton’s Cottage in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire. We were also tasked with obtaining planning permission for the project.
The process was far from straightforward. Early on, we discovered the Grade II Registered Historic Garden next door – the only cottage garden in the Chilterns with this English Heritage listing – would not permit such a contemporary extension within view. Our enthusiastic clients agreed to give it a go against all odds, though ultimately our more considerate yet distinctly contemporary design was eventually rejected at the appeal stage.
Still, more than a decade later, with several substantial residential projects in Buckinghamshire and nearby Hertfordshire, we are well underway to establishing ourselves as architects of choice in Buckinghamshire and beyond.
Among our current projects in the area, two new-build family homes provide us with the perfect blank canvas to showcase 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 a new, architect-designed home in high definition. A beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each homeowner’s unique lifestyle. That shows in our work. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell the story of our clients – not ourselves.
Your Buckinghamshire project
If you’re considering a residential architectural project in Buckinghamshire, 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 Buckinghamshire.
Most architecture projects in Buckinghamshire require planning permission from the South Bucks & Chiltern District Council Shared Planning Service. With our successful record securing planning permission from South Bucks on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across Buckinghamshire.
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 Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in the greater London area. We tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds, through our bespoke architecture service.
Our friendly, experienced, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We’ll collaborate closely with you from the initial design and planning through tender and construction to the successful completion of your project – on time and on budget.
Scenario 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 systems.
Early adopters of the latest technology, we use 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard for all projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are extremely efficient tools for choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, and simulating natural light.
We also employ 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.
A Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a project by Scenario Architecture demonstrates the great 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.
Living in a city like London, you’ve got to subscribe to a “less is more” ethos – at least when it comes to space. One of the world’s oldest cities, it goes back millennia, and the bulk of its housing was built well over a century ago. With a heritage house comes responsibility and restraint.
The creative challenges and space sacrifices are not for everybody. And London’s home counties are too lovely in places not to consider. Buckinghamshire County is an ideal target for people who don’t want to sacrifice… well, anything, really. The robust network of public transit connecting most areas of Buckinghamshire to London’s West End means the commute can be easier than some areas of London. And in terms of lifestyle, it allows a family to expand – in terms of children and in terms of space.
With the Metropolitan Green Belt – the vast countryside around the Chiltern Hills – running through the centre of the county, development will always be restricted in Bucks. That’s not to say existing homes are not permitted further development. Just that if you’ve chosen a well-connected town like Aylesbury, Amersham or High Wycombe, the dense centre will be mitigated by boundless green in all directions.
As for the residential architecture, there is a lot on offer. Some of the most splendid stately homes dot the countryside in Bucks, from Eyethrope, the Jacobean manor owned by the Rothschild family, to Chequers, the Prime Minister’s 16th-century country residence in Ellesborough. The fine quality of the high-end architecture trickles down to middle-class homes. High Wycombe’s centre has terraces of pastel-coloured houses and tall detached Victorians peeking over landscaped gardens. Amersham sees rows of mock Tudors branching off its quaint high street. As you move further out to villages like Haddenham, Winslow and Cuddington, you’ll notice beautifully sprawling thatched-roof Tudor homes and attached or stand-alone Georgians with charming mullioned windows. Most of these communities have small historic town centres that stretch outward into new towns of pre war and post war family homes, built with the historic vernacular to mind. It is achievable to live within walking distance of the commuter rail.
For Buckinghamshire architects working with the bones of an original home in the area, it is not too complex to create a living space that meets the needs of a modern family. There will always be potential to expand outward from the kitchen or loft, or build a double-height glazed extension to let the surrounding nature in. For these reasons, many families leave their London flat behind and never look back.
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.