The tranquil village lifestyle in Cambridgeshire has become more appealing than ever for house-buyers seeking added space for their growing families or extra rooms for a home-office. Not only does the county sit in a storied region populated for millennia, but it offers the best of both worlds: a country lifestyle within commuting distance to London. Neighbourly villages on the Great Ouse and Cam Rivers, as well as ancient market towns along the old roads to London, are steadily improving with independent shops and restaurants, outstanding schools, better transport and more diverse populations.
Yet homeowners in Cambridgeshire have a duty to respect the long architectural heritage of the area and the fiercely protected environment. Whether building a house from scratch or renovating a period property, you should never design in a vacuum.
Your Cambridgeshire project
Scenario launched in 2007 with a collaborative approach to residential architecture. Our work tells the story of the people who live there, nodding to the past, present and future. Our landmark project Scenario House demonstrates our commitment to period properties and modern demands. A Victorian conversion with sweeping spaces, soaring ceilings and singular details, it was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards in 2018.
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 is a RIBA Chartered Practice, working within strict health and safety criteria. We tackle residential architecture on all scales, from new-build homes to refurbishments, renovations and home-expansions.
We collaborate closely with our clients throughout every phase of the process. If you’re searching for Cambridgeshire Architects with experience transforming period homes, search our portfolio of high-end domestic projects.
We use 3D design technology in all our work to save time and money and help our clients visualise every stage of the process. This Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a project by Scenario, illustrates the benefits of this advanced technology in the design process.
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.
A Cambridge address has always carried cachet, back to the founding of the world-renowned university, centuries ago. The city itself benefits from ancient architecture, intellectual cred and a younger-skewing population – it’s become as vibrant, culturally, as parts of the capital. And it attracts young families for its excellent schools, transport links and quality of life.
The larger county benefits from its proximity to Cambridge proper as well as from expanses of unspoiled countryside, river vistas, wetlands and an abundance of native fauna. Weekends here can be what you make them, filled with fresh air, art, exercise and great food.
House prices have been rising significantly across Cambridgeshire for years, though it is still possible to find an affordable and beautiful corner of the county. The newspaper continuously homes in on the area to shout out some of the best places to live in the country, from St Neots and the Shelfords to Grantchester and Comberton. They cite the balanced lifestyle, the quality of green space, the safety, excellent schools and proximity to good train stations.
Then there are towns like Peterborough and Ely, pretty places to visit in their own right that don’t have to deal with the hordes of tourists that Cambridge proper might. Both have histories that go back millennia to the Romans and Saxons, and yet they still enjoy the exclusivity of Britain’s most desirable small towns.
Building regulations throughout Cambridgeshire can be strict in places. But the range of architectural styles and development opportunities makes it possible to find a home you can tailor to your tastes and needs. Cambridgeshire architects who know the area and understand the architectural vernacular can make alterations that will be supported by the wider community, or set a new house within its environment so that it instantly becomes part of the landscape.
Our portfolio is a great indicator of how we can respond to modern needs in heritage spaces. Our homes blend into their habitat where needed and pop where it works. And they take the future into account, so your new home can be your Forever Home.
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.