Crystal Palace Architects

Crystal Palace Architects

Crystal Palace Architects

Crystal Palace Architects About us

The remarkably varied residential architecture of Crystal Palace makes it one of the most coveted neighbourhoods in London. Victorians, Edwardians and sleek, postwar developments sit on quiet residential streets as pretty as in central London. Yet the off-piste location, among the vast green parks of South London, makes them financially accessible, too.

Most period homes in Crystal Palace have the potential to open up in unique and spectacular ways. At Scenario, we see heritage homes as an opportunity to bring in natural light, bespoke elements and energy efficiency. We collaborate closely with our clients to create these highly tailored environments and consider each detail with respect to their lifestyle.

Crystal Palace Architects Your Crystal Palace project

Scenario Architecture is a RIBA-chartered practice founded by Ran Ankory and Maya Carni, graduates of London’s Architectural Association. We take a fresh, inventive approach to expanding and revamping period properties. with the latest methods, materials and technology.

Our landmark project Scenario House, located in East London, demonstrates our creative approach to domestic architecture. The projects was covered widely in the media and shortlisted for several prestigious architecture awards, including the 2018 RIBA London Awards.


Discover if your chosen 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.

Crystal Palace Architects

Crystal Palace Architects

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.

Crystal Palace Architects Working with Scenario Architecture

As a RIBA Chartered Practice, Scenario complies with the strict criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management.

We use 3D design and visualisation tools on all our projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are invaluable for simulating natural light and choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings.

To produce the most reliable construction information, we also use 3D building information modelling technology (BIM), proven to save our clients time and money. This Chartered Institute of Building case study features a Scenario project and demonstrates the benefits of this advanced technology in the domestic sphere.

Crystal Palace Architects

Crystal Palace Architects In our client's words

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Crystal Palace Architects Further Reading

The South London enclave of Crystal Palace is more than its eponymous pleasure ground – though many residents would agree they spend more time in this ancient wood than anywhere else. The 400-acre common and woodland dotted with lakes, venues and outdoor art is the suburb’s Hyde Park. And in fact that’s where it got the famous iron and glass exhibition hall. The Joseph Paxton-designed Victorian structure, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, moved from Hyde Park to Penge Peak in 1854, at which time the area around it was renamed in its honour, though some still know it as Upper Norwood. The original Crystal Palace structure was destroyed by fire in the 1930s, but the name remains and gives the neighbourhood image a hint of sparkle.

But look again. Crystal Palace has emerged in the past 20 years as a pretty, green south-of-the-river highlight with heritage homes and views for miles. At the hub of four London boroughs – Southwark, Bromley, Lambeth and Croydon – the leafy village streets around the park are stuffed with prewar houses and historic church towers. Detached and semi-detached Edwardian homes are common, Victorian villas and prewar terraces radiate from those and tidy modern residential developments fill in the gaps. The development of Crystal Palace as a suburb of London means the houses here have larger dimensions and more surrounding garden than properties closer to the centre, even though the neighbourhood is now firmly part of the city – and well-connected by train and Overground.

New arrivals search for real estate around the triangle of Anerley Hill Road, Gipsy Hill and Church Road. The beating heart of Crystal Palace, it edges the western corner of the park, with its manicured gardens, and is walkable from a dozen schools – including Paxton Primary, named for the Victorian architect. The private and prep schools of Dulwich, to the north, are less than 10 minutes by car, a few more by bus. The sporting fields – including Crystal Palace Football Club, contrary to popular belief – are located a few neighbourhoods over, in South Norwood.

Crystal Palace Architects Frequently Asked Questions

    There is no doubt that choosing an architect is a big decision and there’s a huge amount of information to consider. As you may have already experienced, different firms and architectural practices across London tend to differ in terms of the language they use, which aspects they emphasise and in their fees and scope structures. We have compiled an essential guide to choosing an architect, which includes the three most important considerations to have on your list whilst you come to a decision. This guide is based on our fifteen years of experience as a top architectural practice in London and includes our expert recommendations to ensure you make the right choice and select the architect that is best suited to you and your project. Click here to read the full guide.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQHow should I decide which architect to work with?
    The scenario design process was developed, tested and perfected through over a decade of extensive delivery of residential projects within and around London, some of its key features are listed below:   
    • 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. 
    We then translate the resulting high definition brief into an informative and revealing 3-dimensional simulation, illuminating aspirations, requirements and patterns of habitation. 
    • 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. 
    Sitting together in front of a real time 3D model of the proposed design with realistic materials, lighting and textures we push and pull the proposed scheme together to explore its full potential and drag and drop different materials to explore various options. hen we invite our clients to take a virtual reality tour through advanced equipment that is always available in our practice for our clients to explore their projects at different stages of development. 
    • 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. 
    It will not look like an image cut out of a trendy architecture magazine and not designed to intentionally impress anyone. It will feel familiar, warm and inviting and you will recognise yourself in it because it will be a genuine expression of the unique way in which you and your family wish to interact with it and enjoy it for many years to come.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is unique about the Scenario design process?
    Any architectural project comprises three main aspects, Creative design, Technical design and Project Management. A successful architectural project can only be achieved when all three aspects are properly performed and harmoniously integrated by an experienced professional. But can we really except a single person to specialise and shine in all three aspects and furthermore skilfully negotiate and balance the often contradictory challenges these aspects present? The basic assumption underlying the common structure of almost all other architectural practices today is that it is possible and this is precisely what is expected from the lone and often junior Architect that would typically be assigned to run your project start to finish. Scenario works in a completely different and new way, we believe in specialism and teamwork and therefore assign three experienced specialists for each and every project. A project team in Scenario is composed of a Project Director, a Designer and a Technical Designer, seamlessly collaborating to deliver results, which are noticeably superior to anything that a single person, skilful as they may be, could ever produce.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWho will be assigned to work on my project?
    A key aspect, absolutely necessary to ensure successful delivery of your project is appointing a suitable and competent professional team. If we work together on your project we would be appointed as your Architects and Lead Consultants and help you to assemble the rest of the professional team. Most projects in and around London will require at least four additional consultants, a Structural Engineer, a Quantity Surveyor for cost control, an Approved Inspector to ensure and certify compliance with building regulations and a Party Wall Surveyor if any work is to be done to a party wall or structure. For some projects, depending on scale, complexity and your specific aspirations it may be recommended/required to use the services of additional consultants. Including but not limited to: Planning, Heritage, Right of Light, Landscape Designer, Audio Visual and Building Services Engineer. When appropriate, we will discuss these options with you and obtain relevant quotes for all additional consultants for you to consider.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhich additional consultants are required for my project?
    Planning in the U.K in general and in Greater London in particular is admittedly a tricky business. It is a complex maze of policies, standards and regulations that requires specialised and up to date knowledge and skills to navigate successfully.  Over the years we developed a strong approach and an effective methodology, allowing us to maintain an outstanding track record stretching over more than a decade. Successfully securing planning permission for our clients across Greater London and the Home Counties.  The key aspects of our approach to planning are listed below: 
    • 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. 

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is Scenario’s approach to planning?
    The standard consideration period for a residential project is eight weeks, this is the official time frame for your local council to carry out consultation with the neighbours and reach a decision.  We recommend allowing for a minimum of ten weeks from submission to decision as in practice the process always takes slightly longer for the following reasons: 
    • 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.
    Validation can take anything from a few days to couple of weeks when the council is very busy, which is most of the time…
    • 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. 
    While there are some effective measures to apply pressure, which we do not hesitate to use when appropriate, it is generally beneficial for the project to bear with the council a little 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.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQHow long will it take to obtain planning permission for my project?
    Once we have an initial scheme designed for your project which you are happy to proceed with, we will advise whether we recommend obtaining pre-planning advice or proceeding directly to the submission of a full planning application. Most of our projects are submitted first to pre-planning when the following applies.
    • 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.
    In practice our established working relationships and long-standing experience working across Greater London and the Home Counties often enables us to have a meaningful discussion and even introduce minor tweaks to the submitted scheme within the consideration period and prevent the application from being rejected. The chances for this strategy to deliver the desired results increases significantly with projects which were submitted first for a pre-planning advice.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is pre-planning and will it be required for my project?
    In the past, it was common practice for local authorities to impose sustainability standards on residential developments. However, the 2015 Deregulation Act removed the obligation on local authorities to require any standard at all, which means the only requirements having fallen back to those of the Building Regulations.  With no clear and improved targets to work towards, in collaboration with Envision (, we have created optional Sustainability ‘Levels’ to offer our clients the chance to drastically improve the sustainability credentials of their home. These ‘Levels’ encompassing Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond, traverse a clear and applicable route from basic compliance with current Building Regulations all the way to the full and rigorous HQM (Home Quality Mark) certification within Level Diamond. As the packages become more elaborate in terms of sustainability, analysis and implemented measures, they provide increasing tangible benefits. Ranging from thermal and acoustic comfort and wellbeing, to reduced carbon foot print, savings on running costs and significant advantages through the planning process.  The more elaborate packages obviously entail higher cost in terms of professional fees as well as impact on the construction cost, although each sustainability ‘Level’ will endeavour to not overly burden the construction budget.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is Scenario’s approach to sustainability?
    In a nutshell building control is the means by which Local Authorities enforce compliance with current Building Regulations.  In practice there are two main ways to go about obtaining the required advice and certification for your project, via your Local Council’s Building Control Department or via direct appointment of an Approved Inspector who is authorised to carry out the inspection and certification on behalf of any local authority.   The role of either the Council’s Building Control Officer or an Approved Inspector is to verify that your project meets all current Building Regulations. They will review and approve all the drawings, inspect the actual work carried out on site and once the project is completed, issue the final compliance certificate. Due to an open market, healthy competition between local councils and approved inspectors, the process and associated costs are almost identical. Having said that, our experience is that the private inspectors still feel and behave more as your appointed consultants and the council’s service still feels more like a statutory inspection and it is often slower and less responsive.  While it is always good to be informed and understand the process well, as your appointed architects we will take care of this aspect of the project for you and save you considering comparable quotes that we will obtain on your behalf and appointing the selected provider. You can leave this aspect of your project entirely with us.  Building control is required for almost all projects, and for all the projects we ever worked on as only minor renovation works may be exempt.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is building control and is it required for my project?
    Currently we recommend allowing between £2,500 and £3,000 per square metre for side extensions, rear extensions or front extensions. For basement extensions, which are most expensive way to add space to your home, we recommend that you allow between £3,000 and £3,500 per square metre. When it comes to roof extensions, our experience shows that it is better to allow a lump sum of £40,000-£60,000 for loft conversions with dormer windows and between £80,000 and £120,000 for mansard roof extensions. These ranges are based on averages from numerous actual projects that we have completed in and around London since we established Scenario in 2007. We only use these rough costs per square metre during the early stages of design to maintain awareness of your target budget until a cost professional is appointed and more accurate methods of estimation are employed. The actual cost for your project will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the design, level of structural support required, and selection of fixtures, fittings material finishes. Using these rough ranges as a guide we will work together with you in an interactive process to optimise budget and scope and find the balance that works best for you. The estimated costs per square metre mentioned above are for the build costs only and exclude VAT and professional fees.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is the cost of building an extension?
    Currently we recommend allowing between £2,500 and £3,000 per square metre for areas which will undergo an extensive renovation. We designate an area of the project as extensive renovation if the planned works includes substantial changes to layouts, significant structural works, re-plumbing, re-wiring and full redecoration. For areas of lighter internal renovation which do not require significant changes to layout or substantial structural works but do require full redecoration, re-plumbing and rewiring, we recommend allowing between £2,000 and £2,500 as an estimated cost per square metre, we designate these areas as requiring medium renovation. If there areas in your project which only call for a light renovation such as re-plastering, and painting, installing new floor finishes and light modifications of electrics and plumbing fittings, we will designate these as areas of light renovation and recommend that you allow £1,500-£2,000 per square metre or even as low as between £1,000-£1,500 if you only have light touches in mind. The real cost for your project will depend on several different variables including the complexity of the design, extent of structural works and level of fixtures, fittings and material finishes. These estimated costs per square metre are for the build cost excluding VAT and professional fees.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is the cost of an internal refurbishment?
    If you are thinking about building a new house from scratch for which the term Self Build is often used, we currently recommend allowing between £2,500 and £3,500 per square metre for projects in and around London. This may sound like a very wide range initially, perhaps too wide to be useful? As soon as we can establish even a few of the basics of your requirements and aspirations for the project we can safely narrow it down and customise it to match your intentions. The key parameters that will help us to refine initial estimates are whether or not a basement is required to achieve your target floor area, the likely construction method and corresponding structural approach and of course your desired level of fixtures, fittings and material finishes. Another key parameter that we must consider right from the outset is the level of sustainability that we are aiming at, are you satisfied with the base line requirements as defined by current building regulations, or should we aim higher? Working together with sustainability experts we have created our own bespoke set of sustainability packages which allows you to place your sustainability target anywhere you wish. This can range from basic compliance to an extremely sustainable and energy efficient standard which comes with great savings on running costs, future proofing and wellbeing benefits such as improved air quality, thermal comfort, and considerate and healthier surface finishes.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is the cost of building a new house?
    The fee structure that we will offer will depend on the type and scale of your project as well as the scope required from us. The vast majority of the projects we take on are what we call ‘full projects’, these are projects for which we will provide full Architectural services from inception to completion, covering the standard scope of services offered by most RIBA Chartered Architects and more. For these full projects our fees will be calculated on the basis of an agreed percentage of the final cost of the building works exclusive of VAT and professional fees. At any given time, we will calculate our fees based on the latest construction cost estimates available until the final cost of the building works has been ascertained. Our fees will be adjusted both forward and retrospectively to reflect any increase in budget and scope of the project, and forward only (due to work already completed) to reflect any decrease in budget/scope. During early stages, our fees will be calculated based on our in-house estimation tool and once available, on estimates by the appointed Quantity Surveyor, followed by actual prices of returned tenders and finally, the contract sum reflecting any changes during construction. Under unusual circumstances we may agree to take on projects only up to a certain stage, for example up to planning, and sometimes from a certain stage if we are taking over from another Architect. For these ‘partial scope projects’ we will normally put forward a simple fixed lump sum proposal.

    Crystal Palace Architects

    FAQWhat is the fee structure used by Scenario Architecture?

Crystal Palace Architects Guide to Extending a Period Home

If you are thinking about improving your period home, one thing you may want to do is extend the property. This will give you more room to have fun and enjoy your home.

However, extending a period property is a little bit different when compared to extending a typical property. This is because you need to make sure that the extension is in line with the rest of your period property. The last thing you want is to have a home that looks like a mis-match of different styles.

Therefore, you need to make sure that you find a company that has many years of experience in the industry. They need to have worked on a lot of different period properties before so you can make sure that they have experience with these sorts of properties. This is the best way to make sure that they will do your home justice.

Of course, a lot of the original materials are not going to be available anymore, so you need a company that is resourceful and knows how to recreate the original style.

Aside from this, health and safety measures are critical. This is the case for all extensions, but even more so with period homes. The reason for this is because there may be some unstable materials or elements that need to be dealt with. Therefore, scaffolding and other health and safety matters are vital.

Scaffolding hire is offered by a number of professional firms in the industry, and you will need this service if you want to extend your period home. Their services are in high demand as well. After all, with every day that passes the world is becoming more developed, and scaffolding is vital for assisting construction works. Plus, that merely scratches the surface of why a scaffolder may be required.

No matter the task at hand, you should never cut corners when it comes to scaffolding. A professional service is the only way to go, and there are numerous reasons why this is the case. Firstly, you will benefit from a variety of services and equipment. Good scaffolders can offer everything from profile bending to cutting, and they work with a wide range of equipment, including knee braces, self-lock frames, toe boards, and much more. You can also be sure of the highest level of safety when hiring a scaffolding firm. When it comes to any construction site or even home improvement task, safety should be the first priority. Reliable scaffolding will reduce the risk of injuries and falls. It ensures those who need to be at a height have a flat and solid platform to use. It is also much more cost-efficient to use a scaffolding service as opposed to purchasing the equipment required outright. Experienced scaffolders also have the ability to deal with awkward areas and overcome any difficulties in regards to property access. They can work exactly where is needed without safety being compromised.

Safety When Scaffolding

Scaffolding way needs to be erected and dismantled with the highest levels of safety in mind. Did you know that every year there are a number of scaffolds that collapse across the country? And, this is just one hazard that needs to be considered when it comes to safety.

There are a number of safety laws that scaffolding firms need to adhere to, including the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Construction (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1996, Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 1994, and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. There are also several safety factors to consider when it comes to any scaffolding job, including the stability of the scaffolds, working at a height, protection of the public, and training and supervision. The latter is arguably the most essential factor when it comes to stopping accidents from occurring on-site. If you are hiring a scaffolding firm, you also have a duty to ensure that they are following the proper safety standards and that you have hired a firm that has the necessary accreditation, with a team of scaffolders that have received the right levels of training. With regards to stability and working at a height, there are numerous roles to follow. For example, one safe procedure for working at a height is to make sure that during dismantle or erection there is the minimum of a three-board working platform and a single guardrail. Scaffolders may also require a licence to carry out any particular type of work. If you need to erect a scaffold on a public highway, you will definitely need a licence from the local authority.

Hire Someone With The Right CISRS Card

If you need to work from a height, hiring a professional scaffolding firm is a must. Nevertheless, you should not simply go for the first or the cheapest firm you lay your eyes on. Instead, quality and safety is a must, which is why you need to choose a scaffolding company whereby employees have the CISRS card.

All scaffolding firms should put their employees through CISRS training. Of course, it is not uncommon to have a number of trainees that are yet to complete the course. Nevertheless, on the whole, the vast majority of those working at the firm should have acquired the CISRS card, especially those that are leading scaffold teams. So, what is the CISRS card? CISRS stands for Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme. Individuals are allowed to apply for this course once they have taken and passed a labourer’s course, known as COTS (New Entrant Trainee and Scaffolding Labourer Course). CISRS is broken into two sections – Part 1 and Part 2. After completing Part 1, scaffolders must take the Part 2 course within two years; otherwise, the Part 1 will become void. Training usually takes place over a two-week period off-site. The individual must also have several months of on-site experience. The CISRS card shows that the scaffolder in question is capable of carrying out all scaffolding duties, and thus it is of huge importance.