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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.