The quiet residential suburbs of West London are more attractive than ever for house-buyers seeking more space for their families, home-offices or studios. Friendly, leafy and largely residential, neighbourhoods like Ealing, Acton and Hanwell are steadily improving with new restaurant openings, good multicultural schools and better transport options – Crossrail stations opening across the borough will shepherd residents to the West End in just over 10 minutes.
Ealing and its neighbours enjoy a wealth of well-maintained heritage housing with potential for expansion and renovation. Properties are slightly wider than the norm across London and slightly younger: mostly Victorian terraces and mock-Tudor semis. Yet building or altering a home deep in West London comes with some responsibility for respecting a past that goes back centuries. A skilled architect familiar well versed in the West London vernacular will understand how to transform a property of any style or respectfully plot a modern structure within the landscape.
Our landmark project A Step Change, located in central Ealing, is testament to Scenario’s ability to navigate challenging planning restrictions and seamlessly blend traditional and contemporary architecture. The family house underwent a complete renovation, redesign and extension using carefully selected materials that are both traditional, durable and highly sustainable. Through our unique design approach, we created a deeply contextual design that celebrates contemporary architecture whilst respecting the heritage of the existing building.
Your Ealing project
Scenario is a residential architecture practice dedicating to adapting British properties to the needs of our clients. We design distinctive contemporary spaces that rethink how a home should look and function. If you’re looking for Ealing architects with a keen ear and a profound knowledge of the area, contact us with your plans.
Our landmark project Scenario House demonstrates our commitment to transforming period architecture for today’s lifestyles. An East London Victorian conversion with soaring ceilings and robust, contemporary materials, it was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards.
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, complying with RIBA’s strict health and safety criteria. We tackle residential projects of all scopes and scales, from refurbishments to new-builds, renovations to expansions. Our architects collaborate closely with all our clients, providing a bespoke service from the drafting phase through to planning, tender and construction. If you’re on the hunt for Ealing architects, visit our portfolio and find a project that represents your vision.
We use 3D design technology to save time and money for our clients. In this Chartered Institute of Building case study, a Scenario project illustrates the benefits of this advanced technology in residential architecture and design.
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 Queen of the Suburbs is back. After decades as the centre of London’s TV- and film-production industry, Ealing is best known now for its wide, tree-lined streets, vast playing fields and homely atmosphere, like a village within moments of central London. With a great chunk of the borough’s social housing undergoing a refurb, and dowdier areas being reinvented with slick shops and a newly restored art deco cinema, the real estate market has heated up. House prices from Hanwell to Acton have gradually climbed, though they remain significantly lower than those in Chiswick, just down the road. Though once the Crossrail project is completed, house prices should shoot up dramatically. If you’re considering a home extension, renovation or development, now may be the perfect time.
The area has been populated since before Anglo-Saxon settlers began to farm crops and raise livestock. Some vestiges of old Ealing remain, in the 12th-century parish church St Mary’s and manors such as Pitshanger, owned by the famed architect and collector Sir John Soane. Yet the building of the Great Western Railway in the 1830s brought residents to Ealing in earnest. Charles Jones, the local building surveyor for the late-Victorian era, designed the Gothic Revival town hall. Engineers began building pioneering electric trams, which evolved into today’s Tube lines, and architects flooded in to provide new residents with thousands of charming semis that allowed a sort of peaceful, countryside lifestyle within commuting distance of the city. These same houses attract Londoners to Ealing today.
Extending a home with a loft or side return extension has become common practice in Ealing over the past decade. Ealing architects have had much success routing modern and dramatic housing plans through Ealing Council, provided they respect the area’s height and volume restrictions and, of course, the heritage architecture. Within this framework, architects like Scenario are finding new and creative ways to bring more light, space and functionality into the area’s homes. And every passing year brings new developments in materials and technology to make this easier and more standard.
To see what is possible under the current regulations, contact us with your current plans. You may be surprised how far you can take them.
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.