Hampshire Architects

Hampshire Architects

Hampshire Architects

Hampshire Architects About us

The dramatic geography, ancient lore and unspoilt seaside give historic Hampshire an edge over the Home Counties of London as a place to settle, raise a family and retreat to nature. Still, Hampshire is, at its closest, 55 miles from London. Those with ties to the capital or working in the west of London can commute quite happily. Residents get the best of both worlds.

Expanding or improving a home in a Hampshire conservation area requires an architect fluent in the local codes and guidelines. In places where fewer of these properties exist and preservation laws are less stringent, there is opportunity to buy and build on land more freely. Hampshire architects have done wonders preserving and modernising the county’s most historic properties and designed boundary-pushing new architecture.

Scenario has had a successful relationship dealing with planning departments throughout London and the West Country. Our experience, along with our reputation converting historic homes with a compassionate eye, has made our boutique architecture practice one of the most sought-after in the UK.

We launched our architecture practice in 2007 and have spent our careers formulating a fresh, collaborative approach to residential design. Our projects marry the UK’s rich architectural traditions with unique contemporary design, emerging with striking contrast and style. The lifestyles of our clients dictate the layout and specs, so that the final result reflects their spirit.

In 2018 our flagship residential project Scenario House was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards. The house demonstrates our commitment to period properties, incorporating the needs of homeowners today. Elements of this project can be adapted to any period or contemporary home in the UK.

Hampshire Architects Your Hampshire project

If you are contemplating a home restoration, renovation, addition or new build in Hampshire, we can help. To help understand what this entails, take a look first at our illustrated synopsis.

Most architectural projects in and around Hampshire must seek approval from the local council and building department. Hampshire architects will be able to help navigate that process, working collaboratively with officials to see through any application. Scenario Architecture has had a successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients.


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.

Hampshire Architects

Hampshire 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.

Hampshire Architects Working with Scenario Architecture

This guide will suit anyone seeking consent from the council to alter a property. It discusses the basics of planning and our strategies for completing the process successfully.

A RIBA Chartered Practice, we comply with strict health and safety criteria, as dictated by the UK’s governing body.

If you’re seeking Hampshire architects, visit our online portfolio. Our highly skilled team collaborates closely with every client on sketches, detailed designs, planning, tender and construction all the way through to completion. We deliver our services to the agreed budgets and deadlines.

Real-time digital visualisations and virtual reality are efficient tools for seeing through a project, choosing fittings and simulating natural light. Scenario architects use innovative 3D design technology on all projects.

This Chartered Institute of Building case study features a Scenario project and demonstrates the benefits of advanced technologies for our domestic work.

Hampshire Architects

Hampshire Architects In our client's words

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Hampshire Architects Further Reading

Hampshire benefits from dramatic geography, unspoilt seaside and an almost inconceivably rich history, which combine to give the county an edge over most others in London’s orbit. Located upwards of 55 miles from central London, it sits within commuting distance of both the capital and the south coast, making it a great place to settle dowm, raise a family and retreat to nature. Residents get the best of both worlds: cosmopolitan living and an active, outdoorsy lifestyle.

Winchester, Hampshire’s county seat and one of its most significant cities, has been inhabited since before the Romans. The city rivalled London as the country’s most populous urban centre until just a few hundred years ago. It has since seen coastal towns like Portsmouth and Southampton pass it in size and scope. Yet all of the above maintain a great number of listed properties well maintained for contemporary living. The average household income throughout Hampshire remains steadily high, and locals are extremely house proud.

Drive around the Hampshire’s finest towns and landmarks, from Lymington to Southampton, Porchester Castle to the South Downs: you’ll find all manner of housing stock, from gingerbread cabins in the woods and clapboard seaside cottages to mock Tudor townhouses and sprawling brick Queen Anne estates surrounded by lawns. It would be difficult to find a similarly high calibre of real estate so close to London with the same natural surrounds and quality of life. Yet regardless of local vernacular and heritage red tape, Hampshire architects can tailor these historic homes to very specific, modern tastes. The great pool of Hampshire architects has kept them up to date, for the most part.

The area of Hart, clinging to the River Hart just west of the Surrey border, recently ranked Number One in the annual Halifax quality of life study. The area combines proximity to city life with access to ancient countryside, outstanding schools and an active summer social calendar. The pretty towns of Lymington, Midhurst, Petersfield and Stockbridge regularly rank highly as well, for their lively markets, awe-inspiring architecture and protected wildlife. The reputation for fine building stock increases the demand for homes in and around these choice centres, so expect some competition if you plan to search here. If you persevere, chances are you will land a property with innate beauty and endless potential.

Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire Architects

    FAQHow should I decide which architect to work with?
    • 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

    Hampshire Architects

    FAQCan I start a project during a global pandemic?
    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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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. 

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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 (www.envisioneco.com), 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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire 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.

    Hampshire Architects

    FAQWhat is the fee structure used by Scenario Architecture?

Hampshire Architects Should You Demolish And Rebuild?

Regarding home improvement, the idea of demolishing a home in its entirety and beginning all over again may not seem like the smartest move initially. Starting from scratch not only takes a lot of effort but seemingly would cost a fortune, right? Well, in many areas of the UK, knocking everything down and rebuilding actually saves you a lot more than you’d think. In parts where individual plots are scarce, it can actually be one of the best ways to get the home you feel you deserve. Let’s have a little chat about demolishing and rebuilding, discussing the good and bad along the way:

When Would One Look To Demolish And Rebuild In The First Place?

Typically, someone looking to demolish and begin a rebuild project would target older homes that were built to suit generations of years gone by. We’re talking about bungalows and detached houses that were built around the post-war austerity era and around the 1970s. These kinds of homes were never going to stand the test of time and were never going to last forever. People had different lifestyles, different energy efficiency, and different levels of comfort. It may not be that long ago, but so much has changed – and these properties can be pretty difficult to sell.

These houses of years gone by were built with much smaller rooms than what are expected in this day and age. These rooms also have no real versatility like the modern home of the 21st century. They’re also built with little-to-no heating and hardly any installation. Finally, and quite unfathomably, a lot of these properties were not built with a bathroom. An obvious necessity in this day and age.

The good thing about this kind of property, however, is that these locations tended to have a lot of land. This meant that you could build pretty much whatever you wanted on your own property – before certain laws and acts came in and blocked the right.

Are All Properties Able To Be Demolished And Redone?

Some will be more difficult than others, as you can imagine. For instance, terraced houses and semi-detached houses will likely be a non-starter as you’d have to secure consent to demolish and rebuild. This consent would need to be received by many, many parties. When it comes to older homes, you need to consider whether demolishing is even necessary as there is still a high demand and strong market for period houses. Rebuilding would be a much worse idea than a simple revamp or refurbishment.

Buildings that are marked as historical or have architectural significance have been protected by the listed buildings scheme. You will not be able to touch these properties even if you really pushed for it. There are plenty out there that are available, however. If you ever look to demolish a building, you’ll likely find out whether it’s illegible for this kind of thing or not as somebody or note will step in and stop the project in its tracks.

Planning Policies

When it comes to the actual planning and the regulations behind it all, you must ensure you have a pre-planning meeting to assess what is available and what isn’t. Due to many replacement projects involving so many small existing homes on larger plots, making the volume larger is usually allowed as long as you reach an agreement with local planners. When discussing a few items, you might be able to argue that the home you’re proposing to build will have a lower environmental impact than the smaller one it will replace.

In green belt areas, new work is typically not allowed. Replacement dwellings, however, are seen as more acceptable. There are strict policies on what can be allowed regarding increases in footprint or volume. Sometimes, if a property looks as though it is rundown and abandoned, it will be ruled unavailable for any further residential use. This will make it unsuitable for rebuilding. If you ever look to rebuild on a property, make sure you’re actually able to go through with it.

How You’ll Look To Benefit Financially From Replacements

If you take a little look at the value of building plots, you can see that most will cost as much as (or more than) the price of a current property on the market. This is due to the value of the land not being dictated by what is currently on it – but the potential it has, should it ever be properly worked on.

On the whole, demolishing a property is not that expensive. A few thousand would be the height of the fee involved and the main cost is mainly based on disposing of the wasted bits and pieces. In order to demolish, you’ll need to ensure you have building control approval – this will consist of the commissioning of environmental and asbestos surveys. If you’re borrowing at all, you must make sure that your lender is happy for you to demolish and rebuild a property.

Renovating And Rebuilding – The Difference Regarding VAT

Demolishing and rebuilding has one thing categorically over any kind of extension or refurb – and that’s the VAT. You can reclaim on materials used when building a new property and labour is zero-rated. Work on an existing structure is 20% VAT on both, however. The overall cost is significantly less at the end of the day, and you’ll happily end up with left over money once the job has been completed.

Extra Pros For Demolishing And Rebuilding

If you need any more positives and benefits, then here they are:

You’re going to be creating an entirely new home that fits the style in your mind’s eye and fits the comfort levels you’re expecting. An existing property is also likely to have access to the main services you’ll need, such as electricity, water, gas, and drainage. Finally, easements and wayleaves for managing this property will already be in place.