Scenario’s long-standing relationship with Hampstead began with a direct referral from one of our first clients after launching our boutique residential architecture practice. Since then, we’ve proven ourselves with a string of successes across Hampstead and established ourselves as local architects of choice.
That early recommendation came from clients in West Hampstead as they moved into their full house extension and renovation – our first such project. They recommended Scenario Architecture to friends embarking on an extensive home renovation and extension in the heart of Hampstead.
More than a commercial opportunity, we saw this full renovation and extension as an opportunity to develop and refine our unique approach to residential architecture. Unlike many other Hampstead architects, Scenario puts its clients’ desires and ambitions central stage, as the main directors of the design process.
Practicing residential architecture across London for more than a decade, we’ve refined our client-led method, developing a deep understanding of the ways people engage with their home. Our process yields functional, tailor-made homes that tell the story of the owners, not the architects.
Your Hampstead project
If you’re considering hiring Hampstead architects for your residential project, we’re here to help, whether it’s a renovation, extension or new-build. We’ve created a brief illustrated overview to help you understand each stage of the process, whether you’re planning a home extension, renovation or new-build in Hampstead. Most architecture projects in Hampstead require planning permission from Camden Council. With our successful record securing planning permission from Camden Council on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across Camden in general and Hampstead in particular.
Discover if your architect has had success pushing planning applications through your local council. Visit the Camden Council website, click on “Planning and Building Control”, go into the search engine for planning applications and type in your agent’s name.
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 Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. Through our bespoke architecture service we tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds.
Our experienced, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your space. We’ll collaborate closely with you from the initial drawings, design and planning through tender and construction to the successful completion of your project. On time and on budget.
Scenario is a RIBA Chartered Practice. We comply with the strict criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management.
Early adopters of the latest technology, we use 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard on all our projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are extremely efficient tools for choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, and simulating natural light.
We also use 3D building information modelling (BIM) technology to produce reliable construction information, so all our project data comes from an accurate, coordinated 3D model. Using this cutting-edge technology collaboratively with consultants and contractors is proven to save our clients time and money. A Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a Scenario project demonstrates the great benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.
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.
Residential Hampstead punches far beyond its bijou size in terms of London’s illustrious history and undeniable beauty. The heath is an asset to residents, naturally: 790 acres within minutes of the West End. But the built environment goes further to explain the mystique of the area.
A fashionable spa destination where medicinal waters flowed past Gothic churches and small family farms, it gentrified with close, cobbled shopping lanes and pretty brick cottages coated in roses in the years before commuter trains arrived. An outsized proportion of London’s art world and intelligentsia gathered here in the lamp-lit streets north of Primrose Hill, inspired by the dramatic heights and dips of the geography. Once they’d secured some money and a name, painters like John Constable and Henry Moore pitched up to live and work. Poets like John Keats and Sylvia Plath moved in, along with writers like Virginia Woolf and Agatha Christie, and great minds like Charles Darwin, Frederich Engels and John Maynard Keynes.
Still, architects are some of Hampstead’s most significant residents, defining the quarter in brick and mortar. By the time Richard Burton came to live here in the late 1940s, modernism had reached the front lines as an antidote to the quaint villagey character. A trio of Bauhaus architects called Walter Gropus, Marcel Breuer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy chose the angular white Isokon building as their safe haven from wartime Europe. And individual architects in the mid century used Hampstead as their laboratory of ideas about horizontal lines, open-plan interiors and community.
Erno Goldfinger – better known for his Brutalist Trellick Tower in Notting Hill (and as the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s ultimate Bond villain) – built a family home on Willow Road. Mall Studios popped up behind Parkhill Road and housed artists like Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, and Piet Mondrian. And Ernst Freud, son of Sigmund, designed six unembellished houses on Frognal Close. A museum dedicated to his father’s work is a 10-minute walk away.
Decades later, architects are still challenging the local vernacular. Heritage houses are getting a new lease of life with contemporary extensions open to nature, and new, energy-efficient live-work spaces are taking the place of tired postwar bungalows. The richer a neighbourhood’s history, the more dramatic the juxtaposition between old and new concepts of luxury living. Bridging that gap, bringing experimental energy to historical roots, is what great architecture is all about today.
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.