Scenario Architecture has enjoyed collaborative relationships with homeowners in Islington since long before we moved to our current offices on the Regent’s Canal. Our extensive portfolio of completed projects across Islington dates back more than a decade, and has grown and diversified since making the neighbourhood our home turf and becoming Islington architects of choice.
We established Scenario in 2007 with a vision to develop a uniquely collaborative brand of Islington architects. We take a considered approach to our clients’ desires, placing their aspirations for a new, architect-designed home in high definition. The clients’ needs are the main drivers of our design process.
Early on as a boutique residential architecture practice, we relied on direct referrals from happy clients more than any other form of marketing. Now as Islington architects, this positive word-of-mouth has come largely from our neighbours within Islington and Hackney.
A beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each homeowner’s unique lifestyle – and that shows in our work. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell the story of our clients – not ourselves.
Your Islington project
If you’re considering hiring Islington 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 Islington. Most architecture projects in Islington require planning permission from Islington Council. With our successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we’ve worked collaboratively with Islington Council to realise some ambitious and daring schemes.
Discover if your chosen architect has had success pushing 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
Scenario Architecture is a practice of Islington architects focused on high-end residential projects around London. Through our bespoke architecture service we tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior alterations and refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds.
Our friendly, experienced, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We’ll collaborate closely from the initial drawings, detail design and planning through tender and construction to the successful completion of your project. On time and on budget.
Scenario Architecture 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 innovative 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard on all projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are extremely efficient tools for choosing finishes and fittings, and simulating natural light. We 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.
This 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.
It’s one of the smallest boroughs in London, but Islington cuts an exclusive swath up the city centre, from deep in the old city to the leafy parks of Highgate. For those who work in the City, the borough follows the contours of the Northern Line, and the important trains depositing people into Moorgate and London Bridge. If you’re creative, you’re a straight shot from Clerkenwell, Shoreditch and King’s Cross. Islington architects are some of the most prestigious in London.
The built fabric of Islington, dating back 500 years in some parts, makes up some of the oldest surviving stock in London. The gates of St John’s in Clerkenwell, first built by the Priory of the Knights of St John in the early 16th century, sit back from Clerkenwell Road and lead the way down cobbled streets to the eminent pubs and restaurants around Farringdon. The medieval Charterhouse, a former monastic enclave, still stands behind wrought iron gates near Smithfield Market. And Tudor Tower lords over the village-community of Canonbury and a cluster of Henry VIII-era houses (former residents include Thomas Cromwell, Francis Bacon and Oliver Goldsmith). Over the next few centuries in Islington, architects would build some of the most gracious residential streets and squares surrounding private parks. Today nearly 40 per cent of the borough’s built fabric dates from before 1900.
Islington was not always an elegant London community, however. Its proximity to the City and the Thames River put it in harm’s way during the Second World War. Pockets of destruction erased some signature architecture and sent well-heeled residents to the suburbs on the newly built train lines. Streets were razed, council housing built and schools deteriorated.
Yet its proximity to the City was exactly what saved Islington in recent decades. With social housing sold off, Georgian terraces gradually refurbished and the Regent’s Canal cleared and cleaned for leisure, the Islington post codes have bounced back. Upper Street, running from Angel to Highbury & Islington station, is as popular for its top restaurants, West End-calibre theatre and boutique shopping as Covent Garden. Highbury, centred on Arsenal’s new Emirates Stadium, has the vast lawns of Highbury Fields. The New River running through Canonbury is lined with quiet, shady streets and distinguished grey-brick centre-hall homes. Angel claims some of the oldest and most contemporary housing in the borough, clinging to the Regent’s Canal. And the up-and-coming neighbourhoods of Holloway and Archway are destinations for food and drink.
You’ll find the best deals on Victorian terrace and semi-detached housing in the latter two, over in Tufnell Park and around Finsbury Park station. The best news is those neighbourhoods benefit from some of the handiest Tube stations in North London.
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.