Building, altering or expanding comes with responsibility in the southeast, home to some of Britain’s oldest heritage architecture. The built environment is as fiercely protected as the natural environment, and whether you’re starting from scratch or renovating a period property, you should never design in a vacuum.
The architecture of Kent is both wildly varied and quintessentially English, from colourful seaside cottages to oast houses, Georgian manors and, now, reimagined wide-windowed farmhouses. Yet it all connects to its neighbours and to the natural surroundings. A skilled Kent architect will understand how to transform a Kentish house or a plot of landscape into a home that respects the local heritage while improving upon it.
A highly functional home is the product of true collaboration between architect and client. We formed Scenario in 2007 with a tailor-made approach to residential architecture. Our work tells the story of the people who live there, nodding to the past, present and future.
Our landmark project Scenario House demonstrates our commitment to period properties and modern demands. A Victorian conversion with sweeping spaces, soaring ceilings and singular details, it was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards in 2018.
Your Kent project
Are you looking for an architect to help with a residential project in Kent? We’ve put together an illustrated rundown of the process from concept to conclusion.
Building, expanding or improving a home in Kent requires permission from the local borough. Since founding Scenario Architecture we have forged successful relationships with planning departments across the southeast. One of the most coveted boutique residential architecture practices, we will gain approval to see through your project with a deft hand and compassionate eye.
Discover if your chosen architect has had success steering 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
At Scenario we tackle domestic architecture on all scales. We take on new-builds as well as refurbishments, renovations and expansions of historic homes. The team of highly skilled architects at our London studio provides a bespoke service.
We collaborate closely with all our clients from the initial meeting through the drafting phase, planning, tender and construction. We strive to complete all our projects on time and on budget. If you’re searching for a Kent Architect, search through our portfolio of high-end residential projects.
We use 3D design technology on all our projects. This Chartered Institute of Building case study features a Scenario Architecture project to illustrate the benefits of advanced technology in the design of domestic architecture.
Scenario is a RIBA Chartered Practice, complying with RIBA’s strict health and safety criteria.
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 unbelievable green-ness is the first bit of England you see when you cross from Calais, whether by rail, road or even air. That’s the most striking thing about Kent – the ubiquitous spectrum of green in contrast with the chalky-white cliffs, the big sky, the monochrome stripes of Tudor shopfronts and the golden stone of Canterbury Cathedral.
Living in Kent, whether in the heart of Maidstone or a bucolic weald village, it’s impossible to avoid the ancient landscape, cultivated over thousands of years. Every day you’ll find yourself on a Roman road, a pilgrim’s path, a Medieval marketplace or a cobblestone high street cited by Dickens. That’s part of the beauty and joy of living in the county.
Britain is always evolving, however. Postwar Kent is not all soulless blight and concrete. Kent architects have treated the existing community with compassion while experimenting with new looks, materials and methods. Each decade brings new ideas and philosophies. Some look forward, some look back. But the current vogue is for bridging the past and the future.
Buying into this world can be the start of an exciting adventure. It can connect you to that ancient fabric, make you part of its living history while presenting exciting opportunities. To make the most of those opportunities, find a Kent architect who knows the area, understands the vernacular, is well versed in the architecture and in the local authorities that make that architecture happen. A good architect with knowledge of the area can set a new house within its environment so that it instantly becomes part of the landscape. A Kent architect will open up an existing home so that it pays homage to its origins while adapting to new ways of living, new demands and new technology.
Our portfolio is a good indicator of what can be achieved when architecture bridges eras and responds to modern needs. Our homes blend into their habitat where needed and pop where it works. And they take the future into account, so your new home can be your Forever Home.
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.