Our dynamic London practice specialises in modern, sustainable residential design. We take on period refurbishments and new-build projects of every scale and scope, preparing them for a host of scenarios.
Our unique contemporary designs speak to historical details and specific landscape yet incorporate new materials and 21st-century technology to a high standard. We work closely with all our clients to make sure the spaces we create evolve with them for a lifetime.
A highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle. Each of Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell a story about the owner – not the architects.
Our landmark project Scenario House established us as one of the top London practices working today. Located in Stoke Newington, London, it demonstrates our out-of-the-box customised approach to domestic architecture and showcases the potential of period housing stock in the capital. In 2018, Scenario House was shortlisted for several prestigious prizes, including the RIBA London Awards.
Visit the building controls section of your council’s website to find out if your architect can navigate the planning process for you. Just located the search engine for planning applications and enter your architect’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
We use the latest 3D design and visualisation technology to streamline our design process, and turn to building information modelling technology (BIM) to produce reliable construction data. This Chartered Institute of Building case study, featuring one of our flagship projects, highlights the benefits of using advanced technology for modern house design.
A RIBA Chartered Practice, Scenario complies with essential criteria covering insurance, health and safety, and quality-management systems.
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.
Taken in its entirety, London appears to have a range of wildly different architectural styles, dating back a thousand years and soaring overhead in futuristic steel and glass. Most Londoners, however, will recognise the residential architecture that flourished over a few hundred years. When London began to expand beyond the old city in the 18th century, after the destruction of the Great Fire had cleared the path to renewal, residential terraces appeared across town. By the Victorian era, architects had perfected an attractive, accessible template for building family homes. They built thousands across the capital and the Edwardians added thousands more, which is why the style, structure and layout are so familiar to us today. These houses, and their surrounds, are a major element of the city’s history.
If you live in London or the surrounding areas, chances are you have slept in, or are now living in, a home with this familiar heritage, in a neighbourhood that may go back even further. Finding an architect who understands and respects this heritage is the key to updating a house with historical value, which is why you should seek out someone local to you.
Local architects will have an appreciation for the neighbourhood and experience working within the parameters of heritage building controls. They may have relationships with local tradespeople and connections with council officials; knowledge of weather patterns, groundwater levels, sightlines and light; they’ll know how ambitious it’s possible to be in your specific area, and take you around to view similar homes in your area. Local architects may even have homes of their own nearby that demonstrate their skills and ambition.
To find local architects who might suit your project, start by asking friends and neighbours for their input. Their suggestions will be far valuable than an endless stream of Google data. Internet resources like Houzz (houzz.co.uk) and HomeOwners Alliance (hoa.org.uk) will turn up firms that operate near you, offer links to their work and provide tips for your first meeting.
Always consult the Royal Institute of British Architects, or RIBA (architecture.com), to look into architects you may want to work with. Make sure they’re registered as a RIBA-chartered practice and have experience working with planning authorities in the area. And then meet your makers. Chances are you’ll find someone inspiring and capable, who cares as much about your neighbourhood as you do yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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.