The gracious Victorian and Edwardian houses of London and the UK are some of London’s most covetable. Sat in a quiet bend in the Thames, interspersed with cafés and boutiques, these elegant terraced homes attract top prices and, when it comes to renovating, demand innovative architects.
We established Scenario in 2007 with a vision to build, modernise and transform residential architecture in London and beyond. Our collaborative process places our clients’ needs at the forefront of every project. Taking our design cues from them, we produce functional, tailor-made architecture that tells a unique story.
Over more than a decade, Scenario has transformed heritage residential architecture throughout the capital with vaulted spaces and graceful curves. Our work has featured in such magazines as Elle Decoration, Dezeen, Houzz and Ideal Home. Our landmark project Scenario House, located in Stoke Newington, London, was shortlisted for several prestigious architecture awards – including the 2018 RIBA London Awards. It demonstrates our successful approach to domestic architecture projects.
Scenario Architecture is a RIBA-chartered practice on top of the latest methods and technology. Founders Ran Ankory and Maya Carni, graduates of London’s Architectural Association, take a fresh, inventive approach to expanding and revamping period properties. Building an extensive portfolio of completed residential projects throughout London, they see the city’s most historic residential neighbourhoods as their backyard.
Starting your project
Most building projects in London and the UK require approval from the local authority. Local architects can help you through the process, collaborating with council officials to see through your application. Scenario Architects has successfully steered clients through the permissions stage.
We’ve drawn up an illustrated synopsis to help guide you through the planning process for a local renovation, restoration, addition or new-build.
TipVisit 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.
AdviceYou can also download our guide for understanding planning regulations in London and the UK. It offers basic strategies for navigating the process successfully.
Your project >> Scenario Architecture
Working with Scenario Architecture on your project
Our boutique studio specialises in residential architecture, offering bespoke services for home additions, renovations and new-builds. Based in Hackney, we practice across London and beyond.
A RIBA Chartered Practice, Scenario complies with the UK’s strict health and safety criteria. We collaborate closely with our clients throughout every stage of the process, from the design phase, through planning and construction. We aim to deliver every project on time and on budget.
Our skilled team works with the latest 3D design technology: real-time digital visualisations and virtual reality. We feel they are the most effective and efficient tools for seeing through our work, choosing fittings and simulating natural light.
This Chartered Institute of Building case study features a recent Scenario project, demonstrating the benefits of advanced technologies in designing for the domestic sphere.
Your project >> Further Reading
A genteel pocket of London, built around a dip in the Thames, Fulham is known for its peaceful residential streets and creative lore. Less industrialised than Hammersmith, to one side, and less swish than Chelsea, to the other, it enjoys a cosy neighbourhood feel with pretty workers’ cottages and pockets of green. Intimate streets with roomy Victorian and Edwardian terraces lead out to the river and Fulham Palace, an ancient bishops’ manor. These are the most attractive places to live in the area. The leafy roads leading towards Fulham Road and New King’s Road are the most fashionable. Fulham’s artisanal heritage – started with the weavers and glassworkers of the 17th century – continue today. Artisan studios occupy disused industrial buildings and a historic foundry. Hubs of design shops pop up all over the neighbourhood.
One of the biggest housing booms in Victorian London played out in Fulham. The area’s tall, sturdy, generously proportioned houses make safe and attractive prospects for a family home, with nooks and crannies to exploit and decent-sized gardens in which to extend. Because the layout of the typical Fulham home is part of London’s residential architectural canon, Fulham architects – and of course architects from across the capital – are well versed in their potential.
Victorian renovations are more compassionate today than they’ve ever been, with homeowners striving to preserve architectural elements like decorative cornicing, ceiling roses, skirting boards and dada rails. Sash windows are being replaced by specially made wood reproductions and wood-burning fireplaces recouped after being sealed off for decades. Paint companies like Farrow & Ball have built multinationals out of replicating the de rigueur colours of Victorian times. And new tile ceramicists are bringing back traditional motifs with contemporary silhouettes, for front gardens and foyers. Hardwood floors have made a comeback, with timber salvage and reproduction going strong.
Most renovations focus on transforming the core of the home, and revolutionise the kitchen and bathrooms in the process. To recoup the extra floor area today’s families have become accustomed to, Fulham architects are extending into voids in the lofts and side returns common in Victorians. Small period kitchens can open up into the side return without eradicating period features; in the recovered space, a corner can be reserved for a powder room or utility room. Ditto the loft: pushing up the ceiling and pushing out dormer windows can make new space available for an en suite bathroom.
With extending out into dead space comes the welcoming in of natural light. Upward-facing Velux windows become possible once the upper floor is properly extended and the main floor pushed out beyond the confines of the original footprint. If a second-storey extension is permitted in your plans, an internal void can bring natural light from the top floor downwards, and vice versa.
In our clients 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.
- 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.