Technological advancements in remote-working have enabled many home-seekers to widen their property search to the edges of the Home Counties. The past years have seen renewed interest in small-town living. And homeowners beyond the southeast are watching their assets creep up in value. In parts of Berkshire, the housing stock is more desirable than ever, offering ample space and value for money within commuting distance of London, Oxford, Bristol and the south coast.
Towns like Newbury, an hour from Paddington Station, offer charming houses dating back centuries and a good assortment of modern developments with tight-knit communities of young professionals. We’ve observed amazing opportunities to renovate, expand and even build anew in deepest Berkshire.
We established Scenario in 2007 with a vision to develop a uniquely collaborative architecture. 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.
A beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle – and that shows in our work. Scenario’s tailor-made homes tell the story of the owners – not the architects.
Our landmark project Scenario House, located in Stoke Newington, was covered widely by the media and shortlisted for several prestigious architecture awards – including the 2018 RIBA London Awards. It demonstrates our successful approach to domestic architecture projects.
Your Newbury project
We founded our small, dynamic architecture practice in East London and quickly expanded our reach beyond the M25. Our distinctive contemporary architecture appeals to clients making big changes in their lives that demand a transformation at home. Our portfolio illustrates a keen understanding of homeowners today. If you’re looking for a Newbury architect with a profound knowledge of the region and an open mind, please contact us and share your thoughts.
Our landmark project Scenario House demonstrates our commitment to transforming period architecture with an eye to the past and the future. The converted Victorian terrace house, with soaring ceilings and robust, contemporary materials was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards.
If you’re considering a residential architectural project in Newbury, 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.
Discover if your chosen architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the “planning applications” section 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
We specialise in residential architecture of every scope and scale, from new homes and top-to-bottom refurbishments to home extensions and renovations. Our London-based architects work closely with our clients from the drafting phase through to planning, tender and construction, tailoring every detail for ultimate efficiency. Visit our online portfolio to find a project that best represents your vision.
Our practice takes up the latest 3D design technology to save time and money throughout the design process. This Chartered Institute of Building case study uses a Scenario project to illustrate the benefits of advanced technology in residential 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.
Change is the only constant when it comes to living in the UK. We exist in a dynamic era in which lifestyles transform not only with age but also technology, globalisation and natural events.
Even the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas – places historically slow to evolve – have undergone massive changes over the past few decades. Villages are modernising, farms are being subdivided, brownfield sites are being developed, outskirts are growing and neighbourhoods are gentrifying. Planning regulations have had to adapt to changing circumstances. The great urbanisation happening around the world has also spurred an exodus from the big cities, as they become less affordable.
What characterised a typical home last decade will hardly be the case today. Yet tailoring a home in the southeast comes with some responsibility for respecting a past that goes back millennia. The area around Newbury, Berkshire, is an area of outstanding natural beauty, part of the North Wessex Downs. The adjacent village of Donnington formed alongside Donnington Castle, a 14th century ruin with two crenellated towers featured in the history of England’s Civil War. And to the south is Highclere, the Victorian stately home that featured in Downton Abbey.
The town itself has a selection of medieval and Georgian listed buildings. Yet no matter how upmarket the neighbourhood, in this part of the country there exists a local character and uniformity that must be maintained, so that altered homes complement the existing fabric. The best housing defers to the landscape, the neighbours and what was there before.
Out here, you’ll likely be able to find an affordable house that doesn’t require complicated strategies to achieve planning permission when you want to alter it. Architects who know the region will appreciate the local heritage while improving on it. Newbury architects who have experience dealing with the local authorities can transform a house with a past into a house with a long and happy future. There are few technical problems a skilled architect can’t solve with creative thinking and a good contractor, so it makes sense to think big. The good-sized gardens have real potential too.
A skilled Newbury architect will understand how to transform a property of any style or respectfully plot a modern structure within the landscape.
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.