Scenario is a dynamic London-based practice specialising in residential architecture in and around the capital. We produce thoughtful, original, sustainable designs that juxtapose heritage and contemporary details and evolve to suit changing lifestyles. Our highly collaborative team uses leading-edge design technology to boost efficiency and drive down costs from concept through completion.
Your Terrace House Extension project
Remodelling a period property requires vision, skill and a profound knowledge of the local area. Our architects adapt and extend terrace houses across London and the southeast, reconciling historical details with modern, innovative elements. We cultivate relationships with planners, regulators and tradespeople across the UK to make every project run smoothly.
To discover whether or not your architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council, visit the “planning applications” page of your local 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 is a small RIBA-chartered practice complying with the health and safety criteria of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Our architects are fluent in cutting-edge 3D visualisation technology for designing floor plans, choosing finishes and fittings and simulating natural light. Our building information modelling technology (BIM) produces reliable construction information, rendering accurate data on all our models. This saves our clients time and money.
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 ingenuity of London architects throughout the ages means we get a phenomenal array of building on our streetscapes. But there is one constant across the country – certainly across London. And that is the terrace house. Massive expansion in the late 18th century to the early 20th century means long residential streets chock-a-block with terraced housing appeared month to month. They were adorned in any number of ways, with friezes and spires, bow, bay and leaded-glass windows, lacy gables and columns. But the interiors were strikingly similar. The layout of a terrace house in Chiswick, West London, is scarcely different from one in Stratford.
This means architects have perfected many approaches to revitalising, renovating and expanding the terrace house. As our lifestyles change over time, solutions for upgrading bathrooms, maximising natural light, opening up communal areas and improving flow get more efficient and more sophisticated. Here are a few ways we can turn a standard Victorian terrace house into a dream home of epic proportions.
• Convert the loft
Most terraces houses have storage space in the eaves with potential for a bedroom or two and small shower room. Depending on your budget, you can extend your staircase into the second floor, push up the roof at the rear and get creative with the space. Some couples install an open bath in the boudoir space, replace walls with glazing and build custom storage beneath the rooflights.
• Extend into the side return
Victorian gardens tend to cut into the house at the side, creating an impractical void. Pushing the kitchen into this void can recoup some valuable space and open up opportunity for wow-factor design. Kitchen islands can move into the space, along with expandable tables, living spaces, utility rooms and alcove gardens. Advancements in steel-framed glazing allow us to fully open up the rear of a home with bi-fold, concertina or sliding glass doors and retractable ceilings. In warm weather, all distinctions between indoors and out evaporate.
• Open the common rooms
With an interior pillar or steel ceiling beam, you could completely eliminate the long interior wall separating the hallway from the living spaces. Removing that wall even partially lets natural light travel from the front to rear and back, livening up a dim lounge or kitchen.
• Up your bedroom count
If you’ve already pushed up the loft and pushed out the kitchen, you could squeeze in an extra bedroom on the second-floor landing over the expanded kitchen. An extra volume half-way to the new loft can accommodate a single room, nursery or dressing room to support the larger master bedroom. Having the flexibility of an extra bedroom means you can expand a poky bathroom into one of the existing rooms or create a new bathroom altogether.
• Dig down
Most Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian terrace houses have a cellar beneath the kitchen – really just a coal hole to heat the house from below. If you don’t have enough height in the space, you could excavate, at a cost. You’ll also have to underpin your foundations, add climate control and tank the basement against damp. If you’re in desperate need of storage, or a small room for guests, this will make sense.
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.
Renovating a Terraced House: How to Extend, Remodel and Update
Terraced houses are a common sight in the United Kingdom, and many people want to renovate them. Here is some excellent advice on extending, remodeling, and updating terraced houses that will help you turn your house into something new.
When renovating, you should:
- Seek the proper consultation
- Consider the cost
- Consider the space you are renovating
How to Add Value to Your Property?
To add value to your home, you should do everything possible to increase its beauty. As buyers walk into your home, they should be awed. Remember, first impressions matter. So if they were from seeing a couple of houses before, ensure yours is what they keep reminiscing even as the day comes to an end. To do this, you should:
Decorate and decorate well. With some good decoration, your house can be the most beautiful one in the neighbourhood.
Focus on a few key features to create an eye-catching focal point that will mesmerise visitors. For example, if you have great flooring or unique windows, highlight them–but don’t overdo it, or visitors won’t know where to look.
What Are The Party Wall Laws For Terraced House Extensions?
As it is a terraced house, the party wall laws are different. It would be best if you didn’t build too close to your neighbour’s property line as this would be encroaching on their space, and they could take you to court over this. The good news, though, is that there should be no problem if you leave enough room for them next door- typically, this is six feet.
Of course, the best way to avoid any legal problems and complications when building or extending your property would be to speak with a qualified solicitor who can advise you on the legal stipulations. It’s always worth getting professional advice before making decisions that could affect you for years.
How to Add a Kitchen Diner Extension?
If you have a kitchen coming up against the wall of your property, it might be possible to add on and turn it into something much more helpful. This process would take some work as there are various constraints, including party walls, but with careful planning and sound advice from an architect or builder, this could create all sorts of extra space for your family to enjoy.
How to Create a Bigger Kitchen?
If you need extra space in your kitchen, it might be possible to add on an extension–or even remove flooring and walls from other parts of your home and put them into the room. It would help if you also considered whether you want a separate dining area or not, making designing a larger kitchen even more difficult.
How Much Does It Cost For A Terraced House Extension?
The price of an extension will vary, and it’s essential to consider the costs before you start work on your project. You need to know how long the whole process is likely to take, which materials you’ll be using (some are cheaper than others), and the cost of those materials.
How to Enlarge an Entrance Hallway?
One of the best ways to remodel an entrance hallway is by adding onto your stairs. If you’re happy to live with the space around them, it might be possible- however, this will affect how much room there is on each floor and make future extensions more difficult. It would be best to consider whether you need an elevator to make the building more accessible.
Whose Permission Will You Need?
You will need to get permission for any building or extension from the planning authorities. If you live in a terraced house, this is even more difficult as permitted development rights rules may not cover your project, and so you’ll have to apply for full planning consent before starting work.
How To Add A Downstairs Or Add A Basement?
It’s possible to add a downstairs extension or basement if you have enough space. The most important thing is that the ground slopes away from your house, so there won’t be any risk of flooding- so it pays to do some research in this area before getting started. Also, consider whether you want an open plan design, as this will make building a new house more manageable.
How to Create an Open-Plan Layout?
Step One: Decide the rooms you want to include in your project and their sizes. Remember, if there’s any significant difference between how long or wide they are, it might be tricky to get them all fitted into one space–so do your research.
Step Two: Draw an outline of your house on the ground or floor and then mark out where you want each room to go. You can use a drawing program on your computer if you prefer, but make sure it’s accurate before getting any building work done.
How to Move a Bathroom Upstairs?
It might be possible to move your bathroom upstairs if you have a downstairs extension. However, this will depend on the size of the room and what kind of access you will need, and it’ll also need planning permission before going any further.
Are You Adding More Bedrooms To A Terraced Building?
It’s possible to add more bedrooms if you have an upstairs extension- but this will depend on the size of your property and how much room there is already. You can also create a studio or office area by adding space onto the back garden, but keep in mind that it’ll be difficult for anyone to gain access without going through another room-so; it’s worth considering who will be using the space.
What Is The “Right To Light” Law?
The right to light law means that you cannot build anything on your property, which will prevent a neighbour from receiving natural daylight. If the window in question faces east, this is a problem as buildings get in the way of sunlight, and so there’s an obligation not to do anything that will obstruct or reduce access to light- at least without permission.
The main lesson from this blog post is that renovating a terraced house can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Therefore, if you consider getting started on your renovation project, the best thing to do would be to get in touch with one of the experts who will help you plan how much it should cost and what steps you need to take.