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.