It was during the Victorian era that London became the great modern city it remains today. Victorian architects gave London its charming streetscape and wealth of gracious residential terraces, popularising the use of red brick and steep, ornate gables. Yet as much as we still covet this archetypal London style, most Victorian houses lack the loftiness and openness we crave today. Fortunately, most London boroughs will allow a sympathetic extension to a Victorian house, provided it does not interfere with the original front aspect.
Scenario takes a fresh, inventive approach to expanding and revamping period properties. Founders Ran Ankory and Maya Carni, graduates of London’s Architectural Association, have built an extensive portfolio of completed residential projects throughout London, and a RIBA-chartered practice on top of the latest methods and technology. They see the city’s most diverse residential neighbourhoods as their backyard.
With more than a decade’s experience adding vaulted spaces and graceful curves to classic Victorian homes, Ran and Maya have earned their place as London architects of choice: changing the architectural landscape house by house. Their work has featured in Elle Decoration, Dezeen, Houzz and Ideal Home.
Their landmark project Scenario House, a Victorian terrace house with a double-height extension in Stoke Newington, was shortlisted for several prestigious architecture awards – including the 2018 RIBA London Awards. It demonstrates Ran and Maya’s unique, considered approach to domestic architecture.
A beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each homeowner’s unique lifestyle. That shows in Scenario’s work. Each tailor-made extension tells the story of our clients – not ourselves.
Your Victorian extension project
Starting your Victorian Extensions project
If you’re considering an extension to a Victorian house in London, we’re here to help. We’ve created a brief illustrated overview to help you understand each stage of the process.
Most Victorian extensions require planning permission from the local council. With our successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across residential London.
TipDiscover if your chosen architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the “planning applications” page of your council’s website and enter the architect’s name in the search criteria.
AdviceTo help you understand what it takes to obtain planning permission for a Victorian extension in London, we’ve created this helpful guide. Download it below.
Your Victorian extension project >> Scenario Architecture
Working with Scenario Architecture on your Victorian extension
Scenario Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. We tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from Victorian extensions and refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds, through our bespoke architecture service.
Our friendly, experienced, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your Victorian extension or renovation. We’ll collaborate closely with you from the initial drawings, detail design and planning through tender and construction to the successful completion of your project. On time and on budget.
Scenario Architecture is a RIBA Chartered Practice. We comply with the strict criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management.
Early adopters of the latest technology, we use 3D design and visualisation tools as a standard for all projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are extremely efficient tools for choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, and simulating natural light.
We also use 3D building information modelling (BIM) to produce reliable construction information, so all our project data comes from an accurate, coordinated 3D model. Using this cutting-edge technology collaboratively with consultants and contractors is proven to save homeowners time and money.
A Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a Scenario project demonstrates the great benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.
Your Victorian extension project >> Further reading
Victorian houses account for one sixth of all homes in the UK. And with their small kitchens and poky rooms, they’re prime candidates for expansion. Extensions to Victorian properties are some of the most common in the country, and most extensions are common practice around the country.
In some cases, an extension of only a few metres can open up a space dramatically – particularly if your design integrates the adjoining rooms. A side-return or rear extension can create an eat-in kitchen or vast great room in the place of three smaller, darker spaces. It can allow for a kitchen island or peninsula where counter space was at a premium, or clean, uncluttered walls where cupboards and uppers crowded the room. In a typical Victorian terraced house, a side-return extension has the greatest potential for transformation versus outlay.
Meanwhile, a loft conversion uses existing space by pushing out the roof to its utmost point with dormer windows. An extended loft can incorporate two small bedrooms and a bathroom, by continuing the plumbing from the first floor bathroom. Or it can create a master oasis with an en suite bathroom and enough room for a home office or dressing area.
Many Victorian homes, particularly in London and Home Counties market towns, sit in conservation areas with strict planning regulations. Applying for a Victorian extension in one of these areas can be fairly straightforward, as long as the project complies with vernacular elevations. On top of this, you’ll have to undertake a Building Regulations application to make sure your design complies with national standards in fire safety, ventilation, plumbing and structural integrity. Better architects have relationships with most building and planning commissions and will be able to tackle these responsibilities for their clients.
When you’re searching for an architect for a Victorian extension, your first point of contact should be the website – look through the architect’s past and ongoing work to make sure Victorian home extensions are in their wheelhouse. If you are a fan of period features, look to see that those have been preserved in the architect’s past work, and try to see past the furnishings and fixtures to the structural work. A great architect will design beyond the tried-and-true features of Victorian extensions carried out by design & build contractors. In a typical Victorian terrace house, there are many ways to design “out of the box” – push up ceilings to rooflights, bring in light with soaring voids and open stairwells, create private nooks and built-in furnishings – without losing the home’s period appeal.
An architect is not just a background character with a drafting board. A good architect will be present to guide you through the entire extension process and liaise with all trades and bureaucrats, from the initial drawings to moving-in day.
In our clients words
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 designed a kitchen extension for us, and we are delighted with the results. The process was well organised, planned and delivered, and the whole team were a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend them for their design, planning and project management skills.
Worked with these guys on the internal development of our office. From start to finish they were great. They got what we wanted first time and really made working with them very easy. Their aftercare has been great too helping us deal with something that they were not involved with in the first place. Will highly recommend them to anyone.