Victorian Renovations

Victorian Renovations

Victorian Renovations

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 sympathetic Victorian renovations, provided they do not interfere with the original front aspect.

Scenario takes a fresh, inventive approach to revamping period properties. Founders Ran Ankory and Maya Carni, graduates of London’s Architectural Association, have built an extensive portfolio of Victorian renovations 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 Victorian renovations have featured in such magazines as 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 client’s unique lifestyle. That shows in Scenario’s work. Each tailor-made extension tells the story of the owners – not the architects.

View Our Projects

Victorian Renovations Your Victorian renovation project

Starting your Victorian Renovation

If you’re considering a Victorian renovation 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 renovations 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.

Tip

Discover 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.

Victorian Renovations

Advice

We have created guides for homeowners to provide additional advice and help with your project. The following eBooks are currently available for you to download:

1. Planning in London and the home counties - A guide for homeowners
2. Self build - A guide to building your own new build home
Download eBooks

Victorian Renovations Your Victorian renovation project >> Scenario Architecture

Working with Scenario Architecture on Victorian renovations

Scenario 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 interior alterations and refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds, through our bespoke architecture service.

Our friendly, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your Victorian renovation. We’ll collaborate closely with you from the initial drawings, 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 systems.

Early adopters of the latest technology, we use innovative 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 use 3D building information modelling (BIM) technology 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 our clients time and money. This Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a Scenario project demonstrates the great benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.

Victorian Renovations

Full-width extension of a Victorian house within a London conservation area

Victorian Renovations

London side extension and loft conversion

Victorian Renovations

Extension and renovation of a Victorian house in London

Victorian Renovations Your project >> Further reading

Why do Victorian renovations make up such a large percentage of the British homes you gaze upon in shelter magazines and advertisements? The tall, sturdy, generously proportioned houses make safe and attractive prospects for a family home; they make sense structurally, have plenty of nooks and crannies to exploit and often come on ample plots in which to extend. But mostly Victorians make up the bulk of what you see because they are. The reign of Queen Victoria saw the biggest building boom in the country’s history. In less than 75 years, the UK built more than six million homes, and the majority still stand today. They run the gamut from Gothic, Tudor and Jacobean revival to Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau, many in the familiar terraced configuration. In terms of layout, they established a residential architectural canon we still keep in mind when building today.

Victorian renovations are far more compassionate today than they’ve ever been, with homeowners striving to preserve architectural elements from the era, like decorative cornicing, ceiling roses, skirting boards, dada rails and picture rails. The sash-window industry is still going strong, as 20th-century plastic versions fall out of favour. Where successive residents sealed up or shaved off fireplaces – having a heart in every room seemed unnecessary once central heating had become prevalent – today homeowners are reopening the traditional fireplace, adapting them with gas capability and surrounding them with extravagant marble mantels. Paint companies like Farrow & Ball have built multinational businesses from replicating the de rigueur colours of the Victorian era. In a similar vein, tile companies are bringing back traditional motifs for front gardens and foyers. And lumber companies sell wide reclaimed boards to replicate the knotty oak and pine flooring favoured by the Victorians.

Still most changes among Victorian renovations come in the hardest-working areas, like the kitchen and bathrooms. Recouping space in the loft and side return is particularly common, and with this option available to most Victorian homeowners comes the ability to plumb new areas of the home. Small period kitchens can open up into the side return of a Victorian house without eradicating the period look of the place. And in the recovered space, a corner can be reserved for a toilet 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.

Talk to us about your project

We would love to hear about your project and discuss how we can help

Please use the link below to schedule a call at a convenient time

Select a day

Date

Select a time

Time

Contact Information

Any information you provide us remains strictly confidential

Ownership

Any information you provide us remains strictly confidential

Ownership status for the project

The property is

Any information you provide us remains strictly confidential

Property type

The project is

Any information you provide us remains strictly confidential (You must select at least one option!)

Aims of the project

Your budget

Any information you provide us remains strictly confidential

Please indicate an estimate of your target budget (excluding VAT and professional fees) so we can advise on the viability of your requirements

Budget range

Additional information

Any information you provide us remains strictly confidential

Please attach files such as plans, estate agent brochures, image and surveys

Victorian Renovations >> Scenario Architecture In our clients words

FAQ

Victorian Renovations

FAQWhat is unique about the Scenario design process?
The scenario design process was developed, tested and perfected through over a decade of extensive delivery of residential projects within and around London, some of its key features are listed below:   
  • 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. 
We then translate the resulting high definition brief into an informative and revealing 3-dimensional simulation, illuminating aspirations, requirements and patterns of habitation. 
  • 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. 
Sitting together in front of a real time 3D model of the proposed design with realistic materials, lighting and textures we push and pull the proposed scheme together to explore its full potential and drag and drop different materials to explore various options. hen we invite our clients to take a virtual reality tour through advanced equipment that is always available in our practice for our clients to explore their projects at different stages of development. 
  • 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. 
It will not look like an image cut out of a trendy architecture magazine and not designed to intentionally impress anyone. It will feel familiar, warm and inviting and you will recognise yourself in it because it will be a genuine expression of the unique way in which you and your family wish to interact with it and enjoy it for many years to come.

Victorian Renovations

FAQWhat is Scenario’s approach to planning?
Planning in the U.K in general and in Greater London in particular is admittedly a tricky business. It is a complex maze of policies, standards and regulations that requires specialised and up to date knowledge and skills to navigate successfully.  Over the years we developed a strong approach and an effective methodology, allowing us to maintain an outstanding track record stretching over more than a decade. Successfully securing planning permission for our clients across Greater London and the Home Counties.  The key aspects of our approach to planning are listed below: 
  • 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. 

Victorian Renovations

FAQWhat is the cost of an internal refurbishment?
Currently we recommend allowing between £2,500 and £3,000 per square metre for areas which will undergo an extensive renovation. We designate an area of the project as extensive renovation if the planned works includes substantial changes to layouts, significant structural works, re-plumbing, re-wiring and full redecoration. For areas of lighter internal renovation which do not require significant changes to layout or substantial structural works but do require full redecoration, re-plumbing and rewiring, we recommend allowing between £2,000 and £2,500 as an estimated cost per square metre, we designate these areas as requiring medium renovation. If there areas in your project which only call for a light renovation such as re-plastering, and painting, installing new floor finishes and light modifications of electrics and plumbing fittings, we will designate these as areas of light renovation and recommend that you allow £1,500-£2,000 per square metre or even as low as between £1,000-£1,500 if you only have light touches in mind. The real cost for your project will depend on several different variables including the complexity of the design, extent of structural works and level of fixtures, fittings and material finishes. These estimated costs per square metre are for the build cost excluding VAT and professional fees.

Victorian Renovations

FAQWho will be assigned to work on my project?
Any architectural project comprises three main aspects, Creative design, Technical design and Project Management. A successful architectural project can only be achieved when all three aspects are properly performed and harmoniously integrated by an experienced professional. But can we really except a single person to specialise and shine in all three aspects and furthermore skilfully negotiate and balance the often contradictory challenges these aspects present? The basic assumption underlying the common structure of almost all other architectural practices today is that it is possible and this is precisely what is expected from the lone and often junior Architect that would typically be assigned to run your project start to finish. Scenario works in a completely different and new way, we believe in specialism and teamwork and therefore assign three experienced specialists for each and every project. A project team in Scenario is composed of a Project Director, a Designer and a Technical Designer, seamlessly collaborating to deliver results, which are noticeably superior to anything that a single person, skilful as they may be, could ever produce.

Victorian Renovations

FAQWhich additional consultants are required for my project?
A key aspect, absolutely necessary to ensure successful delivery of your project is appointing a suitable and competent professional team. If we work together on your project we would be appointed as your Architects and Lead Consultants and help you to assemble the rest of the professional team. Most projects in and around London will require at least four additional consultants, a Structural Engineer, a Quantity Surveyor for cost control, an Approved Inspector to ensure and certify compliance with building regulations and a Party Wall Surveyor if any work is to be done to a party wall or structure. For some projects, depending on scale, complexity and your specific aspirations it may be recommended/required to use the services of additional consultants. Including but not limited to: Planning, Heritage, Right of Light, Landscape Designer, Audio Visual and Building Services Engineer. When appropriate, we will discuss these options with you and obtain relevant quotes for all additional consultants for you to consider.

Victorian Renovations

FAQHow long will it take to obtain planning permission for my project?
The standard consideration period for a residential project is eight weeks, this is the official time frame for your local council to carry out consultation with the neighbours and reach a decision.  We recommend allowing for a minimum of ten weeks from submission to decision as in practice the process always takes slightly longer for the following reasons: 
  • 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.
Validation can take anything from a few days to couple of weeks when the council is very busy, which is most of the time…
  • 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. 
While there are some effective measures to apply pressure, which we do not hesitate to use when appropriate, it is generally beneficial for the project to bear with the council a little 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.