There was a time when the British were not wine connoisseurs. They didn’t have the climate to make it, and the majority lacked a degree of sophistication when it came to buying, drinking and cellaring it. The last few decades have seen great changes as the British palate acquired knowledge and confidence. And that’s had a knock-on effect on home design, as the new breed of wine connoisseurs demand a creative, inspiring and memorable showcase for their collections.
Scenario was launched with a vision to take Britain’s elegant Georgian cottages, sweeping Edwardian manor houses and midcentury family homes into the 21st century, using big ideas, technological skill and modern, durable elements. Our projects mesh antique materials and historical details with high quality woods, steel and vast expanses of glass. Exciting opportunities abound for bespoke wine storage design, whether you’re after a small wine room or a vast cellar.
Making home improvements is always an exciting prospect. Since entering the industry in 2007, we have subscribed to the Don’t Move, Improve ethos of architecture, a mantra that is especially poignant during periods of ongoing political uncertainty and stretched affordability. Working closely with our clients, we aim to maximise space without sacrificing period charm. The results have helped make Britain’s most treasured architecture functional and liveable in the long term.
Our landmark project is Scenario House, a contemporary, light-filled East London home adapted from a Victorian terrace. Innovative and tailored to the homeowners, it was shortlisted for several architecture prizes, including the prestigious RIBA London Award.
Your Wine Cellar project
If you are planning to hire an architect for your wine cellar design, read our brief illustrated overview. It will help you understand the various stages of the design process.
Most architectural projects require planning permission from the local council, although a wine cellar may not. Consider asking an architecture firm to help. Our studio has had great success securing planning permission on behalf of our clients.
Discover if your chosen architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the council website, click on “Planning and Building Control”, go into the search engine for planning applications and type in your agent’s name.
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 boutique studio of skilled architects focusing on contemporary residential design. We take on projects of every scale and scope, from renovations and expansions to new-build houses.
We collaborate with our clients at every step, from the initial concept through to construction, and we aim to complete all projects on time and on budget.
We use the latest 3D design and visualisation technology to streamline the process. Our building information modelling technology (BIM) produces reliable construction information and accurate data to save time and money.
This Chartered Institute of Building case study, featuring one of our flagship projects, demonstrates the benefits of advanced technology for modern house design.
A RIBA Chartered Practice, Scenario complies with essential criteria covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management systems.
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.
Man’s love affair with wine dates back thousands of years. In 2013 the first known wine cellar, dating back 3,600 years, was discovered in the former Canaanite city of Tel Kabri, Israel. Much like today’s best wine cellar design, even the most rudimentary cellars from Roman times through the Middle Ages and beyond revolved around keeping wines cool, shielding them from the damaging effects of the sun and preserving them from spoilage. But whatever the era, a well-stocked wine cellar has always been a symbol of status, wealth and culture, in the realm of royalty and aristocracy.
In recent times, wine cellar design has made huge technological leaps. Wine cellars or wine rooms are becoming must-have home additions. But embarking on such a venture requires some consideration about space, temperature and humidity control, long-term maintenance and materials to enhance the look and feel.
Scenario can help you to design a bespoke wine cellar and guide you through the many options available. Our experienced team will discuss the importance of leaving room for cellar growth (around 30 per cent growth room is recommended) and review the sort of bottles you’ve been collecting – the type of wine you treasure will influence the racking system you decide to install. For long-term wine storage, the ideal temperature is between 12ºC and 15ºC. And to ensure corks do not dry out, humidity should be between 50% and 70%.
At Scenario, we’ve helped several clients who long for the luxury of a bespoke wine room but don’t feel they have the space. We’ve been able to get around a whole host of challenges, including intrusive stairwells, low ceilings, strange angles and narrow spaces.
Your wine cellar design is all about understanding the space you have available and making it work for you, rather than trying to force something into a space that is not going to work or fit properly.
With all the practicalities out of the way, you can proceed to aesthetics, show off your own personal style and have fun with it. Look around online and in design magazines for inspiration. And do plenty of research on sites like Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram, where you can scroll through the endless possibilities for wine cellar design – from spiral sunken systems and glass enclosures with floating stainless steel racks to concrete catacombs and mahogany monoliths. Then let Scenario make the possibilities a reality.
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.