Scenario Architecture’s close relationship with the London Borough of Hackney began more than a decade ago, when founding partners Ran Ankory and Maya Carni moved to the neighbourhood to start a family and establish a residential architecture practice.
Ran and Maya established Scenario in 2007 with a vision to develop a uniquely collaborative architecture. Scenario takes a considered approach to its clients’ desires, placing their aspirations for a new, architect-designed home in high definition. The clients’ needs are the main drivers of the design process.
A beautiful, highly functional home is the product of a deep understanding and precise analysis of each client’s unique lifestyle. Each tailor-made Scenario home tells the story of the owners – not the architects.
Ran and Maya’s first property, a three-bedroom flat in Stoke Newington, provided a platform for their ambitious ideas and innovative methods. This experience working as local architects in Hackney led to significant exposure in the press, and the unique fireplace was shortlisted for the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Awards.
Nearly a decade later, Ran and Maya purchased, designed and renovated their second home in Hackney. The Scenario House was widely published and shortlisted for several prestigious awards – including the 2018 RIBA London Award.
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Your Hackney project
If you’re considering a residential architectural project in Hackney, we’re here to help, whether it’s a renovation, extension or new-build. We’ve created a brief illustrated overview to help you understand each stage of the process, whether you’re planning a home extension, renovation or new-build in Hackney. Most architecture projects require planning permission. In Stoke Newington, Clapton, Dalston, Shoreditch and all other Hackney neighbourhoods, that means obtaining planning permission from Hackney Council. With our successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across Hackney.
Discover if your architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the “planning applications” page of your council’s website, then 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 boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. We tackle domestic projects of every scale and complexity, from interior refurbishments to full renovations and new-builds, through our bespoke architecture service.
Our experienced, highly skilled team can take you step-by-step through the challenge of designing your new space. We’ll always 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) 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.
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.
Pretty much as close as you can get to the ancient City of London, Hackney boasts some of the oldest and most interesting architecture in the capital. Between the medieval churches and historic shopfronts you’ll also happen upon some of the most contemporary building from the wealth of architects living in and around the borough. Large gaps in the architectural fabric – a result of disused industrial sites, subdivided estates and bombing from the Second World War – have encouraged contemporary regeneration over the past few decades. In many areas, building and renovation restrictions have been more relaxed, allowing experimental thinking to flourish. Lower prices, traditionally, have also attracted creative business and culture. The borough is a favourite of young professionals, both for its easy reach of the start-up enterprises around Clerkenwell and Shoreditch and for its bus routes into the City.
All this goes to say that Hackney has a reputation for being one of the most exciting places to live in London today. The great collection of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses available on the market is ripe for improvement. And brownfield sites between those houses are available for innovative development. The RIBA East Awards – sponsored by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) – are some of the most anticipated in the UK. And the RIBA London Award shortlist disproportionately honours residential developments across the borough of Hackney. Scenario House, built by our own practice in Hackney’s E5 postcode, appeared on the shortlist for the 2018 RIBA London Award. If you are considering building or improving a property in East London, you will have the opportunity to create something truly outstanding.
The oldest borough in North and East London, Hackney is filled with three- and four-bedroom family homes built during the rise of the railroads. The robust stock of Georgian, Victorian and late-Victorian terrace and semi-detached houses has great potential for expansion into side return spaces, disused underground storage holes and lofts. Living here means becoming part of the area’s long, storied history. Communities here survived the Blitz, saw the growth of London’s middle classes and welcomed millions of newcomers over the ensuing decades. Out on the streets you’ll hear a hundred languages spoken and learn about dozens of exotic foods in the markets and restaurants, from the Turkish and Cypriot communities in Stoke Newington to the Afro Caribbean populations in Dalston to the Hasidic Jewish community of Stamford Hill, the Vietnamese of Hoxton and the Bengali and Indian populations of further east.
These London neighbourhoods promise to improve as much as, if not more than, any in the coming years. The neighbourhood of Clapton, for one, is experiencing a great property boom. Here, gentrification is edging out downtrodden estates and no-go roads and the parks are once again filled with families and young professionals. Homerton is catching up fast to wealthier corners like de Beauvoir Town and London Fields, with a colourful weekend market and sprinkling of independent businesses.
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.