Scenario Architecture has headed architectural projects around East London for more than a decade. From our offices on the Regent’s Canal, we’ve built an extensive portfolio of domestic architecture across Hackney and into Islington.
Our landmark projects range from double-height extensions and new-build infill houses to our own home, on a quiet residential terrace in Stoke Newington. The extension and refurbishment to that period house earned us recognition from juries across the country – including a place on the shortlist for the 2018 RIBA London Award.
Other high-profile projects – like The Nook, a modern townhouse with a series of intriguing nooks in a gated development near the Regent’s Canal – stimulated word-of-mouth and brought direct referrals to our boutique residential architecture practice.
Much more than a commercial opportunity, we saw each new challenge as an occasion to refine our singular approach to domestic architecture.
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Your Shoreditch project
If you’re considering a residential architectural project in Shoreditch, 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 Shoreditch. Most architecture projects in Shoreditch require planning permission from Hackney or Tower Hamlets councils. With our successful record securing planning permission on behalf of our clients, we can claim home advantage across East London.
Discover if your 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.
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 Architecture is a boutique architecture studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. We tackle projects of every scale and complexity, from interior 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 new space. 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 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 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 project by Scenario Architecture 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.
Shoreditch has come a long way. Londoners of a certain age will remember a post war community deserted by families, neglected by investment and left to flounder… if they remember it all. After artists discovered its abandoned industrial spaces and charming Georgian streetscapes in the 1980s and ’90s, it began a renaissance and hasn’t stopped improving. Artists brought in art-lovers, and bars and clubs to support them. As nightlife overflowed into daytime, the creative industries set up shop, and networks of world-class restaurants and boutiques linked everything together. With work and leisure becoming less distinct, Shoreditch has emerged as a place where anything goes. The arrival of the super-clean, super-punctual Overground system, running through Shoreditch High Street Station, cemented the area’s status as a major London hub. And local architects well versed in taking a heritage home sympathetically into the 21st century have made it a decidedly liveable one.
But a lot of people don’t know truly how far Shoreditch has come. Nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans dug a great highway north from the River Thames – the same route that now calls itself Shoreditch High Street. The territory sitting just outside the old city walls served first as a Roman burial ground and then as a suburb, where tradesmen set up workshops to supply the population with its furniture, equipment and horseshoes. As residents branched outward from the old city in the Middle Ages – families, immigrants, outcasts and aristocrats demanding more space – they built magnificent churches and priories like St Leonard’s to support the community. After King Henry VIII ordered the monasteries dismantled, an impresario called James Burbage built a theatre called, appropriately, The Theatre, using stone and wood from the demolition of Holywell Priory. The Theatre employed William Shakespeare first as an actor and after as a playwright.
The built landscape as we know it today began to form in the 18th century, when some 25,000 Huguenots fled France for refuge around Spitalfields, near the French Protestant churches on Brick Lane and Artillery Lane. With proceeds from silk-weaving and silversmithing, they built distinguished brick townhouses flanking cobblestone roads. And they used that same 2,000-year-old road to carry their wares north to sell.
Though a few of those houses have opened to the public as museums – Dennis Severs’ House on Folgate Street is a national treasure – those surviving Huguenots homes sell for millions today. Yet the architecture of intervening years is more varied and attainable. Victorian factories and warehouses have become loft complexes; almshouses have evolved into apartment buildings; early housing estates have aged well, becoming desirable pieds-à-terre. New architecture abounds in the spaces between, or in voids left by bombing raids during the Second World War – the benefit of living here is your view will be almost exclusively vintage.
Shoreditch is one of the oldest inhabitable areas in the city, even if the name conjures images of hipsters holding pints on street corners. But living here requires responsibility to the architectural fabric. A Shoreditch architect well fluent in historic London buildings and conservation regulations will ease your transition into this rich cultural centre – allowing you not only to benefit from it but contribute to it, too.
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.