Welwyn Garden City Architect
Redesigning your home can be an exciting but daunting prospect. It can be hard to know where to begin, hard to know what to include and equally hard to decide what to leave out. Often it is worth seeking the expertise of a professional.
We launched Scenario with a vision to take Britain’s elegant period architecture into the 21st century, using big ideas, technological skill and modern, durable elements. The company ethos is to match each client to the specific scenario, tailoring spaces according to need – for now and the future. Our interventions add economic, aesthetic and social value to every property.
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Your Welwyn Garden City project
Scenario is an established practice of skilled architects focusing on contemporary domestic design. Our studio takes on projects of every scale and scope, from renovations and expansions to new-build homes. Working closely with our clients, we transform heritage architecture for the long term, maximising space without sacrificing function or period charm.
Our landmark project Scenario House was adapted from an East London Victorian terrace with wide-open, light-filled spaces and innovative details. In 2018 it was shortlisted for several architecture prizes, including the RIBA London Award.
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 box.
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 collaborates with clients every step of the way, from initial concept through construction and final completion. Our studio goes to great lengths to finish all projects on time and within budget.
We use the latest 3D design and visualisation technology to streamline our process. Our building information modelling technology (BIM) produces reliable construction information and accurate data to save our clients time and money.
This Chartered Institute of Building case study, featuring one of our flagship projects, highlights the benefits of using advanced technology for modern house design.
Scenario is a RIBA Chartered Practice, complying 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.
The year 2020 marks a milestone for Welwyn Garden City, as it celebrates its centenary and looks forward to new generations in its charming tree-lined streets.
The pioneering garden city was the world’s second after Letchworth, and after its creation would come to offer an Arcadian blueprint for many newer, greener towns around the world. The garden city movement was the brainchild of social reformer Ebenezer Howard, who saw it as a way to create self-contained communities surrounded by permanent greenbelts, giving residents all the benefits of both a country lifestyle and an urban environment without any of the disadvantages of either.
Howard collaborated with the Canadian-born architect and town planner Louis de Soissons. Together they laid the foundations for work to begin on Welwyn Garden City in 1920. The architect was barely 30 at the time, but he had already been widely recognised as one of the brightest architectural talents of his generation. He was Howard’s obvious choice to create what would become a masterpiece of planning and design, carved out of a stretch of rolling green fields in undeveloped Hertfordshire.
Before construction began, de Soissons designed a range of house models to show off the newest and most economical building styles of the time – including avant-garde steel- and concrete-framed structures. In the end, however, the majority of the new town was built in a neo-Georgian style, combining nostalgia for bygone English village living with the mod cons of the 20th century. Today, this is the magic combination people buy into when they embrace the garden city lifestyle.
Though not as revolutionary, architecturally, as the housing in some of the New Towns that followed, the houses of Welwyn Garden City were – and still are – interesting for the way they combine conventional neo-Georgian and Arts & Crafts influences with the more radical modernist styles that were starting to come from Europe at the time. The city was laid out along wide, tree-lined boulevards emanating from a central spine called, simply, Parkway. The focal point is the delightful fountain, luring visitors to an array of shops and restaurants. Dotted around the town are abundant green spaces – parks, formal gardens and private gardens for all.
The city perseveres partly due to its proximity to London and they excellent transport links that get residents to London’s King’s Cross in 20 minutes. Commuters don’t have to think twice about settling up in the heart of Hertfordshire, with an abundance of pretty residences – the showpieces are to be found on the West Side of Parkway, particularly around Sherrardspark Wood. Fans of modernism can revel in the Span-type estates around Panshanger.
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.