Scenario House was purchased by its owners, architects Ran Ankory and Maya Carni, so they could completely renovate, extend and adapt it to the scenarios of their own family. It was an opportunity for them to be their own clients and ‘practice what they preach.’
Speaking to Premier Construction magazine about the project, Maya said: “We were looking to create something which is our own and really bespoke. At Scenario Architecture we are very interested in the specific scenarios of people’s lives because different families have different routines, schedules and lifestyles so we really like to focus the design on them and reflect it as much as we can to them and their specific requirements. We wanted to create something that was about us, for us and gives us as much as possible.”
All available space offered by the house was used including under the stairs and eaves, as well as other areas with restricted height. One of these spaces beneath the lowered section of reception above presented an opportunity for a fun and practical kid’s area. A storage unit under the stairs features a pull-out table and bench, inviting kids to do homework and art activities in a designated yet connected part of the home.
Maya added: “When we lowered the second part of the living room there was some left over space at the back of the kitchen, which could have been part of the bedroom in the basement, but we decided to turn it into a play area for the kids. We decided to create a creative space for the children within the family space that is designated to them, so they can be part of what is going on but the mess is limited to where they are. The space is limited in height but it has cupboard space full of toys and craft material and is part of the whole kitchen/dining area. I think that is a good result that came from what we did upstairs.”
Ran and Maya wanted to include their children in the design process after they questioned what it was their parents were doing. By including their children in the design process, the children’s bedroom came to include a ‘secret space’ entered via a climbing wall and exited using a firefighter’s pole.
“We opened the space up to make the room bigger but we were left with a lot of unused space so we told the children that they could use the space and no-one would know they were there but asked them how they would get up there,” said Maya. “They then said ‘We need a climbing wall.’ We got the rocks from Amazon and connected them to the wall and it was as easy as that really. We then asked them ‘Well how do you get down?’ And they asked for a firefighter’s pole! Then can hide all of their treasures and things up there and it is great fun for them.”
Throughout the whole process, the main design challenge was to physically and visually connect the front part of the house with the basement below, while producing an open plan sequence encompassing the living, dining and kitchen areas. This challenge was solved by creating a split-level double reception, connected to the kitchen and garden beyond via an angled glazed roof light and a ‘floating’ library feature that leads up to the bedroom floors.
Ran and Maya both studied at London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture before founding Scenario Architecture in 2007.
Maya said: “On a personal level, doing this project has been very important. We have been running Scenario Architecture for a number of years now. We constantly design houses for other people and when they are finished and everyone is happy we give it back and go home. We really wanted to get the chance to be able to afford our own house and do it right so I was very emotionally engaged with it all from the get go.”
Since its completion the project has been shortlisted for a RIBA Award in the 2018 London category. It was also shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit awards 2017
Commenting on the shortlisting, Maya said: “It is very nice to be shortlisted and it is an achievement that puts us up there with other prominent architects. When we heard we were nominated we were quite flattered. If we win, that’s fabulous but if we don’t, it has been great to be shortlisted.”
Ran and Maya will find out if they have been successful at the RIBA Awards later this month.
For more information visit: https://scenarioarchitecture.com/