Project type

Local knowledge & expertise

If you’re looking for the best architects in Chelsea and interested in massively effective projects delivered on time and needing minimal revisions, you’re going to love working with us.

Since 2013, we’ve been working with the planning and building control departments of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on projects from listed building consent to change of use for shops and offices, so we know their local planning policies, building regulations and requirements inside out.

Recognised as one of the best residential architecture firms in the South-East of England, we work across the entire residential architecture spectrum with construction budgets of 100k - 10m. With a proven track record delivering home extensions, flat conversions, HMOs, new build houses and flats, we deliver incredibly successful projects for national house builders and seasoned property developers right through to first-time investors and homeowners.

Looking for an architecture firm in Chelsea?

Throughout the planning, design, and construction journey's highs and lows, you'll find our team open, communicative, and down-to-earth. Unlike numerous architecture practices, we consistently endeavour to underpromise and overdeliver.

Write us a message
Decorative image of an architect working
Simplified map of West London, most notably the area of Chelsea with its winding street lines and small park areas

We serve homeowners and developers in Chelsea

This includes
SW3, SW10 (and neighbouring areas)

Street view of London's red double decker buses and black taxi cabs driving around Sloane square and in front of the Royal Court Theatre

What makes Chelsea so special?

Along with its residents, shoppers and tourists, Chelsea is a favourite of urban theorists. It shows how you can fit in a lot of housing without relying on high-rises (there are a few here, but not many). And it was a 15-minute city long before that concept emerged: you’ve got homes, shops, offices, restaurants and entertainment all alongside each other.

The highlights are absurdly abundant, but we’d like to give a lot of credit to the Royal Court Theatre for somehow managing to have stayed on the cutting edge for almost seven decades now. (Just to be clear, they have been putting on plays in that building since 1888, but its role as the home of adventurous new works began in 1956.)

Also trying to balance being a now-venerable institution with a sense of the shock of the new is the Saatchi Gallery, housed in the Grade II*-listed Duke of York’s Headquarters, just off the King’s Road, one of many former army properties in the area now in private hands. It may no longer hold the same central place in London’s art scene as it did in the Boundary Road days of the 1980s/90s, but the Saatchi Gallery still puts on consistently interesting work.

But really, it’s hard to single anything out when there’s so much, from the history, including the role the King’s Road played in the Swinging Sixties and the punk ‘70s, to the quiet pleasures of the Physic Garden and just how lovely it is to stroll by the river on a spring evening.

Row of brightly coloured bink, grey, white, yellow and peach terrace houses that can be found in various streets of Chelsea such as Lennox Gardens Mews or Markham Street

The architecture of Chelsea

Likewise, what makes Chelsea remarkable architecturally is not the landmarks but the sheer consistency of its buildings, across eras and building types - terrace houses and mansion blocks, shops and military buildings, those that were designed for their current use and those that have been brilliantly repurposed, such as the Bluebird Chelsea, an Art Deco garage that is now a restaurant. If you look on Historic England’s map, you will see a swarm of blue triangles marking the listed buildings.

Still, let’s start with something that’s not listed and maybe not for the purists - the pastel-coloured homes along Bywater Street. At the other end of the scale is the Grade I-listed Royal Hospital, featuring Sir Christopher Wren’s beautiful chapel and spectacular great hall.

If 1930s modernism is more your thing, then the glass and curves of Peter Jones (Grade II*) are an absolute treat. Finally, it’s worth noting that although Chelsea is undeniably upmarket (and has been for a long time now), there is a reasonable amount of social housing in the area. This includes Jim Cadbury-Brown and Eric Lyons’ thrilling World’s End Estate, an absolutely glorious example of red-brick-clad brutalism.

Planning officer reviewing printed A3 drawings of a proposed development, verifying that it meets planning policy standards

Planning applications in Chelsea

In the year ending March 2023, Kensington & Chelsea received 2,767 planning applications and approved 89% of those applications submitted.

Our expertise in planning applications means we have a 97% success rate of getting planning permission for our clients (across all councils). Chelsea is a place where we have a long history with the council. As our client, your chances of getting planning consent for your project will increase.

Glass separated wooden floating staircase view of the middle landing leading directly to a small formal dining area and modern open plan kitchen

Most popular projects for homeowners

When it comes to Chelsea, we’re mostly talking about one thing: listed building consent. You do get the odd extension, but generally, the work around here tends to be refurbishment and renovation, for which both a good eye for interiors and a well-established relationship with the borough’s heritage officers are pretty important.

If you want to bring your home back to its original glory or give it a 21st-century twist, please get in touch.

High street view of local Chelsea residents and tourist as they window shop and admire the beautiful Chelsea flowers

Most popular projects for developers

Listed building consent work is also essential in this sector- we have a great track record of helping developers balance the need to respect historic buildings with achieving a healthy ROI.

There’s also a busy market in change-of-use applications, which again, need to be handled with a great deal of care - Chelsea hasn’t stayed Chelsea without the council keeping a firm grip on what happens, so working with a company that knows how to stay on side with RBKC is crucial.

“ Very big thank you to Nicole & all other architects who worked on my project. Whenever we needed she was always there to assist. She obtained planning permission for us after experiencing countless refusals with other companies. Can’t thank her enough. ”

Sam S. — London

“ We hired Urbanist Architecture Ltd to assist us with our change of use application. The team was always professional, and kept us informed of the progress every step of the way. Our application was successful and would highly recommend Norma and her team. ”

J. Laidley — London

“ Toby and Sky are amazing - they listen and deliver beyond expectations. ”

Sonam H. — London
Gold drop lighting fixture with grey radiators in the background
Gold drop lighting fixture with grey radiators in the background
We love the challenge that comes with transforming properties in Chelsea - the demands from both clients and the council are as high as they could possibly be, and that’s the perfect opportunity for us to prove our worth.
Signature of Nicole I. Guler, BA(Hons) MSc MRTPI
Director, Chartered Town Planner
Nicole I. Guler

Director, Chartered Town Planner

Portrait of Nicole I. Guler, BA(Hons) MSc MRTPI
Director, Chartered Town Planner

Ready to unlock the potential of your project?

We specialise in crafting creative design and planning strategies to unlock the hidden potential of developments, secure planning permission and deliver imaginative projects on tricky sites

Write us a message
Decorative image of an architect working