Project type

Local knowledge & expertise

If you’re looking for the best architects in Hackney 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 Hackney Council 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 Hackney?

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.

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Simplified light grey and white map of Hackney with green spaces and bodies of river also demonstrated

We serve homeowners and developers throughout Hackney

This includes
EC1, EC2, E1, E2, E5, E8, E9, E10, E15, N1, N4, N5, N16

Aerial view of Hackney on a cloudless and sunny day with sprawling lengths of greenery and clusters of dense residential areas with a mix of terrace houses and flatted developments

What makes Hackney so special?

If you want to get a sense of London’s spectacular boom over the last four decades, Hackney might be the best place to bear witness to it. The big houses that were squats in the 1980s and do-upper projects for journalists or young lawyers in the 1990s now cost in the millions. Neighbourhoods like Stock Newington have gone from notoriety (however unfair that was) to genuinely desirable, while Shoreditch, Hoxton and Dalston have somehow managed to remain desperately fashionable for a quarter century. And sometimes it felt like the entire craft beer revolution was happening in Hackney.

The borough of Hackney stretches from the borders of the City in the south up to Stamford Hill in the north, from formerly industrial to very suburban.
There are many things to love about the borough, but maybe our favourites are Sunday league football on Hackney Marshes and a swim at London Fields Lido, a great legacy of London County Council’s efforts in the 1930s to make the capital’s citizens fit, healthy and happy. Abandoned for years, it reopened in 2006 and has returned to massive popularity.

Roof top view of old terrace houses blending in with the mix of tall new build flat developments

The architecture of Hackney

Like any London borough, Hackney is home to a wide variety of architectural styles, but if we were asked to describe that most typical of this part of the world, we’d say a sturdy Victorian house in yellowy-brown stock brick, usually (but not always) with a generous amount of stucco on the ground floor or around the windows.

When it comes to more distinctive buildings, the rightly obvious place to start is the Hackney Empire, a glorious Frank Matcham-designed late Victorian theatre with a bold 2004 addition, a great example of how contrast can trump pastiche on listed buildings. Sticking with entertainment, we’re big fans of EartH, an arts and music venue housed in the former Savoy Cinema, with plenty of the thrilling Art Deco details still in place.

Maybe the most attention-grabbing structure in the borough is what looks like a medieval castle looming over Green Lanes, which turns out to have been a Victorian pumping station, and is now a climbing centre.

Feminine and manicured hands of an RIBA chartered architect drawing lines on conceptual drawings for a latest development project in Hackney, London.

Planning applications in Hackney

In the year ending December 2022, Hackney council received 1,675 planning applications and approved 77% 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). Hackney is a place where we have a deep knowledge of how the council works. As our client, you will increase your chances of getting planning consent for your project by working with us.

Row of beautiful terrace houses with ornate entrance door frames and white or cream bay window pillars

Most popular projects for homeowners

In Hackney. we have worked on a number of rear extensions, particularly in conservation areas - this is probably the one we are most proud of. We have also designed loft conversions. We appreciate the huge potential of these homes, and feel we know how to help the owners get the best out of them.

Aerial view of a densely developed area of Hackney with high rise flat developments varying from three floors and up to fourteen floors with plenty of green amenity space, cycle storage and parking

Most popular projects for developers

We have carried out flat conversions in the borough. In addition, we have successfully obtained certificates of lawfulness under the four-year rule for a number of landlord clients - a fair number of those big Victorian houses we mentioned were converted into flats over time and in some cases, nobody bothered to tell the council. We have an excellent track record of getting the paperwork sorted out so that you can be confident that your rental income will continue to roll in.

“ It was an absolute pleasure dealing with Urbanist Architects. Nicole Guler was incredibly professional and very friendly. Her advice and comments were spot on. She took on board all my comments and input and was happy to discuss at length my ideas for the project. I believe that using Urbanist Architects made all the difference to securing planning permission. I would heartily recommend Urbanist Architects and will certainly be using them for my future projects. ”

Scott M. — London

“ Thank you very much for helping me with my change of use planning application which got approved. Special thanks to Nicole who worked with her heart to deal with my case (very difficult case and with very difficult case officer). ”

Harvey V. — London

“ I have managed to find UA online, and after a quick search on their web page I was sure they are the right company for my project. I needed help with a Retrospective Planning Application which we managed to have been granted a few months after. I had the luck to work with Nicole throughout the project, and honestly I would like to say that she is a very professional person. I am looking forward to work with you in the near future. ”

Rado — London
Modern glass staircase on mutiple storeys
Modern glass staircase on mutiple storeys
For a young and ambitious firm like ours, Hackney is the perfect place to work - we find ourselves really chiming with our clients here.
Signature of Sky Moore-Clube, BA MArch AADip
Senior Architectural Designer
Sky Moore-Clube

BA MArch AADip
Senior Architectural Designer

Portrait of Sky Moore-Clube, BA MArch AADip
Senior Architectural Designer

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

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