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urban strategies
pleasure principles


muf have established urban strategies that successfully negotiate public and private interests in order to develop the economic and social potential for multiple occupations of public space. These projects are achieved through pioneering methods of consultation to identify the many and diverse desires contingent on a situation. Our working method draws together expertise in consultation, funding, landscape, traffic management, street furniture and information design.

clients include:

Arts Council England

English Partnerships

NDC Newham

Thurrock Council

Masterplan for Northside
Client The Children's Museum, Pittsburgh, USA
Budget £10,000

Tailgaiting as Municipal Housekeeping is a masterplan of strategies, projects and products for unpacking the resources and activities of the cultural institutions across Northside. The Northside of Pittsburgh is on the brink of developer-led interest. Depopulated, with perceived no-go areas, it is equally peppered with historic buildings, active (if factional) residents groups, a historic park and most notably the cultural institutions including the Wharhol Museum and the Mattress Factory. Led by the Children's Museum, these institutions have formed a coalition with the aim to promote Northside as a family district and aid its regeneration. muf were asked to come up with a proposal. muf combined two specifically American phenomena - Tailgaiting and Municipal Housekeeping - to form a method for urban change: Tailgating as Municipal Housekeeping.


Greenwich Peninsula Arts Strategy
Clients Arts Council England, English Partnership, Meridian Delta, the London Borough of Greenwich and Greenwich Millenium Village

The Greenwich Peninsula Art Strategy sets out to create a model of good practice in strategic planning and delivery of public art. The multi-stranded strategy sets out recommendations that may be added to and altered during the delivery process. The strategy recognizes and responds to the essentially shifting nature of the public realm of the Peninsula and the spectrum of audiences that the strategy seeks to address, delight and challenge. The strategy seeks to create a unique identity for the Peninsula through temporary works, events and performance as well as in the making of public spaces and places.
READ the strategy here


Small Open Spaces that are not Parks
a feasibility study
Client Stratford Development Partnership
Budget £50,000

A commission to work with local residents to identify small open spaces suitable for investment, devising programmes and identifying sources of funding for them. The study identifies and makes proposals for smaller pockets of open space that have traditionally been overlooked in borough-wide studies and acknowledges the need to make provision for the young people in the borough. Via an extensive programme of consultation 34 separate sites were identified across the borough: including unexpected types of open spaces (a pedestrian bridge, a cinema foyer, underpasses, a strip of pavement outside a chip shop, an alleyway frequented by girls only), an expression of young people's often modest claims on public space (wanting simply a sheltered place to sit and talk). muf translates this street-based expertise into a brief, a challenge and a proposal with a report that sets out a typology of spaces that gives room to the diverse desires and needs of young people. muf is currently building on one of these typologies, the 'social cage', a roofed sports area in Major Road, Stratford.


What's missing? What works?
Client Thurrock Council
Budget £6,000

muf were commissioned by Thurrock Council to evaluate the success of the Broadway Estate Community Garden (a new garden designed by muf for the estate 4 years ago). 'What is missing? What works?' is the report of that evaluation. Based on a series of interviews from users of the garden in Tilbury to council officials in Grays, the report evaluates the successes and failures of the garden design both in terms of use, maintenance and durability and in terms of the broader impact of the new garden in developing a sense of community on the estate. A series of transferable lessons (drawn from the garden in Tilbury) are offered as recommendations for open spaces within housing estates elsewhere. The evaluation process continues with a series of initiatives, proposals and events planned for the garden over the course of the next year. These include a planting event and a horse whispering project - initiatives that will begin to test out some of the specific recommendations of this report.

  tibbenham square tibbenham square

Security, Mobility, Pleasure
an urban design framework for NDC
Client NDC West Ham and Plaistow.
Budget £5.5m

The adopted framework is a strategy for capital investment for urban improvements. The framework principles of Security, Mobility and Pleasure are deployed through physical improvements that are supported by sustainable mechanisms for management and community involvement. This is achieved by redefining the limits that constitute public space and so concentrate investment where there already exists a degree of informal surveillance and management i.e. on the boundaries of schools, the cemetery and health facilities, and so ensure that schemes which would normally be considered too rarified and vulnerable become viable. The study includes a full cost benefit analysis in reference to the delivery plan and transport study. The Framework has in turn levered 31million of external funding. muf are commissioned to implement a number of the identified projects. Currently, awaiting planning permission: the Memorial MUGA and Mounding over the Greenway.


Gloucester Docks Art Strategy
Client Gloucester City and County Council, Arts Council South West, British Waterways and the South West Regional Development Agency
Budget £2.5m

A strategic analysis of the local and wider social, economic and environmental value of art is resolved in proposals for a range of temporary and permanent briefs alongside a mechanism for delivery that embeds certain process based projects within existing statuary services. muf worked in close consultation with the Master plan architects Gillespie’s who have adopted the strategy within their public realm master plan.

  a still from the map

What do you do and where do you do it?
a digital map for NDC
Client New Deal for Communities, West Ham and Plaistow.
Budget £40,000 for initial framework and content building

The digital map is an on-line facility that locates formal and informal neighborhood resources. The map is structured in layers: What has happened?, which documents the histories both formal and anecdotal; what is happening? a listing that includes everything from major developments to jumble sales; how to? a directory of the skills of the area, ranging from individuals to businesses and is the forerunner of an extensive skills audit-link to web site. The digital map is a linked to and managed by the NDC web site.