Open Fold: Lockleaze Commissions Programme
Open Fold: Lockleaze Commissions Programme
View of Purdown BT Tower, Stoke Park, Lockleaze, Bristol.

2013 - 2017

Open Fold: Lockleaze Commissions Programme



Open Fold is a Lockleaze wide public art programme developed with Dr Paul O’Neill. This programme is being developed in close dialogue with Bristol City Council’s Place Shaping Team. The aim of the project is to deliver commissions in the ward, with focus around Gainsborough Square and its surrounding streets, which will increase employment opportunities and housing numbers and provide better links within the estate and to the city. 

Lockleaze is a post-war housing estate that was one of several built in Bristol during the late 1940s and early 1950s in response to the shortage of housing across the city. The area is currently going through a neighbourhood planning process and is one of the government’s ‘Frontrunner’ pilot schemes that help local groups identify how their local area should change in the future. 

Lockleazes’s housing stock is largely 1930’s and 1950’s council homes which were previously owned by Bristol Corporation, and a large percentage of these are pre-cast concrete structures. The area benefits from its proximity to large green and open spaces which flank the estate. The area has other important historical features such as the Second World War anti-aircraft battery on Purdown (locally known as Purdown Percy), the ruins of which remain today, and Purdown Farm (that was demolished as the estate was built), Purdown BT Tower, and the nearby historic landscape of Stoke Park. 

The programme is being funded by section 106 funds from the sale of Hewlett Packard’s factory site in the area and has a special focus on the development of work with young people and associated training initiatives. 

muf architecture/art was established in 1995 and is led by the founding partners Liza Fior, architect, and Katherine Clarke, artist. 

muf’s interdisciplinary work encompasses master planning, urban design, landscape design, buildings, temporary and permanent public art, participative research and digital platforms. 

muf have pioneered a strategy of ‘incremental urbanism’, an approach to regeneration through art, urbanism and architecture that identifies and builds on the existing values of a place, this approach proactively makes the most of what is there and this responsive way of working, ensures that delivery on the ground is a sustainable step towards a vision of the future. 

muf have a proven track record of making meaningful space for the child, integrated as part of any neighbourhood development.  We have experience of successful working with formal and informal education organizations and our aim in these situations is to deliver schemes that are open-ended and which remain benignly uncertain and so provoke and establish the habit of an internal questioning in the end user, both child and adult, of the fabric of the built environment. 

Over the last three years we have completed significant public realm projects, worked with developers and local authorities to advance the quality of design and established strategies and guidelines that have been adopted in their entirety and implemented. Both our build schemes and our research proactively inform planning policy to shape future places. 

Although better known for public realm schemes, muf have consistently produced public and mixed use buildings with a particular emphasis on working with institutions to proactively extend the impact of the built beyond the building footprint to enhance and contribute to the wider context and public realm and where brief development the opportunity for an organization to develop.