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Small firms in Olympic legacy bidding

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Muf architecture/art and Karakusevic Carson among the smaller practices linked with major house builders in Chobham Manor tender race

Muf architecture/art has joined forces with house building giant Taylor Wimpey to bid for Chobham Manor, the first legacy housing plot on London’s Olympic Park.

The small practice, famed for its community-focused work and for designing the British pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale, is one of three studios to have been courted recently to boost the developer’s design team, which already includes Make and PRP.

Karakusevic Carson has thrown its weight behind the proposal to develop the Olympic Park’s first 800-home neighbourhood at Chobham Manor, which is scheduled for completion in 2014. Nord is also understood to be in discussions with Taylor Wimpey over the project. Last month all three practices – Muf, Nord and Karakusevic Carson – were named on a 24-strong London Legacy Development Corporation framework for the Olympic Park.

Taylor Wimpey, with housing association London & Quadrant is one of three shortlisted bidders in a contest run by park owner the London Legacy Development Corporation for the 9.3 hectare site, which is situated close to Hopkins Architects’ £90 million Olympic Velodrome.

Also vying for the job are Barratt with Le Frak, who have enlisted Allies and Morrison; Maccreanor Lavington and Witherford Watson Mann; and East Thames and Countryside, who are fielding Feilden Clegg Bradley, Alison Brooks Architects and S333.

A source close to the Taylor Wimpey design team said the appointments signalled a ‘common sense approach’ by the builder, which is keen to engage more companies like Muf with a community focus, particularly in east London.

Muf has been hired to look at public realm interim uses and non-residential elements, while Nord could design a standalone health centre and retail gateway building.

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