A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


muf architecture/art

Kingsley Hall Extension

Kingsley Hall

Late 2021

Kingsley Hall has completed an ambitious £3.2m three-storey new build extension and its new Livewell Centre is now open to the public.

Kingsley Hall was built 91 years ago as a community centre responding to the lack of community spaces on the emerging Becontree Estate. The centre was set up by sisters Doris and Muriel Lester who went on to build Kingsley Hall in Becontree from money left to them by their brother Kingsley Lester after his death. Today it hosts around 50 different community groups from across the estate.

muf architecture/art‘s designs, in collaboration with Kilo Architects, delivered 1,530m² of new and improved community space. A new façade, made up of five arches, refers to the iconic archways found across the estate. This has provided a balcony and French windows which show activity within the building. A new courtyard and terrace gives residents social spaces to come together, share lunchtimes and chat in the open air, whilst providing safe environments for children to explore and play. A new garden and micro-allotment provides reflective and educational areas to relax in, whilst offering growing space and fresh herbs for the new and repositioned Eden Community Café. The Hope and the Anchor Live Lounge hosts an eclectic programme of entertainment. The sport hall has been refurbished, with the addition of new activity spaces and a community supermarket, as well as a dance hall and community theatre, workshops, conference rooms and an interactive heritage display area.

Kingsley Hall is committed to working in partnership. If you would like to find out more about partnering through volunteering, making a donation, visiting us or sharing an idea please email partner@khccc.com

muf is an internationally recognised practice whose work is a collaboration between art and architecture. Projects range from urban design schemes to small-scale temporary interventions via landscapes and buildings – a continual dialogue between details and strategy. Interested in the design of public spaces, and in making spaces public, muf engage with, and build on, the capacity of local communities to deliver high quality and sustainable outcomes.

muf architecture/art was established in1995 and has never had less than 80% female members, including founding partners Katherine Clarke and Liza Fior. They are the only UK winners of the European Prize for Public Space and were the authors of the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2010, where they continue to collaborate. With a studio in East London they have worked on many projects local to their practice, as well as abroad, including urban strategies in the cities of Pittsburgh, Cologne and Gothenburg.

The scheme was funded by the Greater London Authority’s Good Growth Fund, National Lottery Fund and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s (LBBD) Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy. Other funders include The Lester Trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The London Marathon Trust, The Kirby Laing Foundation, The Beatrice Laing Trust and The Hobson Charity Limited.