It is rare to see a mother and daughter combination featuring in a listing such as this. But in this instance it is justified, given that both were involved in commissioning Thomas Heatherwick’s first building in the UK – the East Beach Café at Littlehampton on the South Coast.
Jane Wood led the battle against conservative local planners to get the undulating bronze-coloured structure built, and she and her daughter Sophie Murray have been running a successful café there – for locals as well as visiting architecture fans – since it opened in spring 2007. Murray oversees the catering side, with an impressive menu that extends beyond the usual seaside fare, and caters for functions as well as day-time customers.
It’s worth also mentioning Wood’s husband and Murray’s father Peter Murray, who has been involved in the project and was active in setting up the South Coast Design Forum run by Peter Spence (see page 19).
Murray was a founder of Wordsearch and has instigated the New London Architecture activities at the Building Centre in London aimed at bringing property people, architects and designers together to look at new building work in the capital. He is also founder of the London Festival of Architecture, formerly the London Architecture Biennale, which will have its third incarnation in June and July.