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.
The East Beach Café at Littlehampton, designed by Thomas Heatherwick to acommission from Sophie Murray and Jane Wood
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.