UK: British designer and restaurateur, Sir Terence Conran, who founded the retail store Habitat, has died at the age of 88.
Conran passed away on 12 September at his Barton Court home in Berkshire.
He’s best known for launching the household retail chain Habitat in the 1960s, and later helped found the Design Museum. Conran received a knighthood in 1983 for his services to design.
In a statement released through the Design Museum, Conran’s family said: “A proud patriot, Sir Terence promoted the best of British design, culture and the arts around the world and at the heart of everything he did was a very simple belief that good design improves the quality of people’s lives.”
Tim Marlow, director and chief executive of the Design Museum, added: “Terence Conran was instrumental in the re-designing of post-War Britain and his legacy is huge. He is revered by generations of designers from Mary Quant and David Mellor to Thomas Heatherwick and Jonny Ive. He changed the way we lived and shopped and ate. He also created a great institution – the Design Museum – of which he was justifiably proud and with which he remained fully engaged right to the end of his extraordinary life. It was a privilege and an inspiration to know him.”
Early in his career, Conran opened several restaurants in London before launching Habitat. His empire went on to span architecture and retail brands including Mothercare.
Conran’s sister Priscilla Carluccio started the Carluccio’s restaurant chain with Antonio Carluccio.
In 2000, in partnership with Wyndham International, he opened London’s Great Eastern Hotel. The asset was sold to Hyatt Hotels in 2006.
In the same year, Conran founded Prescott and Conran Limited with Peter Prescott. The joint venture was created to focus on a small collection of restaurants, cafes, bars and a hotel. One notable asset is the Boundary Project in Shoreditch, which consists of a small boutique hotel, three restaurants, two bars and a grocery, bakery and deli.
Conran’s son, Edmund, bought shares in the project in 2018, making him the chairman of the business.