TV architect who believes good things come in small packages
programme is that the projects are small scale and affordable. Most aren’t main homes, which means no-one’s hung up on saleability so they are much more playful and adventurous with the design, says George, who created his own Amazing Space for the last series.
He succeeded in turning a semi-derelict static caravan into a fabulous, contemporary holiday home in the Lake District, which is now used by family and friends.
In this series he is making a treehouse, though not for himself, as “it would be too selfindulgent”.
“I can’t say too much but it’s for a disabled children’s charity in Northumberland and it’s brilliant. It’s been far more enjoyable than creating something for myself. In fact, it’s the best thing I have ever done.”
His other proud achievement came after The Great British Property Scandal programmes, which highlighted the number of empty homes in Britain. The Government was spurred into offering loans for owners to improve and let abandoned houses.
“The Government’s loan fund has reduced the number of empty homes from 350,000 to 320,000 in two years. It’s not a huge amount but it’s a start and it has reversed the trend,” says George.
“What’s happened has been a dream come true and the TV programme really helped.”
Telly now takes up most his time and his diary for the next couple of years is full of filming schedules. It’s still something of a surprise for someone who was shy at school and his former classmates still can’t believe he is a TV presenter.
What gave him the confidence to have a go was his knowledge of the subject. He grew up in Sunderland, where his grandfathers were builders, so he understands construction and is happy to get his hands dirty.
After studying architecture at Newcastle University, he did a post-graduate course at University College London and stayed in the capital, where he has his own company, George Clarke and Partners.
“I am full of passion for architecture,” he says. “So whether I’m filming it, talking about it, designing it or teaching it, I’m happy.”
NO LITTLE ACHIEVEMENT: Television presenter George Clarke with the caravan that he renovated for the first series of Amazing Spaces on Channel 4. Left to right, an old bus that is now a garden building, the tree tent by Luminair and the shipping container which is now an office.