Amazing Spaces' George Clarke is back on the road meeting Kiwis
It seems Amazing Spaces presenter George Clarke can't get enough of New Zealand.
Just as we are watching his road trip series filmed here last year, the architect is back in the country, filming more stories about Kiwis doing amazing things in small spaces. This time, however, his stories will be shown on Mitre 10's online TV channel.
The star is also here to promote a special project by the retail giant, which has commissioned a DIY tiny house that Clarke will reveal this weekend when he makes guest appearances at Mitre 10 stores in Manukau, Mt Wellington and Westgate in Auckland.
Clarke has no qualms about fronting up to the public. "I get a real buzz out of it," he says. "I love it. This is a cracking little scheme and the more people we get along to have a look at it, the better."
It's not surprising to hear Clarke say he has been passionate about tiny houses for a long time – long before it became a global movement.
"Tiny houses showcase incredible levels of ingenuity," he says. "To get a small space to work, you have to be more creative. You are forced to think hard about how you can use the space."
But why New Zealand? It seems it's our DIY attitude that has captured Clarke's imagination. "In the UK, we were fantastic at DIY in the '70s and '80s, but now we are completely surpassed by Kiwis and your can-do attitude. I love that expectation – that you might just choose to build your own home, or build onto the house. Kiwis say 'if it doesn't exist, we'll build it'."
The architect also believes we have the most amazing small projects. And he's quick to admit he couldn't have imagined anything better than a road trip through such an "incredibly beautiful place".
Right now, Clarke is at the bottom of the South Island on his road trip, calling on Kiwis at home to take a look at their projects. But come the weekend, Clarke will be up in Auckland, doing his open tiny homes.
The Mitre 10 tiny house prototype is currently under construction by Mitre 10 builder Stan Scott and will be completed later this week. The 2.4m-wide by 7.2m-long, 18 square-metre tiny house comes with wheels so it can be transported easily, but it is not designed to be a caravan.
The house is built from 40 pieces of plywood and weighs less than 3000kg. It has a low environmental impact. The total lighting output is only 100watts, and it comes with a self-contained composting toilet.
"We love helping kiwis improve their homes and the transportable tiny house is an epic DIY project that's possible on a budget," says Scott. "It's great to be working with George on this too as he's really keen on DIY."
Clarke also filmed for the chain's on-demand television channel last year, starring in The Lock In – a six part series where he was locked in a Mitre 10 MEGA store overnight with a crew of Kiwi DIYers competing in a 12-hour design-and-build challenge.