Architect and presenter George Clarke on his converted 1979 caravan and love for Robin Day furniture

We chat to the star of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces on his 1960s modernist home, his passion for collecting and his first visit to Durham Cathedral

George Clarke stood outside

My home is a Modernist 1960s house in London. It’s really cool, with full-width ribbon windows in all of the rooms. It’s the only house I’ve ever been in that reminds me of the house I grew up in in the North East.

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The first piece of furniture I bought was a dining table and chairs I designed myself and had made by my friend, Mark Derbyshire. He’s a brilliant carpenter, and I still have the table – it’s over 20 years old now.

The oldest thing in my home is an original silver coin from 333BC with the head of Alexander the Great on it. I love to imagine the millions of hands that it has sat in over 2,300 years.

The most recent thing I have bought for my home is the Robin Day 675 chair that I’m sitting on at my desk right now. I love Robin Day’s furniture – it is beautiful, elegant and affordable.

A decorating triumph was adding classic 1960s-70s vertical oak slats to the interior of my house. They’re beautifully warm, plus they bring texture and character.

My next interiors project is to finish my house in Ibiza. I’m obsessed with having underfloor heating installed everywhere, which is a massive job.

Where do I start with collecting? I have furniture, watches, cameras, old stationery, fountain pens, vintage knives, art, photographs, motorbikes…

George Clarke's Caravan Conversion, Coniston. 9 September 2012.
© Mike Poloway

If my home were on fire, I would honestly save nothing. As much as I love collecting, I don’t need anything. If it all went, it would give me a good excuse to start from scratch again!

My interiors at home are always inspired by timeless design. Everything I buy has to be of good quality.

The proudest moment of my career was starting my architectural practice after university.

During a free day you’ll either find me at home relaxing or on a long walk.

My favourite historic building to visit is Durham Cathedral, which I’m a proud ambassador for. I visited it for the first time as a child and it’s the building that inspired me to become an architect.

The most unusual build that I have been involved in was transforming a 1979 Ace Excellence static caravan into a holiday home for my family on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. I did that in 2012 and I still have it by a lake in the Lake District – it’s my favourite place in the world.

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See historic properties nominated by George in Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places by Philip Wilkinson (Historic England, £20).