Born in Bedfordshire, Kevin McCloud and his two brothers, were raised in a house his parents had built. His father, Donald, was a rocket scientist and Kevin credits his interest in craftsmanship, functionality and slick engineering to him.
After graduation, Kevin trained and worked as a theatre designer and set up his own lighting design practice. His work included the carved and painted Rococo-style vegetable ceiling in the food hall at Harrods.
Kevin is best known for his work on the Channel 4 series Grand Designs – now in it’s 15 th series – which follows an unusual and elaborate architectural homebuilding project. He also presents Grand Designs Indoors and Grand Designs Abroad, he is Editor-At Large of Grand Designs magazine and involved in the Grand Designs Live exhibition. His other TV work includes Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour, Kevin McCloud Slumming it and Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home, where he constructed a cabin the woods, with the emphasis on sustainable, locally sourced and environmentally responsible materials and techniques. His most recent series was Escape To The Wild, where Kevin met four different British families around the world who had gone to live in a far flung remote destinations.
It was out of frustration with the state of British housebuilding that McCloud set up HAB in 2007, with the purpose of “building homes that make people happy”. He is chairman, and by 2016, HAB, which stands for Happiness, Architecture, Beauty, has built 120 houses on two sites. The first was The Triangle, in Swindon, where the 42 new homes were modelled on traditional railwaymen’s cottages. The second was a 78-home development in Stroud, where prices started at £125,000. The company has planning consent for more developments – The Acre located on Cumnor Hill, Boreham Mead, Warminster, Kings Worth, Winchester and Graven Hill, Bicester.
Kevin has published three books and he has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society of Light and Lighting. He is patron of Somerset Art Week, Carymoor Environmental Centre, the Genesis Project and he’s also an ambassador for the World Wide Fund for Nature. Kevin was appointed an MBE in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to sustainable design and energy saving property refurbishment.
Kevin lives in a 15 th century farmhouse near Frome in Somerset with his wife and four children.
So, why is he a #Houseproud hero?
He's inspired us all to dream about building our own home and set up his own environmentally sustainable housing company. We love his scepticism on Grand Design projects and his collection of scarves (apparently he has a cold neck!). He says:
“People associate new housing with crap. I want to change that. Our built environment is the mark of a civilized society. Architecture done well has a fantastic ability to make us feel like better human beings. Development at the lowest common denominator can turn us into savages”