1970’s: education and inspiration
Roger Perrin gained a First Class Honours degree at the University of Cambridge, studying architecture at Magdalene College. After work experience with David Roberts Architects in Cambridge he won a scholarship to complete his studies at Harvard and then worked for Nicholas Grimshaw Architects in London for his final qualification
Inspiration included: the works of Vitruvius, Aalto, Jean Prouve, Charles Eames and the master builders of Georgian London; collaboration between engineers, architects and builders; system buildings; automobile and yacht design; products not professional mystique!
1980’s: rogerperrin, tartan buildings, learning how to be a property developer
In 1981 Roger set up rogerperrin and designed South Bank Business Centre in London, with Ian Pollard of Flaxyard Developments, one of the first speculative ‘high tech’ buildings combining production and office space
Following a number of projects for leisure, office and industrial buildings rogerperrin set up Tartan Buildings in joint venture with Roger Williams of Willhire in Cambridge UK. We developed a modular factory made system, built the first in Bury St Edmunds (ourselves hands on) for Midland Bank and then created more in Cambridge and Reading
In 1986 rogerperrin acquired 100% of Tartan and developed Vison Park in Cambridge for Merivale Moore. We identified and acquired the land, designed and built the buildings, managed and marketed the development. Master builders indeed!
1990’s: going to France, learning about innovation centres and serviced offices
Many more buildings also followed in UK that we financed, designed, built and developed, leased and then sold.
In 1992 we went to Normandy and developed an Innovation Park which led to more projects in France and the start of a new direction creating collaborative space and working with academia and local government
We learnt about innovation centres and serviced offices, workspace by the month, and the value of other services beyond space for companies eg: networking events, professional support, technology transfer, routes to finance and new markets for customers
2000’s: innovation parks and START innovation centres, learning about customers
Back in the UK we developed more buildings at St Andrews Business Park in Norwich and in Cambridge for the Chamber of Commerce. And we master planned Dartford Park and designed the Nucleus innovation centre for Prologis and Dartford Borough Council
We saw the gap between educated people spinning out companies from Universities and the less educated who have equal potential but need inspiration, support and resources to progress, and the gap between the expanding service office market and the supportive innovation centre products
In 2004 rogerperrin created a new initiative called START in joint venture with St John’s College Cambridge, and we designed and developed a modular system for creating innovation centres. We identified the land, financed the development with Close Brothers and others, designed and managed the build, then operated the buildings
From 2003 we developed a network of Start Centres across the UK in Fareham, Woolwich, Harwell (the satellite applications catapult building), Dartford Park as well as taking over 6 other existing serviced offices and adapting them to innovation centres
2010’s: going international, learning from customers, academia and business
rogerperrin worked as a consultant to Regus then Roger worked full time for them for a further 2 years until early 2016, developing the Kora innovation centre brand and roll out plan, and signing up Philips Netherlands for the Evoluon to be a flagship Regus location in Eindhoven
More Kora centres were opened in Finnish Universities (Kampusareena Tampere, Lappeenranta and Aalto), giving an international approach through the Regus network
THE LAST TWO YEARS: a break from work then developing a fresh new initiative
POPULAS will launch in 2019
Bringing together all our learning, thinking and experience, and combining a digital and physical platform in places where people hang out, to inspire individuals of all ages and backgrounds to be ‘citizens of the world’, and realise their potential whatever their starting point
Find out about POPULAS at http://www.populas.com