Designing for the baby-boom generation

Friday 11th April, 2014 | 08:00 - 09:30

The Old Operating Theatre Museum
9a St Thomas St
London, SE1 9RY

Retirement housing is outdated and exploitative, ripping off old people by pedalling unsophisticated, outdated buildings that have a very poor re-sale value. This was Roger Black’s stark assessment of the retirement sector which was the subject of archiboo’s second client talk.

Black is working with a range of architects including Glenn Howells, RCKa, Mae and Duggan Morristo help transform the retirement sector by offering a “desirable consumer product” to appeal to the baby-boom generation.

He said the cost of housing older people is now a hot topic among policy makers and cited Camden Council’s estimate that by 2024  the cost of social care and children’s services will eat up the council’s entire annual budget. 

New legislation will also have an impact on housing the elderly.  The Care Bill, expected to become law within 6 months, will “push local authorities to think about if there is another type of housing form we should be creating, so we can mitigate against the need for care homes in the future”, said Black.

He said by  2030, the number of over-65s in the UK is expected to rise by 50 per cent.

The market will also be helped by recent pension reform that makes it easier for savers to access more cash from their retirement funds.


Roger Black trained in architecture, marketing and strategy. He joined London Buildings in 1992 where he was responsible for several multi-award winning projects. In 1994 he set up his own, delivering a diverse range residential projects. In 2007 he joined Stanhope as Residential Director, taking responsibility for the residential element in major urban regeneration schemes. In 2010 he became Creative Director at Ballymore Group, rolling out several major projects across London and in 2013 he became Creative Director at PegasusLife, a company focused on creating desirable housing for older people. Through his personal trading vehicle, Stirling Black, he also advises on a range of initiatives.