I believe that every project is an opportunity to create a movement. To inspire this momentum, we must be one with the community, and together, go beyond the bare minimum.
Sierra Bainbridge, RLA
Senior Principal and Managing Director
Boston, MA, USA
Sierra Bainbridge was a co-founding member of MASS in 2008, and oversaw design and construction of the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda. As cross disciplinary Senior Principal and Managing Director, architect, licensed landscape architect, and educator, Sierra oversees MASS’s landscape architecture department; and the design and implementation of MASS’s projects in the United States and Africa.
By working deeply across disciplines to radically reshape the material supply chain project by project, Sierra is pushing to help shift MASS’s portfolio to approach carbon neutrality as close to project completion as possible. This began with working with the African Wildlife Foundation on the Ilima Primary School through their African Conservation Schools initiative and continues to be tested at scale through educational agricultural campuses including Farm Hub in the Hudson Valley and the Rwanda institute for Conservation Agriculture in Bugesera, Rwanda. Sierra is also working on multiple campuses with indigenous communities in North Dakota, Louisiana, and California and has overseen the development of international design standards such as The African Wildlife Foundation’s Guidelines for Conservation and creation of healthcare guidelines for Rwanda.
Prior to joining MASS, Sierra worked for four years at James Corner Field Operations, primarily in design and oversight of implementation of Section 1 of the New York City High Line. Sierra has taught graduate level studios at various universities and from 2010-2012, Sierra served as Head of the Architecture Department at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Rwanda. At KIST, Sierra was instrumental in shaping the current curriculum. She is invited to speak regularly, including the keynote address at the Healthcare Design Conference, serving as a Sasaki Distinguished Visiting Critic at the Boston Architectural College, and lecturing at the Carter ‘Lectures In African Studies’ series, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, University of Toronto, and the American Institute of Architects, among others. Select features of Sierra’s work with MASS Design Group include A+U Magazine, Lotus, Mark Magazine, and Detail. She is on the Executive Board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and taught Options Studio at Harvard GSD in 2020 and 2021.
Sierra received her Bachelors of Arts in Art and Architectural History from Smith College and her Masters of Landscape Architecture and Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.