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Sterling Associates Incorporated Architects, founded in 1980, is an architectural and interior design firm offering broad professional experience in a wide variety of building types, including senior centers, religious facilities and housing structures.


A unique feature of Sterling Associates is the direct personal involvement of the principals in all the projects. This assures our clients of the professional attention required for quality work. Our registered architects have provided the design and project management of over 2,000,000 square feet of construction in both new and renovated facilities.


Our clients tell us that we have a knack for getting a good read on what they would like right away. This is because we have a flexible approach to design that can accommodate a great variety of styles. We begin by providing perspective views of how the client's concept will look. After the first view, we offer suggestions to enhance and modify the design with an interactive, trial and error process that leads to a more detailed definition of the structure. This process defines how it will be built within budget while holding to the desired style.


The client's ideas will be shown in computer generated renderings of every room at the earliest stages of design. We have a very sophisticated computer rendering capability that makes revisions and alternative design studies very easy to do.

William A. Sterling

William A. Sterling is the founder of Sterling Associates Incorporated Architects, where he has been at its helm since 1980.


Senior Center Experience

Bill Sterling has designed fourteen Senior Centers since 1984, in all types of design and construction, from new design to renovation to historical restoration, including Pittsfield, Boston, Everett, Saugus, Wakefield, Tewksbury, Milford, Malden, Newburyport, Georgetown and Arlington.


The Mass. Dept. of Elder Affairs has recognized Bill’s innovative Senior Centers for their functional success, their open and inviting layout and warm and colorful character. His designs have been honored by the Boston Society of Architects and selected for display at annual Build Boston Conventions. In the last 10 years, Bill Sterling has been the speaker at the annual Massachusetts Council on Aging Conference on several different topics related to Senior Center design. Interior designer, Elaine Bello, and associate, Garth Goldstein, joined Bill to present a workshop entitled “Mixed Age Group Community Centers” at the MCOA annual meeting last October.


Senior Center Innovator

Since designing his first senior center in 1984, Sterling has introduced innovative ideas and program elements that have led the industry to higher performance and better quality facilities.


He showed how to provide wheelchair accessibility without looking or feeling institutional. How to provide varied lighting options that reduce glare and maximize daylight in the hallways and the activity rooms. He redefined rest room standards above minimum Code regulations such that there are sufficient numbers of fixtures for women. He broke from the typical ganged rest room configuration to dispersed rest rooms throughout the facility such that every activity room has a unisex rest room only a few steps away. He devised the new concept of a “companion rest room” to be placed on every floor of senior centers in order to serve individuals who need assistance when using a rest room. He developed a specialized approach to color and pattern design that is tailored to the needs of seniors, especially those suffering from pre-Alzheimers sensitivity to high contrast, busy patterns. He has devised and implemented various methods for sound deadening, including fabric wrapped wall panels and sound insulated walls and ceilings.


In all of his designs Bill Sterling promoted the creation of outdoor activity spaces, including patios for barbeque activities, bocce courts, walking trails and healing gardens. Perhaps his most significant contribution has been the enrichment of drop in areas in his designs, surprising visitors with warm and inviting spaces that feel more like living rooms of private homes that invite visitors to stay and socialize before or after scheduled activities, making the senior center a home away from home.


Massachusetts Public Bid Experience

Sterling has been providing programming, building permitting, cost estimating and value engineering, architecture, mechanical, fire protection and electrical engineering for 35 years. Sterling is experienced in preparing bid documents per the requirements of Chapter 149. A few years ago, Bill Sterling hosted a seminar at Build Boston on the subject “How to Avoid Change Orders in Public Bid Projects,” in which he taught other architects our various techniques that we have developed over years of practice.


Conflict Resolution

The key to success in designing with committees is to have the skills to build consensus among individuals with very diverse backgrounds, interests and goals. Conflict resolution has also been a key skill in dealing with general contractors in the Public Bid forum where a Municipality is obligated to select the low bidder. To address this need Bill Sterling is a trained and certified mediator. Bill offers his personal involvement from the start of the project with programming and space planning to the final punch list to help with this mediation process.       


Personal Commitment to Senior Centers

Among several pro bono projects Bill Sterling volunteered to design a concept for the Wayland Council on Aging Community Center in Wayland as Co- Chair of the Community Center Advisory Committee.  His concept and renderings helped rally the voters to encourage the town to save a building and restore it for continued use. In addition, he currently serves as chairman of the Wayland Design Review Board that reviews all non-residential building permits for design.


Bill’s education is as follows:

Boston College/Bachelor of Arts in Economics, 1965

Yale University/Master of Architecture, 1973

Garth Goldstein

Garth Goldsein is an associate with Sterling Associates and has been working with the firm for four years. In addition to working on his own projects, he has helped Sterling Associates with the following projects as project manager:

Georgetown Senior Community Center, Georgetown, MA

Town of Arlington Senior Center, MA

Eastern Point Retreat House, Gloucester, MA


Garth’s educational qualifications include:

Brown University / Bachelor of Architecture, 1997

Yale School of Architecture / Master of Architecture, 2005


Garth is a LEED certified designer and a strong advocate for sustainable design.

Nathan Hooten

Nathan has been a strong CAD contributor to Sterling Associates for the last 8 years. Current projects include:

Town of Arlington Senior Center, MA

Eastern Point Retreat House, Gloucester, MA

Eastern Point Retreat House, Gloucester, MA


Prior projects are:

 Newburyport Senior Community Center, NBPT, MA

Templeton Senior Center

Wellesley Senior Center, Wellesley, MA

Malden Senior Community Center, Malden, MA


Nathan’s education is as follows:

Wentworth Institute of Technology / Bachelor of Architecture, 2008

Wentworth Institute of Technology / Master of Architecture, 2010

Jesse Ashcraft-Johnson

Jesse Ashcraft-Johnson- Jesse has contributed a great deal with 3-D modeling of the new design for the Eastern Point Retreat House residential wing. In addition he constructed a finished model of a prototype of a solar senior center. 


His educational credentials are:  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Bachelor of Science in

Architectural Design, 2011

Jeffrey Ryan

Jeffrey has been with Sterling Associates for over a year now. He has contributed significantly to the Georgetown Senior Community Center bid documents, the Arlington Senior Center design and the Eastern Point Retreat House construction administration.


His education is as follows:

 University of New Hampshire, B.F.A. Oil Painting, 1983

Boston Architectural College, Master of Architecture, 2015

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