Jim Rende

James W Rende Jr., Architect at COOPER KESSEL Architect & Associates, in Sonora, California, has over 30 years experience in designing and building Sustainable Design projects.

Early History

rende-at-workJames Rende is a native of California, born in San Francisco. He attended San Francisco City College for two years. In 1971 he attended Schiller College in West Germany, and traveled extensively through Europe during this period. He also traveled through parts of Africa, before returning to the United States where he attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of New Mexico in 1977. After graduating, he did his internship in New Mexico and became licensed to practice architecture there in 1982. (New Mexico Certificate No. 1461) In 1983, after spending 9 years in New Mexico, he returned home to California. He became licensed to practice architecture in California shortly thereafter. (California Certificate No. C-16018)

While in New Mexico, Jim received a wide range of experience as an Architect. He worked on residential homes, but was primarily involved with Commercial and Public Works Projects.

In 1997, Jim was the President of the Sierra Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and holds a limited services credential at Modesto Junior College in the Math and Engineering Department, where he has taught courses in Architecture. He has served his community as a member of the Modesto ‘500’ Lions Club from 1984 to 1999.

 Professional Resume

The following is a list of the types of projects Jim was responsible for in New Mexico from 1977 to 1983:


  • Apartment complexes
  • Single Family Homes
  • Historic Preservation Work


  • Office Buildings
  • Nursing Home Design
  • Historic Preservation Work
  • Shopping Centers


  • Hospital Remodeling and Additions
  • Maximum and Medium Security Prisons
  • Department of Defense Projects

When Jim returned to California, his focus shifted from Commercial and Public Works Projects to Commercial and Residential projects. His real interest lies in design. Since 1983, he has been involved in the following types of projects in California:


  • Custom Homes; 2,000–6,500 sq ft
  • Home remodeling; 200–3,000 sq ft
  • Production Housing; 1,100–3,800 sq ft
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Condominiums


  • Commercial Buildings
  • Office Buildings
  • Auto Dealerships
  • Restaurants
  • Doctor’s Offices
  • Industrial Buildings

Jim’s Projects

Jim oversees individual projects and coordinates architectural production.

Although he has been involved in numerous residential projects ranging from custom homes to apartment complexes and condominiums, his primary area of expertise lies in commercial and public works projects.

His experience includes such work as hospital remodels and additions, nursing home design, doctor’s offices, maximum and medium security prisons, and Department of Defense projects, as well as office buildings, industrial buildings, auto dealerships and restaurants.