Services & Practice Areas

Services & Practice Areas

Pictured: Model of the “Lo-fi/Unplugged” “Nurtured Learning Community” made by participatory design workshop participants on Sorensen Partners sketch underlay at University of the Pacific library.


Services –

Sorensen Partners is a full-service architecture, interior design, landscape design, and masterplanning firm supporting innovative approaches in institutional, corporate, higher education, civic, and community-centered construction. We offer design services for all phases of the planning and construction process – from brainstorming and discovery, through building design and construction implementation:

  • Architecture: Conceptual Design, Renderings, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bid Assistance, and Construction Administration
  • Interior Design, Space Planning, and FF&E Selection
  • Masterplanning, Urban Design, and Landscape Design
  • Programming, Benchmarking, and Visioning
  • Community Charrettes, Surveys, and Interviews
  • Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis of Needs
  • Construction Cost Estimate Requisition and Coordination
  • Engineering Requisition and Coordination
  • LEED Certification – United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • Post-Occupancy Building Performance Evaluations

Concept Phase Services for Non-RFP Projects –

Office, Medical, Retail, Hospitality, Housing, and other Commercial Projects

Initial Consultation and Conceptual Design

Most public and institutional entities that we work with engage Sorensen Partners (SP) and other potential firms through an RFP process that allow both parties to become familiar with each other’s needs and abilities. When we work with commercial property owners and managers, an RFP process is typically not in place, and so we recommend beginning with an initial conversation at your project site to get acquainted and decide whether to proceed. Following that conversation, the two steps outlined below will provide you a conceptual development build-out scenario and cost estimate that is feasible, code-compliant, and buildable, and takes into account your planned program of use for the building or site.

/ Scenario Planning for Financing

To plan financing and decide on property purchase, you will need to immediately understand whether to build new, re-purpose buildings on your site, or some combination. At a very conceptual level, SP will work with you to create blocking and stacking diagrams for your site reflecting gross areas of square footage, entrance and parking estimates, and decisions regarding new construction, demolition, and building re-purposing. With consultation from a construction manager experienced in your project type, SP will assign dollar-per-square-foot construction cost estimates to each blocked-out and site area. During this phase, SP will do a preliminary assessment of local building code and regulatory issues that will affect your project plans.

The property owner/manager should hire a geotechnical and environmental engineer as due diligence during this phase if the site had prior industrial uses or has questionable underlying soil stability. All other consultants who might advise on building design feasibility – including structural, mechanical, civil, and construction manger – will be hired by SP directly either in the scenario planning phase or in conceptual design. We will work with you on an hourly basis at this stage, mutually discussing and balancing exploration of options and efficiency of our cost.

/ Conceptual Design & Cost Estimating

To secure tenants you will need floor plans and three-dimensional drawings of the building’s exterior. Sorensen Partners will provide you an estimate of time to produce design concept drawings on an hourly not-to-exceed basis – including plan drawings and illustrated 3D images. We provide illustrated design renderings through computer modeling or hand-drawn illustrated sketches and plans based on your preference. Your work with us during this phase will include initial presentation of concepts as well as revisions. We will work with a construction cost estimator during this phase to provide a conceptual construction cost estimate based on specific design details, wall construction, fittings, systems, and equipment.

We also recommend at this stage having SP conduct a more detailed review of required permits and review processes and use and size conformance with local zoning code. Once plans are drawn, SP will meet on your behalf with permitting authorities having jurisdiction to do a preliminary check on conformance with anticipated local requirements.


Practice Areas

Practice Area: Production & Learning Environments: Academic Library – College & University Classrooms – Lab – Office – Manufacturing – Secondary Education

Sorensen Partners designs production and learning environments for colleges and universities, corporations, private research entities, secondary schools, and other entities that train the workforce and enable manufacturing. Due to client confidentiality, we cannot share certain details of our work online. Please contact us for more information about our capabilities.

Academic Library / Libraries & research collections (supporting production & learning)

Classroom  / College, university, and corporate instructional and support spaces

Lab  / Technology research & design, culinary, and other test facilities

Office  /  Corporate, academic & institutional

Manufacturing  /  Including light industrial and technology research & production

Secondary Education  /  Private & public secondary education facilities, including campus planning


Practice Area: Residential & Therapeutic Environments:  Student Life – Multifamily Residential – Houses – Hospitality – Health & Wellness

Sorensen Partners designs facilities and infrastructure for medical, residential and therapeutic environments, emphasizing experience and cultural authenticity.

Student Life /  Residential buildings and affiliated spaces for college and university campuses

Multifamily Residential /  Multi-tenant housing campuses – including senior living and downtown mixed-use

Houses  /  Custom new homes and renovations

Hospitality / Hotels, resorts, cafes, and restaurants

Health & Wellness /  Clinics, recuperation centers, spas, parks, and recreation facilities


Practice Area: Civic, Cultural & Retail Environments: Government – Transit – Museum – Public Library  Interpretive Environments – Performance Venues – Retail

Sorensen Partners designs civic, cultural, and retail environments that showcase and foster communication, innovation, knowledge and traditions, and debate, and support the celebration and perpetuation of society’s collective values and ambitions.

Government / Legislative and administrative buildings with a large public component

Transit / Transit facilities serving as intelligible and memorable civic gateways

Museum / Public venues for the display of collections, archives, and ideas

Public Library / Libraries – including reference, media, learning, sharing and making spaces

Interpretive / Monuments, conservation areas, and others inviting public learning

Performance  /  Venues for music, dance, and other live events.

Retail / Transit-oriented retail and screetscape design, merchandising, and signage


Practice Area:  Environment-Behavior Research

Sorensen Partners will provide you a custom research design proposal to assess function of your existing environment using qualitative and quantitative measures. Most usefully, this research is used in subsequent phases of the design process for new or renovated spaces for the subject population.

Sorensen holds two degrees in the social sciences – a BA in Anthropology from Yale University and a Master of City & Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Sorensen additionally holds two professional and creative degrees – a BA in Art from Yale University and a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Over the last fourteen years, she has acted as Principal Investigator on eight distinct social science research projects related to the built environment.


Featured image is a rendering by Sorensen Partners for proposed renovation of the Cambridge Public Library Central Square Branch