The 100 Largest Architecture Firms In the World

  • 11 Feb 2013
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Building Design has released their annual ranking, The WA100, of the world’s largest architecture firms. Coming in the #1 spot (up from #2 last year) is Aecom, who, with 1,370 employees worldwide, narrowly outranked Gensler (with 1,346 employees). Completing the top three was IBI Group (1,129 employees). AecomGensler, and Japanese-based firm Nikken Sekkei (ranked #4) were the top 3 earners of 2012, each making over $400 million US Dollars in Fee Income.

Of the top 10 largest firms, 5 are based in North America, 3 in Asia, and 1 in the UK (Aedas, which ranked 5th, is dually based in both China and the UK). A similar trend is also evident in the list as a whole – as you can see from the graphic we compiled (after the break), US firms remain the biggest employers of architects and the highest-earners. Although the UK represents about half the number of employed architects as the US, UK firms earned almost as much in fee income.  

Interestingly, the only firms to grace both the Top 10 list and Building Design’s survey of the Top 5 Most Admired Firms of 2012, were (#2 Largest; #4 Most Admired) and Foster & Partners (#10 Largest; #1 Most Admired). Zaha Hadid Architects (who shared the number 5 Most Admired spot with Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, ranked as the 45th largest firm). 

See our graphic and the full list of the world’s largest firms, after the break…

The Full List of the World’s 100 Largest Firms, Ranked by Size

1. Aecom (USA. 1,370 architects employed. Over $400m Fee Income)

2. Gensler (USA. 1,346. Over $400m)

3. IBI Group (Canada. 1,129. $160-169m)

4. Nikken Sekkei (Japan. 1,109. Over $400m)

5. Aedas (China/UK. 1, 078. $200-209m)

6. Perkins & Will (USA. 771. $220-229m)

7. DP Architects (Singapore. 736. $70-79m)

8. HOK (USA. 715. $240-249m)

9. Samoo Architects & Engineers (South Korea. 712. $250-259m)

10. Foster & Partners (UK. 646. $200-209m)

11. Stantec (Canada. 643. $210-219m)

12. HDR Architecture (USA. 640. $280-289m)

12. RSP Architects (Singapore. 640. – )

14. P & T Architects (Hong Kong. 624. $130-139m)

15. Sweco (Sweden. 600. $70-79m)

16. Atkins (UK. 597. $100-109m)

17. Woods Bagot (Australia. 565. $130-139m)  

18. Jacobs (UK/USA. 547. $200-209m)

19. Skidmore Owings & Merrill (USA. 543. $200-209m)

20. Cannon Design (USA. 539. $130-139m)

21. Heerim Architects & Planners (South Korea. 470. $170-179m) 

22. Perkins Eastman (USA. 455. $140-149m)

23. GMP (Germany. 445. $70-79m)

24. Leo A Daly (USA. 436. $130-139m)

25. Nihon Sekkei (Japan. 426. $170-179m)

26. Kunwon Architects & Engineers (South Korea. 421. $50-59m)

26. SmithGroup JJR (USA. 421. $110-119m)

28. Tengbom (Sweden. 420. $70-79m)

29. Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (USA. 405. $110-119m) 

29. NBBJ (USA. 405. $170-179m)

31. Hassell (Australia. 395. $120-129m) 

32. BDP (UK. 382. $100-109m)

33. Kume Sekkei (Japan. 376. $120-129m)

34. ATP Architects & Engineers (Austria. 320. $70-79m) 

34. Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei (Japan. 320. $210-219m)

36. White Arkitekter (Sweden. 306. $80-89m)

37. DLR Group (USA. 300. $120-129m)  

37. HKS (USA. 300. $150-159m)

39. Cox Architecture (Australia. 289. $60-69m) 

40. Leigh & Orange (Hong Kong. 288. $40-49m)

41. Henn Architekten (Germany. 280. $60-69m)

42. HBO+EMTB (Australia. 279. $80-89m)

43. RTKL Associates (USA. 269. $200-209m)

44. KEO International (Kuwait. 256. $110-119m)

45. Zaha Hadid Architects (UK. 246. – )

46. ZGF Architects (USA. 245. $60-69m) 

47. Arup Associates and Arup (UK. 226. $40-49m)

48. Benoy (UK. 223. $60-69m) 

49. Dewan Architects & Engineers (UAE. 220. $60-69m)

50. ACXT-IDOM (Spain. 215. $40-49m)

51. DWP (Thailand. 205. $40-49m)

52. Architect Hafeez Contractor (India. 200. $30-39m) 

52. Valode & Pistre (France. 200. $40-49m)

52. Wong Tung & Partners (Hong Kong. 200. $50-59m) 

55. Archial NORR (UK. 198. $70-79m)

56. Chapman Taylor (UK. 196. $40-49m)

57. Gansam Architects & Partners (South Korea. 191. $50-59m)

58. B+H Architects (Canada. 190. $50-59m)

59. Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering (Japan. 188. $60-69m)

60. LINK Arkitektur (Norway. 177. $40-49m)

61. Capita Symonds (UK. 170. $30-39m)

62. Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong. 169. $30-39m) 

63. Broadway Malyan (UK. 165. $50-59m) 

64. CF Møller Architects (Denmark. 164. $40-49m) 

65. Allies & Morrison (UK. 160. $20-29m)

65. Devereux Architects (UK. 160. $10-19m)

65. GHD (Australia. 160. $140-149m)

65. GVA & Asociados (Mexico. 160. $20-29m)

69. Archetype Group (Vietnam. 158. $10-19m)

69. AXS Satow (Japan. 158. $60-69m)

71. Henning Larsen Architects (Denmark. 155. $20-29m)

72. Langdon Wilson International (USA. 153. $40-49m)

73. AS Architecture-Studio (France. 150. $20-29m)

73. Jaspers-Eyers Architects (Belgium. 150. $20-29m)

73. Wilson Associates (USA. 150. $50-59m)

76. Wilmotte & Associés (France. 149. $30-39m)

77. Showa Sekkei (Japan. 141. Under $5m)

78. Ramboll Architecture & Planning (Norway. 140. $30-39m)

79. Sheppard Robson (UK. 139. $20-29m)

80. Aidea (Philippines. 131. $5-9m)

81. CP Kukreja (India. 130. $5-9m)

82. Rober A.M. Stern Architects (USA. 126. $50-59m)

83. PageSoutherlandPage (USA. 125. $90-99m)

83. Sinclair Knight Merz (125. $30-39m)

85. Progetto CMR (Italy. 124. $10-19m)

86. PBK (USA. 121. $40-49m)

86. Populous (UK. 121. -)

88. Space Matrix (Singapore. 120. $10-19m)

88. TP Bennett (UK. 120. $30-39m)

90. PRP Architects (UK. 119. $20-29m)

91. Aukett FItzroy Robinson (UK. 114. $10-19m)

92. Palafox Associates (Philippines. 112. $5-9m)

93. Hames Sharley (Australia. 110. $20-29m)

93. Morphogenesis (India. 110. $5-9m)

95. AIA Architectes Ingénierus Associés (France. 104. $20-29m)

96. Thomson Adsett Architects (Australia. 103. $20-29m)

97. 3DReid (UK. 100. $20-29m)

97. UN Studio (100. $10-19m)

99. 10 Design (UK/Hong Kong. 96. $20-29m)

99. Diamond Schmitt Architects (Canada. 96. $20-29m)

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "The 100 Largest Architecture Firms In the World" 11 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 21 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=330759>

57 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    This is interesting, but it’s completely incorrect. Those $ amounts are not income- they’re REVENUE. Huge difference. As inefficient and labor-intensive as architecture firms are, their actual income amounts are probably in the 1-5% of those amounts.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    EGM architects (about 180, The Netherlands) is almost twice the size of UN Studio (also based in NL)…..?!?

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +21

    incredible how most of those firms are totally unknown…

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +4

    I am not an architect but since a couple of years I read Archdaily, well, daily. Except Foster and Hadid I can’t remember having heard of those firms. How come?

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +7

    how useful is it to rank firms by number of employees? the revenues are all over the place. surely it would be more sensible to either rank firms by shear revenues, or rank them by revenues/employee. Then we would have something interesting to look at.

    There are surely many firms with revenues in the range of 1-10 million, yet employing far fewer people (perhaps only 10 to 20 individuals).

    • Thumb up Thumb down +5

      Good point w – stay tuned, because we’ll be posting an article just on this tomorrow. Thanks!

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    idom not a big leading company in Spain in this field, so it is not worth not even mention it in this type of study, in fact, very few people know it, here in Spain.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    When you say “most earning architecture office” I’d imagine some big name on top. But actually most of them are huge conglomerates that take giant projects. Proves that, even in architecture, money is not about art but about good business and efficiency

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      Architecture is an art…but unlike art…it also has to have a function and fit the needs of a particular user base. Good architecture combines good business, efficiency, and art. All architecture is commercial (even Zaha Hadid, Zumthor, etc.) as they are sold to a client; and like art there is bad architecture and good architecture…money does not automatically make an architecture bad.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    I have to say that this list is not very comprehensive. The article also doesn’t state whether the number is based upon registered architects or all full time staff or some other measure. Anyone know?

  9. Thumb up Thumb down +11

    no chinese firm, i know at least 3 with more than 2000 employees

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The new distribution of the economy (based on a quick look) between USA, Asia, Middle East and the UK… Europe is going down :(

  11. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    I work for AECOM and can tell you with certainty that size and efficiency are NOT always in correlation with each other. :-)

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I know several firms in China that employ 2500+ architects in one single city. SADRI and ZADRI for example are extensions of government departments but operate as corporate entities offering large range of design services all over China.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hi all, thanks for your interest in our World Architecture 100.

    Obviously, not all the information on how (and why) we publish this survey each year is in this article but we’re happy to answer any questions – just drop us an email at bdonline@ubm.com.

    The WA100 is quite a meaty thing: it’s a 60 page document available via Bdonline and it’s the only survey of its kind. It includes a breakdown of how different sectors contribute to practice income around the world, as well as information on preferred consultants.

    http://www.worldarchitecture100.com

    Anna Winston
    BD Head of Digital and Online Editor

      • Thumb up Thumb down +3

        OMA’s revenue is too small to mention. And besides that. 60% of OMA’s employees are underpaid interns!

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        OMA keeps high confidentiality concerning the overall income, but I can tell you that they can easily fit the 50th position or lower… anyways OMA is twice as UN Studio.

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    At least, two Indonesian architecture firm are here. Why they are not? What method yo do for survey Arch Daily?

    • Thumb up Thumb down +2

      Half of these comments are from people who don’t appear to have read the article. Its not arch daily who did the survey – the first line of the article states its Building Design’s survey.

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