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 23 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=330759>
  • where is

    for example: where is HdeM?
    also i have many huge firms in mind, which aren`t listed….

    http://www.herzogdemeuron.com/index/practice/people.html

  • Hm

    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.

    • http://www.archdaily.com David Basulto

      Dear Hm, those figures ARE the fee income, not revenue. You can buy the WA100 report from BD Online to see by yourself.

      • Brian Taylor

        Fee income and revenue are the same thing. What you probably mean is profit, which is revenue – expenses.

    • Imelda Akmal

      Agree! This fact incorrect!

  • BenjaminA

    Guess there was no space left for Germany….but i’m glad belgium and denmark made it…

  • ES

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

  • Grubar

    What about RMJM?

  • hg

    incredible how most of those firms are totally unknown…

  • blurb

    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?

  • w

    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).

    • http://www.archdaily.com Vanessa Quirk

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

  • CGlez

    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.

  • Ivan

    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

    • Eric

      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.

  • Robin

    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?

  • modulor

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

  • Tiemo Mehner

    sloppy work on the map: how many are 10,0261 architects? and where is germany?

  • Tiemo Mehner

    sloppy map, how many are 10,0261 architects? and where is germany?

    • Anis

      You really ought to take a good look. It’s 10,261.

  • VandiDANiEL

    Wow, intresting..

  • chop suey

    Place 84. (83) has no country

  • MasterJudge

    How about some geography lessons first?

  • memo

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

  • Mario Salazar

    Thank you, now i have 100 enlisted to apply for

  • James

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

  • idle_crane

    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.

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  • Margherita Filpi

    Germany is actually in there, with Henn and GMP.

  • http://www.inbo.com JG

    Interesting list, however wonder where they got their input from. Inbo is another internationally working Dutch architecture company with 180 employees but not in the list…? http://www.inbo.com #inboNL

  • Alex Gray

    It appears the Cox Architecture the article links to are a medium sized residential practice in the US? I think perhaps the practice in Australia you are referring is this one: http://www.coxarchitecture.com.au/

    • http://www.archdaily.com Vanessa Quirk

      Hi Alex – Thanks for this! I’ve fixed it now.

  • Anna Winston

    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

    • Ard Buijsen

      Well it seams very inaccurate. OMA for instance is 230+ people. Not in the list.

      • pepper

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

      • Marco

        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.

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  • Euan

    Mmm…. New Zealand off the radar as well Jasmax is 180 and a revenue of $16-$20m

  • Hello Researcher

    The list is wrong.

    • Lars Jespersen

      Why?