Earlier this year, BDOnline released the 2017 edition of the WA 100, their annual survey of the world's largest practices. Ranking the firms by the number of architects they employ, the full report also investigates these firms' financial records and industry trends. The top spots show only slight changes from last year's rankings, with Japan's Nikken Sekkei taking second place from AECOM being perhaps the most notable change. However, the big story behind this year's WA 100 is the rapid growth of #1 firm Gensler, with the firm increasing their lead from last year. The firm now employs almost 800 more architects than any other firm in the world.
"Gensler’s total domination of the rankings continues as it achieves the seemingly impossible task of growing still more after last year’s huge leap in size," says BDOnline, noting that the company's total of 2,570 employed architects represents an increase of almost 1,000 in under 2 years. Gensler's co-chief executive Diane Hoskins explains this growth as the result of expanding overseas while continuing to expand in the US. "It’s not an either/or," she explained to BDOnline.
Read on to see the top 20, or go see the full list of 100 top practices at BDOnlinehere (for subscribers only).
http://www.archdaily.com/870842/the-worlds-20-largest-architecture-firmsAD Editorial Team
Over a soundtrack of slick house music, Provoost offers up tidbits that cannot be gleaned from a photo. As he approaches the structure, he points out topographical aspects, the relationship of the structure to its context, and various construction details. The rapid-fire architectural observations are often punctuated by brief cross-sectional sketches that augment the experiential commentary.
The City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority have announced the selection of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Perkins + Will and John Ronan Architects to lead in the design of three new “co-located” affordable housing and library developments in the Chicago neighborhoods of Little Italy, West Ridge, and Irving Park.
Selected from a shortlist of nine firms, the three Chicago-based teams were chosen for their “innovative ideas that will ensure that each community will have a design that best reflects its needs.” The practices will work intimately with their respective communities to develop their designs.
Go to any medieval European city and you will see what streets looked like before the advent of the car: lovely, small narrow lanes, intimate, and undisputedly human-scale. We have very few cities in the US where you can find streets like this. For the most part what you see is streets that have been designed with the car in mind—at a large scale for a fast speed. In my native San Francisco, we are making the streets safer for walking and biking by widening sidewalks, turning car lanes into bike lanes, and slowing down the cars. We are working with the streets we have; a typical San Francisco street is anywhere from 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 meters) wide, as compared with a medieval, pre-car street which is more like 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) wide.
As an urban designer, I work on lots of projects where we take large parcels of land and subdivide them into blocks by introducing new streets. These new streets are a rare opportunity to take a fresh look at the kinds of car-oriented roads that we are used to, and instead try to design streets that prioritize the safety and comfort of pedestrians. These projects give us a chance to design streets that are just for people. Imagine that we made these people-only streets into narrow, medieval-style lanes that are intimate and human-scaled. But even as we try to design streets that might not ever see a single car, we find that the modern street design has become so much more than just places for walking or driving. There are therefore a number of things for socially-minded designers to consider, beyond the commonly talked about pedestrian-car dichotomy.
According to the paper, antimicrobial building products “marketed as healthy or beneficial to human health contain ingredients that may have adverse environmental or human health impacts, and alternative products should be considered whenever possible.” Citing a lack of evidence that antimicrobial products prevent the spread of communicable diseases, the report highlights potential impacts like “super bugs,” contamination of aquatic ecosystems, and carcinogens.
Ten top highlights from the paper, concerning antimicrobial products, are:
The AEC industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Cumbersome organizational structures and high financial stakes make it difficult for AEC professionals to experiment. Due to the limited role of architects in the project development process, innovative design solutions and experimentation with new manufacturing techniques are still confined to academic circles and research institutions.
However, some architecture firms are utilizing their high profiles, international success and the influx of talented, young designers to establish in-house research divisions and incubators that support the development of new ideas in the AEC industry. The following five companies are consistent in pushing the envelope and helping architecture adopt some of the latest technologies:
http://www.archdaily.com/798252/these-are-the-worlds-most-innovative-architecture-firmsLidija Grozdanic for Archipreneur.com
The winners of the 2016 LEAF Awards have been announced. Founded in 2001, the awards ceremony honors innovative architecture projects in 14 different categories dedicated to various aspects of building, including best façade design and engineering, best future building, and public building of the year. The winning projects are recognized as “setting the benchmark for the best in the industry.”
As part of a masterplan along the Chicago River, the River Beech Tower is a residential high-rise which, if built, would be taller than any existing timber building. The collaborative team behind River Beech consists of architects Perkins+Will, engineers Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge. Currently a conceptual academic and professional undertaking, the team state that it could potentially be realized by the time of the masterplan’s final phases.
Architectural Record has released the latest edition of its annual list of the “Top 300 Architecture Firms” in the United States, based on architectural revenue from the previous year (2015). Gensler, which became the first firm to surpass $1 billion in revenue in 2014, held on to the top spot with earnings of $1,181,030,000 in 2015. Los Angeles-based AECOM maintained its number 2 position after a revenue increase of more than 30 percent, making it the largest publicly traded company in the LA area. Perkins+Will continued their steady climb up the list, finishing at number 3.
Perkins+Will has released plans for 98 Fourteenth Street, a 920 foot (280 meter) tall residential and commercial tower that, when complete, will become Atlanta’s second tallest building behind Pritzker Prize winning architect Kevin Roche’s Bank of America Plaza. The new tower is an integral piece of a planned development called the Midtown Art Walk, a half-mile pedestrian landscape featuring innovative architecture and interactive art elements between 2 transit stations in the district. The 74-story building will contain 382 luxury residential units and 180 corporate suites, as well as retail space on the ground level.
The Miami office of Perkins+Will has unveiled the designs for 1212 Lincoln Road, a five-story mixed-use structure at the corner of Alton Road and the internationally renowned Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach.
The complex, which will span 140,000 square feet excluding parking, will feature 100 boutique hotel units, a European-style market, high-end retail space, as well as 450 parking spaces. The Market portion of the complex will contain fresh produce, as well as a variety of exotic eateries.
Perkins+Will designed a sports therapy and research centre for a new collaboration between the Dallas Cowboys and healthcare provider Baylor Scott & White. To sit within the Cowboy's new 91-acre campus, the mixed-use medical facility will provide necessary care and training facilities to athletes of all levels, including the Dallas Cowboys themselves.
After a three-day event attracting over 1,000 visitors, the 2016 ARCHMARATHON came to a close, with the presentation of its annual awards. Now in its 3rd year, the Milan-based exchange awarded projects in ten different categories, as well as an overall winner, and a “crowd award” based on voting on the event’s website. The 42 presented projects were judged by the international jury, chaired by Luca Molinari and composed of internationally famous architects and critics such as Lucy Bullivant, William Menking, Wassim Naghi, Li Brian Zhang and Elie Haddad. See all 12 awarded projects after the break.
As we become a planet of city-dwellers, planners and urban designers have an imperative to design communities that perform better than ever before. But what exactly does “performance” mean? Communities should have energy and water-saving systems, but at a high level there also needs to be a more holistic approach to creating a sense of place and connection, while at the same time being accessible to different demographics and vibrant all throughout the day. Here are five essential ingredients for designing a high-performance community.
http://www.archdaily.com/783748/5-steps-to-creating-high-performance-communitiesNoah Friedman and Kristen Hall
When you consider the practical properties of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - durability, versatility and low price - it is easy to understand how it has become such a common construction material, with applications as roofing membranes, siding, pipes and plumbing, conduit, window frames, window blinds, molding and trim, and fencing. But perhaps it’s time to be more cautious about its use. According to a new whitepaper report by Perkins+Will, "What’s New (and What’s Not) With PVC," in spite of recent advances in plastic chemistry PVC is still responsible for a range of environmental and human health hazards created in multiple stages of its manufacturing process.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel have announced their support for Perkins+Will’s sustainablemaster plan for Antalya, Turkey. The master plan will revitalize and preserve the Bogacay Creek Basin area of Antalya, improving its quality as a major tourist city along the Turkish Riviera.
Perkins+Will has been selected to masterplan a major mixed-use development adjacent to undergoing Istanbul New Airport - soon to be one of the largest airports in the world. The 690-hectare scheme, "Airport City" will feature a "central innovation district," hotels, retail and commercial office space, logistic centers, an expo and convention center, public space, and metro and high-speed rail connections to Istanbul and beyond.
Update:The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kaminhas now reported that 140 architects from 60 cities have expressed their interest in designing the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago by submitting qualifications. Of these, 99 are based in the United States, although names have not been released. The below article, originally published on September 1st, lists 11 architects that Kamin was able to confirm had been invited to submit qualifications by the Barack Obama Foundation.