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The world’s top 100 architecture firms for 2015

The world’s top 100 architecture firms of 2015 have been revealed. The annual list compiled by the UK’s Building Design weekly newspaper surveys more than 1400 architecture practices across the global. Firms are ranked by the number of architects they employ.

The proposed Masdar headquarters by Woods Bagot.

The proposed Masdar headquarters by Woods Bagot.

Image: Courtesy Woods Bagot

Six Australian practices made the top 100. Woods Bagot leads the charge in seventh place, unchanged from 2014, followed by HBO+EMTB (43), Cox Architecture (45), The Buchan Group (60) ThomsonAdsett (95) and newcomer to the top 100, Hayball (99). DWP|Suters, ranked 117, also made the ones-to-watch list.

Two Australasia practices who were on the top 100 list in 2014 are curiously absent in 2015. Hassell, ranked 32 and the highest earning Australasian practice in 2014 is not on the list at all along with New Zealand practice Warren and Mahoney.

On the world stage, the engineering consultancy Aecom claimed the top spot thanks to its acquisition of URS Corporation, which allowed it to steal the number one title from US practice Gensler. AECOM now employs 2100 architects worldwide, the highest ever for a top 100 practice. Fosters & Partners was voted most admired practice ahead of Herzog & De Meuron (2), Bjarke Ingels Group (5), and Snøhetta (6) who are collaborating with Adelaide-based practice JPE Design on the UniSA Great Hall.

The regional and market sector rankings are both based on income. In the Australasian region, only three of the top ten were non-Australian and all of these were American: HDR (5), Aecom (6) and Page (7). Woods Bagot topped the ranking with a fee income of US$71 million. Australian practice HBO+EMTB was also ranked number 3 in the Central Asia region.

Breaking down by market sector, ThomsonAdsett comes in at number 2 in Elderly Living, Cox Architecture is number 9 in Sport while Woods Bagot made the top 10 in several sectors including Offices (7), Residential (9), Retail (9) and Transport (10).

Globally, the survey reports a healthy growth sentiment from its respondents with the rise and rise of urban centres in emerging economies fuelling the architectural activity. Of the practices surveyed, 79% reportedly feel the global construction economy is experiencing growth or strong growth, compared with 46% in the previous year. Australia is ranked 9th in the survey of countries offering the most growth potential (2%), but of course it trails far behind China which claimed the top spot (32%).

The full report can be purchased from BDonline.

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