Technology that facilitates the implementation of a “global studio model” could be one of the keys to the international success of Australia’s biggest design firm.
Global architecture firm Woods Bagot has risen to the ranks of America's top 20 most lucrative practices following continued expansion in the Asia-Pacific as well as the introduction of new technologies designed to facilitate cross-border collaboration.
Architectural Record has put Woods Bagot at 15th place on its list of the "Top 300 Architecture Firms" in the United States, with rankings based upon revenue posted by placeholders during the preceding year.
According to Architecture Record Woods Bagot, whose US operations are headquartered in New York, achieved total design revenue of USD$157 million in 2015, $25 million of which was derived from stateside operations.
This is far from the only top placing made by Woods Bagot on a prestige list of the world's leading architecture firms during just the past year.
The UK's Building Design put Woods Bagot in sixth place on its World Architecture 100 list for 2016, which is based on the number of fee-earning architects employed by practices around the globe. The practice had 898 architects employed at the time of the list's release, making it Australia's biggest design firm.
Woods Bagot, which has its origins in a South Australian architecture practice founded in the late 19th century, has pointed to new technologies that expedite the implementation of a global studio model as one of the key reasons behind its international success.
The firm has introduced file sharing and communications technologies which facilitate interaction and collaboration between offices situated in geographically distant cities.The technology will make it feasible for Sarah Kay, Woods Bagot Director, to continue to collaborate closely with colleague Amanda Stanaway in Australia after she relocates to New York in August.
These technologies are set to play an increasingly important role for Woods Bagot as it continues to expand operations overseas. At the start of 2016 Woods Bagot opened new offices in Kuala Lumpur and Auckland after bagging major projects in both these cities - the corporate headquarters for Malaysian power company Tenaga Nasional Berhad and New Zealand's 32,000 square metre International Convention Centre.
Woods Bagot currently has 17 offices globally, with Europe and north America currently the main targets for future expansion according to regional executive chairman Mark Mitcheson-Low.