Architecture firms in Australia continue to make their mark on a world scale, with six of the nation’s leading practices being named in the latest ranking of the top 100 architectural firms in the world.
Unveiling its World Top 100 firms, United Kingdom based building and design publication bdonline said the United States based AECOM ranked as the world’s largest firm according to number of employees followed by Japan’s Nikken Sekki and USA’s Gensler.
Meanwhile, six Australian firms were included on the list as Sydney based Woods Bagot retained its number 7 position, HBO+EMTB remained at 43, Cox Architecture edged up one spot to come in at 45, Buchan Group came in at 60, Thomson Adsett dropped back six spots from 89 to 95 and Hayball – the architect behind Australia’s first public building constructed using cross laminated timber named ‘Library at the Dock’ on Melbourne’s Docklands which opened in June – entered the list at 99.
The survey also indicated general optimism about prospects for global construction growth, although the Australian market ranked only ninth in terms of overall growth prospects.
Around Australia, many architectural practices have been seeking overseas expansion amid strong expectations of growth throughout much of developing Asia and parts of the Middle East.
Woods Bagot, for example, operates across five continents and says around 60 percent of its new revenues are won and half of its work is delivered outside of Australia, and is set to open a 17th studio in Christchurch this year; Cox, meanwhile has practices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Such expansion is expected to gather further momentum amid recent free trade agreements struck with Japan, Korea and China – the latter of which is expected to have more than $US75 trillion in built assets by 2022.
More broadly, some firms are using mergers and acquisitions as a means for growth. AECOM, for example – which passed Gensler to grab the number one spot this year – last year gobbled up US based engineering and construction outfit URS and construction services provider Hunt Construction as well as Madrid based international aid consultant ACE Consultants.
Whilst the number of Australian firms making the list was impressive, one conscious omission was last year’s 32 ranked Hassell, along with New Zealand practice Warren and Mahoney.
It is generally assumed Hassell did not participate in the survey upon which the rankings are based, which is collected by UK communications agency Camargue.