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Top 50 U.S. Architecture Firms

Written By golek mangga on Friday, February 1, 2013 | 2:43 AM

They are the powerful and the philanthropic, the talented and the profitable. Our fourth annual ranking of U.S. architecture firms answers the question: Who had the best year?


Practice makes perfect. Let’s be clear: Ranking architecture firms is equal parts art and science. We refine our methodology every year. But the goal of the Architect 50 remains the same: to reward accomplishment according to the broadest possible criteria.

The list is designed to celebrate practices of all kinds—practices that are as adept with building technology as they are in business, that can win design awards and also give back to their communities. Indeed, for the first time, this year we included pro bono work and water modeling in the survey. Given the impact that the economy, natural disasters, and drought are having around the country, how firms stack up in those categories seems especially relevant.

The overall winner? A big hand for DLR Group, which drew raves in 2011 for its Joplin Interim High School in tornado-ravaged Missouri.

Other firms that excelled: RBB Architects topped the business category; Westlake Reed Leskosky ranked first in sustainability; and perennial list-maker Skidmore, Owings & Merrill led the design/pro bono category. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, meanwhile, was the biggest mover, finishing 5th after missing the top 50 last year. And Frank Harmon Architect showed that firms with only a handful of employees can compete with big multinationals.

We hope this year’s list will inspire energetic debates. Dig into the numbers. And don’t be afraid to tell us what you think.
2012 Architect 50 
Key: Employees Scale: 1 = 1-10; 2 = 11-99; 3 = 100-499; 4 = 500-999; 5 = 1000-plus. 
Gross Revenue Scale: 1= $999,999 or less; 2=$1 million-$9.9 million; 3= $10 million-$99.9 million;
4=$100 million-$999.9 million; 5=$1 billion plus.
RankFirm NameEmployees(see Key above)Gross Revenue(see Key above)ScoreSustainability RankBusiness RankDesign/
Pro Bono Rank
1DLR Group
Omaha, Neb.
4410011415
2William Rawn Associates
Boston
2399.984481
3HOK
St. Louis
5499.2125254
4Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF)
Portland, Ore.
3499.1210492
5Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects
New York
2396.22132021
6Westlake Reed Leskosky
Cleveland
3395.3915927
7Skidmore Owings & Merrill
New York
5493.1362161
8Payette
Boston
3492.6162441
9SmithGroupJJR
Detroit
4491.52156410
10Cannon Design
Grand Island, N.Y.
5490.9330428
11HDR Architecture
Omaha, Neb.
5490.9246239
12Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz Architects (KMD)
San Francisco
3390.2922594
13Centerbrook Architects and Planners
Centerbrook, Conn.
2389.8431914
14Perkins+Will
Chicago
5489.4331516
15Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee
Raleigh, N.C.
2389.1233280
16BNIM
Kansas City
2387.4581183
17Frank Harmon Architect
Raleigh, N.C.
1187.34710312
18HGA Architects and Engineers
Minneapolis
4485.46264722
19Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects
San Francisco
2285.41493116
20RNL
Denver
3383.7957646
21EYP Architecture & Engineering
Albany, N.Y.
3383.15206725
22EHDD
San Francisco
2382.6126986
23Eskew+Dumez+
Ripple

New Orleans
2282.4425715
24NBBJ
Seattle
4482.27611133
25Sasaki Associates
Watertown, Mass.
3381.94543718
26The Miller Hull Partnership
Seattle
2381.498934
27AECOM
Los Angeles
5480.9763507
28Lord Aeck & Sargent
Atlanta
3380.561211419
29H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture
New York
2280.48342855
30RBB Architects
Los Angeles
2379.88117174
31LMN Architects
Seattle
2379.56217928
32Richärd+Bauer
Phoenix
2279.14198730
33Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
San Francisco
2278.6248531
34Goettsch Partners
Chicago
2377.5568698
35Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Chicago
3377.48284667
36LPA
Irvine, Calif.
3377.28356536
37HKS Architects
Dallas
4477.25523839
38Ratcliff Architects
Emeryville, Calif.
2376.79376343
39Studios Architecture
Washington, D.C.
3376.54404549
40Little Diversified Architectural Consulting
Charlotte, N.C.
3376.241712017
41Ehrlich Architects
Culver City, Calif.
2275.152343108
42Good Fulton & Farrell
Dallas
2374.9489854
43Robert A.M. Stern Architects
New York
3373.78672159
44Ross Barney Architects
Chicago
2273.312711126
45Tsoi/Kobus & Associates
Cambridge, Mass.
2373.14473577
46FxFowle
New York
3373.13416152
47Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC)
Cambridge, Mass.
2373167497
48Ann Beha Architects
Boston
2272.91723642
49PBK Architects
Houston
3371.195917104
50Clark Nexsen
Norfolk, Va. 
4371.01365893

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Top 50 U.S. Architecture Firms

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