Top 300 Firms of 2019: Gensler Remains First
Architects & Firms
For the eighth year running, Gensler has topped Architectural Record’s Top 300 Firms list. The annual list, compiled by RECORD’s sister publication Engineering News-Record (ENR), ranks companies by their architectural revenue from the prior year, as reported to ENR by firms that choose to participate.
Gensler, which works in over 100 countries, saw total architectural revenue grow by more than $156 million from 2017 to 2018, an increase of 13 percent. Domestically, revenue increased by 14 percent, while internationally it grew by 7 percent. One of the company’s key strategies is to “be local while remaining a global firm,” co-CEO Andy Cohen tells RECORD. “Every office has grown organically from strong local roots,” he says, explaining that when the firm opens a new branch, they pair a veteran—someone “who lives and breathes the Gensler culture”—with a local leader who has networks and contextual knowledge. “This is what helps us tailor the team specifically for each client, and to be near the client.” Cohen says the company is seeing particular growth in Asia, Europe (an office in Munich opened in December 2018), and both coasts of the U.S.
Jacobs ranked third, up by $163 million (38 percent) in total architectural revenue in 2018—the greatest increase on our list.
HOK remained in their 2018 spot of sixth, with total architectural revenue growing by 2 percent from 2017. The company saw a 48 percent increase in international architectural revenue (up $36 million), but a slight dip in domestic architectural revenue. “Our aim as a firm is to keep a constant and slightly increasing volume,” chairman and CEO Bill Hellmuth tells RECORD. “We’re like the pistons of an engine. If it’s up over here, it’s down over there.” With 24 offices around the world, the firm is seeing significant activity in their health-care, science, and tech portfolios, including several large hospital projects forthcoming in Asia.
NELSON, which has 25 offices worldwide, ranked 17 this year, as compared to 45 last year, after experiencing a dramatic jump—196 percent—in total architectural revenue, from $65 million in 2017 to $192 million in 2018. Jim Harkin, a senior vice president and principal, tells RECORD that the company has aggressively expanded, acquiring 15 firms in the last five years, and recently launched a brand-strategy service. “This expertise has allowed us to provide a more holistic approach for our architecture clients,” he says.
Click here to view the entire Top 300 firms list, with their 2018 revenue listed in millions.