Nabbing the title from long-standing leader AECOM, Gensler claimed the top spot in our 2012 “Top 250 Architecture Firms” list, which ranks U.S. companies based on architectural revenue from the prior year. Gensler’s $764 million in revenue far surpassed AECOM’s $445 million; it also marked a record high for the San Francisco-based firm. “It truly has been about global growth,” says Andy Cohen, Gensler’s executive director: In 2011 the firm opened seven offices in burgeoning cities such as S'o Paulo and Bangkok.

Overall, this year’s survey points to industry growth. Collectively, the 250 firms earned $10.4 billion in revenue in 2011, up from $9.4 billion in 2010. Domestic income rose from $7.6 to $8.2 billion; international income, from $1.8 to $2.2 billion. Firms like RTKL and Kohn Pedersen Fox now generate more than half their revenue from foreign projects.

Other items of note from our 2012 survey include CH2M HILL’s leap from 84th to fourth place; the company underreported its architectural revenue last year, according to its financial analyst. Also, acquisitions continue to be a boon for some firms. Jacobs, a newcomer to our ranking, clocked in at no. 6 (it bought KlingStubbins last fall). And Stantec, which has acquired several firms, is swiftly ascending the list: It ranked 51st in 2010, and 17th this year.

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