Four Australian practices, Bates Smart, GHD Woodhead, Buchan Group and Hames Sharley, feature in the latest ranking of the world’s top 100 architecture firms released recently by Building Design.

Compiled by the UK-based news portal, Building Design, the World Architecture 100 (WA100) is based on an annual survey of the world’s biggest architectural practices.

Firms are ranked on the basis of the number of architects employed.

For the 2018 ranking, surveys were sent to 1,250 practices worldwide. Gensler (USA) continues to dominate the list, followed by Nikken Sekkei (Japan), Aecom (USA), HDR (USA), and Perkins and Will (USA).

Among Australian practices, Bates Smart was ranked the highest at 40th place, making it Australia’s largest practice. GHD Woodhead and the Buchan Group traded places: While GHD rose to 55th in 2018 from 71st last year, Buchan fell from 55 to 71 in the latest ranking. Hames Sharley was ranked 92nd, eight positions up from 100 in 2017.

In terms of financial performance, Bates Smart was ranked the top practice in the Australasian region based on a billing income of $50.5 million; the US-based Aecom came in second in the region with $48 million in billings. Australian practices such as GHD Woodhead (3rd, $43.1 million), Buchan Group (4th, $41.7 million), Hayball (7th, $21.1 million) and Hames Sharley (9th, $20 million) made the top ten list.

From a global perspective, the architecture industry is showing a positive trend with Australia rated as a place with growth potential. The top three countries worldwide with the most growth potential are China, USA and India.

Given the positive market in the Australian market, several global architectural companies are entering the region including US-based Jacobs, who will be working as lead architect for Sydney’s Concord Hospital project as well as UK firm Broadway Malyan, South African practice Boogertman, and French practice Richez Associés.

The full report can be purchased from Building Design online.