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    Climbs and falls for Australia in World Architecture 100

    Nathan Johnson

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    Five Australian practices have been named by UK weekly architectural newspaper Building Design on its annual World Architecture 100 (WA100) list for 2016

    Building Design surveyed 1,350 architecture practices across the global to develop its list before ranking them based on their number of fee-earning architects they employ.  The 2016 WA100 showed a mix of improvement and disappointments for Australia with the overall number of Australian firms in the WA100 falling from six in 2015, in conjunction with a few significant improvements from some firms.

    Woods Bagot climbed from its seventh place in 2015 to sixth in 2016 and is still the top ranked Australian firm on the list. Cox Architecture and Buchan Group also posted improvements with Cox moving from 45 to 44 and Buchan Group to 58 from 60, while Bates Smart (57) and GHD Woodhead (99) also made the cut in 2016.

    Thomson Adsett, HBO+EMTB and Hayball were the three Australian firms to fall from the 2016 WA100 after making the cut in 2015, however as the reports are based on annual surveys of global architecture practices with data collected by UK communications agency Camargue, it is assumed that not all Australian firms participated in this year’s survey.

    Woods Bagot was also the first-ranked practice in the Australasian region, the firm out-employing Australians Cox Architecture, Buchan Group, Bates Smart, GHD Woodhead, Hayball and Thomson Adsett and International firms, Jacobs (USA) and Warren and Mahoney (New Zealand) who also feature in the Australasian Top 10.

    While in some senses it was a disappointing fall from the WA100 for Australian firm Thomson Adsett (in 2015 they were ranked 95 but they didn’t rank in 2016), the firm are pleased by their performance in the Elderly Living sector where they ranked second across the globe. Thomson Adsett were the top ranked Australian firm in the market sector categories which also included strong performances from Woods Bagot in Residential (three), Offices (seven) and Retail (seven) as well as Buchan Group in Retail (three) and Cox Architecture in Culture (ten).

    US practice Gensler came in at number one on the WA100 and was ranked by Building Design as both the world’s largest practice and the highest earning. Engineering consultancy Aecom dropped from one in 2015 to second in 2016 while Nikken Sekkei (Japan), Perkins+Will (USA) and HDR (USA) rounded out the WA100 top five.

    A big positive for Australia is its growth potential, ranking fifth with six per cent, up from ninth in 2015, behind China, USA, UK and India.

    Download the full report here.  

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