The top 100 list of architectural firms compiled by Building Design of UK has been announced, with seven Australian practices making the list – an international ranking of architecture firms by size.

Retaining its spot as the top Australian contender, Woods Bagot comes in at seventh place in 2014, a ten-spot leap from last year’s 17th rank.

According to the firm, this rise is a reflection of the “consolidation of its global growth in the last few years”, and the realisation of a “global growth strategy that was implemented in 2005".

Growth in North America is cited as the biggest factor in its recent success, while Asia has also been a driver of growth, with a number of mixed-use projects underway for the firm in China and Indonesia.

Currently, Woods Bagot employs 792 architects, with its North American business to be almost as large as the whole firm was in 2003 this year.

“A key outcome is our ability to be adaptive to opportunities and intrepid in our approach, with the firm competing against the best in the world and repeatedly winning,” says managing director Ross Donaldson.

“Agility is key in reacting to changing market conditions.”

Other Australian firms in the WA100 list include Hassell, which came in at 32, HBO+EMTB at 43, and Cox Architecture at 46.

The Buchan Group, which ranked 75 in 2012, is now at number 60, while Sinclair Knight Merz and Thomson Adsett Architects are ranked 76 and 89 respectively – both making significant gains up the list from 2013.

Melbourne-based practice Hayball was also mentioned as a firm to watch out for, coming in at 115.

Reclaiming its crown at number one is US practice, Gensler which, unlike some of its rivals, remains a private company with architecture as its principal activity. With 1,468 architects at Gensler, the practice has also made the biggest billings in this year’s WA100 by a large margin: it took more than US $600 million of fee income last year.

The World Architecture 100 top ten firms in the 2014 survey are:

  1. Gensler (USA)
  2. Aecom (USA)
  3. Nikken Sekkei (Japan)
  4. IBI Group (Canada)
  5. Aedas (China/UK)
  6. Perkins & Will (USA
  7. Woods Bagot (Australia)
  8. Samoo Architects & Engineers (South Korea)
  9. DP Architects (Singapore)
  10. P+T Architects & Engineers (Hong Kong)

In the market sectors’ top 10, also ranked by fee income, Cox Architecture came 8th in both the Heritage and Sport categories.

HBO+EMTB came in first for Infrastructure, while Hassell came 10th in Masterplanning and 7th in Transport.

The Buchan Group came 5th internationally in terms of retail projects, while Woods Bagot came in 9th. The latter also came in 5th in Offices.

Regional highest earners (in USD): Australasia

  1. Hassell (Australia) with a fee income of $99 million
  2. Woods Bagot (Australia) – $74m
  3. Cox Architecture (Australia) – $51m
  4. The Buchan Group (Australia) – $42m
  5. HBO+EMTB (Australia) – $37m
  6. Sinclair Knight Merz (Australia) – $23m
  7. Warren & Mahoney Architects (New Zealand) – $17.5m
  8. Thomson Adsett Architects (Australia) – $16m
  9. HDR Architecture (USA) – $13.5m
  10. DWP (Thailand) – $13m

Sunshine Insurance Headquarters, Beijing, China; Telkom Landmark Tower, Jakarta, Indonesia - designed by Woods Bagot. Image: