Australian firms listed in 2013 World Architecture top 100

Jan 9, 2013
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

Above: Woods Bagot’s Convention Centre at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

A handful of large, high-profile architecture practices from Australia have been included in the ‘top 100’ global survey of architecture firms across the globe.

Coming in at 17th place and representing Australia in the top 100 was Woods Bagot, followed by Hassell in 31st place, Cox Architecture in 39th and HBO+EMTB in 42nd.

US firm Aecom took the number one spot, which was claimed last year by Aedas.

The survey, run by UK-based Building Design (BD) magazine revealed the list last week, with some big Australian names appearing in the ‘top 100’ list, where architectural firms around the world are ranked by size. Using data collected by UK communications agency Camargue, listings are based on information provided by architecture firms in October last year.

Hassell’s one40william, Perth, 2010. Photo by Peter Bennetts


The survey also includes smaller top 10 lists, where Australian firms also made a number of appearances. Regarding different areas of expertise, three Australian firms made the top 10 for Interior Design (HBO+EMTB 5th; Hassell 7th; Woods Bagot 8th), Sinclair Knight Merz came in 6th place for Surveying and HBO+EMTB in tenth place for Urban Design.

In the Market Sectors top 10 series, Woods Bagot made repeat appearances in the Offices (6th) and Retail (9th) lists, Hassell in Transportation (9th) and Masterplanning (9ht), HBO+EMT in Infrastructure (6th) and Masterplanning (6th) lists, and GHD in Government Buildings (2nd) and Infrastructure (1st). Other Australian firms ranked in the Market Sectors top 10 lists included Thomson Adsett in Elderly Living (2nd) and Suters Architects in Heritage (joint 9th with Thailand’s DWP).

Cox Architecture’s Sydney Football Stadium


In the Australasian top 10 list of architectural firms ranked by fee income, Hassell took the top spot by a long shot at US$100.8 million, with GHD coming in 2nd and Woods Bagot 3rd.

World Architecture 100 top ten firms in 2013
1. Aecom (USA)
2. Gensler (USA)
3. IBI Group (Canada)
4. Nikken Sekkei (Japan)
5. Aedas (China/UK)
6. Perkins & Will (USA)
7. DP Architects (Singapore)
8. HOK (USA)
9. Samoo Architects & Engineers (South Korea)
10. Foster & Partners (UK)

17. Woods Bagot (Australia)
31. HASSELL (Australia)
39. Cox Architecture (Australia)
42. HBO+EMTB (Australia)

Regional top 10 firms (Australasia):
1. HASSELL – US$100.8m
2. GHD – US$80m
3. Woods Bagot – US$60m
4. Cox Architecture – US$45m
5. HBO+EMTB – US$34m
6. Hames Sharley – US$25m
7. Sinclair Knight Merz – US$21m
8. Thomson Adsett – US$19m
9. DWP (Thailand) – US$18.4m
9. Suters Architects – US$18.4m

Regional top 10 firms (Central Asia inc. India)
1. Architect Hafeez Contractor (India) – US$35m
1. Gensler (USA) – US$35m
3. PageSoutherlandPage (USA) – US$16.9m
4. HBO+EMTB (Australia) – US$16.8m
5. Skidmore Owings + Merrill (USA) – US$10.2m
6. P&T Architects & Engineers (China) – US$10m
7. Cox Architecture (Australia) – US$9m
7. CP Kukreja Associates (India) – US$9m
9. Jacobs (UK/US) – US$8m
10. Foster & Partners (UK) – US$6m
10. Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (UK) – US$6m
10. Morphogenesis (India) – US$6m

For more information on the WA 100, visit bdonline.co.uk/wa-100

Conversation • 6 comments

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09 Jan 13 at 2:41 PM • mark armstrong

The Top 100 list of architects appears to be based on fee generation, not being the best(however defined)architectural firms. This is a pretty useless list with an emphasis on size not quality.
Oh, well, gives you (and me) something to write about I guess.

How about a more qualitative assessment?


mark armstrong
arc architects

10 Jan 13 at 10:26 AM • Nick Moore

You make a good point Mark, biggest ( billings ) doesn’t necessarily equate to best however I think its also worth considering why they’re generating the most fees. I don’t imagine its by accident.

12 Jan 13 at 1:47 AM • Elizabeth Hopkirk, Building Design

Hi Mark and Nick,

I’m one of the journalists at Building Design who worked on World Architecture. Thanks for your interest.

The Top 100 is based on number of architects employed by each practice, not billings.

I think this is probably the closest to a qualitative assessment without losing the objective nature of the rankings. After all, who is to say who is the ‘best’ architect, fun though it is to debate?

The sector and regional tables are based on billings because there’s no other way of compiling them.

The WA100 is the only global survey of architectural practices. Architects, and their clients, take it very seriously and we try very hard to make it as fair, accurate and useful as possible. As well as the tables, it’s full of case studies and features on the most exciting markets – which this year include Australia!

In case you want to find out more: http://www.bdonline.co.uk/wa-100/how-to-get-the-world-architecture-100-2013/5048225.article

Thanks for the coverage, Australian Design Review!

Elizabeth Hopkirk

28 Jan 13 at 8:27 AM • Chris

So presumably as a growing amount of work is being outsourced to other countries, so long as that cheap labour is done by architects, these outsourced firms will begin to out-rank the firms that supply them with work? Or is this accounted for, and this work somehow still attributed to the firm that ‘owns’ the work?

26 Mar 14 at 4:34 AM • Clinton Terry

Message for Mark Armstrong of ARC Architects from Clinton Terry, http://www.architectureCT.com

Hi Mark
I will be in Sydney from April 3rd untill the 8th, would be great to me up.

Yours Clinton

15 Dec 15 at 10:59 PM • Charmian Johnson

Mark, your comments are just unspeakable. Every day, I look at my windows and curse you. And that is several times a day. What you did against professional advice is absolutely unforgiveable. You disgust me personally. Even worse, your so called architectural ability is moot – as everyone who has ever come to my house since has said. Chaddy


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