With expansion and growth in Asia and parts of the Middle East, many architectural businesses have expanded their offices and have obtained more overseas clients. The Top 10 Architecture Firms in the World are:
Top 10 Architecture Firms in the World
AECOM was founded in 1990 and is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. It is located in Los Angeles, California. Furthermore, AECOM was created by the merger of five Ashland entities. However, in 2015, AECOM was recognized by Fortune magazine for the first time as a World’s Most Admired Company. Projects include Rio 2016 Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; World Trade Center Rebuilding; Abu Dhabi International Airport, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Nikken Sekkei was founded in 1900 and it is a Japanese architecture firm headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Furthermore, Nikken Sekkei was the primary architectural firm for the Tokyo Skytree, which is the tallest free-standing broadcasting tower in the world.
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Arthur and Drue Gensler and their associate, James Follett founded the firm and its office was opened in 1965. Furthermore, it is headquarter in San Francisco, California. Notable Gensler projects include Facebook Headquarters, San Francisco International Airport terminal 2 and 3, Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China and Abu Dhabi Financial Centre in the United Arab Emirates.
Perkins + Will was established in 1935 and it is located in Chicago Illinois. Notable projects include Shanghai Natural History Museum in Shanghai, UCLA Charles E. However, Young Research Library, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network New Regional Medical Center and Florida International University Science Classroom Complex.
Aedas was an architecture firms that establish in 2002. Furthermore, the practice provides architecture, interior design, landscape design, urban design, office, retail, residential, hotel, infrastructure, education, civic and culture, and urban planning.
Projects include: Boulevard Plaza, Dubai, DAMAC Heights, Dubai, Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus and Hong Kong Hotel.
In 1917, Henning H. Henningson founded the Henningson Engineering Company in Omaha, Nebraska. The company designed water and sewer systems for new cities and towns. Furthermore, in 1950 the firm officially became Henningson, Durham & Richardson, Inc. (HDR). However, projects include: Cleveland Clinic/Mubadala in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates which copped the 2015 Best Hospital Design – Building Healthcare Middle East Awards and 2015 Best Sustainable Hospital Project – Building Healthcare Middle East Awards.
Another project designed by HDR is the new office space for the American Institute of Architects Nebraska Chapter (AIA NE) and Lincoln Haymarket Development Corporation (LHDC) which won 2014 Best in Show – International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the 2014 Gold Award, Commercial category – International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Great Plains Chapter.
Woods Bagot is a global architectural and consulting practice. Furthermore, it specializes in the design and planning of buildings across a wide variety of sectors and fields.
In 1905 Edward John Woods joined forces with another leading local architect, Walter Bagot, who had a successful private practice for many years. However, Edward Woods retired from the practice in 1913 and Bagot was join by architects Louis Laybourne-Smith, James Campbell Irwin and Lord Mayor of Adelaide, in subsequent years. Furthermore, the firm was incorporate as Woods Bagot Architects in 1975.
The firm became popular for its work at the University of Adelaide and later expanded worldwide, with studios in five regions: Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
IBI Group was founded in 1974 by nine partners to provide professional services in planning and design for urban development and transportation.
The firm designs schools, hospitals, high-rise buildings, industrial buildings, transit stations, highways and airports.
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P&T Architect and Engineers Limited was previously known as Palmer and Turner, Hong Kong. However, the firm offers full architectural, structural engineering, project management, and town planning expertise, both in the private and public sectors.
China provides the majority of the firm’s work. Furthermore, they obtain projects from the retail and commercial sectors. International markets also provide a great share of their revenue with projects as far as Nigeria, Uganda, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
DP Architects was architecture firms that founded in 1967 and the firm has a long history in a wide variety of projects. Furthermore, projects include: Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, The Dubai Mall and Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore Sports Hub and Sengkang Hospital.
Each architectural firm has its own benchmark on measuring success. Some benchmarks may include revenue earned, market saturation, building the brand, customer satisfaction, employment levels, team work and the firm’s ranking on the international landscape. The mission statement and vision of each firm guides employers and employees in what direction to navigate the firm’s growth. For many firms, one of the top priorities, is selling and marketing the firm to achieve more revenue.
While marketing is essential, some firms merge with other firms to attain greater accomplishments. The advantages of mergers and acquisitions include more revenue, cost efficiency, tax gains, administrative benefits and a growth in market share. This is illustrate in the case of AECOM which top the list after acquiring URS Corporation, the firm’s former rival, in October of 2014.
It was a $6-billion deal and it is document as the biggest publicly traded company in Los Angeles. AECOM has designed and managed well-known structures, such as World Cup stadiums in Brazil and huge sports arenas. URS also has a strong business in federal contracting with the U.S. However,Army and Energy Department.
On the day of the merger, Michael S. Burke, AECOM Chief Executive Officer expressed, “Today is an exciting and historic day – for our industry, for AECOM and URS, and for our nearly 100,000 people around the world who are serving our clients in over 150 countries.
Beyond the compelling benefits that this transaction creates for our combined clients, stockholders and employees, the combination of AECOM and URS dramatically accelerates our strategy of creating an integrated delivery platform with superior capabilities to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world.”
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Factors to Consider When Starting an Architecture Firm
Planning: The first and foremost thing is planning for your business. A clear plan is essential for the success of an entrepreneur, which will help you to map out the specifics of your firm and discover the unknowns. Planning involves the idea of costs required for opening an architecture firm, the ongoing expenses, identifying the target market, making a profit target, and so on.
Market Research: Success of any business relies upon their production and supply. To provide services that are in demand will help to increase production and thus, the business can prove to be more successful. Profits of the business also depend on the firm’s production and supply.
Forming a Legal Entity: Of all factors which you consider when starting your own architecture firm, one of the most important factors is the type of legal structure you select for your firm. This will not only affect how much you pay in taxes, but the amount of paperwork your firm is required to do and the personal liability you face may also be affected by the legal entity.
Skills Required to Be an Architect
Aside from completing an architecture degree, other essential skills are also needed to be an architect.
Design talent: Architecture majors need to have a good grasp of numerical skills to back up their claims, but anything they build must possess an attractive design. Design skills and knowledge are extremely important to bring a new idea to the table and turn them into reality. A good understanding of design processes will help the architect to make models, drawings, and buildings. Design talent includes conceptualization, drafting, sketching, industrial design, and so on.
Legal knowledge: To design safe and functional buildings, you must be thoroughly familiar with the building codes and zoning laws. Many such regulations can directly affect the architect’s decision, as these laws dictate the constructions that may be allowed in certain locations. Understanding of the legal knowledge along with fire safety measures, codes for zoning, architecture, and building are part of the architect’s knowledge of legalities.
Business aptitude: To develop one’s connection within the industry, business knowledge is an essential skill to have. Knowledge of business is crucial to comprehend the mindsets and requirements of shareholders, in order to make better collaboration and a more integrated work environment.
Communication Skills and Teamwork: Communication skills is one of the key skills to possess to become a successful architect. When handling stakeholders such as – lawyers, financers, clients, contractors, etc., you must have good communication skills in order to have an effective interaction. Moreover, working in teams help to find solutions to problems faster, leading to higher progress in project works.
Critical Thinking: A successful and reliable architect must possess this skill to be able to think on one’s feet. Critical thinking skills include – observation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, problem-solving, decision making, and so on. To increase the probability of a desirable outcome, you should improve your critical thinking ability.
Management skills: The role of an architect involves leadership or management skills, including monitoring, active listening, judgment and decision making, time management, quality control analysis, flexibility, and so on.
A Good Architecture Firm Approach
By following some strategies, a good business development approach can help you to get ahead of the competition. What you need to do is some research into the social environments to meet the people who can lead you to the ideal projects for your firm. A great way to win more clients and projects is to export your design as business cards or books. Before turning your firm into a brand, you should become an expert in a specific area of design. Whichever area you choose, keep in mind that you get the maximum scope for honing your potentials, which will ultimately bring you success. Clients usually go for the specialist, so to brand your firm you need to provide something unique. Brand ambassadors of your company reflect your firm as approachable and fun to work with. They spread the company’s vision and create new business contacts whenever it’s needed.
Select the Right Architecture Firm
With a wide range of options available, it is natural to get confused with your area of specialization. However, matching your passions and interests with the firm’s projects and works are necessary to choose the right architecture firm. Selecting a firm without any prior experiences may create blocks that may result in delaying your project. The reputation and portfolio of the firm also matter for a better understanding of the team working on your upcoming building project. Accessibility and location of the firm are also two important factors to consider before choosing the architecture firm. Lastly, choosing a firm that offers affordability, quality, and timely builds is definitely the best option for your project.
Generating one’s own architecture firm involves both marketing and communications, but most of all it involves networking with the colleagues. Starting an architecture firm requires time, money, and determination to cope up with all the ups and downs of the market and make this entrepreneurial venture successful. However, developing one’s own architecture firm is a rather challenging task, as it requires technical prowess, creativity, and soft skills. Therefore, without any hesitation, you should start with the blueprint of your firm and go ahead.