Monday, June 25, 2012

Crunching the Numbers: Perkins + Will number 3 on Architectural Records's list of top 250 firms

It's that time again.  Architectural Record has released its 2012 edition of the Top 250 Architectural Firms in the U.S.  And, of course, quality doesn't always equate to quantity.  Studio/Gang, John Ronan, Tigerman/McCurry, Krueck and Sexton, and many more award-winning Chicago firms are nowhere to be found.

On the 2008 list, total architectural revenues for the top 250 totaled over $12 billion, 18% of it from overseas projects.  On the 2012 list, total revenues were under $9 billion, with almost a quarter coming from foreign projects.

Perkins+Will, at number 3, remains Chicago's largest architectural firm.  Its 2011  revenues of $365 million was down 10% from 2008, but was good for third place among U.S. firms.  San Francisco based Gensler, which has a large Chicago office, moved to number one by growing it's revenues by nearly 20%, to $764 million.  The former number one AECOM Technology of L.A., saw its revenue in free fall, at $445 million, less than half what it took in in 2008.  VOA, at 42, was the second biggest Chicago firm.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is new on the list this year at position 87, with revenues of $28.5 million, all but $1 million of which comes from foreign projects.  SOM, which has a large Chicago presence, continues to have a roughly 50/50 split between foreign and domestic, while over 70% of Goettsch Partners' (#111) revenue comes from overseas.  In contrast, the billings of Solomon Cordwell Buenz (#83) are entirely domestic.   Also making the list this year:  FGM Architects, Epstein, Wight and Company, Legat, Anderson Mikos, Chipman Design and DLA Architects.

All told, Chicago proper has eight firms on the list, with another five in the suburbs.  Gone from the 2008 list are DeStefano (disbanded), OWP/P (absorbed by Cannon Design) and Teng (derailed by their failed bid to become real estate developers).  Murphy/Jahn, which held down 72nd place in 2008, with over $50 million in reported revenues, has completely dropped off the 2012 list.  Of course, the firm is in good company.  Last year, AR acknowledged that firms such as Gehry Partners never respond to requests for information.  Pelli Clarke Pelli, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Richard Meier and Partners are also among the Bartleby contingent of heavyweights that never appear on the list.

Check out the full Architectural Record list here.

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