- For the ninth consecutive year Gensler has ranked first among U.S. architectural firms in terms of revenue.
- The list, compiled using self-reported numbers by Engineering News-Record, uses revenue from 2019, so any negative effects from the coronavirus pandemic were not reflected in the listing.
- Gensler’s revenue grew by 12% — $170 million more than 2018 — to $1.5 billion in 2019. The San Francisco-based firm sat atop the list by a large margin. In second place, Chicago-based Perkins and Will earned $670 million in 2019.
While most of the country's top architecture firms had a strong 2019 showing, architecture billings and design contracts have plummeted in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
In March, the Architecture Billings Index dropped to 33.3 and fell further to 29.5 in April, before posting marginal rebounds since. But any score below 50 still indicates a contraction, and while the rate of decline was flat in July with a score of 40, it still marked the fifth straight month of negative billings growth.
So while the 2019 architecture companies' revenue numbers reported here provide a measure of relative scorekeeping for last year, they don't give insight into how these firms will fair during the balance of 2020.
Notable major projects designed by Gensler over the years include Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China; New York headquarters for online e-commerce site Etsy; Microsoft's headquarters in Dublin, Ireland; and a temporary pavilion for the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (shown above).
Other notable firms in the top 10 include Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering group, which ranked fourth with around $510 million in architectural revenue and Los Angeles-based design-build firm AECOM, which nabbed fifth place with $439.30 million in architectural revenue.
For the most part, the top architecture firms held their positions from the previous year. Two firms from outside the top 25 made the short list of highest earning firms in 2020, and both are based in Houston. First, PGAL leapfrogged from 41st all the way to 19th in 2020, on $201.91 million in 2019 revenue. PBK, the other Houston-based firm, ranked 30th in 2019, but $128.7 million was enough for it to grab the 24th spot in 2020.
Here is a breakdown of the top 25 U.S. architecture firms by 2019 revenue.
|Firm||City||Total Architectural Revenue (in millions)||2020 Rank||2019 Rank|
|Perkins and Will||Chicago||$670.32||2||2|
|Skidmore, Owings & Merrill||New York||$279.40||9||10|
|Perkins Eastman||New York||$274.71||10||11|
|Populous||Kansas City, Missouri||$225.10||13||14|
|CallisonRTKL||Highlands Ranch, Colorado||$225.00||14||12|
|Kohn Pederson Fox Associates||New York||$218.40||16||20|
|ZGF Architects||Portland, Oregon||$201.14||20||19|
|Leo A Daly||Omaha||$169.49||22||16|