The top 20 architectural firms in the world, taking into account these and other characteristics, are briefly introduced in the list below. Some are enormous; others are quite tiny.

Consider Foster and Partners. On the other hand, there are businesses that have significantly influenced our cities without ever becoming well-known to the general public. But they have all had a significant impact on construction in the twenty-first century.

The companies are listed in alphabetical order because this is a list rather than a ranking of them. And there is obviously a lot of room for disagreement over the inclusions and omissions!

Aecom (USA)

For six years running, Aecom has been recognized as one of Fortune magazine’s most admired businesses. It is a sizable company that provides a wide range of services, including risk management, engineering, archaeology, and architecture, in addition to design and design. It brought in a cool $20.2 billion in revenue for the 2019 fiscal year.

Despite the fact that Aecom was founded in 1990, several of its predecessor companies have a history dating back a century or more. International airports (JFK, LAX, Sydney, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, and others), Singapore’s Marina Bay, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio are a few of its famous projects.

The corporation has offices in London, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brisbane, and Gurugram, but its 87,000 employees are dispersed across the globe (northern India).

Aedas (Hong Kong)

Three businesses from Hong Kong, Australia, and the UK united to become Aedas in 2002. It now has 12 offices with 1,400 employees (eight in Asia, two in the Middle East, one in Europe, and one in the United States).

Because the company holds the view that “a diverse world is a more interesting world,” its directors represent a vast variety of cultural backgrounds. It also works in interior and urban design in addition to offering architectural services.

At the 2020 International Design Awards, Aedas received nine awards, including one for the Zhengzhou Cultural District in China and the Mongolia National History Museum. Additionally, although still a young business, it has already finished over 100 projects.


BDP is the second-largest architectural practice in the UK, with 950 employees. It has eight other national offices in addition to international studios in Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, China, India, Singapore, and Canada. Its home office is in Manchester.

Prof. Sir George Grenfell Baines, who founded BDP in 1961, is remembered with an annual award for creating an “inspiring place for individuals.” Despite the fact that some of the firm’s designs, including Preston Bus Station, have caused public controversy, Grenfell Baines believed in humanizing architecture.

In 2016, the business partnered with Japanese engineer Nippon Koei, providing it with global exposure. Melbourne City Waterfront and the Liverpool One development, both of which were nominated for the Stirling Prize, are recent projects. The Palace of Westminster’s high-profile refurbishment has also been given to BDP. It announced a £106.8 million turnover in 2019, which was a record.

DLR Group (USA)

Sustainable design is a priority for DLR Group; in support of this, it signed the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment and was an early adopter of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. The solar canopy at Miami’s American Airlines Arena is one of its projects that demonstrates its dedication to sustainability. It provides services for interior design, energy, preservation, landscape architecture, and many more fields.

The much-loved, modernist Portland Building was recently rebuilt by DLR Group, which also recently won multiple honors for their sustainable Canyon View High School in Arizona.

The company has 25 other American offices in addition to outposts in Shanghai and Dubai, with its headquarters located in Omaha, Nebraska. It has been in operation since 1966, with 1,200 employees and a stated annual revenue of $262 million in 2018.

DP Architects (Singapore)

Since its founding in 1967, DP Architects has grown to include 16 offices throughout Asia. However, it was also in charge of the Dubai Mall and other foreign projects. Its influence can be seen all across its native Singapore, including in the master planning of the Orchard Road retail sector and the now-iconic Golden Mile Complex.

Over 1,100 people work for the company. It is a multidisciplinary design firm that belongs to the bigger DP Group. The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore has honored the company’s commitment to sustainable design with 25 awards for green projects.

Foster and Partners (UK), 2006

Due to the company’s principal “starchitect,” Norman Foster, who established it in 1967, Foster and Partners has become a household name. It currently employs 1,600 people and has won multiple RIBA honors, the Aga Khan Award, the Stirling Prize, and other prizes.

The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe), the new Wembley Stadium, the Millennium Bridge, City Hall, and the glass roof above the Great Court of the British Museum are among examples of the firm’s contributions to the development of modern London. However, it has also contributed to worldwide projects like the German Reichstag renovation and the HSBC Building in Hong Kong.

In 2019, Foster and Partners’ revenue reached £258 million. Given that 13 of its 14 offices are located abroad, it may not be unexpected that 90% of this was produced outside of the United Kingdom (on every continent except Africa).

Gensler (USA)

Gensler is a sizable and well-known company that operates in 48 cities across the globe and has over 6,000 employees. In 2018, it had a $1.2 billion revenue.

Despite the fact that two of its most illustrious structures, the Shanghai Tower and Incheon National Airport in South Korea, are not American, the company has been functioning from its San Francisco headquarters since 1965.

Gensler specializes in urban environments, stating that “airports, hotels, schools, workplaces, health and wellness centres, sports arenas, entertainment hotspots, and everything in between” are among its areas of expertise. Gensler believes that “cities are the sum of their parts.” Numerous civic engagement initiatives aimed at reducing homelessness, enhancing wellness, and developing the next generation of architects are part of it.


Since 1917, HDR has been around, and it currently employs over 10,000 people worldwide. It has more than 225 offices in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, with its headquarters in Omaha. Employee-owned HDR generates $2.2 billion in revenue annually.

In 1994, it became the first architectural and engineering firm to sign on with the US Green Building Council. This dedication has been maintained, and the company has received the Grand Conceptor Award for engineering as well as accolades for sustainability.

The numerous and diverse initiatives undertaken by HDR frequently center on environmental intervention. These include the University of Sydney’s Life, Earth, and Environmental Sciences Building and the Hoover Dam Bypass on the Arizona-Nevada border.

Architects and planners Heerim (South Korea)

The top architectural firm in South Korea, Heerim, was established in 1970 and currently has 1,200 employees. The business provides a wide range of services, including construction management and lighting.

It has 13 more offices, including ones in Irbil (Iraq), Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan), and Baku, in addition to its headquarters in Seoul (Azerbaijan). Awards have been given to the Olympic Stadium and Kempinski Hotel Crescent in the latter city. Heerim is now serving as the primary football stadium’s design consultant for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.


HKS emphasizes the value of research in its work and has a dedicated “lab” inside its Dallas headquarters. Since its founding in 1939, the company has worked on a number of well-known projects, including 311 South Wacker Drive in Chicago, the Atlantic Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas, and other stadiums throughout the US. It has worked on projects worth a combined total of close to $70 billion over its history.

Mostly based in the United States, the company also has operations in Mexico City, London, Dubai, Toyko, Shanghai, Singapore, and New Delhi. It employs 1,400 employees across 24 offices worldwide. HKS provides services in interior design, structural engineering, “branded experiences,” and many other fields in addition to architecture.

The top architectural firms worldwide, according to HOK

Since its founding in St. Louis in 1955, HOK (formerly known as Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum) has expanded to 24 locations, with its most senior professionals dispersed among them. Around 1,700 people work for the company overall.

HOK is renowned for its environmentally friendly designs and for adopting CAD and BIM early on (it introduced a piece of drafting software called HOK Draw as early as 1983). Additionally, it offers mentoring programs for aspiring architects.

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, the Apple Research and Development Campus in Cupertino, the Hamad International Airport in Doha, and the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, the tallest structure in Vietnam, are among the company’s notable projects.

IBI Group(Canada)

This Toronto-based company has been in business since 1974 and is frequently named among the top architectural firms in the world. With 60 foreign locations, it employs 2,600 people, mostly in North America but also in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

IBI Group is focused on “bridging the gap between design and technology” through the intelligent integration of urban systems. It has mostly worked on residential and commercial properties as well as buildings related to placemaking, transportation, education, and healthcare.

Chinatown Park in Boston, Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University and Royal Hospital for Children, and the Saudi Arabia Integrated Transportation Urban Plan are a few examples of IBI’s work.

Nihon Sekkei (Japan)

In 1967, Sapporo and Nagoya launched Nihon Sekkei (not to be confused with Nikken Sekkai, below!). It currently has other offices in Shanghai and Hanoi, employs almost 1,000 people overall, and generates an estimated $180 million in revenue annually.

The company supports “co-creating future values [with clients and the public]” that can be included in the built environment. This ideology is referred to as “Think ++” in it.

Nihon Sekkai’s influence may be observed throughout metropolitan Japan, especially in its skyscrapers. Itoman City Hall in Okinawa and Mitsui Memorial Hospital in Tokyo, as well as international projects like Shanghai Pudong Library, are among the company’s most well-known structures.

Nikken Sekkei (Japan)

With 25,000 projects completed since its founding in 1900, Nikken Sekkei (not to be confused with Nihon Sekkei, above) is the top architectural firm in Japan and the second largest in the world. From Tokyo, it has spread to 16 cities around the world, including Moscow, Riyadh, and most recently, Bangkok.

It employs 2,685 people and provides a wide range of services, including sustainability, consultancy, urban planning, and architectural design.

It has contributed to some of Japan’s most prominent buildings, including the Tokyo Skytree, the Grand Front in Osaka, and Queen’s Square in Yokohama. Nikken Sekkei was in charge of building the Guangzhou Library, the Cairo Opera House, and other structures abroad.

Perkins & Will (USA)

Since 1935, Chicago-based Perkins & Will has been building “places that honour mankind.” It has 2,600 employees and has been a division of Dar Al-Handasah since the 1980s. It operates 25 offices in seven nations.

The organization runs a renowned Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement program and has the most LEED (Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified employees in the US. The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, and Houston’s Historic Emancipation Park were all created by Perkins & Will architects.

Perkins Eastman (USA).

With its headquarters in New York, Perkins Eastman employs 1,000 employees spread throughout 17 offices. A variety of approaches, disciplines, and views come together under its “concept of convergence” to produce useful and comprehensive answers. The company was started in 1981, and its founders, Bradford Perkins and Mary-Jean Eastman, are still in charge.

In 2018 and again in 2019, it was nominated for or won 17 significant architectural awards. The mixed-use District Wharf in Washington, the School of Nursing and Science at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and repair work on the Tenement Museum in New York are just a few of the projects that received recognition.

The company has eight offices in the United States and additional locations in Canada, Ecuador, the United Arab Emirates, China, and India.

P&T Group(Hong Kong)

P&T Group (previously Palmer and Turner Hong Kong), the oldest company on the list, has worked on more than 5,000 projects since it was founded in 1868. P&T now has 1,600 employees working in 14 offices.

With undertakings like the Pedder Building, Exchange Square, and Science Museum in Hong Kong; MacDonald House in Singapore; and the HSBC Building and Customs House in Shanghai, it has made its mark on the East and Southeast Asian areas. The firm won 17 honors in 2019 for its structures in Thailand and Hong Kong.

It is also well-known for its P&T Travel Scholarship, which is given each year to a number of Hong Kong-based architectural students, enabling them to continue their education abroad.

Stantec (Canada)

Stantec, one of the biggest architectural firms in the world with 22,000 workers, generates $4 billion in revenue annually. With 410 offices in North America and beyond, it has its main office in Edmonton, Alberta.

The founding principle of Stantec is to “create with community in mind.” The business maintains internal inclusion and diversity councils and is pursuing certification in progressive Aboriginal relations.

Geomatics, water engineering, and oil and gas EPCM are just a few of the many services that Stantec provides. Distrito Sante Fe in Mexico City, Gull Bay First Nations Diesel Offset Microgrid in Ontario, and the Yale Science Building in New Jersey are a few of its more recent endeavors.

Sweco (Sweden)

With its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweco is the top architectural and engineering firm on the continent. It operates 13 offices throughout the world and completes 70 projects annually on average. It employs 22,000 people and brings in €1.9 billion in sales annually.

The business is focused on resilient design and building that considers the three modern themes of urbanization, digitalization, and climate change. Since its establishment in 1997, some of its most notable completed projects have included the Kuwait Towers, the Bloomberg European Headquarters in London, and the Oresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark.

Woods Bagot (Australia)

The second-oldest company on the list is Woods Bagot, which has been operating out of Adelaide since 1869. Throughout its lengthy history, it has worked in a number of styles, but its more recent work is influenced by the natural world and the cultural context of the buildings. It calls itself a “People Architecture” business.

850 people are currently employed by Woods Bagot across 16 foreign studios. Urban Systems, Super Space, and Brand Studio are three divisions under which it provides services. Notable projects of the company include the Qatar Science and Technology Park, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and the National War Memorial in Adelaide.

If you are interested in more articles like this, here’s one about how to get hired at an architecture firm.