The ranking of the top architecture and design firms - ISPLORA

The ranking of the top architecture and design firms


The “Report 2017 on the Italian Construction, Architecture and Engineering Industry” identified the top 150 architecture firms ranked by revenue

In the latest issues of our magazine we talked about the awards for Italian (see article) and international architects (see article) which dotted the end of 2018. Another interesting ranking is the one released by the research and promotion company Guamari, based in Milan, which ranked architecture firms based in Italy by their revenue.

The first spot went to One Works, with a turnover slightly over 21.5 million Euros (against 20.8 the previous year, + 3.5%), followed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop with 16.3 millions (against 12.5 in 2017, + 31.1%) and Lombardini 22, with nearly 12.3 million Euros (+ 7,4% compared to 11.4 in 2016).

One Works is first overall also in terms of revenue abroad, branding itself as a multidisciplinary firm, where an architectural soul and a more engineering one coexist

Coming in fourth was the firm Progetto Cmr with a revenue of 9.5 million Euros, a very positive figure (+ 87.6% compared to 2016) which allowed it to gain 10 positions in one year. Significant growths were also those shown by Archea Associati, seventh in Italy with a revenue increased by 72.6% compared to 2016, of Global Planning (29th), with its +107.2%, and Park Associati (30th), with its  +103.6% compared to the previous year.

In a ranking with names which are more or less known to the general public, the diversification of competences emerges clearly

The list of companies continues, including names which are more or less known to the general public,  notably those of Mario Cucinella Architects, in 15th position, also on the rise (+31.3%), Stefano Boeri passed instead from 77th to 33rd place with a turnover of about 2.7 million Euros, Carlo Ratti leaped from 51st to 37th position with nearly 2.6 million Euros, while Fuksas Architecture dropped to the 48th place (-2.6%).

Some general observations and some more specific in-depth analysis are now useful. As to the overall turnaround of the first 150 companies identified by the report, it increased by 12.1% reaching 313 million Euros. An increase which was accompanied by the rise of earnings deriving from the foreign market, which in 2017 represented a third of the revenue, a figure which increases to 57% if we only consider the first ten firms. Positive data also come from the Ebitda (earning before interest and taxes), the net profit (slight increase by 2.6%) and the net worth (+1.8%). A general increase in the turnover and profits of architecture firms in Italy which represent a growth sector, but are also lagging behind the great global architecture firms such as the American Gensler, which alone has a revenue of 1.2 billion dollars and over 6,000 employees, or compared to the Chicago-based firm Perkins and Will which moves over half a billion dollars by means of projects all over the world.

Returning to the financial standing of firms in Italy, we can notice that compared to 2016 many international firms are no longer listed in the report released by Guamari, with the exception of David Chipperfield Architects (18th), as both Libeskind and Foster, as well as Hadid and Jean Nouvel no longer operate in Italy or have now completed the great projects which they had started on the Italian territory. Other firms instead must be viewed through different lenses, an example is Citterio-Viel, which would come in third with 12.6 million Euros, immediately behind Renzo Piano, if we considered the revenues of the component which deals with interiors along with the one operating in the sector of architectural design.

Piano’s firm is first in terms of net profit, which is over 2 million Euros

One Works, founded by Leonardo Cavalli and Giulio De Carli, defines itself as a “global design and consultancy firm, offering an integrated approach to architecture, infrastructure and urban engineering”, a common situation in many other important Italian realities. There are then working situations specifically dedicated to design, such as the Studio Urquiola or Lissoni. Moving further in the various “specializations” there are firms which work in the field of brand design such as Design Group Italia and Hangar Design Group, or in yacht design such as Zuccon International Project or still in landscape design, where Land Italia and Ag&P Greenscape emerge.

A mixed picture, where the opening towards different competences of large firms, midway between architecture and engineering, is counterbalanced by firms with a vocation linked to specific components of the design process.  

Last update December 20 2018
Top 150 architecture firms ranked by revenue


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