See the top 50 architects in a sortable league table
The number of consultants who say they are worried about business prospects for the coming year is at its highest level since 2012, according to research by BD’s sister magazine Building.
Its annual Top 150 consultants survey revealed that for the first time since the London Olympics more firms felt pessimistic (25%) than optimistic (19%) about the next 12 months.
The Brexit impasse, worries about a stalling economy and concerns over the UK’s pipeline of infrastructure work have all combined to knock firms’ confidence.
There was some apparent good news, with the UK turnover of the industry’s biggest firms growing by a healthy 12% and the number of people they employed increasing, albeit more modestly, by 3.5%, to just shy of 75,000.
But the research revealed diminishing confidence that the years of growth can continue.
The chairman of architect Stride Treglown, David Hunter, told Building: “We’re holding our breath to see what happens. When it comes to projects getting to planning and construction stages, they’re just not going at the speed they should. We’re constantly having to push start dates further back.”
RIBA’s monthly Future Trends survey showed architects’ confidence in August remained flat, with a zero score only a slight improvement on the -3 recorded in July.
September’s Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index showed business confidence was at its lowest level since the global financial crisis and construction output falling.
Foster & Partners remains the country’s biggest architect, reporting 383 chartered architects on its payroll, followed by BDP and AHMM.
The top five architects in this year’s table all showed a year-on-year increase in staff numbers.
|Rank||UK architectural staff||Total UK chartered staff||Total UK staff||Offices|
|2019 rank||2018 rank||Firm||Chartered architects||Architectural technologists||Non-chartered / technical||2018||2019||2018||2019||UK||Worldwide|
|1||1||Foster + Partners||383||6||210||395||426||1,064||1,202||1||16|
|3||3||Allford Hall Monaghan Morris||263||0||84||247||263||395||427||2||1|
|4||4||Allies and Morrison||182||0||124||179||187||344||349||4||1|
|6||8=||Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios||111||0||0||160||154||204||203||na||0|
|7||new||Squire & Partners||107||0||59||111||107||153||166||1||0|
|17=||20||Donald Insall Associates||65||0||13||60||65||123||129||8||0|
|21||21||Fletcher Priest Architects||61||0||21||58||61||118||104||1||2|
|29=||new||Atkins Walters & Webster||42||11||13||56||54||92||85||3||0|
|34||38||R H Partnership Architects||31||2||10||33||33||61||51||3||0|
|36||43=||Mott MacDonald Group||28||137||15||3,697||3,647||7,115||7,242||38||135|
|39||44=||Ridge and Partners||26||3||27||231||264||632||660||11||0|
|43||new||Whittam Cox Architects||22||27||58||50||50||125||135||3||0|
|44||new||Gray Baynes and Shew||16||1||0||24||25||26||27||2||0|
|47=||35=||Lewis & Hickey||13||10||0||30||26||60||53||5||1|
|49=||new||Chaplin Farrant Design Group||12||6||11||20||20||41||42||3||0|
Methodology and notes
Close to 300 firms were contacted for this year’s Building Top Consultants Survey. They were sent a survey form asking for details on the number of chartered staff, non-chartered and technical staff, and domestic and worldwide fee incomes. Practices were also asked questions relating to: staff recruitment, wage patterns, margins, areas of work, and work expectations.
All data in the tables are taken directly from firms’ replies.
The survey does not claim to list all the top consultants, as it relies upon firms completing and returning the annual survey form. For a variety of reasons, firms sometimes decide not to take part. Only those firms completing and returning the survey form are included in the survey. Firms having any questions about the survey, or wishing to be included in the 2020 survey, should contact Martin Hewes at Hewes & Associates: www.hewes-associates.com.
NB: “New” is used to mean that the company was not in the 2018 Top 150 consultants table.
NB: A previous version of this table erroneously omitted AHR (ranked 10)
- Arup: Income data for 2019 is unaudited and provisional
- WSP: UK chartered total includes 1,193 other chartered, not identified in any questions
- BDP: Totals include other chartered staff
- Stride Treglown: Other engineers includes town planner, landscape architects and MCIAT staff
- Paragon Building Consultancy: 2018/19 figures take account of 2018 merger
- Levitt Bernstein: Income figures are estimates
- Price & Myers: Fee income for 2018 is estimated
- TowerEight: 2018 income is an estimate
- Robinson Low Francis: 2018 income is subject to audit
- Procom Construction Consultants: Fee income for 2019/20 projected as £5m
- Exigere Project Services: New company for 2019
- Black & White Engineering: Fee income for 2019 are estimates, based on seven months of data
- Iesis Group: Fee income for 2019 is estimated. July year end
For the full report and tables see BD’s sister title, Building