For its 2014 Architect 50 in ARCHITECT magazine, the
American Institute of Architects' panel has judged Cleveland based
Westlake Reed Leskosky number one, ahead of
ZGF Architects and
EYP Architecture and Engineering rounded out the top five.
Only three firms from last year’s top 10 made the top 10 this year.
Westlake replaced San Francisco based
WRNS studio, who topped the list last year but failed to make the top 50 this year, and also took out the top award for Best Architecture Business.
Published annually, the list aims to capture practices that excel not just in terms of financial performance, but also its broader impact on the profession in areas such as sustainability and commitment to assisting the younger generation of designers.
A number of the top firms on the list have long histories, and have evolved over time.
HDR started in 1917 as a water and electricity based engineering outfit and added architectural services, resource management, transportation and community planning over the following two decades.
Westlake, a 110 year old Cleveland based architecture practice, has branched out into areas such as engineering and building modelling services from 1997.
Asked about principles behind his firm’s success, Paul E. Westlake Jr., FAIA, said Westlake’s decision to broaden its outlook was crucial and allowed the firm to offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ to clients.
“Our philosophy was to get away from the patriarchy of architecture and to embrace the idea that all disciplines are important,” Westlake was quoted as saying in ARCHITECT magazine,” he said.
“When we do a performing arts project now, we do the architecture, plumbing, IP data, lighting, acoustics, engineering … we do everything.”
Outside of Westlake, EYP took out top spot for sustainability whilst 25th based NADAA was ranked number one in the design category.