Top Architecture Firms in the Bay Area

By Ahavah Revis

This week we’ve ranked the top 50 Bay Area architecture firms by 2013 gross revenue for architectural services. At the top, the number one firm is Gensler. They were followed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, which was No. 2 and moved up from No. 4 last year. HOK was third, followed by SmithGroup JJR at No. 4 and MBH Architects Inc. at No. 5. There were 12 new firms on this year’s list: Solomon Cordwell Buenz (No. 13), Hibser Yamauchi Architects Inc. (No. 15), Handel Architects (No. 27), TEF (No. 34), Lionakis (No. 35), Butler Armsden Architects (No. 36), MSA Planning + Design Consultants Inc. (No. 42), Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (No. 43), Harley Ellis Devereaux (No. 44), Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning Inc. (No. 47), Steinberg (No. 48) and FME Architecture + Design (No. 50).
Some of the firms on this year's list were also honored at the American Institute of Architects annual gala in May.
When surveyed, architects were asked to list the three most in-demand features. From natural light to bike parking, the list of specifications requested from architects is long — and rather green. Here what's on clients' wish lists:

  1. Green roofs and walls

  2. Speech privacy and sound masking

  3. LED lighting

  4. Community gardens

  5. Bike parking, lockers and showers

  6. Sustainable and recycled building materials

  7. User-controlled and high-performance building systems

  8. Natural light, high ceilings

  9. Accessible, usable outdoor space

  10. Elevators with destination control

  11. Rooftop view terraces

  12. Electric car charging stations

  13. More shared amenities (such as fitness centers and conference spaces)

  14. Certification (GreenPoint or LEED)

  15. Accessibility upgrades

  16. Rainscreen facades

  17. Photovoltaic panels

  18. Sun shading

  19. Site drainage/water reclaiming

  20. Drought-tolerant plants

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