It's official: we're big, but does size matter?
HASSELL is the 31st biggest architecture practice in the world, based on the number of architects we employ, according to an international survey of leading practices. We are ranked the second largest architectural practice in landscape architecture, the seventh in interior design, and the ninth in master planning and transportation by revenue. We are the biggest practice overall in Australasia, in terms of earnings. So we are BIG, according to the WA100 for 2013, a list of the world's largest 100 architecture firms.
But the rankings raise a much debated question: does size matter in architecture and design? Some of the world's most exciting practices - for example BIG, Herzog + De Meuron and Jean Nouvel - aren't listed, perhaps because they did not take part in the survey. There are great architects and designers working for large and small practices, according to HASSELL Managing Director Rob Backhouse.
One thing the list does demonstrate is the increasingly international way in which practices operate. "Design and architecture are increasingly global, whether the projects are big or small," Rob Backhouse said. "We can win a hospital project in Australia or China and ask our studios in the UK to work on it because they have some of the best talent in Europe in the health field. Technology is making this kind of collaboration across our 14 studios easier all the time. But the big change is probably in the mindset of our design teams. They just don't see themselves as limited by geography."
Technology makes it easier for small practices to compete outside their home markets. But size DOES matter, allowing practices to build a strong, international talent pool. But size is not a guarantee of design excellence and buildings and places that meet the needs of clients and end-users.
"HASSELL has not grown its practice just because we wanted to be big", Rob Backhouse said. "We have grown along with our clients and with opportunities. As a result, we can compete for the best projects locally and globally and attract the best designers who want to work on those projects."
For the record, the WA100 ranking of HASSELL at 31 is based on the number of qualified "fee-earning architects" that HASSELL employs, a number that excludes our landscape architects, interior designers, urban designers and planners. The rankings are compiled each year by the United Kingdom based magazine Building Design. The list is based on a survey of architecture firms in October 2012.
HASSELL operates 14 design studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom. In 2012, our work was recognised with the top awards in three categories at the World Architectural Festival.
—Read more articles for January 2013
10 beautiful Australian libraries
Murray Bridge Library in Adelaide, designed by HASSELL, named one of the 10 beautiful Australian libraries by the Guardian
Brazil will get the job done: 2014 World Cup
HASSELL Principal John Pauline discusses designing and building venues for mega-events ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Bloomberg TV
Profile: Rob Backhouse
Rob Backhouse, Managing Director of HASSELL, talks to FX magazine about integrated design teams, creative collision and the practice's lack of a house style
Education futures forum with HASSELL and CH2M Hill
With students expecting a 24/7 experience, and learning freed from physical boundaries, what lies ahead for the design of universities? The Education Futures Forum recently talked it out
Point King Residence on Vogue Living
This Mornington Peninsula house was designed to maximise both entertaining and privacy, and minimise its visual impact on the environment
Felicity Roocke - creating desirable destinations
Senior Associate Felicity Roocke speaks about her design motivations and creating desirable hospitality destinations
Palm Island on World Landscape Architecture
Palm Island in Chongqing, China features on World Landscape Architecture
Fit-out for a king
Stores packed tightly with merchandise are yesterday’s news - even if the prices are low. The driving principle behind modern shop design is generosity, says Scott Walker, Head of Interior Design at HASSELL
Spotlight on Cassandra Chilton
HASSELL Senior Associate Cassandra Chilton was profiled in the AILA Victoria winter newsletter
Open plan offices - the pros and cons
Steve Coster, Head of Knowledge and Sustainability at HASSELL, discusses the pros and cons of open plan offices
The HASSELL master plan uses the form of the China Rose in shaping a harmonious passenger experience, where passengers can flow easily through the terminal's spaces. The idea of the rose also informs the spaces around the airportLongjia International Airport Terminal T2Read more
This cancer care hospital design integrates with the surrounding landscape to promote optimism, empowerment and rehabilitation. The aim was to create a human scale, easily navigable precinct that fosters a sense of community for staff, clients and visitorsHainan Cancer HospitalRead more
The mixed use development in Melbourne designed by HASSELL for the Artemis Hotel Group will twist 62 storeys into the sky, becoming an immediate landmark on the city's skyline97 Franklin StreetRead more