Up To The Challenge: 2009 Top 100 Giants

This is going to require a little perspective. Interior Design 's current top 100 Giants earned $2,697,678,869 in 2008, an increase of 13 percent over the previous crew and 9 percent more than their own forecasts. Sounds good, no? But if the pundits who claim the current recession was already under way a year ago are correct, 13 percent is not just good but rather extraordinary.


This year's Giants were responsible for 750,308,533 square feet, up 19 percent, and $58,375,277,937 in furnishings, fixtures, and construction, up 7 percent. New construction accounted for 62 percent of jobs, renovations 38 percent—pretty much the same as the year before. Project types that paid the best per unit of time or effort were health care, office, and hospitality, followed at a distance by retail. Government and educational paid the least.


As of our survey last October, the Giants predicted a 6 percent decline in interior design income for the coming year. But, again, a little perspective. A 10 percent decline is projected in overall income, which includes earnings from building and landscape architecture, engineering, facilities management, industrial design, consulting, planning, preservation, lighting, feasibility studies, branding, graphics, and set design. On average, interiors account for 58 percent of Giant income, with only 16 firms devoted exclusively to the practice. Declines of 7 percent are also projected in square footage as well as furniture, fixtures, and construction.

Peter Marino Architect Ermenegildo Zegna New York


The largest portion of Giant income still comes from the office sector, but its share has dropped 11 percent since 2005. Over the same period, hospitality grew from 9 to just shy of 20 percent of income.


Almost 30 percent of Giant fees derived from environmentally responsible design, with 19 firms earning 50 percent or more from the category. Still, 22—including five of the top 10—did not report any green income at all. Government, educational, and office clients were the most enthusiastic about sustainability, with health care and hospitality only mildly engaged, and cultural and retail projects barely on the map. Sustainable products accounted for 44 percent of those specified, and 14 firms claim that at least 75 percent of their choices was green. All in all, the 97 firms specifying environmentally responsible products spent a tidy $6,988,806,383, roughly 12 percent of all spending on furniture, fixtures, and construction.

Nokia Latin America Miami Leo A Daly


The median annual fee earned per employee was $221,619, up 6 percent from the previous year and 32 percent over 2003, when we started calculating this figure. Recruiting high-caliber staff members was the second-highest concern for the Giants, after the economy. To hang onto them, competitive salaries and benefits topped the list, followed by diverse projects and collaborative work environments.


The Giants hired 740 interior design employees during 2008, increasing staffs by an average of 7 percent. Sustainability credentials and computer expertise were named most often as skills required now versus five years ago. A dozen firms relied more on independent contractors than previously; 49 used the same number; 33 used fewer.


It remains to be seen, of course, how these numbers will play out in the future. In the meantime, Interior Design is confident that our industry's innovation will play a significant role in creating the exact sort of alternatives needed to stem the tide and reflect changes in business practice. We'll keep our ear to the ground, reporting the latest news as early and often as possible.


See the top 100 Giants from 2008


See all the Giants rankings


Images from top: Gresham, Smith and Partners designed Nissan Americas in Franklin, Tenneessee. Photo by Brian Robbins; Peter Marino Architect's Ermenegildo Zegna boutique is in New York. Photo by Paul Warchol; Nokia Latin America, Miami, is by Leo A Daly. Photo by Simon Hare.



Rank 2009 Firm (Headquarters|Web Site) Design Fees (millions) Value (millions) Sq. Ft. (millions) Design Staff Rank 2008
1 Gensler (San Francisco | gensler.com ) $285.000 $5,700.00 70.50 1,140 1
2 HOK (St. Louis | hok.com ) $114.000 $3,721.11 47.71 395 2
3 HDR (Omaha | hdrinc.com ) $92.400 $2,800.00 21.00 390 7
4 Callison (Seattle | callison.com ) $89.000 $2,000.00 20.00 145 3
5 Perkins + Will (Chicago | perkinswill.com ) $85.886 $2,158.00 32.43 305 4
6 Jacobs (Pasadena, California | jacobs.com ) $74.565 $1,350.00 15.00 300 6
7 Nelson (Philadelphia | nelsononline.com ) $70.000 $1,600.00 18.20 378 5
8 HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates (Los Angeles | hbadesign.com ) $68.800 $4,059.20 38.66 440 8
9 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (New York | som.com ) $61.537 NR 5.48 113 12
10 Wilson Associates (Dallas | wilsonassoc.com ) $53.600 $1,000.00 NR 349 11
11 Leo A Daly (Omaha | leoadaly.com ) $53.480 $1,500.00 13.40 211 10
12 Burt Hill (Washington, D.C. | burthill.com ) $52.800 NR NR 301 19
13 IA Interior Architects (San Francisco | interiorarchitects.com ) $51.810 $950.00 23.00 272 9
14 RMJM Hillier (New York | rmjmhillier.com ) $50.000 $1,600.00 10.50 350 30
15 Perkins Eastman (New York | perkinseastman.com ) $49.980 $854.00 5.17 185 16
16 PageSoutherlandPage (Houston | pspaec.com ) $48.312 $597.58 9.20 180 13
17 Cannon Design (New York | cannondesign.com ) $47.950 NR 6.00 167 15
18 SmithGroup (Detroit | smithgroup.com ) $43.659 $540.00 5.50 197 14
19 M Moser Associates (Hong Kong | mmoser.com ) $40.609 $205.96 4.25 370 -
20 Pavlik Design Team (Fort Lauderdale, Florida | pavlikdesign.com ) $39.341 NR 43.97 123 17
21 KlingStubbins (Philadelphia | klingstubbins.com ) $35.000 $700.00 9.95 140 20
22 NBBJ (Seattle | nbbj.com ) $34.980 $1,000.00 22.00 208 18
23 Flad Architects (Madison, Wisconsin | flad.com ) $32.850 $1,105.00 8.50 86 26
24 TPG Architecture (New York | tpgarchitecture.com ) $31.943 $1,085.00 9.50 183 22
25 Rockwell Group (New York | rockwellgroup.com ) $29.900 $124.50 1.36 37 24
26 HLW International (New York | hlw.com ) $29.400 $700.00 NR 82 41
27 Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (Portland, Oregon | zgf.com ) $29.000 $600.00 3.00 94 33
28 Anshen + Allen (San Francisco | anshen.com ) $28.000 $656.55 1.93 100 28
29 Cubellis (Boston | cubellis.com ) $27.400 $639.00 9.13 79 23
30 AECOM (Los Angeles | aecom.com ) $26.111 $479.86 4.41 63 21
31 Little (Charlotte, North Carolina | littleonline.com ) $25.800 $365.00 19.00 55 43
32 FRCH Design Worldwide (Cincinnati | frch.com ) $25.200 $500.00 NR 155 27
33 Studios Architecture (Washington, D.C. | studiosarchitecture.com ) $25.025 $1,155.00 4.20 131 39
34 RTKL Associates (Baltimore | rtkl.com ) $25.000 $350.00 10.00 133 34
35 HKS (Dallas | hksinc.com ) $25.000 NR NR 258 35
36 EwingCole (Philadelphia | ewingcole.com ) $24.800 $500.00 3.00 150 37
37 HGA Architects and Engineers (Minneapolis | hga.com ) $24.250 NR NR 34 -
38 Mancini Duffy (New York | manciniduffy.com ) $23.000 $575.00 10.30 123 25
39 Ted Moudis Associates (New York | tedmoudis.com ) $22.000 $200.00 5.00 100 36
40 VOA Associates (Chicago | voa.com ) $20.479 $341.31 6.83 92 38
41 BBG-BBGM (New York | bbg-bbgm.com ) $20.000 NR NR 42 51
42 Daroff Design + DDI Architects (Philadelphia | daroffdesign.com ) $19.500 $175.00 3.00 35 40
43 Peter Marino Architect (New York | petermarinoarchitect.com ) $18.700 $300.00 0.45 102 47
44 Harley Ellis Devereaux (Southfield, Michigan | harleyellisdevereaux.com ) $18.000 $304.00 4.10 115 31
45 Bilkey Llinas Design (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida | bilkeyllinas.com ) $17.200 NR NR 117 74
46 ASD (Atlanta | asdnet.com ) $17.000 NR NR 90 49
47 Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart (Atlanta | srssa.com ) $16.190 NR NR 40 32
48 Vocon (Cleveland | vocon.com ) $15.300 $260.00 3.70 62 56
49 Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott (Boston | sbra.com ) $14.949 $166.10 0.47 14 72
50 DBI Architects (Washington, D.C. | dbia.com ) $14.500 $210.00 3.00 64 50
51 Marc-Michaels Interior Design (Winter Park, Florida | marc-michaels.com ) $14.100 $225.00 NR 50 48
52 RMW Architecture & Interiors (San Francisco | rmw.com ) $14.003 $398.00 2.95 65 65
53 Roger Ferris + Partners (Westport, Connecticut | ferrisarch.com ) $14.000 $300.00 1.20 38 61
54 TVSdesign (Atlanta | tvs-design.com ) $13.500 NR NR 72 58
55 OWP/P (Chicago | owpp.com ) $13.325 NR 4.80 33 -
56 LS3P Associates (Charleston, South Carolina | ls3p.com ) $13.200 $674.00 12.70 63 57
57 Granary Associates (Philadelphia | granaryassoc.com ) $13.000 NR NR 47 113
58 CBT (Boston | cbtarchitects.com ) $12.700 $415.00 4.00 60 60
59 Karlsberger (Columbus, Ohio | karlsberger.com ) $12.540 $1,104.40 3.63 22 59
60 Switzer Group (New York | theswitzergroup.com ) $12.200 $220.00 3.50 44 69
61 DiLeonardo International (Warwick, Rhode Island | dileonardo.com ) $12.200 NR NR 80 53
62 Cooper Carry (Atlanta | coopercarry.com ) $12.140 $200.00 2.10 35 76
63 Ware Malcomb (Irvine, California | waremalcomb.com ) $12.063 $360.00 6.03 34 45
64 Gresham, Smith and Partners (Nashville | gspnet.com ) $11.760 $137.98 6.20 73 64
65 Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (New York | shca.com ) $11.400 NR 3.20 83 44
66 Lawrence Group (St. Louis | thelawrencegroup.com ) $10.834 $298.00 3.56 93 52
67 Robert A.M. Stern Architects (New York | ramsa.com ) $10.737 $140.00 2.42 19 141
68 Huntsman Architectural Group (San Francisco | huntsmanag.com ) $10.500 $450.00 0.75 74 70
69 Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (Irvine, California | watg.com ) $10.404 NR 14.24 50 116
70 BAMO (San Francisco | bamo.com ) $10.100 NR NR 57 62
71 Stonehill & Taylor Architects and Planners (New York | stonehilltaylor.com ) $10.024 $200.00 3.00 43 84
72 Gettys (Chicago | gettys.com ) $10.004 NR NR 69 66
73 Staffelbach Design Associates (Dallas | staffelbach.com ) $9.900 $220.00 1.70 60 80
74 Creative Design Consultants (Costa Mesa, california | cdcdesigns.com ) $9.872 NR NR 45 29
75 BraytonHughes Design Studios (San Francisco | bhdstudios.com ) $9.631 NR NR 44 86
76 Arcturis (St. Louis | arcturis.com ) $9.559 $231.33 1.92 68 118
77 Group Goetz Architects (Washington, D.C. | gga.com ) $9.500 $165.00 1.50 55 100
78 JRS Architect (Mineola, New York | jrsarchitect.com ) $9.500 $85.00 0.45 45 77
79 Slifer Designs (Edwards, Colorado | sliferdesigns.com ) $9.450 $26.45 NR 32 73
80 TRO Jung/Brannen (Boston | trojungbrannen.com ) $9.256 $257.10 1.03 39 63
81 Design Duncan Miller Ullmann (Dallas | designdmu.com ) $9.100 $500.00 3.00 40 82
82 LPA (Irvine, California | lpainc.com ) $9.030 $211.34 3.84 30 -
83 Baskervill (Richmond, Virginia | baskervill.com ) $9.009 $122.05 3.78 20 90
84 ForrestPerkins (Dallas | forrestperkins.com ) $8.925 $200.00 NR 79 68
85 TSC Design Associates (New York | tscdesign.com ) $8.800 $105.00 3.10 52 79
86 Tsoi/Kobus & Associates (Cambridge, Massachusetts | tka-architects.com ) $8.648 $220.40 0.69 18 101
87 Chambers (Baltimore | chambersusa.com ) $8.625 $94.00 2.33 16 89
88 WWCOT (Los Angeles | wwcot.com ) $8.614 $221.00 3.50 20 91
89 Ballinger (Philadelphia | ballinger-ae.com ) $8.600 $29.63 0.69 18 55
90 Francis Cauffman (Philadelphia | franciscauffman.com ) $8.500 $205.00 5.50 52 75
91 Tricarico Architecture and Design (Wayne, New Jersey | tricarico.com ) $8.346 $190.00 1.98 64 54
92 McCall Design Group (San Francisco | mccalldesign.com ) $8.075 $115.00 2.10 39 105
93 JPC Architects (Bellevue, Washington | jpcarchitects.com ) $8.000 $150.00 2.00 44 81
94 Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (New York | gwathmey-siegel.com ) $8.000 $125.00 0.40 47 71
95 Ziegler Cooper Architects (Houston | zieglercooper.com ) $8.000 NR 3.00 40 103
96 Kasian (Vancouver, British Columbia | kasian.com ) $7.972 $45.00 8.00 60 88
97 Bergmeyer (Boston | bergmeyer.com ) $7.900 $95.00 0.70 57 97
98 Wolcott Architecture/Interiors (Los Angeles | wolcottai.com ) $7.800 $100.00 NR 44 106
99 Margulies Perruzzi Architects (Boston | mp-architects.com ) $7.650 $50.00 1.20 34 92
100 Anderson Mikos Architects (Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois | andersonmikos.com ) $7.478 $62.44 6.83 16 115

% of Fees by Project Type (2008 Actual Fees)

Office $854,390,765
Hospitality $530,980,806
Health Care/Assisted Living $385,990,518
Retail $269,235,649
Government $154,864,807
Educational $174,383,433
Residential $108,919,542
Cultural $41,463,647
Transportation $33,392,674
Other $144,057,027
Total $2,697,678,869

% of Fees by Project Type (2009 Forecasted Fees)

Office $808,606,024
Hospitality $510,774,906
Health Care/Assisted Living $362,257,831
Retail $271,524,638
Government $169,960,679
Educational $142,538,901
Residential $96,653,421
Cultural $29,811,519
Transportation $24,914,719
Other $119,807,586
Total $2,536,850,223

10 Fastest-Growing

Firm 2008 Fees 2007 Fees % Change Rank
Robert A.M. Stern Architects $10,736,946 $4,550,000 136.0 67
RMJM Hillier $50,000,000 $23,450,000 113.2 14
Granary Associates $13,000,000 $6,630,000 96.1 57
Bilkey Llinas Design $17,200,000 $9,100,000 89.0 45
Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott $14,949,000 $9,158,000 63.2 49
Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo $10,404,000 $6,416,000 62.2 69
HLW International $29,400,000 $18,240,000 61.2 26
Burt Hill $52,800,000 $33,082,000 59.6 12
Little $25,800,000 $16,500,000 56.4 31
Arcturis $9,558,900 $6,319,400 51.3 76

Median Hourly Rate

Principal/Partner $203
Project Manager $150
Designer $115
Other Design Staff $85

Median Annual Salary

Principal/Partner $147,500
Project Manager $95,000
Designer $69,000
Other Design Staff $50,000

Firms with the Most Foreign Projects

Firm Percentage
M Moser Associates 95%
Wilson Associates 90%
HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates 88%
DiLeonardo International 75%
Design Duncan Miller Ullmann 75%
RMJM Hillier 60%
HOK 57%
Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo 55%
Swanke Hayden Connell Architects 50%
BBG-BBGM 45%

New to the Top 100 Giants

Firm Rank
M Moser Associates 19
HGA Architects and Engineers 37
OWP/P 55
Granary Associates 57
Robert A.M. Stern Architects 67
Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo 69
Arcturis 76
LPA 82
Tsoi/Kobus & Associates 86
McCall Design Group 92
Ziegler Cooper Architects 95
Wolcott Architecture/Interiors 98
Anderson Mikos Architects 100

The Most Admired Firms (Voted by the 2009 Top 100 Giants)

  1. Gensler

  2. Studios Architecture

  3. HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates

  4. HOK

Top 10 in Hospitality (corrected)

Firm Design Fees
HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates $68,800,000
Wilson Associates $53,064,000
Gensler $34,200,000
Rockwell Group $25,415,000
HOK $23,940,000
Bilkey Llinas Design $17,200,000
Leo A Daly $17,113,600
Daroff Design + DDI Architects $16,770,000
BBG-BBGM $16,000,000
DiLeonardo International $12,200,000

Top 10 in Office (corrected)

Firm Design Fees
Gensler $133,950,000
Nelson $67,200,000
HOK $60,420,000
IA Interior Architects $50,773,800
M Moser Associates $40,609,000
Perkins + Will $34,354,400
KlingStubbins $29,400,000
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill $21,538,033
TPG Architecture $21,433,878
HLW International $20,580,000

Top 10 in Health Care/Assisted Living

Firm Design Fees
HDR $47,124,000
Perkins + Will $34,354,400
Perkins Eastman $25,489,800
Cannon Design $25,413,500
Anshen + Allen $25,200,000
PageSoutherlandPage $24,156,000
SmithGroup $15,280,615
HGA Architects and Engineers $14,550,000
HKS $12,500,000
Granary Associates $12,480,000

Top 10 in Educational

Firm Design Fee
Burt Hill $19,008,000
Cannon Design $15,344,000
Gensler $11,400,000
Flad Architects $8,212,500
RMJM Hillier $7,500,000
Perkins + Will $6,870,880
HDR $6,468,000
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects $5,800,000
HOK $5,700,000
LPA $5,418,000

Top 10 in Retail

Firm Design Fees
Callison $54,290,000
Gensler $42,750,000
Pavlik Design Team $33,439,468
Jacobs $25,352,134
FRCH Design Worldwide $13,860,000
Little $8,772,000
Peter Marino Architect $8,602,000
TPG Architecture $8,433,001
Cubellis $8,220,000
Tricarico Architecture and Design $7,678,706

Top 10 in Residential

Firm Design Fees
Marc-Michaels Interior Design $14,100,000
Robert A.M. Stern Architects $8,739,874
Callison $7,120,000
Creative Design Consultants $6,910,400
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill $6,769,096
Slifer Designs $6,615,000
Peter Marino Architect $6,171,000
Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects $5,520,000
Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart $5,504,568
Cooper Carry $4,006,200

Top 10 in Government

Firm Design Fees
Jacobs $33,554,295
Gensler $17,100,000
HDR $11,088,000
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill $7,999,841
Group Goetz Architects $7,600,000
PageSoutherlandPage $7,246,800
Leo A Daly $6,952,400
HOK $6,840,000
EwingCole $6,696,000
Studios Architecture $6,256,250

Top 10 in Cultural

Firm Design Fees
Gensler $14,250,000
HKS $3,750,000
Studios Architecture $2,502,500
Roger Ferris + Partners $2,100,000
Pavlik Design Team $1,967,028
HGA Architects and Engineers $1,697,500
HLW International $1,470,000
EwingCole $1,240,000
Leo A Daly $1,069,600
RMJM Hillier $1,000,000
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