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aj 100 - FEES: THE SUCCESS STORIES

THE BIGGEST EARNER HOK is the biggest-grossing practice, having earned £32,100,000 in 2003.Design director Larry Malcic attributes this success to the fact that 'HOK has always fostered an approach of diversity and tried to be strong in many different building types and professional services.

The market may change and we are able to respond to those changes, 'adding that its current strength is the result of 'a long gradual building process: we have been in the UK for 15 years and there's a recognition we have a European strength'. The UK office's current workload includes the Darwin Centre, an extension to the Natural History Museum, and a PFI scheme to redevelop St Bartholomew's and The Royal London Hospitals. It is also working on projects around the world, such as the Central Bank of Kuwait (pictured), a 40-storey sculpted pyramid due for completion in 2007.

THE MOST EFFICIENT PRACTICE The biggest earner in terms of fee income per qualified architect is Birmingham-based Mason Richards Partnership which yielded £261,818 per architect in 2003. 'We have a culture of sharing problems and taking responsibility. It's very much no-blame and we keep people motivated by encouraging them to communicate, ' says Graham Cox.

Co-partner Jeremy Bench agrees, saying 'design is a stimulating process and as such we encourage our staff to be expressive.We find that a happy office is an efficient office and whatever we can do to assist this atmosphere can only be of benefit.'

A notable morale-boosting initiative was an 'intimate lunchtime concert'with chart toppers Liberty X which staff recently enjoyed in the office. The honour was won by associate and committed Liberty X fan Paul Salter in a competition organised by a local radio station. Can't see it catching on with, say, David Chipperfield or Eric Parry, but clearly it works for them.

THE FASTEST RISERS A classic case of David and Goliath.While the largest increases in fee income are reported by giants Capita (£5,380,000), HOK (£4,600,000) and Aedas (£4,500,000), these figures represent just 46 per cent,17 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile Architects Co-Partnership, number 100 on the list in terms of number of qualified architects, has upped its income by £2,292,193, which equates to a whopping 99 per cent. Chairman Lloyd Stratton says: 'Our growth has come from securing three major PFI projects for schools in Enfield, Clacton and Bexley, as well as work on PPP.'Other projects include a Highland School project which picked up a Civic Design Award, a Sikh temple in west London (pictured) and a new airport hangar at Luton. 'We work with a range of consortia who offer good design, have funding and can offer effective facilities management.These schemes come partly from our excellent grounding in public sector work, 'says Stratton.'We always had a steady flow and when the market changed we recognised the growth area and made it a specific objective to pursue PFI.Our success is down to perseverance, determination, being quick to respond to market changes and dedication to good design!'

THE COMPETITION WINNERS Richard Rogers Partnership makes the most money from competition projects - £10,248,000, which equates to 84 per cent of its total fee income of £12,200,000. Managing director Marco Goldschmied attributes the practice's willingness to take part in competitions to the fact that 'it's the only way we can get any work', adding: 'We have no marketing budget.

We spend on competitions what other people spend on marketing.' Obviously it helps that the practice can afford to limit its efforts to invited competitions for seriously prestigious projects.

David Chipperfield Architects, however, wins the biggest percentage of its total fees through competitions- £3,567,000, accounting for 87 per cent of its total fee income of £4,100,000.

High-profile wins include the Museum of Polar Art in Alaska and the £10 million Centre for Creative Arts on Wakefield Waterfront (pictured). Three practices report that competitions account for 80 per cent of total UK architectural fee income: Hopkins Architects (£4,600,000 out of £5,750,000); Watkins Gray (£4,480,000 out of £5,600,000); and TPS Consult (£3,466,400 out of a total of £4,333,000).

THE SUPPLY CHAIN GANG Aedas AHR reports the largest income from work as part of an integrated supply team - £9,900,000, which equates to 45 per cent of its total income of £22,000,000.Areas where it is working in this way include City Academies (pictured), Procure 21 projects for the Department of Health and Strategic Alliancing Agreements for HM Prison Service in England and Wales.But Pascall and Watson is the practice which earns the largest percentage of its fees in this way:

£6,509,177, which equates to a staggering 90 per cent of its total fee income of £7,232,419.

'Working in this way has allowed our company to grow threefold, take on bigger jobs with a bigger turnover and learn whole new ways of efficient working'says Pascall + Watson managing director Phil Holden. The practice's largest job is T5, where BAA appointed aindividual companies under a contractual delivery agreement with Pascall + Watson as design team leader alongside HOK, Chapman Taylor and Richard Rogers.'Collaborative environments are the way forward, 'says Holden.

THE PFI GIANTS Aedas AHR generates the most income from PFI. During the past year PFI projects yielded £9,240,000 - 42 per cent of its total UK architectural fee income of £22,000,000. In percentage terms, however, the practices which are most dependent on PFI are: TPS Consult (75 per cent - £3,249,750 out of a total of £4,333,000); Architects Co-Partnership (73 per cent - £3,366,758 out of £4,611,997); and Anshen Dyer (72 per cent - £6,286,881 out of £8,731,779).

THE OPTIMIST Ruddle Wilkinson is the practice which expects the greatest increase in fee income in the coming year, predicting a 60 per cent rise.Chairman John Durance says there are three reasons for the practice's success: 'Firstly we've put a lot of emphasis on marketing and have a professional in-house marketing manager, which has paid dividends in attracting more work across the board.Secondly, since Sir John Egan's Rethinking Construction, we have focused on trying to develop framework and partnering agreements with clients and have more than a dozen, with Royal Bank of Scotland, Ikea, London Underground etc.They provide us with a relatively secure workbase.The biggest factor is that we have just been selected by BAA to be one of five architects on its new framework agreement for all of its building projects in the UK. That will represent a tripling of our air-sector income and that's probably a pessimistic estimate. Thirdly, until two years ago we were a provincial practice (in Peterborough) with an ambition to become a national one and are beginning to arrive there.The London office (opened April 2002) is gaining momentum and generating extra work.Our aim is to collect blue-chip clients.'

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