Foster + Partners has topped the AJ100 league table for the first time since the annual survey began in 1995
Norman Foster’s global powerhouse replaced perennial chart-topper BDP in the number one slot on the definitive list of Britain’s biggest architecture firms, ranked by the number of qualified architects employed.
The practice now employs 304 UK qualified architects, having added an extra 24 to its burgeoning workforce which now tops 1,133 people worldwide.
In the last year, overseas work at Foster’s has mushroomed, making up more than 90 per cent of the £135 million in fees billed in 2011.
BDP, which has taken the top slot for 10 out of the last 11 years, has slipped to second place after a difficult year. The company, which lost 42 UK qualified architects, announced redundancies late last year and closed its offices in Belfast, Liverpool, Winchester and Edinburgh. The practice employed 252 architects as of December 2011. In November, the company announced that profits for the year ending June 2011 had halved, falling from £3.8 million in 2010, to £1.96 million.
BDP’s departing head of communications Sheri Besford said it was now a ‘leaner and fitter’ company.