That’s why NADAAA—the top firm in design for the third straight year—invests so much in research (14 percent of its annual profits). “With each project, we look at its innate qualities not only in terms of its material behavior, but also how it engages the protocols of the construction industry,” says NADAAA partner Nader Tehrani. “We reach out to the building industry at an earlier phase to understand the logic of construction.”
The firm’s portfolio was lauded by the design judges, one of whom wrote that “the projects exhibited a very unique, sincere, and sophisticated voice … and made me feel convinced and happy that architecture with a capital ‘A’ is alive and well.”
Stephen Kieran, FAIA
Kieran is a partner at KieranTimberlake in Philadelphia, a leader in practice-based architectural research and innovative buildings. The co-author of five books, he teaches a design-research studio at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
Roberto de Leon, AIA, and M. Ross Primmer, AIA
De Leon and Primmer co-founded De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop in Louisville, Ky., which focuses on cultural, civic, or not-for-profit projects. Both partners earned master’s degrees in architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Check out the overall list to find out which firm rose to the top, and discover which firms made the cut in business and sustainability. To find out how we generated the rankings, read our methodology, and take a look at some of the data submitted by firms.