Some years, the proverbial ship comes in, and projects that languished on the horizon finally land all at once. That was the case in 2018 for Los Angeles–based Marmol Radziner, which earned the top spot in business in this year’s Architect 50.

The 160-person firm enjoyed a 34% increase in net revenue over 2017, and boasted the highest net-revenue-per-employee figure of all the survey participants. “Some of it truly is timing,” says managing partner Leo Marmol, FAIA. “Various projects fell into place by chance at the same time last year.”

Like most firms, “we see fluctuation in annual revenues because of the normal ebb and flow of the profession,” Marmol adds, but the firm’s growth “speaks to the unique nature of our office. We have a whole variety of revenue streams from a business perspective.”

945 West 8th St. in Los Angeles, a mixed-use tower
courtesy Marmol Radziner 945 West 8th St. in Los Angeles, a mixed-use tower
945 W. 8th
courtesy Marmol Radziner 945 W. 8th

Founded in 1989 as a design-build firm with an emphasis as a “master builder,” Marmol Radziner touts itself as a single-source shop offering everything from architectural drawings and construction documents to prefab, custom cabinetry, fixtures, and furniture. Employees work across multidisciplinary teams of architects, landscape designers, interior designers, furniture designers, and construction crews. Projects in 2018 included a 64-story mixed-use tower in downtown Los Angeles (still in progress), a Four Seasons resort in Puerto Rico, and multiple private houses. “We had a number of residential construction projects where we were both architect and builder and some were very large scale,” says design partner Ron Radziner, FAIA, including a 13,000-square-foot wood-and-brick residence in Pacific Palisades, Calif., completed early this year. Tucked into a canyon along a creek with a landscape of native oaks, the house represents the firm’s signature Modernist-meets-landscape style.

Four Seasons in Cayo Largo, Puerto Rico
Marmol Radziner Four Seasons in Cayo Largo, Puerto Rico
Four Seasons
Marmol Radziner Four Seasons

As a sign of its expanding reach, Marmol Radziner opened a New York office in 2018 to service a growing number of East Coast residential and commercial clients, including restaurants for Sushi Nozawa Group, boutiques for Vince and Oliver Peoples, and the New York corporate headquarters for Italian eyewear company Luxottica. “We have always had a strong emphasis on office management,” Marmol says. “We have a COO that heads up the financial management structure and he has a talented and committed team that keeps all of the accounting managed very smoothly.”

The Point Dume residence in Malibu, Calif.
courtesy Marmol Radziner The Point Dume residence in Malibu, Calif.
Point Dume
courtesy Marmol Radziner Point Dume
Cabo San Lucas residence
courtesy Marmol Radziner Cabo San Lucas residence

Top 50 Firms in Business

Rank Organization Score
1 Marmol Radziner 100.0
2 EHDD 99.7
3 Duda|Paine Architects 98.5
4 WRNS Studio 97.3
5 Butler Armsden Architects 96.1
6 Works Progress Architecture 93.6
7 HDR Architecture 91.8
8 Clark Nexsen 91.7
9 ELS Architecture and Urban Design 91.4
10 Hastings 88.9
11 Mahlum 88.3
12 Blair + Mui Dowd Architects 87.7
13 RBB Architects 87.4
14 CO Architects 87.0
15 Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects 86.8
16 Steinberg Hart 86.7
16 Carrier Johnson + Culture 86.7
18 Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture 86.1
18 Bruner/Cott & Associates 86.1
18 PBK 86.1
21 Page 84.5
22 Gensler 84.4
22 Ayers Saint Gross 84.4
24 Mark Cavagnero Associates 84.2
25 David Baker Architects 84.1
26 Goettsch Partners 83.9
27 Touloukian Touloukian 83.6
28 Flansburgh Architects 83.2
29 The Miller Hull Partnership 82.7
29 ZGF Architects 82.7
31 Ann Beha 82.0
32 Olson Kundig 81.8
32 SmithGroup 81.8
32 HOK 81.8
35 Hord Coplan Macht 81.5
36 Leers Weinzapfel 80.5
36 Kobi Karp 80.5
38 Spector Group 80.0
39 Opsis Architecture 79.8
39 HMC Architects 79.8
41 EYP 79.7
42 BAR Architects 79.4
43 HKS 79.1
43 Kirksey 79.1
45 Mithun 78.3
46 HGA 77.9
47 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 77.6
47 Payette 77.6
49 Studios Architecture 77.3
50 LPA 76.8

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