Another Website Ranking

After compiling the list of the 66 Most Popular Architecture Websites -- since added in updated form to the sidebar near right -- I installed Alexa's status bar in my browser, which shows a website's traffic rank and a graph of its six-month trend. My browsing has been altered slightly through its presence, by being made aware of this ranking for each site I visit. Some web pages that I think are popular don't turn out to be, clocking in somewhere in the millions (remember Google is #1). Others that I find myself on for some reason turn out to be in the top 1,000, yet I never knew they existed before my visit. Of course, this ranking is only one indicator of popularity, and it is constantly changing, but it's still interesting to gauge websites with it.

So I started paying attention to the websites of architects' web pages, most of which are also up there in the millions. I wondered if any are in the top one million sites on the internet. Here is the list of the 36 Most Popular Architects' Websites I generated:
2. Pentagram
3. Arup
4. Zaha Hadid Architects
5. Foster + Partners
6. BIG
7. SOM
8. Aedas
9. Steven Holl Architects
10. HDR
11. Gensler
12. VOA
13. Olson Kundig Architects
14. molo design
15. Heatherwick Studio
16. Perkins Will
17. OMA
18. HOK
19. Legorreta + Legorreta
21. WATG
22. Santiago Calatrava
23. Kengo Kuma and Associates
24. Shigeru Ban Architects
25. Populous
26. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
27. Studio Gang Architects
29. UNStudio
30. KPF
31. Henning Larsen Architects
32. Studio Daniel Libeskind
33. Robert A.M. Stern Architects
34. HKS
35. RTKL
36. Ateliers Jean Nouvel
What does the list say? It tells us what types of architects are visited frequently:
» One of a number of Big Firms tops the list, followed by many more (Arup, Aedas, SOM, HDR, HKS, etc). Besides being big, they are international in scope and include engineers and other disciplines within the fold. In the latter case this means their sites are visited by a diverse audience, not just architects and their (potential) clients. Pentagram is a good example of this; while not as large as many on the list, their main focus is graphic design, and most people visiting their site are probably visiting for that aspect of their work.

» Not surprisingly, Starchitect Firms are in abundance (Hadid, Foster, BIG, Holl, Calatrava, etc.), but I was surprised by ones that did not clock in under one million: Renzo Piano, Morphosis, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in particular.

» A small part of the list are Blogging Firms, those that actively update a blog component of their site. Pentagram is one such firm, as is BUILD LLC, who may not be as well known as others on the list for their architecture, but their blog is quite popular and very well done. If I included Life at HOK, the firm's dedicated web page with various employee bloggers, it would actually be ranked #33. Likewise, Denver, Colorado-based EVStudio's blog would squeeze in between MVRDV and UNStudio, but the firm's portfolio site (which is what I'm gauging here) unfortunately doesn't make the cut. (This is an example where the blog and portfolio are two separate domains, but in the case of BUILD LLC and Pentagram, the blogs are integrated into the same domain as the portfolio.)
Please comment if you know of an architects' website that I may have omitted, and I'll adjust the list.


  1. Fascinating list. Two questions spring to mind – who's doing the visiting and what are they looking for. I guess all these site owners will be asking the same thing, because it matters.

  2. Yes, Richard. But that's quite hard to gauge.


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