Practice: Architecture, urban design, interior design

Founded: 1943

Leadership: Scott Wyatt, Rick Buckley and Jim Jonassen, co-managing partners

"Currently, business is more typical of the economic and real estate cycles of the last 20 years than of the unusual flow we experienced during the late 1990s," said NBBJ managing partner Scott Wyatt.

"We continue to capture new commissions at a steady rate, but we are down in total revenue due to the delay or postponement of some projects. The result of steady new commissions and slightly lower revenue is a strong and growing backlog."

In the last year, there has been a drop in staff in NBBJ's Seattle base office from approximately 400 to 350 over the past year. Internationally, NBBJ experienced a drop in staff from 725 to 650 over the past year. Gross fees are down from $141 million to $125 million.

NBBJ maintains studios specializing in healthcare, science and technology, higher education, corporate and commercial, sports and entertainment, airports and transportation, retail and graphic design.

"Our strategy for success in a cyclical business is to diversify across markets and building types, as well as geographically," said Wyatt. "Typically, the markets we are in cycle non-synchronously (the exception being the late 90s). NBBJ continues to see strength in healthcare, life sciences, and higher education while the corporate, commercial, and sports markets have slowed down."

The airport market is slow due to adjustments since 9/11, according to Wyatt, while other aspects of transportation design are now being promoted. Geographically, Europe remains a strong market and Asia is very strong. Eastern Europe and the Middle East are steady and both North and South America are slower than previous years.

In the future, Wyatt sees fewer, larger clients, with more real estate investment trusts and corporate consolidation.

Current and recent projects include the expansion of the Washington Mutual Tower, Boeing Museum of Flight; Adobe Quadrant Lake Union Center; Telenor, a high-tech campus in Oslo, Norway; Staples Center stadium in Los Angeles; and the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

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