Growing, flexible, resilient and international: the architect of 2014

Architect's Council of Europe defines the architect's profession

by Valentina Ieva
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Growing, flexible, resilient and international: the architect of 2014. This is the result of the fourth edition of the Sector Study commissioned by the Architects’ Council of Europe. Based on responses from 18.000 Architects in 26 European countries, the research is a biennial survey that collects and analyses statistical, sociological and economic data on European Architects, the architectural market and architectural practices.

The 2014 Study shows some encouraging trends and positive perspectives for the Profession. The market remains at a standstill in southern Europe and underemployment and unemployment remain a major concern for numerous architects. The economic background continues to be difficult, it reveals some encouraging trends and perspectives, as well as a renewed optimism in the profession.

Image: Office Building Facet by Ibelings van Tilburg | photo by Luuk Kramer 


Luciano Lazzari, an Italian architect, who is also the president of the Architects’ Council of Europe, said: “There are just too many of us, which makes for a very difficult working environment. (...) I was in Brussels recently and people asked me why we have so many architects. I honestly don’t know why, apart from the tradition. It’s a profession that’s always been highly regarded in the past, and it still sounds good when you say it at parties, but in reality we are not well off.” 


The research confirms that architecture is a growing profession in Europe: the number of architects in Europe has increased by 6% since 2012. Growth is being pushed by southern European countries.

Image: PODČETRTEK SPORTS HALL by ENOTA | photo by Miran Kambič

Proportion of architects aged under 40


Proportion of women architects


The 2014 ACE Sector Study shows that the demand for architectural services remains muted, with construction output continuing to fall in several key countries.

Architecture is a flexible profession which allows architects to establish themselves independently if they are made redundant from larger practices, or if they cannot get a job. Architecture is also a resilient profession: practice revenue and profits for all but one person practices have increased. 

The Study says that Architecture is an international profession: 18% of European Architects received at least partial training in another country, and 5% worked in another country in the last year. 

Image: The ThyssenKrupp Quarter by JSWD Architekten | Photo by Christian Richters/JSWD-AACMA 


For the first time, the Study looked at cross-border training and work, showing that Architecture is an international profession: 18% received at least partly trained in another country, and 35% have “seriously considered” working in another European country in the last year; although only 5% actually did so.

This section brings together all statistical data available for each country surveyed: construction output, number of architects (male/female, age), number of architectural practices, size of the architectural market, average revenue per practice, field of employment, earnings. 

Image: School Center Lucie Aubrac by Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes | Photo by DFA David Boureau 


To find out more:

    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)

    Office building Facet 2

    Office building Facet

    Utrecht / Netherlands / 2011



    Podčetrtek / Slovenia / 2010

    The ThyssenKrupp Quarter 35

    The ThyssenKrupp Quarter

    Essen / Germany / 2006

    School Center Lucie Aubrac 111

    School Center Lucie Aubrac

    Nanterre / France / 2012