ENR Southeast is happy to announce that architectural firm Perkins+Will has been named the magazine's first-ever "Design Firm of the Year." An article profiling the firm will be featured in the upcoming May issue of the magazine.

The choice of Perkins+Will was the result of an internal selection process that included ENR editors from across the country. First, a short-listed group of firms was contacted and asked to provide information about their 2010 accomplishments, including the revenue information they would be submitting for this year's Top Design Firms ranking - also to be featured in the May issue.

In addition to their revenue figures, firms were asked to provide information about major projects that started, or completed, during 2010; sustainability initiatives and accomplishments; industry awards and recognition; and community-focused efforts, among other items.

After their response for information, the choice was narrowed down to two firms: Perkins+Will and RS&H of Jacksonville, Fla. Both firms made strong cases for being named "Design Firm of the Year," and the vote was certainly not unanimous. (More on RS&H in the near future.)

In the end, though, it was hard to deny the selection of Perkins+Will. For starters, the firm reported an increase in design revenue from 2009 to 2010 - a major accomplishment for any architect in today's environment. The firm's 2010 design revenue was nearly $52.4 million, more than a 10% gain from 2009, when Perkins+Will reported right at $47 million from the four Southeast states and was the top-ranked pure architecture firm.

Major new projects were prolific. One of the highest-profile contracts was the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile transit greenway project featuring light-rail, parks and trails that will impact 45 neighborhoods and 6,000 acres. There's also the $35-million Clinical Translational Research Building at the University of Florida in Gainesville that the firm is designing.

As contractors involved in the health-care market are likely well aware, Perkins+Will has been a major player there for years. The firm's prominence in what is now one of the Southeast's most prominent building markets was yet another factor in their favor.

Additionally, the firm won last year's "Best Of" award from ENR Southeast for "Best Architectural Design" for its design of the Willson Hospice project in Albany, Ga. It was also the designer of Darden Restaurants' new headquarters building in Orlando, which won ENR Southeast's "Best Green Building" award last year.

We'll have a lot more information about Perkins+Will in ENR Southeast's May issue. (And, again, we'll provide some additional information about RS&H's well-deserved nomination in an online article soon.)

For now, what do you think of this selection? If you've worked with Perkins+Will before, we'd like to hear your professional opinion of their work.

Finally, don't forget to follow us on Twitter @SEConstruction, and also @ENRNews.