This paper focuses on computer-based generative methods for layout problems in architecture and urban planning with special regard for the hierarchical structuring of layout elements. The generation of layouts takes place using evolutionary algorithms, which are used to optimize the arrangement of elements in terms of overlapping within a given boundary and the topological relations between them. In this paper, the approach is extended by a data structure that facilitates the hierarchical organization of layout elements making it possible to structure and organize larger layout problems into subsets that can be solved in parallel. An important aspect for the applicability of such a system in the design process is an appropriate means of user interaction. This depends largely on the calculation speed of the system and the variety of viable solutions. These properties are evaluated for hierarchical as well as for nonhierarchical structured layout problems.