5 of World’s Top Architecture Firms’s Designs for Chicago’s O’Hare Global Terminal Go To Public Vote


​​​The City of Chicago and its airline partners are moving forward on a historic plan that will transform O’Hare International Airport with the biggest terminal expansion ever. A new Terminal Area Plan for O’Hare will completely redevelop the terminals and concourses, with Terminal 5 to undergo an upgrade and expansion, Terminal 2 to be largely demolished and rebuilt to include a brand new international arrivals facility, and renovations made to Terminals 1 and 3. The upgrades are set to grow O’Hare’s overall terminal square footage by more than 60 percent, from 5.5 to 8.9 million square feet, and increase gate frontage by 25 percent.

5 of the world’s top architecture firms are in the running to design O’Hare’s $8.5 billion ORD21 terminal expansion:

Team 1:Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza
Team 2: Foster Epstein Moreno JV
Team 3: Studio ORD
Team 4: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Team 5: Santiago Calatava, LLC

The public are invited to view the proposals online and vote for your favorite scheme to help Mayor Rahm Emanuel shape the new O’Hare. www.VoteORD21.com - voting ends on 23 January.  An exhibition of the designs is on display at the Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E Upper Wacker Drive.

Image by: Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza

The Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza Joint Venture’s globally-minded terminal design for Chicago provides an elegant, spacious, and sustainable gateway to connect Chicagoans and the world with speed and efficiency. Soaring spaces sparkle with sunlight and lift the human spirit. Daylight and spatial composition guide passengers intuitively and purposefully. The latest technological advances shape a smart, seamless, comfortable, and unencumbered experience. From arrival to departure, every element of the new terminal is crafted to elevate the passenger, making their journey inspiring, engaging, stirring, and fun. The Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza's vision is to return the romance of air travel to all who pass through Chicago’s O’Hare.

Image by: Foster Epstein Moreno JV

The Foster Epstein Moreno JV's design is based upon a sequence of memorable and distinctive spaces that create a gateway to Chicago with architecture that is open, transparent, inclusive, welcoming and functional, in turn resolving the sophisticated security, airport and airline requirements in a way that meets the needs of both employees and passengers. Three arches frame the landside of the building, merging into a grand single arch on the airside, thus dissolving the barrier between inside and out and allowing the spectacle of the airfield to be visible to all who pass through the gateway, and recapturing the romance associated with air travel.

Image by: Studio ORD

Chicago is a city defined by motion; confluence – river, of trail networks, of railroads – has shaped the most vibrant civic spaces. Studio ORD’s elegant and efficient design for the O’Hare Global Terminal and Global Concourse unifies the airport’s campus by converging seamless lines of motion across three terminals around a spectacular central Oculus. This confluence becomes Orchard Field - a vibrant neighborhood that combines abundant green spaces with distinctive landmarks, bespoke retail pavilions, and diverse activity zones. Richly layered and easily navigable, it captures the unique character of Chicago and redefines O’Hare as a 21st century international destination.

Image by: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP infuse the muscular heritage of Chicago architecture and engineering with many lessons from the natural environment, to increase human comfort, save energy and define a distinctive sense of place. Elegantly undulating O’Hare Global Terminal aims to be the world’s best, through optimal functional planning, great design, and keen practicality – all quintessential Chicago qualities.

Image by: Santiago Calatrava

O’Hare’s Global Terminal by Santiago Calatrava is a masterwork of modern terminal architecture. With a glass façade and dramatic shell-like roof soaring over the approach road, the building unifies the terminal complex while establishing itself as its centerpiece.

Inside, vaulted, light-filled spaces celebrate both the grandeur and simplicity of bygone travel as customers move easily to and from gate areas enlivened by Chicago-focused concessions in an airy, park-like setting.
Convenient links to adjacent terminals, satellite concourses, and public transit support a future Vision plan that transforms the area opposite the Terminal into a vibrant hotel, retail and business complex.




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