the shortlist announced for ohare international airport renovation.
above > the foster epstein moreno jv proposal
the city of chicago recently announced a $8.5 billion renovation of o’hare international airport including a new terminal that will be the centerpiece of the largest expansion in o’hare’s history.
to jump-start this vision, twelve global architectural firms were asked to submit proposals including danish architect bjarke ingels, studio fuksas of italy, chicago firms, gensler, hok, perkins + will, and chicago architect helmut jahn, who designed the stunning terminal 1 which opened in 1986.
a shortlist of five firms are highlighted below. two design contracts will be awarded: the winning team will design the global terminal and concourse. the second-place finisher is expected to design the satellite concourses. the eight-year project, made possible by the end of a 35-year lease with the airlines, would be paid for with future airline fees, and therefore would not require taxpayer dollars.
[ design objectives ]
> expand terminal and gate space
> replace aged infrastructure with state-of-the art systems
> introduce new technology and security innovations
> integrate domestic and international to create a seamless passenger experience
> enhance the passenger experience
> incorporate sustainability and enhanced accessibility features
> reflect the legacy of chicago’s innovation, architecture, and it’s diversity
[ scope of work ]
> increasing the airport’s overall footprint from 5.5 to 8.9 million sq ft.
> tearing down 55-year-old terminal 2 and creating a new global terminal
> adding 25% gate capacity at existing gates to accommodate larger aircraft
> increasing gate count from 185 to 235
> adding two new remote satellite concourses
> adding a tunnel to a new parking facility foreshadowing a future new terminal
> renovating terminals 1,3, and 5
while affirming the 14 project design objectives and scope of work expectations DesignApplause considers the heart of this project is replacing a 55-year-old terminal with a cutting-edge architectural solution that’s categorically a part of every world’s-best discussion.
[ uniquely different ] two concepts stand out: studio ord features ample neighborhoods and greenspace not seen elsewhere in terminals. foster epstein moreno jv boasts a world-first column-less concept under an extraordinary shell with a span of 550 feet.
[ wow factor ] one concept dominates: foster epstein moreno jv a space that pushes the limits of technology and truly lifts the spirits.
[ pro vs con ] what stands out…only one concept with zero con: foster epstein moreno jv.
[ shortlisted firms ]
above > 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. our vision is to return the romance of air travel to all who pass through chicago’s o’hare.
above > foster epstein moreno jv / a joint venture led by foster + partners and chicago-based firms epstein and moreno. our 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.
above > studio ord / chicago is a city defined by motion; confluence – of our river, of trail networks, of railroads – has shaped our 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.
above > som / we have delivered global excellence in this great city, shaping chicago’s skyline, neighborhoods and public realm for more than 80 years. it’s said that our chicago buildings turn “pragmatism into poetry.”
our 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.
we 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. this can be chicago’s next great building and our new gateway to the world.
above > santiago calatrava, llc / 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.
somewhat unusual is the jury is not being disclosed, not even to the architects. please stay tuned.