CRE N Illinois

Studio Gang-led team chosen for $8.5B O'Hare expansion

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that Studio ORD has been selected to implement an $8.5 billion expansion of O’Hare International Airport’s terminal space. Studio ORD is a joint venture led by Chicago-based Studio Gang along with Solomon Cordwell Buenz, STL Architects, Corgan Associates and Milhouse Engineering and Construction.

“The City of Chicago called upon teams from across the city and around the world to lead O’Hare’s historic expansion, and Studio ORD answered that call,” said Emanuel. “During this historic competition, the world’s best architecture firms submitted their incredible visions for the world to see—with each of these five world-class designs strengthening our plans to bring O’Hare into the 21st century. Today we congratulate Studio ORD who has proven they have the experience, expertise and the talent needed to work with the city of Chicago as we usher in a new era at O’Hare.”

The new, 2.2-million-square-foot terminal will replace the airport’s busy Terminal 2. Handling domestic and international flights, it will also be one of the largest terminals ever built in the U.S. when completed in 2028. The Studio ORD group beat out four other teams that included world-famous firms including Foster + Partners, Santiago Calatrava and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill.

The new O’Hare Global Terminal, which will break ground in 2023, will more than double the space at today’s Terminal 2, replacing it with an expanded, light-filled arrivals hall to feature additional gates, advanced security screening, state-of-the-art new baggage systems and more space for concessions, lounges and public amenities.

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) launched a search for a lead architect in June 2018. Five plans, including Studio ORD’s, were unveiled in January, seeking public comments for how to go forward with the expansion of one of the world’s busiest airports. The evaluation committee factored in the more than 41,000 surveys cast by residents and travelers.

The city will select a separate team to design two new satellite concourses west of Terminal 1 from four remaining finalist teams. The CDA is seeking additional public input on which amenities should be included in the next phase of the O'Hare expansion.

“The selection of the team to design the O’Hare Global Terminal represents a first step forward in redefining the experience for travelers around the world,” said CDA commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. “While we congratulate Studio ORD, we applaud all of the teams for bringing forward incredible proposals, and thank the public for their input in this process. This project is a game changer for Chicago, and we look forward to ongoing stakeholder engagement from the airport to the neighborhoods as we embark on our historic expansion.”