In November 2018, news first broke of the five-firm shortlist competing to design the $8.7 billion Terminal 2 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The star-studded list held both international and local firms, and today, Chicago city officials have made public designs for each team’s proposal.
The O’Hare 21 expansion, which will expand O’Hare from 5.5 million square feet to 8.9 million square feet, is a pet project of outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel.
O’Hare currently serves nearly 80 million travelers a year, and with demand projected to grow, the extant Terminal 2 (built in 1963) needs to be expanded.
Santiago Calatrava has presented the most ambitious of the five proposals (though it fits quite snugly within Calatrava’s oeuvre). Resembling a ship’s prow, the glass facade bulges in the center before terminating at a sharp point. Inside, large, unbroken spans are supported by Calatrava’s signature structural “ribs” to create a soaring interior space. The team has also proposed turning the existing parking area to the terminal’s rear into a landscaped “hotel, retail, and business complex,” though there’s no telling how much that would add to the budget.
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.
Santiago Calatrava’s design can be viewed at O’Hare’s Terminal 2 through the end of the month and an online survey will allow all our followers and Calatrava supporters to vote for design: https://lnkd.in/fvh8Hrq