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Chicago Launches Contest for Airport Design

Friday, June 22, 2018

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced that the city is inviting architects from all over the world to participate in a design competition for the O’Hare Airport expansion plan.

Earlier this week, the City of Chicago released a Request for Qualifications for the project, dubbed the O’Hare 21 Terminal Expansion Project at O’Hare International Airport.

© iStock.com / jmsilva

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced that the city is inviting architects from all over the world to participate in a design competition for the O’Hare Airport expansion plan.

“This is an opportunity to write the next chapter in Chicago’s legacy of architectural ingenuity, while sharing the iconic architecture and design Chicago is famous for with visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Emanuel.

"When Chicago opened O’Hare 59 years ago, we positioned our great city at the heart of the national aviation system. Today, the city that makes no little plans is securing our position at the forefront of global cities for the 21st century."

The Project

The $8.5 billion expansion was approved by city council in April, making it the largest and most expensive terminal revamp in the airport’s history. Agreeing on terms took some time, however, as the airport’s two largest airlines—United and American—disagreed over the number of gates that would be assigned to each company.

That dispute was eventually settled, hinging on Chicago speeding up the construction of three common-use gates that will be available for use around the same time United gets another five gates.

© iStock.com / mtcurado

The $8.5 billion expansion was approved by city council in April, making it the largest and most expensive terminal revamp in the airport’s history. Agreeing on terms took some time, however, as the airport’s two largest airlines—United and American—disagreed over the number of gates that would be assigned to each company.

According to the Chicago Tribune, 55-year-old Terminal 2 will be torn down to make room for a new global terminal with wider concourses and gates that could accommodate larger aircraft intended for international flights. Terminals 1, 3 and 5 are set to be renovated, with two new satellite concourses to be built and connected to the new global terminal via an underground pedestrian tunnel.

More than 3.1 million square feet of terminal space will be added, a 72 percent increase over the current 4.3 million square feet.

Once construction of the air field is completed, O’Hare will operate six east-west runways and two diagonal runways, resulting in dozens of new gates opening over the next eight years. The expansion is also slated to include a new parking and security screening facility for airline employees, a Terminal 5 parking garage and three new baggage systems.

Emanuel’s office says that the project “will create more than 60,000 construction jobs for the next eight years, and tens of thousands of new permanent jobs with the airport, airlines, tourism, and supporting industries to support a larger, modern airport complex in the next decade.”

A pre-submittal conference will be held on June 27. The deadline to enter the competition is 4 p.m. CT Aug. 9.

   

Tagged categories: Airports; Competitions; Design; Terminals

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