Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeArchitectureSOM and others unveil Chicago O’Hare Airport expansion

SOM and others unveil Chicago O’Hare Airport expansion


Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson unveiled this week SOM’s design for a major expansion to Chicago O’Hare Airport, one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs. The addition is called Satellite Concourse 1, the first major component in a massive modernization project called the O’Hare 21 Terminal Area Plan. Ross Barney Architects, Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects, and Arup are also on the project team.

SOM’s design adds 19 new gates to Chicago O’Hare Airport that can accommodate different sizes of aircrafts, increase operational efficiency for carriers and reduce layover transfers. Satellite 1 is the first major part of the overall Terminal Area Plan which seeks to deliver two new satellite concourses, a new O’Hare Global Terminal that will replace Terminal 2, and underground tunnel that connects airport facilities.

“We designed the new satellite concourse to create a frictionless experience for travelers, on par with the best airports in the world,” said SOM Design Partner Scott Duncan.

new gates on Chicago O’Hare Airport expansion
The addition will add 19 new gates. (Courtesy SOM and Norviska)

“The gate lounges feature column-free expanses for easy wayfinding, high ceilings to optimize views, and a daylighting strategy to help align the body’s natural rhythms—all to make the experience of air travel more pleasurable,” Duncan continued. “We are excited for our team to lead the way on O’Hare 21 and to establish a new standard of excellence for O’Hare.”

Renderings show an elongated barrel vault structure supported by Vierendeel trusses with sinuous curves saturated with natural light. Satellite 1 will connect with O’Hare via a concourse topped with a dramatic oculus.

interior rendering of airport
Connection to Satellite 1 from concourse (Courtesy SOM and Norviska)
gate lounge at airport
Evening view of gate lounge (Courtesy SOM and Norviska)

The project is what the city calls a “curb-to-gate transformation” of O’Hare’s terminal complex into a modern, efficient global hub, a press release from Mayor Johnson’s office said. It will add a new concourse that serves international and domestic passengers and make for a more efficient and comfortable travel experience.

interior rendering of airport
The vault will be supported with Vierendeel trusses. (Courtesy SOM and Norviska)
passengers walking down corridor with suitcases
The corridor in which passengers will use to enter Satellite 1. (Courtesy SOM and Norviska)

Work on the expansion began in March 2023 when new temporary taxiways and a new grade-separated roadway was added.

The completion of the Satellite Concourse 1 as an extension of Concourse C should complete in 2028.





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