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The City of Chicago late last month announced a critical milestone in the planned overhaul and expansion of Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), securing the services of its three key designers, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who will be tasked with designing two new satellite concourses immediately west of the terminal core.

HNTB has been selected to serve as the lead civil engineer, while Studio ORD – the lead architect tasked with designing the new O’Hare Global Terminal – completes the design team that will transform the airport. “Having our three lead designers in place and working in parallel is a critical moment for the overall success of the O’Hare 21 program, and we’re moving forward in a spirit of cohesion and collaboration,”says Jamie Rhee, Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner. “All three designers will contribute significantly to this goal through their designs and input to detailed implementation plans in conjunction with the broader O’Hare community.”

O’Hare 21 is the result of a landmark agreement between the City of Chicago and its airline partners and will marks the largest expansion and first major capital improvements to O’Hare’s passenger terminals in more than 25 years. The Terminal Area Plan (TAP) will completely redevelop the existing Terminal 2, adding two new concourses, replacing and expanding gates, and setting in motion a wide range of other
improvements that will significantly enhance airline performance and the overall passenger experience.

Airport and city officials say the project will be delivered in phases, with an expanded Terminal 5 representing the first major terminal upgrade at ORD. Construction of the satellite concourses and supporting infrastructure will follow in 2022. Once the satellites are online, construction of the O’Hare Global Terminal can begin, eventually replacing the current Terminal 2.