jeanne gang-led team to design new global terminal at chicago's o'hare airport

jeanne gang-led team to design new global terminal at chicago's o'hare airport

the city of chicago has announced the winning entry for the international competition to design the new global terminal and concourse for o’hare international airport. studio ORD, a collaborative effort led by jeanne gang, presents a design that celebrates the american city’s continued legacy as a city shaped by lines of movement. like the confluence of the chicago river, the design’s converging three branches generate a centralized hub that establishes a vibrant new neighborhood in the heart of o’hare’s campus. curving to increase efficiency, wayfinding, and connectivity, the three-part form merges terminal and concourse into a single building. the design held off competition from other big names, including santiago calatrava, SOM, and foster + partners.

chicago airport studio gang
all images courtesy of studio ORD



studio ORD represents the collaboration led by studio gang in partnership with solomon cordwell buenz (SCB), corgan, milhouse engineering and construction, and STL architects. the tripartite proposal was designed to reflect the legacy of the great city. at the confluence of the three branches, a dramatic oculus welcomes visitors under a six-pointed glass skylight whose geometry references the chicago flag. beneath the oculus is a vibrant new neighborhood which unfolds around an expansive central green. evocative of a lively chicago street, the space can support pop-up events, music, and informal gathering. when seen from above, the building greets passengers with a recognizable chicago icon — the city’s ‘Y symbol,’ or municipal device, that represents the branching chicago river.

chicago airport studio gang



a pleated roof of long-span steel trusses is clad in wood and maximizes natural daylight and energy efficiency. this roof, surrounding the oculus, is supported by Y-shaped columns spaced over 100 feet apart that distribute the structural load to maximize circulation and ensure flexibility to accommodate changes over the terminal’s lifespan. a light-filled mezzanine above the concourse houses ticketing and security for departing passengers. culminating in a dramatic overlook, the mezzanine offers expansive views of the airfield beyond and of the neighborhood and gates below, helping passengers orient themselves and heightening the excitement of travel.

chicago airport studio gang



jeanne gang, founding principal of studio gang and lead designer of studio ORD comments:every aspect of the design is focused on creating a uniquely chicago experience. it embodies the city’s fundamental geographic asset: a place of convergence of paths of movement both natural and manmade. our design creates a new chicago neighborhood that reflects the culture, traditions, and diversity of the city. its exposed structure, interior streets, and bustling activity express our city’s trajectory as a center of movement, exchange, and growth.’

chicago airport studio gang chicago airport studio gang chicago airport studio gang



project info:


competition: o’hare international airport global terminal and concourse expansion

architecture: studio ORD

team: studio gang in partnership with solomon cordwell buenz (SCB), corgan, milhouse engineering and construction, and STL architects

location: chicago, illinois

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,388 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample