Foster, Calatrava, SOM on shortlist to design $8.5bn O’Hare International expansion

The City of Chicago has shortlisted five teams to design the $8.5bn O’Hare 21 Terminal Expansion Project at O’Hare International Airport.

Picked from 12 submissions, the list includes:

  • Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza Joint Venture Partners;
  • Foster Epstein Moreno JV Joint Venture Partners;
  • Santiago Calatrava LLC;
  • Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM);
  • Studio ORD 
Joint Venture Partners.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vision for a modern O’Hare calls for "a dramatically elevated travel experience", better access and amenities for customers, and extra capacity to accommodate growth.

The programme’s centrepiece is the $8.5bn terminal expansion plan, the largest in the airport’s history.

"Chicago has called upon some of the world’s best designers to help carry out our vision for the new O’Hare Global Terminal-the key to a bigger, better and more modern O’Hare for the 21st century," said Emanuel.

The teams will be invited to participate in a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Lead Architectural Design Services.

This winter each team will submit a design model that will be shown around the city.

Officials will seek public feedback on the design concepts for consideration in the final selection.

Transportation, business and civic leaders will make up the official selection committee, with additional technical advisories from architectural firms, cultural and academic institutions and local businesses.

In June a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Lead Architectural Design Services was issued by the Chicago Department of Aviation. Twelve teams submitted Statements of Qualifications.

Image: Render gives basic overall site plan of the O’Hare 21 expansion (

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