Chicago Tribune – O’hare’s Massive Expansion

The City of Chicago unveils designs for massive expansion of O’Hare International Airport, including Ross Barney Architects’ collaboration with Skidmore Owings and Merrill.

“Chicago officials on Thursday will unveil five striking designs for a massive expansion of O’Hare International Airport, many with swooping roofs and some with quirky features like hammocks where travelers could take a nap before flights.

The proposals from top architects for the $8.5 billion expansion, whose centerpiece will be a new global terminal that combines domestic and international flights under one roof, are all sleekly modern. Three would put naturalistic touches — clusters of trees, wood ceilings or patches of grass—inside the terminal…

Scheduled to open in 2028 and to be financed by airline ticket fees, the expansion will be the largest and most expensive terminal revamp in O’Hare’s 74-year history. It seeks to transform an airport with a notorious reputation for gridlock, packed concourses and air-traffic delays…

The global terminal from the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which is teamed with ARUP, Ross Barney Architects and JGMA, would have an undulating skylit roof, which would overhang the building’s tall glass walls.

Also drawing inspiration from the airport’s rural origins, the design proposes ample outdoor landscaping. The terminal would be “set in a prairie,” a video caption said.

Inside would be glass-enclosed waiting areas filled with trees. One shows a hammock hung from tree trunks. “A place to rest under a tree before boarding,” another caption promised.”