O'Hare International Airport

Terminal 5

Chicago, Illinois

Project Info
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago, Illinois
LOCATION
Chicago, Illinois

COMPLETION DATE
1993

AWARDS
2004, Triangle Isosceles Award, Excellence inArchitecture, AIA
1994, Distinguished Building Award, AIA Chicago Chapter
1994, Divine Detail Award, AIA Chicago Chapter
1994, Interior Architecture Award, AIA Chicago Chapter

As one of the busiest airports in the world, O’Hare International Airport Terminal 5 is a naturally lit, timeless, and flexible design that adapts and evolves as passenger expectations change. The glass gem is described by the Chicago Tribune as O’Hare’s “Crown Jewel.” This 21-gate International is organized around three primary levels: the upper level, which accommodates ticketing, security checkpoints, concessions, departure holdrooms, lounges and airline offices; the lower level, which contains arrival functions such as the Federal Inspection Services (FIS) and meeter-greeter area; and an intermediate (apron) level which houses the Automated Transit System (ATS) station and airline support services such as baggage processing. A fourth level, containing administrative and mechanical services, is located on a mezzanine above the upper level. The terminal has several points of access via an upper-level roadway for passenger drop-offs and pick-ups, a pedestrian bridge from the parking lot and the ATS providing access from domestic terminals and remote parking facilities. The departure hall basks with natural light from an exposed structural steel truss system, enclosed by expansive glazed sidewalls. Leaving the hall, passengers enter the galleria, which guides them to airline departure gates. Retail stores and restaurant/ concession facilities line the galleria. The abundant use of exterior views provide a continuous sense of orientation, facilitating efficient movement through the terminal. The simple and straightforward design give passengers a feeling of safety and well-being in this busy public area. The design is flexible and adapts as our travel expectations evolve.