Studio ORD

The number of people traveling by air is constantly increasing every year, which is why Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, known as ORD, is undergoing an 8.5-billion-dollar project.  The entire vision includes multiple new terminals, a more modern transit system throughout the airport, and updated concessions to ensure passengers have everything they need while flying.  

Numerous companies bid on the new design, but Studio Gang beat out all the competition.  Studio Gang was founded by Jeanne Gang and they will work closely with Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Milhouse Engineering and Construction, Corgan, and STL Architects on what has been dubbed Studio ORD.  

Terminal 5/Chicago Department of Aviation

Terminal 5 Will See Massive Upgrades

The beginning of this project will have Terminal 5 undergoing a complete overhaul to increase gate capacity, add more lounge space, improve the concession options, and replace the aging baggage handling system with a state-of-the-art baggage ID system.  Some of the work will be completed by the beginning of 2021, while the remainder is planned to be finished by the end of 2022.  

Studio ORD

Spruced up Transit System

In addition to all that, the airport transit system is being modernized to hold double the amount of people.  This entire system will be able to meet the demands of the growth of passengers flying through O’Hare every day and it is expected to be up and running completely within the next month or two.  

Studio ORD

The New Global Terminal

One of the best features of the Studio ORD project is the new global terminal, which will be in a Y shape.  This new terminal will be one of the largest in the world and it will allow passengers to stay within one terminal as they are switching between domestic and international flights.  

The work on the global terminal will not begin until 2023 and the plan is to have it opened by the end of 2028.  The 2.2 million square feet of space will have large lounges, multiple amenities and concessions, the state-of-the-art baggage system, and larger customs facilities.  

The biggest part of the global terminal though is the fact that it will allow three major airline alliances to operate within one terminal space.  Those three airlines at Chicago’s O’Hare include Star Alliance, Oneworld, and Skyteam.  

Studio ORD

The Creation of Two Satellite Terminals

Two satellite terminals are also going to be created, but they will be worked on by one of the other finalists from the global terminal search.  These terminals have been designed to create more gate areas while improving the amenities that are available to passengers.  

These two terminals can easily be reached from all the others via underground tunnels.  This ensures that no space is wasted, or accessibility is lost, while the global terminal is under construction.  

Big things are coming to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and while we will all need to wait a while for most of them, it will all make flying into and out of this airport better in the future. 

While you are in Chicago, check out 10 things everyone has to do.  There’s so much to experience in summer as well as winter! Also, free is always good so don’t miss Chicago museum free days. Some of our favorite immersive museums to visit besides the Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute include the wndr Museum, and Hebru Brantley’s Nevermore Park in Pilsen.