Studio ORD under contract for O’Hare expansion

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Now officially under contract as lead architect, Studio ORD will drive the design of O’Hare 21, a US$8.5bn expansion program that will transform Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Led by Jeanne Gang, Studio ORD is a joint venture between Studio Gang Architects, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Corgan, Milhouse Engineering & Construction, and STL Architects (MBE). It will work with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), airline partners and other key stakeholders to bring to life its design concept for the new O’Hare Global Terminal and Global Concourse.

“The new Global Terminal and Global Concourse is a critical project for unlocking both O’Hare’s potential to be a leader in aviation and Chicago’s future success as a contemporary, economically strong, and truly global city,” said Jeanne Gang, founding principal of Studio Gang and Lead Designer of Studio ORD. “As a Chicagoan, I understand deeply the importance of O’Hare to our city’s identity, and I am honored that my hometown has provided our team with the opportunity to realize a design that can demonstrate Chicago’s unique culture, traditions, and diversity to visitors and residents alike.”

Studio ORD will also set the tone and palette for the second architect team, which will design the two new satellite concourses to be built west of Terminal 1. The second team will be selected, in the coming months, from the remaining four finalists shortlisted in the lead architect selection process: Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza Joint Venture Partners; Foster Epstein Moreno Joint Venture Partners; Santiago Calatrava; and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

CMAR contracts
In addition to awarding the lead architect contract, the City of Chicago also awarded three Construction Manager at-Risk (CMAR) contracts for key O’Hare 21 projects. These CMARs will be responsible for ensuring projects are completed on time, on budget, and with a commitment to diversity and local participation. The selected CMARs are Austin Power Partners, Turner Paschen Aviation Partners, and AECOM Hunt Clayco JV. These teams were selected through a competitive procurement process that began with an RFQ issued in March 2017 which had seven respondents, followed by an RFP issued in October 2018 that had five respondents. Each of the three selected teams were awarded contracts valued at US$116m.

All three CMAR teams have knowledge of O’Hare and experience with construction challenges. The scope for the CMARs has not been divided out yet, but will include the following O’Hare 21 projects: the Terminal 5 expansion; the new Satellite Terminal 2 and its associated APM tunnel; mass grading required for the future Western Employee Parking and Security Facility; and various projects that will enable the construction of future O’Hare 21 projects such as the O’Hare Global Terminal and Global Concourse.

Over the next decade, O’Hare 21 will deliver 25% more gate space and a more streamlined passenger experience. The expansion will be paid for by airport revenues.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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