The City of Chicago has selected Studio ORD to lead the design of the $8.5bn expansion programme involving a new Global Terminal and Global Concourse for O’Hare International airport.

Studio ORD is a joint venture comprising Corgan Associates, Milhouse Engineering and Construction, STL Architects, Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates, and Studio Gang Architects.

After being awarded the contract, Studio ORD, one of the five shortlisted architect teams, will work with the City of Chicago and the airlines to design the new Global Terminal and Concourse.

Another team from the remaining four finalists will be selected in the coming months to design two new satellite concourses to be constructed west of Terminal 1.

The expansion is expected to improve the travel experience for more than 83 million passengers using O’Hare each year, and also create thousands of jobs for the community.

The 2.2 million square foot Global Terminal will be one of the largest and most modern terminals in the US.

It will more than double the space at the existing Terminal 2, replacing it with an expanded arrivals hall that will feature additional gates; more space for concessions, lounges and public amenities; modern baggage systems; and new technologies to improve security screening.

The Global Terminal will integrate international and domestic operations, enabling travellers to easily connect to domestic flights from destinations around the world from under one roof.

Additional gate capacity will allow United and American Airlines, O’Hare’s dual hub partners, to improve connectivity and offer competitive pricing for travellers.

The $2.2 billion Global Terminal is slated to break ground in 2023. 

The five teams shortlisted are: Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza Joint Venture Partners; Foster Epstein Moreno Joint Venture Partners; Santiago Calatrava; Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM); and Studio ORD Joint Venture Partners.

The O’Hare terminal expansion programme is expected to offer several opportunities for local participation, including contracting opportunities and thousands of jobs.

The City’s goal is to ensure a minimum of 30% of work for M/WBE firms.

In addition, Studio ORD intends to facilitate seven mentor-protégé partnerships to support small and local firms in gaining airport experience.

The expansion will be funded by airport revenues.