Skidmore lands massive O’Hare expansion project

The architectural firm signed a $140M contract with the Chicago airport

TRD CHICAGO /
Jan.January 24, 2020 11:00 AM
O’Hare International Airport, Skidmore Owings & Merrill founders Nathaniel Owings and Louis Skidmore (Credit: Wikipedia)

O’Hare International Airport, Skidmore Owings & Merrill founders Nathaniel Owings and Louis Skidmore (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Chicago O’Hare expansion project is finally cleared for take off after Skidmore Owings & Merrill signed on as the project’s lead civil engineer, Crain’s reported.

The architectural firm signed a massive $140 million contract to design two terminals that will be built west of the United Airlines-owned Terminal 1.

The entire O’Hare project will include two other designers. Studio ORD is in charge of building a new international terminal in place of the currently-standing Terminal 2. HNTB is designing an underground tunnel system to aid in airport operations such as baggage and passenger transportation.

“Having two or three lead designers in place and working in parallel is a critical moment for the overall success of the O’Hare 21 program,” city Aviation Commissioner Jamie Rhee said in a statement to Crain’s. “We have assembled a team of unparalleled vision and talent, and every traveler who uses O’Hare will benefit.”

In total, the airport will be expanded by 60 percent and cost an estimated $8.5 billion.

The firm has some of the most impressive buildings in the world in its portfolio including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, New York’s One World Trade Center and Chicago’s Willis Tower. SOM has been very active in Chicago development recently as they are currently working on the $1 billion redevelopment of Cook County Hospital as well as Thor Equities’ office building in Fulton Market.

[Crain’s] — Jacqueline Flynn


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