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Tue September 28 2021

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Chicago shortlists five teams for design of $8.5bn O'Hare airport project

9 Nov 18 The US city of Chicago has shortlisted five design teams – representing both local architects and major international practices – for the expansion of O’Hare International Airport.

The five teams chosen from 12 submitting statements of qualification are:

  • Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza Joint Venture Partners;
  • Foster Epstein Moreno JV Joint Venture Partners;
  • Santiago Calatrava;
  • Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM); and
  • Studio ORD 
Joint Venture Partners.

The shortlisted teams will be invited to participate in a request for proposal (RFP) for lead architectural design services on the US$8.5bn terminal expansion plan for O’Hare, the largest in the airport’s history. The terminal expansion is the centrepiece in the O’Hare 21 programme.

Through the RFP process, this winter, each team will submit a design model that will be showcased at various locations throughout the city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “Chicago has called upon some of the world’s best designers to help carry out our vision for the new O’Hare Global Terminal - the key to a bigger, better and more modern O’Hare for the 21st century. As we look ahead to O’Hare’s future—we won’t forget Chicago’s legacy of architecture and transportation. By the end of this competition, we will change the trajectory of O’Hare forever, and ensure Chicago remains a leading hub for travellers around the world.”

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In the coming months, the City will seek public feedback on the design concepts presented by each of the five finalist teams. This input will be taken into consideration as part of the final selection.

Transportation, business and civic leaders from the city will make up the official selection committee with additional technical advisories from leading architectural firms, cultural and academic institutions and local businesses also providing their recommendations.

In June 2018, a request for qualifications (RFQ) was issued by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) through the Chicago Department of Procurement Services (DPS). In response, 12 teams submitted Statements of Qualifications, and five teams were later shortlisted based on the city's evaluation of the 12 submissions.

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