June 13, 2022
Coming in at #5 in our Centennial Year Countdown of our Top 100 Projects is the United Airlines Terminal 1 Complex at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The Chicago O'Hare International Airport Development Program was designed to upgrade Chicago's principal airport to meet the long-range transportation needs of the Chicago metropolitan area. As part of this program, United Airlines built a new $541M, 1.2 million square foot terminal complex on the site of the former International Terminal. Epstein, as Architect/Engineer of Record, worked in association with Helmut Jahn, the Design Architect.
United's Terminal I includes a main concourse and a parallel concourse separated by over 800 feet of paved tarmac between the two structures. This allows for dual taxiing of wide-body aircraft between the two concourses. An underground pedestrian tunnel, equipped with moving sidewalks and an overhead kinetic light sculpture connects these concourses. The terminal further houses one of the world's largest underground baggage-handling rooms, capable of processing 480 bags per minute.
The facility operates with a variety of security systems, including CCTV, metal detectors, and door monitors, depending on area and function. Doors are equipped with manual, card access, code, and electric remote controlled locking mechanisms.
In addition to its Associate Architect and design responsibilities, Epstein managed a team which peaked at 150 persons and involved nearly 25 primary and specialty consultants including Murphy-Jahn, Cosentini Associates, Lev Zetlin and Associates, Syska, and Hennessy and Schirmer Engineering.