Epstein was honored to be part of a joint venture team for the design of O'Hare International Airport's new Global Terminal. Our team, comprised of Foster + Partners, Epstein and JGMA, was shortlisted for the once-in-a-lifetime design and engineering assignment.
While we aimed to create a dynamic and iconic design, hoping to recapture the romance associated with air travel, we also wanted to reflect Chicago's cultural diversity. To do so, our team partnered with local design and engineering talent such as the Rebuild Foundation, a Chicago-based organization that directly engages in the production of innovative arts, crafts and trades program, founded and led by artist Theaster Gates, to work on this incredible project.
Departing passengers first encounter the three sweeping arches of the new terminal as they approach, creating a dramatic canopy over the drop-off. The arches then merge into a single curve as they enter the building, blurring the boundaries between inside and out and allowing the spectacle of the airfield to unfold, recapturing the romance associated with air travel. Nestled underneath the soaring roof, the column-free spacious volume is flooded with natural light. Domestic and international arrivals and departures are intelligently planned with direct routes, and every detail is designed with passenger experience at its heart.
The unique roof structure is an emblematic element that binds the entire design together. Using cutting-edge technology, it is supported on its perimeter at just six points, creating a grand unified space that is designed to meet the ever-changing operational demands that are synonymous with airport terminals and new technologies.