News / 3.7.18

O’Hare International Terminal 5 Decorative Glass Installation

Art was inspired by NASA satellite imagery

ndoubtedly if you live and/or work in Chicago you’ve heard about the forthcoming $8.5 billion dollar expansion to O’Hare International Airport, a program that will include a new ‘Global Terminal” as well as new satellite concourses and an underground pedestrian tunnel. What you might not know is that over the past five years Epstein has been providing design and engineering services for a variety of O’Hare Airport facility improvement projects that have helped paved the way for this ambitious $8.5 program.

One of these projects was the recently completed $26 million renovation of O’Hare’s International Terminal 5, a program that involved expanding Terminal 5 from 15,000 to 26,000 square feet. To accomplish this, the original TSA Checkpoint was relocated, new concessions areas were added throughout the terminal and infrastructure modifications were made to support this redevelopment

As part of the renovation, Epstein designed a 22-foot glass wall with a commissioned designed graphic that was inspired by NASA satellite imagery of Chicagoland, a graphic which follows you down the queuing line prior to entering the security lines.


In a recently published article by Building Design + Construction magazine about this Glass Installation, the graphic was described accordingly, ‘Starphire Ultra-Clear glass panels fabricated by Goldray Industries line up against one another and create a continuous image that shows the gradual changes in color and texture that can be seen when heading inland from Lake Michigan to Chicago and on to Illinois’ rural cornfields. The panels were created with Dip-Tech digital printing technology, which uses a flat-bed printer to print high-resolution images on glass. The panels depict lakes, shallow shores, city buildings, and farmland in a collage of rectangles and squares. Transparent rectangles filter natural light from windows and skylights without diminishing the curtainwall’s privacy function.’


In addition to the glass wall, Epstein utilized unique light fixtures and ceiling finishes which coordinate with the floor tile as you continue through the space. In using these techniques’ Epstein was able to achieve a calming and interesting space for passengers in a high-stress environment that has greatly reduced queuing times and improved the overall passenger experience.