/ Featured / Construction Begins on First New Terminal 5 Gates in 25 years at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Construction Begins on First New Terminal 5 Gates in 25 years at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Parul Dubey on March 22, 2019 - in Featured, News, Projects

Muller & Muller, Ltd (M2) and HOK are leading design of the major gate expansion at Terminal 5, enhancing international travel at one of the world’s most-traveled airports


CHICAGO — Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s expansion efforts reached a new milestone yesterday. The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has begun construction on the first phase of a significant expansion of Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport, which will provide ten much needed new gates.

Muller & Muller, Ltd (M2) and HOK are leading the design of more than 300,000 square feet of new space in Terminal 5. This will be the terminal’s first major expansion since it opened in 1993 and will allow O’Hare to welcome more travelers, more comfortably.                    

The Terminal 5 expansion is a key component of the O’Hare 21 program, a comprehensive effort by the City of Chicago and the airlines to modernize one of the world’s most-traveled airports. The Terminal 5 project will increase the terminal’s capacity by 25 percent, adding new gates and upgrading existing gate sizes to accommodate the larger aircraft increasingly used for international flights. The Terminal 5 expansion will also enable further redevelopment projects at O’Hare. The first phases of construction will include adding new pavement east of Terminal 5 and relocating facilities to allow for the construction of new gates.

“Chicago’s airports are the front doors to our city, and they play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives,” said Cindy Muller, president, M2. “The design team has roots here. Together we’ll work to build a long-term engine of economic opportunity and growth for Chicago.”

“O’Hare is at the heart of Chicago’s air transportation legacy and these modernization efforts will ensure that it remains a true international gateway for our city,” said William Jenkinson, RIBA, Principal and Aviation + Transportation practice leader for HOK in Chicago. “Our design will create an exceptional passenger experience and infrastructure that will not only stand the test of time but adapt and grow to accommodate changes in how we will travel in the future.”

Terminal 5 currently accommodates the majority of O’Hare’s international travel, serving passengers from more than 45 countries and over 260 destinations. As renovations continue, Delta Air Lines and the SkyTeam Alliance will be relocated to Terminal 5.This renovation and expansion project will open up the terminal to amenities and services provided in other areas of the airport, improve airline clubs, shopping and dining experiences, enhance passenger comfort and make it easier for passengers to navigate through the terminal. The design will future-proof gates to accommodate new and next-generation aircraft, like Boeing’s Dreamliner, as well as smaller domestic jets. The extension will be designed so that gates can accommodate wide-body aircraft, but they can also be converted to narrow-body positions as the terminal is repurposed. To minimize the impact on travelers, airlines and businesses currently operating in the terminal, construction will follow a phased approach.


M2 is one of Chicago’s premier transportation-focused architectural design firms. For over 30 years M2 has provided planning, programming, design and construction administration phase services for numerous transportation agencies throughout the region, including more than 80 CTA, Metra, and Amtrak High Speed Rail Stations. Most recently, M2 led the design of a major expansion project at Midway International Airport, which is currently under construction.


HOK’s Aviation + Transportation practice designs high-performance passenger terminals, stations, intermodal facilities, automatic people mover systems, light rail systems and other transportation amenities at major airports around the world, including the Hamad International Airport Passenger Terminal Complex in Doha, Qatar. Current projects include the master plan and design of new Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, the Salt Lake City Airport Redevelopment and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s Domestic Passenger Terminal Expansion and Modernization. Projects recently completed by HOK’s Chicago studio include the new headquarters for Consumer Credit Union in Kalamazoo, MI and an expansion and renovation to the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.

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