Terri Meyer Boake BES BArch MArch LEED AP
Associate Professor :: Associate Director :: School of Architecture :: University of Waterloo

United Airlines Terminal
O'Hare International Airport

Helmut Jahn Architect

Chicago, Illinois



Project Information:

The new construction for the United Airlines Terminal at O'Hare took place between 1985 and 1988. The project was designed by Helmut Jahn Architect, with C.F. Murphy Associates and Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, and included new passenger terminal areas as well as an illuminated tunnel between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

More information on this project may be seen at Great Buildings Online and structurae.com.

Project Images:

View along side wall of the atrium space highlighting the use of architecturally exposed structural steel.
The AESS is used throughout the terminal building to define the character of the space.

Round HSS sections are used as purlins to support the partially glazed roof panel system. A system of diagonal bracing has been devised using steel rods to stabilize the structure.
Detail showing the manner in which some of the members are hung from the main steel framing members (W sections with round holes cut into the web portion).

View along atrium roof.
Detail of tension rod hanger.
Fritted glazing is used to cut down on solar gain in the space while still encouraging a high level of daylighting.
Detail of column comprised of 4 round HSS sections.
Detail looking up column comprised of 3 round HSS sections.
Base detail of triple HSS column section.
View towards ceiling over check-in area. The skylighting design mimics that used by Louis Kahn on the Kimbell Gallery in Forth Worth, Texas.
Close up detail of cross bracing connection in wall plane.
View down main atrium space.
The atrium space steps down along the length of the building. The curved steel beams are doubled up at the step points.
View towards semi-circular rotunda skylight at departures lounge.
Beam to column connection detail.
Beam to column connection detail.
Interior view of the connecting tunnel between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 -- for more tunnel images link
Exterior view of terminal building.


These images are for educational use only and may not be reproduced commercially without written permission. tboake@sympatico.ca

Updated July 19, 2005