American Airlines Concourse G

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

Scope:  Gut-rehab of 1960’s-era concourse to provide state-of-the-art passenger facilities and create a new presence for AAL at O’Hare.

Design Solution:  The design consolidates seven mechanical penthouses to three, thus freeing up the roof to open a series of dramatic vaulted clerestories along the 700-foot long Concourse.  These vaults define circulation, draw natural light into the space and transform the dark, cramped concourse to create a powerful new presence for American.

V-shaped columns articulate new structure from old and draw the eye up to the vaults. The low “wave” ceiling sections beneath the penthouses act as counterpoints to the vaults. The undulation reinforces the sense of movement through the concourse while also also providing critical depth for mechanical ductwork to cross the central spine in an artful manner.

Holdrooms flanking the spine are designed with ceilings that step up to the perimeter wall. This provides depth for ductwork parallel to the spine, and also creates greater volume in the seating area, allowing natural light deep into the space, and greater visibility to the airfield. Lighting and air distribution are integrated into the ceilings with the streamlined efficiency and elegance characteristic of aeronautical design.

Recognition:  AIA Chicago Interior Architecture Award (2001), Chicago Tribune

Architect of Record

exp US Services


American Airlines

General Contractor

McHugh Construction Company


  • ESD Environmental Systems Design