High-Flying Design

Nov. 1, 2016
Chicago’s O’Hare Airport’s refresh includes sleek, yet durable furnishings.
Chicago, Ill.
Epstein Global
CHALLENGE:Terminal Five in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport had long been in need for a refresh. The terminal’s security lines also had a problem of overflowing into the ticketing area and even out toward entrances during peak times. “All the food outlets were pre-security, so once passengers went through security there was really no place to get something to eat other than Hudson News,” says John Kolb, Vice President and Senior Project Manager of Epstein Global. The redevelopment expanded Terminal 5’s original 15,000 sq. ft. of space to 26,000 sq. ft., which helped cover the improvement of the security line areas, the creation of public restrooms in both pre and post-security TSA checkpoint areas, and the expansion of the retail and food options. INFLUENCE:Westfield, a retail giant known for managing and developing high-end shopping malls and airport concessions, won the bid to lease out the terminal and awarded the design work. The project’s goal, according to Kolb, was to make the airport much more user-friendly, including seating for the terminal’s food hall. SOLUTION:Epstein worked closely with Westfield’s L.A.-based design team throughout the project. Together, the design team selected Wilkhahn’s Chassis chair for use in the main general seating area for the terminal’s food hall, which houses multiple restaurant outlets. “First and foremost, it came to the look.” Kolb says of the Chassis, “It was a chair that worked for the rest of the design of the space.” The team opted for the chair in a sleek graphite black frame with a white seat and backrest shell. Once the team agreed on the look of the Chassis, they tested the chair and ultimately approved of the quality and comfort for the food hall. Kolb adds, “This is an area that gets a lot of traffic and abuse so we wanted something that would hold up over time. We really focused on three factors in the selection process of these chairs—aesthetics, comfort and durability.” null