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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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ENR Midwest: American Airlines’ O’Hare Hangar Gives It Flight Flexibility

The ENR Midwest Award of Merit-winning American Airlines Hangar 2 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport was featured in the magazine alongside its fellow 2019 “Best Project” honorees. Ghafari designed the 194,000 SF facility, the longest clear span, dual threshold airline hangar in the world that can accommodate all aircraft variants in American’s fleet.

The new structure, which was unveiled at a grand opening ceremony nearly a year ago, consolidates both line and base maintenance operations at the busy hub, enabling the airline to efficiently service one of the largest and fastest-growing aircraft fleets in the world.

The architectural design embraces the operational and structural requirements to clear-span 528 feet on two sides of the hangar. The dual-entry approach granted our team the opportunity to design a unique profile to the building, expressing both the structural characteristics of the form and the lighting characteristics of the translucent panel material. During the day, two translucent light bars that clad the structure offer a clarity of structural expression in contrast to the light metal panel clad doors and the darker clad diagonal ends. During the evening hours, the structure is exposed through the translucent panels, providing a dramatic beacon-like quality to the building.

“Our design approach integrates structure, architecture, lighting aspects, sustainability,” says Joe Gonzalez, FAIA, Ghafari’s Global Director of Design. “It’s the whole Chicago school of architecture.”

Access the full ENR Midwest article, “American Airlines’ O’Hare Hangar Gives It Flight Flexibility”, here.