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ALA Awards 2020 Feature
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Two Ghafari Aviation Projects Honored with ALA Design Awards

Two Ghafari Aviation Projects Honored with ALA Design Awards

Two Ghafari projects were honored at the Association of Licensed Architects’ (ALA) 2020 Design Awards. The American Airlines Hangar No. 2 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport was recognized with an ALA Silver Award, while the O’Hare Aircraft Rescue + Fire Fighting Station No. 2 received a Merit Award. Both facilities represent significant milestones in the airport’s continued transformation. Learn more about these award-winning projects below.

Ghafari and our fellow honorees were recognized during a virtual awards ceremony on January 14. Check out all of the 2020 winners here.

American Airlines Hangar No. 2

At 194,000 SF, American Airlines’ new double wide-body aircraft maintenance hangar improves and consolidates line and base maintenance operations at one of the airline’s busiest hubs. Our design carefully considers the airport’s infrastructure, outfitting the facility to take advantage of existing utilities and daylight harvesting to reduce overhead lighting and diminish energy costs.

The design embraces the operational and structural requirements to clear-span 528 feet on two sides of the hangar. This dual-entry requirement presented an opportunity to create a unique profile, expressing the form’s structural characteristics and the lighting characteristics of the translucent panel material. During the day, two 600-foot “translucent light bars” cladding the structure offer a clarity of structural expression in contrast to the light metal clad 70-foot-high doors and the darker clad diagonal ends. In the evening, the structure is exposed through the translucent panels, providing a dramatic beacon-like quality.

The new hangar improves American’s aircraft and maintenance operations while serving the greater modernization of Chicago O’Hare, and is a landmark for American’s next-generation facilities.

O’Hare Aircraft Rescue + Fire Fighting Station No. 2

Also at O’Hare, the 19,000 SF Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station No. 2 fulfills the need for both airport rescue and structural firefighting in one building. The facility integrates spaces for apparatus operations, training, and firefighter housing and recreation. Essential to the design was the careful organization of these functions for both expedient dispatch and the wellbeing of personnel.

The apparatus bay is the spatial centerpiece of the plan, accommodating eight vehicles in a drive-through configuration to increase safety and flexibility. Adjacent is the watch room – the control center of the building – along with service shops and a hose-drying tower. These functions are separated from dormitories and offices, preventing disruption or contamination, but have direct accessibility through the building’s main corridor.

The new ARFF Station syncs equipment, technology, and training to heighten functionality and efficiency, and reduce emergency response times. For years to come, it will play a pivotal role in the health and safety of its inhabitants and the surrounding community.