Chicago weighs futuristic designs for new airport terminal

Chicago, Jan 17 (epa-efe).- The Chicago city government on Thursday presented the futuristic proposals of the five finalists competing to design a new terminal at O'Hare International Airport, including Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Vying with Calatrava for the design contract are Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza, Studio ORD, Foster Epstein Moreno and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The proposals include sloping roofs, glass walls and some extravagant features such as hammocks that travelers could use to nap before catching their flights.

Calatrava submitted a design that he described as a "masterpiece of modern architecture" and which will be exhibited to the public along with the others on Jan. 31 at the airport, on his Web site and at the Chicago Architecture Center.

The terminal conceived by Calatrava is shaped like a ship's prow with a white wavy roof that extends over the tarmac near the terminal.

The construction, which will be the largest project in O'Hare's 74-year history, will take about eight years to complete and will cost around $8.5 billion.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement that the renovation will mean that O'Hare, the world's sixth busiest airport, is on a par with peers like Atlanta's Hartfield-Jackson International.

The remodeling will include the construction of a global terminal, which will replace the present Terminal 2.

In the new terminal, domestic travelers will be able to connect with international flights without delay and without having to transfer to another terminal.