I really like how O’Hare looks in silhouette form.
To be honest, O’Hare is the primary reason behind my decision to start my terminal silhouette project. It’s my third most visited airport, and although in reality it’s obnoxiously crowded, I really conceptually like the terminal layout. Even before I began this project, I’d often find myself doodling ORD concourses, which I’ve long since memorized.
The layout has a lot of instances of symmetry while still having each terminal manage to be completely unique, and it manages to fit a lot of gates in a relatively small area in a way that’s entirely pleasing to my eyes.
I also learned a few things about O’Hare from by drawing my terminal silhouette.
First, I’d always assumed that the entrances to Terminals 1, 2, and 3 (labeled below) formed half of a regular hexagon around the passenger drop-off/pick-up loops, which would mean that the terminals had 120° angles between them. However, T1 and T2 formed a 115° angle, and T2 and T3 were only at 110°. This also means that despite my prior assumptions, concourses B and C are not quite parallel with concourses F, G, and H.
Second, I was able to confirm that the two Y-shaped concourses (E/F in Terminal 2, and H/K in Terminal 3) were basically identical in size, other than that the arms of H/K were longer. I was actually able to copy and paste E/F to create H/K, with relatively minimal modifications required.
Paul Bogard created these terminal silhouette illustrations, and has made them available for use under a CC BY-SA 4.0 License.