Chicago O'Hare Airport
Designed to resemble a 19th century railroad station, United Airlines "Terminal for Tomorrow" opened at O'Hare International Airport on August 4, 1987. The $515 million terminal complex was designed by Helmut Jahn, principal partner in the architectural firm of Murphy/Jahn. The terminal has been ranked as one of the 10 best works of American architecture completed since 1980 by the American Institute of Architects.
The neon light sculpture and higher octave music in the pedestrian tunnel at OHare are an attempt to indulge several of the travelersí senses and add beauty to the utilitarian function of an underground passageway between two concourses. The goal is admirable; however, the implementation is annoying to most of the traveling public. Air travel can be very hectic. People are rushing to catch their next flight. First time visitors to the terminal may not know where they are going. Rather than being soothing and comforting, the bright pulsating neon lights and high-pitched instrumental sounds are distracting and irritating.