He was 68 years old, born in Helsinki on March 4, 1952.
Forssen started working in the central office of the town planning department in 1978 and worked as a project manager in the central project 1992–2017.
He had a special ability to empathize with the future built milieu already at the zoning stage. The designers of downtown sites such as the Forum, Stockmann and Citycenter were able to rely on this skill.
During Forssén’s career, supplementary construction increased the floor area of the business center blocks by the same amount as new construction in Jätkäsaari as a whole.
Forssen also consistently promoted pedestrian areas in the city center and had a prominent impact on the structure, functionality and design of public spaces in the Töölönlahti and Kamppi areas.
During this time, Kiasma, Sanomatalo, Kamppi Center, Musiikkitalo and Oodi have become new landmarks in the city center.
FORSSÉN was an independent visionary with uncompromising professional ethics. Critical, intelligent, and word-ready, he piloted the assigned tasks to the finish despite divergent interests and vocal lobbyists.
The Now supplement to Helsingin Sanomat once ranked Forssén among the most influential people in Helsinki, past many leading officials and politicians.
In his spare time, Forssén served on the board of the TEK Architects’ Club, where he served from 1979 to 2018 and twice as its chairman. Forssén was awarded the Order of the Finnish Lion in 2002. He was a lieutenant in military rank.
ALREADY AS A CHILD Ilpo, who was involved in drawing and painting, went to school in Rauma, where his childhood family moved from Helsinki to work as a shipbuilder’s father.
In 1971, he enrolled as a student at Rauma Co-educational School. The doors of the Otaniemi Department of Architecture opened in the same year. Soon Ilpo met his future spouse Sinika, and they started a family that was an important part of Ilpo’s life until the end.
Ilpo’s relaxed jovial nature created a positive atmosphere around him. Family, friends and colleagues remember Ilpo as an observant, insightful and fun thinker who was able to structure phenomena in an exceptional way.
The authors are Ilpo Forssén’s colleagues.
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