Pekka Salminen 1937-2024 In Memoriam

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our founding partner, Professor Pekka Salminen in Helsinki on 30 May 2024.

Pekka Einari Salminen was born in Tampere on 11 August 1937. After obtaining an MSc in architecture from Helsinki University of Technology in1966, he started his career at the offices of Aarne Ervi and Timo Penttilä in the 1960s. In 1968, he and his partners established the practice that would eventually become PES-Architects in 2006.

Pekka was driven by curiosity and interest in all aspects of architecture and design, exploring new ideas and technologies and working closely with a wide range of collaborators including engineers, interior, furniture and landscape designers and artists. In the 1980s, PES-Architects was a pioneer in employing computer-aided design.

International connections, both professional and personal, played a central role in Pekka’s work and life. He actively sought contacts first in Europe – particularly in Germany, Poland and Croatia – then beyond, embarking on an exceptional new career in China in the early 2000s at retirement age.

Pekka Salminen considered his main works to be the Lahti City Theatre (1983) and the Helsinki Airport Terminal 2 expansion (1999) in Finland, the Marienkirche Concert Hall (2001) in Germany, and the Wuxi Grand Theatre (2012) and Fuzhou Strait Culture and Art Centre (2018) in China. The Nanjing South New Town Centre, currently under construction in China, will remain Pekka's final completed work.

Pekka Salminen served as President of the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA and was a member of the Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences. Pekka was given the honourary title of professor in 1998 and received the Finnish State Prize for the Arts in 2002.

Pekka’s international recognitions included the Order of the Croatian Star (2003) and the Bene Merentibus medal granted by the Association of Polish Architects (2019).

Pekka’s legacy

Pekka believed that an architect’s mission is to design and build a better world for people to live, work and find personal fulfilment in. We remember Pekka as a passionate and tireless initiator and relentless executor whose holistic and fearless approach to challenges remains at the core of PES-Architect’s design principles.

In addition to his notable architectural achievements and international career, Pekka had reason to take pride in building an office that, with a new generation of partners and designers, will continue his 56-year legacy of success into the future.

PES-Architects is deeply grateful to Pekka for his life’s work and contribution.

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