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Juan M. Otxotorena, Professor of the School of Architecture

Carlos Sobrini Marín, architect and teacher

Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:52:00 +0000

Baztanés and Navarrese in the most literal sense of the term, Carlos Sobrini joined from the beginning the regular teaching of the School of Architecture of Pamplona -founded in 1964-, as Full Professor of Projects. He traveled from Madrid every week to teach, while at the same time attending to the numerous professional assignments he received in his homeland, where he always enjoyed a mythical prestige and a strong social anchorage. Tremendous family misfortunes - illnesses, accidents - marked a hardy, self-demanding and austere life; with a dedication to teaching that had, in view of his circumstances, a human ingredient of unrepeatable density. He gave class to the older students, of higher courses; and they valued his work with unanimous admiration. He retired at the end of the 90s, when the University set in motion the inevitable mechanisms of generational replacement, with heartfelt tributes and barely stammering expressions of gratitude, hardly capable of living up to the demands of complete justice, obligatory recognition and deep affection.

Pragmatic and manager, a great sense of humor always adorned his expansive and warm cordiality. Stern and sardonic, open and very human, he used to be the first to tell the newly graduated students to treat him as "you", now that they were already colleagues. He did this as soon as he gave them their grades as president of the project Final Examination degree program, a role he held for many years. And it was not a pose: if they did not do so, he corrected them with that unassuming and even somewhat challenging nonchalance that in times gone by would be defined as typical of the noble people of this land.

He led and presided for years the active association of Navarros in Madrid whose identity revolves, for many purposes, around the famous church of San Fermín de los Navarros, a classic point of meeting of the capital's high society: not in vain is one of his favorite for weddings and celebrations of pomp. And he has returned from time to time, as if from visit, to let himself be touched as if by the affection of those who still remember him in an institution of changing faces and in times so reluctant to entertain the preservation of the past and the exercise of the report. A man marked by fire by his passion for his family environment, he always spoke of his children and grandchildren; and they have cared for him with exemplary affection in these past years, in a long stage of progressive deterioration of his health.

Sobrini is undoubtedly one of the most notable Navarrese architects of his time, a time that has seen the skill grow day by day and in which the issue of the collegiate colleagues in this demarcation has multiplied a hundredfold. His serious and elegant, sensible and judicious, enthusiastic and creative work has left an important footprint built in Navarra: solid and significant; with works as personal and meritorious as the famous Hotel Baztán in Elizondo and the Entrecaminos de Cizur Menor Urbanization, a residential condominium of unquestionable class, marked in its conception and design by an ambition and originality of those that are no longer seen no matter how much the language evolves. And it has also found an outstanding representation in the city of Pamplona itself. In the campuswhere he is the author of two of the most emblematic buildings of the University of Navarra: the Science building - known as 'the exagon' - and the building of the University of Navarra itself; and in the city center, where he is the author of two of the most emblematic buildings of the University of Navarra. School of Architectureand in plenary session of the Executive Council in the city center, where signature some emblematic residential buildings in Avenida de San Ignacio, Aoíz street or Paseo de Sarasate (the building of the former Banco Atlántico).

He never gave himself any importance, nor did he entertain himself by recreating the images of his works or pondering the possible successes of his design. He presented his options as the logical and obvious ones, with solid arguments to support them one by one, conscientiously; and he did not fail to highlight his mistakes, recognizing his doubts and highlighting possible alternatives that might have given a better result .

Its buildings have endured with great dignity the passage of time, with its sometimes compromising vicissitudes, including changes in layout and the influx of people far greater than expected. Its revision today undoubtedly resituates our idea of professionalism, with an efficiency that vindicates the magnificent know-how of the generation of our masters. She therefore becomes also a sort of great deontological bequest , marked by the call for the creative and ethical assumption of the architect's official document as a mission statement committed to the configuration of an environment for the life of many people. His memory undoubtedly evokes, for those of us who were able to learn from him and who perhaps unknowingly enjoyed his dense and discreet bequest, built and human, the authority of one who constitutes a model of commitment and intellectual honesty, of passion for his work and of humanism and magnanimity.