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Domingo Pellicer Davina, Professor of the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra

Juan Jesús Iribarren, in memoriam

Sun, 23 Dec 2018 13:12:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

When back in the summer of 1964 the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra began, it was thought that a degree program as internship as that one required professors also experienced in the internship, the Associate Professors, of wide tradition in the technical careers. Thus, when the time came to teach the subjects that required it, it was necessary to have such professors. Juan Jesús Iribarren Onsalo, Doctor of Industrial Engineering and for many years Municipal Engineer of Pamplona, was one of them: he was entrusted with illustrating the future Architects in everything that had to do with electricity and lighting in Architecture, an arduous task for students already in their fourth year, impatient to face the big questions of design but still disturbed by technological minutiae such as watts, volts, amperes and lumens.

Juan Jesús began his classes at the School in October 1967 as Professor of Electrical Engineering and Lighting in the fourth year, remaining in that position until his retirement in 1998. I myself was his student during the academic year 1971-72.

As Adjunct Professor he had to combine his work in the City Hall with schedule in the morning, with the schedule professor ; so he had no choice but to teach it in the afternoon: his class was the typical four o'clock in the afternoon, as it was usual with all those taught by associate professors who were also civil servants, with schedule in the morning. In addition to his mastery of subject,- something that was taken for granted, given his degree program, Juan Jesús was a B specialist in birds and as a consequence, a patient and very affable person.

As the subject was not very attractive and it was also taught at siesta time, the students used to derive the topic towards the birds and sometimes we succeeded. The classmates of the first promotion had told us how much they learned from Juan Jesús - the "Chispas", as they called him and which lasted during his time at the School - about the Bearded Vulture during his classes; but we were able to verify between volt and volt that there was no bird in Navarre that did not fit in his bag of knowledge.

After some time, already as Director of programs of study, I could appreciate with what seriousness he approached the balance between his discipline and Architecture, to collaborate, with all the professors of the technical areas of the School, in the intention of insinuating to the students that "there is something more behind the architectural design ..., the service from the profession. He did it with extreme delicacy and total understanding: in my own experience as student of Juan Jesús and later, as Director of programs of study, I have never heard of any Fail. Now, without a doubt, you enjoy the best A, dear Juan Jesús.