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Back to Pamplona: arquitectura y urbanismo

Manuel Ferrer Regales , Full Professor emeritus , Universidad de Navarra

Pamplona: architecture and urban planning

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 11:29:18 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

The reading of the statements made in DN by Mr. García Barberena, president of high school of Basque-Navarre Architects, last January 10, leads me to qualify some of them. I conclude that in his statements an architectural point of view has prevailed over the urbanistic one.

On the one hand, it seems insufficient to affirm that the Old Town has "a little entity" citing only the rehabilitation of the Palacio del Condestable or the presence of a hotel in the place of committee. reference letter It is also striking that no mention is made of the originality and attractiveness of the three burgs that make up the area or of the B rehabilitation process that has managed to recover an important issue of 19th century buildings, some of such value as those on the northern front of the place del Castillo -a beautiful 18th century building- or some of the palaces that dot the Old Quarter. There is no CA that has such a beautiful setting and perspective as the one that overlooks the Arga River, to which is added the excellent connection of the CA with the Ensanche through the place del Castillo. The interviewee seems to forget the role of the Citadel that functions as an architectural landmark of plural purpose and unique in the context of the Spanish city, as well as the presence of a Presidium in intelligent dialogue with the false wall of the Avenida del Ejército and a fortunate subway with the inclusion of the new bus station. For its part, the I Ensanche contains buildings of great value, as the interviewee acknowledges, just as the II Ensanche (in its first phase, that is, up to the Avenida de la leave Navarra) contains successful buildings, some of which disappeared in the 1960s.

The architectural and urbanistic value of a city should be judged, in my opinion, not only on the basis of the "star" buildings, but also by the groups of buildings, whether they are the same, similar or diverse and that make up a neighborhood, a sub-neighborhood or a certain area . I think of the recently built neighborhoods on the right bank of the Arga, in the neighborhood of Mendebaldea, or in the surroundings of Yamaguchi Park, which is also admired for its highly differentiated crown of buildings.

I do not share the criticism of "the townhouses placed in tablets in the villages", since they reflect a singular harmonization between the old inherited and the renovated or rehabilitated, having been created suitable existing urbanizations in their environment, very different from each other. I emphasize the creation of the very long promenade along the river, the quality of urban renewal on the right bank of the Arga and the university campus , which cause admiration in foreigners who visit them. Lastly, the care taken in the furnishings and landscaping contributes to enhance this impression.

In conclusion: Pamplona is the most qualified city -in the context of the four Basque capitals-, at least if we take into account the variety of its urban landscapes, the existing balance between the center and the periphery, and the harmonious expansion of urban architecture around old settlements in its periphery.