The year was 1992 and the world changed:
- Russia and the US officially end the cold war.
- Canada, US and Mexico reach the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- The Maastricht Treaty is signed, founding the European Union.
- 500th anniversary of the meeting of 2 cultures.
- First confirmed detection of extra-solar planets.
- In Texas and Mexico, the premier dome company, Geometrica, was founded!
Since 1992, Geometrica has been designing, manufacturing and installing large, free span domes around the globe. And actually, some of these Geometrica structures can be seen from space. There are sports arenas, storage domes, power domes, domes protecting the environment, structures at airports, hotels, hospitals, shopping centers, houses of worship and even a submarine base (but we can't show you pictures). They stand in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, England, Spain, Ghana, South Africa, Qatar, Singapore, Indonesia, and Taiwan - just to name a few of the dozens of countries.
Today, as the company celebrates its 20th year – it takes a look back – much like a proud parent – wondering where the years have gone.
Francisco Castano is the founder and CEO of Geometrica. “Pancho” to those who know him grew up in an engineer's home: his father built structures like the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City in the 60s and 70s. Pancho teamed up with his brother Roel to develop a business plan subsequently funded by investors from the three NAFTA countries. Among these supporters were Dr. Douglas Wright, President Emeritus of the University of Waterloo and pioneer in the design of reticular domes, José Maiz García, leader of a major construction company in Mexico, and Rafael Garza Martinez, renowned structural engineer and property developer with hundreds of designs to his name, Jay Tribble, retired CEO of a major commercial contractor in the Southern US, Humberto Garza, head of an international manufacturer, and Carlos Ferregut, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas, El Paso. The plan called for developing technology to build efficient long-span and free-form structures, building a team of experienced professionals to develop the product and service, and offering these structures to architectural and industrial markets.
It worked. Geometrica started and developed unique building systems, software and construction methods that now position it as a world leader in special structures. Its team of professionals include a dozen structural engineers with over 120 years of combined experience. The company has offices in Cypress, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico, representation around the world, about 200 employees and hundreds of installed structures.
We thank you, our friends, suppliers, co-workers and clients, for your business and fellowship during these two decades. As a small celebration, we’d like to share with you a few Geometrica memories.
Roel and Pancho Castano.
M.Y. Liu: How quickly the time flies! I can't believe it has been 20 years already. Back the old days, you and I worked so hard to win projects together; that has turned into a very precious memory, and an experience in my career that I have appreciated a lot. Our relationship started with the representative, then as partners, and, after working together for 20 years, we've truly become good friends. Indeed, it's my fortune and pleasure to work with such a good company.
Simon Huang : In most cases, Geometrica structures provide the advantage of cost saving solutions, but for the Kung-Fu Swimming Pool in Taiwan, the budget was much higher than a conventional steel structure. It was a summer day when we (Geometrica representative) visited Kung-Fu High School in north Taiwan. While there, we found that they had already finished the design for building an in-door swimming pool with a conventional A-frame roof with many columns inside the space. After we completed our Geometrica Dome Structures presentation, the Principal of the school asked his staff to visit one of Geometrica's domes built for a cement company. They were so impressed by the special geometry, the sky-like ceiling and the column-free, pressure-free space that, immediately after the visit, the high school decided to choose a Geometrica dome for the structure, even though our price was higher than the original conventional A-frame design.
When the roof cover was finished in 1999, the swimming pool became the most popular water recreation spot in that area. Everybody is happy with it.
Liron Yodla: In 1997, before beginning our first project together - Nesher (Eagle) Cement in Israel - I traveled to Houston with our designated Israeli contractor (Adamov) to visit similarly made Geometrica bulk storage domes. We arrived in the Houston International airport about 10:00 AM, after traveling 18 hours straight from Tel Aviv. Pancho and Sunder took me and Adamov to Houston Hobby airport and on the way we stopped for quick lunch and our first client discussion. Then, we took another flight (my third on that leg) to Mexico to visit Cementos de Chihuahua.
At Cementos, we met the plant manager and visited one circular and one longitudinal dome. Afterwards, we took another flight to Geometrica's facility in Monterrey where we met Roel in the hotel. This was at about 11:00 PM - my day had actually started one & a half days before .... The hotel in Monterey was beautiful, so Pancho said "let's have another meeting with my brother Roel, he will explain how we actually make our structures." I thought: "These guys are really non-stop and I am only 35 plus hours on my feet!"
We met Roel in the lobby and he goes: "Lets have a small drink. Liron, margarita?" Boy, I like these guys!
Finally, I go up to my room - it is a palace. I called the front desk, and asked them how much the suite cost. The girl says 1870 Dollars .... I am shocked, told her, that's a mistake the price is too high. She said, not at all, that's our corporate rate to Roel at Geometrica ..... and then the girl said: "Sir, it is including breakfast" ! I thought "Who are these guys? The children of King Solomon? I must be dreaming." Finally after 1/2 hour of arguing on the phone, she put the hotel manager on the phone and he said: "Sir, 1870 Dollars is not a high price! We usually charge more." Then, on this call he suddenly says Mexican Dollars. I asked him what Mexican dollars were and he said "That's how we like to name our Pesos" .... I jumped. What's the exchange rate, he said US $1 to 11.2 Mexican Dollars. Good night, I fell asleep.
Amit Pachisia: We contacted Geometrica in 2007 to do a sulfur storage dome in Abu Dhabi. I remember Geometrica was so reluctant to support the project, as they felt the specifications were all those of competition. With some persuasion and assurances, Francisco agreed to fight for the project and the rest was history. It was the first sulfur storage dome in the region, and, since then, we had some additional successes in the region with limestone, coal and waste storage domes. The best part about working with Geometrica is that they listen to what you have to say and they are very flexible in their approach to finding solutions. They have quality, dedicated people who are an absolutely pleasure to work with. We wish Geometrica the very best for the years to come.
Juan Pablo Jijena: Queridos Roel y Pancho, es en un día como hoy que quisiera mas que nunca felicitarles a Uds. y a Geométrica por estos 20 años de talento, perseverancia y profesionalismo, que sumado a una acertada visión de futuro, lograron construir una gran empresa que hoy se abre al mundo como una companía de renombre mundial. Yo, personalmente me siento muy orgulloso de ser parte del equipo geometrica. (Dear Roel and Pancho, I would like to congratulate you and Geometrica for these 20 ears of talent, perseverance and professionalism, that added by an accurate vision of the future, managed to build a company that opens to the world. I personally feel proud of being part of the Geometrica team.)
Geometrica Board, 1993
Plaza Valle, 1993
Nemak IV, 1996
Nasher Israel, 1997
Kuang Fu swimming pool, Taiwan, 1999
JEA, Florida, 2000
Geometrica board members building a dome, 2000
President Bush and President Zedillo under a Geometrica Structure, c. 2001
Internal Cladding, 2003
Happy Client, 2004
Phoenix, AZ, 2004
Wind tunnel model, 2006
Test module, 2006
South Africa, 2006
Kampot, Cambodia, 2007
Water tank, 2010
Pupuk Kaltim, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2011