Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
Established in 2004, The Warren Group began its journey with a resolute commitment to offering all-inclusive architectural services. The current year marked a special milestone for the firm, as its principal, Laura Warren, achieved significant recognition.
Laura Warren Ogletree was honored with the prestigious title of “RGV Architect of the Year,” awarded by the RGV Chapters of the National Association of Professional Engineers and the Texas Association of Civil Engineers. This commendation was not the only accolade for the firm; their stunning project, the Pharr Natatorium, was recognized as the “Project of The Year.”
Laura received these distinctions due to nominations and final selections made by members of both engineering associations, as she shared exclusively with Texas Border Business. The awards were presented in March during their inaugural annual gala.
The Pharr Natatorium, renowned as one of the best projects in the nation, was designed and constructed to cater to the swimming program needs of UTRGV, the PSJA School District, and the broader region. The facility, exclusive to Texas, meets the stringent requirements of UIL, NCAA, and FINA (Olympics).
The state-of-the-art amenities of the natatorium include a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, a 25-yard diving area equipped with a 10-meter tower and spring diving boards, seating capacity for 1,000 spectators and 300 competitors, training zones, classrooms, and support offices for administration.
The external aesthetics of the Pharr Natatorium boast a mosaic stream application, creating the illusion of changing watercolors as a diver ascends. The lobby cleverly incorporates the competition starting lines into the floor design, accompanied by inspirational swimming and diving imagery. The 10-meter diving tower’s rising fire mosaic design pays homage to the iconic Olympic torch.
In the spirit of sustainability, the design surpasses the city’s minimum landscaping requirements. The site is adorned with native plants and shade trees, providing shaded outdoor spaces for competitors to rest and socialize between competition rounds. The use of Magnesia Core panels for the interior walls has enabled a reduced reliance on concrete, ensuring the project remained within budget and on schedule during the pandemic.
Laura Warren has assembled an exceptionally talented team with extensive international experience, equipped to solve problems creatively and deliver projects in a rapidly evolving, multicultural environment. She, as the principal of The Warren Group Architects, advocates for the cultivation of enduring relationships based on a team-centric ideology.
“We become an integral part of our client’s project, assisting from the earliest planning stages through to post-construction services,” she stated.
The Warren Group Architects offer an array of services, including Master Planning, Site Finding, Site Design, Programming, International Project Management, Building and Site Assessments, and Sustainable LEED Certified Design and Interiors. Congratulations to Laura Warren Ogletree and her dedicated team on their achievements!