Christa Plaza


Christa Plaza has established herself and the Essenza Architecture team as recreation and civic facility design leaders. Her 26-year-long career began at Arizona State University, where she obtained her degree in Architecture. During this time, Christa served as head lifeguard at ASU has transpired into establishing her firm as a leader designing aquatic and fitness centers, competitive and recreational pools, and spas and wellness facilities. Christa understands the best practices for circulation, patron and staff experience, and integration of building systems. Christa and the Essenza team also designed other project types, including public works facilities, commercial office buildings, retail, tenant finish, and schools.

With a unique ability to translate client goals into a built facility, Christa leads owners and design teams in producing new facilities, additions, renovations, needs assessments, and master plans. Maintaining focus on client connection and good communication has been the primary focus of many successful projects. Christa believes that architectural design should enhance the experience of people living and working in the facility. She listens closely to clients during the building pro- gram development and creates a design influenced by how staff and patrons interact with the space. She creates sustainable spaces surpassing expectations by selecting products and developing meticulous detail. Christa"s additional strengths include follow-through in the construction observation phase, where quality control is of the utmost importance.


  • Recreation Management Magazine
  • Trends in Strategic Fitness Facility Design
  • Association of Fitness Studios
  • Know your numbers
  • Opening your own studio
  • Designing your own studio
  • 11 Tips to Design and Build your studio
  • Club Industry Newsbeat Design Series (Online)
  • Pools that Amaze
  • Workout Spaces Should Entertain and Engage
  • Locker Rooms That Make Sense
  • Going Green to Reduce Costs
  • Designing a Fitness Studio - Guest article with Stephen Tharrett
  • What Every Fitness Studio Entrepreneur Must Know When Designing Their Studio
  • Exciting Workout Spaces
  • Pools that Rock
  • Spa Essentials
  • Caf├ęs that Create Cash Flow


AIA, Member
AIA, North Chapter, Secretary 2009
AIA, Denver, Continuing Ed Chair 2009
AIA Colorado North, Committee Co-Chair, Design Awards Gala, 2007-09
USGBC, Member & Emerging Professionals Committee
ARE Committee 2003 - 06
Association of Fitness Studios
Colorado Parks and Recreation Association


Registered Architect:
Colorado #400686,
Texas #20787,


Bachelor of Science in Architecture,
Arizona State University