Christa A. Plaza President Essenza Architecture

Having accrued more than 20 years of experience in architecture and lighting design, Ms. Christa Plaza discovered her passion for design from watching her father build her childhood home. In her formative years, she accompanied her father on multiple jobs where they assembled light fixtures and did home flips. Backed by her aptitude for math and art, she went on to pursue a professional career in the architecture industry. Now a registered architect by the states of Colorado and Texas, Ms. Plaza achieved a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Arizona State University in 1995. In addition, she is DBE, WBE and SBE certified by the Denver’s Office of Economic Development.

Since 2007, Ms. Plaza has notably served as the owner of Essenza Architecture based in Louisville, Colorado that specializes in eco-friendly, modern commercial design. Taking on projects across the country from Sonoma County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, her extensive design portfolio includes fitness centers, athletic facilities, restaurants, spas, commercial office buildings, retail, tenant finish, schools and residential design. Notably, she has led design efforts internationally in Russia in coordinating the design and documentation of more than five fitness facilities and prototypes ranging from 34,000 to 80,000 square feet and has completed work for the Stonegate community campus in Parker, Colorado with four buildings and four pools. In addition to her design skills, Ms. Plaza is distinguished for fostering good client connections and solid communication, which is imperative in order to create and realize the vision for each project successfully.

Prior to her current professional responsibilities, Ms. Plaza was a project manager for Olson Architecture from 2003 to 2007 and for Roth Sheppard Architects from 2002 to 2003. With Olson Architecture, she managed the design, documentation and construction administration on the Ranch Reserve Plaza buildings and the Erie Commons Development and with Roth Sheppard Architects, she oversaw three Tokyo Joes restaurants in the greater Denver area and managed the city of Littleton master plan to determine the location of the new police station. Earlier, she served as a project manager for Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative from 1996 to 2002, where she first developed her passion for fitness center design and gained initial experience with review drawings, permit plans and coordinating with engineers. In five years’ time, Ms. Plaza hopes to expand her company and take on larger-scale projects for new and repeat clients domestically and globally. 

Finding great success throughout the course of her career, Ms. Plaza was the recipient of a National Illumination Award from the Clear Creek Metropolitan District Recreation Center in 2016. She attributes her vast professional success to her client connections and having a great team working on every project. To remain abreast in her industry, Ms. Plaza maintains affiliation with the American Institute of Architects, of which she was the Colorado north chapter secretary and the Denver continuing education chair in 2009. She was also the Colorado north chapter committee co-chair from 2007 to 2009, having won numerous design awards from their gala. Additionally, she holds membership with the Association of Fitness Studios, CAPRA, CSFA, USGBC and IHRSA. Civically, Ms. Plaza is involved with the Cutchins Programs for Children and Families.

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