Remembering David Body

David Body
David Body

AB Media remembers David Body, a long-time supporter of and contributor to Athletic Business magazine and the annual Athletic Business Conference now known as AB Show. David wrote many articles for the magazine, attended every conference starting in the mid-1980s, and was a speaker and panel moderator dozens of times. He always felt it was important to educate, impart best practices, and share his knowledge and experience with others, including colleagues, up-and-coming sport architecture enthusiasts, and clients past, present and future.

Sadly, David died March 15 in Los Angeles, just shy of his 85th birthday.

The Society for College and University Planning’s distinguished Planning for Higher Education Journal once referred to David Body as “The George Washington of Modern Athletic Buildings.” In his professional life, David achieved national recognition as one of the prime creators of the student recreation center as it is known today.

Born and educated in England at Stockport Grammar School and the University of Sheffield School of Architecture, David was a registered architect in the United Kingdom and numerous American states.

He emigrated to Toronto in the mid-60s to join Parkin Architects, at that time the largest and most distinguished firm in Canada. There he had the opportunity to work on projects ranging in diversity from York University residences and Toronto International Airport to pavilions at Expo 67 in Montreal.

In 1969 he moved to Los Angeles, joined the newly formed Parkin Architects office there, and launched his career in the design of sport architecture — a career that spanned five decades. The beginning of his career in sports facility design can be traced to the design of a multiuse 7,500 seat Recreation Hall at the University of California, Davis, followed closely by UCLA’s John Wooden Recreation Center.

To expand the firm’s presence across the country, in 1994 Parkin Architects merged with CannonDesign, a large national firm with virtually no sports work at the time. Under David's leadership, the firm achieved national prominence and international reach. David himself contributed work to 88 campuses, completing 42 collegiate recreation centers, many recognized for planning and design excellence by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Athletic Business and IAKS in Germany. David’s stature in the profession was reflected in his being named as a fellow to the AIA (FAIA) in 2008.

There is another dimension to David Body that explains his natural gravitation to the field of sports architecture. He has competed at the national and international level in four sports: tennis, squash, lacrosse and paleta Argentina (one of the family of Basque games of which Jai Alai is the best known). David’s life and career were defined by a symbiotic relationship between architecture and sports, and his work was informed by his lifelong avocation as an international competitor. His experience of the benefits of a sporting life nurtured his passion for creating environments in which students, faculty and staff can interact while pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Truly a leader in the sports architecture profession, while possessing a playful sense of humor, David Body leaves a legacy of outstanding professional accomplishments and, more importantly, of being a trusted and valued colleague — and a wonderful friend to many.

Page 1 of 78
Next Page
AB Show 2024 in New Orleans
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Nov. 19-22, 2024
Learn More
AB Show 2024
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide