Measure and Module of Helmut Spieker’s Marburg Building System 1960–1970

Silke Langenberg/Robin Rehm, “Measure and Module of Helmut Spieker’s Marburg Building System 1960–1970”, in: Nexus Network Journal. Architecture and Mathematics, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2020


Using the example of the well-known “Marburg building system” by Helmut Spieker (1933–2014), this contribution analyzes how the proportional rules of the Vitruvius tradition, already modified in the 19th century, changed as a result of the advancing industrialization of architecture in the 1960s. After 1945, construction had to be done quickly and inexpensively. Ernst Neufert’s Bauentwurfslehre provided the foundation for the production of standardized components in large quantities. Spieker’s system is one of the most important examples of modularized constructions, from the installation and furnishings to the wall and ceiling elements, etc. Although it is based on rational criteria of the norm and the module, Spieker’s method is linked to the tradition of proportion. We examine the question of how the traditional architectural proportion can be made norm-compliant and then translated into a specific construction system.