Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 9–32 | Cite as

The Golden Section in Architectural Theory

  • Marcus Frings
Research Articles


The never-ending—but always young—discussion about the Golden Section in architecture never lacks a hint at Luca Pacioli and architectural theory. But what it always lacks is a thorough study of the Golden Section in architectural theory. This paper aims to present this analysis. Marcus Frings traces the Golden Section from the mathematical and rather theoretical character of Pacioli’s concept, the the treatises of Alberti, Serlio, and Palladio, to Adolf Zeising in the nineteenth century. and to theorist Matila Ghyka and the practitioners Ernst Neufert and Le Corbusier in the twentieth. In the latter’s writings and designs the Golden Section seems to play the role of a scholarly element which shows the master’s theoretical erudition, leading to contemporary architects such as Ricardo Bofill.


Marcus Frings Golden Section Vitruvius Euclid Luca Pacioli Leon Battista Alberti Sebastiano Serlio Filarete Francesco di Giorgio Martini Albrecht Durer Adolf Zeising Gustav Theodor Fechner Ernst Neufert Le Corbusier The Modulor 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Darmstadt University of TechnologyDarmstadtGermany

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