Neufert, is a reference book for spatial requirements in building design and site planning. First published in 1936 by Ernst Neufert, its 39 German editions and translations into 17 languages have sold over 500,000 copies. The first English version was published in 1970 and was translated from the original German by Rudolf Herz. The book is conceived to help the initial design of buildings by providing extensive information about spatial requirements. Dealing mostly with ergonomics and with functional building layouts, thousands of drawings illustrate the text, organised according to building typologies. Weighting now slightly less than two kilograms, it has been continuously updated.
Architects’ Data first appeared in English in 1970,nearly thirty-five years after Ernst Neufert published his rules for building design’—Bauentwurfslehre—based on his lectures at the Building Technical College in Weimar. He had arranged in one book or convenient reference during design work, data on the spatial needs of man in his home, his work place and his leisure ,and on his animals, tools and belongings. The book clearly met a need: in 1979 the 30th German edition appeared; it has also been published in Spanish (12editions), Italian(5), French(5), Portuguese(3), Serbo croat(3), and in Russian, Greek and Turkish; but before he present, only one edition in English, which came late on the scene. The book is available in Arabic too.
Neufert’s involvement in the standardization of architectural dimensions and building practices, for which he is best known, started in 1926, when he began teaching at the Staatliche Bauhochschule in Weimar. Here, a compulsory module for new students was Schnellentwerfen (fast design), which allowed a very limited time to develop architectural solutions to a given brief. The academic catalog from 1929 described the class: Schnellentwerfen (fast design), which allowed a very limited time to develop architectural solutions to a given brief.
The publication of Architect’s Data in 1936 was the high point of Neufert’s long, uninterrupted career. Its German title, Bauentwurfslehre, translates literally as “teachings on building design,” more forceful than the neutral Architect’s Data. The work is simultaneously a handbook, a textbook, and a reference; it is a didactic treatise rather than a mere repository of data. An equivalent of sorts, the Metric Handbook, was published in 1968 for a British readership and according to United Kingdom standards, and has sold about 100,000 copies. Possibly this was the impetus for the English-language edition of Neufert’s to me, released only in 1970.
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