(15 – 16 century

)

INTRODUCTION
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, in which there was a conscious revival and development of certain elements of Ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. The renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion,geometry and the regularity of parts as they are demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient roman architecture, of which many examples remained. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and Aedicules replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings.

Aedicules

Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators, the renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities and then to France, Germany, England, Russia and elsewhere. Space, as an element of architecture, was utilized differently from the way it had been in the middle ages. Space was organized by proportional logic, its form and rhythm subject to geometry, rather than being created by feeling as in medieval buildings. The renaissance in Italy is best considered geographically under the three great distinctive cities of its activity, Florence ,Rome and Venice In architecture the renaissance style started in 15th century Florence ,and from there spread to most other parts of Europe. Just as the general intellectual awakening was stimulated by rediscovery of classical literature-the monk Rabelais declared that a man should be ashamed of knowing no Greek – so the new Italian architectural style was deeply influenced by the theory and practice of imperial Rome.

In the early 15th century a ten volume work was rediscovered in Italy. Its author , Vitruvius, was an architect and engineer who served the emperor Augustus and dedicated his works to him. The book gave detailed information on the different styles practiced by roman architects and the rules governing correct proportions and other requirements. Vitruvius was widely accepted as an authority on how buildings should be constructed and some of the greatest renaissance architects ,men whose names are still household words , close students of his work.

As the new vogue spread ,architects came to Rome from other Italian cities and then from other European countries , to study ancient Rome buildings – most of them in ruins. A number of them publish their findings .New works were also produced known as sample books ,which contained architectural drawings . with the advent of printing these were more and more widely distributed. Renaissance architects did not try to make exact copies of ancient roman buildings. In more than a thousand years the manner of life had changed too much for this to be feasible. But they did observe the rules and outward forms which Vitruvius had described in such detail, adapting them to the requirements of their own time and imposing on them, as great architects will, their own personalities. Among the many features which they incorporated into their own buildings were the roman arch , the vault ,the gable and most important the five roman orders : A-Tuscan, B-Doric, C-ionic, D-Corinthian and E-composite.

As a main generalization, renaissance architecture can be divided into two main periods : 15th century early renaissance and 16th century high renaissance. In early renaissance ,roman influence is most apparent in the ornamentation of the buildings. In high renaissance roman Roman influence extends to the structure of the buildings as much as to their ornamentation

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

GEOLOGICAL INFLUENCES
Florence : The quarries yielded ample fine stone – white and yellow marble from siena, luna (white) marble from cararra, a blue grey stone and brown stone from quarries of fiesole etc. Rome : Good building stone of many varieties was available within ready reach of city, the finest being travertine from quarries of tivoli. Renaissance builders found the decaying pagan buildings a much more handy source for the colored marble. Venice : The site of the city devoid of suitable materials , but brick- earths were accessible on the nearby mainland ,and by easy water carriage ,stones, timber and marbles could be obtained according to need.

Travertine

CLIMATIC INFLUENCES
Florence : The bright and sunny climate rendered large windows not only unnecessary but also unsuitable. The open court normal to palaces and the sheltering colonnade or arcade the low pitched roof lent itself to cornice and parapet or balustrade. Rome : The narrow streets of Italian towns gave protection not alone against the blaze of summer sun but also against winter cold. The cramped ,bustling streets in their turn along with the risks of faction fights led to living on upper floors of palaces. The upper floor being the principal while the ground floor was devoted to general service purpose. Venice : The extreme heat of summer was here tempered by sea breezes and to enjoy them belvederes and balconies were usual.

colonnade

ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER
Plans of renaissance buildings have:
A square, symmetrical appearance in which proportions are usually based on a module. Within a church the module is often the width of an aisle. The need to integrate the design of the plan with the façade was introduced as an issue in the work of Filippo Brunelleschi,

Facades

are symmetrical around their vertical axis. Church facades are generally surmounted by a pediment and organized by a system of pilasters, arches and entablatures. The columns and windows show a progression towards the center.

Santa Maria Novella,

The employment of classical Roman orders which were now introduced after lying in abeyance of nearly thousand years. These orders –Tuscan, Doric ,ionic ,Corinthian and composite- were standardized by renaissance architects such as Palladio, Vignola and Scamozzi, and used both rationally and decoratively.

Cornices

are a dominating feature of renaissance buildings . some jut out as much as 2 mt. From the wall. Domestic buildings are often surmounted by a cornice. There is a regular repetition of openings on each floor, and the centrally placed door is marked by a feature such as a balcony, or rusticated surround.

Palazzo Farnese, Rome

Columns & Pilasters
The roman orders of columns are used:- Tuscan, Doric, ionic, Corinthian and composite. The orders can either be structural, supporting an arcade or architrave, or purely decorative, set against a wall in the form of pilasters. During the renaissance, architects aimed to use columns, pilasters, and entablatures as an integrated system. One of the first buildings to use pilasters as an integrated system was in the old sacristy (1421–1440) by Brunelleschi

Pilasters

Arches
Arches are semi-circular or (in the mannerist style) segmental. Arches are often used in arcades, supported on piers or columns with capitals. There may be a section of entablature between the capital and the springing of the arch. Alberti was one of the first to use the arch on a monumental scale at the St. Andrea in Mantua.

St. Andrea in Mantua.

Vaults do not have ribs. They are semicircular or segmental and on a square plan, unlike the gothic vault which is frequently rectangular. The barrel vault, is returned to architectural vocabulary as at the St. Andrea in Mantua.

DOMES
The dome is used frequently, both as a very large structural feature that is visible from the exterior, and also as a means of roofing smaller spaces where they are only visible internally. Domes had been used only rarely in the middle ages, but after the success of the dome in Brunelleschi's design for the basilica di Santa Maria del fiore and its use in Bramante's plan for St. Peter's basilica (1506) in Rome, the dome became an indispensable element in church architecture and later even for secular architecture, such as Palladio's villa rotunda.

CEILINGS
Roofs are fitted with flat or coffered ceilings. They are not left open as in medieval architecture. They are frequently painted or decorated

Doors
Doors usually have square lintels. They may be set within an arch or surmounted by a triangular or segmental pediment. Openings that do not have doors are usually arched and frequently have a large or decorative keystone

WINDOW
Many of the early renaissance windows consist of a single rusticated arch enclosing two openings separated by a single column. Later windows are rectangular in shape, surrounded with moldings, and with consoles and a pediment above. Another type of window , which is also rectangular, is flanked by engaged columns –columns partly attached to the wall- which carry an entablature. The pediment above. In a number of buildings windows with curved pediments alternate with windows with pointed pediments

Walls
External walls are generally of highly-finished ashlars masonry, laid in straight courses. The corners of buildings are often emphasized by rusticated quoins. In niches or placed on plinths. They are not integral to the building as in medieval architecture In Florence. Internal walls are smoothly plastered and surfaced with white-chalk paint. For more formal spaces, internal surfaces are decorated with frescoes.

DETAILS
Courses, moldings and all decorative details are carved with great precision. Studying and mastering the details of the ancient Romans was one of the important aspects of renaissance theory. The different orders each required different sets of details. Some architects were stricter in their use of classical details than others, but there was also a good deal of innovation in solving problems, especially at corners. Moldings stand out around doors and windows rather than being recessed, as in gothic architecture. Sculptured figures may be set

PALACES
The medieval castles were fortresses in which large number of people could be assembled. Renaissance palaces, by contrast were planned as agreeable places in which to live and to entertain ,they were not designed to be defended against battering- rams or bowmen. To prevent theft or even an attack by an angry mob , the ground floor windows were always kept small and covered by a grille. The iron work was usually based on roman motifs. Above the ground floor the windows became very much larger and more ornate. The ground floor of a palace is usually square .The entrance leads through the house into a courtyard where as a rule light and delicate arcades provide a startling contrast with the facade. In Rome the façade is decorated with rows of pilasters placed between the windows .Following the roman rules the bottom row is Doric , the one above it is ionic, and the top row is corinthian.There may also be nitches with statues and a fountain in the courtyard. Some palaces have more than one court. Staircases lead up from the courtyard , usually from beneath the arcades. The mezzanine floor usually has square windows, and on the first floor above, so called piano nobile, the principal rooms are to be found. In these rooms roman influence is again apparent. The ceilings are either vaulted or flat and are decorated with paintings or panel work. The subjects may be historical or allegorical. There are few corridors for the gradually in size from the main salone the small camera.

Ospedale degli Innocenti

The Ospedale degli Innocenti ('Hospital of the Innocents„), was a children's orphanage in Florence, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi

Palazzo Farnese, Rome

"The most imposing Italian palace of the 16th century", according to Sir Banister Fletcher

Palazzo Medici Riccardi by Michelozzo

Palazzo Te

Laurentian Library

Scuola Grande di San Marco, Venice

Chateau de Chambord

The Escorial, Spain

CHURCHES
The ground plans of renaissance churches vary considerably. Some are modeled on the roman basilica , some are in the shape of Latin cross and some are centrally planned.

The basilica type churches either have flat roofs, as in the roman prototype, or barrel-vaulted ceilings with domes. In the churches planned in the form of a cross, apses are often added at the ends.
The inspiration of some of the circular churches came from roman colonnaded circular temples. The similarity of the positioning of the columns is prominent .The circular form was also held to symbolize the cosmos conceived in the form of a globe with man at its centre. Some of the domes were so large and impressive that they became famous landmarks. Renaissance domes were spherical in shape and are constructed from stone. At the top of the dome there is an opening called the eye. The dome is completely covered by a much larger , second dome . it is the outer dome semi-elliptical in shape , topped with a lantern, constructed from wood and covered with lead or copper, which is visible from the outside.

Both the inner and outer domes are resting on a circular drum which has windows all around it. Daylight enters the church through the windows of both the lantern and the drum. Giant scrolls – a characteristic feature of renaissance church architecture-fill in the space created by the differing heights of the nave and the aisles. Nitches as tall as a whole floor with only one sculpted figure in them are also common Entrance to the churches is through richly decorated double doors , in some of the churches there are a number of sides chapels instead of aisles. The ceilings in renaissance churches are richly decorated ,being either painted or coffered –with carved decorated squares Among the features of these churches are splendid tombs, set in nitches or free standing . some are truly magnificent examples of sculpture and stonework.

S.LORENZO : FLORENCE

S.LORENZO : FLORENCE

The Basilica di San Lorenzo (Basilica of St Lawrence) is one of the largest churches of Florence, Italy, situated at the centre of the city‟s main market district, and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family

Though considered a milestone in the development of Renaissance architecture, S. Lorenzo has a complicated building history. Even though it was built – at least partially - under the direction of Filippo Brunelleschi, it is not purely of his design. The project was begun around 1419, but lack of funding slowed down the construction and forced changes to the original design. By the early 1440s, only the sacristy (now called the Old Sacristy) had been worked on as that and not the church was being paid for by the Medici. In 1442, the Medici stepped in to take over financial responsibility of the church as well. Brunelleschi died, however, in 1446 and the job was handed over either to Antonio Manetti or to Michelozzo; scholars are not certain. Though the building was “completed” in 1459 in time for a visit to Florence by Pius II, the chapels along the right-hand aisles were still being built in the 1470s and 80s. By the time the building was done, many aspects of its layout, not to mention detailing, no longer corresponded to the original plan. The principal difference is that Brunelleschi had envisioned the chapels along the side aisles to be deeper, and to be much like the chapels in the transept, the only part of the building that is known to have been designed by Brunelleschi.

The building in Renaissance architecture
Despite its history, the building is seen as one of the great examples of the new style. Its features are: The attempt to create a proportional relationship between nave and aisle (aisle bays are square whereas nave bays that are 2X1. The articulation of the structure in pietra serena (Italian: “dark stone”). The use an integrated system of column, arches, entablatures.a clear relationship between column and pilaster, the latter meant to be read as a type of embedded pier. The use of proper proportions for the height of the columns The use of spherical segments in the vaults of the side aisles. There are significant problems in the design, most, however, occur at the level of detail. Already Giorgio Vasari thought that the columns along the nave should have been elevated on plinths. That the pilasters along the wall of the side aisles rest on a floor that is three steps higher than the nave, is also considered an error. S. Lorenzo is often compared with Santo Spirito, also in Florence. Santo Spirito, which Brunelleschi began somewhat later, is considered to have been constructed more or less in conformance with his ideas, even though Brunelleschi died before most of it was built.

The outer and inner facades
The Medici pope Leo X gave Michelangelo the commission to design a façade in white Carrara marble in 1518. Michelangelo made a wooden model, which shows how he adjusted the classical proportions of the facade, drawn to scale, after the ideal proportions of the human body, to the greater height of the nave. The work remained unbuilt. Michelangelo did, however, design and build the internal facade, seen from the nave looking back toward the entrances. It comprises three doors between two pilasters with garlands of oak and laurel and a balcony on two Corinthian columns.

The Old Sacristy
Opening off the north transept is the square, domed space, the Sagrestia Vecchia, or Old Sacristy, that was designed by Brunelleschi and that is the oldest part of the present church and the only part completed in Brunelleschi's lifetime; it contains the tombs of several members of the Medici family. It was composed of a sphere on top of a cube; the cube acting as the human world and the sphere the heavens.

The New Sacristy
Opposite it in the south transept is the Sagrestia Nuova (New Sacristy), begun in 1520 by Michelangelo, who also designed the Medici tombs within. The new sacristy was composed of three registers, the topmost topped by a coffered pendantive dome. The articulation of the interior walls can be described as early examples of Renaissance Mannerism, see Michelangelo's Ricetto in the Laurentian Library. The combination of pietra serena pilasters on the lower register is carried through to the second facade; however, in Mannerist fashion, architectural elements 'seem impossible,' creating suspense and tension that is evident in this example. Michelangelo's sculptural elements, to be used on the tombs themselves, was left undone. A difficult person to work with, Michelangelo refused to direct the completion of the new sacristy.

Cappelle Medicee
The cruciform basilica with the vast domed apsidal Medici Chapel; in the cloister is the Laurentian Library. The most celebrated and grandest part of San Lorenzo are the Cappelle Medicee (Medici Chapels) in the apse. The Medici were still paying for it when the last member of the family, Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, died in 1743. Almost fifty lesser members of the family are buried in the crypt. The final design (1603-1604) was by Bernardo Buontalenti, based on models of Alessandro Pieroni and Matteo Nigetti. Above is the Cappella dei Principi (Chapel of the Princes), a great but awkwardly domed octagonal hall where the grand dukes themselves are buried. The style shows Mannerist eccentricities in its unusual shape, broken cornices, and asymmetrically sized windows. In the interior, the ambitious decoration with colored marbles overwhelms the attempts at novel design (Wittkower, R. p. 126). At its centre was supposed to be the Holy Sepulchre itself, although attempts to buy and then steal it from Jerusalem failed.

S.LORENZO : FLORENCE

FLORENCE CATHEDRAL (1296-1469)

FLORENCE CATHEDRAL
 THE BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE IS THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH (DUOMO) OF FLORENCE, ITALY, BEGUN IN 1296 IN THE GOTHIC STYLE TO THE DESIGN OF ARNOLFO DI CAMBIO AND COMPLETED STRUCTURALLY IN 1436 WITH THE DOME ENGINEERED BY FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI. THE EXTERIOR OF THE BASILICA IS FACED WITH POLYCHROME MARBLE PANELS IN VARIOUS SHADES OF GREEN AND PINK BORDERED BY WHITE AND HAS AN ELABORATE 19TH CENTURY GOTHIC REVIVAL FACADE BY EMILIO DE FABRIS.

THE CATHEDRAL COMPLEX INCLUDES THE BAPTISTERY AND GIOTTO'S CAMPANILE
THE BASILICA IS ONE OF ITALY'S LARGEST CHURCHES, AND UNTIL THE MODERN ERA, THE DOME WAS THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD. IT REMAINS THE LARGEST BRICK DOME EVER CONSTRUCTED THE CATHEDRAL IS THE MOTHER CHURCH OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF FLORENCE, WHOSE ARCHBISHOP IS CURRENTLY GIUSEPPE BETORI

.

THE BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE WAS BUILT ON THE SITE OF AN EARLIER CATHEDRAL DEDICATED TO SANTA REPARATA FOUNDED IN THE EARLY 5TH CENTURY AND HAVING UNDERGONE MANY REPAIRS, WAS CRUMBLING WITH AGE . THE NEW CHURCH WAS DESIGNED BY ARNOLFO DI CAMBIO IN 1296 .HE DESIGNED THREE WIDE NAVES ENDING UNDER THE OCTAGONAL DOME, WITH THE MIDDLE NAVE COVERING THE AREA OF SANTA REPARATA. AFTER ARNOLFO DIED IN 1302, WORK ON THE CATHEDRAL SLOWED FOR THE FOLLOWING THIRTY YEARS. IN 1334 GIOTTO WAS APPOINTED TO OVERSEE THE WORK. ASSISTED BY ANDREA PISANO, GIOTTO CONTINUED ALONG DI CAMBIO'S DESIGN. HIS MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT WAS THE BUILDING OF THE CAMPANILE. IN 1349 WORK RESUMED ON THE CATHEDRAL UNDER A SERIES OF ARCHITECTS BY 1375 THE OLD CHURCH SANTA REPARATA WAS PULLED DOWN. THE NAVE WAS FINISHED BY 1380, AND BY 1418 ONLY THE DOME REMAINED INCOMPLETE. THE EXTERIOR WALLS ARE FACED IN ALTERNATE VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL BANDS OF POLYCHROME MARBLE FROM CARRARA (WHITE), PRATO (GREEN), SIENA (RED), LAVENZA AND A FEW OTHER PLACES THE SIX LATERAL WINDOWS, NOTABLE FOR THEIR DELICATE TRACERY AND ORNAMENTS, ARE SEPARATED BY PILASTERS. ONLY THE FOUR WINDOWS, CLOSEST TO THE TRANSEPT, ADMIT LIGHT; THE OTHER TWO ARE MERELY ORNAMENTAL. THE CLERESTORY WINDOWS ARE ROUND, A COMMON FEATURE IN ITALIAN

DOME
 IN 1419, THE ARTE DELLA LANA HELD A COMPETITION TO DESIGN A DOME AND CUPOLA FOR THE CATHEDRAL WITH BRUNELLESCHI WINNING AND RECEIVING THE COMMISSION THE BUILDING OF A STONE DOME POSED MANY TECHNICAL PROBLEMS. THOUGH BRUNELLESCHI DREW HIS INSPIRATION FROM THE GREAT DOME OF THE PANTHEON IN ROME, THE FORMULA FOR CONCRETE HAD LONG SINCE BEEN FORGOTTEN HE WOULD HAVE TO BUILD THE DOME OUT OF BRICKS. BRUNELLESCHI'S SOLUTIONS WERE INGENIOUS AND UNPRECEDENTED: THE DISTINCTIVE OCTAGONAL DESIGN OF THE DOUBLE-WALLED DOME, RESTING ON A DRUM AND NOT ON THE ROOF ITSELF, ALLOWED FOR THE ENTIRE DOME TO BE BUILT WITHOUT THE NEED FOR SCAFFOLDING FROM THE GROUND, THE FIRST LARGE DOME EVER TO BE BUILT WITHOUT CENTERING BUT, BECAUSE THE DOME RESTED ON A DRUM WITH NO EXTERNAL BUTTRESSES SUPPORTING IT, THERE COULD BE NO LATERAL THRUSTS AT THE BASE OF THE DOME.

 

THIS ENORMOUS CONSTRUCTION WEIGHS 37,000 TONS AND CONTAINS OVER 4 MILLION BRICKS. HE MADE SEVERAL MODELS AND DRAWINGS OF DETAILS DURING THE CONSTRUCTION. BRUNELLESCHI HAD TO INVENT SPECIAL HOISTING MACHINES AND LEWISSONS FOR HOISTING LARGE STONES. THESE SPECIALLY DESIGNED MACHINES AND BRILLIANT MASONRY TECHNIQUES WERE BRUNELLESCHI'S SPECTACULAR CONTRIBUTION TO ARCHITECTURE. THE ABILITY TO TRANSCRIBE A CIRCLE ON A CONE FACE WITHIN THE INNERMOST DOUBLE-SHELLED WALL MAKES THE SELF-SUSTAINING "HORIZONTAL" ARCH CONSTRUCTION POSSIBLE, SINCE GEOMETRICALLY, A CIRCULAR PLAN IS NEEDED FOR SUCH AN ERECTION

BRUNELLESCHI'S ABILITY TO CROWN THE DOME WITH A LANTERN WAS QUESTIONED AND HE HAD TO UNDERGO ANOTHER COMPETITION. HE WAS DECLARED THE WINNER OVER HIS COMPETITORS LORENZO GHIBERTI AND ANTONIO CIACCHERI. HIS DESIGN WAS FOR AN OCTAGONAL LANTERN WITH EIGHT RADIATING BUTTRESSES AND EIGHT HIGH ARCHED WINDOWS, THE CONICAL ROOF WAS CROWNED WITH A GILT COPPER BALL AND CROSS, CONTAINING HOLY RELICS

FAÇADE OF THE CATHEDRAL

This neo-gothic façade in white, green and red marble forms a harmonious entity with the cathedral, Giotto's bell tower and the Baptistery, but some think it is excessively decorated. The whole façade is dedicated to the Mother of Christ.

FAÇADE OF THE CATHEDRAL

INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL
□ THE CATHEDRAL IS BUILT AS A BASILICA, WITH A NAVE AND TWO AISLES, FORMING A ROMAN CROSS. THE NAVE AND THE AISLES ARE DIVIDED BY WIDE POINTED ARCHES WITH COMPOSITE PILASTERS, DIVIDING THE NAVE INTO FOUR SQUARE BAYS.

□ ITS DIMENSIONS ARE ENORMOUS: LENGTH 153 METRES (502 FT), WIDTH 38 METRES (124 FT), WIDTH AT THE CROSSING 90 METRES (295 FT). THE HEIGHT OF THE ARCHES IN THE AISLES IS 23 METRES (75 FT). THE HEIGHT FROM PAVEMENT TO THE OPENING OF THE LANTERN IN THE DOME IS ALSO 90 METRES (295 FT).

PAZZI CHAPEL : FLORENCE

S.SPIRITO: FLORENCE

S.ANDREA : MANTUA

PLAZZO PITTI: FLORENCE

PLAZZO RICCARDI: FLORENCE

PLAZZO STROZZI: FLORENCE

S.MARIA DELLE GRAZIE: MILAN

OSPEDALE MAGGIORE: MILAN

PAL. DELLA CANCELLERIA: ROME

S.MARIA DEI MIRACOLI: VENICE

S.GIORGIO DEI GRECI VENICE

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