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Renaissance Architecture
Florence as the “birthplace” of “renaissance”:
The word derrived from Italian “la rinascita”
which means “rebirth”, revival of classical
antiquity. The word first appeared in Giorgio
Vasari’s book – The Lives of the Artist, 1550-68
§  economic expansion and concentration of
§  change in the moral and intellectual attitudes
towards wealth and its use: emergence of a new
class of patrons: MERCHANTS
§  role played by ARCHITECTURE and
HUMANISM (humanistas)
§ Renaissance (ca1400-1500)
High- Renaissance (ca.1500-1550)
Mannerism (ca.1550-1600)
•  Renaissance (ca1400-1500)
concepts of architectural order were explored and rules were formulated. The study of
classical antiquity led in particular to the adoption of Classical detail and ornamentation.
Space, as an element of architecture, was utilised differently from the way it had been in
the Middle Ages. Space was organised by proportional logic, its form and rhythm subject
to geometry, rather than being created by intuition as in Medieval buildings. The
significant example of this is the dome of The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence
(Duomo) by Filippo Brunelleschi.
High- Renaissance (ca.1500-1550)
during the High Renaissance, concepts derived from classical antiquity were developed
and used with greater surety. The most representative architect is Bramante (1444–1514)
who expanded the applicability of classical architecture to contemporary buildings. His
San Pietro in Montorio (1503) was directly inspired by circular Roman temples. He was,
however, hardly a slave to the classical forms and it was his style that was to dominate
Italian architecture in the 16th century.
Mannerism (ca.1550-1600)
during the Mannerist period, architects experimented with using architectural forms to
emphasize solid and spatial relationships. The Renaissance ideal of harmony gave way to
freer and more imaginative rhythms. The best known architect associated with the
Mannerist style was Michelangelo (1475–1564), who is credited with inventing the giant
order, a large pilaster that stretches from the bottom to the top of a façade. He used this
in his design for the Campidoglio in Rome.
Renaissance Architecture - Revival of the order
of the past -the golden age of the architecture –
Greek and Roman Architecture
The obvious distinguishing features of Classical
Roman architecture were adopted by
Renaissance architects. However, the forms and
purposes of buildings had changed over time, as
had the structure of cities. Among the earliest
buildings of the reborn Classicism were
churches of a type that the Romans had never
constructed. Neither were there models for the
type of large city dwellings required by wealthy
merchants of the 15th century. The ancient
orders were analysed and reconstructed to serve
new purposes.
The Vitruvian Man is a drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1490
Leon Battista Alberti, Ten Books on Architecture (De Re Aedificatoria) (1450)
Architectural Theory
During the Renaissance, architecture became not only a question of practice,
but also a matter for theoretical discussion. Printing played a large role in the
dissemination of ideas.
The first treatise on architecture was De re aedificatoria (On the Art of
Building) by Leon Battista Alberti in 1450. It was to some degree dependent
on Vitruvius' De architectura, a manuscript of which was discovered in 1414
in a library in Switzerland. De re aedificatoria in 1485 became the first printed
book on architecture.
The treatise of Antonio di Pietro Averlino also known as Filarete completed his
substantial book on architecture some around 1464, which he referred to as
his Libro Architettonico (Architectonic book).
Sebastiano Serlio (1475 – c. 1554) produced the next important text, the first
volume of which appeared in Venice in 1537; it was entitled "Regole generali
d'architettura (General Rules of Architecture).
In 1570, Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) published I quattro libri
dell'architettura (The Four Books of Architecture) in Venice. This book was
widely printed and responsible to a great degree of spreading the ideas of the
Renaissance through Europe.
All these books were intended to be read and studied not only by architects,
but also by patrons.
Filarete's Treatise on Architecture and the ideal city of Sforzinda (1461-62)
Palmanuova- Italy
Filarete’s ideal city – Sforzinda.
The plan of visionary ideal city, Sforzinda. It was designed by renaissance architect Antonio di Pietro Averlino, also
known as Filarete. Although Sforzinda was never built, certain aspects of its design are described in considerable
detail. The basic layout of the city is an eight point star, created by overlaying two squares so that all the corners
were equidistant. This shape is then inscribed within a perfect circular moat.
In terms of planning, each of the outer points of the star had towers, while the inner angles had gates. Each of the
gates was an outlet of radial avenues that each passed through a market square, dedicated to certain goods. All the
avenues finally converged in a large square which was centrally located. The town contained three squares – one for
the prince’s palace, one for the cathedral, and one for the market.
The design of Sforzinda may have been in part a direct response to the congested cities of the Medieval period,
whose organic growth did not ordinarily depend on conscious city planning, which meant they could be difficult to
navigate or control. In part, the Renaissance humanist interest in classical texts may have stimulated
preoccupations with geometry in city layouts, as for example, in Plato's description of Atlantis. Filarete’s ideal plan
was meant to reflect on society – where a perfect city form would be the image of a perfect society, an idea that was
typical of the humanist views prevalent during the Renaissance. The Renaissance ideal city, ironically, implied the
centralized power of a prince in its organization, an idea following closely on the heels of Dante’s that “The human
race is at its best under a monarch.”
Francesco di Giorgio Martini – Treatise on Architecture, (1480-90). The illustration represents
the human body as the symbolic equivalent of a city and a castle. The church is located at
the heart while the city centre (the piazza) around the navel.
Palmanova is a city in Italy constructed during the renaissance by Vincenzo Scamozzi and it is a city built
following the ideals of a utopia. It is a concentric city with the form of a star, with three nine sided ring
roads intersecting in the main military radiating streets. It was built at the end of the 16th century as a
fortress by the Venetian Republic which was, at the time, a major center of trade.
During the renaissance many ideas of a utopia, both as a society and as a city, surfaced. Utopia was
considered to be a place where there was perfection in the whole of its society. This ideas started by Sir
Thomas More, when he wrote the book Utopia. The book described the physical features of a city as well as
the life of the people who lived in it. The shape is also comes from cosmological ideas. It is believed that
circle is the most perfect of all geometries, because the radii are equidistant at all points, and it is a mirror
of a harmonious cosmic order. In the Catholic religion, as well as the pagan religions, the circle is the basis
of everything created. It represents perfection, as well as the cycle of life and death.
Florence in the 15th Century
Florence in 15th Century
Florence Cathedral - The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore - Duomo
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore – The dome by Filippo Brunelleschi, 1404-20
The Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) is a historical building in Florence,
Italy. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, and funded by Medici Family for used as children's
It is regarded as a notable example of early
Italian Renaissance architecture. Brunelleschi's
design was based on Classical Roman, Italian
Romanesque and late Gothic architecture. But
the use of round columns with classically correct
capitals, in this case of the Composite Order was
novel. So too, the circular arches and the
segmented spherical domes behind them. Also
novel was the proportional logic. The clean and
clear sense of proportion is reflected in the
building. The heights of the columns, for
example, was not arbitrary, the width of the
intercolumniation and the width of the arcade is
equal to the height of the column, making each
bay a cube. The simple proportions of the
building reflect a new age, of secular education
and a sense of great order and clarity.
Brunelleschi Cosimo de Medici’ye San Lorenzo’nun maketini sunuyor
Palazzo Vecchio, Floransa’da fresk, Giorgio Vasari (16. yy.)
Santa Maria Novella, Florence, by Leon Battista Alberti, 1470
The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470.
The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470.
Basilica of Sant'Andrea, Mantua, Leon Battista Alberti (1462)
Basilica of Sant'Andrea, Mantua, Leon Battista Alberti (1462)
"...[The] avowed architectural aim, to
schematize in the spatial form of the church
the immanent, harmonious order of the
world, found majestic realization in Alberti's
own church of Sant' Andrea in Mantua.
This was his final architectural work... and
it carries out these theoretical ideas with
perfect artistic clarity.«
"On the facade, [Ablerti] combined two of
his favorite ancient images—the pedimented
temple front (pilasters, entablature,
trabeation, and triangular pediment) and
the triadic triumphal arch (arched central
section and lower portals on either side).
The height of the facade equals its width,
but the barrel vault of the nave reached well
above the apex of the pediment, which was
also surmounted by a large canopy over the
nave window. Alberti therefore
disassociated the facade from the body of
the church by turning it into an
independent narthex one bay deep with its
own system of coffered barrel vaults and a
design combining the image of a triumphal
arch with that of a Classical temple front."
Basilica of Sant'Andrea, Mantua, Leon Battista Alberti (1462)
San Sebastiano Church Mantua, Leon Battista Alberti (mid 1470)
San Sebastiano Church Mantua, Leon Battista Alberti (mid 1470)
The Vitruvian Man is a drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1490. It is
accompanied by notes based on the work of the architect Vitruvius. The
drawing depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and
legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing
and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions.
The drawing is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with
geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius treatise De
Architectura. Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal
source of proportion among the Classical orders of architecture. Vitruvius
determined that the ideal body should be eight heads high.
This image exemplifies the blend of art and science during the Renaissance
and provides the perfect example of Leonardo's keen interest in proportion.
Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had
produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as a
cosmography of the microcosm. He believed the workings of the human body
to be an analogy for the workings of the universe.
the length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man
from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of the height of a man
from below the chin to the top of the head is one-eighth of the height of a man
from above the chest to the top of the head is one-sixth of the height of a man
from above the chest to the hairline is one-seventh of the height of a man.
the maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of the height of a man.
from the breasts to the top of the head is a quarter of the height of a man.
the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is a quarter of the height of a man.
the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of the height of a man.
the length of the hand is one-tenth of the height of a man.
the root of the penis is at half the height of a man.
the foot is one-seventh of the height of a man.
from below the foot to below the knee is a quarter of the height of a man.
from below the knee to the root of the penis is a quarter of the height of a man.
the distances from below the chin to the nose and the eyebrows and the hairline are equal to the
ears and to one-third of the face.
Francesco di Giorgio Martini – Treatise on Architecture, (1480-90).
Francesco di Giorgio Martini – Treatise on Architecture, (1480-90).
Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence, by Filippo Brunelleschi. The project was commissioned
by the Medici family to design an oratory for the monastery in 1434. It was located at the
corner of the property, along the outer wall.
Sketches for central plan churches, Leonarda da Vinci (c.1480)
St. Peter's Basilica is a Late Renaissance church located within Vatican City. Designed principally
by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the
most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the
world. While it is neither the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the
Bishop of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites.
St. Peter's Square is a massive plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City designed
by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667. Bernini gave order to the space with his renowned colonnades,
using the Tuscan form of Doric, the simplest order in the classical vocabulary, not to compete with the palacelike façade, but he employed it on an unprecedented colossal scale to suit the space and evoke emotions of awe.
The trapezoidal shape of the piazza, which creates a heightened perspective for a visitor leaving the basilica and
has been praised as a masterstroke of Baroque theater, is largely a product of site constraints.
San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore is a 16thcentury church on the island of the
same name in Venice, northern Italy,
designed by Andrea Palladio, and
built between 1566 and 1610.
The church is a basilica in the
classical renaissance style and its
white marble gleams above the blue
water of the lagoon. The white façade
represents Palladio's solution to the
difficulty of adapting a classical
temple facade to the form of the
Christian church, with its high nave
and low side aisles, which had always
been a problem. Palladio's solution
superimposed two facades, one with a
wide pediment and architrave,
extending over the nave and both the
aisles, apparently supported by a
single order of pilasters, and the
other with a narrower pediment (the
width of the nave) superimposed on
top of it with a giant order of engaged
columns on high pedestals.
San Giorgio Maggiore, Venedik, Andrea Palladio (1560lar)
Palazzos and Villas
The Palazzo Medici is a Renaissance palace located in Florence, Italy. The palace was designed by Michelozzo di
Bartolomeo for Cosimo de' Medici and was built between 1445 and 1460. It was well known for its stone masonry
includes rustication and ashlar. The tripartite elevation used here expresses the Renaissance spirit of rationality, order,
and classicism on human scale. This tripartite division is emphasized by horizontal stringcourses that divide the
building into stories of decreasing height. The transition from the rusticated masonry of the ground floor to the more
delicately refined stonework of the third floor makes the building seem lighter and taller as the eye moves upward to the
massive cornice that caps and clearly defines the building's outline.
Michelozzo di Bartolomeo was influenced in his building of this palace by both classical Roman and Brunelleschian
principles. During the Renaissance revival of classical culture, ancient Roman elements were often replicated in
architecture. In the Palazzo Medici, the rusticated masonry and the cornice had precedents in Roman practice, yet in
totality it looks distinctly Florentine, unlike any known Roman building.
Michelangelo's unusual ground-floor
"kneeling windows" with exaggerated
scrolling consoles appearing to
support the sill and framed in a
pedimented aedicule a motif
repeated in his new main doorway.
The new windows are set into what
appears to be a walled infill of the
original arched opening, a Mannerist
expression Michelangelo and others
used repeatedly.
The open colonnaded court that is the center
of the palazzo plan has roots in the cloisters
that developed from Roman peristyles.
Palazzo Medici
Palazzo Strozzi
Palazzo Strozzi: The construction of
the palace begun in 1489 by
Benedetto da Maiano, for Filippo
Strozzi. Giuliano da Sangallo
provided a wood model of the
design. Palazzo Strozzi is an
example of civil architecture with
its rusticated stone, inspired by
the Palazzo Medici, but with more
harmonious proportions.
Unlike the Medici Palace, which
was sited on a corner lot, and thus
has only two sides, this building,
surrounded on all four sides by
streets, is a free-standing
structure. This introduced a
problem new in Renaissance
architecture, which, given the
newly felt desire for internal
symmetry of planning symmetry:
how to integrate the cross-axis.
The ground plan of Palazzo Strozzi
is rigorously symmetrical on its
two axes, with clearly differentiated
scales of its principal rooms.
Palazzo Strozzi
Palazzo Rucellai is designed by Leon
Battista Alberti between 1446 and
1451 and executed, at least in part,
by Bernardo Rossellino in Florence,
Italy. Its facade was one of the first to
proclaim the new ideas of
Renaissance architecture based on
the use of pilasters and entablatures
in proportional relationship to each
other. The three stories of the
Rucellai facade have dif fer ent
classical orders, as in the Colosseum,
but with the Tuscan order at the
base, a Renaissance original in place
of the Ionic order at the second level,
and a very simplified Corinthian
order at the top level. Twin-lit,
round-arched windows in the two
upper stories are set within arches
with highly pronounced voussoirs
that spring from pilaster to pilaster.
The facade is topped by a projecting
Palazzo Rucellai: The ground floor was for business and was flanked by benches running along the street facade.
The second story (the piano nobile) was the main formal reception floor and the third story the private family and
sleeping quarters. A fourth "hidden" floor under the roof was for servants; because it had almost no windows, it was
quite dark inside.
The palace contains an off-center court (three sides of which originally were surrounded by arcades), built to a
design that may have been adapted from Brunelleschi's loggia. In the triangular Piazza dei Rucellai in front of the
palace and set at right angles to it is the Loggia de' Rucellai, which was used for family celebrations, weddings, and
as a public meeting place. The two buildings (palace and loggia) taken together with the open space between them
(piazza), form one of the most refined urban compositions of the Italian Renaissance.
Villa Rotonda
Villa Rotonda is a Renaissance villa just
outside Vicenza, northern Italy, designed by
Andrea Palladio in 1567-80. The site
selected was a hilltop just outside the city of
The design is for a completely symmetrical
building having a square plan with four
facades, each of which has a projecting
portico. The whole is contained within an
imaginary circle which touches each corner
of the building and centres of the porticos.
The name La Rotonda refers to the central
circular hall with its dome. Each portico
has steps leading up, and opens via a small
cabinet or corridor to the circular domed
central hall. This and all other rooms were
proportioned with mathematical precision
according to Palladio's own rules of
architecture which he published in the
Quattro Libri dell'Architettura.
The design reflected the humanist values of
Renaissance architecture. In order for each
room to have some sun, the design was
rotated 45 degrees from each cardinal point
of the compass. Each of the four porticos
has pediments graced by statues of classical
deities. The pediments were each supported
by six Ionic columns. Each portico was
flanked by a single window. All principal
rooms were on the second floor or piano
Villa Rotonda
Villa Rotonda
Villa Rotonda
Leonardo Da Vinci – Annunciation, 1475–1480. Uffizi is thought to be Leonardo's
earliest complete work.
Leonardo Da Vinci – Virgin of the Rocks, Louvre
Michelangelo, (c. 1511) The Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel ceiling
San Lorenzo Kitaplığı, Floransa, Michelangelo Buonarotti, (1524-34, 1558-59)
San Lorenzo Kitaplığı
San Lorenzo Kitaplığı
San Lorenzo Kitaplığı
San Lorenzo Kitaplığı
San Lorenzo Kitaplığı