World History

Architecture and Buildings of Renaissance

Building designers started to draw inspiration from the Romans and Greeks throughout the Renaissance. Ancient Rome and Greece served as major inspirations for much of Renaissance architecture, which was then modified to suit their way of life.

Filippo Brunelleschi

Considered to be the first Renaissance architect was Brunelleschi. According to some historians, the Renaissance officially began in 1419 when he was given the job of constructing the dome over Florence’s church. As the largest dome constructed since the Pantheon in Ancient Rome, which was constructed 1500 years earlier, this dome was a challenging job.

It would take most of Brunelleschi’s life to finish the full dome, including the lantern on top. The topmost gold ball alone weighed close to two tonnes. The dome’s construction required more than four million bricks as well. Additionally, Brunelleschi had to develop fresh techniques for hoisting massive things into the air, which would subsequently be adopted by other architects.

Additionally, San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito cathedrals in Florence were built by Brunelleschi. These churches were constructed with precision and symmetry. In the ensuing years, numerous additional churches would imitate this fundamental style throughout Europe.

Renaissance building characteristics

There were some distinctive characteristics of Renaissance architecture that were fairly typical of big construction:

Square –
Many structures were constructed in symmetrical square or rectangular designs.

Front –
Generally speaking, the “façade” or front of the buildings was symmetrical about the vertical axis.

Columns –
Roman-style columns were utilised.

Domes and Arches –
Domes and arches were widely used. This also borrows from ancient Greek and Roman design.

Ceilings –
Building ceilings were typically flat. Ceilings were frequently left open in the Middle Ages.

Renaissance building examples

St. Peter’s Basilica
Perhaps the most well-known structure constructed during the Renaissance is this one. The building’s design was created by a number of architects, including Michelangelo. It is regarded by many as the best Christian church structure and boasts the largest interior of any church in the world. From 1506 to 1626, 120 years were needed for completion.

Sistine Chapel –
This chapel, which is a component of the Pope’s official residence in Vatican City, is famous for its Michelangelo-painted ceilings.

The Palazzo Pitti
This mansion was initially constructed in 1458 for Florence banker Luca Pitti and later joined the Medici family’s vast empire.

Palazzo Farnese,
a High Renaissance structure constructed in Rome for the Farnese family.

El Escorial –
The late 1500s saw construction of this magnificent structure, which served as the Spanish King’s palace. It is arranged in neat, symmetrical squares, as may be seen in the image below. Some people think that Solomon’s Temple’s floor plan was replicated.