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The Achievements of Renaissance Architecture (Essay Sample)


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Filippo Brunelleschi’s roofing of the Florence Cathedral with arches arranged to form a herringbone began the European Renaissance architecture era that lasted from the early 15th century to the early 17th century. Architects redefined and reinvented architectural design styles and philosophies by studying and improving classical Roman and Greek building features, such as straight columns and rounded arches. Architects borrowed the artistic principles of perspective and proportioning to help them symmetrically order elements. As the earliest Renaissance architecture masterpiece, the Florence Cathedral ushered the era of domes on churches. Renaissance architecture revived and redefined ancient Rome and Greece building elements by employing perspective and proportioning to logically link elements while humanizing architectural designs.
Borrowing from the artistic principle of perspective helped Renaissance architecture to align, proportion, and arrange building elements in an orderly and symmetrical system. Architects improved on the five orders of Ancient Rome and Greece to modularly systemize building elements, leading to beautiful and aesthetically superior structures compared to the Middle Ages. These new buildings united “architecture, painting, sculpture, theater and science into a single philosophical and anthropological idea” (Portnova, T. 2019, 64). Architects, therefore, earned the title of artists for their redevelopment, reinvention, and redefining of constructions styles, influenced by the artistic principle of perspective. Leon Batista Alberti’s work on the Palazzo Rucellai introduced the concept. He mathematically proportioned the elements using the geometrical concept of straight lines to systemize the columns and pilasters from floor to floor while logically relating them to the entablatures (Hemsoll, D. 2019, 85). He also employed mathematical proportioning in the façade of the Santa Maria Novella, culminating in a beautiful work of Renaissance architecture. Therefore, Renaissance architects proportionately ordered building elements using mathematical (geometry) scaling to create modular systems that enhanced structural beauty.
Renaissance architects revived and reinvented the use of classical Roman and Greece fundamentals of architectural design. They redesigned and refined how to incorporate ordered straight columns, pilasters, lintels, rounded arches, architraves, and dome-shaped roofs. Brunelleschi fathered Renaissance architecture with his work on the Florence Cathedral dome-shaped roof. He had to study ancient Rome dome-shaped structures to solve a roofing problem that had baffled Florentine architects since 1296 (Portnova, T. 2019, 70). He cleverly reimagined the use of arches in a herringbone pattern meeting at the summit of the dome; he arranged them to support each other and avoid crumbling under their weight. He borrowed from the “artistic and cultural heritage of the distant past as the starting point for the development of its [Renaissance architecture] art” (Portnova, T. 2019, 70). The successful completion of the dome influenced numerous other churches across Europe to use similar design concepts. Renaissance architects led by Brunelleschi borrowed, redefined, and improved basic design foundations from ancient Rome and Greece, which led to a paradigm shift as churches adopted the design principles Brunelleschi employed on the Florence Cathedral.
Adopting humanism as one of the philosophy designs helped Renaissance architects to precisely symbolize roominess while allowing more light into their designed structures. Humanism positioned humans at the center of the rebirth of architecture revitalizing architectural philosophy. Through humanism as an architectural viewpoint, architects revived the “good and beautiful architecture of the ancients” (Waters, M. 2016, 165). They created an aesthetic experience by designing structures with loggias and enclosed porches leading out to beautiful outdoor plazas. Donato Bramante introduced the concept when he designed the Tempietto di S. Pietro in Montorio – he borrowed from ancient Roman design elements espoused in the Temple of Hercules Victor in Rome (Waters, M. 2016, 166). Renaissance architects exp

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