In discussing alternatives this semester I felt like the major theme would be the onset of the renaissance and its influence on architecture. The word renaissance is derived from the french word "la rinascita" which means rebirth; this meaning coincides with what happened during the time period. The renaissance was the revival of art and literature under the influence of classical models in the 14th-16th centuries. In architecture this period was the revival of classical themes in architecture but in new and ground breaking ways. Architects and designers like Brunelleschi, Palladio, and Michelangelo tested boundaries, broke many rules and re-wrote many.
Aided by new technologies and new materials designers like Michelangelo explored the combination of classical and their own style's together. One example of his work is the Pazzi Chapel; in this cloister Michelangelo combines renaissance and classical themes, creating an updated twist to classical architecture. Another of Michelangelo's creations is St. Peter's basilica in Rome; supposedly "the greatest creation of the renaissance" (Fletcher, Banister). Not the only one to work on the building, Michelangelo is known for contributing the most design to the building including the dome and much of the phsad. The vestibule of the Laurentine Library demonstrates Michelangelo's testing the boundaries and rules known to architecture at the time. He brings the outer view of a building inside, creates a cascading feeling of water on his stairs and creates a new form of using columns in the context of a wall.
Filippo Brunelleschi was a designer at the beginning of the renaissance, naturally aiding in the style being brought to the forefront of architecture. One of his major accomplishments was the dome of Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. This dome is innovative in that it comprises of a frame encased in two outer layers. The inside of the dome has coffered stone, allowing the dome to bear more weight. Other works of Brunelleschi include The church of San Lorenzo, and Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence; all of these works display a sense of importance in order as Brunelleschi showed order was a key characteristic in his designs.
Andrea Palladio was a key organizer in the new rules about architecture that came from the renaissance. He was innovative in many ways including his use of the "triumphal arch". One of his most well known designs is the Villa Capra; this summer house harkens back to the pantheon and its design symmetry. With entrance ways on each side of the building mimicking how you can enter the pantheon from either direction. Palladio transformed old greek and roman techniques and made them his own.
The photo below of St. Peter's basilica shows the delicacy and stature of this amazing building. I think that it is shining example of what the renaissance was all about. It is an art form not just a piece of architecture. Being designed by one of the renaissance's most influential designers it radiates importance and shows beauty that makes you stop and take note.