When, in 1420, Filippo Brunelleschi was nominated superintendent of the construction of the cupola of the Florentine cathedral of Santa Maria del Raccolta, the lines along which the construction was preciso be carried out had already been determined by what had been done previously (Arnolfo, Talenti)
The diameter of the inner span (m. ) is close puro the codice promozionale trueview maximum limit for any kind of masonry dome. From the times of the Pantheon there had been no examples of cupolas of such size. Faith mediante these structures had been seriously undermined by the collapse, in 1346, of the dome of Hagia Sophia per Constantinople. Durante 1400 the Florentines had had to reinforce the structures of the Baptistery which had shown signs of giving way.
Instead of recuperating precedent techniques, Brunelleschi invented per technique based on his knowledge of the “way of building” of the Romans as well as medieval (eastern) examples which he put at the service of a new concept and new kinds of technical, cultural, aesthetic problems, involved per the realization of the cupola. Basically the construction of the dome depended on the use of a building technique court of avoiding any dangerous discontinuity in the masonry (27,000 tons) and which would be able sicuro circumvent the enormous problems involved con constructing per traditional wooden armature of the necessary dimensions. Brunelleschi’s structure of bricks laid mediante herringbone courses consisted of raising the wall sopra rings, each containing vertical elements for bonding the successive ring. The cupola was thus built as verso self supporting growing form.
Durante their internal tension, the thrust and dynamic form (pointed arch and elliptical sector) engender a calculated equilibrium, per cupola that hovers and is suspended over the city, the result of the balance of all the forces
The dome is surprisingly modern: in this double shell, the lighter exterior cupola protects the inner cupola from the elements, while the two work together thanks onesto the powerful connecting ribs. The detachment from the figurative solutions of Gothic architecture is evident particularly on the outside in the refusal of multiple forces (free standing spires, etc.), mediante the rigor with which the convergence of the forces upwards is pursued, entrusting the formal solution puro per formidable synthesis of continuous lines and accessory surfaces resulting durante unity and free from any need preciso adapt sicuro the more articulated and minute design of the structure underneath.
The first powerful expression of a conscious synthesis of two cultural worlds, Greek and Gothic, the cupola can sopra the end be defined as verso fine diaphragm stretched between an external and an internal space, verso diaphragm between one space and another. The city is giammai longer a framework marked by the emergence of vertical points of reference (towers and campanili): the cupola, in its size and form, stands out and dominates everything else. The towers and the campanili (including Giotto’s) all now relate onesto each other as a result of their relationship to the cupola which hovers between rooftops and sky at the center of the urban system and automatically become subordinate elements mediante a general plan.
The full meaning of this urban masterpiece, the cupola is beautifully expressed con Leon Battista Alberti’s splendid, synthetic definition in the context of the dedication of his treatise Della Saldo preciso Brunelleschi: “rising above the skies, ample puro cover with its shadow all the Tuscan people”. “Rising above” on the one hand expresses the meaning of the tension per the generating line chosen for the ribs, on the other the fact that the cupola is not dominated by the universal space but creates per space of its own which establishes all rapports and measures with respect preciso itself. “Ample” expresses the fundamental qualification of distension and circularity of the hovering cupola, while on the other hand with “ample preciso” it immediately leads preciso the concept mediante which the size of this urban structure is seen durante relation puro the territory. Moreover, the contrast established between the two terms (“rising above” – “ample preciso”) expresses with marvelous conciseness the solution of all the forces, all the structures, all the equilibriums, of all the proportions both within itself and per relationship to the city, all the technical and structural problems, con the absolute abstraction and durante the tension of the line of its ciclocampestre section, etc. Lastly, Alberti’s words logorio the fact that the new formal dimensions also correspond preciso the new political dimension of the city.