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Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Brunelleschi, 1450
Structure - Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence
- - Bearing masonry
- -The materials used are stone for the building elements and marble and other materials for coatings. In some cases the stone is "rock hard" and other cases are sandstone and "serene stone," such as the pillars on which rests the small balcony of the house or the front steps of the library, by Michaelangelo. The structural elements, such as columns, are emphasized with marble finishes, or gold that decorates the ceiling of the church. The west front has remained in the same state since 1480, showing a naked and flat front of coarse terracotta bricks. The dome was partitioned by ribs into twelve webs.
Function - Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence
one of the largest churches of Florence, Italy, situated at the Centre of the city’s main market district, and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo III
Form - Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence
- In San Lorenzo Brunelleschi created a Latin cross plan, with the cross very small and that, despite being spatially longitudinal, produces a visual effect of centralization in the area of the transept to penetrate the area in light of the lantern dome. It has several chapels attached to the sides and there are three longitudinal naves. Above the cross there is a pendentive dome. On the cover of the aisles are parachute vaults, separated each one after the other, with a roof. In the corridors there are pointed arches on Corinthian columns, as a return to the support of classical Roman tradition. There are Corinthian pilasters with entablature on the side walls, with architrave, frieze and cornise. At greater height, a wall pierced by large spans and slender half-points allows natural light inside the temple. The roof is flat and the interior decorated with painted gold rosettes.
- The main chapel is open to the transept, and has the same height and width as the nave. The nave is a Latin cross and has ten chapels and four point vaults, which are open at the crossing and the transept. The side chapels have the same proportion as the naves and are covered by a barrel vault.
Cultural context - Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence
Filippo Brunelleschi was first and original architect. Upon the death of the architect, Antonio Manetti finished the Ciaccheri church. Inspired by ancient Rome and completely different from the florid Gothic style that prevailed in his time.
Physical Context - Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence
The church is part of a larger monastic complex that contains other important architectural works: the Old Sacristy by Brunelleschi; the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo; the New Sacristy based on Michelangelo's designs; and the Medici Chapels by Matteo Nigetti. The Basilica is located in Piazza San Lorenzo No. 9, surrounded by a complex of shopping streets and the well-known former San Lorenzo market in Florence, Italy.
Historical context - Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence
- For three hundred years it was the city's cathedral before the official seat of the bishop was transferred to Santa Reparata. Though considered a milestone in the development of Renaissance architecture, S. Lorenzo has a complicated building history. Even though it was built – at least partially - under the direction of Filippo Brunelleschi, it is not purely of his design. The project was begun around 1419, but lack of funding slowed down the construction and forced changes to the original design. By the early 1440s, only the sacristy (now called the Old Sacristy) had been worked on as that and the church was being paid for by the Medici. In 1442, the Medici stepped in to take over financial responsibility of the church as well. Brunelleschi died, however, in 1446 and the job was handed over either to Antonio Manetti or to Michelozzo; scholars are not certain. Though the building was “completed” in 1459 in time for a visit to Florence by Pius II, the chapels along the right-hand aisles were still being built in the 1480s and 1490s.
- By the time the building was done, many aspects of its layout, not to mention detailing, no longer corresponded to the original plan. The principal difference is that Brunelleschi had envisioned the chapels along the side aisles to be deeper, and to be much like the chapels in the transept, the only part of the building that is known to have been designed by Brunelleschi.