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Why did Brunelleschi change the role and status of the architect?

Aug 22 '12 10 Last Comment
piero1910
Aug 22, 12 1:27 am

I am asking this because I saw wikipedia this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture. It says that Brunelleschi transformed the role and status of the architect, but my question is how he did it. I understand what he created. But I don't know at all what they mean with that.

 

oneLOSTarchitect
Aug 22, 12 12:05 pm

ciao piero,

he transformed architecture by pushing the limits of material used, and to this day the dome over Santa Maria del Fiore is the largest brick dome in the world. we see this pushing the limits in architecture today with the claim to the tallest building. he was far advanced for his time.

boy in a well
Aug 22, 12 12:53 pm

giorno piero

ya see, the problem with writing is that its easy to just say sh*T. Seems good enough, on to the next line . . . . especially little wikipedia summary-type captions which no one expects anyone else to ever sweat or even read. Little blurbs do a disservice to someone who invented a lot.

There are a few easy reading, good story type of biographies out there on Brunelleschi. Entertaining and worthwhile to read, as opposed to some dusty history book. Nice light weight stuff. Also worthwhile might be something like Panofsky's Renaissance And Renascences In Western Art which talks about the historical situation which gives us an Architecure with a capital A. Brunelleschi is the node which projects the achievements of ancient rome forward into the wasteland of the middle ages, to put it horribly and superbriefly. His being advanced also had to do with his looking back - though he was a total super inventive cat on his own, no doubt.

piero1910
Aug 22, 12 2:14 pm

Yeah! I know what Brunelleschi but I don't know why his achievement was so important. Hahahaha, I know that they don't explain so well on Wikipedia. It is hard to see where they say that. It is next first paragraph on the right. I have seen even a book about that. It is called "the Brunelleschi dome" something like that. 

boy in a well
Aug 22, 12 2:30 pm

how bout this then:

He single handedly gave birth to the Renaissance.

something like that.

Mandyjm
Jan 30, 13 4:02 am

The website of the Museo Galileo (the science museum of Florence) explains the reasons:  http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/itineraries/place/TheDomeOfSantaMariaFiore.html  

The task was to build a dome that would cover the huge gap in the roof of a cathedral that had been started 150 years earlier.  There was a picture of how it was supposed to look when finished, and an indication of its finished height.  But no-one had a clue what the original architect had intended, and the dome was to be bigger than anything built for over a thousand years.  (500 years later it is still the biggest brick dome in the world.) 

Brunelleschi's achievements:

Firstly, there was a competition, and Brunelleschi went about winning the commission in a thoroughly modern and innovative way i.e he hired the two best sculptors available to create a model of his design. He then spoke to his proposal convincingly. In other words, he new how to promote his ideas effectively. 

Secondly, although a group of artists/designers were put in charge of bringing his plan to fruition, Brunelleschi, by a method of devious strategies, got rid of the others.  He was, in fact, the only person who was able to direct the construction to his own plans, and ultimately it was he who gave sole direction.  

Thirdly, he was incredibly innovative. He had studied Ancient Roman architecture, and from it, devised solutions that were essentially his own because the problem confronting him was unlike anything of previous experience.  Normally, a designer would give a pretty picture to a master mason/builder, and say "construct this!"  But no builder had ever constructed anything like the dome of Florence Cathedral.  Everything about the method was innovative, so the builders were entirely dependent on the architect/engineer Brunelleschi to direct them as to what to do.  In solving the problems, Brunelleschi used his enormously innovative mind to design pulleys and other machinery to aid in the job.

Fourthly, he was extremely innovative in managing the work project.  The Dome had 8 sides, and the city had 8 main sectors. So he drew a work crew from each sector, and put them under 8 foremen.  The crews then competed with each other to achieve the best results. For maximum efficiency,  lunch was served on site, and the consumption of strong liquor was limited. 

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Jan 30, 13 9:25 am

Mandyjm, Great link and info, thanks!

starrchitect
Jan 30, 13 10:09 am

This is just another example of architects sucking each other's dicks about how great they are.

jla-x
Jan 30, 13 10:48 am

he actually invented the first reversible gears on the ox drawn "crane" so that the ox did not have to be taken off to change direction to lower and lift the materials.  Pretty damn innovative.

Stoyan KaludovStoyan Kaludov
Jan 31, 13 8:56 pm

... And let us not forgotten that Brunelleschi also invented the one-point perspective technique... The man was a genius, he paid great attention to detail and his brain constantly worked in 3D... Before he became the father of Renaissance he was a gold smith... Apparently that fact made him a better architect as his mind was very well conditioned to conceive space and form in 3 dimensions...  His ideas on ordering and articulating of space and details were also quite innovative for his time... 

thakopian
Feb 1, 13 3:50 am

Brunelleschi established the architect as a master designer. Before him architects would be like foremen in charge of standard building types. Cathedrals would be similar to one another as the primary differences would be sculpture and material. Brunelleschi reinvented the cathedral with not only a dome but the entire design system integrated.

From him you can see the foundations of modern design thinking not only in terms of technology and practice but also holistic design and coherent visual themes. His technical expertise is what set him apart from contemporaries but that wouldn't have lend him the reputation he has today if he didn't have the ability to make attractive buildings.

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