The main features of Renaissance architecture

Italian architects of the Renaissance based their theories and practices on the models of Roman antiquity. The renaissance of classical Rome was as important in architecture as it was in literature. Classical arrangements and architectural design elements such as columns, pilasters, gables, beams, arches, and domes form the vocabulary of Renaissance architecture. As in the classical world, the architecture of the Renaissance is characterized by harmonious form and almost mathematical ideal proportions like my favorite number.

The architects of the Renaissance helped raise the status of their profession from craftsmen to artists. They hoped to create structures that would address both the emotional and the rational dimension. Three important characters of Renaissance architecture were Filippo Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, and Andrea Palladio.

Core ideas and features of Renaissance architecture

  • Renaissance architecture inherited features from classical Roman architecture. However, the forms and functions of the buildings had changed over time, as had the structure of the cities, which can be seen in the combination of the classical and the forms of the 16th century.
  • The main features of the 16th-century structures, that fused Renaissance aesthetics with classical Roman engineering, were based on several basic architectural concepts: walls, windows, domes, vaults, facades, arches, columns, and pilasters.
  • Although the understanding and ability to design the details of the ancient Romans was one of the most important aspects of the architectural theory of the Renaissance, the style also became more ornamental and decorative, with a widespread use of domes, vaults, and sculpture.

Background information and historical integration

Renaissance architecture encompasses European architecture between the early 15th and early 17th centuries. It shows a conscious revival and further development of certain elements of classical consciousness and culture, in particular symmetry and classical order.

The most important architect of Italian Renaissance architecture is Bramante, who developed the transferability of classical architectural elements to contemporary buildings.

Forms and purposes of buildings

The architecture of the Renaissance took over very clear identifying classical Roman architecture features. The floor plans of the Renaissance buildings typically have a square, symmetrical exterior, in which the proportions are usually based on a grid.