Brunelleschi and the Dome !
There are many interesting things about Brunelleschi’s genius and the architecture and beauty of this amazing structure. One of three important landmarks in ‘Dome’ building : The Roman Pantheon, Haigia Sofia, and the Dome of The Florence cathedral.
The cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flowers) in Florence holds the dome whose curves, size, architectural genius, and innovative construction is a monument to the creativity of Filippo Brunelleschi.
Interesting facts on the thought and intelligence behind the dome :
- The Dome has a ‘double shell’ design (there are two shells) , and this makes it far loftier and lighter than a dome of its size could be. The dome remained the largest till modern technology allowed construction of similar sized domes (42 to 45 meter diameter , around 500 years in the lead as the biggest dome)
- The Inner (lighter) dome also helped in solving the scaffolding problem
- No known mechanisms at the time could allow for lifting and managing the heavy materials (including beams) , so he invented a custom set of tools including a three speed hoist which had a very intricate system, and a 65-foot tall crane… these tools weren’t rivaled till the industrial revolution
- Brunelleschi also had a genius idea for letting the bricks stay in place: He created a herringbone pattern with the bricks that redirected the weight of the bricks outwards towards the dome’s supports, instead of downwards to the floor.
- When the project was launched different suggestions (before brunelleschi) for achieving the construction of the dome included supporting the dome with enormous pillar in the center of the church , using a ‘sponge-stone’ to minimize weight, and using a mountain of dirt and coins as scaffolding (the coins so that citizens would willingly and happily clean the mountain when construction is finished).
Brunelleschi’s work with the Dome is credited as the beginning of a new Age of architecture and art, and the dome itself is symbolic of florence and the early renaissance..