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Filippo Brunelleschi

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Filippo Brunelleschi (1377 – 15 April 1446) was one of the most notable architects and engineers of the early Renaissance, responsible for numerous works in Florence.


In 1401, Brunelleschi entered a competition to design a set of bronze doors for the Florence Baptistery, losing to Lorenzo Ghiberti. Around 1419, he designed the layout of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, although the church would only be finished after his death and the modifications of several of his designs. Around this time, he also designed the Ospedale degli Innocenti.

The year before, Brunelleschi defeated Ghiberti in a competition to build the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Inventing machines to hoist bricks to the workers, he was able to construct the entire dome without using a central support structutre. The dome contained 4 million bricks and was completed in 1436.

Brunelleschi also designed the Santo Spirito and the cloister of the Basilica of Santa Croce. His architectural plan for an open facade on the Palazzo Medici was rejected by Cosimo de' Medici, who wished for a more imposing building.


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