Filippo Brunelleschi

Great Essays
Walking through one of the basements of a dorm building on the UMN campus, the first thought that came to mind was the placement and pattern of the tile. Unlike most tile, this flooring was a particular pattern that’s use was essential in building one of the largest domes in the world; herringbone or spina pesce meaning “spine of the fish” (Great Cathedral Mystery). The largest masonry dome in the world sits on top of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, Italy and was built mainly by the master mason—and later capomaestro, an architect-in-chief—of the name Filippo Brunelleschi. Ingeniously designed, the dome continues to awe scientists and tourists alike—in addition—archeologist, architects, and engineers alike question the process …show more content…
To put it differently, building cathedrals are much like modern laboratory activities as David Turnbull explains in his book, Masons, Tricksters and Cartographers (Turnbull). Ideas of how and the style to build these superstructures sometimes came from the concept of “capturing” technology. Capture refers how cultures made improvements to previous technologies, these new improvements then spread across other cultures; the technology was considered “captured” when the new culture adopted it (Friedel 4-5). The story of Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King is an impeccable illustration of these two ideas, and throughout this essay examples will be analyzed to show this …show more content…
At the time of construction of the dome, there was yet to be a unifying measurement unit and this made dispersion of knowledge of how to built a certain type of structure difficult. The Greeks had invented three architectural orders, these were precise mathematical ratios and rules to follow when building, after the Greeks, the Romans then adopted these orders and refined them (King 26). Brunelleschi appears to have been fascinated by Roman architecture—in particular the Pantheon—and studied the orders when trying to build a dome that nobody knew how to build (King 26). Notably, this helps demonstrate that technology can be spread by means of the technology and processes from past architecture; in this case the Greek and Roman buildings. All things considered, it also enforces that the importance and popularity of using mathematical ratios in construction seem to have spread and been captured in a variety of cultures; e.g. Florence,

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