Renaissance architecture, much like other masterpieces from the Renaissance, focuses on the construction of absolute beauty. This, oftentimes, takes the shape of balance, symmetry, and an overall back-to Basics approach to both the Classical and Renaissance Orders. The sheer beauty of a Renaissance building, whether manor or residence, is unrivaled, and many people would say that the experience is indescribable. Much Renaissance art has been called “the aesthetic delights,” undoubtedly true.
Characteristics of Renaissance Architecture
Although Renaissance architecture takes its design structure and basic symmetrical shapes from the Classical and Renaissance periods, one can also draw its inspiration from ancient greek forms. For example, one of the most famous cathedrals of ancient Greece, the Acropolis, may have actually been inspired by the arches of the papyrus that would later become the famous Colosseum in Rome. Furthermore, many of the great works of art and architecture of Renaissance Italy were built around key basilicas or churches, which were inspired by key ancient greek structures. These include such places as the Temple of Artemis in Florentine, the Piazza Navona, and the Arch of Titus in Rome. These places were designed to have long, symmetrical arches to maximize the visual space and give the viewer a feeling of the grandeur of the Renaissance. Similarly, key Renaissance architectural sites like the Duomo of Florence, the church of San Lorenzo, the Pigna Della Neve, the Spanish Steps, and the Arch of Tuso are all works of art that incorporate the use of asymmetrical arches to maximize visual space and to heighten the grandeur of the Renaissance.
One of the most notable forms of Renaissance architecture is the use of arches and the use of columns in domestic buildings. Domestic architecture has a much longer history than the more elaborate forms of Renaissance architecture that inspired the artisans who built it. Domestic buildings include everything from the home and granary to courts, fortress, guilds, manor houses, palaces, barns, and barn-like structures that allowed households to function more efficiently. Some of the most famous domestic buildings in Europe include: the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Vatican Church, palaces in Genoa, palaces in Barcelona, and the Royal Palace, of Venice. The most famous example of a well-known Renaissance structure that was used as a residence for the royalty is the Sala de la Costiera or The Royal Castle. As one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture, the Sala de la Costiera is well known worldwide and is a World Heritage Site.
Classical antiquity witnessed the rise and fall of numerous great architectural concepts. One of the most notable among these was the concept of the fortress as an inn and fortress. Fortresses served as defensive emplacements that could guard against external threats while offering an impressive view of the surrounding landscape. As such, many of the most prominent classical antiquity properties have stymied the modern imagination with their distinctive architectural concepts.
Renaissance architecture key characteristics
A key characteristic of Renaissance architecture is its use of natural and man-made stone materials to construct most of its buildings. Many of the most famous works of art were created using marble and a wide variety of other natural stone materials. Castles and manor houses were typically constructed from natural stone and brick, while private residences were typically constructed from granite and limestone. Other distinguishing features of classical architecture are the prevalence of flat roofs and the use of terra cotta tile throughout most of the building. A distinguishing feature of villas in the Renaissance period was their use of solid walnut walls and flooring. Most of the villas in the Renaissance period were built in tandem with townhouses, which served as city centers and served as a residence for affluent citizens.
While most of the Renaissance buildings from the Middle Ages were destroyed in earthquakes and significant cataclysmic events, some of these structures have survived to this day. The surviving examples of these ancient buildings include church edifices, mansions, palaces, townhouses, castle ruins, manor house ruins, Renaissance architecture schools, and even Gothic revival architecture. Although each of these buildings has its own unique style, they all share several commonalities, including the use of natural materials, flat roofs, open courtyards, and simple square or rectangular entryways.
One of the essential characteristics of classical order is symmetry, as it was a symmetry that made it possible for such buildings to be constructed. In the case of Renaissance architecture, symmetry was particularly emphasized, often resulting in one side of the building being almost identical to the other side of the structure or the same dimension in relation to its size. For example, in mansions and palaces, the different sides of the building would be identical, while the height of the ceilings would vary according to the owners’ needs.
The use of symmetry in buildings made them very attractive to their visitors, as it made each of the elements of the architecture equally essential and exciting. The use of proportion in art also comes into play in Renaissance architecture. The use of symmetrical forms in art, such as rectangles, ovals, and circles, is a hallmark of this period. In addition, many of the buildings built during this time contained internal spaces that are symmetrical in nature and spaces that are symmetrical in relation to each other. For example, one would find the presence of courtyards in houses, a library, and an inner staircase, among other things.