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Sat, Aug. 13th, 2005, 04:23 pm

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Ospedale Degli Innocenti - Florence, Italy

architect - Filippo Brunelleschi
dates - 1424 to 1445
building type - children's hospital
style - Renaissance
notes - arcaded portico, topical ornamentation.

"...Brunelleschi was designing buildings that have become synonymous with the genesis of Renaissance architecture. His Ospedale degli Innocenti, a foundling hospital begun c.1419 on property acquired by the Silk Merchants' Guild, is generally regarded to be the earliest monumental expression of the new style. Although it is related to Italian Romanesque and late Gothic architecture, its novel features minimized the buildings' affiliation with medieval styles. Tuscan trecento hospitals were often designed with arcaded porticoes, and Brunelleschi retained this feature for the Innocenti. But he eliminated the old-fashioned balustrade upon which the columns rested, changed the polygonal shafts to cylinders, and transformed stylized "pressed-leaf" capitals into rich Corinthianesque foliage."

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p284.