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Brunelleschi

From Brunelleschi to Today, This Documentary Tracks the Evolution of Architecture in Tuscany

09:30 - 9 September, 2017

Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the Italian region of Tuscany to view works of architectural mastery. Renowned architectural figures such as Michelangelo and Brunelleschi transformed Tuscan cities to be stages of cultural rebirth during the 14th-17th century. These times, however, have passed. Today, Tuscany is faced with problems such as the decline of suburbs, abandoned buildings, and property speculation. The modern Italian architecture scene is in decline, and the country is experiencing an oversupply of architects, requiring many to emigrate in search of work.

Can the spirits of these Renaissance architectural masterminds be emulated today in modern Tuscany? This is exactly the topic that cultural association 120g explores in their new documentary, Tuscanyness. The film depicts how this nature of cultural rebirth is alive today through the architects born and educated in the Tuscan region. Here, emerging architects have the unique opportunity to listen to the teachings of the past to inform the architecture of the future.

A Renaissance Gem In Need Of Restoration

00:00 - 19 November, 2014

The Pazzi Chapel is a landmark of architecture in the city that was once the cradle of the Italian Renaissance: Florence. Located in the Santa Croce church complex (the largest Franciscan church in the world), the chapel was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi - the goldsmith-turned-architect who dedicated his life to engineering the dome of Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore. It is "a prime example of 15th-century architectural decoration in grey pietra serena sandstone, colourful maiolica, and terracotta."

550 years have taken their toll on this structure and its decoration. Concern for the state of the loggia of the chapel is now so great that the non-profit institution in charge of the church’s administration - the Opera di Santa Croce - have raised 50% of the funds needed to carry out a restoration, set to begin in early 2015. They are now looking to crowdfunding to source the remaining half ($95,000) and, in so doing, are inviting people from around the world to become part of the 720-year-long history of Santa Croce.

How Did Filippo Brunelleschi Construct the World's Largest Masonry Dome?

00:00 - 9 September, 2014

More than 500 years after it was built, Filippo Brunelleschi's dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy, remains the largest masonry dome ever built. Leaving no plans or sketches behind, some of the secrets of its construction that Brunelleschi pioneered are still an enigma today. This short animation, presented by National Geographic and created by Fernando Baptista and Matthew Twombly, gives an idea of how the dome of the Duomo might have been built. Demonstrating the complexity of the task, made harder due to poor construction prior to Brunelleschi's commission, this film serves as a reminder of just how long it can take to create something timeless.

VIDEO: Solving the Mysteries of Brunelleschi's Dome

00:00 - 23 February, 2014

A new hour long documentary for PBS' series, Building the Great Cathedrals, explores the mystery of how, in the 15th century, Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi constructed one of the largest domes the world had ever seen. Winning what could be considered one of the earliest architectural competitions, Brunelleschi developed a unique system that allowed construction on the dome to occur while services were being conducted in the cathedral 100 metres below. The team in this episode model this freestanding structure in an attempt to understand just how Brunelleschi achieved such a feat of Renaissance engineering.

You can find out more about the film here. Please note that the film is only viewable through PBS within the USA. For those of you outside the USA, you can watch the 30 second preview above; for those in the USA, see the full video after the break...