Architecture: The Baroque Design During The Renaissance Era

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During the Renaissance era, the Baroque design was essential. There was a significant difference in baroque architecture in every nation and varied a lot in Europe and Latin America. Despite, they are all called the same, because of art and architecture with the same title categorized during that era. Critics described the baroque design as deformed, unregulated and absurd during the 18th decade. In the 19th decade, however, Swiss reviewer Heinrich Wolfflin defined Baroque architecture as more objective purpose. He described this kind of architecture as a religious art that reflects with its design the shift of something within its layout. The Baroque era’s two most popular structures were palaces and churches. Royal houses are the most typical of the time, but other plans include cathedrals, town and country houses, parish churches and monastic buildings. The Baroque was also famous for the design and planning of gardens and parks around important dwellings.

Ground planning of the Baroque architecture differed significantly from other architecture eras. The unification of different parts, each with its liberty In Renaissance architecture, the circle, the field and the Greek cross were used in ground plans, but the Baroque architecture was designed using dense, complex, fluid patterns using oval shape or much more complex uneven and complex geometric figures.

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The Baroque architecture wasn’t all about just floor plans. The curving walls were another exceptional feature of these structures. Not just did this enhance the concept of building as a single unit, but also brought the concept of architecture in motion, which was considered to be the idlest of all designs before that. But those were just limited to the walls and curved facades. The churches used valeted ceilings for dome construction. As arches exert pressure outwards on supporting walls thus counterthrust was needed for external stress support. Thus, buttresses served as counterthrust in structure. But some structures as St, Pauls cathedrals managed to hide them by raising the walls to outer aisled till those to nave and buttresses can’t be seen from outside.

During the Renaissance era, the light was limited to certain areas, but in the Baroque architecture, the light came into each corner in the buildings, especially the points where the two surfaces met or the corners. They also found unique manipulation of light, they realize that the light impact on a construction didn’t depend on how much light fell on the building, but rather on the light effect generated by hitting one ground sort as opposed to the other. Baroque architects have discovered that the composition of a surface formed of rough rock or soft concrete is different from the smooth-surfaced marble wall. They took advantage of this concept for their interior and exterior design.

San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane (1638 -1646)

The Baroque church, San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane is often called Baroque gems by art historians or a building which is a treasure chest of design and beauty. In the 1630s, the monk commissioned stone cutters and architects, Francesco Borromini, to develop and design a church beside their monastery. This was Borromini’s first independent project and was delighted to work on it he even offered his services free of cost. As the monastic property was small and squished and had an irregular plot shape and was located on a busy road. As not many churches were built in that small and oddly shaped area. The church is 66 feet wide and 39 feet long and is alongside a pre-existing structure. Churches entrance is towards the northwest and opens onto a narrow street. On the other side secondary facade, the primary access angles off and embeds one of the fountains located in the square.

The interior scape is mostly devoted to the oval sanctuary where for monks and quests pray. It also includes space for little chapels for private praying and place for priests to get ready for Mass. Burial places and more chapels are located in crypt stepping down.

Borromini’s care to geometry, curves and angles all together can be seen in this plan. Combination of the primary oval with an indication of a cross in the centre. And short rectangles for the crypt and some asymmetrical polygons for chapels and place for other activities. The plan is in limited space but still produces a visual interest and makes space for lively.

San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane exterior is coped with great ornamental primary façade. And showcases primary baroque characteristics. Curving lines, movement, the play of light and shadow, classical elements, geometric shapes and Complex ornamentation. The primary facade of the church is built by three bays. The serpentine pattern in movement suggests a rippling motion or a wave motion that makes people look back and forth throughout the facade. The convex and concave bays is reflecting natural light an unusual imaginative way. Borromini also borrowed original classical design elements like columns and arranged them to fit appropriately to his design. For example, San Carlo’s columns are decorated with curling acanthus leaves and crown. San Carlo’s is integrated with many geometrical shapes for instance oval medallion of top of the facade and rectangular niches for circular wreaths and statues.

The cloister and the monastic building construction were finished first and church Construction continued between 1638 and 1641 and was consecrated in 1646 towards the end of Borromini’s life while the upper section was still left and was built after that.

Borromini’s had limited space once could say less than the base of one of the piers of St. Peter’s Basilica, still he created a masterpiece and Monks were monks were happy with Borromini’s work.

St. Peter’s Basilica 1506-1626

St. Peter’s Basilica another great example of Baroque style architecture. Its located in the Vatican in Rome built-in high renaissance to an early Baroque period. It took 120 years to complete the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica. Numbers of great architects have worked on this structure staring with Bramante and completed by Michelangelo. St. Peter’s Basilica is It is one of the most iconic catholic church and by far the biggest church in the world. It’s a remarkable piece of work and some view it as greatest modern history architecture. It has a huge dome centrally located on top of it and it’s a part of Vatican City skyline. The dome in St. Peter’s Basilica is one of its kind and one of the largest in the world, covering 42 meters in diameter. The layout of the basilica is in the form of a Latin cross it has one extended side. The original building was in shape of a cross with all sides equal. It has large semi-circular recess with the domed roof at the altar reserved for priesthood. Church 186 meters in length and total of 218 if we add porch too and has a height of 46 meters in the central aisle and 136-meter-high in centre of the main dome. And with a total area of 44000 sq. meter and can fit around 22,000 people at once. Basilica consists of several tombs for popes, but its main attraction is the ceremonial canopy on the altar which was later added to its design by Michelangelo at the end.

Main construction materials used in the basilica are marble and concrete. Other materials used in exterior construction were limestone, travertine stone, timber, mosaic, bronze roof tile, mortar and bricks. The construction of the column shaft is very exotic made with marble and granite which was imported from other nations. Whereas the interior is decorated with limestone, thin gold covering, designs standing out of walls, and sculptures. Several gilded puttos, also known as little angles, are also used to ornament the interior of St. peter’s Basilica. The primary St. peter’s Basilica was constructed in the mid-4th century by Emperor Constantine. He was keen on converting Roman citizens to Christians.

The construction of St. peter’s Basilica has achieved a major milestone not only in construction but in the field of design and architecture as well. Its gradual shift from the Renaissance period to the Baroque architecture era. During the time of the building of St. Peter’s basilica, a lot of Architects from the Renaissance and Baroque periods had designed and altered the structure from time to time each of them adding their improvements until it had shaped into the remarkable sanctuary it is today. With its impressionistic portrayal of the Baroque era and its historic value. St. Peter’s basilica certainly catches the heart in representing the Baroque style.


So, from looking at baroque architecture one can say that it played a great role in the design of buildings today. Many people who obtain an over and above salary sometimes have one or two rooms that give remembrance to the baroque style. It was certainly lavish, dynamic and “over the top” decorations were a bit much for today’s modern society.


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