Central plan

Central plan
   An architectural plan that is circular, polygonal, or square. The earliest central plan structure of the Renaissance was Filippo Brunelleschi's Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence, built in 1434-1437 for the Camaldolite Order. Centrally planned buildings are often capped by a dome. Donato Bramante's Tempietto in Rome (c. 1502-1512) is such an example, inspired by Early Christian mar-tyria that mark the spot where saints were martyred. Brunelleschi's Pazzi Chapel, Florence (1433-1461), is a square-domed central structure flanked by a rectangle at either side. A central plan can also be shaped like a Greek cross with arms of equal length, like Bramante's design for New St. Peter's (1506), which became the basis for Michelangelo's final version of the structure (fin. 1564).

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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