(b. 1377, Firenze, d. 1446, Firenze)

Ospedale degli Innocenti: Loggia

Piazza della SS. Annunziata, Florence

The first expression of Brunelleschi's own architectural principles was the Foundling Hospital (Ospedale degli Innocenti) built between 1419 and 1424 in Florence. This, which was the first hospital for foundling children in the world was built at the expense of Brunelleschi's own Guild, that of the Silk Merchants and Goldsmiths. From the point of view of architecture the important part of this building is the outside loggia, since the hospital itself was completed by Brunelleschi's followers when he himself, in 1425, was far too busy with the dome of the Cathedral to attend to anything else.

The loggia consists of a series of round arches, with a horizontal element above them, and a vault, consisting of small domes carried on the columns of the loggia and on corbels on the surface of the hospital wall.