Ospedale degli Innocenti

Ospedale degli Innocenti

Architect Filippo Brunelleschi

Date begun 1421

Movement Italian Renaissance

Located at Florence, Italy


The Hospital of the Innocents was commissioned by the Guild of Silk Manufacturers and Goldsmiths as a place of refuge and recovery for orphans. Brunelleschi applied strict adherence to Classical standards of architecture, utilizing “right” proportions, or ratios of whole numbers, making for a simple and balanced design (for example, the entablature to column height is 2:1). Pedimented windows sit exactly between arcade columns, while the arcade bays are exactly square. Roundels of sculpted babies are placed in the arcade’s spandrels.


This loggia (walkway) forms one part of a public piazza, another recall of Roman influence from their use of forums. The simple, Classical arch provides for a graceful aesthetic.