Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Commissioned again by Rucellai, Alberti was presented with the challenge of adding onto a pre-existing structure. Brunelleschi had encountered similar situations with S. Lorenzo and Sto. Spirito. One problem was that the nave was taller than the side aisles, the other was how to add on to an older building and keep it consistent. Using his ratio theories, Alberti was able to break it down in to a series of organized and proportionate shapes. The height is equal to the width, the top story is half of the bottom, and the pediment on top is the same size of the side volutes combined. The addition of the volute scrolls elegantly solves the disparity in height. Alberti added the major and minor columns on the lower story, seamlessly conflating the Gothic with the Renaissance. Santa Maria Novella was started in 1458 and finished in 1470.

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