Santissima Annunziata: Raking view of facade facing the piazza
[Santissima Annunziata is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Florence and the mother church of the Servite order.] The most extraordinary and fascinating of Michelozzo’s architectural projects was the tribune of SS Annunziata, Florence. Its unprecedented circular plan with nine radiating chapels served as a presbytery, choir and funerary chapel. From the start of work (1444) the building was criticized by Brunelleschi and other architects, who suggested it was an unsuitable attachment to a basilican church. The design of the tribune is apparently derived from the Temple of Minerva Medica in Rome and would be one of the earliest, as well as one of the most far-reaching, instances of this sort of revivalism in the 15th century. Michelozzo’s transformation of the rest of the church under the new administration of the Servites (1447) involved the conversion of the side aisles into chapels and the construction of a new sacristy. Other work at SS Annunziata included the rebuilding of the large cloister and the building of a forecourt, the Chiostro dei Voti.