Il Duomo: Daring Design is a short animation by Fernando Baptista. It serves as a brief introduction to the marvel of architecture, engineering and design that is Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome for the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.
Though it doesn’t go into great detail, it hints at the amazing accomplishment of Brunelleschi’s solution to a seemingly intractable problem.
For more, you can see the article in the National Geographic February issue, or (in theory at least) the online article that the animation is meant to accompany.
[Note: You should be able to access the video, and presumably the rest of the online article, from this link. If you click away, however, or close your browser and come back, the site blocks you and insists that you create an account to read anything.
Somehow, I didn’t expect National Geographic to be this clueless about the web (sigh). I guess — like so many others who have tried this — they will have to learn the hard way that this kind of policy just keeps people way in droves.]
Alternately, you can pick up Ross King’s nicely written account of the dome and its creation: Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture.
One thought about the dome that is worth keeping in mind: unless you have seen it in person, it’s hard to get a sense of just how large this structure is. When I was in Florence, I had the opportunity to see the dome from the top of the campanile at the other end of the cathedral, and it is simply staggering. The last few images in the animation show you a human figure in scale.