Step aside, Frank Gehry! Apparently Michelangelo is the irreverent one. Born on March 6, 1475, Michelangelo is well-known for his elaborate Biblical paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, but it's his design for the Laurentian Library in Florence that intrigues Dr. Cammy Brothers. A Renaissance scholar at the University of Virginia, Brothers suggests that Michelangelo's "irreverent attitude" challenges our expectations, "defying the accepted sense of what architecture can do."
In an article for the Wall Street Journal (Michelangelo, Radical Architect), Dr. Brothers argued that Michelangelo's buildings, such as the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana built between 1524 and 1559, "started a debate about architecture's proper role"—a debate that continues even today.
Photo of Michelangelo-designed Reading Room at the Laurentian Library, San Lorenzo, in Florence, Italy © ocad123 on flickr.com, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)