Filippo Brunelleschi is best known for his astonishing design of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in the heart of Florence (Figure I.1). Built primarily between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, the dome held the record as the largest dome in the world until 1928 when construction of the Leipzig Market dome was completed; the record was thus only passed with the development of a completely new technology, in this case the use of reinforced concrete instead of traditional masonry techniques for building domes. Even now the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore remains larger than the dome of the Capitol Building in Washington DC, larger than the dome at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, larger than the dome in the Pantheon in Rome, and even larger than the dome in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The story of how the dome was built, especially within the context of Brunelleschi’s nearly lifelong competition with Lorenzo Ghiberti, is a remarkable story that highlights the achievements possible by those possessed with unusual ingenuity.1