Although known today more for his painting and sculpture, Michelangelo was also a master architect. In fact, he was among the first to depart from the classical style and defy traditional expectations.
In 1523, Pope Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo to design a two-story library on top of an existing convent. Michelangelo employed radical principles to his design of the Laurentian Library, breaking rules of the classical style. For instance, he took practical elements, like brackets traditionally used as supportive structures, and uses them merely for ornamentation.
Michelangelo's most famous contribution to architecture is probably the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. It stands as one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world and inspired many imitators, such as the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. However, the dome itself was not completed by the time Michelangelo died. Scholars still debate on how much the ultimate construction deviates from Michelangelo's plans.