Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Covet Of The Week: Conservatories and Orangeries

So what are conservatories and orangeries? They're basically glass structures similar to greenhouses, however they are attached to the main house. Conservatories typically have peaked glazed roofs while orangeries typically had flat roofs with a central portion of the roof glazed. So you may be thinking that's just like an enclosed porch. And to that i would emphatically say, No! Often enclosed porches poke their thumb in the eye of the main building's architecture for the sake of having a place to keep your shovel and sidewalk salt in the winter and your bike in the summer. Little known fact: during much of the 70's and 80's enclosed porches single handedly kept the manufacture and sale of that tacky green astro turf carpet stuff going.

Long before people had family rooms, rec rooms or great rooms, they had conservatories and orangeries. These where the rooms where well-heeled families would gather, not to watch TV or listen to the radio, because those things weren't around back then. Instead they would gather around a piano and play music, or they would pursue their hobbies and interests, like collecting exotic plants. So what if i don't know how to play the piano and can't keep house plants alive? I still want one.

In my last house i seriously considered adding a conservatory to use as a family room, but two things made it non-ideal. First, most conservatories available in Canada these days are framed in white PVC (vinyl), which i find a little bit cheesy for a structure that is suppose to look historic. Second the conservatory would have had a Western exposure, meaning late day sun would have turned it into a sauna inside. Unfortunately the house we have now is a semi detached and too narrow to add a conservatory or orangery to. So alas i am left to covet them from afar.

Here are some fine examples of conservatories. You wont find any PVC in these structures:

image from Amdega
image from Amdega
image from Amdega

Here are some fine examples of orangeries. Shovels and bikes not allowed:
image from Amdega
image from Amdega
image from Amdega


2 comments:

glass conservatory said...

I never see this type of conservatories and orangery’s, before. It’s really wonderful and amazing.

Mark Osborne said...

Quality conservatories can provide most of the benefits of a solid roofed extension, but with that all important additional benefit of allowing in natural light, especially important in the room that leads in to the conservatory. However a number of homeowners still crave a room that has a more solid, substantial feel than a conservatory, the new Orangery Style Conservatory offers the benefits of a traditional Orangery, solid brick walls, the plastered internal pelmet and sturdy aluminium external eaves, but at a much more affordable price.