Conservatories Around the World

Posted July 13th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Domes and Cupolas, Dynamic Glass, General, Steel Structures, Travels, Uncategorized
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The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory – St Paul, Minnesota, originally known as the Como Park Conservatory, sits on about half an acre of the almost 400 acre campus of the Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. Designed by German-born architect Frederick Nussbaumer, Nussbaumer modeled this Victorian style glass domed conservatory after Kew Gardens in London. Completed in 1915, it is one of the few glass and wood conservatories left from that era.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is some 60,000 square feet, its footprint well over an acre (43,560 sq. ft.) and anchors the gardens. You’ll find, for example, a large collection of Bonsai plants, a continuation of St. Paul’s annual fascination with the chrysanthemum plus the marvelous Palm Dome. Here over 150 varieties of palms are on display along with a color selection of orchids.

For more details about this marvelous conservatory confection, click here. With every visit, this Conservatory is guaranteed to inspire you for your own conservatory. View their website to plan your visit – they always have something extraordinary going on!

 

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – Las Vegas, Nevada – The Vegas Strip seems an unlikely location for a lovely glass conservatory, but the Bellagio Hotel is exactly where you’ll find one. This is a true oasis of calm. Referred to as a “14,000 square foot floral playground…”  it lives up to its billing with changes in the flora every season plus in celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Of course, its soaring 55 ft glass ceiling perfectly sets the stage for a truly over-the-top ever changing display. Not only that, there is no charge to wander through this earthy space.

“Seasonal display” hardly describes what the talented team of horticulturists actually produce. Just for example, the theme of the 2016 summer production was “Under the Sea.” It consisted of some 80,000 blooming plants, including 6,000 tulips weekly. Interspersed were colorful statues of seahorses and with a delightful collection of jelly-fish like installations hanging from the glorious glass ceiling.

If you visit Sin City, make a point to see and experience exactly how a glass conservatory can change a frenetic atmosphere into a peaceful and restorative setting – food for thought as you think about a conservatory of your own. This marvelous spot is more than worth the trip!

 

Flower Dome + Cloud Forest, Singapore – Two amazing conservatories, both located in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, offer perpetual spring in the Flower Dome and the mystery of a high mountain Cloud Forest.

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Flower Dorm was listed by the 2015 Guinness World Records as the world’s largest glass greenhouse, made up of some 3,332 glass panels of 42 different shapes and sizes. With almost 3 acres under glass it comes by its record honestly. It’s volume is equally startling – about as much as 75 Olympic size swimming pools.

Inside the climate is kept a balmy 73-77 degrees with humidity of about 80 percent. That precise temperature control is what allows the amazing variety of plants, from succulents to olive groves and everything in between to grow there in its various gardens – there’s even a bistro that features edible plants.

Cloud Forest is perhaps even more spectacular. The mountain inside rises to well over 100 feet and is designed to mimic an altitude of about 6,500 feet high. There is an impressive waterfall which has a viewing deck near the top.

You reach the top via a path known as the Cloud Walk. It’s built out from the mountain in an almost undulating fashion giving you a close-up view in some places, and a bit more distance in others.

The temperature and humidity are controlled to let you experience the mist so often found in a forest that high. You are, of course, surrounded by an amazing number of tropical trees and other plants.

This spectacular conservatory has 2,577 glass panels of 690 shapes! Together, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are a conservatory experience not to be missed.  They will awe and inspire you.

Is the Eden Project really a Conservatory?

Posted June 22nd, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Domes and Cupolas, Events, Insights, latest, Travels, Uncategorized
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Is the Eden Project really a conservatory?

It’s hard to be sure if the collection of biomes in Cornwell, England counts as a conservatory. Yet that is exactly what it’s designed to do, CONSERVE and EXPLORE plants collected from around the world.

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The main structure is built largely of hexagonal and pentagonal 3-layer plastic cells joined together as GEODESIC DOMES. The insulated plastic that make up the domes work to create TWO SPECIFIC AND AUTHENTIC ENVIRONMENTS – one reproduces a TROPICAL RAINFOREST and the other duplicates the MEDITERRANEAN climate. Lovely glass inserts add more than a touch of beauty to the constructions and harken back to the glass history of conservatories.

Developed with the idea of providing multiple ways to explore those environments by building a community through sustainable living, the Eden Project is involved in RESEARCH AND TESTING around the world. Many of their efforts are aimed at CONSERVATION. They have, for example, projects to conserve redwoods, promote eco-friendly coffees and a deep geothermal energy project.  Every project involves both research and teaching the results.

In addition to investigating the sights, you can explore, learn water saving tips, get married, hear live music, discover new plants, and eat wonderful food you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Built in a clay pit, the Eden project defines itself as:

 “…an educational charity (that) connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future.”

There are also many OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE CLASSES for kids and adults. You can even, for example, study for a university-level degree in Horticulture, Event Management and/or Contemporary StoryTelling and Performance. According to The Guinness Book of Records, Eden Project is the world’s largest greenhouse containing easily over a million plants. It also has the largest rainforest outside of normal rainforest territory. Who would have guessed all this would be located in Cornwall, England?

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Eden Project’s website reflects the hip and cutting edge of this unusual conservatory’s attitude while giving you information that runs the gambit from fascinating (in The Core building) to practical including monthly gardening tips.

Spend some time on the site before you visit or allow for the serendipitous once you’re there – either way, your visit is apt to be educational, and just plain fun. Be willing to be surprised and inspired as you recognize something at Eden Project that would be perfect for your own installation.

You can START YOUR OWN CONSERVATORY PROJECT with a call to us at: 410.479.4700 or fill out our contact form.

An Intriguing History & Sense of Style

Posted June 15th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, Domes and Cupolas, General, Travels
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Is visiting this conservatory on your bucket list?

The Conservatory of Flowers is part of why San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is so famous. Not only is it the OLDEST WOOD CONSERVATORY in the U.S., its history is intriguing. We are not the only ones who think so! One family wanted a greenhouses designed to resemble this amazing conservatory! Click here to read more.

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  The Clients Dream Custom Greenhouse

 

In the mid eighteen hundreds, wealthy BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST, JAMES LICK, ordered a greenhouse for his home in nearby Santa Clara. It was designed, and the necessary lumber cut to size. The pieces were packed and shipped to Lick’s home, arriving shortly before he died in 1876. Strangely enough, the designer is unknown.

Although most conservatories of that era were built with iron, the Conservatory of Flowers was designed and originally built with CALIFORNIA COAST REDWOOD (Sequoia sempervirens), an obvious choice since redwood was so plentiful in the area then.

The building is a classic and elaborate VICTORIAN DESIGN. It is some 240 feet long by almost 60 feet wide. Its central dome is 60 feet high! Set on a masonry foundation on a gentle hill, the building is E shaped with L’s, each of which are topped with their own cupola. You enter the conservatory through a glass vestibule on the south side. The central dome is an octagonal pavilion that is topped first by an arched roof. On top of that is the clear story and dome. The octagonal is supported by eight iron pillars. There are a total, it is reported, of 16,800 PANES OF GLASS. Small wonder so many consider it a CHARMING CONFECTION.

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Lick’s estate offered it, still in crates, for sale and in 1877 some of his fellow businessmen bought the greenhouse as a gift for the City. When it opened in 1879 this Victorian-style conservatory soon became the park’s MOST VISITED ATTRACTION. It is the oldest building in the park.

Hardly problem-free, a boiler explosion in 1883 caused extensive damage to the conservatory dome which was restored by a donation of $10,000 from banker Charles Crocker. During the repairs, the dome was raised some six feet topped with a model of the planet Saturn, perhaps as a symbol of farming or growing things, which replaced the original eagle at the very top.

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In 1918 the dome again burned and by 1933 the whole structure was closed for 13 years as repairs were slowly made. In 1995 windstorms did extensive damage and the conservatory was again closed. It was finally again reopened in 2003.

Not surprisingly, given its name, this gorgeous conservatory is also notable for its MARVELOUS COLLECTION OF PLANTS AND FLOWERS, both inside and out.

Check the website for details of events, special displays and other information to make your visit to the Conservatory of Flowers a real pleasure as well as food for thought about what you might add to your own conservatory. CALL US at 410.479.4700 to discuss your project.

Super Sunshine – Tale or Truth?

Posted November 18th, 2015 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, Domes and Cupolas, General
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Does sunshine brighten YOUR morning?

When the snow begins to fall and we start layering ourselves in bundles of clothes, we seek the warmth of the sun and its NATURAL BOOST to get us started.

Starting your morning and even working throughout the day with access to sunlight can help BOOST your ENERGY to take on a busy day and BE PRODUCTIVE. The most common EFFECTS of natural light are closely drawn to positive effects on MOOD, HEALTH, PRODUCTIVITY and an INCREASE in overall well-being.
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According to DR. PHYLLIS ZEE, professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine:

 

“There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day — particularly in the morning — is beneficial to your health

 

Is YOUR HEALTH gaining all these BENEFITS?

Where can we get the most of the sun’s natural boost during the winter? FROM OUR CONSERVATORIES!

MAXIMIZE your morning with SUNLIGHT!

A CONSERVATORY will add an increasing amount of natural light to your home! IMAGINE all the health benefits of a room almost entirely made of glass allowing natural light to DANCE around the room, creating a FUN, UPLIFTING and RELAXING ATMOSTPHERE! Not only will we feel MORE AWAKE and ENERGIZED, studies have shown NATURAL RAYS from the sun have MEDICINAL BENEFITS that positively affect multiple aspects of our lives. YOUR conservatory could serve not only as a relaxing reading area, but as a perfect space for exercise activities such as YOGA and PILATES or an OFFICE SPACE!

For more information on our conservatories and skylights, CLICK the links or give us a CALL at 410.479.4700 and ASK OUR TEAM about the effects conservatories have had on the families we’ve worked with!

 

Skylights in Unique Places

Posted September 23rd, 2015 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Domes and Cupolas, Dynamic Glass, Steel Structures
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Novelty Skylights – where would YOU put one?

Clients around the globe are looking for new, innovative ways to use skylights. Whether it is a dome, cupola or other type of skylight, these additions can add beauty to any structure, while giving it an exclusive look and style. Check out these clients who took their skylights to UNIQUE PLACES!

Garden Swings

IMAGINE… It is late at night and the stars are out; you feel the soft warm breeze brush across your skin. Where are YOU? These clients are sitting under their custom copper and glass dome on their garden swing! Placed at the edge of their garden, they took an ordinary swing set and turned it into a custom work of art.

Look at the detail…

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Made entirely out of steel, copper and glass, notice the small panes of overlapping glass and detail carved into the copper work of the dome. The beautiful columns surrounding the swing set an atmosphere so peaceful, you cannot help but spend your nights star gazing. Thanks to Meyer and Meyer Architects in Boston for their help in creating this dream!

Showers in the Sun

When a client asked us to design a fanciful skylight for a backyard shower, we thought… “He can’t be serious!” We had designed a beautiful conservatory for him years ago, but this seemed an unlikely project. However, six months later and after hours of design work, a most amazing structure emerged. This copper clad steel skylight with antique lapped glass and ornamental finial creates a soaring light to drench this elegant space with warmth. Only a simple arched wooden door hinted at the dramatic space behind.

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The Star Cabin

Do you have a love for stargazing?

Looking for a quiet space away from civilization, the last piece to this client’s dream home is an observatory.  In the midst of building a new home in the countryside, they turned to Tanglewood in search of creating a SILO off of their beautiful log cabin home to share their love of astronomy. Just imagine… relaxing at the top of this secret hideout and, through this enormous glass dome, watching the Aurora Borealis! Flashes of various colors engulf the night sky, dancing around the stars, creating a magnificent show for you and your family.

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For MORE INFORMATION on our skylight, dome or cupola structures feel free to give us a call at 410.479.4700 or submit a form online at our website! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about these stories, structures and more.