Legacy Conservatories: What will yours entail?

Posted March 1st, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Dynamic Glass, Pool Enclosures, Steel Structures, Uncategorized, Windows & Doors
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Imagine… creating a legacy that transcends generations. What would yours entail?

Does the combination of modern buildings and old world architecture inspire you? How would you make an impact on your home?

Aspiring to leave a lasting legacy is one of our clients driving forces behind creating a conservatory. They love the uniqueness of the architecture, the combination of historic beauty and modern technology while still possessing the ability to transform the structure into anything they dream of; to create a room that truly has no replica.

A recent client put it best, “every detail of my conservatory needs to be perfect. This is a legacy project. We are thinking of our children’s children!”

Building Inside Out

Have you ever traveled to the Schönbrunn Palm house Conservatory in Vienna, Austria? This magnificent structure is one of the most unique, historic conservatories in the world and is known best for its exoskeleton design. That exoskeleton is rare, and makes the conservatory look more massive and strong from the outside. Inside the glass seems connected mostly by its edges, presenting smooth sheets of transparency.

It is also the inspiration for a couple’s grand pool enclosure in the San Juan Islands.

Drawn to its unique look of strength and permanence, the family wanted to echo the exoskeleton design with a few upgrades. While we are quite familiar with building glass conservatories, we have never done one like this before! Normally the frame of a building is hidden between the inside and outside walls, but this design exposes everything.

 

In a typical glass conservatory, the frame or skeleton is on the inside with the glass hung or attached outside as the skin of the building. Of course, the glass not only creates the temperature controlled inside, it allows you to see the frame, but inside the glass. With the exoskeleton design, the interior of the conservatory glass is smooth and uninterrupted. In truth, we spent about six months consulting with engineers and brainstorming in order to create exactly the pool house our clients wanted.

The result is amazing. Although much smaller than the Schönbrunn, its exoskeleton creates exactly the look and strength the client wanted. The exoskeleton sparkles in the sunlight, just as the glass and the water in the pool shines in total concert with the harbor’s – all in an enclosure that’s about 1,900 square feet.

So, how would you create your legacy?

Let us help you create a structure that will awaken and delight for generations. Schedule a consultation or call 1-410 479 4700 to discuss your vision.

At the Druid Hill Park Conservatory It’s All About the Light!

Posted August 11th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Dynamic Glass, General, Insights, Travels
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What do you love most about these wondrous glass rooms?

Opened in August of 1888, the Druid Hill Park Conservatory in Baltimore, MD, is one of the oldest glass conservatories still in use in the United States. With its glass walls and glass roof it exemplifies the joy and beauty of light. Designed by architect George Aloysius Frederick, the original Palm House has some 175 windows and soars 50 feet high. It has long been considered an outstanding example of Victorian structural design. Next door is the smaller Orchid room which is also charming.

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Look closely and you’ll discover  that the window walls that make up the Palm House follow a lovely pattern. Entrance high frames filled with sparkling frames anchor the building to the land. Let your eye wander up and take in how the next two rows of frames are of different heights, topped off by frames holding arched panes of glass.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the attention to detail contributes significantly to the visual impact of the two original structures. Note too that each corner is softened by a slight flattening giving the illusion of gentle rounding.

All this, is of course, covered by the glass roof that curves up to the wind vein topped copula. Small wonder this conservatory is celebrated for its magical light all year round. Imagine enjoying a hot cup of tea while relaxing under the beauty of this elegant large glass roof. Or even snuggled warmly protected when clouds appear.  Could you imagine stargazing under the beauty of this large, elegant glass roof?

The Orchid room, though smaller, is similarly detailed. It echoes the larger structure without duplicating it. For instance, it lacks the glass roof but has the same sort of rounded frames and panes of glass.

Conservatories, also known as glass houses, are cherished because of the light they invite. Natural light makes us feel good; the sunlight is good for us. It’s the druid hill part 2combination of the light inviting glass and the strict attention to detail that leads to a love of conservatories and skylights, old and new.

Consider how inviting light with your own glass conservatory or magical skylight could brighten your home or business. We understand the extraordinary between light and attention to the details. It’s our passion. We’ll work with you to draw from the past while using the best of modern materials as together we create exactly the perfect way for you to welcome in the light.

Call us for a no-charge consultation at 1-410-479-4700 or fill out the form on our contact page.

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.

Florida’s Famous Conservatory Golf Course Named for its Glass Clubhouse

Posted June 1st, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, Dynamic Glass, Skylights, Uncategorized
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What does a fabulous glass conservatory and a Tom Watson designed golf course have in common?

It turns out that a world class golf course and a magnificent glass conservatory have everything in common at HAMMOCK BEACH RESORT on Florida’s eastern coast. The conservatory anchors the course club house. In fact, the course, DESIGNED BY GOLF LEGEND TOM WATSON, is actually named for the fabulous glass structure. It’s called The Conservatory Course.

Located between SAINT AUGUSTINE to the north and DAYTONA BEACH to the south, the resort has the Atlantic Ocean as its eastern border. The generally flat land has been transformed with gently rolling hills and spectacular landscaping resulting in a golfing and resort experience that’s PERFECT FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN. 

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Most people immediately notice the HIGH GLASS DOME of the conservatory when they arrive. Because of its location, when you’re inside the dome, you get wonderful views of the 18th hole and on to the ocean’s far horizon with views of ships, sailing boats, birds and ever changing weather.

The conservatory footprint is almost 40,000 square feet. It’s filled with tropical plants as well as the usual clubhouse amenities. Some say it was designed to evoke the look and of the British Raj period in India.

A PERFECT ADDITION TO YOUR BUCKET LIST, a great destination for year around travel, ideal for families with children as well as for couples, and delicious as an escape for winter chills, the Conservatory Course at Hammock Beach experience is one of luxury topped off with a spectacular glass conservatory that will intrigue you and pamper you with true sumptuousness.  

As you visit you may want to notice what feature you’d include in your conservatory. Believe it or not, you can have this kind of spectacular architecture at your home or business!

GIVE US A CALL at 410.479.4700 and we’ll help you explore your ideas.

The Magic of Smart Glass

Posted May 18th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Dynamic Glass, General, Pool Enclosures, Skylights
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Are you one of the many who are enlivened by natural light but don’t enjoy its overbearing heat or chilling cold when it is gone?

A glass room can bring an ABUNDANCE OF BENEFITS to your home and now we can enhance those benefits! Glass is enchanting, and getting smarter all the time. You no longer have to depend on the weather to be comfortable under glass, nor try using shades or painting glass to give you control over how much light it lets in.

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How is that possible?

Smart glass (also known as e-glass, intelligent glass, switchable glass, and self-tinting glass) is created when special materials, like nano-particles and liquid crystal, are sandwiched between layers of glass, Diagramchanging its properties to respond to light or electricity. We are most familiar with two types, Active and Passive.

ACTIVE SMART GLASS requires the use of electricity. When the electricity flows through a special layer within the glass, its transparency is changed to translucent or even opaque literally at the turn of a dial. Active glass allows you to MANUALLY CONTROL how the glass in your conservatory behaves, like magic!

 

PASSIVE SMART GLASS, on the other hand, responds to surrounding environmental conditions, adapting to its changes almost instantaneously. This allows your glass room to create the PERFECT BALANCE of natural light and heat while preserving an amazing view.  As the sun heats the glass, it becomes more opaque and when clouds pass or night falls, the glass cools and returns to its transparent state.

See it in Action!

Currently, we are creating a marvelous POOL ENCLOSURE using smart glass technology, assuring swimmers and sunbathers total comfort regardless of the weather. We understand the importance of COMFORT and EFFICIENCY in your glass structure. Using either active or passive smart glass to create your conservatory or other structure will ADD VALUE to your home while giving you and your guests a truly special place to relax and enjoy.

We’d love to show you what we can do with it! GIVE US A CALL at 410.479.4700 or fill out the form on our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss smart glass with you.

 

Do you have a favorite room?

Posted March 10th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Dynamic Glass, Steel Structures
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Shelter Island Exterior

What room do you love the most in your home?

One family spent 10 years carefully crafting this ISLAND RETREAT. The family’s PASSION FOR NATURE and NATURAL LIGHT drove them to this 24-acre island in the middle of Flathead Lake. In this 24,000 square foot mega-mansion, mahogany rooms and doors create the interior along with beautiful rows of enormous windows to that give them the MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW of the island.

From a wine cellar to an extravagant boat house to an indoor shooting range and gym, their LUXURIOUS DREAM HOME was nearly complete – then they contacted Tanglewood.

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The View

This family dreamed of adding a CONSERVATORY to their front porch overlooking the lake; the final piece to their dream home. Their vision was to make it look as though it could stand the test of time. To RELATE already existing ELEMENTS of the house to the conservatory, we chose to incorporate a COPPER CLAD EXTERIOR and STAIN GRADE MAHOGANY INTERIOR to stay consistent with the castle theme of both the main house and guest house, and topped with a DECORATIVE FINIAL. Inside, subtle light fixtures and sedative nature of the room makes for a peaceful place to relax.

Shelter Island Interior

Of all the amenities on the island, their FAVORITE PLACE TO BE IS IN THE CONSERVATORY nestled alongside the house on the porch. He said,

It has one of the PRETTIEST VIEWS IN THE WORLD I like to keep this as a retreat to myself. I sit on the front porch and watch the waves and the mountains and it’s just one of the MOST PEACEFUL PLACES ON EARTH.”

Are you ready to view the world through glass?

Whether your view is overlooking the water, watching your kids play in the yard, or overlooking your garden, life under glass changes the way we live our lives. We appreciate the world around us and enjoy nature in its truest forms, without having to experience all its elements. To get your glass life started, give us a CALL at 410.479.4700 or fill out our CONTACT form!

This conservatory was also featured in Discovery’s EPIC! To get an inside exclusive look at the Shelter Island Estate, CLICK HERE to watch this episode!

DESIGN for you. Be your SOLUTION. CREATE beautiful architecture.

Posted February 12th, 2016 by Alan Stein and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Dynamic Glass, Skylights
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For over 25 years, Mercer & Bertsche Architecture & Engineering has used their expertise in residential ARCHITECTURE to create beautiful homes and additions for clients who value the HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE and ATTENTION TO DETAIL that they bring to each project. But DESIGNING A CONSERVATORY was a new kind of project for them and we were able to work alongside them to create a fitting addition for their client.

 

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Working Together
When we first spoke with Bill Bertsche about the project, we knew we were working towards a common goal:

DESIGN for the client. SOLVE their problem. CREATE beautiful architecture.

Their client dreamed of building a TRADITIONALLY DESIGNED CONSERVATORY filled with CLASSIC, CRAFT-WOODWORKING DETAILS. With years of experience, Bill knew that developing a design that flawlessly blends the NEW work with the EXISTING elements of the home would be a critical task.

He said, “…whether working on a historic home or starting from scratch, you’re trying to work within the context of history to find solutions that the owner admires and blend them with the existing home. You try to bring the best ARCHITECTURE to their lifestyle… But there are few architects that have the experience required to design and detail a TRUE CONSERVATORY. You could approach it as a stick built room, could make a frame and put in glass and windows, but you’d miss the essence of what a GREAT CONSERVATORY should be – GLASS AND LIGHT.”

The amount of KNOWLEDGE and CRAFTSMANSHIP required to RESEARCH, DESIGN and DETAIL a true conservatory takes a great deal of time to acquire. After reviewing Bill’s initial conceptual design, we could see the direction he and his client wanted and were able to use our expertise in HISTORIC CONSERVATORY ARCHITECTURE to help create a unique work of art.

 

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“We Learn Something Every Year”
As Bill says, “We learn something every year”. In both Bill’s and Tanglewood’s experience, we have learned that one of the most important KEYS TO SUCCESS is to welcome the opportunity to LEARN. While working on this project, we learned how we can be MORE HELPFUL TO ARCHITECTS by combining a deep respect for their design direction with our years of narrowly-focused, conservatory specific experience.

Bill explained, “…not only is Tanglewood a great design partner for conservatory projects, but they also make other ARCHITECTURAL PIECES such as the GLASS CUPOLA we used on this project which we could have used on a number of projects over the years… because of the quality”.

 

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What will your next project be?
We are looking forward to our next opportunity and would love to share our experience and expertise with you. Please CALL us at 410.479.4700 for more ideas and information.

A Client’s Conservatory Story

Posted January 13th, 2016 by Alan Stein and filed in Conservatory Projects, Dynamic Glass, Stained Glass
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What is your favorite memory in your conservatory from 2015?

There have been several amazing memories that have come from projects at Tanglewood this year, but for one family, the creation of their long awaited CONSERVATORY was a memorable experience.

We were contacted about this CLASSICALLY INSPIRED project by their architect BILL BERTSCHE from Mercer & Bertsche Architecture & Engineering. From a historic town in New England, the family envisioned a unique structure with a NATURAL INTERIOR crafted after an old room at The Cloisters in Sea Island. After just a few meetings, we could see this project bring out the family’s passion; based on OLD WOODWORKING TRADITIONS, we knew that with our years of EXPERIENCE and KNOWLEDGE of these designs we could help the team incorporate these ideas in the design of their dream conservatory.

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Vice President Nancy Virts at The Cloisters

 

About halfway through designing the conservatory, the family had purchased a stunning chandelier from Italy. We will never forget when they told us the chandelier had come in pieces! They emailed us after it was assembled and said, “Took four of us six hours to put up!”, but it was worth it; it turned out to be a masterpiece of its own. When they were finally able to hang the chandelier in the conservatory, the family decided to add STAINED GLASS around the exterior to incorporate the chandelier’s elegant design and color. The marriage of these two turned out beautifully.

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It was great having the family so deeply involved in the details of the project and together, we created a conservatory made of painted SAPELE and stained natural SINKER CYPRESS with complimenting custom STAINED GLASS, CUPOLA, fireplace, and more. We partnered greatly with the family, architect, and contractor and are glad we could bring such FLEXIBILITY in DESIGN to their vision. What really made this project special were the relationships formed and watching as this stunning conservatory molded into their dream. After talking with the family when installation was complete, it filled our hearts when they told us it is the BEST ROOM IN THEIR HOME!

 

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We hope your year was just as memorable and rewarding as it was for our clients. We are looking forward to all the new memories 2016 has to bring; maybe the next memory you make is with us!

Dale Chihuly: What passion do WE share?

Posted October 16th, 2015 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Dynamic Glass, Events, General, The Arts
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What passion do WE share with Dale Chihuly?

I’ve often been asked ‘What would I like to do that I haven’t already done?’ and the first thing that comes to mind is that I’d like to build a conservatory or glasshouse and design everything that goes inside it.”

-Dale Chihuly

Who is Dale Chihuly?

World famous for his exclusive style in glass sculpture, Chihuly is well known for his exceptional works of cylinders, baskets, towers, Persians, and several others that captivate his audience. From childhood, he was always fascinated with the natural world. He admires the Great Conservatories of the 19th century, as do we, and EXPANDS HIS BOUNDARIES across multiple historic cultures in glass blowing. His favorite works are from the minds of the premier conservatory designers of the 19th century, Lord & Burnham. Once Chihuly discovered the glass in these historic conservatories were ENTIRELY hand blown, he was hooked. Although this passion began as a child, it was not until 2001 that he EMBRACED HIS PASSION and brought his dream to life!

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The Journey Begins

In early 2001, Chihuly’s Garden Cycle arose. During this cycle, he began SHOWCASING his work at numerous historic conservatories and gardens throughout the world. Places such as the Garfield Park Conservatory, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens, near London gathered thousands to line up to see what new works had evolved from Chihuly’s new exhibit. But in 2012, Chihuly brought something to the world NO ONE expected.

“What would I like to do that I haven’t done already?”

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In 2012, the birth of Chihuly Garden and Glass arose in Seattle, Washington and living at the center of this exhibition stands a 40-foot tall glass and steel glasshouse! Created from the minds of Dale Chihuly and architects OWEN RICHARDS, and RYAN SMITH, this glasshouse is a symbol of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. Inside, beautiful blown glass pieces with RIBBED MOLDS dangle over your head as you walk through the exhibit.

Mark Your Calendar!

We are BIG FANS of Chihuly’s work and are proud to SHARE such a strong PASSION. Today, his work has been presented in more than 240 museums and internationally included in more than 200 museum collections. The Bellagio in Las Vegas will be hosting a BOOK SIGNING November 28th to meet Dale Chihuly. DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE to meet this outstanding artist!

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.