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Why do you own an Apple product?
NEW technology? UNIQUE design? Because it’s APPLE?
With each new iPhone and Mac Computer, Apple does not hesitate to go after the NEXT BIGTHING; but there’s more to them than just technological advances. It lies within their foundation, and could lie within yours too. Do you have something like it?
Have You Heard of STRUCTURAL GLASS?
Apple has recently been awarded a STRUCTURAL GLASS DESIGN patent for their store in Shanghai! Made almost entirely out of monolithic glass, their latest structure is held together using only metal connecting joints! To successfully accomplish this COMPLEX DESIGN, the glass must be able to support a heavy structural load and several forces of expected magnitudes. So how did we accomplish it?
How Do We Do It?
As most architects view WINDOWS and DOORS as additions to structural elements, we view them as the structural elements for your room or skylight. Structural glass allows glass in itself to become a structural element to withstand these forces using MINIMALSTEEL or laminated glass beams and fins. ADMIRE the details of this star inspired skylight above.
Like Apple, this family wanted to create something unique; to STAND OUT among what anyone else had. With minimal joints holding the glass together, they wanted to add a decorative steel element to bring an essence of ELEGANCE. Eagerly awaiting the installation of their skylight, final touches on design have been made and production has begun!
How Can You Have the Next Best Thing?
Let us bring something unique to your home, adding the GIFT OF NATURAL LIGHT to enhance your family’s life. Please CALL us at 410.479.4700!
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Have YOU prepared your conservatory for winter’s worst?
We believe conservatories and greenhouses are MOREthan just another addition to your home; they become your FAVORITE hideaway to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature – wouldn’t you like to take extra GOOD CARE of them?
Whether you undergo harsh snowfall, strong winds, rain, or ice, it is important to perform a REGULAR MAINTENANCE check in between seasons, particularly at the beginning and end of winter to catch any damage and get it repaired quickly. This will prevent future problems.
To ensure optimum performance, here are a few signs to look for:
It is important that you REGULARLY look over the structure to make sure there are no leaks or moisture build up within the foundation. Especially with wood, moisture can COMPROMISE the integrity of the structure and become costly later.
Since conservatories and greenhouses are mainly constructed using glass, WARMTH can ESCAPE from its seals! The seals around the windows are your FIRST DEFENSE against snow and moisture from entering your home so it is critical to check for any flakes, cracks or holes. Inspect regularly, repair quickly, and reduce further damage to keep your room warm and happy this holiday!
Although your gutters should be cleaned throughout the year, DOUBLE CHECK them in the winter months! Gutters are great spots for buildup, debris and insects to hide out and prevent the flow of rain and melted ice away from your building and DAMAGE the foundation.
Paint & Varnish
Maintenance is VITAL here. Mahogany, Sapele, and other woods need a GOOD COAT of paint or varnish to protect it from the weather. Failure to maintain proper finished is one of the MOST COMMON causes of damage to a beautiful conservatory!
If you haven’t had your conservatory inspected yet, who better to take care of your favorite room than the people who built it!
For more helpful HINTSand TIPSthis holiday season, CALLand ask about our 15 Point Inspection Plan to keep your conservatory or greenhouse in tip-top shape!
We are THANKFULto have been a part of the creation of your conservatory or greenhouse and enjoyed working with you and your family. You were such a PLEASUREto work with we look for clients just like you! If you know anyone who is looking for our services, SHAREthis email with them or have them give us a CALLat 410.479.4900.
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.
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 RELAXINGATMOSTPHERE! 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!
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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.”
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 premierconservatory 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!
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?”
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!
Remember career day back in high school? Guidance counselors and local business people all gathered in the auditorium talking about career choices and pathways. Then there was always that one counselor that was the dreamer and spoke of finding your passion and everything else would fall into place. Back then it all sounded so nebulous – how can a teenager know their life’s passion?
With that high school day forgotten many decades in the past and fast forward to working at TWC for several months now, I have had heard numerous times that it is the design element that Tanglewood brings to a project that sets us apart from others in our arena. It is easy to prattle off the obvious reasons:
TWC has a full suite of architects, engineers and designers
We pride ourselves on our collaborative nature and working well with the homeowners’ team of architects and designers
We bring a historical perspective based on Tanglewood’s extensive travels, books and lectures series
Wanting to get a more in-depth understanding – I asked Alan his thoughts. His response quickly brought me back to high school…
’We are architects and artists, not accountants and lawyers.
We create art and that just happens to fuel our business.
We do not compromise or concede to any business strategy that stifles our artistry.
Making money is a byproduct of our passion, the actual building process is the business that supports our artistic endeavors.’
Designing conservatories and greenhouses isn’t just the starting point of the process to get to a completed structure. It is an artist creating a work of art that ultimately will become part of someone’s art collection. Designing conservatories is the passion that ignites Tanglewood and it is that passion that then builds these stunning structures. As Alan states, ‘If we were to just design a building, there is no art, no passion.’ Tanglewood is in business to create art. Our conception was the result of stumbling upon a passion: historic conservatories & creative design. Many marketing manuals have been written extolling the practice of determining your value proposition. At Tanglewood, it is simple. We create art – that takes the form of conservatories. That is our passion.
Turns out your guidance counselors were right on career day – find your passion, make it your job and the ‘business’ of it will follow.
It’s that time of the year again where the days are getting shorter and it seems like we just cannot escape the encroaching change of season. Most of us have a natural affinity for sunlight and seek the warmth the sunshine provides along with the natural serotonin boost. However, during the long winter months, seeking the sun and its beneficial rays can be a bit of a challenge.
One undisputed remedy for the short winter days is to spend more time in natural light, which can be very difficult when the weather outside is freezing cold and snowy! There are many products on the market that simulate natural light – but why not bask in the warmth of natural light in your own private retreat? A custom-built conservatory is a perfect method for bringing in lots of natural light in and keeping all the freezing cold outside. With recent advances in the heating and cooling of glass houses, a conservatory is the perfect way to invite more natural sunlight into your home. A conservatory is primarily constructed from glass which allows plenty of natural light to bathe the room in bright warmth. Even on a dull winter day, your conservatory will be flush with natural warmth and light. Your conservatory can also provide the perfect backdrop for gentle home exercise such as Tai Chi or yoga which studies have shown to be beneficial.
Tanglewood Conservatories are master craftsmen in constructing glass sanctuaries and will work with you to obtain maximum sunlight exposure in the winter while having the ability to cool and provide shade in the summer. A consultation with Tanglewood Conservatories to build your dream conservatory will brighten your long winter days for many years to come.
Posted October 15th, 2014 by Bonnie Hall and filed in General
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There is a lot of new buzz regarding conservatories, greenhouses, etc. Green living, a focus on slowing down and getting back to nature has certainly had a hand in the resurgence. With the economy rebounding and a positive outlook for the future, many are looking at enhancing their home with a conservatory. A conservatory or greenhouse can be a substantial investment and taking the time to do the proper due diligence before selecting a manufacturer will be time well spent! With several companies that sell conservatories made in England going out of business in the last few years and their US customers losing deposits and warranties, making a wise choice is even more important.
Some other items to check while performing your due diligence:
• Number of years in business
Tanglewood Conservatories has been designing and creating conservatories for over 20 years. TWC has a full suite of architects, engineers, designers, craftsmen and support staff. We are looking forward to the next twenty-plus years of business!
• Design and manufacture in the US
TWC’s team of in-house architects and engineers will lead you from vision & design to building & installation. Tanglewood manufactures each project in-house and then ships your project and a team of craftsmen to assemble on your property. Some companies are distributorships that maintain a catalog of pre-designed models that are shipped in from Europe or if they are built in-house, they do not install.
• Works with your entire team
Tanglewood works seamlessly with your team of architects, designers and builder to ensure your vision is fully realized.
• Unlimited options
TWC works with you to translate your vision to reality. We aren’t working from a catalog but from a fresh sheet of paper with limitless possibilities.
• Artistically motivated
TWC lives and breathes conservatories. Alan Stein, founder of Tanglewood Conservatories has devoted the last twenty years to design, construction and research. He is an accomplished architect, lecturer and author of a soon to be released book focusing on the history of conservatories.
Each Tanglewood conservatory begins with a phone call from you and a conversation about your home. We believe great architecture begins with your ideas, feelings, and needs—not ours. We learn about who you are and listen to what you say. We can work side by side with your architect if you already have one. Then we use our creativity and architectural skill to create a custom conservatory design that reflects the things that are important to you. We don’t offer standardized “models,” “sizes,” or “architectural details”—we won’t try to squeeze your needs into a preconceived box. Instead, your conservatory starts with a clean sheet of paper, fresh ideas, world-class design, and you.
We’ve worked with many architects who want to design their client’s conservatory but recognize the challenges and artistry specific to our craft. They often produce a conservatory design, then look to Tanglewood to develop and refine their concept and work out the building details for a properly constructed conservatory. Architect Bob Scialla, in Morristown, New Jersey, had clients he’d worked with before who now wanted a large conservatory design added to their family room. According to Scialla, “The clients had ideas about what they wanted in the conservatory, but did not have a specific design in mind.” So Scialla and his team developed a conceptual plan for the project and then contacted Tanglewood. “We brought Tanglewood in because conservatories are highly specialized and highly technical structures. Building them right requires a unique set of skills, and we wouldn’t take it upon ourselves to develop details and tackle the engineering on a project as specialized as a conservatory. Sometimes, architects want to reinvent the wheel, but why reinvent the wheel when Tanglewood has already perfected it?” Working in close partnership with Scialla, Tanglewood turned his concept into a conservatory design that was both elegant and could be well executed. “They made suggestions and recommendations for all the details-glass types, waterproofing, the windows and vents. They engineered the structure and made a difficult design buildable,” said Scialla. “Tanglewood took our concept and brought it to fruition. Then they fabricated it, shipped it up to us and installed it at our client’s home,” he explained. “Our relationship with Tanglewood was very, very good. They are consummate professionals. We’d call them again in a minute; in fact, we have, for another project that’s in development now.”
The process is interactive and collaborative. We take great pride in our ability to listen to others’ ideas and turn them into conservations about what is possible. Our clients are often surprised and delighted to learn they have many more choices than they originally thought. Our greatest satisfaction is designing and building a customer conservatory that is beautiful, functional, and uniquely yours.
Dedication: to devote wholly and earnestly, as to some person or purpose. That one simple word describes Tanglewood Conservatories and its ownership – Alan and Nancy, in one nicely wrapped package. Dedicated to building creatively-inspired structures that enhance and amplify the client’s life; dedicated to documenting and recreating the architectural details of conservatories from bygone eras; dedicated to maintaining a high level of quality and customer service; dedicated to being good stewards in business, environmentally and our community. And most of all, dedication to each other as partners in life and business.
As the new marketing manager at Tanglewood I was thumbing through some old files and came across an intriguing article written many years ago as to how Tanglewood Conservatories began. Scanning through the article, I quickly realized that a special story was hiding in a file and now was perfect timing for a ‘revisit’. I hope you enjoy the Tanglewood journey as much as I.
The Prelude to a Labor of Love…
It’s what happens when two people meet; fall instantly in love and everything changes. In the case of Alan Stein and Nancy Virts, falling in love didn’t just change their personal lives, but transformed the direction of their professional lives also.
We are where we are today and who we are today because of one another. Alan & Nancy
Alan had spent years in the housing industry, first as a carpenter, then an architect and then later as a sales professional. Nancy had recently found herself at a pivotal moment in life – a decision to forge ahead and devote the majority of her time and energy in continuing to build on her corporate management experience or regroup and focus on what fed her soul: her artwork. The artwork won and she soon took a job managing a home builder’s office, where most importantly, he provided a large loft for her art studio. Her artwork began to gain attention and she found herself being selected for juried shows.
The two destined pathways converged and collided in 1991 when Alan walked into the builder’s office that Nancy was managing.
It was love at first sight for me…for Nancy it took longer! The minute I met her, I knew this woman would change my life. – Alan Stein
After waiting to call Alan back, they finally met for dinner – the meal lasted for over three hours and they never ate! That night, everything clicked.
Looking back to 1985, Alan and his then-business partner ventured into their own contracting business that sold prefab sunrooms in the Washington, DC area. The partnership eventually proved disastrous. Alan and the partner decided to dissolve the partnership, but each taking an arm of the business – Alan the struggling sun-room portion while the partner took the more profitable contracting division. That decision would prove to work better for Alan in the long run even though the initial outlook was shaky at best.
Although it seemed the sun was setting on Alan’s pre-fab sunroom business, Alan, ever the entrepreneurial sales guy, kept in contact with several builders in the industry. One approached Alan about creating a custom conservatory for a high-end home.
“He handed me a picture of an English conservatory and asked if I could do that, an entrepreneur never says no, so I said sure and took the project on.” – Alan Stein
At this point, Alan and Nancy were dating and evenings were spent discussing the project late into the night. Nancy, still working for the contractor, arranged a visit to England so they could tour manufacturers so that they could better understand the process of making quality conservatoires in the classic tradition.
It just captured my imagination, Nancy said. I became engrossed in the project he was working on.
Home from the U.K., Alan designed and built the conservatory and the client and Alan fell in love with the design. Soon thereafter, the second commission for a conservatory was harkening and Nancy realized this was not a side business, but the business.
A year and a half later, Nancy joined Alan at Tanglewood.
Beautiful Life Amplified
Tanglewood’s story began with a commitment to the history and tradition of the 19th century conservatories. From their first trip together to the U.K., Alan and Nancy have become students and stewards of the tradition and they work hard to capture the intricacy and elegance in all of Tanglewood’s designs.
Fast forward many years from that fateful day in 1991, to a life that has been amplified many times as a result of their business venture together. Building a successful business has enabled Alan and Nancy to experience awesome opportunities such as extensive travel, awards and honors and acquiring many new friends and family. Many great friendships have been forged – close relationships are typically formed with clients over the course of a project. With no preconceived or pre-designed models, a deep relationship is a natural outcome since Tanglewood works closely with each client. Discovering the client’s vision, likes and dislikes, the rhythm of their lifestyle, is paramount so that the conservatory will best meld with how they live and work. It’s hard not to become as close as family!
Alan and Nancy have many memorable clients – but there are some very special ones that leave a deep impression:
One client, now a great friend, has worked with Tanglewood on three projects, with yet another very large project in the discovery phase. He is world-renowned within the medical field and Nancy and Alan have been deeply touched by his nurturing persona. As Nancy remarks, ‘He truly was meant to be a doctor – I have rarely witnessed that level of compassion and caring he has, not only for his patients, but for everything around him – his family, employees, pets and even the plants in his conservatory. His conservatory is essentially his living room and it quickly becomes the favorite room of all visitors!’ He frequently entertains, holding classical music recitals and everyone comments as to how remarkable the acoustics are within the conservatory.
Another beloved client has worked with Tanglewood seven times! He is a veterinarian and she a nurse. Both had demanding schedules and came to Alan and Nancy to help them turn their home in a tranquil haven. She would work very closely with the Tanglewood team; designing many of the interior touches herself, such as a beautiful tile floor in a small conservatory off the master bedroom. Their resulting home and gardens are now flush with beautiful light pouring in through custom-designed stained glass, sumptuous saeple wood and an overwhelming aura of peaceful calm.
A favorite story that is told at Tanglewood involves a husband and wife who were building a new home. They had agreed that each would be able to create ‘their’ own room as part of the construction process. The wife chose to design and build a conservatory with Tanglewood while the husband created a very masculine billiards room complete with a copper ceiling. During the many discussions and design meetings, the husband remarked he was excited to show them ‘his’ room with the pool table and all the other ‘mancave’ accessories. After the conservatory was designed and built, Alan and Nancy went for a visit and they were met at the door by the husband inviting them in to visit his room – the conservatory! Alan and Nancy have yet to see the billiards room!
Travel has also been a very integral component of the growing business. Alan and Nancy have taken numerous trips researching the history and architectural details of the great conservatories of the world – many times documenting them in photographs. As a result of their passion for the great conservatories, Alan has written a book and is currently touring Europe to capture the best photos to tell the story. The book will be published by mid-2015.
Businesses are typically conceived and built to generate cash and fill a gap in the marketplace. While Tanglewood certainly fills what was a large gap – there were no builders that were maintaining the historical accuracy of 19th century conservatories, and Tanglewood has certainly generated cash – what transcends this company above many others is the personal dedication that they exude. They are architects and artists; mentors to new engineers and architects – Alan sits on the board for a local architectural college, and active contributors within the community.
‘I love the uniqueness and the magic of conservatories, we can build anything we can think of and that is what I love about this business. That and being able to do what we love with the person we love – getting up each day and working together to make something beautiful.’ Alan Stein
Once a year, for a single night only, the exotic Night-Blooming Cereus* gives the owners of this conservatory it’s beautiful, fragrant gift.
Actually a type of desert cactus, this particular plant thrives in its conservatory home climbing and attaching itself to the ornamental rock wall. The stone feature wall is a focal point in this Custom Conservatory by the Lake and during the day is flooded with natural light. A shallow grotto at the base is filled with ferns and a pool of cool water which feeds a fountain which trickles over the stone.
Arrive on just the right afternoon and behold, the flowers that have made their appearance, are filled with promise and begin to swell. As sun sets in the conservatory and the dinner table is cleared, the blooms imperceptibly open wide in momentary splendor and embrace the night. Hours later, all that remains are their limp carcasses.
Tomorrow night or perhaps some other, if you are fortunate to be there to see, another bloom may appear. Sometimes just one, other times a crowd of silky white blossoms.
*The Selenicereus grandifloras is a cactus species from the Antilles, Mexico, and Central American regions. It is called the Queen of the Night, Vanilla Cactus, or Sweet-Scented Cactus. In its native environment, it is found growing on rocks and trees. It is rare to find these cacti being cultivated; however, it is not hard to grow and is fast growing. It is a perfect plant for a conservatory that has full sun, and which is kept above 41̊ F in the winter. If the cactus is provided with extra light early in the spring season, the buds will be stimulated, but it only flowers in the late spring or early summer, and then, as was said above, for only one night in a year (sometimes several years) and it withers within hours of blooming.
Below is a time-lapse video showing a Night blooming Cereus blooming and withering in 40 seconds.
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Detroit made some beautiful things besides cars.
If you are in Detroit, MI and are looking for something free to do on the weekend, you might want to consider the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, which is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Originally known as the Belle Isle Conservatory, this oldest, continually running conservatory in the United States was built in 1904. The conservatory, designed by Albert Kahn, a German immigrant who learned his craft while working as an unpaid intern for Mason & Rice, houses palms, tropical plants, cacti, ferns and one of the country’s largest collections of orchids.
These orchids were saved and imported from World War II Great Britain and donated to the conservatory by Anna Scripps Whitcomb, who was honored after her death with the renaming of the building in 1954.
Kahn modeled his conservatory design after Thomas Jefferson’s residence, Monticello, just outside Charlottesville, VA. Reinforced concrete was used instead of wood to better guard against fire, let in more light, and to create more interior space. Kahn, while studying in Europe on a scholarship, learned this architectural style (European Modernist).
Belle Isle is a 982-acre, 2.5 mile long island located between Detroit and the Canadian border, on the Detroit River. It is home to many species of birds and small animals. Visitors to the island must use the 2,193-foot MacArthur Bridge, containing 19 arches, to reach the Island’s attractions, which include a casino, aquarium and of course, the conservatory.
Today, many events, including weddings, picnics, reunions, you name it, are held at the conservatory.
Of the five separate sections of the conservatory, the Show house contains a continuous display of blooming plants, including Mrs. Whitcomb’s 600 orchids. Housing varieties of flowering plants from all over the world, the greenhouse has annual flower shows that mark six different flowering seasons of the year. Visitors can experience horticulture from all over the world by visiting this unique island.
To learn more about the Conservatory, please visit the Anna Scripps Whitcomb page, recently added to the Our Heritage section of the Tanglewood Conservatories’ web site.