Comments Off on Is this really you, O great and beautiful Crystal Palace?
Driving from Dallas to Ft. Worth last week I did a double take; I thought time had warped when I saw the Great Crystal Palace, the seminal work of Joseph Paxton completed in 1851 for the London Industrial Exhibition, in its pristine glory actually there beside the Texas freeway!
Was I delusional?
I’ve been engrossed in writing my book on the Great Conservatories of the nineteenth Century among which, Paxton’s Crystal Palace is a giant icon, yes, but was I really seeing things? Actually, no! Architect Martin Growald created the design of the new InfoMart building for real estate tycoon Trammell Crow who envisions a permanent sales showcase for the newest electronic wonders.
Maybe the imagery is not so far off! After all, wasn’t the original Crystal Palace, built in London just for such a purpose – a massive exposition in which the inevitability of a richer and healthier future (due to the technological advances of the industrial revolution) would be on view? Over six million visitors came, many on horses, to view the latest and greatest of manufactured goods from all around the world.
If you have not seen this grand landmark we recommend a drive by!
There are so many things we can learn from the Great Conservatories that lived before us – and we’ve only hit the surface! We look forward to sharing our knowledge of these grand structures with you in my new book.
Stay tuned for my book’s release date!
In the meantime, talk with our team about how you can bring this time-honored tradition to your home!
Are you thinking… a “glass house”… in the desert? Wouldn’t it be much too hot or too cold? Seems like it would be impossible.
But watch this video about a house built in Spain in the Gorafe desert. Though set amid spectacular views of mountains and desert landscape, a building in this remote and inhospitable location would have been unthinkable without specialized glass.
Architect Spela Videcnik of OFIA Architecture says: “The goal of this project was to show that with the right glass, great indoor spaces can be created anywhere”. “Designed with the help of experts in glazing technology, this project in the Spanish desert was planned so that the house would not need any heating or air conditioning. Just open the windows!”
Technical Manager, Guardian Glass, Tamas Kovacs says, “just imagine being out here and spending a night under the starry sky. Basically being in a glass house is not much different from sleeping right under the stars”.
If a conservatory, greenhouse, orangery or custom skylight is in your dreams, talk with our team at 410.479.4700 or share your vision HERE.
The winter garden conservatory at the Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo was designed by Gustave Eiffel, best known for the world famous Eiffel Tower built in 1889 in Paris. It features steel and beautiful stained glass.
Leave your wintry blues outside and step into a lush temperate forest inside the newly renovated Temperate House. Fall in love, relax in the warmth or just admire this sunning architectural achievement.
Imagine… one room that will shape your family’s holiday experience for generations to come…
As a slow sleepy yawn spreads across the faces of the children, the quiet mumble of adults shuffling around the house reached the excited children’s ears. Grandparents and parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, all laughing and loving as the holiday spirit filled the home and hearts of the family. From under the sheets, the children can smell the holiday dinner, prepared and baked with the special family recipe, and cascading above the rest of the delicious sides and desserts made communally by the family. It is a time for community and a time for togetherness. The children make their way to the conservatory, a place that has come to be known as the gathering spot for family events, feasts, and celebrations. From inside, they’ve watched the seasons change, the trees slowly changing from green to a beautiful array of orange and red, as if a painter runs their brush across the landscape each day. The children scan the beautiful glass of the conservatory and in the reflection; they see a history of preserving and protecting life. It continues to inspire growth not only in plants but in the children and their families alike. Its inspiration will last for generations. Inside the conservatory, the children can see how dreams, hard work, and a community can come together to make something beautiful; a legacy. They dream of a beautiful meal and family moments to be cherished. Through teamwork, their dreams are created every year, and a tradition is born. Just as the architects dreamt of providing a living example to continue to inspire these ideals in those who get to experience the conservatory.
Make the Holiday’s Last
Across the country, people are coming together to celebrate the holidays in a conservatory at events such as:
Each event is a wonderful opportunity to experience conservatories for their intended purpose; to celebrate with family and friends. Each event offers a unique conservatory to explore and in which to draw inspiration. From model trains, to hundreds of trees, to singing carolers serenading the guests, the holiday spirit will come to life under the encouragement of the conservatories.
Let us know which conservatory your family visits – Tag us on social media!
Comments Off on Tanglewood’s Tour of Italy is an experience architects and builders are raving about. And so are their clients!
Have you ever sipped fine wine from the cellars of Italy’s finest? Walked through some of the world’s most influential architectural buildings? Felt the atmosphere of an Italian open air market?
Education. Architecture. Entertainment.
Are you ready to explore the architectural wonders of Italy?
Italy is one of the most inspirational countries in the world. From the people to culture to architecture to the overall atmosphere, we are inspired by their different perceptions. In this tour our peers get to see and experience things never seen before or never realized was possible to create in the first place.
That is what our partners love about this trip – It is an eye opening experience to the possibilities we have yet to consider ourselves!
Also known as the “City of Bridges”, we explore Venice’s covered pontoon wooden bridges designed by Andrea Palladio, a haven for many such as Napoleon, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. Our partners tour the streets of Italy, admiring the classic and modern architecture and experience the plethora of influences that inspires individuals from around the world, such as the Clocktower, Palazzo Ducale, and the Procuratie .
This last trip we found our way on the outskirts of town, wandering the foothills of the Venetian Prealps and took in the sights of friendly churches and neighborhood buildings.
But that’s not all!
What else are architects and builders saying about Tanglewood’s Tour of Italy?
Our guests also received a vibrant 2-day VIP tour to meet with Brombal’s founders, their crafts-people, tour the factory, and experience hands-on the strength, durability, and fluidity of their steel windows & doors.
Check out their experiences
We all know the importance of being able to see the product before the purchase. You want to feel it, see how it functions in the environment, and examine the quality for yourself. After all, our goal as business owners is to provide the HIGHEST quality product to our clients.
“On so many levels it was such a wonderful trip because it not only exponentially expanded my knowledge about Brombal … but also … Meeting the people that actually make the thing is really important … because if any one of those cogs in the machine go bad the whole project can go out.” – Michael Beidler, Trout Design
From the factories of Brombal to Secco Sistemi and Zannata to the sites of Possagno “Home of Canova” and Carlo Scarpa “Tomba Brion”, the learning opportunities are endless. We interacted with several products such as the OS2 FXD profiles, inclining motorized sliding doors, and EBE.
“Look at the glass guys”, he observes, “those guys making those Amazing windows … it’s pretty cool seeing what their limitations are and what their abilities are because we can take our creative ideas to their tasks … and push their limits a little further, push their product a little farther” – Michael Beidler, Trout Design
Our partners are not the only ones who love the product. We recently finished a beautiful sunroom and skylight feature with architect Gary Lofdahl with Clites Architects PC and their client could not be happier! Gary tells us,
“The clients say the room is like a magnet. They can’t even get the dogs out of the room!”
What artisans like Michael and many others experienced at the Brombal factory was indicative of the high quality that their firm imbues in every product they make. It’s a reflection of their superior attention to detail and pride they take in making some of the world’s finest architecture. Aesthetically appealing and yet rugged enough to withstand the worst weather your home-site can offer.
Talk with our team today about the opportunities that await you and your clients!
Comments Off on At the Druid Hill Park Conservatory It’s All About the Light!
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.
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 combination 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.
The first is that ARCHITECTURE IS ART. Sure, it deals with the facts of physics and the preciseness of engineering, but at its best, architecture is made great when it includes the practical yet moves beyond toward the sublime. This type of thinking is exemplified in many of the old world glass houses and it started with hand-drawn plans similar to what we do today. The intimacy of putting ink on paper allowed a CREATIVE AWARENESSof each element of the construction that is so often ignored and missing in today’s emphasis on costs and speed.
The second observation is the INCREDIBLE ATTENTION TO DETAIL that became possible with at the start of the industrial revolution. That was a magical period when the craftsmanship of old world building styles spilled over into the sudden ability to replicate beauty. It was during this period – roughly the second half of the 1800s and the first quarter of the 1900s – that you find not only the strength and versatility of cast iron, but cast iron decorated with charming outlines of birds, and four-leaf clovers stamped into steel.
It was also the era when glass became a strong, integral part of the structure itself. The seemingly fragile transparent material adding strength and expanding possibilities of light and warmth to even the coldest regions of the world. The glass conservatory was indeed magic and still is.
We at Tanglewood have taken more than a few techniques and attitudes from that glorious past forward to today, building glass conservatories and skylights that combine the best of beauty and construction details. For more information about how we continue this tradition, CLICK HERE to read our brochure or give us a call at 410.479.4700.
Comments Off on Small Wonders live at the Conservatory at Chateau Lednice
The Conservatory at Chateau Lednice at the Liechtenstein Castle in the southern area of Moravia in the Czech Republic is another example of the country’s superlative glass conservatories. When Duke Alois II, the Prince of Liechtenstein decided to add a conservatory during the remodel of his castle in 1840. He looked to England for the design, choosing English architect, P.H. Desvignes, to create the project which was built in the avant-garde Style of John Claudias Loudon. Desvignes began as an engineer who later studied at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Desvignes created the system of semi-circular arches ending in quarter spheres that give the conservatory a particularly graceful look as well as providing much of the building’s rigidity, eliminating the need for the diagonal supports so often seen in glass conservatories. The result is a sense of openness even as the glass protects the contents from weather of all sorts. We’ve written about this type of construction here.
Famous for its many details, this conservatory leans on oriental designs. For example, Persian rugs inspired the design of the ventilation grilles while the capitals of the cast-iron pillars are based on banana leaves. Topped by a pagoda-like ventilation structure, the total effect is a bit like an exotic oriental garden.
Also known as the Lednice Orangery, this glass and cast iron structure was the first stand-alone glass house in Europe. Small wonder this lovely conservatory was designated a Conservatory Heritage Foundation site. A refurbishing of the structure revealed that in addition to cast-iron, forged iron was used in some of the decorative pillars.
The floor of the conservatory is another marvel. The path that leads one through the plantings is actually constructed of cast iron grates which allow heat from a heating system to warm the interior.
An ideal destination site for conservatory lovers traveling to the Czech Republic, the castle with it’s glass conservatory is set in the midst of an extensive landscape park or region of over 109 square miles. This huge park is designated as a ‘cultural landscape,’ an official term of World Heritage Sites which defines the area as “a landscape designed and created intentionally by man.” It stretches roughly between the Lednice and Valtice areas of the South Moravian Region, near Břeclav in the Czech Republic, providing much to explore for any visitor.
While you’re exploring, let your mind soar as you explore both the small and large details you dream about having in your own home! Your home can have the same atmosphere as the Chateau Lednice with designs and details that relate back to this century-old work of art.
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, clickhere. 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.
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.
Comments Off on Take a Journey to a Historic Botanical Gem
Around this verdant globe, you will find numerous botanical gardens.
Many will have UNIQUE QUALITIES, and some will seem MAGNIFICENT or much like another in their creative and artful displays. But there is one that stands apart—a humble, but studious little gem nestled in the heart of the ANCIENT CITY OF PADUA, twenty-five miles to the west of Venice. So special is this botanical wonder, that it was named a UNESCOWorld Heritage site in 1997. It holds interest for the plant-lover, the historian, the medically curious, the architecturally or philosophically inclined, and the environmentally conscious.
The Orto botanico di Padova, or Botanical gardens of Padua, began life in 1545, making it the OLDEST CONTINUOUS BOTANICAL GARDENS in the world. Originally, it was created for the study of medicinal plants and has watched the science of botany blossom from that singular occupation to include all study of plants. The garden’s original design still gives it it’s unique look—encompassing a little sacred, symbolic geometry, which soon had to be ringed with a wall in 1552 to protect from early ‘drug’ thieves.
Through the centuries, there have been changes and phases. Various greenhouses have come and gone, but one will find small, utilitarian antique and vintage examples. There is an orchid hothouse amongst other older buildings.
But the garden has survived so long because it has also moved with times and knowledge, becoming not only a home of RESEARCH, but of SPECIES PRESERVATION. A large greenhouse using state-of-the-art green technology, mixed with old fashioned ingenuity, sits in modernist contrast to the early architecture. It makes for a fascinating journey from ancient to futuristic.
The UNESCO World Heritage Convention states,
“For more than five centuries, the Botanical Garden of Padua has represented an exceptional testimony of scientific and cultural significance. Its position, size and main characteristics, as well as its main research and didactic features, have remained essentially unchanged over centuries with a constant adaptation to the most advanced discoveries in botanical and educational sciences.”
When visiting the old part of the gardens, one must imagine the likes of Padua University alumni like Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei walking the cardinally-aligned paths on their way to lectures. Perhaps another alumnus, Giacomo Casanova stole a medicinal rose blossom (Rosa centifolia or gallica) to entice a feminine conquest. And the ‘Goethe Palm’, a dwarf fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) planted in 1585, (and beloved by its namesake) which has its own personally-constructed greenhouse, stands as a testament to mankind’s potential, and particularly, our very special and necessary relationship with plants. This is a garden to be viewed & appreciated with attention to its deep history and contributions to human knowledge.