Tanglewood’s Tour of Italy is an experience architects and builders are raving about. And so are their clients!

Posted September 28th, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Events, latest, Steel Structures, Travels, Uncategorized, Windows & Doors
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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!

 

 

Architects, Builders, and Designers from Trout Design, Anne Decker, Pyramid Builders, Archer & Buchanan Architecture, and Potomac Valley Builders are the most recent travelers with Tanglewood to experience Venice, Italy.

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!

410.479.4700

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.

What Do You Like Best About Old World Conservatories?

Posted August 4th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, Insights, Travels, Uncategorized
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Many are drawn to the BEAUTY OF OLD WORLD CONSERVATORIES; some wonder why they are so drawn to what is obviously old fashioned design. We’ve thought a lot about why we too are so intrigued with, for example, the grand Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco or the modest and charming half-round, glass roofed conservatory at the Mark Twain (Samuel Clements) house in near Hartford Connecticut.

Conservatory of Flowers

We’ve noticed some consistent themes in our appreciations.

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 AWARENESS of each element of the construction that is so often ignored and missing in today’s emphasis on costs and speed.

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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.

Small Wonders live at the Conservatory at Chateau Lednice

Posted July 20th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in General, Steel Structures, Travels
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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 lednice_interior[1]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.

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.

Take a Journey to a Historic Botanical Gem

Posted June 29th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Dea Digs, Gardening, Greenhouses, Travels
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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 UNESCO World 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.

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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.”

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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.

Buon Viaggio!

By Dea Schofield

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.

Finding Inspiration in Historic Steel Conservatories

Posted April 10th, 2015 by Bonnie Hall and filed in Conservatory Projects, Greenhouses, Pool Enclosures, Steel Structures, Travels, Uncategorized
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How can looking back at historic structures help us build conservatories today?  The answer is actually relatively simple – because they help us dream!

The earliest glass houses date from the 17th century, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that steel and glass hit its heyday.   The abolishment of the glass tax in 1845 and advancements in cast iron production made during the industrial revolution fueled the passion for exotic glass houses.   The romanticism of the design – the sensuous curves, the play of light from the many angles and multitude of glass – the simple elegance and serenity – the list could go on and on as to the attributes of the historic conservatories.  Let’s take a look at how one historic structure fueled a dream!

Schönbrunn Palace Palm House
The Palm House conservatory is one of four greenhouses that occupy Schönbrunn Palace Park.  The present Palm House was built by metalworker Ignaz Gridl between 1880 and 1882 and was designed by Franz von Segenschmid.  The last of its type to be built in Europe, the great Palm House was designed using the most modern technology of the time.  With a length of 111 meters, a width of 28 meters and a height of 25 meters, the great Palm House is the largest glass house – with over 45,000 glass sheets on the European continent.

What is most interesting about Schönbrunn is that the steel ‘framework’ is actually on the exterior – forming a very unique exoskeleton! Most buildings begin with the structural ‘skeleton’ fitting inside of the exterior ‘skin’.  The ‘skeleton’ provides the framework, holding the building up and the ‘skin’ keeps the building weather tight.  Schönbrunn is just the opposite!  By reversing the arrangement, the steel exoskeleton celebrates the steelworks juxtaposition from utility to an elevation of art.

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Even the rivets in the girders lend such ornate detail to the entire structure.  Over 45,000 panes of glass cling to the curved iron girders like skin.

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Tanglewood Conservatories is currently constructing a pool enclosure inspired by Schönbrunn Palace Palm House.  The client had some very definite design ideas that we discussed during our design meeting – a pool enclosure that mimicked an Irish countryside greenhouse – rustic and pastoral.  However, upon viewing photos of historic structures from 19th century Europe, the client asked to return to the Schönbrunn photos and was completely mesmerized by the concept. Their design vision was quickly and completely changed and now boasted an exterior steel structure and a multitude of glass panes functioning as the skin.  Tanglewood was captivated by the challenge to recreate such an iconic piece of history.  The project should be complete by late fall – photos to follow!

Five Amazing East Coast Botanical Gardens & Conservatories

Posted February 20th, 2015 by Bonnie Hall and filed in Greenhouses, Travels
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While a glimmer of spring is yet to be found on the east coast; winter still has a firm grip with snow and freezing temperatures.  I cannot think of a more befitting way to start dreaming of spring and gathering inspiration for the upcoming planting season than to visit a botanical garden with greenhouse after greenhouse to explore!  Here are five of our top picks!

Longwood Gardens: Kennett Square, PA

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Longwood Gardens is one of the great gardens of the world. With historical information dating back to the 1700’s for this property, the land was purchased from William Penn by George Peirce and turned into an arboretum in 1798 by Pierce’s great-grandson.  The property was later purchased by the duPont family.  The property has been open to the public since the late 1700’s and just added a rather unusual award to its long list of awards and accolades –  Longwood was recently named winner of ‘best loos in the land.’  An award given by Cintas, recognizes public restrooms for their design, hygiene and usability.  Longwood Gardens’ private, skylit restroom pods are nestled into a 4,072 square foot green wall comprised of about 47,000 ferns and other plants.  Caretakers use computers to water and regulate the temperature of the plants, that were carefully placed in the 3,590 panels in the wall based on each type of plant’s light preference.  The wall produces as much oxygen as 90 trees that are 14 feet tall.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory:  Baltimore, MD

Rawlings Conservatory

Completed in 1888, Rawlings Conservatory is the second oldest surviving glass and steel framed conservatory in the United States that is still in-use today.   Located in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore MD, it was designed by architect George Aloysius Frederick. The Palm House, with its 175 windows soaring 50 feet into the air, is a spectacular example of Victorian architecture.  With five distinct greenhouse rooms,  the Mediterranean House, Tropical House, Desert House, Orchid Room and Palm House, Rawlings is a true gem to visit.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

United States Botanic Garden:  Washington, D.C.

United States Botanic Garden Washington DC

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. In 1842, the idea of a national botanic garden was reestablished when the United States Exploring Expedition to the South Seas (the Wilkes Expedition) brought a collection of living plants from around the globe to Washington, D.C. The Conservatory was constructed by the Architect of the Capitol in 1933. The historic Lord & Burnham greenhouse contains two courtyard gardens and 10 garden rooms under glass, totaling nearly 29,000 square feet of growing space. The exterior remains largely unchanged from its 1933 appearance aside from the addition of at the rear of the building. The Conservatory underwent a renovation in 1997 to modernize the building systems while retaining the architectural character.  The building reopened in 2001.

 

New York Botanic Garden: New York, NY

Enid Haupt Conservatory

An oasis in the busy New York metropolis, this National Historic Landmark’s 250 acre site’s landscape supports over one million living plants in their extensive collections.  Founded in 1891, this classic botanic garden hosts vast research programs in the Garden’s state-of-the-art laboratories to discover and understand the properties of plants and their relationships to each other, to ecosystems, and to people.  The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is a stunning example of a Victorian-style glasshouse.  Home to A World of Plants, the Conservatory showcases the wonders of the Garden’s collection in lush tropical rain forests, cactus-filled deserts, palms from around the world, and aquatic and carnivorous plants.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: Richmond, VA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Founded in 1981, a group of botanists, horticulturists and citizens worked together to form the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  The property has a long, rich history, originally Powhatan Indian hunting ground and once owned by Patrick Henry, Ginter purchased the property in 1895.  A prosperous Richmond businessman, Ginter encouraged his colleagues to form and build the Lakeside Wheel Club – a destination for Richmond bicyclists on his property.  After Ginter’s death in 1897, his niece bought the property and converted the wheel club into a convalescent home.  Naming the property ‘Bloemendaal’ (valley of flowers) she began the gardens on the site.  In her will, she designated life-time rights to her companion, after which time the city of Richmond was to develop the property as a botanical garden honoring Lewis Ginter.  The Conservatory is crowned ‘Jewel of the Garden’ and this 11,000 square-foot structure houses exotic plants from around the world.  Crowned by a 63 foot tall dome, the Conservatory includes a central Palm house, a semi-tropical wing featuring an orchid collection and two other wings that change according to seasonal displays.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.