Imagine… if Frida Kahlo Lived Today….

Posted November 2nd, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in The Arts
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Frida KahloFreda Kahlo was a fabulous artist from Mexico City (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954). She was known for her self-portraits, her love of all things growing, and her art’s immersion and reflection in the Mexican culture.

Revered by feminists for the way she used and celebrated the female form, Kahlo has been internationally celebrated as representing both Mexican and the Indigenous traditions in her native country. Her self-portraits, recognizable by her heavy eyebrows and piercing eyes, often feature jewelry of living creatures and backgrounds of lush tropical plants.

A childhood accident resulted in a life-time of health problems and of relative isolation. She said, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” She often turned to her garden to find peace.

We can only imagine how much she loved her garden;  the quiet and calm created by living tropical plants and art  is still found in her Garden of La Casa Azul. Imagine her experience if her garden had been in a glass and steel conservatory!

In her Garden of La Casa Azul

Frida Kahlo’s famed Garden of La Casa Azul (Garden of the blue house) is perhaps best known for showing off not only her art bupyramid-2t that of her husband’s, Diego Rivera. The focal point is the beginning of a stepped pyramid, built in the style of the Olmecs, the first major Mesoamerican civilization, dating to between 1000 B.C. and 400 B.C. It’s surrounded by lush, tropical plants, herbs and blossoms, highlighting her fascination with growing things.

In addition to the pyramid, a fountain tinkles and there is the quiet of a Freda Kahloreflecting pool which mirrors the lushness.  Aquatic shells and mirrors decorate the walls. There is an inscription that says: “Frida y Diego / vivieron en / esta casa / 1929-1954” which translates: “Frida and Diego lived in this house – 1929-1954).”

Kahlo grew a variety of inspiring plants, all of which are perfect for growing under glass. Keep in mind, that although Mexico City can become truly chilly it is by and large a truly mild climate. Tropical plants can not only survive in the open, but thrive – and thrive they do in Kahlo’s garden courtyard.

According to an article in The New Yorker magazine called NATIVE SOIL – What Frida Kahlo cultivated, she grew “Jacaranda, oleander, philodendron, roses, sunflowers, fuchsia, marigolds, palms, ferns, fruit trees, and many varieties of cacti and succulents…” Each of these plants would also thrive in a glass conservatory in cold climes. Can you imagine Kahlo luxuriating in a glass and steel conservatory or greenhouse surrounded by her art, the art of people she loved and the native art she found so stimulating?  Kahlo’s garden, complete with a truncated pyramid and such a selection of plants almost anywhere one wanted to combine a love of art, plants and warmth.

blue-gardenIf Freda Kahlo had designed her Conservatory or Greenhouse?

Historically, greenhouses proceeded conservatories as places to grow plants that couldn’t stand the local year around temperatures. When, in the 19th century, wrought iron allowed structures to be built with supporting columns the fanciful structures of glass and iron, then glass and steel expanded the concept of a greenhouse into special rooms that invited sunlight and warmth for both plants and people, the Victorian conservatory.

Had Kahlo conjured a glass and steel conservatory, she might have asked that the design of a typical Mexican tile be carved via laser into the supporting beams. She would have appreciated the way carved steel adds strength and lightness to a conservatory room. In fact, we suspect she would have loved the idea.

What’s your fantasy for a steel and glass sanctuary?

What inspires you when it comes to imagining your ideal garden? Let your mind soar, then schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation with our team to discover how your dream can become real.

CALL us at: 800-229-2925 (Internationally at: 00-1-410-4700). You may also fill out the form on our Contact page. We’ll be in touch with you shortly.

Photo credits: Self-portraitPyramid, Reflecting pond,

Visualize a Space That Creates and Supports Your Passions

Posted October 20th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Steel Structures
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cast ironThe love affair between steel and the arts was birthed during the industrial revolution with the development of decorative cast iron. The malleability of first cast iron and then steel entranced designers who delighted in creating romantic flourishes including leaves, stars and even fanciful animals. As glass became affordable, it was coupled with both structural and decorative cast iron for the charming glass conservatories we know of from 18th century.

The manufacturing of steel and other metals has improved over time, giving them properties that allow our own ability to use them to also evolve. The result is new possibilities transforming conservatory design into thoroughly modern and special rooms with the old world flare that is so charming and desirable.

Storytelling in Steel

We love our clients! Their imagination gives us new challenges and takes us to new heights.

sequence-drawingOne client led us to a new discovery in the future of steel structure.  He dreamed of a glass conservatory that would have the charm and feel of mahogany yet constructed using steel to reflect his love of mathematics!

We puzzled over a few renderings but one late night drawing captured it all. To incorporate his passions we cut the Fibonacci sequence in the supporting steel beams! He loved the concept!

You may know it from The Da Vinci Code – either the book or the movie. A Fibonacci Sequence can be defined as a series of numbers in which each number ( Fibonacci number ) is the sum of the two preceding numbers.  The simplest is the series 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.

Charmed with our rendering, our client immediately saw his passions coming alive in his new glass conservatory.  Using laser cut steel we were able to create a pattern of circles using the sequence. Note elbows the elbow of each support is the largest circle. The three circles moving out from the biggest circle decrease in size according to their Fibonacci number. When it was built, he was thrilled at how we met and exceeded his expectations. It is now his favorite room
in his home!

bronze-deckAnother client envisioned a glass conservatory on a stone observation deck. The goal was to create it out of steel and bronze while retaining all possible old world charm. At the top, he suggested, should be a bronze roof-lantern-style cap that would cover the home’s elevator.

Our solution was to engineer a bronze exterior shell to contain the glass. Inside steel ribs emphasize the architecture and blend with the interior of the home.

In Partnership

One of the reasons our designs are so well loved is we partner with other craftspeople. To give our clients the best experience and quality, we are now the exclusive Mid-Atlantic dealer of Brombal Products. Brombal is well known for beautifully handcrafted Italian door and window systems. Carefully chosen partnerships like this one expand what we are able to offer our clients while maintaining our commitment to quality of materials and design.

The Art of the Glass Conservatory

We are more than just another conservatory manufacturer. The artistry that comes with designing and building glass conservatories with modern materials in the charming style of yore is what makes us America’s Premier Conservatory Designer and Manufacturer. We are truly artists, in love with our craft.

Connect with our Project Manager, Andrew Ruf, to begin the discussion of how your conservatory can inspire and reflect your passions – 410.479.4700

 

 

 

Do you know how glass conservatories can enhance your children’s health?

Posted October 5th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Greenhouses, Insights, Uncategorized
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For many, glass conservatories and greenhouses are valued primarily for the availability of natural light they bring, particularly in the fall and winter months. What most families don’t realize is the major positive impact conservatories and greenhouses can offer to families anywhere in the world.

Although the tendency is to think of these spaces as primarily adult places, children of all ages can benefit greatly by spending time in there as well. In fact, family time in a home conservatory or custom greenhouse is not only healthy, it’s absolutely delightful.

Health Benefits No Matter the Weather

childrenWhat do you and your children do on a sad, rainy day? Sit around and watch tv, do homework, or drive you crazy! What about the fall or winter months when the harsh winter weather arrives or during the summer when the heat advisory is through the roof? Natural light is essential to your family’s well-being, not only for their physical health, but your mental health as well!

According to Dr. Phyllis Zee, a professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in an article at Health Day, “There is increasing evidence that exposure to natural light, during the day – particularly in the morning –is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism.”

Greenhouses and glass conservatories allow everyone from infants on up to benefit from natural light year around. The natural light and the abundance of plants stimulate all the senses – seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling. By stimulating your senses in the natural environment it creates a sense of awareness and, in children especially, helps to develop capacities for creativity, problem solving, intellectual development, and gross motor skills.

The Benefits of Play

Conservatories and custom greenhouses provide natural light. They also offer protection from harsh winter weather, allowing fun outdoor -like play to continue all year long. Play in these protected special places allows children plenty of opportunities to be where plants, soil, and light mimic an almost natural environment. Play and learning of all sorts can take place in these marvelous spaces.

According to the Department of Education & Training in a recent article,

“Sensory stimulation derived from interacting with natural environments allows children to learn with all of their senses… in recent review of literature concerning children play outdoors… [There is a link between] time spent outdoors to increased physical activity, healthy development and overall wellbeing. Research also shows that children having trouble concentrating benefit from playing outdoors, as after playing these children are better able to concentrate on tasks.”

The glass conservatory creates an ideal way to bring the natural environment into the home and custom greenhouses can be designed to encourage children and adults to enjoy nature while protected from unforgiving weather.

Physical activity like hide and seek, creating Tiny Gardening Terrariums, trimming plants, planting and more are all possible in these, protected, almost-natural environments. Greenhouses and the conservatories mimic the outdoors, allowing the whole family to experience healthy benefits even when the wind is blowing and the outside air is cold and wet.

Kids in Conservatories and greenhouses

Play in a conservatory or greenhouse isn’t much different than play outside. Or it needn’t be. Even areas for safe rough-housing can be included. Certainly the light and the plants bring benefit to even the quiet activities that absorb the full attention of children.

When you couple great natural light with children at play you have an ideal combination because children benefit from both play and play in nature.

According to Richard Louv, 2008 Audubon Medal Recipient and author of Last Child in the Woods , reported in a Washington Post Article,  “(his book refers to) many studies that have shown that spending time in nature has tremendous health benefits, among them improved concentration, a greater ability to engage in creative play, an aid to help treat mental illness (in particular ADHD and children-in-greenhousedepression), and exercise that beats out organized sports with its hour-to-hour physical activity. Children who spend more time in nature develop better motor fitness and coordination, especially in balance and agility. And the benefits of the mind are not to be overlooked; greater time in nature can help children develop a healthy interior life, greater mental acuity, inventiveness, and sustained intellectual development.”

The greenhouse and glass conservatory offer additional ways to be almost outdoors and garner the same benefits. And play can be anything from a quiet place to read or be read to on to activates including planting seeds and plants and caring for them. Both greenhouses and glass conservatories bring nature closer to home for children. In fact, creating their own Tiny Gardening Terrariums allow kids to explore the science behind growing plants in an ecosystem, use their creativity, and learn about responsibility while keeping their ecosystem running!

The possibilities are endless under a glass conservatory or greenhouse. When it’s time to plan yours, we know you’ll be delighted with the lasting legacy you’re creating for your children and grandchildren., We’d be happy to talk with you and your family about a glass conservatory or custom greenhouse. Please fill out the contact us form or call us at: 410.479.4700.

 

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Opportunity for a Change in the Educational World

Posted September 28th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Events, Insights, latest, Uncategorized
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Rise Richardson, Director of The Village School in Royalston, Massachusetts, talks about Philanthropic Investing, saying,

When they give to the Village School, high net worth individuals are investing in the future, both in terms of the opportunity for ‘normal’ childhoods, and in terms of changing the educational world.”

The Village School

The Village School is a wonder. In 1989 a group of parents, farmers, scientists, writers and local business people gathered and over time created a new kind of school.

It was designed to be a “…model for people in rural areas to give opportunities for community and kids to achieve,” according to Richardson.

village-school-kids-1Serving preschool through 6th grade, the school recognizes the need for children to be part of a community and to be connected to the farming, forestry, stewardship and conservation with the land around them. This is facilitated by bringing balance to the student’s physical, emotional, and mental capabilities.

Using mixed-age classrooms, the school take advantage of the fact that “kids learn from other kids,” she said.

From the start – their students are told they are leaders & held to a high standard, Richardson continued. “Our kids have a strong sense of confidence and know who they are and are eager about learning… they do not just study to get a good grade. The students are actually interested in the material and want to learn more.”

The first graduates from The Village School are now 26-27 years old. Most have gone off to the college of their dreams and have succeeded in their fields – they are leaders, according to Richardson.  “They take ownership and responsibility,” a skill taught at the school, she commented.

Funding and building

When the school was established it was housed in an old town-owned schoolhouse, nicely melding tradition with new ideas. However, the city has developed a need for that property and has set a tentative deadline of September 2017 the village school planfor the school to vacate.

Back in 1998 the school was able to buy some 55 acres on which to build a new, expanded school (in May 2017), and eventually, a future campus for adult learning.  The city’s needs created the opportunity for The Village School to start planning how to use their property.

Now the plans are in place, permits just issued, and groundbreaking for the new school is scheduled for Spring, 2017.

Funding and financing is in place, but subject to some strict deadlines. Richardson said,

Good news, we just raised another 200K!  We need 200K more to get to the total of 500K that the bank wants to see before their loan of 750K kicks in and we can break ground and start building. We are building the complete five classroom school for the low price of $1,800,000 (!) using local contractors and skilled volunteers.”

The sooner that additional $200,000 + can be raised, the sooner they can actually start building, subject to Massachusetts weather of course. Larger contributions can help free the school from the burden of a huge bank loan with large payments, so the school can focus energy and resources on children and developing programs for them.

Why we love this project!

We love what’s been done at The Village School. Even more impressive are their plans for the new campus. We support their goals of connecting kids to the land and teaching meaningful conservation and are impressed and delighted with their goal of endowed scholarships.

We were delighted to make an initial contribution of $15,000 to The Village School!

In many ways our commitment and support of both the Caroline County Public Schools and County Economic Development Department to assist in training and providing resources thorough their AMP program for high school students are similar because of their focus on The Village Schoolstudent achievement. Each one invests in our youth’s future and the future of our communities.

That’s why we are standing behind The Village School and encouraging everyone to speak with Rise Richardson to learn more about their efforts at 978 249 3505.

There is also the possibility of naming rights to their new school with the right contribution. Imagine the whole school named for someone you love and respect, or highlighting your company’s vision.

Discover more specifics about The Village School building plans here. You can also make a tax deductible donation on that page. For setting up substantial donations and pledges, contact the school directly.

What could a great partnership do for your business?

Posted September 7th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Skylights, Steel Structures
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To maximize the amount of light entering their new sunroom, one Maryland family, architect, and builder was in search of a company to help create a unique, one-of-a-kind skylight with two requirements; the STEEL STRUCTURE needs to be as minimal as possible and the skylight must be STAR-SHAPED! After talking with two other companies, we were thrilled they chose Tanglewood to design and build this work of art.

“After hearing their proposal to eliminate almost all of the standard structural details to really maximize the amount of glass exposed, it ruled out the competition. We loved the idea and knew we wanted to start working with Tanglewood right away.”

­The Edge Family

We were thrilled to have this opportunity to work on this skylight and even though it brought great challenge, it pushed our design capabilities like never before and produced a true one-of-a-kind design.

The Power of Collaboration

Dreaming of a star-inspired skylight, our first challenge arose in the structural engineering of it. Skylights can be designed to integrate with any type of architecture and in addition to bringing in an ABUNDANCE OF NATURAL LIGHT they enhance the look and experience of any room, from the largest to the smallest. So as we moved through the design phase, we produced 4-5 design concepts after collaborating with the family, architect, builder, and other members of our team that we felt fit the needs and vision they were describing.

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First, the glass must be able to support a heavy structural load and several forces of expected magnitudes with minimal steel or laminated glass beams. Traditionally, skylights are built to have the glass fit in metal frames to hold it in place properly, but we took a different approach.

OUR SOLUTION was to put a glass fin in between two steel rafters with the glass bonded together to not only give the glass the support and strength it needed but to turn it into a piece of artwork where the glass will reflect light in an imaginative way throughout the room.

An Artistic Touch

Skylights are almost magical, offering as much as three times the amount of natural light you’ll get from ordinary windows. To add an ESSENSE OF ELEGANCE to enhance the skylight, our expert designer created a SCULPTURAL STEEL STRUCTURE engraved with beautiful details to carry the design throughout the whole skylight.

Eagerly awaiting the completion of their new sunroom, the owners are saying, We are very excited to see the project come to fruition! We could not have put together a more powerful team to get the job done.

By the END OF SEPTEMBER, this marvelous skylight will be complete and inviting natural light into a home right here in the state of Maryland.

We’ve been giving the gift of natural light into homes and work spaces through custom skylights, cupolas, domes, and roof lanterns for over 20 years.

We’d be more than happy to talk with you about adding skylights to your home or business. Fill out our Contact Us form or give us a call at: 410.479.4700.

A Tiny Gardening Terrarium

Posted August 25th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Dea Digs, Gardening, Uncategorized
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 terrarium
T here is a fascination today with creating things in miniature. Micro houses, micro cars, micro technology. Even dog breeds can fit in a ‘teacup’. This is also true in the world of growing plants under glass. Glass containers have sprouted like loveable weeds in any store that has a reason to carry them. From three-inch glass bromeliad balls, to elaborate greenhouses made small, you can find a suitable repository for your favorite little plant. And why not have a micro-environment within the larger space of your Tanglewood conservatory!
A Bit of History
In 1842, Doctor Nathanial Bagshaw Ward, who had a keen interest in botany and entomology, discovered  that some plants and animals could be happily grown inside glass containers (the sphinx moth that he’d been observing, when he noticed a fern spore had germinated in the same vessel, was not credited). Ward went on to develop varying versions of the Wardian case—which we call terrariums today.
About Terrariums
A terrariums defining feature is that moisture can be kept relatively constant, which is a bonus for more persnickety specimens. For instance, if you have low humidity in your conservatory, a terrarium is the way to go if you just have to have a few specimens needing moist air. From desert plants, to aquatics, you can create an environment within glass that will thrive for ages.
There is a wonderful word for this that mashes Greek and German: Microlandschaft. It’s quite popular today to create little landscapes—complete with miniature people, animals and things. My current favorite terrarium plant is a tiny, tussock-like philodendron variety called ‘Pincushion’. It is possibly the most perfect plant I’ve ever worked with, as it continuously looks fantastic and grows at a slow to moderate rate that stays in perfect proportion to the two-gallon covered glass urn it has called home for two years.
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Other great plants are bromeliads (aka air plants), small cacti, cryptanthus (aka Earth Stars), various begonias and gesnariads, small ferns, mosses, a few orchids, and many more. One can even have an aquatic version with the oh-so- easy to grow Hygrophila difformis (aka Water Wisteria). I have one with a betta fish in a one-gallon urn with no filtration—both fish and plant are thriving with the occasional partial water change. Other variations on the terrarium theme are the paludarium (terrestrial and aquatic combined), vivarium (plants and animals combined) and aquarium.
Beauty in Small Places
What makes terrarium gardening so wonderful is that it is possible for anyone, weather you live in a tiny bedsit or a massive mansion. Occasional misting can be all that is required for long periods depending on what you grow. There are numerous books and online sources dedicated to terrariums, and no matter your tastes—from modern minimalism to exquisite Victorian finery, you can find the ‘Wardian’ case to fit. Your creativity is all that’s needed to add that microlandshaft that will become a fascinating conversation piece.
Enjoy! Share a picture of your new terrarium with us at marketing@tanglewoodconservatories.com!
By Dea Schofield

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.

A Glasshouse Wonder in the Czech Republic

Posted July 27th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Uncategorized
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How many ways can a glass conservatory be used?

Hluboká nad Vltavou is the large name of a tiny 100 year old town with a population of about 5,000 in the Southern Bohemian area of the Czech Republic.  The town’s castle, first built in the Gothic style in the 13th century, has been rebuilt numerous times. The latest version is the result of Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordering it reconstructed in the Romantic style of Windsor Castle in England in the 19th century.

As part of that reconstruction a charming glasshouse was added, bridging the castle with the riding school. As far as we know, this is a unique use for such a structure, but it does conjure some interesting ideas.

The construction of the glasshouse is a fine example of combining intricate cast iron with glass made possible by the beginning of the industrial revolution. The cast iron allowed lovely detailing on larger pieces; you’ll see pillars strewn with flowers and other decorations actually cast into the iron that supports the glass roof. Part of the reason for the conservatory was to create a warm space for the winter garden.

The detailing is amazing. Not just in the (very expensive in those times) detailing in the cast iron orten formed into small, decorative shapes, but in the unique  stairway. Wrought iron makes up the stair which has then been covered by glass!

Care was taken to make the outside of this glasshouse visually match the castle; the inside looks whimsical but is strongly built to last while it protects the garden.  There are more construction details here.

The castle, its glasshouse, and the surrounding gardens make an exciting destination. The castle is considered by many as one of the most beautiful in the Czech Republic and is a National Cultural Monument of the Czech Republic. “The contrast between the heavy masonry work and the filigree cast-iron ornamentation is a shape-forming architectural element.”

It can be fun, if you visit the Glasshouse at Hluboká, to see what features you might want to duplicate or what ideas they may spark for a conservatory of your own.

What we at Tanglewood so love about this glasshouse is the contrast between the outside and the inside coupled with the details – obviously they loved details as much as we do.

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.