How can we turn our dreams into reality?

Posted December 14th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Uncategorized
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Palmhouse ConservatoryGoals, informed by life vision are recognized ways successful people achieve what they want. It’s the way dreams turn into reality.

Daydreams inform our goals

Although daydreaming is frowned on by some, others recognize daydreams as the key to creativity. Last year, an essay in The New York Times reminded us that Albert Einstein was known for his daydreaming – his thought experiments.

EntreArchitect™ quoted motivator and coach, Tony Robbins as saying, “… Brainstorm everything worth pursuing. Then pick a goal that excites you the most, something that will get you up early and keep you up late…”

We dream with our clients

As we work with our clients and examine how the best results happen, we notice that we always start with their dream and work make their dream come true through our craftsmanship and attention to detail. This is true in every case. Without the dream, nothing would be built.conservatory dreams

Of course, the fruition of the dream starts when someone chooses to move forward. It’s in the moving forward that dreams begin to manifest, first in design and the plans and then in the actual creation of the glass conservatory or magnificent skylight, or exciting greenhouse.

Small step by small step the dream turns into a goal, complete with plans and deadlines; before long the dream is realized, often in ways that are better than first imagined.

We know that in every case someone has to begin. You can start on making your dream of a conservatory or a special pool house, or a dome that invites light by getting in touch with us. Call us at: 1-410-479-4700

Or fill in the form on our Contact page.

What opportunity do our high school students and local businesses share?

Posted November 30th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Events, Insights, latest
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A community group gathered at Tanglewood Conservatories to build a bridge between high school student’s job opportunities and local business needs.

“It was fantastic to see such a great turn out!”

Jennifer, Tanglewood Team

Wednesday evening saw local teachers, parents, students, high school and college administrators, and local business leaders gather at Tanglewood Conservatories to learn about efforts to develop a leadership and entrepreneurial centered skills program for students at the Caroline County Career and Technical Center.

The AMP program is being developed to provide both technical and Life Success Skills training that will prepare students to pursue rewarding, high-level positions in companies across the region. Graduating students will be members of a well-trained, engaged workforce sought after by companies and required for the future growth of our regional economy.

Why is this important to your business?

Imagine… having well-trained, skilled high school students ready to start work for you right after graduation. If you are interested, call us to discuss the partnership opportunities the AMP program offers!

 

About our Meeting

The evening began with a tour of Tanglewood’s design and production facilities which concluded a series of ten visits by local teachers to Eastern Shore manufacturing companies. The tours were organized by MEPE to give teachers and guidance counselors throughout the region insight into the types of skills needed by regional employers and the types of career opportunities that exist for students.

Following dinner, Josh Zimmerman CTE Business Liaison for Caroline County Public Schools presented an overview of the Advanced Manufacturing and Production program which is targeted to be introduced at CCTC this spring. Five students from the junior and senior class will be selected to participate in the pilot program before the program is introduced county wide.

A spirited discussion followed covering subjects ranging from how to help young people gain the qualities employers seek to how employers can think differently about building their teams.

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What’s to come of the AMP Program

At the heart of the AMP program’s Life Success Skills, is an entrepreneurial approach to leadership training which is designed to be applied in any academic or business environment.

Other exciting developments include the opportunity to work closely with Chesapeake College to extend the student opportunities by offering an articulated two year extension to the AMP program leading to students earning an Associate’s degree through Chesapeake College.

Will you join us in our efforts to build strong, successful students and businesses? Give us a call at 410.479.4700 to learn more!

 

 

We are thankful for YOU!

Posted November 23rd, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects
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huntsville botanical gardensEvery year we are thankful for our family, our team, our current and future clients, our friends, and community who have helped us get to where we are today.

This month we also want to take the time to thank two companies who have made an impact on our lives and who have also become great friends.

We were delighted when Turner Construction in Alabama reached out to us to partner with them in creating and building a conservatory for the Huntsville Botanical Gardens.

The botanical garden

Best known as the Community Gardens, the Huntsville Botanical Gardens was a favored spot even before they decided to add a conservatory. They created it because, according to President and CEO Paula Steigerwald, they “wanted an event space and room to be the jewel of event spaces to attract people and leave an impression.”

Matheny Goldmon Architecture & Interiors had been brought in to do the drawings. As soon as their architect, James Curley, heard what the Botanical Gardens wanted, he took fire and created the conceptual design for the conservatory. It was the first time Curley had attempted such a project and what a job he did; he fashioned the WOW factor. He also understood from the beginning that Tanglewood was the only company that could bring his vision to life without changing the integrity of the design.

A single donor fell so in love with James’ concept that the donor funded the whole project! Turner construction wanted to ensure the integrity of that design. In fact, everyone involved knew it was important to deep design integrity and maintain the look and sense the way it was meant to be.

A WOW of a Partnership

Tripp Floyd, Preconstruction Manager at Turner Construction Company, and Walker Thuston,

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Walker Thurston
Tripp Floyd
Tripp Floyd

PMP, LEED AP, also of Turner, were great. You might have thought we’d all learned to build together when we were kids. They were excellent communicators and totally understood that we are not typical builders, that everything we do is custom built.

Later, word came down through our own production manager that although several of the companies Turner had approached were less costly than we were, none of them seemed to understand how important the design was. They wanted to make changes. We understood the need to honor the design as it was first conceived.

Matheny Goldmon Architecture & Interiors handled the rest of the building, except for the roof, assuring the original design was kept intact. We loved working with them. Their company culture is “Making spaces and places that enrich people’s lives or increase the creative influence in a workspace. We’re about ideas and opportunities.”

We fount them to be true to their word. As we work together our appreciation for each other’s commitment and creativity continue to grown.

When coupled with the wonderful people at Turner, whose vision is “To be the highest value provider of global construction services and technical expertise” 

we knew we’re working with the absolute best. 

What was most memorable about this partnership?

There were many moments when we thrilled at how well the partnership was working.

Tanglewood’s Project Manager, Delfina Ezcurra, put it this way:

It was a partnership through and through. We really worked well together and we were treated like equal partners. They were very kind and helpful and we felt they wanted us to succeed just as much as we wanted them to succeed – they always gave a helping hand anytime we needed it.

conservatory designAlmost complete

The roof is ours!

The roof is a magnificent 812 square feet of glass and light; the copula stands above it all.

The conservatory is being built with Sapele, Mahogany, Steel and Copper. Nearing completion, this beautiful conservatory will be open to the public soon. It will be a must-see, we promise.

 

More to Come

This project with Matheny Goldmon and Turner makes us eager for more of the same.

We look forward to forming more partnerships to create a room that not only fashions the peaceful and restful spot you want now, but adds to the legacy you want to build for the future.

Call us at 410-479-4700 to get started designing the conservatory of your dreams, or you can fill out the form on our contact page to begin.

 

Image of Huntsville Botanical Gardens

What makes great conservatory design?

Posted November 16th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, Insights
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Conservatory design is unique. The amount of knowledge, craftsmanship, research, and attention to design and detail greatly differs from the creation of any other room in the world. According to Bill Bertsche, with Mercer & Bertsche Architecture & Engineering, “…few architects have the experience required to design and detail a TRUE CONSERVATORY. You could approach it as a stick built room, could make a frame and put in glass and windows, but you’d miss the essence of what a GREAT CONSERVATORY should be – GLASS AND LIGHT.”

Great conservatory design secrets

“In architecture, two major factors determine the success or failure of a structure; the form and the function.”

For over 20 years, our expert designer has been designing some of the country’s most unique and innovative conservatories. From elegant greenhouses to luxurious conservatories to elegant pool enclosures, he always says two main elements create beautiful designs; a structures form and its intended function.

The trick, of course, is how to get there. Close attention to details, he points out, is integral to the process. According to our designer,

Eye pleasing form and specifically defined functions, whether it be a greenhouse, conservatory, or pool enclosure,  should complement each other and come together harmoniously to create a true conservatory design.”

Conservatories are works of art, carefully handcrafted to fit the specific needs of individuals and bring peace to your home. In his experience, harmony is created in the details. What sets conservatory design a part from say the design of your home or office building is the attention to detail not only in the furniture and items within the room and its function/purpose, but the details built into the core structure of the room itself. We approach every design as a blank sheet of paper with endless possibilities; as our designer always says, “I’ve been designing for Tanglewood for over 20 years and of all my favorites, they have one thing in common, I was given total freedom to design from scratch and each structure was built unlike anything else in the world.”

When we asked him what he liked best about designing for Tanglewood, he said, “We never build the same thing twice. Each and every conservatory is different and has its own unique personality and challenges. I’m often amazed at what we’re able to do. Of course, we learn from each one too. It never gets boring. The more complex and challenging the design the better I like them. I would not have lasted 21 years if I did not enjoy the work I do. It’s not just designing and building – we really are creating art.”

Why our clients want conservatories

The reasons our clients want conservatories are myriad. Many are looking to create a space to enjoy a sense of outdoor living no matter the weather outside. Many realize a glass conservatory creates the ideal place to retreat and commune with the beauty and ambience of growing plants and flowers.

Others look to add beautiful works of art to their home, and/or for their community. .One of our current clients is looking to design a conservatory to perfectly frame a stunning view while providing a serene place for personal and family re-creation of those undergoing medical treatment.

Families and friends make memories that last a lifetime and leave a legacy in these rooms. Imagine what that memories you and your family might make surrounded by such beauty.

What would you add to this list? What dreams might the idea of a well-designed conservatory spark in you?

Why we build conservatories

We love building these rooms because we feel they bring a sense of peace, tranquility, and rejuvenation to oneself; the enchantment these spaces bring is unlike anything we’ve ever experience before. We love the challenge of innovative design and using new materials to build truly classical spaces.steel_glass_3

But what is most satisfying, is bringing our clients visions to life; exactly how they envision it.
We start with a conversation with the owner and their team to discover exactly what it is they want to experience in their conservatory. With careful consideration and attention to detail, we turn their vision into hand-drawn renderings which, when the design is exactly what the client is looking for, we begin to bring those drawings to life. Each element in the construction is carefully considered to make sure it exceeds expectation whether it be specially laser carved steel beams or searching for an exact type of rare wood to set the tone of the room, it is important we do our part in creating the perfect atmosphere that will reflect the look and feel the client desires. We make sure your conservatory will appeal to all your senses, detail by detail.
Take a look at our e-brochure & read through it. It may spark your imagination in ways that both please and excite you.

What are some favorite designs?

“When we allow our imaginations to take flight, the results are amazing and often surprising. Anything is possible in conservatory architecture; we just have to break outside of the box and approach every new project as a blank sheet of paper and not trying to fit an existing idea into a preconceived box”

Do you have a favorite design? We can help you achieve the great conservatory design and feel you are searching for. Perhaps a no-cost 30 minute consultation would be a good place to start! To secure yours, call us at 410-479-4700 or fill out our form.

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