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.
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.
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.