Elegant Orangery

Sometimes termed “orangeries”, conservatories with low pitched roofs and a more substantial looking structure, originated as buildings where orange trees were grown.

The Orangery Greenhouse

Exterior of OrangeryBefore the technology used to construct glass roofs was developed in the mid-nineteenth century, an orangery was simply a building with large south facing windows. They were used to collect the warmth of the sun and thereby “conserve” the specimen citrus trees stored inside during the cold winter months.

Today however, an orangery is functionally synonymous with a conservatory and greenhouse – though the name sounds more exotic.

This striking example of a neoclassical orangery greenhouse easily commands the mood on the stone patio with its prominent presence. It sets the tone that flows from the back of the white-painted brick colonial out into the cool evening dusk. It mediates the between the daunting scale of the home’s brick facade and the intimacy of its occupants life on the terrace.

The design approach for the orangery conservatory was chosen to minimize the height of the building’s roof so that it would notinterfere with the windows, door and small balcony off of the master bedroom that the conservatory sits below.

To keep the glass in the roof itself steeply pitched (desirable for construction purposes), the roof was subdivided into three separate narrower roofs linked together in a tripartite design. The effect inside is striking, and the designer took full advantage.By arranging the space into three separate groups; a lounge and a dining space with a fantastic custom bar in between, she echoed the strident pattern. The clients wanted their new greenhouse orangery to serve as an expansion of their much loved and frequently used family room, but to be seen as a separate room as well.
The new greenhouse orangery is bound to the landscaping and the home through its use of details and materials. Stone piers grow organically from the terrace walls and together with painted brick, mix to form the orangery conservatory’s
unique base. 

Interior Detail of OrangeryAs a result, the new orangery was designed to mimic its siblings’ size and proportions but was left “screened” by the former exterior wall with its three large arched openings (formally windows and doors).

The exposed wood beams of the family room echo in the greenhouse orangery design as does a mammoth hand-hewn mantle.