Modern Conservatory

Modern Classic Conservatory

modern_detailThe owners of this beautiful conservatory love modern art, but didn’t want to settle for a contemporary-looking conservatory, since the house itself is classical. How to satisfy both the practicality and the passion? At Tanglewood Conservatories, this is the essence of our Design Process—bringing into balance each person’s home, land, lifestyle, and spirit.

We believe great conservatory design begins with your ideas, feelings, and needs—not ours. So when we began the design for this project, the homeowners were deeply involved. Discussions on the relative merits of a modern approach versus a classical approach ensued. Could the two be melded together? Where was the right balance to be found? Too much detail and the room would be heavy, too little and it would not blend with the rest of the house.

The homeowners, with the keen eyes of artists themselves, researched examples, made suggestions and even presented their own sketches throughout the process.


Conservatories and modern architecture are not usually thought of together though in fact, they share the same roots. An elegant expressed structure sheathed with a “skin” of glass was the concept pioneered by the conservatory builders of the nineteenth century.

We have found that a collaborative effort yields the best results — and the owners of this conservatory would certainly agree!

On the outside, the conservatory perfectly matches the details on the existing house, from the alignment of the cornice trim to the impeccably replicated dentil blocks. The slope of the conservatory roof matches the house as well.

An unusual feature of this conservatory is its placement on the property. Most conservatories are placed at the back of the homes, affording owners privacy in enjoying their glass-architected jewel and taking advantage of wonderful panoramic views. The location of this conservatory, in contrast, is at the front of the property, connected to the house through the master bedroom. As you approach the home, the stunning conservatory greets you nestled under a lush canopy of specimen trees. Determining the size and placement of the new room in this mature landscape was a critical task. The room needed to be large enough to function as a suitable office but the available footprint was extremely limited.

While the exterior of the conservatory blends perfectly with the classic architecture of the home, the interior features simple, strong lines, with sleek modern furnishings against a bright white backdrop. Iconic Mies van der Rohe seating and an original Calder hanging mobile play off a traditional hand woven Tibetan rug. Pinnoleum sun shades on the roof and walls further soften the light which filters through the trees.