Unlike a greenhouse, a conservatory is a glass house permanently attached to a building. Those we associate with English Victorian architecture trace back to the introduction of orange trees in western Europe during the Renaissance. Special glazed orangeries were built to overwinter the citrus plants.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, England’s gentry built ostentatious conservatories, also called solariums, for display of exotic species. By the 1850s, homeowners in the U.S. also were building them. Gothic or “cathedral” forms were considered very appropriate.
A conservatory remains a prestigious respite from the barren darkness of winter. New materials and construction techniques allow many options in size and shape, insulated glazing, efficient HVAC, motorized ventilation and shading, and so on.
Oak Leaf is a premier English designer and manufacturer of bespoke (custom) mahogany conservatories, with client service also in continental Europe and the U.S. Oak Leaf Conservatories of York, (800) 360-6283.