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The World’s Most Extravagant Conservatories

24/10/2014

Conservatories, greenhouses and orangeries have been a feature of English homes from hundreds of years, but it was not until the 1970s that architects began developed smaller, domestic versions of the 19th century Victorian styling.

The popularity of conservatories and orangeries increased dramatically in the 17th and 18th centuries, with many used to house a wide range of tropical plants from all four corners of the world. Below are just a few examples of the many extravagant examples that can be found both in the UK and around the world.

The Flower Dome, Singapore

Replicating a mild, dry climate, the 3 acre Flower Dome in Singapore features many plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions; such as Australia, South America and South Africa.

The Flower Dome is the lower, but larger of two domes and is approximately 125ft high. With temperatures set at between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius, it features seven “gardens” and an olive grove.

Palm House, Kew Gardens, London

The Palm House at Kew Gardens was designed by Decimus Burton and Nicole Burton, with construction taking place between 1844 and 1848. It specialises in the growth of palms and other tropical and subtropical plants.

Generally regarded as one of the most important iron and glass Victorian structures still surviving, its construction was one of the first times engineers had used wrought iron to span such a considerable width without the use of supporting columns.

The Eden Project, Cornwall

Opened in March 2001, The Eden Project houses the world’s largest indoor rainforest. The site was formally a clay pit which had been in use for 160 years, but was all but exhausted come the mid-1990’s.

Once inside visitors are taken on a meandering path through jungle, waterfalls, planted landscapes and vegetable gardens. Since opening the site has also played host to a number concerts, including the ‘Africa Calling’ concert of the Live 8 concert series.

Syon House, London

The conservatory at Syon House is regarded as the first conservatory to ever be built on a large scale from a combination of metal and glass. It was designed by Charles Fowler, a specialist in large industrial buildings, and was completed in 1827.

Once completed it housed exotic plants from all corners of the globe and by the 1880’s the palms and giant bamboo that it housed would reach to the very top of the dome.

Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

Modelled on its London counterpart, The Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) is located in the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. Shaped like a Greek cross, the structure was developed on a concrete base and is made almost entirely from glass set onto an iron framework.

The structure features a dome that stands 22 metres high. Upon completion it was used to house an exhibition that showcased the exotic flora and fauna of the Philippines, which at the time remained a Spanish colony.

Schonbrunn Palace Palm House, Austria

Not only is the Schonbrunn Palace Palm House the most prominent of the four greenhouses in Schonbrunn Palace Park, it was generally considered to be one of the largest botanical exhibits of its kind anywhere in the world.

Opened in 1882, the greenhouse was built on land that dates back to the Middle Ages and features over 4,500 plant species from around the world. Following a heavy bomb attack in February 1945, much of the glazing was destroy resulting in many plants dying. Rebuilding work began in 1948 and the Palmenhaus reopened in 1953.

Unfortunately we are not able to replicate the above for your property, but our extensive range of conservatory designs can add style and quality to any home. Do not hesitate to get in touch for more information.

Eden Project