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Five of the Most Beautiful Glasshouses in The World

11/01/2018The top of a glasshouse.

The modern conservatory designs popular today have taken lots of inspiration from their often-colossal glasshouse relatives. Large glasshouses can be found all over the globe and are mostly still used for their original intention, growing a variety of plants. In this blog, we will be showcasing some of the most beautiful and inspirational glasshouses across the world.

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1 – Jardin des Plantes, Paris

The glasshouse built at the Jardin des Plantes (garden of plants) in Paris is different in style to many of the others on this list. It is called a Mexican hothouse (a glasshouse specifically heated for plants who can’t survive in the cold) and is one of the earliest examples of French glass being used in architecture. There are actually several glasshouses in the gardens and they were completed in 1836 by the architect Charles Rohault de Fleury.

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2 – The Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco   

The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco is the oldest public wooden and glass conservatory in North America. The conservatory first opened to the public in 1879 and quickly became the most visited attraction in the Santa Clara estate. The conservatory is an example of Victorian architecture and has a long history. The conservatory has been damaged and reopened several times in its lifetime and is currently on the list of the 100 Most Endangered Monuments.

3 – Bicentennial Conservatory, Adelaide 

Constructed in 1987, and opening in 1989 the glasshouse in Adelaide botanical gardens is a more modern design than the others on this list. Built as a part of Adelaide’s celebration of the Australian Bicentenary, the glasshouse features lowland rainforest plants from around Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and other nearby pacific islands. Unlike more traditional glasshouse designs, the Bicentennial glasshouse is built in a curvilinear shape – 100 metres long, 47 metres wide and 27 metres high.  

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4 – Old Palm House, Copenhagen 

Copenhagen’s botanical garden is not in short supply of glasshouses, with there being 27 in the grounds of the garden. The Palm House is the largest standing at 16 metres tall and was erected in 1874. Made with metal, the glasshouse features two spiral staircases as well as an air-conditioned area that can re-create environments suitable for arctic plants. 

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5 – The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, Brussels 

Designed and built between 1874 and 1876, the greenhouses on the Laeken estate are a striking set of buildings. The total floor surface of the building is around 270,000 feet and its tall design allows large palm trees to thrive. The glasshouses were originally built for King Leopold II to complement the castle of Laeken. The glasshouse complex has the appearance of a glass city and it apparently takes over 800,000 litres of fuel to heat the building.

Taking Inspiration from These Glasshouses

Obviously, these glasshouses are capable of housing a much larger variety of plants than your average conservatory, but you can still draw inspiration from them. Choosing plants similar to the ones in your favourite conservatory will allow you to mimic the glasshouses. Many of these glasshouses are light, open and warm spaces all of these qualities can be reproduced in your own conservatory or orangery. 

Interested in getting your own conservatory for growing plants? We can help, call us on 01953 600505 or email us on

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