In the 17th to the 19th centuries orangeries were symbols of prestige and wealth. Fine structures with a distinguished classical architectural form that stood in the grounds of fashionable and period residences that would have been used for over wintering citrus trees.
Today, the term ‘Orangery’ has evolved to take on two distinctly different meanings.
The first, appropriate to larger glazed additions, is a carefully designed combination of traditional build, housing sets of doors and windows and with a glazed roof, usually set behind a parapet wall. Such a structure may be deemed more suitable for some properties and the traditional build will generally incorporate sympathetic building materials and style to the host building.
Masonry walls will provide a useful backdrop for growing plants, position lighting and pictures or place furniture against.
The term 'Orangery' is now also used to describe a glazed building which differs from a typical conservatory by its design and construction. A well designed orangery should always follow the 'Classical Orders of Architecture', which determines the scale and proportion of the individual elements - such as entablature depth, column widths and heights, fenestration, and glazing detail....all in relation to one other.
A key signature of an orangery is the bold colonnade affect and an orangery without this element is simply a glazed structure without architectural merit or identity. An orangery will generally have wide classical pilasters flanking each window or door-set and these are often mirrored internally.
With a true orangery, the construction will house an inset roof within the surrounds of a secret gutter concealed externally by a deep entablature.
This, coupled with a shallow roof pitch, gives the effect of a diminished roof and creates a roof profile that is less imposing and more suitable to certain architectural styles. In contrast, there are many companies that will only use a flat roof system with a glazed lantern sitting proud.
We regularly design and build orangeries with a traditional solid roof construction - either lead covered or incorporating the use of traditional roofing materials such as a roofing slate or tile to complement the house. Internally, they will have a plasterboard finish and are trimmed with decorative hip beams and timber mouldings.