Peeling Back the Years – a History of the Orangery.Published on 28th June 2013
Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens, The Louvre- here at Apropos all these and more spring to mind when thinking about beautiful orangeries, but there is now so much more to these historic pieces of architecture than exotic fruit.
The first European orangery was built in Padua in 1545; two hundred years later they were to become the home accessory à la mode in the UK. The original function of the orangery was exactly as the name implies; sheltering citrus fruits in a land where they had never previously thrived and giving their owners, not just a source of year-round luxury, but also extensive bragging-rights.
As time progressed, orangeries became ever-more opulent, gaining in glass and technical trickery. Stoves were added to pamper plants; hot water was piped beneath flagstone floors; fountains adorned centres; more exotic species joined the fruit, and soirées were held beneath star-spangled glass, allowing the lord and lady to exhibit their growing collection of exotic fruits and the extent of their wealth.
The abolition of window tax in 1851 turned the orangery into an achievable acquisition for more than the grossly wealthy, while those with serious money began extending to serious proportions – the ultimate orangery at Crystal Palace was so vast that Queen Victoria was able to be driven through, carriage and all.
Today, very few of us have the money, space or pretentions to suit such glamorous monoliths, but there is still very much a place for the orangery in modern society. While style and purpose may have changed, the unutterable elegance that these structures add to the home remains.
The contemporary orangery is something of a ‘home-hub’; open-plan, bathed in light and amenable to multitudinous uses. Unlike the conservatory, an Apropos orangery combines an expanse of glass with solid brickwork walls, allowing for the seamless integration of modern life; electrical power-points, wood-burning stoves, gas works and plumbing, allowing you to use the space in any way you choose – entertaining, relaxing, cooking: life.
The glass roof, abundant windows and choice of doors still flood the room with light, but thanks to our bespoke service, an Apropos orangery offers real flexibility. Glass can be thermally controlled. Doors can be in any size, shape, or style. You can have wi-fi in the walls, air-con in the floors, heating and light and goodness knows what else. The glass can even clean itself – particularly handy for the roof!
Whether you opt for a classic or a progressive design, your Apropos orangery will be character-packed, functional, glorious, and yours. Perhaps no one needs an orangery today… But we know that everybody wants one.
So why not start planning your dream orangery extension with Apropos industry specialist designers today?
We have all the experience you need and with our Price Promise you know you’re getting the highest quality of materials for a truly fair price.
To discuss your ideas with a member of the Apropos team please call us on 0161 342 8200 or click here to arrange your free, no obligation, design consultation.Return to Blog