Modern OrangeriesPublished on 4th November 2015
The orangery is a very traditional structure here in the UK with a rich history, quite literally, as a statement of wealth and class all the way back to aristocratic Britain.
Originally intended for use as an artificial climate in which to grow citrus fruit – and primarily oranges – the orangery was once a British status symbol. But after decades of nurturing foreign fruits, as advertised, the humble orangery was freed from its constraints by the abolishment of the window tax.
Owning an orangery was now no longer confined to the extremely wealthy upper-classes and as people from throughout society began to experiment with architecture in glass the modern orangery, as we know it, was born.
Queen Victoria’s Crystal Palace Orangery may have been large enough to ride through via horse and cart but its main purpose was still very much to house and preserve the Queens princely stock of citrus fruits – with a small display of wealth on the side for good measure. As the modern orangery became more accessible, we began to see a shift in its intended purpose – perhaps because only the upper classes could afford the citrus fruits their orangeries were built to hold! Modern orangeries now began being used as living spaces, no longer were they purely horticultural buildings.
Today, we recognise the modern orangery as a home extension. We might adorn the space with a few potted plants, or even give a nod to the past with a miniature citrus tree, but the primary goal in building a modern orangery is to increase the living space available in your property. Filling it with fruit just wouldn’t cross our minds in today’s cramped conditions and with the news that Britain now has the smallest new build homes in Europe, more and more modern orangeries are popping up to increase living space and boost natural light in homes all over the UK.
An Apropos modern orangery is a bespoke product, so we can design yours to the exact specifications of your home, but they do all have a few things in common. As with the traditional orangeries of yore, our modern orangeries are built with both brick and glazed elements, alongside a few modern twists such as self-cleaning glass, bifolding or sliding doors and roof lights with automatic ventilation. You can fill them with fruit if you like, but we’d much rather you enjoyed the space yourselves!Return to Blog