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Modern winter gardens

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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The term 'Winter garden' isn't too commonly used in the English language. More often than not, we refer to such a structure as a conservatory, greenhouse or sunroom. Despite this, one of the most famous examples of a winter garden was designed and constructed in London; but was unfortunately ravaged, and completely destroyed by fire in 1936. British architect Joseph Paxton envisaged The Crystal Palace in 1854 to house the the Great Exhibition of 1851. At that time, a structure fashioned almost entirely out of glass panelling at such a scale had never before been attempted.

Legally speaking, in the United Kingdom at least, for a space to be deemed a 'conservatory', 50% of the walls, and 75% of the roof must be constructed from translucent materials. The term was coined in the 16th century when traders from the Mediterranean brought fruits and plants to England that could only be cultivated in warmer climates. The affection for such produce was strong; and therefore, the notion of the conservatory was born. Once upon a time, these structures were reserved only for the wealthy (if attached to their home), or as public exhibition spaces for events such as flower shows. Nowadays, if space permits, it is possible to have your very own winter garden within the confines of your property. Let our homify experts show you how! 


Coca Cola HQ Roof Terrace:  Balconies, verandas & terraces  by Biotecture

Coca Cola HQ Roof Terrace


Our first example comes from Biotecture, and is actually the rooftop terrace of the soft drink giant Coca Cola. Located on top of their London headquarters, the rooftop boasts panoramic views over the city. Of course, it would be crying shame had the scenery at hand not be capitalised on. The trend in office design these days is to ensure employees have a balance between work and leisure; encouraging staff to take the opportunity to recharge and to return to work functioning at full capacity. Whilst the roof is not mostly glass (as we mentioned in the introduction), the design is still a great example of how the notion of a winter garden can apply to both commercial and residential situations. There are too, many cues that you can take away from this design and implement into your own!

Hidden treasures

Canonbury Square:  Garage/shed by IQ Glass UK
IQ Glass UK

Canonbury Square

IQ Glass UK

IQ Glass UK have masterfully designed this bespoke steel and glass garden room. Detached from the house, the narrow style of the block did not permit for an add-on, so other measures were taken to give the homeowners their own private winter garden. There are some incredible optical illusions taking place in this picture. Fashioned from highly reflective glass, this garden room appears to seamlessly blend into its surroundings. So, whether there is a full-blown orchard growing inside, or perhaps even a fast car tucked away, from the outside, you would be none-the-wiser. This is a fantastic addition to any garden, and makes outdoor leisure and entertaining possible all year round.

Seamless integration

The teachings and rules of minimalism have been executed with utmost precision by Gianni Botsford Architects in this image. A white on white colour scheme, coupled with finely joined glass and simple, yet aesthetically pleasing furniture, creates this absolutely incredible addition to a modern family home. Typically, you wouldn't be housing plants or fruit in here, instead, you will enjoy a myriad of different weather conditions from within the comfort and respite of your own home. One can just imagine how mystifying this setting would look as the snow falls outside—the room would simply disappear into the landscape. Now, enjoying your morning coffee or evening glass of wine has just been taken to a completely new dimension.

Life outdoors

Georgian Conservatory:  Conservatory by Vale Garden Houses
Vale Garden Houses

Georgian Conservatory

Vale Garden Houses

By creating a stunning juxtaposition between outdoor and indoor spaces, Vale Garden Houses have constructed this wonderful outdoor living area. By literally inviting the outdoors inside, occupants can enjoy the view and open air at any time of the year. The perfect spot for hosting parties in the summer and winter, you can open and close the large stacking doors at your will. Even when the temperatures drop, the glass invites the warmth of the sun inside, acting with the same principles as a traditional fruit glasshouse. Here, the roof has the capacity to open to allow for cross ventilation. With an outdoor space such as this, you will definitely be the envy of your friends and family!

A modern mix

Mixing different material surfaces is a visually stunning way to create depth and interest in a sleek, modern space. Timber, slate tiles and glass come together with great success in this example by Emmett Russell Architects. Located in a Bristol home, the glass addition we see here is the extension of a basement in a Victorian style house. This is, again, another great example of how old and new builds can very easily be fused together as one—a problem many heritage homeowners face. The room is connected by glazed sliding doors to the main living space, inviting the occupants to have a view and dialogue between their inside and outside spaces year-round.

If you want to see more examples of winter gardens, conservatories and greenhouses, check out the following ideabooks:


Modern conservatories

What are your experiences with winter gardens and conservatories? Let us know in the comments section below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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