Traditional Lantern Conservatory

Create your own piece of tradition, a haven of luxury, with a Sunwise Constructions conservatory. A modern well of light and space, enabling a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living.

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Drawing of a lantern conservatory
Lantern Conservatory

Technically speaking, a conservatory is a room having a glass roof and walls, typically attached to a house only on one side, used as a greenhouse or a sunroom. According to our helpful friends at Wiki, which is consistent with our own research, conservatories originated in the 16th century when wealthy landowners wanted to cultivate citrus fruits, such as the lemons and oranges that began to appear on their dinner tables brought by traders from warmer regions of the Mediterranean.

Many cities, especially those in cold climates and with large “European” populations, have built municipal conservatories to display tropical plants and hold flower displays. This type of conservatory was popular in the early nineteenth century, and by the end of the century people were also giving them a social use, e.g. tea parties. 

Drawing of a gable conservatory
Gable Conservatory

A music room or piano room may also be called the conservatory (as are elite musical institutions).

Conservatory architecture varies from typical Victorian glasshouses to modern styles, such as geodesic domes. Many were large and impressive structures. In the UK where the concept is to have originated, the legal definition of a conservatory is a building that has at least 50% of its side wall area glazed and at least 75% of its roof glazed with translucent materials, either polycarbonate sheeting or glass.

Today, the public uses the terms sunrooms, solarium and conservatory interchangeably, but in general the term conservatory and particularly “English conservatory” evoke the image of an ornate structure, echoing the traditions of the Victorian era of conservatory building. Many beautiful structures have been designed and built around the world, in private gardens, parks, and botanical institutions.

Drawing of a Victorian Conservatory
Victorian Conservatory

Smaller garden conservatories have become popular as places which are part-greenhouses for conserving plants, and part-recreational as a solarium or sunroom. They are often used as an extra room rather than for horticulture. Highly detailed and usually far more expensive than sunrooms—which are mainly constructed from aluminium—the true conservatory offers more detailing, design and material options than a simple sunroom.