What is the Difference between an Orangery and a Conservatory?

If you have decided to have an extension built onto your property, one of the first things you need to consider is the type of structure that you would like added. The two main considerations are the conservatory or an orangery. While there is a lot of confusion between the two structures, there are many clear differences.

What is an Orangery?

Orangeries originated back in the 15th and 16th century, this is when Italian nobles used Roman structures to allow them to grow citrus trees within cooler climates.  These orangeries were built with large walls and barriers of resilient plants which would protect the fragile trees. Later revolutions they added glass to the top as a roof, this would trap heat, which helped the fruits to thrive.

Orangeries are normally built with solid brick pillars and large glazed windows. The base is normally either stone or brick, the top is traditionally built with a lantern roof. Orangeries have a distinctive appearance, these structures are also extremely well insulated. On the north-facing side it is common to have a fewer or smaller windows, this also helps with heat conservation.

What is a Conservatory?

Conservatories are other types of structured extension which is built primary of glass. One of the main differences between the conservatory and orangeries is that the conservatory has a glass roof and also glass walls. Our modern conservatories are designed with insulated glazing, which allows this conservatory to remain comfortable evening within the winter months.

Though both structures originally intended the owner to grow plants all year around, its intensions now is to allow the homeowners to relax and entertain all year round.

When would a Conservatory become an Orangery?

The roof is one of the main differences between a conservatory and an orangery. As a general rule a conservatory normally has approximately 75% glazing on the roof. The orangery however normally has a standard roof with a glazed parapet. However, there are now many other structures which will act as a fusion between the two.

General Orangery Structure:

  • Large featured brick pillars
  • Contains far less glass than a conservatory
  • Has a parapet
  • Becomes a prodigal extension to the property.

A conservatory is primary made from glass which tends to be a way-point between the home and the garden. As we have mentioned above some general rules for an orangery, not every structure is designed in the same way. As an example there are exceptions when orangeries are designed with a lean-to-roof, or even a roof lantern, with various shapes which assist the stability to the structure, allow easy integration with the rest of the home.

Conservatories can also differ in both height and general layout. The rules for planning permission for a conservatory varies compared to a full extension, which sometimes states that the conservatory must be at a lower height than the rest of the property. Sometimes it requires to be a particular size to allow this conservatory to be built without need a full extensive planning application.

If you’re considering have a conservatory or orangery added to your property, then contact us and will tell you whether you require planning permission or not. We can fully design either your conservatory or orangery and even apply for planning permission on your behalf if required.