What is an Orangery?

16th March 2018

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What is an Orangery?

A traditional orangery is constructed of less than 50% glass or polycarbonate side walls and less than 75% glass or polycarbonate roof area. An orangery has a different base and roof compared to a conservatory. It also comprises a dwarf wall that runs around its perimeter and is plastered within.

Orangeries have a brick base and a flat perimeter roof incorporated with a centralised roof lantern. It is made up of solid brick pillars, large glazed windows, brick or stone bases, a lantern roof and a cornice which creates a parapet inside the orangery. From a historical perspective, though, what is an orangery? How did it become such a popular choice for homeowners throughout the UK? Keep reading to find out.

Historical Background: What is the Origin of an Orangery?

The orangery was created to provide shelter for citrus and fruit trees that had trouble growing in the colder months. Typically found on wealthy estates or affluent homes, orangeries hosted a mixture of specific plants and trees, as well as vegetables. Many of the first orangeries created featured stoves, underfloor heating and shutters to ensure warmth and insulation all year round.

Because of the limitations of the time and the preferred aesthetic, most orangeries were built in the neo-classical style and featured a high proportion of masonry to glass. In the Victorian era, with newer technology becoming available and industrial production methods advancing, the conservatory was born, with designs being constructed from an iron framework that allowed for slimmer sightlines and the increased use of glass.


How is an Orangery Constructed?

An orangery has side elevations and can be built in brick with apertures for fenestration and door openings, or they can be made up of windows and doors with vertical posts that provide structural function and keep to the neo-classical style that was commonplace when orangeries first came about.

The roof of an orangery is usually partially glazed, typically with a roof that has a flat perimeter and a glazed lantern in the centre. The sides of the roof usually feature a decorative fascia, roofing tiles or a brick parapet. The flat area of the roof is usually at least 400mm wide but is usually wider than this in most orangeries.

What is an orangery roof typically constructed from? At Ultraframe, we have several roofing options to make sure your orangery suits your home and complements the overall style and aesthetic. You don’t have to stick to convention when it comes to adding an orangery to your property.

What Orangery Roof Options are Available

Ultrasky Lantern

What is an orangery lantern roof? Our Ultrasky Lantern is compatible with a flat roof or orangery deck and is currently the strongest available on the market. With a slimline design and 25° roof pitch to maximise the amount of natural light that enters your home, it is sure to be a fantastic choice.

Because of the strong ridge and thermally broken structure, there are fewer bars, resulting in an unobstructed view of blue skies and letting in unlimited light to give a bright and airy feel to your newly-created space.

What is an orangery best used as? The Ultrasky Lantern is particularly effective when positioned over a communal area, such as the dining room table, a kitchen island or chill out sofas, as it’s the perfect atmosphere for entertaining and relaxing.

Classic Roof

What is an orangery roof alternative to the Ultrasky Lantern? Our Classic Roof will match any roof shape, no matter how complex the orangery design is, and is constructed with the highest quality materials and components. It might be classic, but it’s certainly not outdated.

What is an orangery Classic roof like when exposed to bad weather? All our Classic Roofs have been stringently weather tested, undergoing intense assessment from Wintech. Also, as they are designed based on the wind and snow loads in your area, you are sure to get the right fit for your home.

Orangery Roof

Ultrasky Roof

What is an orangery Ultrasky roof and what benefits will it come with? Our Ultrasky roof incorporates a minimalist look with fewer bars and a natural, clean aesthetic. It features an internally insulated pelmet and decorative cornice, providing the increased natural light that makes a home feel more spacious and light.

What is an orangery Ultrasky roof’s performance like when exposed to wind and rain? This roof holds its water tightness in winds up to 130mph and features fully insulated aluminium under cladding to help increase the potential heat retention of your home. This roof option is a stylish way to create a warm, bright space.


What is an orangery Quantal roof and how is it different from others offered by Ultraframe? If your home is in a conservation area or is more of a complex build, Quantal is highly configurable and is suitable for more complicated shapes Featuring the use of aluminium on the outside, Quantal produces a distinctive and alternative roof design solution.

The inherent strength and style of aluminium allow our Quantal orangeries to offer an impressive degree of versatility. This means that it won’t matter if your home is modern, traditional, period or heritage, you’ll find the perfect fit.

What Orangery Styles are Available?

When customers ask us ‘What is an orangery?’, we introduce them to our portfolio of different styles, each of which comes with a range of benefits that will allow them to extend in style – while creating a structure that feels like a natural continuance of their home. In design terms then, what is an orangery and how will you benefit from choosing one manufactured by Ultraframe?

The Contemporary Orangery

What is an orangery that will best respond to my modern tastes? The Contemporary Orangery combines super-insulated columns with a decorative cornice and insulated pelmet. You can perfect the contemporary look of this style by adding bi-fold or sliding doors that offer effortless functionality and visually beautiful aesthetic. Our super-insulated columns offer a degree of thermal performance five times higher than traditional brick columns to help you enjoy a more comfortable home.

The Traditional Orangery

What is an orangery that will help me achieve a traditional design? If you’re looking for a traditional look with brick piers, an insulated pelmet on the inside and a curved cornice, the Classic Orangery is the perfect fit. It exudes a traditional and elegant feel, encapsulating the timeless design of the 17th century with all the modern benefits of the present day. For a personal touch, our insulated pelmets can be fitted with spotlights and speakers to suit you.

The Lantern Orangery

What is an orangery that best straddles classic and modern styles? An orangery style that suits both contemporary or traditional properties it features the beautiful Ultrasky roof lantern that allows for a deep perimeter ceiling and flexible lighting design. This roof offers 25% fewer bars than other lantern roofs, which not only allows it to capture a beautifully elegant appearance it also allows for heightened natural light allowance for a bright and spacious feel.

Who Can Give Me More Advice on My Orangery?

What is an orangery and why should you choose one? You can use our search tool to locate an approved Ultra Installer near you. They will be armed with all the knowledge needed to answer any questions you have about any of our products.

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