What is an Orangery?

16th March 2024

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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. It has a different base and roof than 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. They are made up of solid brick pillars, large glazed windows, brick or stone bases, a lantern roof, and a cornice that 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.

orangery cost calculator

Historical Background: What is the Origin of an Orangery?

Traditional orangeries were 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 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.

orangery roof options

What Orangery Roof Options Are Available at Ultraframe? 

Ultrasky Lantern Roof

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 unlimited light, giving your new orangery space a bright and airy feel.

What is an orangery best used for? 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 creates the perfect atmosphere for entertaining and relaxing.

orangery ultrasky lantern roof

Classic Orangery 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 it is constructed with the highest quality materials and components. It might be classic, but it’s certainly not outdated.

What is a Classic orangery roof like when exposed to bad weather? All our Classic Roofs have been stringently weather tested and are 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.

classic orangery roof ultraframe

Ultrasky Orangery 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 your home's potential heat retention. This roof option is a stylish way to create a warm, bright space.

Quantal Orangery Roof

What is an orangery Quantal orangery roof, and how is it different from others offered by Ultraframe? If your home is in a conservation area or is a more 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.

quantal orangery roof

What Orangery Designs Are Available?

When customers ask us, ‘what is an orangery?’, we introduce them to our portfolio of different orangery designs, 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 continuation 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 Design

What orangery 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 a 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.

contemporary orangery design

The Traditional Orangery Design

How do you achieve a traditional orangery 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 Traditional Orangery Design

The Lantern Orangery

What is an orangery that best straddles classic and modern styles? This orangery design suits both contemporary and traditional properties. It features the beautiful Ultrasky roof lantern, which 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 but also allows for heightened natural light allowance for a bright and spacious feel.

orangery lantern roof design options

Further Advice on Orangery Designs & Roof Options

For further advice on orangeries and why you should choose one, 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 our products.

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