An Orangery in Shrewsbury

by | Jun 12, 2017 | Construction

Today’s Construction Showcase entry features a project we recently completed in downtown Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. We view every project as a collaboration where our goals are your goals. The knowledge and experience we bring to the fore is what allows those goals to become realities for the clients we serve. This project is a great example of how important the planning and design phase of each project is, as we worked closely with the homeowner to define a specific vision prior to the start of construction work.

Our principal objective was to introduce an orangery-style addition in a rather difficult location without disrupting the architectural style or flow of the existing colonial home. Through a combination of careful planning and active collaboration with the client, we were able to devise the perfect strategy. The final results can be viewed in our portfolio of completed projects. What follows is a picture by picture walkthrough of the entire process from start to finish.

The unique design allowed the the structure to be positioned neatly within the corner of the existing home while still allowing us to use the large windows representative of a traditional English orangery. Andersen architectural French doors were used at the entry. The centerpiece of the design is the custom hip skylight framed in mahogany and outfitted with PPG Solar Ban 70 XL insulated glass.

The entire edifice was constructed with solid dimensional lumber. In addition to the insulated glass used in the glass roof construction, the orangery was also conventionally insulated to exceed international residential building code requirements. This ensures that the client receives optimal glass enclosure performance across four seasons of Massachusetts weather conditions.

Finishing touches include copper flashing, an English AGA stove, bluestone flooring, and decorative elements which enhance the colonial design while creating a seamless transition between the existing structure and the new, custom orangery.

Let’s take a closer look! Scroll down to view the progression of the construction process.

An architectural drawing of the rear elevation of a new Shrewsbury, Massachusetts orangery being planned, designed, and constructed by Sunspace Design

A structural elevation of the orangery’s rear design.
Our lead designer can create structural elevations in virtually any style.

A before photo of the Shrewsbury residence being renovated by Sunspace Design

A work photo taken of the existing home prior to the beginning of construction.
We carefully consider the existing structure’s style before settling on a design strategy.

A photo of an orangery hip skylight frame being crafted out of fine mahogany in the Sunspace Design workshop

The stunning, orangery-style hip skylight is being assembled in advance.
By constructing key components in the shop, we ensure reliability and performance.

A photo of a mahogany skylight frame being developed in the Sunspace Design workshop before installation at a Shrewsbury, Massachusetts work site

The mahogany roof system begins to take shape as shop work continues…

A crew member puts the finishing touches on a concrete foundation in anticipation of a glass structure installation

…while the concrete foundation is placed on-site.
Looking good! We’re now ready to start on the conventionally constructed frame.

Conventional stick frame construction takes place on a concrete foundation

The wall frame begins.
We offer full service general construction in addition to our glass structure product lines.

A structural beam has been placed on a conventional frame in order to support glass roof elements

One of the structural beams is placed in anticipation of the glass roof elements.
We use only the highest quality materials in our residential construction projects.

Doug works in the hot sun to complete the orangery roof frame before the glass roof sections are installed

The roof is now framed and ready to accept the glass section.
Doug is hard at work!

An orangery roof frame has been sheathed to create the opening for a glass roof with hip-style skylight

The roof has been sheathed in order to create the opening for the new glass roof.
The hip-style skylight will flood the orangery with natural sunlight throughout all four seasons.

The roof of a new orangery addition (as well as the roof of the existing residential home) have been covered in a protective membrane offering protection for all four seasons

Protective membrane roofing has been installed over the existing and new roof sections.
Our glass structures are designed to withstand the full assault of a New England winter.

The Sunspace crew has installed a curb for the new glass section; Doug is hard at work standing on some scaffolding

The curb for the new glass section has been installed.

The orangery addition's roof curb system has been covered in glossy copper flashing

Copper flashing has been installed over the new curb system.
This important step is completed before the glass system is set into position.

A custom mahogany roof system developed in the Sunspace Design workshop sits on protective wooden slats before being crane-lifted into position

Fresh from the shop!
The custom mahogany roof system is ready to be lifted into place.

A tall crane lifts and booms the pre-assembled mahogany roof system into position above the new orangery addition

The roof system is carefully lifted and boomed into place.

A mahogany roof system has been perfectly positioned atop this Shrewsbury residential construction project

The roof system has been positioned.
Soon: high performance glass will be installed.

The existing colonial estate is visible through the orangery skylight's intricate mahogany frame design

A skyward view from the interior with the skylight frame in place.

A Sunspace field crew member adds the final copper flashings to this orangery skylight system now that the high performance glass panes are installed

The glass roof is in place and copper flashings are being added.

The completed glass roof system with copper flashings shines in the sunlight

The completed glass roof has a beautiful design.
Our copper flashing selection adds a gorgeous effect.

Scaffolding and ladders are assembled in preparation for construction on the orangery walls

With the glass roof system complete, our talented crew begins wall construction.

The exterior walls of this residential home addition project are beginning to take shape

Work on the exterior walls continues.

New French doors are installed on the front face of this custom home orangery

The French doors are now in place.

An interior view of the orangery's structural framing with Sunspace crew visible through the French doors

A view of the interior structural framing at this point in construction.

The exterior woodwork of the orangery has been painted white and more detailed painting can soon begin

With the exterior woodwork complete, the orangery is now ready for paint!

This orangery's columns feature stately details and an intricate design that blends with the existing home's colonial-style architecture

A view of the colonial orangery’s exterior wood columns. The stately details are impeccable!
Our versatility allows us to work in any style.

The sun shines brightly above this completed residential orangery with a hip style skylight and glass roof system

The completed interior of the roof system.

An exterior photograph of patio area outside of a newly constructed orangery at a client's home

A view of the completed exterior.
It’s difficult to imagine a better entryway for this elegant residence.

The French doors, glass skylight, and tall windows of this residential orangery create a warmly-lit entryway

A view of the warmly-lit entryway taken from inside the orangery.
We went with a rustic bluestone floor that pairs wonderfully with the style.

An exterior photograph of a home orangery taken near Halloween, with tiny decorative pumpkins visible on the patio

Another view of the exterior.
This glass structure will be a showstopper in every season.

Sunlight glimmers on the copper flashing of this Shrewsbury orangery project

An alternate view of the exterior.
The large windows and glass roof introduce an abundance of sunlight.

A traditional orangery can be an excellent addition to any home, and we’re proud that our clients were able to achieve their goals with our help. Whether you’re in the market for a large home renovation, a new greenhouse to shelter your plants with, a pool enclosure to provide your family with 365 days of pool access with, a glass roof system of any size, or an orangery-style addition like the one featured in this update, Sunspace Design is the right choice for you.

You can contact us by submitting a completed contact form, sending an email to, or calling 1-800-530-2505.

Thanks for reading! Check back soon as new blog entries are posted regularly.

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