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Rectangular Courtyard Conservatory

Courtyards are one of the most underused spaces on many American homes and other structures. The architectural community is beginning to realize that if properly planned a glass space can fill that open area, while retaining the openness and outdoor connection and light that was the original intent of the space.

This suburban Chicago project, done in collaboration with Carr Warner Architects, demonstrates how an Orangery style roof (flat perimeter sections with a central skylight feature) meets the challenge of openness and drainage of the seemingly trapped flat roof sections.

The orangery style allows the use of box gutters encased on the interior with detailed soffits. The depth of the gutters/soffit can be adjusted to whatever the location requires. Usually the rear, most enclosed roof section is built at the highest elevation with steps or slopes built into the gutters from the rear center. Ample scupper outlets are used at the ends of the perimeter guttering, but internal down pipes can also be used as a supplement in the rear corners.

The roof is supported by concealed steel beams along the back of the roof plate, resting on top of two internal columns at the corners of the roof. Steel from the rear corners to the front was not needed per the full engineering that is done as part of our design/shop drawing process.

There are alternative support options including using the house walls or steel stanchions. Each site is considered for its intrinsic characteristics, limitations and aesthetic goals.
At the front elevation, the typical considerations of any our projects apply. Pilasters and base panels and delicate lead glazing make for a visually inviting space. The interior with its lofty glass roof is simply amazing according to the owner.