5 Famous Conservatories

Created originally for people to grow exotic plants, conservatories have altered over time and can now be used as an extra room in the house, large centres display exotic plants from all over the world, and some have been designed for research purposes.

Not only has the purpose of a conservatory changed but they are so varied in style and design. It is fascinating what designs people have come up with throughout the years.

We have chosen our 5 favourite conservatories from all over the world to recognise their excellence and existence, alongside sharing our appreciation and passion for the conservatories with you.

1. University of Oxford Botanic Gardens

(Oxford, UK) 

It is said that the Oxford Botanic Gardens was first founded in 1621 as a garden used for medical research.

During 1961, the famous conservatory was built within the gardens withholding some of the world’s most diverse plants. Oxford’s Botanic Garden is noted as the first conservatory to ever be built.

If you want to learn more about the history of conservatories, click here.

Today, the gardens are named as one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world and is protecting some of the rarest plants from extinction.

The conservatory currently contains eight medical beds, continuing the growth of:

    • Cardiology (heart complaints)
    • Oncology (cancer and cell-proliferation)
    • Infectious Diseases (viral and parasitic)
    • Gastroenterology (alimentary tract and    metabolism)
    • Dermatology (skin complaints)
    • Haematology (blood typing and disorders)
    • Neurology (nervous system and anaesthesia)
    • Pulmonology (lungs and airways)

This conservatory is not only popular with the public but is noted in many novels too. It is said the garden-inspired Alice in Wonderland’s writer and the illustrator Sir John Tenniel. The Queen’s Croquet Ground in the book is meant to resemble the Waterlily House.

Have a look if you plan to visit!

2. Bicentennial Conservatory

(Adelaide, Australia) 

The Bicentennial Conservatory is situated in Adelaide in the South of Australia. Architect, Guy Maron, designed the unique conservatory and it still stands as the largest single-span conservatory in the southern hemisphere.

Built in 1988, this conservatory’s purpose was also to prevent specific plant species from endangerment.

The plants nurtured within this conservatory have been relocated from  Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands.

Due to the sheer volume of plants within the grounds, the keepers used copious amounts of water to keep everything alive. A new wetlands system was cleverly constructed to collect and store stormwater.

In 2014, The Bicentennial Conservatory is the youngest building in South Australia to receive a Heritage listing. This means the Bicentennial Conservatory is deemed to be an outstanding heritage significance to Australia.

3. Botanical Garden of Curitiba

(Curitiba, Brazil)

This design of this famous conservatory was inspired by French gardens and resembles the Mid-19th century Crystal Palace in London (no longer standing due to a fire in 1936).

The conservatory opened in 1991 and soon became the biggest tourist attractions and landmarks of the city.

It is known for growing its tropical plants and the museum within the grounds attracted researchers from all over the world to use within their work.

4. Eden Project

(Cornwall, UK) 

With an idea from Tim Smith, the architectural skill from Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and the construction team, amongst many other part takers, the Eden Project came to life.

The Eden Project is a massive site, consisting of 2 Bio Domes (shown within the photo). One growing and demonstrating tropical plants like bananas and coffee. The other with plants originated from the Mediterranean with olives and a variety of grapevines.

As well as the exotic plants, the Bio Domes are surrounded by a third garden, full of local plants and vegetables able to grow in the south of England. This garden grows things like lavender, tea and sunflowers.

The visitor centre was the first section of the site to be opened for the public in 2000. The entire site eventually opened mid-March 2001 with the purpose to demonstrate the relationship between plants and people. A few years later (2005), an education centre with classrooms and exhibitions helped spread the message and teach people the importance of it.

The Eden project is very environmentally friendly, the only water they use fresh is for washing and cooking within the grounds. Other than that, the water used to create the humidity and toilet facilities is collected from the quarry and sanitised before use. Not only this but the energy used comes from the local wind turbines.

5. The Flower Dome within Gardens by the Bay


Last but not least, in the slightest! The Gardens by the Bay is Singapore’s main attraction to tourists. The gardens consist of 3 huge bays; Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central.

The purpose of the gardens is to transforms its ‘Garden City’ into a ‘City in a Garden’, showing the importance of plants and encouraging growth within the city.

The South Bay displays the world’s largest conservatories, The Flower Dome. It was opened for a week’s preview from the 14th November – 20th November in 2011 which created a lot of excitement for its official opening. According to the World Guinness Book of Records, during 2015 The Flower Dome was noted as the largest glass greenhouse in the world!

Continuing the movement to help the environment, the rainwater is collected and circulated into the cooling system, also cooling system, also connected to the Supertrees. The message the creators wanted to share and encourage tourists all over the world to minimise their environmental footprint.

Greenspace Insulated Roofing Panels

If you are looking to adapt and change the design of your conservatory, Greenspace UK install insulated roofing panels which re-purpose your conservatory into a new room. In today’s climate, it is noted that conservatories aren’t used as much as they should, if at all. By having new roofing panels, you can enjoy your conservatory all year round.

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