This conservatory is an architecture of the senses. Rather than relying on the materiality of glass to create a unique spatial enclosure, this proposal curates and amplifies contrasting experiences to create unexpectedly complex and sublime spaces despite its relatively small footprint. The exhibit of the conservatory and the architecture of the conservatory work together to define a series of immersive spatial experiences that plays upon solid & void, compression & release, light & dark, natural and man-made.
The main exhibit is framed by a void to the sky, defined by a massive cubic form that appears to hover impossibly overhead. This void is designed to provide the necessary light levels to the tropical plant species while limiting the amount of glazing in the building. Surrounding this void is a layered skin that acts as a high performing insulative structure while its outermost layer uses solar energy to pre-warm the air and store excess heat in the wall’s thermal mass to allow the building to maintain its high internal temperature during the winter and stabalise this temperature in the summer. This outermost layer changes from transparent to translucent according to its orientation, creating a unique visual expression through this shimmering and ephemeral veil.
The architecture uses volume, mass & light to define the interior experience and curate diverse ways to interact with the living exhibit. In doing so the success of the experience is not reliant on complex detailing and can instead be purposely raw and direct. This is a conservatory that is symbolic not through its form, but rather through it’s world-leading environmental performance and its uniquely sublime spatial experiences.