Aluminium Conservatories Contemporary Design Ideas and Features
Aluminium conservatories are becoming more popular as they are particularly suited to contemporary designs.The strength of aluminium results in slimmer section, which are long lasting and virtually maintenance free. The lack of fussy detailing and the ability to powder coat aluminium in many different colours provide a slim and sleek look making it the ideal material to build conservatories from.
However, just by choosing aluminium does not guarantee that your conservatory will be contemporary. There are many designers and installers out there who still have the old mindset of designing and styling a conservatory. Below we have included a few features of aluminium conservatories you should consider when designing your new space.
Aluminium Conservatory Styles
Contemporary conservatories tend to be rectangular in shape. Certainly the Victorian styles that are prominent in traditional conservatories do not lend themselves well
to a modern design. Lean-to roofs are therefore a popular choice in contemporary conservatory designs. For a very impressive look increase the pitch of the roof or even consider a double height conservatory.
Reverse Lean To
A twist on the lean-to roof that has become more popular in recent years is the reverse lean-to conservatory style. This has the advantage of maximizing the height at the front of the conservatory, making it feel bigger and more roomy than if the pitch of the roof was the other way.
Side On Lean To
An innovative design ideally suited to wide gardens, this side on lean to conservatory maximises the view of the garden by positioning the viewer in one corner of the room enabling a view upwards and across the garden. The room is further enhanced by the height that is achieved at the front creating a spacious and airy room.
Another style that lends itself well to contemporary conservatories is the gable ended design. This provides a great focal point where the angles of the roof meet, and can provide an opportunity for high level windows above your line of sight.
Double Hipped End (Edwardian)
A modern twist on an old style, the double hipped or Edwardian conservatory can look impressive with a high ceiling height and feature lighting.
This design incorporates a reverse lean to style with a closed conservatory area and an open terraced area. The two spaces are combined under one roof but have completely different uses.
Heritage vs Contemporary Glass Rooms
Juxtaposing contemporary designs onto Heritage buildings, or buildings in conservation areas is often more successful than trying to match the existing style. Modern planners are
more receptive to opposing styles and often insist that the new part of the building is distinguishable from the existing.
Large Spans - Bifold Doors vs Sliding Patio Doors
Using a bifold door or sliding patio door as your main access to your garden can add a real design feature to your conservatory. Often you will want
to have these doors span as wide an opening as possible, however there is a structural consideration that may or may not have an important impact on your design, as with any large opening the roof above will need to be properly supported - which often means a steel portal frame.
The Schuco CMC50 Conservatory Roof system that we fabricate has the ability to conceal the structural steelwork within the ring beam of the conservatory roof and
supporting corner or intermediate posts. This means that the design can be simplified, reducing overall costs, and importantly minimizing the amount of aluminium visible. However there is a limit of around 4m in total span before external steelwork is required, as the size of the steelwork will not fit in the ring beam of the roof.
With spans over 4m it is not possible to conceal the steel portal frame that supports the roof within the roofing elements themselves. A steel RSJ or Box section is required which will need to be clad around to conceal it. This can add 200 - 250mm to the height at the front of the conservatory affecting the pitch of the roof and the height of the doors at the front.
Ventilation - Roof lights vs High Level Windows
The basic principle in designing the glazed walls is to keeps things as minimal as possible. Whereas in traditional style conservatories it is common
to find top opening fan lights all the way around a conservatory, in a modern aluminium conservatory the trend is to have full height glazing and to provide ventilation
via either a roofvent or by high level opening windows situated above your natural sightline in the sloped part of the roof.
Roof vents can either be manually operated or electronically controlled via switches or even rain/weather sensors.
High level inward opening windows (opened via the use of a pole) are a great way to provide openers without impacting on the clean lines of the conservatory walls.>
As part of an overall lighting design the Schuco CMC50 can house spotlight within the rafters of the conservatory. A special addon is used to house the spotlights that attach to the underside of the rafters concealing all the cables without impacting the structural integrity of the rafters.
A common complaint of most conservatories is that they get too hot in the summer. A great way to keep the sun off your conservatory is to install external vertical or roof blinds. These can be automated to respond to change in the weather, and can add to the aesthetics of the design.
Our Aluminium Conservatory Design Service
Alumen offers a complete aluminium conservatory design, fabrication and installation service for both homeowners and the trade. In partnership with our sister company GRP Designs Ltd we are happy to work in a number of ways:
- Complete turnkey service including design, building work, farbrication and installation
- Design, fabrication and installation service where you may have someone else contracted to undertake the building work
- Trade / Supply Only, where we are happy to work with experienced tradesmen or companies to design and fabricate the aluminium conservatory for you to install