An orangery is a brick structure with large, glazed windows and a flat roof with a glass lantern. The flat roof perimeter accounts for around 25% of the roof with the other 75% covered by the lantern. Orangeries are more intricate than conservatories and most people prefer the way they look for this reason.

Orangery types are often split into roof types because this is the only major variance in orangery design. The primary structure, or orangery base, is nearly always made from brick or stone. This is a classical design used all over the world.

Some modern orangery designs use a glass and metal design. This is a contemporary choice favoured in modern architectural projects. Other than roof and base, a key consideration for orangeries is door type. This affects how an orangery opens up.

In this article, we’ll cover orangery roof types, orangery base types and orangery door types to help you design the ultimate orangery for your home. Need help? Our orangery installers are always available to offer advice. Feel free to contact us.

Orangery roof types

The lantern on orangery roofs comes in the following styles:

  • Edwardian
  • Victorian
  • Lean-to
  • Gable-fronted


Edwardian roofs are most common on square and rectangular orangeries. The roof lantern slopes from a central ridge with a flat front. Design characteristics include leaded and patterned glass, glazing bars and decorative cornices.


Victorian roofs have the same design characteristics as Edwardian roofs, however, there is a fundamental difference: Victorian roof lanterns have an angled front. They are most common on orangeries with an angled design.


Lean-to orangeries have a roof (not necessarily a lantern) that leans into the house. There are some innovative designs out there ranging from curved roofs to lanterns that seamlessly blend into glazed walls. A good option for maximising small spaces.


Gable-fronted orangeries have a roof lantern that slopes down at either side, just like the roof on a regular house. Gable orangeries have a contemporary appearance and offer the most internal roof space. This makes them feel airier.

Orangery base types

There are two main types of orangery base:

  • Masonry (brick, stone)
  • Glazing with metal (steel/aluminium)

Brick and stone

Brick and stone are the traditional materials for an orangery base. They can match the masonry on a house and blend in seamlessly. Glazing innovations mean the base can be very low, allowing near-panoramic views into a garden.

Glazing with metal

A modern approach to building orangeries is with full-size glazing held into place with a metal frame. This offers full panoramic views and allows the installation of near full-length bi-fold doors that open the structure right up.

Orangery door types

There are three main types of door used in orangeries:

  • French doors
  • Sliding doors
  • Bi-fold doors

French doors

These are your bog-standard double doors that open up on separate hinges but lock together. French doors are an affordable choice but by no means a poor one. They look good, offer excellent views and are practical.

Sliding doors

Sliding doors look like French doors but they slide open. This is a fantastic feature if your orangery opens out into a small space. The cost is roughly the same as French doors so your decision will come down to which you prefer to open.

Bi-fold doors

The golden standard for orangery doors, bi-fold doors are made from a series of glazed panels that fold against the wall. Bi-folds are attractive with panoramic views. They open an orangery up in a way sliding doors and French doors can’t.