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Project: Your Private Retreat
Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts
Architect: Donna Trabucco, John Cunningham Architects
Goals: This project started out as an example of “putting the cart before the horse”, and finished with a beautifully executed conservatory and completely satisfied homeowners.

The owners poured their foundation to a size and shape created by their architect, and proposed by a conservatory company from the U.K. Soon thereafter, the so-called “authentic” British conservatory company refused to provide the owner with an approximate delivery date or even a not-to-exceed price for the conservatory! (The pricing issue evidently had something to do with a fluctuating pound to dollar valuation.)

Needless to say the owners became a bit concerned, and decided to call in Renaissance to complete their spa.

Solutions: Renaissance met with their architect Donna Trabucco, reviewed the drawings, measured the foundation, and returned with a firm offer to complete the project with a few suggested improvements to the original plan.

While some conservatories are semi-public spaces to be shared by family and friends, this spa room was created at the end of the home, entering off the master bath and bedroom. “Why not make it a jewel?”, Renaissance suggested.

Rather then matching the divided lites at the rest of the home, Renaissance created a Gothic crossing arch look to make the facade “jump”. Glass stretched almost to the floor, to create a view, even while relaxing in the spa.

Features: The dark green exterior, helps the conservatory blend into the serene natural beauty of the surrounding woods. From a distance, the conservatory announces its presence with a “whisper”, rather than a shout.

Soft, understated lead coated copper was selected for the Revival Series Low Victorian Cresting & Finial Post. The same metals were carried through the roof capping, brake metals, adjacent solid roofing, and flashing. In addition to weathering little and evenly, lead coated copper adds the added flexibility of being paintable. If they choose, our clients can color-match the roof metals to the color of their vertical facade at any time.

The Signature Renaissance Revival Series detailing is carried through to the interior. In this instance, our clients chose conventional roto-gear operators for their casement sash, instead of push-pull hardware. The handles and covers are Rocky Mountain’s solid bronze offerings, in a white bronze finish to perfectly match the light sconces & fixtures, and of course, the solid bronze Gretsch-Unitis lever lock sets.

Because of the potential for high humidity, Renaissance recommended rigid insect screens instead of Concealed Rolling Screens.

Awards: 2003 Renaissance Honors Winner