The Work of Sir Joseph Paxton

From architecture of eden –


pg 109 – As head gardener at chatsworth, paxton began to improve the existing glasshouses and build up the collection of plants/ But he mad his name with Chatsworth’s great glass conservatory of 1841, know as the ‘Great Stove’.

The glass tax was repealed in 1840 and this would have almost certainly have encouraged such ambitious glazing. The architect Decimus Burton prepare the drawing; he was responsible for the proportions of the building, but the overall credit goes to Paxton, whose initial sketches of 1836 showed a large central arch that formed a long aisle resting on columns and stabilized by a   smaller arch that followed the perimeter of the building.

Other than the cast-iron columns running the length of the aisle the construction was wooden, with glulam timber used for the central arches. The great stove is famous for its ridge and furrow glazing inspired by Loudon.

The structure benefited from Paxton’s newly developed mechanized building techniques, in particular the automated production of the timber sash bars. It is interesting to not that, despite being heralded as the great industrialist, he bypassed iron for more traditional timber glazing frames in all of his glasshouses


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