2020 | 24 | 6-17
Article title

Mālpils muižas oranžērija

Title variants
Mālpils Manor Orangery
Languages of publication
Mālpils Manor is widely known as a place of public gatherings and a travellers’ stopover. It stands out among Latvia’s restored manor centres with stylish, skilfully improved surroundings and an ambitious building and park ensemble with a beautifully restored manor house. The article deals with a largely unexplored structure behind the main building’s south wing. This is the Mālpils Manor orangery, also called Garden House in literature and still waiting for restoration. The building is justifiably included in the list of state-protected architectural monuments as one of the manor complex’s most valuable components. Architecturally the building consists of two parts. An imposing façade and orangery premises, later used as living quarters, faced north. The glazed hothouses were the only south-facing edifices. The main façade is accentuated with a gently sloping pediment and a three-bay entrance portal. High, wide doors facilitated the moving of plants. The entrance portal’s tectonic scheme includes four pilasters and an entablature topped with pronouncedly protruding cornice bearing four stone (possibly porphyry) vases. The pediment is even higher and has small attics above its slopes. Within Historicist stylistic trends, façade décor with classical vases is typical of the so-called Berlin School’s Late Classicist examples. The hothouse of Mālpils Manor orangery consists of three parts with the raised middle one reaching to the orangery roof. The hothouse is the oldest of this type of building in Latvia that still retains the white-plastered, reflective back walls with a curved transition to the ceiling. This construction, called “swan neck” in literature, is seen already in 18th century examples. The “swan neck” is meant to reflect sunlight and concentrate warm air masses over plants. The glazed walls were dismantled in the mid-20th century. Mālpils Garden House architecture has been undervalued so far, being known only to narrow specialist circles. It deserves a full-fledged return to Latvia’s cultural heritage as both a balanced addition to the Mālpils Manor building and garden ensemble and an architecturally unique structure in the context of other manor orangeries in Latvia and the Baltic region.
  • Faculty of Architecture, Riga Technical University, Ķīpsalas iela 6, Riga LV-1048, Latvia
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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