Wintergardens for Amenity Space on Large Residential Developments

How IQ Approaches the Concept of a Wintergarden  


Large, multi-unit residential development buildings are currently underway in almost every major city in the UK. These large developments have their own additional list of rules and regulations they must adhere to.

Councils create their Unitary Development Plan (UDP) based on the needs and demands of their environment. In each UDP a focus on amenity space and the need to provide comfortable places to live for future occupants is always included.

Modern high rise block with minimal glass windows

Credit: SolarLux

Amenity space is a key component to these units as it creates a satisfactory standard of accommodation for occupants, meeting their recreational and domestic needs. Architects and designers are taking the amenity space requirements and transforming them into a key design feature to add to the layout and character of the building.

Solutions for amenity space on multi-unit residential spaces could be rooftop terraces, communal garden areas or balconies. However, in central city locations, the ability to add outdoor amenity space onto each unit might be limited. In addition, external air quality or the local environment might mean that dedicated outdoor spaces might not be the most feasible solution for amenity areas.

Many developers are instead opting to include Wintergardens within each unit. These dedicated private amenity spaces can be either internal partitioned areas or outdoor spaces that are protected from the elements.

As architectural glaziers, IQ gets involved with many of these spaces in conjunction with architects and developers. See below for some of our tips for design and specification when it comes to creating a Wintergarden for Amenity Space.


Glass roofed conservatory with open bifold doors looking out onto water garden feature

Credit: SolarLux

What is a Wintergarden?

The definition of a Wintergarden is a ‘garden which is maintained during wintertime’. In simple terms, it means an outdoor space that is protected or enclosed meaning it can be used all year round.

There are various ways this can be achieved within a large residential development


An ‘Internal’ Wintergarden

If the external envelope of the building is fully insulated, you can separate a section of the internal living space on each unit to create an internal Wintergarden.

Broken plan layout with internal sliding folding glass doorsAs the envelope of the building is fully insulated, the glazing used to partition off the Wintergarden doesn’t have to be. This could help reduce the costs of a project and could also be useful in the programming of a large development (as the Wintergarden could be created as part of the internal fit-out of the development).

This is the solution we are currently providing to the large residential development One Crown Place with MACE. Each luxury residential unit has its own private Wintergarden area which is partitioned off from the rest of the living area with steel look aluminium partitions.

Our expert project management team is overseeing the installation of over 260 units in this prestigious and difficult site in the city.

The internal bifold door sets have a slim metal frame and a bespoke glazing bar design which is in keeping with the high-end luxury interiors. As the external envelope of the building is fully insulated the bifold doors do not need to have any thermal or weather sealing properties (allowing the frames to be slimmer). The glass is clear single glazing built within the minimal metal framework.  


An ‘External’ Wintergarden

Rooftop terrace with automatic rooflightAn external Wintergarden is truer to its original meaning. With this option, we create a thermally efficient glazed opening leading to an outdoor area which is also protected by glass. The glazing on the outside of the Wintergarden can be frameless and single glazed as its sole purpose is to provide a small element of protection to the outdoor area.

This ‘balcony glazing’ solution is popular on the continent where external balcony areas on multi-unit residential developments are more popular.

The advantage of this type of external Wintergarden (where possible) is that the occupants benefit from a true outdoor area that can be protected from rain and wind. The downside (especially in colder environments) is that its use is limited due to the fact it is not an insulated space.


The Architect’s Approach

Structural glass conservatory with aluminium beams

Credit: SolarLux

When developing a large residential project, architects need to consider how they are going to provide the required amenity space for their occupants. The above two options are viable solutions that offer the right type of luxury lifestyle expected from high specification builds whilst satisfying the planning requirements of inner-city builds.

The team at IQ can assist in the specification of the glazing solutions. Using our years of knowledge, we can provide effective solutions for each project’s specific needs and challenges.

To enquire about a Wintergarden for your next project, get in touch with our experts at

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Carly Coren

As a Senior Marketing Executive, Carly is an integral part of the marketing team at IQ. She studied marketing at university before putting her knowledge into practice within the glazing industry. You will find her working on social media campaigns or writing content for the websites. 

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Showing 2 comments
  • Figari Group Australia

    Thank you for giving me information about winter gardens for amenity space on large residential development. The designs are so refreshing . I enjoyed reading the article.

    • Taylor Hall-Jones

      Hi Judy,

      Glad you found this article informative! Feel free to read some more on our IQ Glass projects website here.

      The IQ Team

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