Winter gardens, the urban oases

In the large cities, both residents and local officials urge real estate developers to implement an old architectural concept designed to both embellish city buildings and give them a natural air: winter gardens.

Many developers have already answered this growing trend and included such artificial oases in their real estate projects: glass protected spaces where plants such as trees and ivy are planted, along cafés and benches. The main purpose of these winter gardens is to ensure a stronger cohesion among the communities that live or work in these real estate compounds. Besides residential areas, winter gardens are now sprouting in office buildings as a highly effective means of relaxation for employees.

Winter gardens are a centuries old concept which first appeared in Europe where aristocrats used them to show off their lavish lives. Currently, a city which takes pride in a growing number of such oases is Boston, according to the local publication Boston Globe. One of these gardens was built by a local company inside the new headquarters and spreads on almost 600 square meters, featuring, besides small trees and ivy, exotic plants.

Winter gardens, the refuge of choice in big cities

The space also has a café, benches and bathrooms for those who want to take a moment in the urban oasis. The winter garden is also connected to an outdoor park in the vicinity.

Since these winter gardens turn out to be very popular among the locals, Boston authorities are now considering ways to encourage developers to incorporate them in future real estate projects. “We want to see how it works. We’re cautiously optimistic it will work”, a local official said.

But some are warning winter gardens cannot become a substitute for outdoor parks and other open spaces. Nothing can replace fresh air and the pleasure to lie on real grass under real trees, they say. This is why some developers are now considering installing retractable roofs over these garden and allow people to enjoy the green spot under the open sky in summer.

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