The Greenhouse: A Horticultural Curiosity

January 2024: The Greenhouse is no longer at 25 Porchester Place and is now in a private collection.

The Greenhouse is a surprising and beautiful outdoor art installation outside the tower block at 25 Porchester Place.

Also known as “Sacré Blur” the striking stained glass construction provides a fascinating focal point of light and colour on the street. It’s a delightful curiosity, quite out of place in an urban residential street in Central London.

The Greenhouse Sacré blur by Heywood and Condie

The Greenhouse was made by horticultural installation artists Heywood and Condie from salvaged 18th and 19th century ecclesiastical stained glass. The original Christian imagery that was dismantled has been reconfigured to present a world of mythical creatures, chimeras and folk hybrids.

It is both a meditation chamber and a functioning greenhouse, although no living organisms occupy the space inside. The mirrored, reflective floor creates infinity within the structure. The artists say;

“This glasshouse is a horticultural temple a metaphor for the living Earth and a place of sanctuary and introspection. It represents an environment in which nature holds an elevated, intuitive position, often mediated through the quotidian activities of watering, sowing, feeding and propagating.

It is through such daily rituals that gardeners may, consciously or unconsciously, achieve a deeper personal understanding of her or his place in the world. The nurture and care of nature fosters hope, faith and responsibility and, through these emotions, gardeners learn to experience a sense of wonder and a heightened physical engagement with the external world, perhaps leading to a more virtuous, more intuitive way of living.”

Visit the installation when the sun goes down and witness the world of stained-glass chimeras is reflected endlessly in its infinity floor.

The Greenhouse is a temporary exhibition on Porchester Place in Connaught Village but we hope it has a long stay there.

Fun fact: The Greenhouse won “Shed of the Year” in 2017.

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The Greenhouse: A Horticultural Curiosity