We think it's safe to say that the Solarium is the sweetest little greenhouse ever made - because it's literally made from sugar. Designed by installation and performance artist William Lamson, the saccharine greenhouse is made of steel, glass and sugar and was built last summer for Storm King's Light and Landscape show. Caramelized sugar panes in varying shades of amber were sandwiched in between real glass panes in order to keep it from disintegrating in the rain. The open air greenhouse contains three miniature citrus trees and serves as a place for meditation in Hudson Valley.
Lamson’s Solarium is a one-room cabin or mountain chapel intended for contemplation and meditation. It’s also an experimental greenhouse with three mini citrus trees inside, but it’s the outside of the structure that’s really sweet. The glass greenhouse is outfitted with panes made from caramelized sugar and each pane is completely unique and a different shade of amber.
The sugary panes were sandwiched between glass to protect the sugar and then fit into a steel frame of the shed. The greenhouse measures 10’10” x 8’11” in x 10’3 3⁄8″. During warmer days, a 5×8 ft panel on each side can be opened to allow natural ventilation to regulate the temperature and keep the space cool. Meanwhile on colder days, the panels are kept closed to keep the inside warm.
Lamson envisioned the space as a quiet room for meditation and a place to connect with nature. The greenhouse provides warmth and sunlight for the plants inside to use sunlight for photosynthesis in order to create sugars and grow. In a symbolic move, these plants collect sunlight filtered sugar.
Images ©William Lamson