The Orangery; a brief history

The Gunnebo Orangery was designed, like the rest of the estate, by Gothenburg’s city architect, Carl Wilhelm Carlberg for the merchant John Hall and his family. The Orangery was erected before the main building. This is where the family’s collection of exotic plants and trees were kept frost-free during winters. The building was heated with tiled stoves.

Gunnebo’s heyday was relatively short; following the death of John Hall in 1802, bankruptcies, neglect, decay and fires caused the destruction of large parts of this magnificent summer residence in the first decades of the 19th century. The orangery was torn down after years of disrepair.


The Orangery was built with three connected corner pavilions. The main facade facing west echoes the architecture of the facade of Gunnebo House. The southern facade had large windows to let the sun in to the plants and trees. The three pavilions share the same dimensions.

On the back, a room for staff was added shortly after the building was completed. The gardener had the task of ensuring that the temperature in the building was kept above freezing. By placing a glass of water in the window to the south he knew when the water froze that it was time to heat the two stoves.

The interior architecture is particularly interesting in the northern pavilion. This is the grotto, where the walls were panelled with stalactite-shaped patterns. The ceiling was vaulted and fitted with mirrors. The whole room was richly decorated with furniture and statues.