In honour of International Women’s Day, here at Select Windows we have taken the opportunity to celebrate the women that have shaped and are continuing to shape the industry today.

From our factory floor, to the accounts office we have our own team of strong, inspirational women who help us run our company smoothly. To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of the top five women who have paved the way for the industry today:

  1. ELIZABETH WILBRAHAH (1632-1705)

Believed by scholars to be the first female architect, Elizabeth Wilbrahah was behind the design of hundreds of buildings, including Weston Park in Staffordshire. Having married at 19 she used her extended honeymoon to study architecture in the Netherlands and Italy. Some of her surviving drawings show the first sash windows in England, a design which is still popular today.

Photo credit; Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit; Pixabay

4. ZAHA HADID (1950-2016)

As the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Zaha Hadid went on to design a variety of projects all over the world. Known for her bold, unconventional and theatrical designs her projects have shaped the industry. Among  those projects, is the Aquatics Centre in London. The 2012 Olympic Venue was designed by Zaha Hadid to be reused.


Sadie Morgan is currently one of the most powerful architects in the UK. Her firm, dRMM have an impressive portfolio of designs from educational buildings to residential homes. Her first project, with partners Alex de Rijke and Philip Marsh won seven awards. Over 20 years in her career she has won a variety of esteemed awards including being shortlisted for Architects’ Journal’s Woman Architect of the Year in 2014.

Photo credit; dRMM

Want add more light to your home? Why not look at our range of Orangery’s and Conservatories and give your home a new lease of life for the Spring.

Flickr: Australian National Maritime Museum

2. ELSIE MACKAY (1893-1928)

Elsie Mackay was a British interior decorator who was behind many of the interior designs of P&0 ‘R’ Class Ships of 1925. She created some stunning designs for ships throughout the company, which belonged to her father. Mackay then gained her pilots licence, as she hoped to be the first female pilot to fly the Atlantic. Sadly, she died aged 35, attempting to do so.

  1. EILEEN GRAY (1878 – 1976)

 As one of the first women to attend the Slade School of Art, Irish born, Eileen Gray was a pioneer of the Modern Movement in Architecture. She was one of the first architects to utilise steel tubular structures. One of her most famous projects was her creation of the E-1027 Villa. The Villa is L-Shaped with a flat roof and features floor to ceiling windows, creating an open and light building.

Photo credit; Villa E-1027, Cap Moderne, photograph Manuel Bougot 2016



Orangery or Conservatory? It’s one of our most frequently asked questions – what exactly is the difference? We know it can be a complete minefield out there for information, so we have outlined exactly what the differences are. At Select Windows, no matter what you are looking for we can create the best result for you. 


 A conservatory tends to contain a lot more glass than an orangery. The roof is usually a fully glazed unit with no flat roof to separate the guttering and the glass units. With this in mind, a conservatory roof opens up a great deal of natural light. 

With minimal brickwork, conservatories are often used as a room for viewing the garden whilst incorporating similar design features to the rest of the house. Enjoyable all year round, the conservatory makes a great addition to the home. 

The concept of the conservatory dates back to the beginning of the 17th Century. It was around this time that European countries began using conservatories as a fashionable green house. People had began to see benefits in this style of glass architecture and they became much more than a place to grow exotic plants.



Orangeries tend to have more brickwork but contain large windows within the construction as well as glass within the roof. There are countless designs available for orangeries but the main concept features a large plastered flat roof with the addition of a roof lantern that adds the natural light to the room. Roof lanterns are available in many different shapes and can be used to conjoin one room to another to create an extended room. 

Orangeries are often designed with matching material to the house to become part of it, rather than just an extension. 

The orangery dates back to the 17th-19th Century and was often found among the wealthy and “fashionable” elites.  Founded in Italy and then architecturally adapted in Holland, the orangery soon became viewed as a status symbol among the wealthy.