architecture firm CHYBIK + KRISTOF has revealed plans to build a contemporary reinterpretation of the greenhouse where scientist gregor mendel conducted his pioneering experiments. located at st. augustin abbey in the czech city of brno, the original greenhouse was swept away in the 1870s by a storm, leaving only its foundations behind. it was here where mendel, an augustinian friar at the adjacent monastery, spent eight seasons, from 1856 to 1863, cultivating and breeding pea plants in his endeavor to uncover the biological mechanism through which physical traits are passed down from one generation to the next. the experiments conducted there, although acknowledged only after mendel’s passing in 1884, are now widely recognized as the foundation of modern genetics.

chybik kristof mendel greenhouse
all images by monolot



drawing on the site’s history and scientific legacy, and following the original ground plan, CHYBIK + KRISTOF designed a structure reminiscent of the original building. the foundations are preserved, while the trapezoidal volume is identical in form to the original edifice yet realized using contemporary materials. the flexible design, conceived to adapt to a variety of purposes, is entirely exposed to the exterior with fully open sides. meanwhile, a concealed system of heat pumps is located underground.

chybik kristof mendel greenhouse



‘the concept of the redesigned greenhouse is deeply rooted in the work of gregor mendel,’ says ondřej chybík, architect and founder of CHYBIK + KRISTOF. ‘the nodes and branches constituting the steel supportive framing are in direct dialogue with his laws of inheritance, in particular that of hereditary segregation. building on this notion as well as mendel’s original drawings, the resulting, highly complex structure pays homage to his legacy. laid bare by the transparency of the glass roof, the edifice both embodies and exposes his undeniable contribution to modern science.’

CHYBIK + KRISTOF to rebuild gregor mendel's historic greenhouse in the czech republic



with the aim of attracting local and international visitors as well as a professional public essential to preserving the monastery’s legacy, the revived structure seeks to celebrate mendel’s work and his contributions to modern genetics. the vast, adaptable volume allows for a diversity of events from conferences and lectures to temporary exhibitions. meanwhile, integrated blinds enable the space to be darkened for projections and concerts. the greenhouse is scheduled to open to the public in 2022, 200 years after mendel’s birth.



project info:


name: mendel greenhouse
location: brno, czech republic
architect: CHYBIK + KRISTOF
project team: ondřej chybík, michal kristof, ondřej švancara, kryštof foltýn, ingrid spáčilová, laura emilija druktenytė