Creating sustainable and environmentally friendly design, CHYBIK + KRISTOF renovates an original 19th
Oct 14, 2023
Brno, Czech Republic
Czech urban design practice CHYBIK + KRISTOF has renovated Gregor Mendel's historic 19th-century greenhouse wrapping it up with a glass and steel structure using sustainable architectural techniques and now will host cultural events such as international conferences, lectures, and exhibitions.
Named Mendel's Greenhouse, the project is an homage to scientist and abbot Gregor Mendel's work in genetics and contribution to science, culture, and humanity.
This "pavilion of genetics" as it is referred to by the architects is commemorating the 200th anniversary of Mendel's birth.
The studio states that "the new structure establishes an important connection between memory and contemporaneity in service to its community."
"While the exemplary and highly complex design highlights local history and heritage, the Greenhouse concurrently becomes a brand-new public space for strengthening the local social dialogue, combining innovation with respect for the city's heritage."
Underlining the studio's engagement in spatial transformations and adaptation of existing structures to fit contemporary times, the architects’ redesign of the historic greenhouse honors Mendel's legacy while cultivating a new social dialogue to emerge in its community preserving a sense of belonging.
The greenhouse is clad in glass and fully-exposed side walls, while the structure opens entirely to the greenery outside the monastery, preventing any visual barriers, and inviting visitors to connect with their heritage and discover the world of genetics.
The transparent structure is primarily dedicated to the permanent exhibition of the legacy of Gregor Mendel.
Besides a permanent exhibition, the greenhouse is also reserved for various cultural facilities such as international conferences, lectures, and exhibitions.
The studio takes cues from the archival materials and original scheme of the building, CHYBIK + KRISTOF's design sustains the heritage value of the structure replicating its essence, and simultaneously adapting it into a contemporary narrative.
the new greenhouse fits seamlessly into the existing urban fabric, as the architects’ reinterpretation echoes the orientation, shape, and distinct roof of the greenhouse.
A key aesthetic, symbolic but also functional novelty is the reimagined supporting steel roof structure, drawing inspiration from Mendel's three laws of inheritance.
The nodes and branches constituting the steel supportive framing are in direct dialogue with his laws, in particular, that of hereditary segregation.
The structure both embodies and exposes Mendel's undeniable contribution to modern science through an ultimate design solution.
This honorary addition to the greenhouse preserves the integrity of the scientific invention in a resourceful way, both functionally and aesthetically.
"Although Mendel was stigmatized for his origin and faith by the political regimes of the past, our transformation immortalizes and celebrates the abbot's substantial achievements to society as a reconciliation with the past ultimately cultivating a sense of belonging," said Ondrej Chybik, co-founder of CHYBIK + KRISTOF.
"The greenhouse revives the area as a beacon of unlikely harmonious bonds working in service of its community," Chybik adds.
The architects used simple, cost-efficient, and recyclable materials such as steel to the installment of low-carbon cooling and heating systems by the concealed structure of heat pumps.
To create an energy-efficient design, other key features include a concealed system of heat pumps, shading, and heating, located underground.
Adjustable shades and embedded blinds to ensure natural cooling and ventilation in the summer and heating in the winter also contribute to the building's sustainable scheme.
Project: Mendel's GreenhouseArchitects: CHYBIK + KRISTOFLead Architect: Ondrej ChybikPhotographers: Laurian GhinitoiuBrno, Czech Republic