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Gregor Mendel’s historic greenhouse will get a 21st-century reboot

Prague-headquartered architecture and urban design studio CHYBIK + KRISTOF has unveiled plans to resurrect a historically significant yet long-forgotten greenhouse on the grounds of St. Thomas’s Abbey, a 14th-century Augustinian monastery in the Czech city of Brno.

The original greenhouse, which was destroyed by a storm in the 1870s that left only the foundations intact, was where St. Thomas’s green-thumbed abbot Gregor Mendel famously tinkered around with pea plants. Mendel’s history-altering experimentation, which involved cross-breeding different types of peas to achieve different desired traits, gave way to the birth of modern genetics and the rules of heredity. A devout priest in the then-Austro-Hungarian Empire studiously cultivating and breeding peas in an abbey greenhouse over an eight-year span (1856 through 1863) didn’t have an earth-shattering impact at the time.

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