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I S S U E 9 | S E P T E M B E R 2014

ASTRID BRYAN ADOPTING AMERICA P ROMOTI NG B ELGI U M,

THE

YACHT DESIGN AND ENGINEERING HONOURING SAX IN HIS CITY

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING PLUS: DESIGN, CULTURE AND TOURISM

NETHERLANDS

AND

LUXEMBOURG


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Private Banking.

Sometimes 3 letters make all the difference Because you shouldn’t have to compromise to achieve excellence, ING Luxembourg offers you a full experience in Private Banking. Our experts in asset management, lending solutions, wealth analysis and planning keep up-to-date to offer you the most relevant advice regarding your overall situation.

www.ing.lu/privatebanking

ING Luxembourg, Société Anonyme – 52, route d’Esch, L-2965 Luxembourg – R.C.S. Luxembourg B.6041


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Discover Benelux | Contents

Contents SEPTEMBER 2014

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COVER FEATURE 6

to award-winning companies dedicated to delicate crafts and traditional constructions, supporting the luxury that is yachting with a personal approach.

Astrid Bryan Known as the Flemish Hollywood wife gone clothing designer and, now, Hollywood film star – Bryan has quite a few stories to tell. Opening up to Discover Benelux, she talks about hard work, that breakup and how to stay true to oneself around slightly aggressive gossip press.

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Communication Solutions There might not be many things all businesses can agree on, but the importance of direct, clutter-free and proactive communication will surely make the cut. Whether concentrated to an internal base or provided as a service to external operators, communication in all its forms welcomes continuous innovation and development. Our theme presents groundbreaking communicators looking to make themselves, and you, heard.

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Yacht Design and Engineering For a complete low-down on the best of the best in yacht engineering, architecture and design, look no further than this section. We’ve spoken

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Architecture special Epure Architects boast the depth and the width of equally qualified services spread across an entire industry and more. The Belgium-based company believes masterful architecture lies in perfect balance between the client’s and the user’s needs, a philosophy that has got us swayed.

Attraction of the Month Few attractions manage the high venture of combining educational value with riveting experiences. C-mine in Belgium is, however, a master of the trade.

Honouring Sax in his City November this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Adolphe Sax, Dinant’s homegrown musical genius. A quirky musical invention later named the saxophone was to make his name known around the world, and there is no lack of pride in the creative musician’s hometown.

Restaurant of the Month With some of the highest regarded – not to mention Michelin-starred – restaurants in the world, the Benelux region has proved itself a worthy contender at the top of the culinary prize podium. Let our Restaurant of the Month tickle those taste buds!

The Eye behind the Red Thread Swedish-born Staffan Tollgård is a purveyor of interior design perfection – something Barbara Chandler, design writer at the London Evening Standard, found out when visiting his superb Chelsea showroom.

Hotels of the Month Our handpicked Hotels of the Month have an array of quality features to offer; everything from golf courses and spas to top-class restaurants and stunning views – all in the beautiful company of enthralling Benelux sceneries. What more could you want?

FEATURES 12

Professional Training & Development Developing existing talent within established business structures can be one of the most important investments you can make for your company. With a commitment to going above and beyond in qualitative business development, Luxembourg has emerged as a European focal point for professional training – and after reading this month’s special, you will understand why.

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Wellness and Beauty We never tire of learning about the newest treatments, products, tips and tricks to make us look healthy and glowing, do we? Exactly. Relish in beautifying tips from ANBOS, our introduction partner, and let our featured beauty and wellness companies guide your way through the beauty jungle.

SPECIAL THEMES

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BUSINESS 66

Regulars & Events Steve Flinders looks into English as a business language and Josiah Fisk is confused by coffee terms. Also, soak up some business inspiration from our monthly calendar, guiding you through the eventful landscape of business happenings in the Benelux countries, as well as the UK.

PLUS 9 Desirable Designs from Benelux | 10 Fashion Picks 67 Lifestyle Columns | 68 Out & About

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Discover Benelux | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader,

Discover Benelux

Silvia de Vries

Issue 9, September 2014

Matt Antoniak

Published 09.2014

Cover Photo

ISSN 2054-7218

Dany Peleman

Published by

Advertising

Scan Group

info@discoverbenelux.com

Design & Print

Sales & Key Account Managers

Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Mette Tonnesen

Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Acting Editor Julie Lindén Contributors Emmie Collinge

Corinne Camara Yasmina Haddadi Henk Gieskens Raphaël Pousse Publisher: Scan Group 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Martin Pilkington

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax +44 (0)870 933 0421 Email: info@discoverbenelux.com

Harun Osmanovic

www.discoverbenelux.com

Myriam Gwynned Dijck Barbara Chandler

Anna Parkin Carole Edrich

September is the perfect time to start afresh, following a summer of (hopefully) lazy days and time to recharge your batteries. The air is crisp and clear, and possibilities are endless – in fact, many people see the autumn as a better time to make changes in their lives than the alltoo-familiar New Year’s Eve. Alterations do require inspiration, however, which is something I hope this issue of Discover Benelux will give you plenty of. Speaking of alterations and inspiration, we’re off to a strong start this month with an appropriately solid theme on the ins and outs of yachting – from keel to deck, passerelles to interiors, parading the best of the best in naval architecture, engineering and design. And with Monaco Yacht Show kicking off on 24 September, what could be more suitable than have the coveted show introduce the theme? Continuing the topic of high quality alterations we delve into the professional training industry in Luxembourg, lining up an array of companies devoted to helping your business develop, advance and grow – with experience-backed solutions at hand. We also catch a candid moment with inspirational cover star and ex Hollywood wife Astrid Bryan, who tells all about her trials on the small screen, challenging changes she’s gone through and the numerous projects up her chic sleeves (hint… future projects are sure to involve bigger screens…).

Joshua Yancey Neil Geraghty Josiah Fisk Steve Flinders

Topping it all off are autumn fashion reports hot off the runway, features on Dutch design and an homage to Dinant-born musical genius Adolphe Sax. What more could you wish for?

Janine Sterenborg Phil Gale

Enjoy your autumn!

Berthe van den Hurk Simon Woolcot Anouk Kalmes

Julie Lindén, Acting Editor

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Group – a trading name of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles.

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Visit the Netherland’s largest indoor & outdoor living event to obtain advice from a stylist, architect or interior expert. www.woonbeurs.nl woonbeurs RAI 30 September t/m 5 October 2014

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Are you in a hurry? Please visit www.woonbeurswebwinkel.nl now


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Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Astrid Bryan

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Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Astrid Bryan

A S T R I D

B R Y A N :

Adopting America It’s tricky to pin down where professional meets personal with the Antwerp-born beauty Astrid Bryan. Confident and a lot less brash than she appears on TV, she chats candidly and unreservedly to Discover Benelux about the American dream, her latest dream-come-true moment and life since the very public breakdown of her marriage last year. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: DANY PELEMAN

While reality TV is for many the ticket to overnight fame, the five-foot-ten Belgian’s evolution has been a lot lengthier and more organic than you’d expect – although she has appeared on no fewer than six reality TV series in the past few years. On 2010’s Vlaamse Hollywood Vrouwen (Flemish Hollywood Wives), yet another European spinoff of the popular American reality show, Astrid’s rather unique approach to the English language, dubbed ‘Antwengels’ given her distinct Antwerp accent and her penchant for throwing in Americanisms, rendered her the show’s most beloved character. She rapidly gained her own show entitled Astrid in Wonderland, which ran for five seasons on the Belgian channel Vijf. Chronicling her life in Hollywood with her then-husband American businessman John Bryan, millions of Dutch speakers watched in awe as she strutted around her LA mansion, from walk-in wardrobe to glamorous pool parties, from lunches with ladies who dine to supermarket shenanigans with her real-life brother Laurens, all the while behind the wheel of her “pimped out, chromed out” Jeep (tastefully named her “pussywagon”).

The prodigal violinist’s evolution From a child violin prodigy to a teen model spotted on catwalks across the globe, an aspirational young twenty-something cha-

sing the American dream to a Belgian Hollywood Wife and author of two books turned clothing designer and big screen actress, Astrid’s talents run far deeper than frivolous reality TV. The journey hasn’t always been smooth, she explains. As a child star shouldered with the pressure of violin practice and as an 18-year-old model trying to make it big in a foreign city and a ruthless business, she admits that it was lonely at times.

with absolutely everything. It was completely my decision to focus on the violin,” she says with an emphatic nod, “and my decision to stop as well when it conflicted too much with travelling as a teenager.” After signing with the Milanese modelling agency aged 18, she gave up the string instrument virtually overnight, and admits that she barely at all plays these days. “I don’t even miss it,” she says with a coy grin.

She was no stranger to fame when she at six years of age was confronted by a national television audience with just her violin and a pianist for company. She’d started lessons as a four-year-old and her remarkable aptitude was immediately evident. “It was the only thing I did actually,” she laughs. “We used to listen to classical music with my dad every evening and this really made me want to play as well as them.”

The ebbs and flows of popularity

Today, as she reflects on her childhood from her home in LA, she admits sacrificing a great deal of socialising and youthful freedom as she was forever practising or attending private lessons, but she’s adamant that she bears no grudges to her parents – often the driving force behind successful children. “My parents are the strong bones in my body, they support me

Open and candid, Astrid shows that her dual citizenship is clearly more than just a piece of paper, as the typically Belgian characteristics of discretion and reserve seem to have merged with American brazenness. Now a resident of West Hollywood, “just on the border of Beverly Hills”, she may have settled into the Hollywood way of life but back home in Belgium the press are constantly clamouring for her attention. Given today’s obsession with the cult of celebrity, Belgian tabloids are desperate to get a piece of the Astrid action – and never more so than when she’s at her lowest. “During the divorce the gossip press were really aggressive. Fortunately I’m so far away so I don’t have to see it but I feel really bad for my family. I’ve always said ‘no comment’; no matter how many lies they write about me. I think that’s my

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Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Astrid Bryan

kids they used to tease me.” Given the original Hollywood Wives show and its malicious gossip, Astrid was palpably relieved that the friendships struck up by the Flemish wives were much more genuine. “Ours wasn’t scripted reality. As Europeans we’ve got completely different mentalities to Americans. I wouldn’t be able to backstab even if they asked me to. I like to stay true to myself and I never make reckless decisions.”

The biggest decision of all Despite the doubt cast by the tabloids after a typically Hollywood-esque opulent wedding to American businessman John Bryan in 2006, the seven-year-marriage appeared to be as solid and wonderful as anyone would hope. Yet last year’s breakup came as a “huge shock” and left Astrid reeling. One year later, she admits that she’s much happier in this new chapter and life has moved on.

From child violin prodigy to model spotted on catwalks around the globe – Astrid Bryan’s talents span multiple disciplines and industries. Still, the rise to fame was not all smooth sailing.

smartest decision – and now most of them have given up trying to get a comment from me,” she laughs in her typically downto-earth manner. Despite perhaps not always being juicy enough for the gossip press, she appreciates her huge popularity back home. In fact, she was voted Woman of the Year 2012 by the well-liked Belgian magazine Humo for the genuinely cited reason that so many women, gays and teenagers consider her prime BFF (Best Female Friend) material. Now inundated with requests for her presence at openings, parties and festivals during her thrice-yearly visits to her home country, the trips back aren’t that relaxing anymore, she explains with a weary sigh, as she’s recognised everywhere she goes.

No stranger to hard work Once content to study, marry and settle in Belgium, it was a chance entry into an Elite Models Competition aged 17 that sparked her decade-spanning international modelling career. Growing up she always half-ex-

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pected to follow in her father’s footsteps by becoming a lawyer, but these days she’s more professionally involved with her clothing collection and being media-savvy. Often found at her desk sketching or out looking for inspiration, throwing herself into the design process of Astrid by Astrid Bryan has given the 31-year-old a new lease of life. The current line (for which she’s now working on the following SS2015 collection) is wisely aimed at her “biggest fans”. A fresh and fun collection for Belgian high-street chain ZEB consisting of casual and affordable pieces, very much in vogue, and very much inspired by Astrid’s perceptions of Los Angeles. “It’s all about the Sunset Strip, the palm trees and everything you associate with LA. I’m really ‘in’ the collection,” she explains. An arbiter of cool, her 1.78m frame has inspired envy and copycats for years – and from the way she talks about female friendships it’s clear that she’s perhaps had some scrapes. “Growing up I didn’t have that many friends,” she reveals bashfully, “as I was taller and skinnier than the older

In fact, life has moved into another realm entirely she tells me excitedly, as next on the agenda for the Belgian polymath is a role in an American film. “Filming starts this week so I’ve been really busy learning the script and getting to know my character,” she says with a broad grin. “I’ve got to visit a speech teacher to work on getting a French twinge in my English accent.” She continues with a self-deprecating laugh: “Obviously I’ve not got the main role but it’s still a really big deal for me! I’d love to get into film, so if this can lead somewhere organically then I’d be over the moon.” The psychological thriller entitled Broken Vows is due out late 2015 and stars American heartthrobs Wes Bentley and the Hunger Games’ Jamie Alexander. Bringing the best of Belgium to the United States, Astrid’s charming mannerisms have garnered her a real following in the Benelux and now she’s set to conquer the States too. From a talented Belgian gene pool, she’s fortunately grown up with the quintessentially Belgian traits of self-deprecating humour. Never one to take herself too seriously, she may have acquired a twinge of American swagger, but that’s just to get ahead in Hollywood. It’s certainly working so far.


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Discover Benelux | Design | Desirable Designs

Desirable Designs from Benelux Rustic classics and colourful prints come together in an early autumn feast of scrumptious Benelux design. Mix vintage materials with contemporary expressions to revamp your home for the most important design season of all. Happy decorating!

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BY JULIE LINDÉN | PRESS PHOTOS

2: Linen bedding set This 100% Belgian linen set appeals to our rustic tastes. As autumn knocks on our doors, it’s a good idea to invest in good-quality linens that will last you for seasons. The best thing about linen materials? They keep you cool in the summer, while nice and cosy in the winter. How’s that for investment? (Pillow cover: €43.50 and coverlet: from €257.50)

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www.libeco.com

3: NewWave Cities of the World Mugs We absolutely adore this line of city cups and plates from Villeroy & Boch – and even more so now that Amsterdam’s got a place! Each one inspired by a world metropolis, they make it easy to drink your warm beverage to even warmer memories of city breaks. A cuppa in the classic London designs, perhaps? Or why not a flat white decorated by the Sydney Opera House? (From €16) www.villeroy-boch.co.uk

Who said decorating was only for your home? BOTTLER is the ultimate yacht accessory available in a range of materials (even pure gold!) – each crafted with a watchmaker’s precision in the Netherlands. We love that each BOTTLER is unique, and that each piece can be engraved with a name or message. Read more about BOTTLER on page 45. (From. €5,000) www.bottler.nl

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This übercool lamp is made for Dutch Droog by Rody Graumans, and creates a natural focal point in any modern living space. Or why not combine the old with the new? Hang this revamped version of a chandelier over a rusty bed frame or antique table and you’ve got yourself a design statement with a punch. (€2,695) www.droog.com

This September we’re dreaming about these candycoloured Twirre cushions from SNURK. “Promoting horizontal living” is a tagline we’re definitely into, and we’re not going to be the last ones to try it out. (€39.95)

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www.snurkbeddengoed.nl

4: 85 Lamps for Droog by Rody Graumans 1: BOTTLER bottle holder

5: Twirre cushions

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6: AA black glasses Droog continues to impress us with this line of matte black glasses that gives just the right kind of old-school glamour to a table setup. Part of Droog’s collection for the Rijksmuseum, the line celebrates history with a nod to present-day glass. (€21) www.droog.com

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Discover Benelux | Design | Fashion Picks

S E P T E M B E R

F A S H I O N

P I C K S :

Bold autumn statements September, widely known as the fashion highlight of the year, is upon us with all its statement wear and darker nuances. Maison Martin Margiela leads the way as always, pairing bold golden textures with an edgy cut; altogether sharpening your style for sartorial success. BY JULIE LINDÉN | PRESS PHOTOS

WOMEN 1: Jumpsuit, double apron and sneaker-boots by Maison Martin Margiela, AW14 collection

2: Hilly leather bag from Smaak Amsterdam

Photo: Maison Martin Margiela

This leather bag from Smaak Amsterdam is a versatile wardrobe lifesaver in the making. Spacious but clean-cut, this piece is simple enough to work with a multitude of looks, while retaining uniqueness in the standout shade of ochre.

(€179) Photo: Smaak Amsterdam

Call it rustic chic; call it madness. Margiela is, no matter what you say, not famous for playing it safe – and we love it. This season saw the Belgian wonder son match English tartans with his signature split-toe boot, this time a glowing jewel tone. Talk about golden boy.

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Available at www.smaakamsterdam.com

4: Michael van der Ham skirt (€790) Photo: Net-a-Porter We love this appliquéd bouclé skirt from Michael van der Ham. Pair with black stockings and cognac leather boots for a chic, autumnal look.

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Available at www.net-a-porter.com

3: Peter Pilotto embellished crepe top (€740) Photo: Net-a-Porter

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5: Zoe Karssen sweatshirt

The quarter-Belgian duo behind Peter Pilotto keep bringing the goods, and this embellished shirt is practically sweet enough to nibble (don’t those beads look like candy to you?). Pair with a leather skirt and boots for a look of attitude, or dress it down with skinny jeans and flats.

(From €100) Photo: Zoe Karssen

Available at www.net-a-porter.com

Available at www.zoekarssenshop.com

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Dutch brand Zoe Karssen has got urban just-rolled-outof-the-bed chic down. This azure soft sweatshirt can easily and successfully be combined with everything from slouchy culottes to skinnies, or a simple leather skirt.


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Discover Benelux | Design | Fashion Picks

MEN 1: Cashmere coat, leather satchel jacket, classic trousers and boots by Maison Martin Margiela, AW14 collection. Photo: Maison Martin Margiela In vogue with a twist: Margiela does autumn elegance with impeccable detailing. An otherwise simple look is completely altered by mixing leather and wool – a gentle nod to the “I-just-threw-this-on” boho influence.

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2: Raf Simons printed cotton T-shirt, (€225) Photo: Mr Porter This Raf Simons tee proves why the Belgian designer practically invented casual cool. Wear under an open shirt for a laidback appearance, and under a blazer for an occasion requiring a smarter silhouette. Available at www.mrporter.com

3: Raf Simons cotton-jersey sweatshirt (€200) Photo: Mr Porter Alright, so we like Raf Simons. But how can you not when orange has been given centre stage in his autumn collection? You can’t go wrong with a statement-coloured slim sweatshirt. You just can’t. Available at www.mrporter.com

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1 5: Ann Demeulemeester Suede high-tops (€610) Photo: Mr Porter Complete your smart-casual look with these black, suede trainers. After all, what would this page be without a completely black Ann Demeulemeester piece?

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Available at www.mrporter.com

4: Ann Demeulemeester long-length textured cotton shirt (€410) Photo: Mr Porter Famously dark – and yet there is occasional light to be found in Ann Demeulemeester’s design. This shirt is a great addition to any wardrobe, with its interesting pattern and long frame – not to mention the characteristically barely-there seam details. Available at www.mrporter.com

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Staffan Tollgård - the eye behind the red thread I have come to London’s fashionable Chelsea, just a stone’s throw from the lush green grounds of the Royal Hospital and the upmarket antiques and interior design boutiques of Pimlico Road. BY BARBARA CHANDLER, DESIGN EDITOR FOR THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD | PHOTOS: RICHARD GOODING

Outside, around an imposing newly-paved square with contemporary sculptures and linked by elegant walkways, is one of London’s most exclusive recent developments: the Grosvenor Waterside complex of 800 high-end apartments. There is the faint sound of rushing water from a dramatic weir alongside a private waterway that leads, via a series of locks, directly into the river itself. Inside, where I am sitting, is a doubleheight über-modern space on the ground floor of an otherwise residential building, the sun flooding in through tall windows. It is exquisitely furnished and has the relaxed,

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comfortable feeling of a luxury home – indeed, many passers-by think it is one. But everything I can see all around, from the dramatic chandeliers to the sofas, rugs, tables and chairs – even the artwork on the walls – is for sale. This superb showroom is the result of one man’s passion, vision and determination, and took Swedish-born, London-based interior architect Staffan Tollgård around two years to make happen.

“Everyone wants a place in London” Tollgård, brought up in Stockholm and trained here in London at the prestigious


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Discover Benelux | Feature | Staffan Tollgård

Inchbald School of Design, has been practising as an interior designer since January 2005. Through skill, hard work and personal recommendations, he now has an international clientele that includes financiers, entrepreneurs, politicians, doctors, lawyers, and people in the media and the arts, including a conductor of world renown. He has been named twice in House & Garden’s portfolio of 100 Leading Designers and was on the Sunday Times’ recent list of the Leading 30 UK Design Practices. Whilst Tollgård’s practice fulfils commissions worldwide – from a chalet in Switzerland to a Saudi palace and Portuguese villas – London homes for London-based international clients are the main thrust of his work: “Nowadays, it seems, everyone wants to have a place in London.” Tollgård, with his empathy, flair for originality and meticulous attention to detail, has built up a reputation for sourcing appropriate and interesting pieces for his clients, who benefit from his travels to trade fairs, factories and workshops worldwide in an ongoing quest for beautiful things. Over the past few years, he became aware that much of what he was tracking down was not available elsewhere in London, or was not being shown to best advantage.

Domestic space of complete design So was born an audacious idea: to fill the most beautiful showroom he could find with beautiful, exclusive furnishings – and to use his skill as an interior designer to create the feeling of a home rather than

shop: “Yes, above all, I wanted my space to be domestic… and a place where people can see complete design, all of a piece, not lots of separate pieces standing on their own,” he says.

LEFT: A home rather than a shop: Tollgård’s Chelsea showroom has the feeling of a luxury home – indeed, many passers-by think it is one. BELOW: Dutch brand Linteloo, established 20 years ago and named after its founder, crafts elegant and striking design pieces. Photos: Linteloo

Finding the right premises was a challenge, involving long searches on the internet and visits to around 20 disappointingly unsuitable units. Finally, success – a combination of luck and very shrewd judgment. The space in which we sit is conspicuous for its six-metre height, but was being used by the developers up to completion as a site office, with a lowered false ceiling, when Tollgård came to view it. He quickly realised the potential of the space up above and clinched the deal. Now, he not only has his beautiful, lofty showroom, but also a mezzanine for his 14-strong interior design team. Thus, someone is always on hand to help with details of any piece of interest. “We believe that great design deserves to be sold by designers who can tell its story,” says Tollgård. Everything in his showroom is for sale or can be specified, from the architectural lighting and invisible wall speakers to the sleek, polished concrete floor and the sophisticated, textured silver grey timber cladding salvaged from Austrian barns. He adds: “And, of course, we greatly value the humans behind a piece: the designer and the maker.”

Stories of treasured suppliers The better to tell his stories, Tollgård has travelled all over the world visiting the designers and makers behind the exclusive brands he represents – around 40 in all. He becomes increasingly animated as we chat about some of his most treasured suppliers. First, the background to the chair I am sitting in: with graceful tapered legs, its back is a slender arch of solid wood, made, I learn, by Porada, an old, established Italian firm. “This chair is virtually backless,” Tollgård points out, “so you can see right through it. This means that all the details of a table beyond are visible – and stops that

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Discover Benelux | Feature | Staffan Tollgård

Tollgård’s originality and meticulous attention to detail has earned him a reputation for sourcing appropriate and interesting pieces for his clients.

closed-in look you can get with a line of solid chairs.” Back or no back, it was very comfortable. Other Italian brands which Tollgård represents are Porro (with a tradition of craftsmanship dating back to 1925) and Driade, with distinctive and often quirky signature

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provided by a huge stable of modern designers that includes many pieces by arguably the world’s best-known modern furniture designer, Philippe Starck from Paris. Also find Flos, a leader in technology for contemporary lighting, and the pioneers of great modern classics. Behind me are more chairs, each one set in its own boxed

display, like a piece of art. Tollgård takes down another favourite in solid wood with a woven wicker seat by J. L. Møller, founded in Denmark in 1944. He emphasises with a loving caress the lovely way the wood is shaped. “Each one arrives fully-assembled; it is literally impossible to take these chairs apart.”


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Discover Benelux | Feature | Staffan Tollgård

Another of his favourites is the charming My Chair, made by the Swedish firm of Stolab, also with an impressive pedigree – they started making solid wood furniture in Smålandsstenar in 1907. Now the design studio of Space Copenhagen has brought them right up to date with a playful and poetic shape. Holland in recent times has become famous for its own brand of modern design, and new companies deliver a style that is light-hearted, witty – irreverent even. Moooi is a good example, founded by the maverick Marcel Wanders only in 2002. Moooi is the Dutch word for beauty: “We just added an extra o for extra beauty,” Wanders once remarked. Now his graceful yet bulbous white chandelier for Flos is suspended as an arresting feature of the showroom. Also from Holland is Linteloo, established 20 years ago and named after its founder. Now working with them is Piet Boon, famous for his signature furniture pieces, lending his name to the company he founded in 1983. Also from Europe comes Eggersmann, crafting tailor-made kitchens in Germany for more than a hundred years. Brokis glass lights come from the Czech Republic where master glassmakers can blow thin transparent shades for their Balloon range to an enormous size. These lamps can sit on the floor, or be adapted to wall or ceiling. De La Espada is a Portuguese company making edgy modern furniture by the likes of Turkish Autoban, and British designer Matthew Hilton. From Spain comes BD Barcelona with pieces by design greats such as Ross Lovegrove, Jaime Hayon, and Konstantin Grcic.

ABOVE & FAR LEFT BOTTOM: Piet Boon, famous for his signature furniture pieces, has conceived many of the pieces shown at Tollgård’s showroom, many defined by their minimalist elegance. Photos: Piet Boon

room. EOQ is a new brand from Hong Kong, and Neri & Hu are Chinese architects whose furniture designs are made by De La Espada. Flooring here is as intriguing as the furniture. Tollgård tells me about Kasthall, with perhaps the oldest credentials of all, weaving rugs in Sweden since 1889. Yet the design of the Glimmer rug on display is cool and contemporary, with its silky shades of grey and distressed texture. Shortly, Tollgård will launch his own range of rugs for German JAB, significantly called Red Thread. ‘Röda tråden’ is a powerful Scandinavian metaphor to describe a unifying principle in any creative work, be it a colour repeated in a painting or a refrain in a piece of music. Certainly, walking round Tollgård’s showroom you can sense a red thread at work in the personal and creative edit, which uses natural materials, valued craftsmanship, and subtle down colours in a restful, neutral palette with shades of cream, beige and grey, enlivened with subtle textures.

You cannot see the thread of course, and it would rather jar the eye if you could. But a unifying force there certainly is – and one to enjoy, admire and trust.

Staffan Tollgård Grosvenor Waterside, Gatliff Road, London SW1W 8QN; 020 7952 6070 www.tollgard.co.uk

Dubbed ‘the sharpest eye in London’, Barbara Chandler is a best-selling photographer and specialist writer on design and the home, among other things contributing regularly to Homes & Property at the London Evening Standard for the past 20 years and more. Chandler has won countless awards, including Contribution to the Design Industry, Furniture Writer of the Year, and Home Improvements Journalist of the Year, and she has written numerous books and sat as the chair of judges of many coveted designer awards.

Further afield furniture and flooring Travelling further afield, Staffan has recently been to the States to discover Mark Albrecht, whose furniture is slender in the extreme: steel sections, latticed leather and solid wood. Also from the States is Chilewich, who has, a little improbably, made woven vinyl chic for rugs, tablemats and more. From Canada comes Bocci, with blown glass spheres grouped into a huge choice of chandeliers – a coloured one hangs in the entrance of the show-

Mark Albrecht, Credenza. Photo: Mark Albrecht

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Discover Benelux | Interview | Hi There... Anouk Yve!

Hi there… AnoukYve! Every month Discover Benelux catches up with one of the region’s notable faces to uncover their secrets about the place they call home. First up is Dutch fashion icon AnoukYve, founder and Executive Director of online fashion network Creators of Desire, taking us on a tour of her country’s capital. TEXT: JULIE LINDÉN | PRESS PHOTOS

DB: Hi there, Anouk! You know Amsterdam like the back of your hand. What’s the best thing about the city? AY: The best thing about Amsterdam must be the open-minded people living there. They are very direct and honest, which might take some getting used to, but trust me – it is all you wish for. We don't go around life – we go right through it. That's why Amsterdam is never boring; there's always something to do.

DB: You've started your own fashion blog network, Creators of Desire, which has become the favourite daily online stop for more than one million women. What is the secret behind the Dutch sense of entrepreneurship? AY: The Dutch are very punctual and straightforward. We know what we want and are not afraid to ask for it. Right there lies the key.

DB: Thanks for your time, Anouk! Tell us, what's next for you? AY: Besides Creators of Desire I've just launched two new companies to advise brands in their content strategies. I also have plans to create my own clothing line and I'm working on a book. It’s going to be a busy season! Visit Anouk’s blog at www.anoukyve.creatorsofdesire.com

DB: Sounds wonderful! So on a day off, where do you go? AY: I love going to Westerpark, the site of Amsterdam’s former gasworks. It’s an urban, cultural meeting point for young and old, and it’s perfect for a lazy stroll or just relaxing in one of the cool, hipster venues. DB: It’s time for a bite and something to drink. Where do you take us? AY: I always avoid the touristy areas and wander around the local neighborhood “the Pijp” with all its lovely coffee bars, the “Albert Cuypmarkt” and cool little concept stores. Try Sla, Boca’s or popular local hangout Het Paardje. DB: So you’re quite the foodie then! More importantly, your know-how in the fashion world is as noted as it is outstanding. How will you stay in vogue this autumn? AY: People who make an effort are always in vogue if you ask me. Apart from that: bring on the knits (the bigger the better!), because they’re definitely one of this autumn's key trends. A fan of Amsterdam’s urban quarters and hipster hangouts, Anouk Yve, founder and creator of blog platform Creators of Desire, answers our questions on autumn trends, her upcoming projects and that sought-after Dutch entrepreneurial spirit.

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Discover Benelux | Dutch Design Special | Fatboy

Fatboy stands for good quality, original, fun and useful products – items that can take the wear and tear of everyday life and still look great.

The one and only beanbag TEXT: CAROLE EDRICH | PHOTOS: FATBOY

“There is only one bean bag!” proclaims the advert. That’s certainly true in mainland Europe, and Fatboy’s products, particularly their best-selling trademark beanbags, are growing in popularity at an immense rate in the UK. The reason for this is the consistency with which Fatboy designers create good quality, original, fun and useful products that meet stringent requirements regarding safety, sustainability and ethical standards. In fact, every Fatboy item shows a design quality, zest for life and depth of thought in their design that’s rare. The designers; who collaborate with suppliers, producers, thinkers and creatives all over the world in the development of a collection that represents an attitude to life as much as the brand, take inspiration from everyday products. They take away everything unnecessary (including the idea that products are supposed to feel and look a certain way), then give the designs an original Fatboy

twist until they are left with something iconic. It is this deep and careful consideration that makes the Fatboy collection so great. It all started when Alex Bergman saw the potential of a new way of seating when the first bean bag was created in Finland. From this, the Fatboy brand was introduced into the Netherlands in 2002. Twelve years later, every piece of the Fatboy Collection resists pigeonholing. The pieces are bold, unexpected and oversized. They’re bright, brash and fun, and they are used in the strangest of places. You’ll find them in superyachts and marinas, trendy outdoor cafés and museums, in festivals, peoples’ homes and even stylish kindergardens. The only thing these places have in common is that they show an appreciation of the original and a desire to relax, have fun and be different.

able online or from retail stores throughout the UK. One thing’s for sure, whether it’s the super-comfortable CH-AIR (an air-filled sofa with securing anchor), CO9 (a bemused-looking bunny bean bag that comes in the three sizes of bigger-thanbean-bag, comfortable-for-three and absolutely huge), the tablet tuxedo (a protective envelope that’s a cool combination of classic design and colourful fun) or RockCoco (the first outdoor LED chandelier in the world) your Fatboy product will be a useful, well designed, unconventional and a valuable asset. www.fatboy.com

Even if you don’t yet recognize the brand you’ll know the products, which are avail-

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Discover Benelux | Culture Feature | Sax and the City

Sax and the City As the year of 2014 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Adolphe Sax, his hometown Dinant is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the life of the musical genius. TEXT: NEIL GERAGHTY | MAIN PHOTO: WBT, ALESSANDRA PETROSINO

In front of the town hall in the charming riverside town of Dinant in Belgium, a clock slowly ticks away the hours, but it’s unlike any clock you’ve ever seen. Designed by the Belgian master glassmaker Bernard Tirtiaux, a three and a half metre high glass saxophone rises out of a striated aquamarine base that represents the river Meuse. This striking sculpture is in fact a water clock, and every eight seconds a drop of tinted water splashes down into the body of the saxophone. If all goes to plan, the saxophone will be full on 6 November 2014, a day that marks the bicentenary of

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the birth of Adolphe Sax – inventor of the saxophone and Dinant’s most famous son.

The inventiveness of a mastermind, and a saxophone played by Bill Clinton As Belgium gears up for a solemn four-year period commemorating wars and battles that shaped the course of world history, the Belgians are keen not to overlook their home-grown musical genius who through his quirky musical invention enriched the cultural lives of millions and inadvertently provided the soundtrack of the 20th century. There’s no better place to learn about

Sax’s extraordinary life than in Brussels’s internationally acclaimed Museum of Musical Instruments. Until January 2015, MIM is running a Sax200 exhibition that includes displays taken from its own extensive collection of original Sax instruments, also featuring iconic saxophones from all over the world. This includes one played by that jazz-loving president, Bill Clinton. What immediately strikes the visitor is the sheer inventiveness of Sax. The saxophone was just one of many weird and wonderful musical instruments he created. Some,


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Discover Benelux | Culture Feature | Sax and the City

OPPOSITE PAGE AND ABOVE LEFT: Dinant is a small city immeasurably proud of its most celebrated citizen, Adolphe Sax (Photos: WBT, Alessandra Petrosino/JP Remy). TOP RIGHT: La Clepsydre de Monsieur Sax (Photo: AIAS, Ph. Dehuit). RIGHT: This year marks the 200th century mark since the birth of Belgium’s home-grown musical genius (Photo: MIM).

A grand image of a small city

such as saxhorns, proved immensely popular with military bands while instruments such as the extraordinary triffid-shaped seven-bell trombone became musical white elephants. Although the saxophone was universally admired by composers (Bizet praised its “restrained affection and passion tinged with reserve”), it was only when American street musicians adopted it in the late 19th century that the saxophone’s popularity really took off. With the birth of the Jazz Age, the rest is – as they say – history.

Nowhere more than in Dinant can Sax’s legacy be best appreciated. The town is inordinately proud of its most celebrated citizen and everywhere you look you see the sinuous contours of saxophones. These range from saxophone-shaped couques de dinant, reputedly the world’s hardest biscuit, to a collection of surreal public works of art. The most conspicuous of these is the Art on Sax installation on Dinant’s Charles de Gaulle Bridge. Commissioned in 2010 by the International Adolphe Sax Association and the Maison Tourisme de la Haute Meuse, the installation consists of 28 three metre high saxophones painted in colourful graphic designs representing the countries of the European Union. Designs vary from lucky green shamrocks depicting Ireland to

ghoulish splashes of blood representing Dracula and Romania. The view of these giant saxophones framing Dinant’s famous onion-domed Gothic cathedral has become the definitive image of this tiny city, and what started out as a temporary installation has now become a much loved permanent landmark. Adolphe Sax was born just a stone’s throw away from the cathedral, and although his house is no longer standing, the road now named after him is full of tributes to the great man. A line of “totem poles” dubbed The Anamorphoses Trail represents the seven members of the saxophone family and leads up to a delightful casual statue of Sax who sits languidly on a bench with a saxophone on his lap. Behind the statue, La Maison du Monsieur Sax is a free per-

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Discover Benelux | Culture Feature | Sax and the City

There’s no better place to learn about Sax’s extraordinary life than in Brussels’ internationally acclaimed Museum of Musical Instruments. Until January 2015, MIM is running a Sax200 exhibition that includes displays taken from its own extensive collection of original Sax instruments, also featuring iconic saxophones from all over the world (Photos: MIM).

manent exhibition that guides visitors in from the street along a short saxophoneshaped trail. Highlights include informative videos of his life, audio excerpts from saxophone classics including Ravel’s Bolero and a giant book hinged to the wall which opens up to reveal quotes in praise of the saxophone from the likes of Berlioz. As you stroll along Rue Adolphe Sax you’ll notice several shop windows emblazoned with humorous cartoons lampooning Sax’s life. They are part of the Vitrines de Monsieur Sax exhibition in which top Belgian cartoonists such as Serdu and Vadot have been commissioned to celebrate Sax’s bicentenary. Drawing on Belgium’s world famous comic strip tradition, the 28 cartoons are proving to be every bit as popular as the giant saxophones lining Dinant’s Bridge.

Sax’s Sundays and solemn celebrations Perhaps the most enjoyable tradition in Dinant inspired by Adolphe Sax is Mr Sax’s Sundays. Each Sunday afternoon in July and August, a different jazz band ambles along the river Meuse pausing at the many brasseries that line its banks. Built along a river gorge, Dinant is a natural amphitheatre for sound. Above the chug of pleasure boats and the chink of glasses filled with Leffe (a beer that originated in Dinant), the mellow strains of saxophones and trom-

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bones lend an infectiously upbeat ambience to summer street life here. A more serious musical tribute takes place every four years when Dinant hosts the Adolphe Sax International Competition for classical saxophonists. The competition normally takes place during the summer but this year it has been deferred until late October with the finals taking place during the bicentennial weekend celebrations on 8 November. Other events planned include a mass gathering of saxophonists in what promises to be one of the biggest street parties Dinant has ever seen.

Finally, while you’re in Dinant don’t miss the Maison de la Pataphonie, a learning centre dedicated to the exploration of innovative musical sounds. Housed in two delightful half-timbered houses dating back to the 15th century, Michel Rossi Mori, an accomplished percussionist, guides school groups and adults alike around Pataphonie, a fantasy land where everyday objects become the most unlikely musical instruments. Some are truly surprising, like when Mori dips flower pots into water creating strange warbling sounds worthy of a Star Trek episode. Listening to the beautiful strains of harps made from nails and tennis racquet violins, you feel that the inventive Monsieur Sax would thoroughly approve. Dinant. Photo: WBT, JP Remy


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OP EN

7

Mo The DA nd kitc YS ay he A W Su - Sat n is o E nd ur ay day pen EK 17 - 23 18 - 2 3

Selamat Datang! Restaurant Long Pura “Eternal Temple” is located in a typical monumental building in the centre of Amsterdam, near the Western Church in the cosy Jordaan area. Here hides a beautiful and colourful Indonesian temple. Upon entering you will be pleasantly surprised by the contemporary and stylish interior with Balinese elements and a warm candlelight ambiance. Our Balinese Chef and his team prepare tastes and fragrances to delight all your senses. You will be greeted with the “Selamat Datang”welcome from our traditional Indonesian dressed staff. Seven days a week we invite you to experience this contemporary and Balinese atmosphere.

“Dining at Long Pura is a real experience. Eating here is guaranteed to give you a high level of service and quality of food at a pleasant price.”

PRIVATE ROOMS FOR GROUPS! From 15-100 guests

LONG PURA | Rozengracht 46-48, 1016 ND Amsterdam | Tel +31(0)20-6238950 | www.restaurant-longpura.com


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Communication Solutions

D O C L E R

H O L D I N G :

An open-minded approach to business and investment Any enterprise wishing to thrive must keep open lines of dialogue between themselves and their customers, as well as investors. Docler Holding takes this concept one step further and is constantly coming up with innovative new ways to encourage their employees to also talk to each other. TEXT: JOSHUA YANCEY | PHOTOS: OLIVIER MINAIRE / DOCLER HOLDING

Founded in Hungary in 2001 by György Gattyán, Docler Holding has grown into a multinational enterprise employing more than 1,000 people across various fields, ranging from technology to entertainment and investment. At its Luxembourg headquarters, great care is taken to remove the normal boundaries that separate employees and encourage free dialogue. CEO Laszlo Czero can often be found walking through the open plan office chatting to one of his many teams. “We want to never stop improving,” he says, “and we feel the best way to do that is to encourage people to come up with ideas and

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then give them the opportunity to explore that concept.”

surrounds us and then make decisions based on this,” Czero explains.

A receptive company philosophy

From the outside, this method might seem risky. A lot of more conservative businesses rely solely on market research and figures, but this is only one aspect of life. “We are looking to create a state of mind,” he continues, “I compare it to playing poker and that special moment when you know you will win, without even looking at the cards.”

This openness also informs the method Czero and his teams use to approach decisionmaking. Their training programme – known as the Expert Operator System – has proven so successful that they plan to introduce courses in the US in the near future. Just as the company philosophy that spawned it, EOS is built around receptiveness.

“Don’t overanalyse” “It is a way to open up a person’s creativity and imagination to the information that

This approach was the genesis of Oranum.com, one of Docler Holding’s many


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Docler Holding is constantly looking to invest in exciting projects. With a noted, open-minded business philosophy and extensive communicative skills on board, opportunities are boundless. ABOVE LEFT: Laszlo Czero, CEO of Docler Holding, believes open lines of dialogue are imperative to his company’s great success

Stile in Budapest, which is quickly becoming the premiere showcase for luxury brands in the region. The newly renovated seven-story building houses such names as Tom Ford, Sergio Rossi and Oscar de la Renta while offering discerning shoppers first class dining and numerous other services as well.

projects. Oranum is an online spiritual community, and though this might seem a strange enterprise for a tech-driven business, it now generates increasing revenue for the company. The idea for Oranum grew from a single discussion and currently boasts over one million psychic readings. “We don’t overanalyse. If we like something, we go for it,” Czero says. Indeed this mindset is crucial in an entrepreneur, but he seems to elevate it to philosophical levels – and it appears to be paying off. Docler Holding recently opened a luxury goods shopping complex, Il Bacio Di

In addition to investments such as this, Docler Holding is also branching out into films. In 2013 Docler Entertainment released its first feature film, a taut thriller entitled Open Grave starring Sharto Copley. They then followed it up with Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks based on the awardwinning play of the same name, and plans are in the works to produce and distribute several more films in the next few years.

Strengthening connections and forging new partnerships Docler Holding’s online division is probably its most visible. They are one of the largest domain registers in the EU and house some of the biggest servers in Europe. Indeed, one of their single largest components is their adult entertainment section, which

Czero admits is a delicate subject given how some people might react to it. However, he doesn’t shy away from the topic, demonstrating yet another example of his open approach to business and investment. When Czero talks about the future of the company, he has quite a bit to say. With such a diverse range of interests and projects, he never seems to be short on plans. “We have a lot of good ideas and a lot of good people,” he says, “and we are always looking to expand and attract investors.” Since moving their headquarters to Luxembourg in 2013, Czero and his teams are looking forward to strengthening the company’s connections in the Benelux region while continuing to forge new partnerships throughout the rest of Europe. With their penchant for open expression and willingness to explore ideas, there is little wonder why they have expanded so rapidly in such a short time. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Docler Holding. www.doclerholding.com

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Communication Solutions

Exploding onto the web scene From starting out six years ago as a pair of “audacious”web entrepreneurs, the duo behind Luxembourg-based agency Explose has gone on to make waves in the realms of web design. With creative flair and an egalitarian approach, it’s their commitment to always delivering the utmost quality that has earned them an impressive list of clients from across Europe and internationally. TEXT: ANNA PARKIN | PHOTOS: BERNARD DE KEYZER / EXPLOSE

Launched by web entrepreneurs Nourddine Sli and Romuald Brisson in 2009, Luxembourg City’s Explose agency has come a long way in the past six years – with major digital projects for a range of European household names and international companies under their belt. It’s a success story that Sli admits could have seemed unlikely at the time. “There we were, starting on our own, just two youngsters who knew almost no-one in the industry,” he recalls. The bravery paid off, and the pair continues to stand by their

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daring approach. “We’ve always been audacious,” adds Sli with a grin.

Diverse clients Sli’s job title is User Interface designer, although he refers to himself as the “creative”. Brisson, meanwhile, is a developer, ensuring the company’s outlook is as technologically advanced as it is stylish. Over the years, the brand has gradually increased in size to accommodate their expanding portfolios, and there are now six team members working at the company.

“I mean, already with just two of us we had the main bases covered, but now that there are six of us in the team, it allows us to offer a really specialised service,” he explains. Specialising in graphic design and the development of interactive media, Explose has a diverse client list and offers a wide range of digital strategy services, including web design, e-commerce, social networking, brand content, mobile platforms and apps.


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Communication Solutions

working on and we always enjoy what we do,” he explains. It’s this passion which Sli believes sets Explose apart from the crowd, along with his team’s dedicated knowledge. “We’re constantly seeing an increase in the number of web agencies, but there aren’t many that can call themselves real specialists – people who have been there from the beginning,” he asserts. “Everyone in our team comes from a different working and cultural background, but we’re all specialists in our field.”

Strong team

OPPOSITE PAGE: The Explose team. From left to right, from top to bottom: Ilir, Gaëtan, Thomas, Romuald, Pauline, Nourddine. Photo: Copyright Bernard De Keyzer. THIS PAGE, TOP: Website for Trek Factory Racing, international pro cycling team. BELOW LEFT: Website for POST Luxembourg, Luxembourg’s first postal and telecommunications service. RIGHT: Website for David Soner, street artist.

Stylish aesthetic Recent projects include working with longterm collaborators Minale Design Strategy on their rebranding of Luxembourg’s postal service – formerly known as "P&T" and now simply called "Post". Minale Design Strategy focused on the rebranding while Explose took care of all things digital such as web design and mobile apps. Sli is also particularly proud of creating the new website for American cycling team Trek Factory Racing. “We wanted to ensure the user was transported into the world of cycling, all the while ensuring the site had a modern design and stylish aesthetic,” he says. “They gave us free rein to use all the

technology we thought would make the project work,” he enthuses. It’s this freedom which Sli argues is fundamental when it comes to his job. “Our clients tend to have complete confidence in us, and trust that we know how to do our job well, and to the highest quality,” he adds.

Specialist knowledge Whether a sports website or a fashion brand, according to Sli, the type of company he’s working for on a project is irrelevant because the same passion for technology and creativity emerges in every job. “We bring originality to any area we’re

The majority of Explose’s clients come from Belgium, Luxembourg and France, and it’s in the former that Sli can see the most potential for growth. “If we ever did expand it would probably be by opening a new agency in Belgium,” he muses. “We have a fair amount of clients there – yes – that could be the next step.” That said, the creative is wary of expansion, and wouldn’t rush into it. “We’re happy with the size we are at the moment – we’d never want to be an office of 100 people. Being a small team is what makes us strong,” he says. With just six current team members at Explose, there are no office politics as everyone gets along and teamwork is fundamental. “No employee is considered more important than anyone else here. We’ve learnt to work together and we really enjoy it,” he smiles. “We’re a small team and that’s the way we like it!” www.explose.lu

ABOVE: Website for Bonn Steichen and Partners, one of the largest law firms in Luxembourg. RIGHT: The Explose team brainstorming.

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Multilingual masters TEXT: ANNA PARKIN | PHOTOS: SFX TRANSLATED

Boasting over 2000 specialist independent translators across the globe, this young, Belgium-based translation company began business less than a decade ago, quickly going on to play an instrumental part in breaking countless big brands into burgeoning international markets. Precision is everything to SFX Translated director and project manager FrançoisXavier Pâque, who founded the rapidly expanding company in 2009 and cites a company policy of perfectionism among the many reasons for its success. “Our work must be spot on,” says the linguist. “The simple misplacement of a comma can change everything in a sentence.” A stickler for language learning, the young Belgian counts English, French, German, Russian and Dutch within his own linguistic repertoire. Although a small company at

heart, there’s a sprawling team of global freelancers on hand, speaking everything from Chinese to Italian. “We aim to cover every language in the world,” says the entrepreneur. All translators must successfully complete a highly rigorous selection process before joining the SFX Translated team. While most specialise in at least two languages or more, they will only ever translate into their mother tongue, guaranteeing nothing gets lost in translation. With an average age of 25 at the core of the team, this young, dynamic company aims to assist brands hoping to enter into new international markets, spanning industries as different as automotive to healthcare, via robotics. “Whichever area you’re targeting, or whichever market you're doing business in, we have already been involved there,” enthuses Pâque.

Clients range from governments to multinational brands, so translators are specifically matched to jobs in relation to their field of expertise. “Our translations could be legal, medical, commercial, or even literary, so expert knowledge is crucial,” he explains. In addition to translation, other available services include proofreading, post-editing, transcription, subtitling and terminological research. Flexibility is fundamental to Pâque, and not just when it comes to the specialities of his translators. A self-confessed workaholic, the project manager ensures his team can cater to even the most urgent of cases around the clock. “There’s no Monday to Friday in this industry. We’re available seven days a week…you can even call us on a Sunday morning!” www.sfx.be

This young, dynamic company aims to assist brands hoping to enter into new international markets, spanning all kinds of different industries. TOP RIGHT: “We aim to cover every language in the world,” says entrepreneur and director François-Xavier Pâque (pictured to the far right).

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TOP AND BOTTOM LEFT: Incentive Events’ From Dawn to Dawn party is a perfect example of the company’s creative reach. MIDDLE: First meeting of the Travel Club, Reuland’s popular gathering of likeminded, travel-hungry individuals. ABOVE RIGHT: AAFC Folklorama’s Robin Hood-themed party.

Create something new, together! TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: INCENTIVE EVENTS

With themes like CSR and team-building becoming ever more popular for companies, Gilles Reuland´s Luxembourg-based company Incentive Events have found a real niche in the Grand Duchy. As specialists in corporate and private events management, they cover a broad repertoire with distinctive, tailor-made concepts and thrive on the founder’s determination to impress. “Instead of relying on tried-and-tested methods,” explains the ambitious Luxembourger Reuland, “we’re all about realising the wishes of clients; our philosophy is to create something new, together!” After founding Incentive Events in 2013, he gleefully ticked off a lifelong dream: “To work independently and create something entirely novel.” No stranger to party planning, Reuland’s background in International Tourism Management and experience in social events, festivals, and the non-profit field have honed his strategic organisational skills.

A big success on the growing electronic circuit too, Incentive Events collaborated on August’s Amphitronic Festival and plan to host more music events in 2015. Reuland also manages the eminent music collective MAUVE, a platform for local music producers. A trained cook, Reuland certainly knows what’s cooking on his tailor-made tasting trips. “Luxembourg,” he says with a chuckle, “is a small island within Europe, but unfortunately” the eloquent event planner hesitates, “it’s so small that it isn’t on most people’s radars. But for those who find their way here, they won’t be disappointed.” Reuland believes that each of Luxembourg’s five regions can delight any generation, making a trip more than worthwhile – although he sees a lot of untapped potential in the entertainment industry. Confident and creative, Incentive Events thrives on Reuland’s boundless energy for what he does. His popular bi-monthly travel club, a social gathering of like-minded indi-

viduals hungry for travel, is currently burrowing away planning the ideal route to Euro 2016. For team-building activities, Reuland explains that “the achieved result is immaterial, the process that the group or individual go through to reach the culmination is what counts.” This also reflects the deeper meaning behind the action painting workshops (available in basic, pro and premium packages). Hilarious and pretty messy, participants not only take home a veritable work of art, but also share an experience with their colleagues outside of the daily grind. By placing Incentive Events at the helm of your private or corporate function, you’re choosing a dedicated and experienced team – a team that’ll work tirelessly to impress your guests. Create something new, together! www.incentive-events.lu

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Communication Solutions

Keeping relationships intact: “We’ve come a long way since 1998, and we keep developing relationships with new customers,” says pointCOMM founder Mike Welter.

Continuity is the whole point(COMM) TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: POINTCOMM

When in 1998 Mike Welter set up a company dedicated to internet marketing communications in Luxembourg, the web was a wild frontier; and he was a pioneer. “We were one of the first in Luxembourg to create internet sites. With time we’ve changed and developed. A lot of small players followed with cheap and basic sites, so pointCOMM grew in other ways, and we’re now a 100 per cent full service agency.” The internet has made the world a global village but Mike is convinced local knowledge remains vital in his field: “Luxembourg is a cultural and economic microcosm, so to succeed with a publicity campaign here you need total understanding of the market’s idiosyncrasies,” he says, noticeably proud that what they do is very much Made in Luxembourg: “All of our develop-

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ment is done here in the Grand Duchy – we don’t work with ready-made packages.” He’s seen too many web service competitors come and go since the business started: “Sadly some of them disappear without the customer getting any real benefit from their collaboration. We’ve been around for 16 years now, the same company and me at the head, that’s long established when it comes to the net! But of course technology and how it’s used has altered hugely over that time, and we have to stay ahead of the game with any such changes.” If you’re in Luxembourg for any time, even if you don’t touch the web, you’ll almost certainly encounter pointCOMM’s work on the radio or TV, via in-store advertising panels or on posters, their client-base including ubiquitous companies like Aral service stations and BricoWelt, and shopping cen-

tre La Maroquinerie du Passage in the capital. For Esch-sur-Alzette’s Eschopping City they’ve provided everything from the concept to logo, via net and Facebook material, and even in-store marketing research. “We’ve come a long way since 1998, and we keep developing relationships with new customers,” he says, “but it means a lot to us – and I think shows our professionalism – that many of those we won at the outset are still with us.” www.pointcomm.lu


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Professional Training & Development

DEVE L OP I NG

S KI L L S :

A major challenge TEXT: INFPC | PRESS PHOTO

In a world of competition, rapid changes and pressure on performance, the Luxembourgish economy must constantly develop its human capital to ensure its sustainable competitiveness. Attracting and retaining a qualified workforce is a strategic requirement. Companies must be able to rely on employees who can make good decisions and act appropriately when dealing with challenges or situations. The issue is to develop the skills of the company's internal forces by regularly training them to meet requirements in re-organisation, productivity gains, flexibility and versatility. The aim is to provide employees with the means to do their job to the best of their ability, in order to contribute to overall performance. In this context, continuing professional training is a driving force for economic and social development and is a topic of common interest: the company increases the value of its work and employees obtain multiple benefits for their career development, employability and personal development. Luxembourgish companies have fully grasped this issue, as they voluntarily carry out training policies and devote an everincreasing budget to training each year. As for the state, since 2000, it strongly supports this training effort through financial aid worth up to 20 per cent of the amount invested annually by companies. Up until 2013, some €275 million in total had been paid to companies. This aid currently benefits one in every two people in paid employment in Luxembourg. In addition, this state-backed lever is contributing to the growth of the training market and is broadening and diversifying the types of training available, thereby improving its overall quality. There are now more than 350 training bodies providing training courses in a variety of fields. As for individual access to training, the existing legislative framework ensures indi-

Dominique Matera, CEO, INFPC

About INFPC The national institute for the development of continuing vocational training (Institut National pour le développement de la Formation Professionnelle Continue, INFPC) is a state institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse, MENJE).

viduals play an active role in their training process and encourages them to assume responsibility thanks to schemes such as the individual training leave, language training leave and the validation process of nonformal and informal learning.

The INFPC promotes training, directs requests for co-funding, follows trends in training and leads the portal www.lifelong-learning.lu

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Professional Training & Development

CRP Henri Tudor Knowledge Transfer and Training Centre works closely with the EU, and has therefore developed a network of professional partners. Thus the centre is able to offer coherent training in sync with actual demands, explains Frederic Girs (above right), in charge of the training department.

When Education Becomes Relevant In a very competitive world with markets driven to outsource as many unqualified jobs as possible, investing in competence-building has become a must for growth. All the actors, from companies and private institutions to governmental bodies, have understood that training the workforce is one of the most effective ways to create wealth. TEXT: HARUN OSMANOVIC | PHOTOS: CRP HENRI TUDOR KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND TRAINING CENTRE

As such, the Public Research Centre Henri Tudor is a pioneer in the Benelux countries. Founded in the late 1980s, the organisation launched, one year later, a knowledge transfer activity dedicated to adding value to the technologies and processes developed in-house as well as supporting and creating an impact on the Luxembourgish economy.

Crossroad between research and the market Today the knowledge transfer department of the CRP Henri Tudor counts three product lines: Vocational Education and Training, a Master’s degree and finally, regular conferences, all focusing on seven main areas – ICT, construction, environment, the industrial markets, materials, transport and logistics, as well as public services. Managed by Frederic Girs, the Vocational Education and Training aspect of the centre helps some 1,300 people and holds

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around 100 training activities each year. “Because the centre is at such a crossroad between research and the market, we are able to create very specific programmes and workshops,” explains Girs. “We work closely with the EU and have developed a network of domestic and international

Caroline Morilhat, in charge of the Master’s programme

partners, which allows us to offer the most coherent trainings in sync with the actual demand of the market.”

Answering precise needs The trainings that the CRP Henri Tudor offers can be chosen from a set list or cus-


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Professional Training & Development

tom-made to answer to the very precise needs of companies. These types of training courses have proven a great compromise for all the stakeholders. On the one end of the bargain companies are getting employees with the optimal qualifications, on the other professionals are able to get a specialisation, become aware of a new legislation or simply learn new techniques and methods – all while keeping their professional activity. Moreover, for over fifteen years, the CRP Henri Tudor has been offering a Master’s programme for professionals. Overseen by Caroline Morilhat, the two-year programme is held only on Fridays and Saturdays so that participants can remain active throughout the course of the Master. “We currently have four Master’s programmes,” explains Morilhat, “ICT and innovation, supply chain management, quality management and IT security.”

Master 2 Diploma with 300 ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) delivered by partnering universities.

The training calendar is coming soon

students simply want to get a better qualification to reach new responsibilities during their career.”

Update your knowledge base and network The trainings are often paid in part by the company who regards it with high interest but it does happen that students invest in the course in order to advance professionally. At the end of the curriculum the participants receive an EU-recognised

For professionals or scientists who want to update their knowledge and/or meet peers on a specific subject, the CRP Henri Tudor also organises conferences with various themes. There are around fifty scientific and best practice events, networking meetings and seminars that the CRP organises each year. Those interested should mark the date – 17 October is the start of the academic school year. One is never knowledgeable enough, so in a few days only, be on the lookout for the Calendar of Trainings for the 2014/2015 year, as they will be made available on the centre’s website. www.tudor.lu

“The training that I followed,” explains Vania Martins, a student in Master of Quality Management, “allowed me to gain a strong organisational basis for apprehending very concrete situations at work and let me foresee very fulfilling opportunities in the future.” For Cyril Deom, who just graduated with a Paul Wuth S.A. Master in ICT and Innovation in July 2014, the programme allowed him to learn aspects rarely tackled in a company – from adapting to change to communication techniques. “Generally speaking,” adds Morilhat, “the participants hold a Master 1 diploma before entering our programme, but for professionals who can attest of a minimum of three years in the field, there are also ways of being accepted in the Master course. Our attendants are very heterogeneous, aged between 25 and 55, and they are attracted to our courses for varied reasons. Some want to change fields, others want to specialise or validate skills learned on the job with a diploma, and finally some of our

CRP Henri Tudor learning programmes appeal to everyone who is considering changing their career, specialise in their current field or validate their skills with a diploma. TOP RIGHT: Vania Martins defending her thesis.

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Professional Training & Development

LEFT: The BSI is administered from Chateau Wiltz. RIGHT: Professor Michel Kalika, Scientific Advisor at the Business Science Institute. The institute DBA is for experienced managers.

Cure management ills with an executive doctorate TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BSI

A doctoral programme for practising managers begins in Luxembourg this October. Professor Michel Kalika, Scientific Advisor at the Business Science Institute, is convinced the DBA offers huge advantages over other doctoral routes. “This is above all an Executive DBA,” he explains, “we created it for managers who may be 10 or 15 years into their career and want to step back to reflect on what they do while remaining within their organisations.” It is that focus and continuity that Michel feels differentiates the BSI offer from, say, university-based PhD studies: “Universities can have difficulties accommodating practising managers, with their goals perhaps conflicting and with time management issues,” he says. It would be wrong to see anything less than full academic rigour in the BSI programme, however: “More than 60

32 | Issue 9 | September 2014

internationally-reputed professors from a variety of countries – the USA, UK, France, and Canada among them – have established this Executive DBA and teach it as well.” Michel sees a further difference in candidates’ preparedness: “Most managers arrive with a good idea of their doctoral thesis topic, not always the case with young PhD students!” The Institute’s DBA is already running at centres in Canada, Switzerland, Tunisia and Senegal, and the BSI is in a way coming home with the Luxembourg programme about to start, its administration run from Chateau Wiltz in the north of the country. The five three-day seminars in the first year will, however, take place in Luxembourg City: “In the seminars we help managers hone and formalise their topics, and tutor them in research methodology. We also identify a professor to supervise

the thesis that candidates write and refine in the second year, during which they attend three further one-day seminars.” As a career academic Professor Kalika has welcomed the resulting three-dimensional knowledge transfer: students benefit from the experience of their fellows as well as their teachers, and those teachers learn from contemporary managerial practice too. He’s excited about prospects for the new centre: “It’s at the heart of the European Union, with a high density of senior managers within reach of such a central point. We’re still recruiting for the October intake, and it underlines the international nature of the programme that we’re drawing students not just from Luxemburg but neighbouring countries.” www.business-science-institute.com Email: scientific@business-science-institute.com


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Ecole d’ rt Contemporain

MOVEMENT Any teaching requires an active participation Any training is a value on the initiative Any training undertaken opens in expressed potential

ART IN LIVELONG-LEARNING

The Ecole d’Art Contemporain is a free establishment of artistic education, approved, eligible, in projects partnership and Production centre, member of INFPC (Luxembourg), Guide of the Schools of Art (Grand Palais Paris) proposing general trainings any public and trainings certified in competition, MANAA, FAAP; Option Art Performance: (existing or requiring university level entrance diploma) Prep-Sup-Art, (Visual arts Degrees) DAP2, DAP3, DAPAS, RealGlobalArt. Individual educational leave, network with schools of art. PEDAGOGY Flexibility/Autonomy/Multidisciplinary/Evaluation Trainings continuous and in alternation IN THE PRESENT The course develops the creative process, the conscience of the Present, the autonomy of expression, Imagination, Emotion, Intuition related to quantum sciences, the analogy and synchronicity. Open doors September 26th /27th, 2014 Registration in the course of year Organism of continous professional training Luxembourg-Hollerich No 125024 et No 00061375/1 ecoleart@ecoledartcontemporain.lu Tel : 00 352 494616 www.ecoledartcontemporain.lu

S I E R A D E N · K E R A M I E K · G L A S Zee Zand Zilver heeft werk van meer dan 25 edelsmeden en kunstenaars in vaste collectie. Uw wens in goud of zilver wordt door ons ontworpen en ambachtelijk uitgevoerd. Zee Zand Zilver has a permanent selection of jewellery and items on offer from more than 25 goldsmiths and artists. Your desired piece of jewellery will be designed and crafted by us in gold and silver.

Dutch

Ambacht

Duurzaam

Design

Craftmanship

Sustainable

Openingstijden: dinsdag t/m vrijdag 10-17.30 uur, zaterdag 10-17 uur of op afspraak. Frederik Hendrikplein 53, 2582 BA Den Haag, tel +31 (0)70-3063830 info@zeezandzilver.nl · www.zeezandzilver.nl · facebook.com/zeezandzilver


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Professional Training & Development

With “Find the right trigger for your change” as his slogan, Frederic Frenay (right) has made a name for himself as the go-to guy for people seeking to improve their management, communication and leadership skills. Frenay has helped countless people deal with stress and anger, and teaches varied and personalised programmes to help you reach your true potential (Portrait photo: Fabrizio Maltese).

Mind your way TEXT: ANNA PARKIN | PHOTOS: DREAMSTIME

From working as a psychologist with the Luxembourg army to treading the boards as a professional actor, Frederic Frenay has a CV as varied as the impressive portfolio of clients he coaches under the brand name Trigger Solutions. Working independently in Luxembourg, 42year-old psychologist Frederic Frenay has made a name for himself as the go-to guy for individuals and companies seeking help when it comes to dealing with emotions. Frenay’s clients span the corporate world, while he also works with armies and organisations including NATO, preparing people for deployment abroad. Adhering to the slogan “Find the right trigger for your change”, Frenay uses his wealth of experience to ensure every client’s programme is personalised. Projects range from giving talks on leadership and communication to helping workers manage their anger and cope with stress; one of his main

34 | Issue 9 | September 2014

with workshops. “This makes activities such as role plays far more realistic,” he says. “Often in the morning we’ll do theory, and then actually put it into action in the afternoon.” Multilingual Frenay, who has German and Belgian roots, offers coaching in French, English, German and Luxembourgish. “It keeps things fresh!” he smiles.

training programmes is on how to react to armed threats in the workplace. “I always deal with every case individually, although there are certain techniques that I adhere to,” explains Frenay, who read psychology at Belgium’s Liège University. The psychologist also studied theatre at Luxembourg’s performing arts school, and enjoyed a stint working in film and television. Thanks to this, Frenay now has a network of professional actors on hand to assist him

He has an equally flexible approach when it comes to locations – with most clients preferring him to come to their own offices. Despite having a packed schedule and a host of long-term clients, Frenay is keen to expand into a new area in the next few months, helping organisations such as the emergency services in using hypnotherapy to manage people in times of crisis. “It’s a little too complicated to explain it in a short article, but if you’d like to know more you can contact me!” he laughs. www.triggersolutions.eu


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Welcome to the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show:

The home of fine yachting Wednesday 24 to Saturday 27 September 2014

This year the world’s no. 1 showcase for superyachts afloat will be the best ever, with 115 spectacular yachts, about 30 luxury tenders and an extended exhibition that will host the finest and most renowned suppliers to the industry. TEXT & PHOTOS: MONACO YACHT SHOW | MAIN PHOTO: TOM VANO

The extension reflects the increasing demand for exhibiting bigger yachts in the Port. Last year’s event hinted at the beginnings of a recovery in the yachting market and it seems today that some yachting statistics are approaching pre-crisis figures, in terms of volume, with order books and the demand for finance on the increase. During the last two or three years there has been a noticeable increase in the demand for vessels over 100m and from the 2014 event and into the future the Monaco Yacht Show will be able to berth these giants for all to see.

trends. This princely destination is a wellknown staple amongst Mediterranean cruising grounds and has long been the destination of choice for superyacht owners and guests, making Monaco a natural home for this unique event.

A one-of-a-kind event

The Haute Couture of the sea

For all to see – and for a few that will be visiting the show – a chance to buy them! This annual, one-of-a-kind event attracts billionaires from around the world, many who will be inconspicuously walking the docks as they catch up on the latest superyacht

These few examples of 2014 launches are typical of the ultra chic and sophisticated fleet of superyachts that will be unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show. For Gaëlle Tallarida, the show’s Managing Director, the comparison of Monaco’s superyacht of-

Of the 115 floating palaces from 25 to 100m that will be exhibited at Monaco in September, around 40 will be unveiled to the public for the first time. This is the annual event that the builders of the world’s largest yachts look forward to; it is their chance to showcase their finest luxury yachts.

fering with Haute Couture collections is clearly obvious: “In superyachting, as well as in Haute Couture, everything is possible, harmonious and luxurious, and only the best of the best materials are used. Designers enjoy saying that the only limit to creating a yacht is the limit of the owner’s imagination! Each yacht is made possible by the work of hundreds of specialised and passionate employees.” The MYS attracts industry leaders and an ultra wealthy clientele from around the world. It offers top-class services to meet the demands of this elite clientele: VIP passes, luxury courtesy car services, helicopters and bus or boat shuttles. In the heart of the show area, the Upper Deck Lounge is designed as a place where businessmen can hold their meetings, or maybe invite their favorite clients to dine.

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Photo: Tom Vano

The Monaco Yacht Show attracts more than 100 of the world’s finest yachts and luxury tenders

Catering the restaurant is Private Dining by Fairmont Monte Carlo, where you can also enjoy a glass of champagne by Taittinger in a luxurious setting designed by interior decorator Sabrina Monte-Carlo in collaboration with Italian designer Paola Lenti, the French crystal manufacturer Baccarat and the art gallery Opera Gallery. The Upper Deck Lounge also includes several reception areas reserved exclusively for the executives of exhibiting companies – areas where they can talk with their customers in confidence.

Luxury manufacturers and exclusive services On display in the lounge will be the finest timekeepers manufactured by the Swiss

luxury watchmaker Ulysse Nardin, official sponsor of the MYS for the sixth consecutive year. New this 2014, the MYS will be hosting the superyacht captains and crews in an exclusive lounge for the four days of the show. Located in the show venue, beside the new Monaco Yacht Club, the MYS C&C Lounge will offer services of high quality: animations, a relaxation area with massages – simply a lounge area where captains and crew can meet up and chill out. What also makes Monaco so special during the show is the hundreds of social events organised by the exhibitors: press conferences, debates with market lead-

ers, and friendly happy hours at stands. Cocktail or evening parties on board the yachts, yacht awards or gala dinners in the luxury hotels in the Principality are also some of the many highlights that enable formal and informal networking and often attract those that can afford and do buy superyachts.

USEFUL INFORMATION: 24th Monaco Yacht Show From Wednesday 24 to Saturday 27 September 2014 Port Hercules, Boulevard Albert 1er – Principality of Monaco Opening hours: 10am to 6.30pm Main entrance: Darse Sud. Other entrances: Quai Louis II and Parvis Piscine. Public rates: €150/day. Professional visitors (luxury and yachting industries): From €480/4-day. www.monacoyachtshow.com

Photo: Tom Vano

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Founders and owners Martin de Meij and Menko van Hylckama design beautiful solutions to practical applications.

Aesthetic and James Bond-ish yacht solutions TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: 2ME

A small company that makes big solutions for your yacht: 2ME is a mechanical engineering office that creates aesthetic designs that make your yacht glister and your eyes twinkle. If you are having a yacht built and are looking for a solution to a problem you encounter, 2ME is the company to contact. Founders and owners Martin de Meij and Menko van Hylckama Vlieg design the most beautiful solutions when it comes to practical applications, complicated techniques and saving space. “The designs we make are usually a result of a specific request from our customer,” explains Martin. Every yacht owner has their own wishes and demands. Some are quite James Bond-ish. Imagine a speed boat in a secret space behind a wall, which can slide open while a crane lifts the boat out on the wa-

ter. Or how about a submarine lifting crane that blends in with the floor of the yacht, or a pool that can be closed and transformed into a helicopter platform? “Those are the most eye catching requests we got in the last couple of years,” explains Martin. “Of course we also design more simple things, like cranes for rescue boats.” No matter what your problem is, ask 2ME and they will design your solution. They offer custom-made shutters, hinges, cranes, doors and more. All designs are safe: the owners have over twenty years’ experience, work in accordance with the regulations of Lloyds Register, Veritas or GL DNV and collaborate with famous shipyards. During their work since the start of 2ME in 2003, Martin and Menko have gathered a huge portfolio of solutions. Besides custom-made solutions, they also design their

own products – like the Telearc hinge, a built-in hinge that is hidden when the object it is attached to is closed, but looks beautiful when opened. All 2ME’s designs are made in the most modern 3D software, and calculations will be done analytically or by computer analysis – whatever solves the problem. What is most typical for designs of 2ME, is that Martin and Menko do not hide the technique, but make it look elegant. “Minimalistic and aesthetic designs are our focus areas when we are designing,” explains Martin. “Many of our solutions have no effect on the initial design, because they blend in perfectly, no matter if you can still see the moving parts or if they are totally hidden.” www.tweeme.nl

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Van Oossanen Naval Architects – faster, more efficient and more luxurious

Founder of the original company, Dr Piet Oossanen, became world famous for developing the ‘winged keel’ of Australis II, which in 1983, was the first yacht to take the coveted Americas Cup out of American hands since the competition started in 1851. After this he became involved in several Americas Cup campaigns that could not be combined with his work for the marine research institute MARIN. That’s why he created his own business, which Perry van Oossanen and Niels Moerke took over. TEXT: CAROLE EDRICH | PRESS PHOTOS

The partnership between the younger van Oossanen and Moerke, assumed in 2012, has proved highly fruitful. Oossanen is primarily concerned with yachts over 24m while Moerke takes on the smaller yachts. Apart from the naval architecture of yachts, Moerke is responsible for the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis that is all about flow visualisation and resistance determination, while Oossanen has a special interest in the development and application of new hull forms such as the patented Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF). Their naval architecture focuses on luxury mega yachts and their CFD consultancy is primarily targeted on commercial shipping.

An award-winning team Superachievers from the start, Van Oossanen Naval Architects have won the World Superyacht Award (the yachting world’s

38 | Issue 9 | September 2014

equivalent to the Oscars) four times, most recently for Galactica Star, in the category Best Semi-Displacement or Planning Three Deck Motos Yacht of 45m and above. This same yacht has won the best part of ten other prestigious awards and is currently nominated for the KNVTS Ship of the Year Award. The company itself has achieved such an impressive list of awards and significant new developments that it’s difficult to understand why anyone would want to their yachts designed elsewhere. Van Oossanen Naval Architects are committed to developing faster, more efficient, and more comfortable ships, and so they do a large amount of their own research and development. The vast knowledge they have accrued in this way, combined with the thrill of challenging projects on the drawing board, means that the company is able to create uniquely efficient yachts and

sailing vessels that excel in terms of performance, fuel efficiency and ease of use. They also regularly assist many other yards, designers, owners and shipping companies worldwide in the field of hydrodynamics and superyacht consultancy.

Advanced technology programmes Their in-house software is a key value added component of the firm’s unique service and since the company’s inception Piet van Oossanen has worked on the Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) for sailboats and the Power Prediction Program (PPP) for motor yachts and ships. As technology and computers have advanced, the software has been extended until today, where the prediction scope includes everything from Dutch traditional sailing vessels to hydrofoils and catamarans, while the PPP can handle a range of craft from planing speedboats to 300+m containerships.


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

FAR LEFT: The new Heesen 42m featuring both a Hull Vane® and FDHF. The most efficient yacht in her category. MIDDLE: Assisting ship yards, designers, owners and shipping companies around the world is part of the Van Oossanen success story. ABOVE RIGHT: The BS2, a Dutch traditional labour sailing vessel. She won both the Dutch championship and overall year prize.

tion sailing by applying their state-of-theart techniques.

The fuel-saving Hull Vane®

The last few years have seen the company sail from strength to strength. The first application of their patented FDHF; a hybrid hull form that optimises both high speed and cruising speed for vessels, has proved wrong conventional wisdom (that one could optimise for one or the other but not for both). This hull form was first applied on the 65m motor yacht Galactica Star. With a hull approximately 20 per cent more efficient at top speed and 30-40 per cent at cruising speed, the owner no longer has to compromise between speed and fuel efficiency. They’ve recently also completed an aluminium yacht that can carry 10 people to and from its 75m mother yacht even in bad weather, improved a commercial ship-owner hull form, reducing resistance by 20 per cent with consequential reduction in CO2 emissions, and innovated the Lemsteraken class of traditional Dutch competi-

Van Oossanen Naval Architects’ latest innovation is the result of a 10 year long research project to create a patented Hull Vane®. This is a fuel-saving ‘wing’ underneath the water near the ship’s stern. Tests on a 55m crew supply vessel provided an independently measured 11-15 per cent fuel saving and there’s currently a 42m motor yacht undergoing a Hull Vane® construction with expected fuel savings of over 20 per cent.

Like all good companies, Van Oossanen Naval Architects have a strong internal philosophy. Brainstorming sessions on difficult issues are particularly productive because everyone has in-depth knowledge of a sub topic as well as their own professional specialism. Since every team member is given time each week to work on their own research too, it’s no surprise that the company is maintaining its leading edge. www.oossanen.nl

Van Oossanen recently won the World Superyacht Award for Best Semi-Displacement or Planning Three Deck Motor Yacht of 45m and above for Galactica Star.

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

A synchronised dance from A to B BY EMMIE COLLINGE | PRESS PHOTOS

As the seas glisten with glamorous vessels, boasting some of the most charming interiors and adventurous souls, it’s only right that these yachts should be transported in style too, with the highest standards of safety and security. Conceived 25 years ago as a response to the rising demand from conscientious yacht owners, the Amsterdam-based Sevenstar Yacht Transport has steadily evolved into the world leader of lift-on-lift-off yacht shipping. Now partnered with DYT, whose float-on-float-off style of transport is equally popular, the Dutch company Sevenstar, an independent subsidiary of Spliethoff, benefits greatly from its ability to call upon the services of their fellow divisions worldwide. “Even if all of our yacht carriers are in action then we’ll certainly be able to source an alternative option,” explains Sevenstar’s Carla Domburg. She cites the most popular routes from Europe to the USA, the

Caribbean, Australia and Hong Kong, but “anywhere is possible”. Passionate sailors, she and her husband recently undertook a Sevenstar Contest around-the-world trip, during which they relied upon Sevenstar’s services. “We loaded it in Palm Beach, missing out the notoriously windy section to avoid burdening the boat, and three days later we set off again from St Thomas,” he says with a gleam in his eye. The process of transporting yachts is almost as impressive as the trips undertaken and the company refers to it as a “synchronised dance”. Magnificent structures ensure that few yachts are too large or too heavy, and while current maximums are 52 metres and 640 tonnes, Domburg says assuredly that options are always available. www.sevenstar-yacht-transport.com


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

TOP: MY Paraffin – one of the many yachts forming part of the SDSI portfolio. LEFT: The SDSI team use a unique combination of methodology, technology and resources to save the customer both time and money. RIGHT: The engineering scheme comprises detail design, including assembly and layout drawings, as well as interior production drawings.

SDSI: Engineering your SuperYacht interior TEXT: JULIE LINDÉN | PHOTOS: SDSI

With a long history in yacht engineering, SDSI engineering and drawing studio prides itself on luxurious, modern and classic designs fit for a multitude of extraordinary yachts. Collaborating with some of the world’s most famous interior designers, the studio’s portfolio has grown to include examples such as MY Paraffin, MY Rasselas, MY Ocean Victory as well as the largest yacht ever built in the Netherlands – a true ode to greatness, if any. The studio name, an acronym for Support, Design, Styling and Illustration, is perhaps the best descriptor of the multiple disciplines that make up individual parts of the company’s esteemed portfolio work. Having worked on yachts from 40 to 100 metres (as well as a few even longer examples), SDSI is backed by 17 years of experience in all disciplines, and is keen to constantly refine and perfect the method-

ology and technology to support demanding customers. SDSI has decided to focus as much energy as possible towards the initial engineering designs and drawings enabling further design processes. The unique combination of methodology, technology and resources enables the customer to save both time and money. “Thinking in an engineering kind of way,” SDSI founder Erik van Dongen enthuses, “has made it possible for us to be both more effective and efficient in delivering better systems and designs, without spending extra money.” Although the super yacht industry is not immediately associated with a lack of funds, it is imperative to SDSI not to waste assets that could, and in all respects should, be used to provide best value for money. “There’s definitely a flexible thought behind it as well, tailored to suit customers

and end-users’ needs,” van Dongen says, never underestimating that in an industry so pinned on wealth, there is value in quality thinking. That is also why the company has enjoyed great success in refitting engineering systems altogether, as owners can lengthen the lives of their yachts in close collaboration with SDSI’s engineers, all trained in separate disciplines. As of today, the engineering scheme comprises detail design, including assembly and layout drawings, as well as interior production drawings. This also includes any other technical overviews needed, forming a process van Dongen says is “powered by finding optimal, integrated solutions and great design matches.” “Looking for solutions that best match the client and their yacht – that’s what it’s all about.” www.sdsi.nl

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Conquer the open ocean with classical elegance With a contagious passion for sailing and a profound love for timeless classics, Olivier van Meer is one of the most prolific and outspoken naval architects in the Netherlands. Known for its sailing yachts that cross the world’s seven seas, Olivier van Meer Design – or OVM for short – has much to offer to seasoned sailors who cannot bear to stay ashore for too long. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: OLIVIER VAN MEER

“We attract people who really want to sail,” explains van Meer. “Many want to be out on the sea for months on end, if not permanently, so our ships often end up going on long trips. Designing show yachts that only leave the harbour a few times a year is not quite our cup of tea.”

A multifaceted skillset Apart from completely new builds, OVM also does restorations, makeovers and refurbishments of existing ships. The emphasis is on classical design but its current portfolio ranges from small yachts to impressive, four-masted clippers. Their fleet even includes a polar expedition

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cruiser, large aluminium luxury boats and everything in between. “I personally have a strong interest in classic and timeless shapes and this is reflected in our customer base. While we

specialise in sailing yachts, some people will specifically ask us to draw them a motor yacht. Somehow, we always create a distinctive outline that mirrors our love for classical ships,” he says.


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Having sailed his whole life, it was a natural career progression for Van Meer to start his own company in 1985. In his late teens, he became a licensed captain and as soon as he hit 25 he had already clocked 100,000 miles out on the sea.

The youngest licensed captain in the Netherlands “I was actually born on board a sailboat, as my parents lived on a ship. At 18, I became the youngest licensed captain in the Netherlands. This was quite unusual, but it was simply my way of making a living,” he recalls. “In fact, until recently I still lived on a boat, but now that the family has expanded somewhat we’ve decided to move ashore.” Extensive sailing experience is a key requirement for everyone working at OVM. van Meer believes this is an important factor that sets them apart from the competition. “We have a team of very skilled and experienced people, who are all very good at what they do and can work autonomously. Having a background in sailing makes it easier to understand and implement feedback from owners or captains so we can continue to improve our boats.” This drive to learn and improve also extends towards the production process. From start to finish, OVM closely monitors and directs its projects and always keeps a close watch during construction. “At the shipyard we act as the owner’s representative so we’re confronted with the way things are put together,” van Meer continues. “I tell my team to imagine hanging upside down in the ship while putting the engine in – will there be enough room? We always listen out for advice from mechanics to help them speed up their work by adjusting our designs.”

TOP AND RIGHT: OVM is known for creating some of the most advanced sailing yachts around and prides itself on their gracious, classic designs. LEFT: Olivier van Meer (left) with his “right hand” Arjen Keer during trials of one of their recent projects.

the most modern materials and technical systems. The fact that most of them happen to have sails stems from our deep rooted passion for these ships.”

Functional ships with traditional elegance

Characteristic for an OVM design is their practical technical layout, so a ship can be used, maintained and enjoyed in the long run. Van Meer says: “Space is always limited. Some clients want us to squeeze in as many features as physically possible, but in terms of construction, or worse still, in case of emergency maintenance, this could lead to big problems. We build for intensive use so we keep it functional.”

One thing van Meer will never do is create a futuristic, hyper-fashionable super yacht – and he is not afraid to say it. “It just isn’t something we’re interested in. It’s part of our company values to create functional ships with traditional elegance but using

Work at OVM consists of three tiers; firstly it has its own production boats like the brands Puffin and Zaca. “Think of them like our house wines. These are a popular, tried and tested yachts that are ready to

go or alternatively can be customized on request.” Secondly, clients can come to OVM with their own ideas to design a bespoke ship. Van Meer comments: “I will almost always visit these clients at home so I can see how they live and what they’re interested in. Usually, after only a few hours into the first conversation, I tend to have a very good idea what they’re after.” Lastly, designs can be made following a fixed list of demands like speed, length, capacity and budget. “This may sound a little unromantic but that’s how it works, mainly for commercial projects. When the design is finished, we’ll pitch these to the client and hopefully they find a connection with our style and philosophy.” www.oliviervanmeer.com

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Photo: Bertus Kolthof

Photo: Hans Knapper

Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Satellite Yacht Design work with the most modern technologies to design fast, comfortable and safe sailing yachts.

Speeding ahead with wind in the sails TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: SATELLITE YACHT DESIGN

Satellite Yacht Design is renowned for their high-performance sailing yachts. Founded in 1996, the agency is responsible for producing over 150 boats in a range of eight to 25 metres that are now sailing on national and international waters. Owner Kees van de Stadt designs for private owners and companies in a modern or classical style, but all within the premise of absolute safety, fast speeds and comfort. His customers are people that predominantly sail the world and who want a custom-made boat – for example with a retractable keel to get into shallow harbours or sail closer to shore. On the other hand Kees van de Stadt also designs for competitive sailors who want a fast and exciting boat. As a keen sailor himself, with a background in competitive sailing, Kees van de Stadt has a strong affinity with his designs. “When I draw something, I’ll know how it will feel on board and this helps me to pick the right materials;” he says. Most of his designs are built with composites and aluminium and the client always makes the final decision on what is used. Both mate-

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rials allow for lightweight yachts that are also comfortable. Kees van de Stadt finds it important to have personal contact with each client and has made the conscious decision to keep his company small. This way all the detailed requests from clients will be included in the design. Personal contact is especially important in the Chinese market, where Satellite Yacht Design has been active for years. In the case of bigger projects, Kees van de Stadt will work together with interior designers and constructors. Currently, Kees van de Stadt is working on a 29ft yacht, the New D29, a project commissioned by New Dimension Yachts who asked him to design a new concept.

He says: “The New D29 is aimed at people who enjoy sailing but also want a unique design with quality and comfort.” The look of the New D29 is defined by the high side decks, modern lines and reverse bow. A lot of attention has been paid to details like the furler underneath the deck, a flush hatch and changeable colour LEDlights – everything finished with high-quality materials. Instead of a traditional look, it has a trendy and warm interior. The New D29 stands out from competition because of inspiration taken from modern trends and lifestyle. It is expected to be on sale from mid-2015. www.yacht-design.nl/satellite


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

BOTTLER is the must-have on board accessory for any yacht owner with fine tastes in wine and champagne.

BOTTLER – luxury designed TEXT: JULIE LINDÉN | PHOTOS: BOTTLER

It was when naval architect and interior yacht designer Erik van Dongen – the man behind the classic interior design of, for instance, the Super Yacht Paraffin – was on holiday in the Caribbean that he had an idea that would grace yachting interiors with a truly golden rim. Do you enjoy fine wine and champagne? Let BOTTLER support your tastes. Imagine sitting on the aft deck of your super yacht glancing from your watch to your BOTTLER, realising it’s time for some champagne. You walk over to your perfectly balanced, immaculately tempered bottle – and for a moment, you’re somewhere else. Somewhere only the combination of good design, world-exclusive craftsmanship and unmatchable luxury can take you. “The BOTTLER is a symbol of top-of-therange luxury; priceless beyond any cur-

rency,” van Dongen says proudly, adding: “Every piece is made with a watchmaker’s precision, and is polished for an entirety of 40 hours. Still, no two pieces will ever be the same, something that ensures perfect uniqueness.” Spawned from van Dongen’s passion for yachting combined with his impressive CV listing multiple design projects, the BOTTLER attained its illustrious form. Knowing the customary solution had been drilling a hole in the table interiors to support the length of the bottle, he saw less wastage of veneered wood and more design potential in constructing a detached, one-of-a-kind piece. BOTTLER, which was literally created with a surgeon’s meticulousness (van Dongen enlisted a retired surgeon to carefully assemble the pieces of the finished product) has since its formation become a musthave yachting accessory for Super yacht

owners with excellent tastes in wine and champagne. Today the luxurious piece is available in brass, nickel and even pure gold, materials to which every client can put their personal touch. “All BOTTLERs, which are handcrafted in the Netherlands to the ultimate precision, can be personalised to mirror the name of the client, the yacht or its crest by a special engraving,” van Dongen tells me. Add a range of beautifully enveloped upkeep and safeguarding items, such as a polishing kit, cooling items and a luxury gift box crafted in the owner’s required wood type, and the BOTTLER is an impeccable experience in matchless craftsmanship. The BOTTLER keeps your precious beverage still, and yet, it moves everyone. www.bottler.nl

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Set sail for your sea of dreams Growing up by the tropical waters of Curaçao, a small island in the Caribbean, Nick Mezas knew from a young age he wanted to design yachts.“I could spend hours looking at the Superyachts anchored in Fuik Bay, painting an image in my mind so I could sketch their designs when I would eventually go home.”Mezas now runs his own company – Nick MezasYacht Design, founded in 2011 – and is becoming a rising star in the world of Superyacht design. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: NICK MEZAS YACHT DESIGN

Thanks to his time living by the seaside, Mezas knows like none other how to enjoy the ocean. Apart from being an experienced sailor he is also a keen fisher, wake boarder and diver. This experience helps him on a daily basis to find practical solutions to enhance ergonomics and optimise the use of the ship’s space.

ance, each project becomes a new challenge. He continues: “For example, where will the yacht be sailing? Does it need a traditional or a modern look? Is it for private use or for the charter industry? These are all factors that influence the design. For me, it is re-

ally exciting to find out exactly what a client wants and then translate this into sketches.”

The client’s dream as your own After a selection process, these sketches are then turned into detailed drawings to

Creating memories through meticulous design “For me it is all about the experience on board and creating memories with loved ones,” says Mezas. “Details like the height and the angle of the seats or even the distance to the table top all make the difference in the way you perceive your surroundings. Whether you are inside or outside, I make sure guests receive the level of privacy they desire but can still fully enjoy the location and the views.” With every client’s unique set of requests and wide-ranging ideas about style and appear-

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With sunbathing areas on three decks, this 55-metre motor yacht is designed for sun worshippers. She has room for 12 guests, 12 crew and a captain.


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

“I was invited to attend the Superyacht Design Symposium before joining the ShowBoats Design Awards ceremony in Miami. Here I met many famous yacht designers,” he fondly recalls. “Together with my fellow finalists I also got a two-day tour of the renowned Lürssen ship builders in Germany.”

Collaborating with Studio Delta At the moment Mezas is about to launch a new design for a 30-metre motor yacht. When he finished the full exterior and look of the ship, he joined forces with naval architect Menno van Dijk to make the design production ready. Mezas expects the finished yacht design will hit the market soon: “The experience I’ve gained over the years has inspired me to create a sharp and modern design. Menno is the director at naval architecture agency Studio Delta and we’ve known each other for years. So the decision to work on a project together was quickly made,” he says.

ABOVE LEFT: Mezas created this 30-metre motor yacht design in collaboration with Menno van Dijk of Studio Delta – read more about van Dijk on page 51. RIGHT: With a capacity of 80,000 litres of fuel, this 49-metre motor yacht can sail up to 4,600 nautical miles and comfortably cross the Atlantic Ocean.

capture the design the client is looking for. Mezas adds: “The client’s dream becomes your own dream and together you try to realise the perfect yacht.” Next, side and top views of the yacht are drawn, as well as the deck layout – or general arrangement. These are ultimately turned into digital 3D models of the entire exterior of the ship. Mezas says: “This is by far the most time-consuming step, but it is also the part I enjoy the most. It really brings the design to life.” Mezas prides himself on having two trademark styles; his designs either have soft and flowing outlines or they feature clean lines with sharp angles. He explains: “I aim to create a modern but classic look that has a sense of timelessness. I want to be innovative with my designs but I also make

sure they’ll still look fresh and modern twenty years from now.”

Prestigious designs

Looking into the future, Mezas says he is very interested in finding out about new ways of propulsion and other hull design innovations. He is also closely following current developments in terms of new building materials and is excited to try and implement these in his designs. “It would be great if new materials could make it easier, cheaper or more environmentally friendly to create complex shapes. This could help me to push the boundaries of design and stand at the forefront of innovation.” He adds: “In general, I believe this could bring yacht design to a much higher level.”

Shortly after he graduated in naval architecture at the university of Delft, the Netherwww.nickmezasyachtdesign.com lands, Mezas entered a prestigious international yacht design competition. He created a concept for a 75metre motor yacht that included a unique deck layout allowing for an intimate interaction between guests and the yacht’s natural surroundings. With his design, R & R – which stands for Rest and Recreation – he became the runThis 24-metre motor yacht has intricate window details, a ner up for the 2011 Young Detop speed of 20 knots (23 miles per hour) and a capacity signer of The Year award and also of eight guests plus two crew members. gained the judges’ commendation.

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Yacht design that navigates your every need The journey of the yacht of your dreams starts long before it even hits the water. At Sea Level Yacht Design and Engineering, creating a custom built yacht is an experience in itself. They will accommodate your personal desires, come up with innovative technical solutions and make sure you feel right at home during the process. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: SEA LEVEL / DICK HOLTHUIS

him, as with all the other major shipyards in the Netherlands, and now we occasionally end up working with our old boss again.”

Sea Level co-founder Jeroen van der Knaap explains: “We take good care of our clients and make them feel attended to as soon as they walk in. We want to make the designing process a pleasant experience for ourselves and our clients. This way, we will enjoy our work even more and get better results.”

Great results through cooperation and technical experience

Friendship and entrepreneurial ambitions

about each other’s entrepreneurial ambitions they decided to start a company.

The company was founded in 1998 by van der Knaap and his fellow graduate, Bastiën Ligthart. Several years after they finished studying naval architecture together, they became colleagues at Feadship, a mayor Dutch shipyard. When they found out

“When we told our boss about our plans he was actually very encouraging. In fact, he said he would welcome us back if our company didn’t work out!” he says, laughing. “We still have very good relations with

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Thanks to their background in engineering, van der Knaap and Ligthart were able to use their technical knowledge in making existing designs production ready and soon started to produce their own. “To make beautiful yachts that are also technically feasible, you need to have a lot of knowledge so you avoid surprises at the end. We started with designing smaller yachts, but by now we have built up enough experience to become a major


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

Sea Level caters for private clients and shipyards and is always keen to match the right design to the client. With their drive to innovate, Sea Level has taken a critical look at current models and asked crews to help improve onboard logistics. LEFT: 42m motor yacht design for Acico Yachts

Sea Level caters for private clients and shipyards and is always keen to match the right design to the client. Van der Knaap explains: “When we design for a shipyard, we always incorporate their particular brand, image and history and not necessarily just our own style. While our creations will always bear a small Sea Level signature, we find it important to create lines and features according to the client’s identity.”

Close communication and crew feedback competitor in super yacht design,” van der Knaap says. Knowing about both design and engineering is quite extraordinary for a small company such as Sea Level, van der Knaap says. With a staff of 12 people, they are proud to have everything under one roof while still offering the personal treatment and flexibility that bigger companies lack. He adds: “Everyone in the office knows what is going on with each project. This is part of our work ethos; we always continue to expand our knowledge. We do this through external collaborations but also internally. For example, during a project we will get everyone together to comment on a draft design. This always leads to improvements.”

With this mind set, Sea Level is currently designing a collection of super yachts for ship builder Acico Yachts of three different lengths: 33, 42 and 52 metres. With their drive to innovate, they have taken a critical look at current models and asked crews to help improve on-board logistics. “We always communicate closely with our clients, so if they tell us a small change could lead to a shorter production time, then we try to implement this,” he says. “From crew feedback, we found out that the salon, usually located on the main deck, is hardly ever used. So we are going to turn that space into an open veranda adjacent to the sun deck and increase the outdoor experience for guests.”

One project van der Knaap recalls with much joy is an 18-metre motor yacht for a private client, who wanted to sail the waters off Mauritius. “The reef that stretches around island is very shallow, only one metre deep. Normally a yacht this size would sit too deep in the water, so we had to make the boat as lightweight as possible,” he says. The project was completed in collaboration with stylist Eric Kuster. He created a modern interior using mainly marble and solid wood, which are relatively heavy materials. To complicate matters, the client was an avid chef and requested a sizable kitchen. “Kitchen appliances are of course quite heavy and he also wanted a dinghy with an internal garage, so everything that went on board was put on the scales. While it is not a very big boat it was an extraordinary project that was technically very challenging.” Van der Knaap continues: “In the end, we created a design for a high speed motor yacht with a very shallow draught that satisfied all the client’s wishes. The yacht, Tommy, was delivered last year and is currently cruising along the tropical Mauritian waters.” www.sealevel.nl

Sea Level specialises in designing yachts according to their clients’ requirements, resulting in a diversity of yacht styles and specifications.

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

CRAMM Yachting Systems take great pride in offering safe, flexible and complete solutions for your yacht.

Sizzlingly special hydraulics CRAMM’d together with excellent service TEXT: CAROLE EDRICH | PHOTOS: CRAMM YACHTING SYSTEMS

Now a large and successful enterprise providing custom-designed hydraulic equipment, complete solutions, highly qualified maintenance specialists and associated consultancy, services and technology, CRAMM Yachting Systems has grown much since its founding year of 1954. Commitment to their clients is so embedded in their culture that it affects the way they talk. Director Rob Knoop says: “The company worked for farmers by providing small hydraulic equipment and electric motors. Then in the ’60s and ’70s the yards in northern Holland asked for a ladder or passerelle.” The business grew further, and now they make all the hydraulic equipment that ships and yards require. Excellent maintenance and servicing is key, and recruitment (which looks for a combi-

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nation of excellent education, demonstrable mechanical and electrical engineering skills, clarity of thought and ability to learn) is just the start, with annual professional development training as well as biannual updates on new products and techniques. “You have to have a failure-free operation, especially for rescue conditions. If the lifesaving equipment isn’t in shape that’s it,” explains Knoop. “We have people wherever they’re needed and make sure they’re available around the clock.” Meanwhile, CRAMM engineers continue to work on innovative solutions. Knoop explains: “We are totally customer-focused. The customer decides what he wants and that is what we build, if he has the budget.” Knoop continues: “There’s a constant demand for lighter and smaller constructions and we are looking to keep ourselves at the top of the market. That means we never

stop our internal development and we sometimes partner with naval architects too. Those who copy our designs don’t sleep, but they can only copy what is on the market. By that time we are already busy working on the next generation of products.” True to form, with a delight in the quality of service and challenge of a commission rather than its size, Knoop’s special memories come from a vast reference list. This includes the creation of a thin and tiny passerelle for the 18-metre day-sailing Sizzler, and work on big yachts like the 160metre MY Dubai. The future is bright and customers of CRAMM Yachting Systems will benefit. www.cramm.nl


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Yacht Design & Engineering

For the Studio Delta team it’s all about meeting the wish of the client to find viable, practical and sleek solutions.

Stylish yachts for passionate yachtsmen TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: STUDIO DELTA

What started as a sole proprietorship is now a vibrant company celebrating their 15-year anniversary. The naval architectures of Studio Delta have a wide spread and detailed specialisation in the field of yacht design. That is why technical design agency Studio Delta is recognised as a key player in the superyacht industry. Studio Delta designs non-standard yachts and refit ships from the 50m range and up. “We design stylish yachts for passionate yachtsmen,” says Menno van Dijk, founder of Studio Delta. “It all starts with the intentions and expectations of the customer. Is the goal relaxation in the Mediterranean with friends or an adventure to the Arctic? A slim hull uses less fuel on long journeys and a wide hull gives more space for the interior. It is all about the clients’ requirements,” says van Dijk.

knowledge and insight in all aspects. We know what to expect. Therefore we can design a yacht exactly the way the customer wants.”

Studio Delta provides complete, designed yachts with attention to all safety and efficiency requirements.

Studio Delta provides complete, designed yachts. This means that everything is taken care of: weight, stability, motorising, safety and efficiency. The company is fully specialised in the design and naval architecture of yachts and small commercial vessels. With customers in China, Dubai, Turkey and England, Studio Delta has gained a vast amount of knowledge in various disciplines and regulations in the yacht building industry. Van Dijk says: “We have

There are some other and rather special projects Studio Delta has worked on. “We have developed a helicopter hangar in a ship,” says van Dijk. “This also illustrates our consulting services, which handle specific and specialised items of ships.” Currently Studio Delta is finishing a special project. Van Dijk explains: “We are on the verge of releasing a new design. A 30-metre motor yacht created in cooperation with designer Nick Mezas.” Read more about the project with Nick Mezas on page 46. www.studiodelta.nl

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Discover Benelux | Architecture Special | Epure Architects

The client’s needs, timing, as well as financial, social, physical and environmental aspects are thoroughly considered and analysed before each project is started.

Architects and much more There are companies who specialize in one field – their expertise is unmatched in the services they provide – and other companies that will offer a large range of services in the same industry; they will never go into detail, but allow you to understand the full scope of the project at stake. Rarely do we come across a company that has both the depth and the width, an equal quality of services spread across an entire industry and more. This is exactly the type of company Epure strives to be. TEXT: HARUN OSMANOVIC | PHOTOS: EPURE

Christophe Bichara, the founder of the Belgian company, started his career as an architect in 1996. Based in Brussels, Epure started working on different scales of projects, from urban planning to object design, and of course architecture. Quickly they started contracting with large multinationals and helping private clients with asset management, two areas that today are the main focus for Epure, both on its domestic market and overseas.

A masterful adequacy Epure’s team believes that masterful architecture lies in the perfect adequacy be-

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needs, timing, as well as financial, social, physical and environmental aspects). This assessment will also highlight the priorities and constraints, and thus contribute in designing a consistent project.

tween the client’s and the user’s needs on one side, and the project on another. Thus, whichever type or size of project – housing, offices, retail, renovation or new construction – the approach follows the same procedure. In close collaboration with the client, Epure will first assess the context in which the project will be developed (client’s

“Our goal,” explains Bichara, “was always to grow organically while keeping a human scale; this is what allows us to deliver services tailored to our clients’ needs.” For corporate clients, Epure’s approach is to start working on the project very early by helping the managing team understand what they really want and what the com-


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Discover Benelux | Architecture Special | Epure Architects

pany really needs. It isn’t rare that companies have a goal in mind without fully knowing how to reach it architecturally, an approach that sometimes sees Bichara and his colleagues tackling topics that would not be instinctively classified in the architecture of things. Although it is difficult to estimate the impact of an architecture project on the performance of a company, it seems evident that Epure’s approach contributes to it.

Optimising space and internal organisation “We have had clients who wanted to double their staff and so, asked us to double the working space. What we proposed instead was finding ways to optimise the space and internal organisation so that our client would understand how architecture could help in the everyday process; bottom line, the client realized that by optimising space they could reach the same goals in a better way,” explains Bichara. For him and his colleagues, considering the wellbeing of their clients’ employees, optimising process to optimise business, creating beautiful and innovative buildings and offices are all parts of creating an environment where people will not only work but also enjoy living in. In essence, Epure’s philosophy is to use architecture in the larger sense to solve its clients’ problems. As Bichara says: “The idea is to act as an orchestra director; we manage the project in all its details, making sure every aspect is handled with a lot of care.”

Epure helps companies understand what they want and reach their goal architecturally, helping out each step of the way.

For private clients, Epure has the same approach. Generally speaking, private real estate developers who want to invest and are looking for a trustworthy partner to handle the entire project, contact the company. From the selection of properties with high return potential to legal and financial counseling all the way to delivery and exit strategy; Epure does it all. “Whenever we speak of architecture,” continues Bichara, “we mean the entire process.” In every

project, Epure will thus design the tailormade furniture all the way down to the ideal way for the joiner to build them. The main reason for Epure’s success is the confidentiality with which they treat each client, as well as their involvement in every stage of the process – allowing the company to really understand the needs of the clients and ultimately find satisfactory solutions. Holding the loyalty of its clients as a proof of quality, Bichara insists on the fact that at Epure, the projects are always conceived in collaboration with all stakeholders. With contemporary, future-oriented and innovative architecture, Epure strives to become the ideal partner for companies who want to relocate to Brussels, change offices or simply renovate their working space. Bichara’s team will also continue creating the best investment opportunities for their clients, in the Benelux region but also in France or elsewhere – and who knows, maybe one day work with you. www.epure.be

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Wellness & Beauty

Get serious with your skin Do you believe that well looked-after and radient skin is important? If so, you probably wash on a daily basis, while taking care that you have a good diet and ensuring you get sufficient sleep. Of course this is commendable, but these results could be bolstered by working together with a beauty specialist. TEXT: ANBOS | PRESS PHOTOS

It’s important to remember that we’ve only got one skin, the body’s largest organ, so we should take care of it. Fluctuations to our hormone levels and changes in our lifestyle have an effect on our skin, and these can’t always be combated with a specific cream or treatment method.

Massages keep you young Do you know just how many types of skinboosting massages exist? With their recuperative and stimulatory effects, they really can enhance your skin. As you get older, you have an ever-diminishing level of collagen – this is what keeps your skin elastic and wrinkle-free. Alongside special prod-

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ucts that stimulate collagen production, you can also try massages to boost collagen. A skin-improving massage is actually a sort of workout for your skin. Just as your improve your physical condition by partaking in sport, it’s the same concept for your skin; as cells from deeper layers of your skin are awakened and stimulated, your skin’s functions improve and this results in radiant, healthy skin. If you want to improve the condition of skin then a personal treatment is recommended. Depending on the current condition of your skin, it might be wise initially to come regularly in order to give your skin the muchneeded boost. After that, monthly visits

are ideal. By treating your skin to a regular skin-boosting massage, you’ll keep it in top condition.

What about problematic skin? If you’ve got troublesome skin, plagued by spots or even acne, then you’re probably keen to do something about it. Difficult to combat entirely, there are still efforts you can make against acne. As teenagers, we were all hit to a certain extent by this skin issue, and for some, it just hasn’t gone away. There are several factors at play here: hormones, genetics, stress or oily pores. Depending on your situation, the beauty specialists will come up with a cus-


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Wellness & Beauty

tomised plan. As we age, women are more likely to get acne than men and the cause of this could be inbalances in the skin. By taking control of our skin with the help of a professional, we can do our best to avoid any recurrences of a teenage nightmare. Some spots that just won’t go away? It’s definitely best to make an appointment with an acne specialist right away.

After treatment Naturally, after a thorough treatment, your skin is busy working, and may perhaps look a little red for several hours. After a few more days your skin will be glowing radiently. To ensure that the treatment doesn’t wear off, there are special products that

you can use at home. Keen to get your skin into prime condition? Come and find your local skin speciaiist.

This article is courtesy of the winners of the Beauty Award 2014 and ANBOS, the Brancheorganisatie Schoonheidsverzorging (The Association for Care and Beauty). ANBOS counts approximately 5,000 beauticians and beauty specialists as members. These members are all qualified as beauticians and many are certified in several areas of beauty, so you’re in safe hands with one of ANBOS’s members. To find your local ANBOS specialist, please visit: www.anbos.nl

Seven tips from beauty land 1. Wrinkle reduction therapy: an intensive form of connective tissue massage that results in improved blood flow, a higher intake of oxygen and therefore a more balanced complexion and an improved skin condition. 2. Beauty bootcamp: a tailor-made package including treatments, advice and products to use at home. 3. VIP treatment: Head to the salon at specific times on certain days and a beautician will be on hand whenever you need new products. 4. Permanent make-up: Using the latest technology, ultra-thin hair strokes can be applied to form great, natural-looking eyebrows. 5. Training programme: By combining beauty treatments, products, super foods and exercises, your body will feel the benefits and it’ll show. 6. Promote collagen: To get an optimal collagen boost use products with a slightly higher concentration of active ingredients, connective tissue massages, an ampoule and a collagen face mask. 7. Peeling: Treat your skin to a hydration boost with a high concentration of fruit acids, which will increase the water-binding capacity of the epidermis.

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Wellness & Beauty

Beauty at the crossroads of tradition and technology TEXT: HARUN OSMANOVIC | PHOTOS: WELLNEXT

There is, in the heart of Luxembourg, a haven of beauty like no other. Created in 2010, Wellnext is a salon that aims to offer the best of both worlds: ancestral know-how combined with the high technology of the 21st century. “We are not your traditional beauty salon,” Florence Grillière, owner of the salon, explains. “We use Medicare equipment of the most advanced kind. In that sense, Wellnext is what you could call an aesthetic treatment centre.” With over three hundred square metres of space, Wellnext welcomes ladies and gentlemen looking for expertise as well as fast and durable results. Along with three beauticians and one masseuse, Wellnext is also home of a resident medical aesthetic practitioner who carries out anti-aging and morpho-aesthetic procedures. As such, Wellnext is a pioneer of cosmeceuticals in Luxembourg using ingredients active on the dermis. “We always take a picture before we start the treatments, and show the clients the change,” explains

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Grillière, “it never fails to amaze, even after a single session.” Whether you are visiting for a slimming or an anti-aging treatment, laser hair removal or even power plates to tone the muscles, Wellnext will offer you the most advanced products and devices currently on the market. For instance, the Luxembourgish salon treats nasty wrinkles through meso-therapy, the latest needle-free technology with no side effects or associated risks, “a simple procedure to help you age better,” as Grillière explains. With several formulas available, Wellnext will help you prepare for any coming event. How about a two-hour relaxing birthday

manicure and face treatment with tea and cupcakes, or a four-hour wedding day formula starting with a tone “hydramemory”? Or why not try a “recovery touch” face treatment followed by a lunch break and finished off with hand and feet care, nail polish and makeup? If you are coming to Luxembourg for business or visiting the city more leisurely, the salon awaits you in the Kirchberg, near the European Union institutions. Not only will you have a nice time, but it might also give you that extra edge and fresh look to make the difference. www.wellnext.lu

Wellnext combines ancestral know-how with high technology of the 21st century to give you fast and durable results.


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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Wellness & Beauty

Aesthetic Autumn TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PRESS PHOTOS

After a sunny summer, it is time to prepare for autumn! We are fully energised, but our skin could use some new energy after all the UV it has absorbed. The autumn is the perfect moment to restore the skin and bring it back into top condition.

make a personal treatment plan,” explains aesthetic surgeon Dr. Farid Kazem. He adds: “Besides applying day cream, always use sun screen with factor 30. Apply a generous amount of sun screen every time you go out.”

After sun skin solution Damage to the skin as a result of too much sun or an unhealthy lifestyle is only visible years later. Good news: if you already know what the damage to your skin is, future damage can be prevented!

Prevent the signs of aging But how do you find out? Kazem Aesthetica offers a Visia face scan, which looks deep into the skin and exposes all future wrinkles, expanded pores, pigmentation and other skin damage. “It is not fun to see, but it is the perfect technique to make a skin analysis and to

Especially after summer, your skin could use a boost. UV radiation damages collagen and elastine, which are the foundations of a tight and smooth skin. The state of the art NEFERA™ Skincare Collection is developed by Dr. Kazem. It is a skincare that contains a very active peptide that restores, protects and renews the collagen from as deep as possible inside the skin. Dr Kazem says: “It is the perfect skincare for everyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of a healthy skin for a long time.”

About Dr. Farid Kazem Plastic surgeon Farid Kazem is well known for his extensive experience and high-quality results in skin rejuvenation with surgical and non-surgical procedures. Do you want to prevent your skin from aging and keep that youthful look and feel as long as possible? Visit www.nefera.com & www.kazem.nl or get in touch at info@kazem.nl Laser treatments The laser treatments with Clear + Brilliant® en Fraxel® repair sun-caused damage in the face, neck, décolleté and hands. Both lasers replace damaged skin cells with healthy new ones. Opposed to the common laser techniques, these lasers do not treat the whole surface of the skin, but only the parts that have been damaged. This leads to a quick recovery.

ABOVE: NEFERA™ Skincare Collection is developed by Dr. Kazem and contains active peptides that restore and protect your natural collagen production. TOP RIGHT: The Viasia face scan looks deep into the skin and reveals future wrinkles, pigmentation and other damage.

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Wellness & Beauty

BELOW: Restoring a hairline also restores confidence, whether it applies to burn wound sufferers, men with baldness or women for aesthetic purposes. ABOVE: Jos Dohmen, CEO (middle) and Coen Gho, CSO (right).

Splitting hairs in the battle against baldness TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: HAIR SCIENCE INSTITUTE

With its revolutionary technique to fight baldness and restore hairlines, the Hair Science Institute is taking the world by storm. Its self-developed HairStemcell Transplantation technology does not simply move hair, it multiplies it. The institute has clinics in Maastricht, Amsterdam, London, Vienna and Jakarta and is about to open in Germany, France and the United Arab Emirates. The enthusiasm of CEO Jos Dohmen quickly catches on as he lists the benefits: “Does it hurt? No. Does it bleed? Hardly. Does it leave scars? No. Does it look natural? Absolutely. You can even return to work the next day.” The institute was set up in 2005 by Dohmen and Coen Gho, who developed the technique. “Coen has a medical background and knew this was something big. He needed help to set up a business and as a graduate in marketing and economics, that’s where I came in,” Dohmen says.

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It works as follows: with a hollow needle, hairs in the donor area are split around the centre and taken out individually. These ‘grafts’ contain hair stem cells and are subsequently inserted one-by-one into little holes in the treatment area. Dohmen continues: “Because only a tiny part of the donor hair follicle is removed, almost all the hairs grow back. In the treatment area, these stem cells grow into full hairs so we actually create multiple hairs out of one. We’re able to do this several times without extra loss of hair.”

Dohmen says: “Burn wound patients have suffered enough. Our technique doesn’t add another scar and is completely painless so it’s particularly suited for children like Igli. In fact, it’s the only procedure available that works on burn wounds.” As the evidence of the procedure fades within months, HSI regularly gets stunned phone calls from friends, relatives and even medical staff. “They simply don’t believe our former patients when they say they had a procedure done,” Dohmen says proudly. “This really shows how good the technique is.”

It’s impossible not to be impressed by the A HairStemcell Transplantation procedure, striking cases Dohmen presents, particupatented in Europe, takes six hours to a larly the story of Igli. This 14-year-old from Albania suffered full day including horrendous burn breaks. The webwounds as a baby site has more inforand large patches mation – also on of his hair were afIgli’s dossier – and fected. Thanks to is available in sevHSI, he can now eral languages. grow a full head of hair again. www.hasci.com Igli, before and after HairStemcell Transplation.


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Discover Benelux | Dutch Design Special | ÉtoileMaastricht

As the shine wears off Transient yet eternal, ÉtoileMaastricht’s newest collection Vienna Woods has taken an all-embracing novel approach to aging by incorporating the process into their newest jewellery range. “Everything ages – even us,” begins Philippe Disse, the jewellery design mastermind of ÉtoileMaastricht’s husband and wife duo. “Items that we treasure, shoes that we wear on a daily basis, our favourite sofa – these all deteriorate, it’s unavoidable but we should embrace it,” he says with an emphatic nod. Unafraid of complexity, Disse’s partner Martijne van Vught, responsible for the Maastricht-based studio’s R&D, has worked unrelentingly to perfect the art of aging, fine-tuning the concept to meet their high standards. Gold, explains Disse, is naturally more expensive, but gold-plated silver has untold qualities that evolve to shape the ir-

refutable beauty of Vienna Woods. By stacking the delicate rings, each encrusted with a single colourful gem, the now chunky and very en trend rings boast a delicately textured surface. “Over time,” continues Disse excitedly, “the gold will wear away from certain areas but it’ll remain in the grooves, at the core of the ring.” The rings were intensively road-tested for three months before the grand unveiling in the middle of July. Now stocked in their exclusive store on Maastricht’s Stokstraat, the collection includes four types of rings, including the Vienna Woods Silver or gold plated twig-like Stacking Rings, the single band Sunrise with its vibrant gems and the subtle fragility of the silver or gold plated Marlin. Beguiling for many, Vienna Woods’s appeal lies in its heartfelt acceptance of aging. www.viennawoods.nl www.etoilemaastricht.com

TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PRESS PHOTOS

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www.nbcc.co.uk


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Discover Benelux | Hotel of the Month | Luxembourg

HOTEL OF THE MONTH, LUXEMBOURG

A Hotel in the Green: A place to make your presentations – then maybe your putts Luxembourg City punches well above its weight when it comes to attracting international corporations, but the cosmopolitan buzz and round-the-clock lifestyle can also be distracting. That’s one of the major reasons why the Mercure Kikuoka Golf Club Hotel, 20 minutes’drive eastwards from the city, attracts so many business travellers, and especially business conferences, according to its Sales and Marketing Manager Luc Degrave. TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: MERCURE KIKUOKA GOLF CLUB HOTEL

“We’re in stunningly calm and peaceful surroundings, with no shops or urban bustle to take people’s minds off what they are there to do,” he says. “The trump card for the hotel is that it is very much a ‘hotel in the green’, in pleasant rolling countryside, so it suits for example major banks based in Luxembourg because there’s no traffic noise, no shops, no city distractions. It’s the perfect environment for training and integration sessions where people are at a

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meeting to learn something and they need to have 100 per cent focus.”

wellness centres, and guests can even book sessions with a beauty therapistmasseuse,” says Luc.

The“kick”in Kikuoka The Kikuoka, managed by Maximilian von Hochberg, is part of the Accor Group, with all the understated professionalism that comes with the association and the facilities that business people and leisure users would expect of it. “We have a very lovely indoor pool, solarium, and saunas in our

But the hotel does boast something that few, if any, of its sister hotels possess: an 18-hole championship-standard golf course that has hosted numerous professional events since it opened in 1991, something that speaks volumes about its standards. “The par-71 course, designed


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Discover Benelux | Hotel of the Month | Luxembourg

by Japanese golf-architect Iwao Uematsu, is 18 hectares of fabulously green and beautifully manicured land around which another 100 hectares of our woods, forests and parkland stretch,” enthuses Luc. With a driving range and putting greens to get the game ready for the bigger challenge it does seem possible some of those driven banking executives may allow their thoughts to wander momentarily, every now and then at least, to a different sort of drive. And with nearly 90 bunkers awaiting the careless, along with some trickilyplaced water hazards, that drive had best be well executed, or as Luc adds: “For sure you’ll get the kick in Kikuoka.”

Putts, relaxing atmosphere and Luxembourg’s wine country The 18th is said to be a particular favourite with visiting golfers as a fun part of the green, and naturally the 19th hole – the bar – can follow immediately afterwards if desired. Relaxing here or enjoying the panorama from the extensive terrace, your putts are sure to magically lengthen, and bad shots will surely decrease in number as the hospitality begins to flow. Given that the Kikuoka is situated at the edge of Luxembourg’s Mosel wine country, an important element of that hospitality is having the fruity white wines available in the hotel restaurant and bar. Chilled and ready to refresh, these wines are made from grapes grown just a few kilometres further east. For enthusiasts, the hotel can assist with arrangements to take visitors to the wine rather than the other way around. “We are situated right by Remich, and no great distance from what is regarded as the unofficial capital of Luxembourg’s wine industry, Grevenmacher, so it’s easy for trips

The hotel is situated in calm and peaceful surroundings, far from urban bustle. OPPOSITE PAGE: Kikuoka’s championship-standard 18-hole golf course that has played host to numerous professional events.

to be organised to the caves of some of the top Luxembourg wine makers for dégustations, and to see some fine winemaking country,” says Luc.

Centre for multi-national corporations This, perhaps, is one of the draws for the financiers and industrialists who attend conferences at the hotel. “Luxembourg is well known as a centre for multi-national corporations, many of which host conferences here on a regular basis,” says Luc. “We handle everything from big gatherings in our main conference room, which holds up to 250 people, to smaller or multi-room events for which this room can be split into three sous-salles, with two additional rooms also available depending on needs.”

As regards geography it’s not just the hotel’s proximity to the beautiful wine country that makes it an excellent location for business and leisure travellers, given that the country’s main airport is just 15 kilometres distant. But Kikuoka is a world away from such noisy environments, with the soughing of the wind in its trees or the rustle of swaying corn on a neighbouring farm the likely background sounds (and on occasion the sound of a golfer quietly cursing a duffed chip!). The more intrusive clamour of the modern world will not permeate the living sound insulation with which the hotel is surrounded: “We are almost hermetically enclosed within what is the biggest green garden in Luxembourg,” Luc concludes. www.accorhotels.com

ABOVE LEFT AND MIDDLE: Enjoy the hotel’s top-of-the-range wellness center with pools and the chance to book beauty therapy sessions and massages. RIGHT: Vast conference and meeting spaces can accommodate you and your business in the heart of hospitality.

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Discover Benelux | Restaurant of the Month | Luxembourg

Contemporary meets history in the design of this restaurant.

R E S TA U R A N T O F T H E M O N T H , L U X E M B O U R G

Schéiss aux Arquebusiers – Chic Luxembourg cuisine TEXT: PHIL GALE | PHOTOS: SCHÉISS AUX ARQUEBUSIERS SARL

Out of all of the countries in the Benelux region, Luxembourg has quite possibly the highest standard of cuisine. With more Michelin Stars per capita than anywhere in Europe, it really is a country with a refined palate. That is what makes September’s restaurant of the month, Schéiss aux Arquebusiers, a truly interesting proposition.

degree by the local council, explains restaurant manager Serge Pinot: “We have worked hard to create a nice contrast between the contemporary and warm aesthetics of the restaurant and the traditional building that houses it. It has the same style as the Cultural Centre next door, built at the same time by the city, which can be hired out and used for events that we cater for.”

Situated in a chic residential neighbourhood of Luxembourg, it is immediately clear upon entering Schéiss aux Arquebusiers that the restaurant is something special. Its large French window permits the diners a wide vista of a local park, allowing them to savour the delights on the menu in a calm and welcoming ambience.

There is also the ability to make the most of days with good weather here, as the restaurant houses a courtyard terrace and lounge in which you can escape the city.

The building that houses this gastronomic gem was recently renovated to a very high

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With the restaurant’s atmosphere and design functioning as an enhancement to the food on offer, Schéiss aux Arquebusiers certainly lives up to Luxembourg’s high gastronomic bar. Under the guidance of Michelin-starred chef Thierry Duhr, the

other half of the association that set up the restaurant, a delightful menu of French-inspired dishes is on offer. Though not working behind the stoves, Duhr, who works in his own restaurant, guides kitchen chef Stéphane de Vrée in creating a menu using local and seasonal produce. Pinot continues: “The team works hard to adapt the menu to the seasonal produce, so it changes every two months.” Perfect for business lunches, family dinners or functions, this city centre restaurant with its delectable cuisine, relaxed and contemporary atmosphere and ability to hold functions, should definitely be added to the list of places to come back to again and again. www.scheiss.lu


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Photo: Stad Genk

Discover Benelux | Attraction of the Month | Belgium

AT T R A C T I O N O F T H E M O N T H , B E L G I U M

A marriage of past and present TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: STIJN BOLLAERT

Dominated by the now defunct mine shaft towers, the western city of Genk in Limburg has a veritable gold mine's worth of cultural offerings. Since opening in 2011, C-mine attracts hordes of visitors, drawn to its vibrant creative nest in the former Winterslag mine. Perhaps more than any other destination, Genk is committed to reinvigorating its urban sprawl. Surrounded by Limburg’s greenery, this industrial heritage has been transformed into creative impulses. “What you see here,” explains C-mine’s Hanne Strobbe, “is the successful union between past and present, combining spectacular industrial heritage with the creativity that abounds today.” “Respect and admiration for the past,” continues Strobbe, “go hand in hand with contemporary creativity; it’s a thriving location for artists, students, culture vultures and entrepreneurs.” Buzzing with inspiration, the multi-functional C-mine site is a

great place to spend a day; restaurants, Studio Pieter Stockmans, a cinema and the interactive C-mine expedition combine to fulfil the hours. Speaking of C-mine’s strikingly varied offerings, Strobbe is contagiously enthusiastic. “Come and visit,” Strobbe says persuasively, “have a wander and explore underground on our C-mine expedition.” Featuring 1.5 kilometres of tunnels, the interactive expedition begins in the structurally impressive former compressor hall, where you’re struck by the giant turbines, which although dormant today, were once the heart of the mine. Once on the expedition, you’re hit by a wealth of creativity fused with historic mining tales. With installations from eminent artists such as Stijn Meuris, the mine is cast in a new light. The interactive “sound cell” is your chance to emulate the once deafening sounds. According to Strobbe, the highlight is the 380 steps up mineshaft tower and the wellearned view over Limburg.

Since claiming the land of the once prolific coalmine, Genk called upon the young Brussels-based architecture firm 51n4e to redevelop the energy building. Remarkable at first glance, the appeal runs deeper as the mine’s tunnels, which once reached 825m underground, are now accessible on the C-mine expedition, which was designed by Ghent’s NU Architectuuratelier. With coal as one raw material, food is another and this can be found in abundance in the nearby Vennestraat. Top-notch international cuisine has arrived here en masse and the “Vennestraat’s Journey of Ingredients” takes you to cafes, restaurants and delicatessens from across the globe. With iPod tours available too, conference rooms to hire and treasure hunts, C-mine is continuing to extract sufficient raw materials to keep you entertained. www.c-mine-expeditie.be www.visitgenk.be

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Discover Benelux | Hotel of the Month | The Netherlands

ABOVE: Hotel New York combines effortless elegance with both old and new design elements. MIDDLE: Enjoy delicious meals in the hotel oyster bar. RIGHT: Make the most out of your stay in the newly renovated rooms: relax, eat, drink and use the location as a prime spot to explore Rotterdam.

HOTEL OF THE MONTH, THE NETHERLANDS

An icon in Rotterdam: Hotel New York TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: HOTEL NEW YORK

The perfect place to stay or meet when you are in Rotterdam: the nostalgic Hotel New York. With a gorgeous harbour view and recently renovated rooms, you can enjoy luxury and history at the same time. The building that harbours Hotel New York, is the former head office of the Holland America line. From its location on the bank of the river Maas, many emigrants left the country hoping for a better life in America. You can still feel the excitement and sad goodbyes lingering in the quarters. When walking through the original wooden revolving door and up the wrought iron stairs, it feels like you are back in the early nineteen hundreds - with a lot more modern facilities, however. Hotel New York has 72 hotel rooms that have been renovated in the last three

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years. “The rooms are modern, but with a nostalgic twist,” explains general manager Roel Dusseldorp. “Many original parts have been maintained.” With high ceilings, old safes as walk-in closets and trunks everywhere, there is no denying the building’s history. Other highlights of the hotel are definitely the former boardrooms, which have been transformed into luxurious suites. There is even a bathtub by the window, with a beautiful view over the harbour. The two biggest boardrooms have been turned into stylish meeting rooms and are named after the founders of the Holland America Line: Reuchlin and Plate. Dusseldorp explains: “Thanks to the interior and the magnificent view, the rooms offer a very inspiring environment. They are a perfect fit for meetings with up to 20 persons.” The

five other rooms are also worth meeting in: with a different atmosphere each, there will definitely be one that suits your wishes! Even before entering Hotel New York, you will be stunned by its appearance. Its striking architecture stands out between the modern buildings, and the best thing is: you can see it from anywhere around the harbour. There is no wonder that Hotel New York is an icon in Rotterdam. Besides sleep and meetings, you can also enjoy an exquisite meal in the oyster bar, an afternoon tea or ride on a typical Dutch electric bike. Hotel New York is easily accessible by car and the water taxi can bring you right up to the hotel. www.hotelnewyork.nl


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Discover Benelux | Feature | Atomium

A T O M I U M :

As futuristic now as it was in 1958 TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PRESS PHOTOS

Brussels 1958. Europe is back on its feet and the world is looking towards Belgium. It is the World Fair. With both East and West represented, the Expo’s title “A World View: A New Humanism” is seen as a statement of hope, future peace and prosperity.

Hire a sphere for your business events where up to 200 people can attend. Photo: Axel Addington

EXPO 58 welcomed 42 million visitors to the pavilions of 46 nationalities, drastically changing the architectural landscape of Brussels. As is common for the World Expo, the Belgian Pavilion, the Atomium, was originally built as a 6-month temporary structure, but as Inge Van Eycken, press officer at the eye-catching building, explains: “It was just too popular. It immediately became regarded as a symbol of Belgium so it was decided that it should stay. It’s been open ever since, but during 2004 and 2006 it was renovated – remember, it was already pretty old!” Today, the humongous spaceship-esque structure still delights and astounds its 600,000 visitors every year. According to Van Eycken, visitors’ jaws literally drop as they are faced with the momentous size of the nine interconnected spheres in Brussels’ Heysel Park. “You hear them gasp, amazed by its futuristic architecture. It’s just so unique – people ask if it’s going to take off!” Her advice to visitors? “Seriously, just walk slowly,” she pleads, “the inside is just as special as the outside.” Details on the banisters of the stairs and escalators which connect the spheres are definitely worth noticing, and one of the escalator tunnels plays host to an awe-inspiring light and sound installation, referred to by kids as the ‘disco escalator’. Six of the nine spheres can be explored, including a restaurant, a 92m high panorama sphere and one designated for conference hire. “It’s definitely somewhere special to hold a meeting or dinner for any business.

TV recordings, music videos, telecommunication companies – we’ve had them all,” recounts Van Eycken. The lowest sphere houses the vast permanent exhibition dedicated to Expo 58, and two other spheres offer temporary design, fine art and architecture exhibitions. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for primary school children involves an overnight stay in one of the spheres, sleeping inside spe-

cial pods for 3 children. Activities and catering ensure that the stay is as comfortable as possible – although they’ll no doubt be too excited to sleep much. The academic year 2014/2015 still has some nights available. As the structure was built in 1958, wheelchair access is limited but Van Eycken guarantees that any extra needs can be met. www.atomium.be

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Discover Benelux | Business | Columns

What communicates? TEXT & ILLUSTRATION: JOSIAH FISK

Confused by coffee terms? That might be exactly the point. Benelux has always loved its coffee. In fact, although coffee first came to Europe via Venice, it was Dutch traders who built the European market for it. But these days, merely loving coffee isn’t enough. If you don’t know the difference between a latte, a macchiato, a latte macchiato and a flat white, you’re not ready to order. Some coffee terms may seem to cut it a bit fine. Add hot water to espresso and you’ve got an Americano. Combine the same ingredients in the opposite order and you’ve got a long black. Even if we limit the conversation just to the different words for “espresso” there are still enough terms to confuse. A solo, doppio and triplo are about the same size, respectively, as a ristretto, normale and lungo, but they’re not made the same way. At least not in theory. But in practice, what’s actually in your cup owes a lot to the house interpretation of these terms. That can depend on many factors, some intentional (national custom, brand

style), some economic or just plain random (type and condition of the equipment, skill of the barista). This variability adds a whole new level of muddle. So wouldn’t it be better for everyone if coffee were less confusing? For consumers, possibly. But for the €70 billion a year coffee industry, probably not. The explanation involves a communications paradox. While the coffee terms themselves can be elusive, the mere existence of so many terms sends a larger message that is very clear: coffee isn’t just coffee, it’s an entire world of experiences. And it’s

worth getting to know. How will you do that? By buying and sampling a lot of coffee drinks from a lot of places. You might also ask friends or check out web sites. Josiah Fisk From the coffee industry’s viewpoint, this is all to the good. The more time people spend thinking, tasting, and arguing about coffee, the less their question will be “coffee or no coffee?” and the more it will be “what kind of coffee do I want?” So to the addictiveness of caffeine has been added the seductiveness of connoisseurship and personal preference. And you thought it was just a cup of coffee.

Josiah Fisk is the head of More Carrot LLC, a clear communications company with offices in Boston and Luxembourg.

Getting English speakers to speak International English TEXT: STEVE FLINDERS | PRESS PHOTO

Here are ten principles for good international communication between native speakers of English (NSs) and non-native speakers (NNSs) that I think NSs should adopt; and which I think NNSs should ask, and indeed require NSs to use. My guidelines are addressed to native speakers. 1 KISS - Keep It Short and Simple. The longer you talk, the less clear you will be. Signal the structure of what you want to say. 2 Use simple words. Don’t use long words and complicated expressions when simple ones will do just as well. 3 Be direct. (Or at least as far as the situation allows: it’s not only the British who may prefer harmony over transparency). British indirectness can be baffling to NNSs. “I think it’s very hot. May I open a window?” is better than “It’s terribly stuffy in here”.

making jokes and then spending the next five minutes failing to explain them. Of course humour can help to break the ice but please use KISS for jokes too. 6 Avoid local cultural references. Your interlocutors will not be as familiar with your country’s minor TV celebrities, soap operas and football teams as you are. 7 Avoid idiom. “We’re batting on a sticky wicket here” or “We’re going to have to play hardball with them”. ¿Qué?

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, consultant, writer and coach who helps people develop their communication skills for working internationally. He’s also a member of the steering group of Coaching York which aspires to make York the coaching capital of the UK (www.coachingyork.co.uk): steveflind@aol.com

8 Check and clarify frequently. Do lots of this. International communication takes longer. 9 Summarise. This is critical. Follow up in writing too. 10 Take turns when you speak. It’s particularly hard to follow a discussion in a foreign language when several people are speaking at once.

4 Speak slowly. When asked, NSs generally slow down for about 15 seconds and then revert. NNSs should ask and keep on asking. Everyone shares the responsibility for ensuring that communication is successful.

Of course, NNSs assertiveness is more difficult if the political power in the room lies with the NSs but everyone should recognise that the linguistic power exercised by NSs is often hollow.

5 Don’t try to be funny. There are few things more painful in international exchanges than NSs

The irony is that most NSs could radically improve their international communication strategies with

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just an afternoon’s training. Meanwhile, all power to the non-native speakers. May your education of those pesky native speakers be successful.

Steve Flinders


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Discover Benelux | Business | Benelux Buiness Calendar

Benelux Business Calendar TEXT: JULIE LINDÉN

The long and warm summer has left us replenished and hungry for new inspiration to boost our business plans. Behold our September business calendar, bursting with exciting events made to entice your creativity and enlighten your mind. 53rd NBCC KLM UK Golf Event Wentworth Club, UK, 16 September On 16 September it is the 53rd time the NBCC KLM UK Golf Event is organised by The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as the main sponsor at the famous Wentworth Club. The event’s winner will receive the KLM Golf Trophy and the grand prize of two business class return tickets to any destination within the KLM European Network. More information on this golf event is available on the website www.nbgolfweb.co.uk Deloitte 7th Art & Finance conference Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, 18 September International experts and local players discuss practical issues and visions of the future. Explore the ‘financialisation’ of the art market and the many business opportunities linked to a global art culture, and the specialised services made to support it.

Last year’s NBCC KLM UK golf event winner, David Chappel of Lotus Business Travel, shakes hands with General Manager of Air France KLM UK/Ireland, Warner Rootliep.

Take part in the European Ports and Shipping Conference in Amsterdam on 18-19 September. Photo: Netherlands Board of Tourism.

European Ports and Shipping Conference Amsterdam, Netherlands, 18-19 September This two-day international conference is to focus on investment strategies, maintenance of ports and enhancing intermodal links as it brings together the largest ports, logistics and shipping companies in the world. Hosted by United Market Insight the conference will explore policy, legal frameworks, port infrastructure and environmental challenges, to name but a few topics. Attracting practitioners from across the industry, the event is bound to be both educational and enriching.

MODX Weekend 2014 Utrecht, the Netherlands, 19-22 September Taking place in the middle of a private forest, the MODX Weekend is an all-inclusive conference that shines light on everything to do with a rapidly changing web industry. The ticket includes 20 sessions on MODX and the web as well as dinners, pick-ups and any other service you need. Update yourself on the MODX tools to manage your web presence.

Vakanz TEXT & PHOTOS: ANOUK KALMES

It’s summer holiday season in the northern hemisphere and most people are off to tan their bodies under the sun, explore old and new cities, or embark on a far-away exotic adventure. Most Luxembourgers love travelling and I don’t know anyone who isn’t looking forward to their ‘vakanz’ (holidays). We work to live, and it’s rare for us not to have one – or often several – upcoming trips lined up. Luxembourgers appreciate comfortable accommodation and good food and for us these are important factors when travelling. We are even willing to pay a bit more in order to have these aspects guaranteed. We are lucky that our geographical location allows us to quickly hop to all main European cities. Judging from my Facebook feed, I would say that the most popular

summer destinations are southern Europe, North Africa, the US, and Southeast Asia. The average Luxembourger goes on four to ten trips per year, which may or may not include business trips. Some of my friends’ “problems” involve finding a new destination. When you have been to more than 60 countries, it does get tricky to find somewhere new that appeals to you and that you can get excited about. Luckily, we can travel freely to many destinations and rarely have hassles with visa requirements.

Once abroad, it’s not unusual to hear “you are the first person that I meet from Luxembourg”. Sure, we are a rare breed, but amongst each other we have certainly covered most countries on this planet. As for my summer trips, I have revisited a few European capitals: Milan, London, Madrid and Paris. Given the fact that since January I have been to Vienna, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Copenhagen and Budapest, one may say that I have done my share of travelling this year. Well, I still have two weeks left to take until the end of the year, and I will hopefully get to go to another exciting place that I have never seen before.

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Discover Benelux | Culture | Out & About

OUT & ABOUT As September rolls in gently, life settles once more into its rhythm of school, work and socialising. This is the month for sporty types who are keen to discover Amsterdam by water, on foot or on two wheels. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PRESS PHOTOS

I know we shouldn’t be thinking about winter yet but before the evenings get too dark and gloomy, now is a good time to make the most of the season. Fun summery events are still happening – trust us, you just have to know where to look.

Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s The Fountainhead 18 September 2014, Amsterdam, The Netherlands With director Ivo van Hove (our August cover star) regarded as a pioneer in the world of theatre, his rendition of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is unmissable. As always, Van Hove confronts current issues head-on, taking theatre to a new level of intimacy and antagonism in his own wonderfully distinct manner. Two perform-

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ances this month have English subtitles. www.tga.nl

Film Festival Ostend 12 – 20 September 2014 Ostend, Belgium Ghent Film Festival’s little brother, this September festival has a broad spectrum of films ready to start rolling. www.filmfestivaloostende.be

Amsterdam Heritage Days 13 and 14 September Amsterdam, the Netherlands A rare occasion to cross the threshold of Amsterdam’s most important buildings, monuments and private homes all free of charge. With this year’s theme marked as ‘travel’, visitors can at-

tend lectures, guided tours and visit exhibitions. Inspiring, eye-opening and at times surprising at what lurks behind doorways, these two days are certainly worth wandering the streets for. www.amsterdam.nl

Laura van Dolron - Liefhebben 25 – 27 September 2014 Vooruit, Ghent, Belgium Love in all its facets is tackled in Laura van Dolron’s now beloved style. At times hilarious, others cringeworthy, it’s both poetic and recognisable. In her words: “Stop asking yourself how much you love you’re getting and think about how much love you’re giving. I suggest that we stop thinking and just give it a go. We begin today.” www.vooruit.be


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Discover Benelux | Culture | Out & About

Pierre-Laurent Aimard

tion walk on the Saturday and a selection of bike sportives ranging from 40km to 145km. Something for everyone then. www.damloop.nl

18 September 2014 Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg With an international career spanning four decades, the Frenchman Pierre-Laurent Aimard isn’t slowing down yet. Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as “a pianist of illumination and colour”, he makes everything he plays clear and vibrant. A finer way to spend an evening in Luxembourg City would be hard to come by when he’s in town. www.philharmonie.lu

Far from the War? Belgian immigrants in America during World War I 26 September 2014 – 5 April 2015 Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp, Belgium On the eve of the Red Star Line Museum’s first birthday, this Antwerp museum tackles the mass exodus of Belgians pre-1914. As the First World War broke out, thousands fled to the United States of America. Dealing with the sacrifice of the home country and conflicting feelings of identity with their adopted home, how did these migrants experience the Great War on the other side of the ocean? www.redstarline.be

Unseen Photo Fair 18 – 21 September 2014 Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Much more than just a typical photography exhibition, this one is a true hotbed of young talent, as diverse and debauched as you’d expect from the Dutch capital. Buying, browsing or attending one of the hip peripheral events and parties, this is as good a reason as any to take an interest in the art of photography, as these photographers won’t be unseen for much longer. www.unseenamsterdam.com

Rotterdamse Kost 18 – 21 September 2014 Museum Park Rotterdam, the Netherlands Last year saw the creation of the now annual Rotterdamse Kost [Rotterdam’s Food], a collection of food stalls from the city’s best eateries, from the Michelin-starred restaurant Parkheuvel to the very best meatballs from the Ballentent. Fusing culture, creativity and culinary treats, these are three days when you don’t want to be on a diet. www.rotterdamsekost.nl

Heavy Traffic, railway traffic and other means of transport at Poperinge 1914-1918 19 September 2014 – 5 September 2015 Poperinge, Belgium In the Gasthuiskapel (Hospital chapel), Poperinge is proud to present a spectacular diorama (1:76) giving you a glimpse behind the curtains at the city in movement as well as an outdoor exhibition with authentic railway relics. Trains and their tracks took on great importance during the war, transporting goods and soldiers and nowhere more so than Poperinge, logistically vital during the war, its transport connections proved invaluable to those wounded on the front. www.poperinge14-18.be

Unseen Photo Fair

Ypres Memorial Tattoo shows how artists and writers (including Rik Wouters, Emile Verhaeren and Paul van Ostaijen) confronted the topic in their pre- and post-war work. Whether they fled or remained in Belgium, they were forced to encounter another side of society and this extensive exhibition allows us to compare their respective developments throughout the earlier part of the last century. www.kmska.be

Dam tot Dam Running Race Weekend 21 September 2014 Amsterdam, the Netherlands Taking on the tough ten-mile city route or just soaking up the atmosphere and showing some well deserved enthusiastic support, whatever you’re in Amsterdam for, give the 35,000 competitors a clap and a seat on a tram once the race from Amsterdam to Zaandam is over! If you’re half interested but lacking the real oomph to give the run a go, there is a mass participa-

28 September 2014 Ypres, Belgium Despite being relatively young, the now annual Ypres Memorial Tattoo, organised by the Last Post Association and Ypres Surrey Pipes & Drums, has grown in significance and no more so than this year’s event with pipers, marching bands and drummers. Beginning at 4.00pm in Ypres market place in the shadow of the famous cloth hall, it marks the centenary of the First World War with a certain poignancy. www.ypresmemorialtattoo.be

Yoga & Music 30 September 2014 Luxembourg Philharmonie, Luxembourg City, A perfect symbiosis of tranquillity and relaxation. After a 75-minute hatha yoga session with Lisa Steph, Christian Wallumrød’s piano could not be a more welcome way to round off the evening. www.philharmonie.lu

Dam tot Dam takes 35,000 runners on a ten-mile route from Amsterdam to Zaandam. Photo Le Champion

The Moderns. Art during the Great War 20 September 2014 – 11 January 2015 Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium Dealing with war in all its guises, this exhibition

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Discover Benelux | Columns | Shallow Man / States of Art

Remembering the MH17 TEXT: SIMON WOOLCOT | PRESS PHOTO

Plenty has been written about the MH17 disaster and its immediate aftermath. As an expatriate resident of the Netherlands for over ten years, I wanted to express my personal observations. Even though I didn’t know any of the victims of the crash personally, several of them were connected to people that I’m close to. The initial reaction in the Netherlands was of course one of shock. This quickly turned into disbelief and then anger at the delays in gaining access to the crash site. Frans Timmermans, the Dutch foreign minister, delivered the most incredible speech. It perfectly captured the feelings people had and asked the questions that many had been asking since the time of the crash. It captured the moment and humanised a major geopolitical incident and brought the focus firmly back to the victims and their families. He asked important questions about the sheer lack of respect with which the bodies of the crash victims had been treated, and why the militia allegedly backed by the Russian government had failed to allow ac-

cess to the crash site. Below is an excerpt from the speech. “I’ve been thinking how horrible it must have been — the final moments of their lives when they knew the plane was going down. Did they lock hands with their loved ones? Did they hold their children close to their hearts? Did they look each other in the eyes, one final time, in a wordless goodbye? We will never know.”

the Netherlands, along with a number of dignitaries and relatives of some of the 298 people killed in the crash, attended a moving ceremony in Eindhoven, which was quite rightly praised throughout the world. Schiphol Airport became a mourning ground as thousands of flowers were laid down in commemoration of the victims of the disaster, a tragic and depressing thing to see. As this continues, my mind is firmly on the surviving family members of the victims, who cruelly lost loved ones on what should have been a routine commercial flight.

One thing that will stay with me for a long time is the dignity of the official ceremony that was held once access to the site had finally been provided and arrangements made to return the bodies of the victims to the Netherlands. The Dutch Government held their first day of national mourning in over 50 years. The King and Queen of

S TATE S

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For more of the Shallow’s Man Guide to Amsterdam see @Expatshallowman

A R T

Harold Ancart: Winning Colors TEXT: MATT ANTONIAK | PHOTO: HV-STUDIO, BRUSSELS. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND XAVIER HUFKENS, BRUSSELS

Harold Ancart has been “stuttering” for a while now. His works for the past few years have been a continuous examination of both recurring themes and recurring images in what he himself terms as a “stutter”. Images of paradise islands, tropical beaches, and jungles have all been scrutinised and tweaked with the use of oil, ink, soot, and pigment as well as with the ingenious use of fire. Trawling the Internet for long-lost holiday and tourist agency photographs, Ancart then reinvigorates each image by repeatedly burning traces of fire into them. His motive is somewhat unclear, and it is left for the viewer to extract what meaning they wish. I for one cannot tell whether they are meant as a nostalgic, lustful look at the past or a foreboding glimpse into the future, but either way I

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nent parts each painting differs slightly from the next. They occasionally border on the abstract and often touch on the exotic, yet, like the photo works, they toy and tease us and ultimately refuse to reveal their true intent.

Untitled (Seascape) by Harold Ancart, 2014.

find them completely compelling. As well as these photographic works, Ancart produces painting-cum-drawings of vibrant and lush foliage. Repetition is once again a key tool for Ancart as he uses cut-out templates to make shapes for his pieces, so although made from the same compo-

This exhibition, Winning Colors, at Xavier Hufkens promises to be an exciting insight into this young Belgian’s current state of mind regarding our world. It is a brilliant opportunity to see Ancart’s work on home soil and will surely only further enhance the man with a penchant for parrots and palm trees’ blossoming reputation. Harold Ancart: Winning Colors Xavier Hufkens, 6 rue St-Georges/St-Jorisstraat 4 September – 4 October 2014


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Discover Benelux | Thoughts on / Featured Contributors

Thoughts on… the autumn season TEXT & PHOTO: SILVIA DE VRIES

During every season, there’s a moment when the next season announces itself. As autumn is my favourite season, I always look forward to that one day at the end of summer, when everything turns grey and rainy. I know rainy days are not everyone’s favourite, let alone autumn, and even for me it’s not all fun and games. Riding your bike through the rain or cars driving through puddles near you, splashing muddy water in your face – no fun at all. But I still can’t think of a better time of year. The time when the days get a little shorter, the nights a little longer and when raindrops give the cobblestones on the street a darker tone. Autumn changes everything. People go back to work, children back to school. The

streets of Amsterdam get quieter again, less crowded. There’s more room to walk and explore. Different produce for sale at the market, different hot beverages to buy at the coffee shop. Autumn also changes the mood of people on the street. On the one hand people tend to get grumpy when it’s cold and rainy. On the other hand, that same

grumpiness brings people together. It’s something most people have got in common. Not me, mind you, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the company of other people. That’s actually the biggest part of why I always look forward to autumn. Coming together for coffee, drinks or dinner. Being indoors, where it is warm, looking outside at the dark and wet, almost empty streets. That one moment in September, when the chatter of summer days slowly subsides and all you can hear and see are the rain drops falling from the sky. In that moment, to me, all is well.

Dutch writer Silvia de Vries blogs about her everyday life and food at www.silviadevries.com as well as regularly contributing her thoughts on everything Dutch to Discover Benelux.

Featured Contributors STEVE FLINDERS

HARUN OSMANOVIC

Until recently, Steve Flinders spent twenty years as a director of York Associates, a UK training company which supports people working internationally through programmes to improve communication, intercultural and leadership skills. Before that he lived and worked in the UK, France, Ireland, Sweden and Pakistan doing a variety of things, including teaching, management, and sometimes just walking around. He is now starting a new career as a freelance coach and writer, based in Malta. He likes yoga, swimming, literature, theatre, watching birds and talking politics. He’s a strong believer in what Theodore Zeldin calls “the transforming power of conversation”.

Harun likes to cultivate harmonious incongruity. He was born in Yugoslavia, and then became French. He has studied business and holds an MBA from St John University in NYC. In his free time he reads Dostojevski and Rimbaud but listens to Nas, Tupac and Thelonious Monk (actually, he even recorded his own hip hop album). There are very few jobs he has not had in his previous lives in Paris, London and New York, but he always goes back to the Mediterranean shores to laze around and shoot analog. His short stories and literary work can be found in Whattaroll Magazine and Parallel Planets.

ANOUK KALMES

MARTIN PILKINGTON

Anouk Kalmes grew up in Luxembourg before she moved to London, after secondary school, to study languages and literature. After graduating with an MA in International Studies from The School of Oriental and African Studies, she moved to Moscow for a diplomatic assignment. Back in Luxembourg, she started working for a financial institution and in her free time created her lifestyle blog, LUXESSED, where she has been documenting her life in Luxembourg, travels and gastronomic adventures. When she is not working or blogging, Anouk loves travelling, learning the piano, or spending quality time with friends.

In 2006 Martin Pilkington quit industrial marketing for freelance journalism, and has since written for more than 40 different magazines and websites. He loves the writing process and the job’s endless variety, citing in evidence pieces on Postman Pat’s author, snuff making, Orwell’s allotments, and wherry sailing. Aged 47 he attained a journalism MA (to add to an MBA and Law Masters), and was shortlisted for PTC’s most promising student. A languages graduate, Martin used French daily in his business life, and is delighted to keep it from getting rusty by writing regularly for Discover Benelux.

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WELCOME TO BRUSSELS Finally, comfortable apartment hotels with a full hotel service! B-Aparthotels offers you the accommodation of an apartment with the services of a hotel. For short and long stays. With 5 B-Aparthotels in Brussels or more than 200 luxury apartments, studios, apartment suites, duplex apartments and penthouses. That’s what makes us unique on the Brussels market! Be A-part of us and Enjoy the sparkling capital of Europe!

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Discover Benelux | Issue 9 | September 2014  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Discover Benelux | Issue 9 | September 2014  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.