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Issue 21 | December 2014

PLUS

UTE LEMPER T H E W O R L D I S N OT E N O U G H

MOUTAIN ROYALTY IN SWITZERLAND SMART BEAUTY GUIDE AUSTRIA TOP ARCHITECTS GERMANY DESIGN, FASHION, CULTURE & LIFESTYLE


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Celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall: Orion 1989, available in two sizes.

Find out more about this and other models at nomos-glashuette.com and nomos-store.com


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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents DECEMBER 2014

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100 Reichenau. Photo: Kertzscher

COVER FEATURE 6

Photo: Switzerland Tourism / Christof Sonderegger

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Ute Lemper Broadway superstar Ute Lemper talks to our journalist Cordelia Makartsev about her amazing career and how she manages to stay on top even after 30 years in business.

SPECIAL THEMES 33

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Read about who are the clever creative heads behind the creation of landmark buildings in and around the country.

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Dedicated to Design Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’ll also stop by at your home. Designs to inspire for the most beautiful time of the year.

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Fashion Finds Glamorous and elegant with a good portion of confidence is the key to Christmas party chic.

Culture The Swiss mountains have always been a magnet for the rich and famous. We take a closer look at what triggers the mountain magic and where to stay for a sparkling winter time.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10

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Photo: Störmer Murphy and partners

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Hotel of the Month The Schweizerhof Bern shines in new splendour offering unparalleled luxury right in the heart of the Swiss town, which is considered the gateway to the Swiss Alps.

Business Our legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht examines the new rules on fatherhood, while mental coach Dr. Kurt Riemer explains the importance of proper preparation of handing a family business down to the next generation.

Spa Destination of the Month The charming HUBERTTUS Alpin Lodge & Spa in the Bavarian Allgäu Mountains is the perfect getaway for a much-deserved time-out.

Top Architects Germany

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Attraction of the Month The TYROL PANORAMA with the Kaiserjägermuseum [The Museum of the Tyrolean Imperial Infantry] in Innsbruck is a true treasure on Austria’s cultural landscape.

Smart Beauty Guide Austria Meet the heroes of aesthetics. A fine selection of Austria’s most qualified and capable medical experts reveal the latest beauty industry trends and treatment options.

Wine & Dine Wine expert Iris Ellmann’s best finds for the festive season. It’s bubbles galore! Champagne and oysters are best consumed at the seaside. Read about the North Sea islands and why Norderney is out top island tipp.

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Focus on: Baden-Württemberg Want to know why they call it the sunny side of Germany? Take a look at our new series, where we present one of the 16 German federal states each month, starting with Baden-Württemberg.

107 Barbara Geier Our columnist Barbara Geier explains why a toothbrush makes a perfect Christmas present. 108 Culture Calendar Save the date! Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to this winter’s upcoming highlights.

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Irina Simmen

Issue 21, December 2014

Marilena Stracke

Published 21.11.2014 ISSN 2051-7718

Isabel Wagner Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Laura Hummer Antonietta Cutarelli

Design & Print

Noura Draoui

Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Jennifer Martins Shari Strecker

Executive Editor

Advertising

Thomas Winther

info@discovergermany.com

Creative Director

Discover Germany is published by:

Mads E. Petersen Editor Tina Awtani

SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Art Director Svetlana Slizova Copy-Editor Mark Rogers

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 info@discovergermany.com

Contributors Nane Steinhoff Emmie Collinge

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Elisabeth Doehne Iris Ellmann Emily Engels Barbara Geier Meryem Hauer Jessica Holzhausen

Welcome to our last issue of the year 2014. Most of us are probably busy gathering the last presents, attending Christmas parties or making plans where and how to spend New Year’s Eve, but let’s not forget that Christmas is also the time for reflection. 2014 will go down in history as the year when Germany won the football World Cup in Brasil, the world commemorated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the fact that Germany has been rated“the best country in the world”according to the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index. For Discover Germany, the magazine that promotes Brand Germany, it was also an exciting year.The publication is now firmly established running in its second year, and our new website just went live, being “the ultimate E-Resource for Brand Germany, Austria and Switzerland”. But despite all the great things that happened, let’s not forget the less fortunate and do whatever we can to make their lives a little happier. Our Christmas issue cover is graced with the face of international chanteuse and Broadway star Ute Lemper, who’s remarkable career spans an entire 30 years on stage. While talking to our journalist Cordelia Makartsev, the wonderwoman shows no signs of slowing down. Chapeau! But we have more up our sleeve to surprise you this month. Our architecture theme is bursting with the most remarkable creative teams of unrivalled expertise Germany has to offer. We also take a closer look at the secrets of beauty and how to defeat time based on the latest findings in science and technology. Fancy a time-out? Great hideaways for the winter months including Europe’s number one Thalassotherapy island Norderney are not to be missed. And we started a new theme, where we focus on one of the 16 German federal states each month starting with the sunny region of Baden-Württemberg.

Julika Huether Gregor Kleinknecht Cordelia Makartsev Jessica Pommer

This and much more is neatly wrapped up for you to enjoy while you travel. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year 2015!

Leonie Puscher Jaime Schwartz

Enjoy the magazine!

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

4 | Issue 21 | December 2014

Tina Awtani


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SEB voted best Private Bank in German-speaking Europe Over 100 private banks were tested by Fuchsbriefe publishing house with IQF and risk analysis specialists Quanvest. Their conclusion in 2014 noted, “SEB Private Banking Luxembourg stands out in almost every category: in addition to brilliant advice, the competition cannot keep up in terms of either investment proposals or transparency.” Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family finances, from daily transactions to long term investments. Its services cover everything from tailored financial management, through to helping you to optimise the legal and tax structures within which your assets are held. As one of the world’s strongest banks* and with more than 150 years of experience in private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London or Luxembourg: Christian A. Hvamstad +44 (0) 20 7246 4307 privatebanking@seb.co.uk

Ulrich Graner +352 (0) 2623 2310 kontakt@sebgroup.lu

Gregor Neumann +352 (0) 2623 2881 kontakt@sebgroup.lu

*SEB is ranked 9th in the world according to Bloomberg report June 2014

Sweden • Norway • Denmark • Finland • Luxembourg • Switzerland • United Kingdom • Singapore • Estonia • Latvia • Lithuania


Photo: Stage Entertainment / Jan Potente

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Cover Feature | Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper The World is not enough International chanteuse, Broadway star, composer… It is almost impossible to put any one label on the 30-year career of the celebrated German performer Ute Lemper. Famous for her interpretations of Kurt Weill, Bertold Brecht and Jacques Brel, her flexible, sumptuous voice and her ultra-long legs, Ute Lemper fills symphony halls and other large venues worldwide. As a Christmas treat, she revisits London to perform at the Barbican on December 17th. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

On stage, Ute Lemper has the audience right in the palm of her hand. With her glorious voice, sharp wit and inventive performance, easily moving between four languages (French, German, Spanish and English), she is one of the rare German performers who have enjoyed international success over a long period of time.“Being German had its pros and cons,” the singer remembers of her first career steps.“My German nationality provoked a lot of interest in the Eighties when I started to tour the world. On the one hand, the public in America and England were curious about the famous charm of German women and wanted to see it with their own eyes. On the other hand, I had to hold intense discussions about the past. At that time I felt this was a complex responsibility.” Ute Lemper’s career has spanned multiple genres and even art forms. She has released more than 20 albums, appeared in musical theatre and plays and exhibited her paintings in several galleries. Born 1963 in Munster, Germany, she completed her studies at The Dance Academy in Cologne and the Max Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in Vienna. Soon she landed her breakthrough role in the original Viennese cast of the musical Cats. Major successes in a Paris production of Cabaret and Chicago followed. Ute Lemper remains true to her roots.“Performing in the musical Chicago was a very important step in my life,”she says. Production company Stage Entertainment has brought Chicago to Stuttgart, where the show premiered on 6 November with flying colours. Although we won’t be able to see her on stage in Stuttgart, Ute Lemper has been serving as an ambassador and supported the German cast.“I just visited the cast of the new Chicago musical, they are really marvelous performers and, I am sure, the German production at the Stage

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Ute Lemper

Palladium Theatre in Stuttgart will be as exciting as the one on Broadway.” “I take my freedom to work out my own interpretations” Touring extensively, Ute Lemper won international acclaim for her live performances of Berlin and Parisian cabaret songs as popularised by Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf. Her interpretations of Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht songs are legendary but she is always on the lookout for new inspirations. In recent times she discovered her love for the Argentinian tango.“I take my freedom to do my own interpretations of the various music styles. In my music, there are elements of the Argentinian tango, a little bit of expressionism through my German roots, my affinity towards France provides for impressionistic elements and the jazz comes from my years in New York. So I try to draw the audience into my very special world.” Her latest programme features the Love Poems by Pablo Neruda set to music together with a tango ensemble.

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“Pablo Neruda is loved worldwide for his political engagement and his lyrics. It was an inspiration of a moment to put his love poems with their strong metaphorical language into music.” “It was a wonderful journey!” Today, Ute Lemper is very happy about how her career developed: “There were many different stages in my life, moving away from Germany to Vienna, Paris, London and back to Paris. Now I have lived in New York for 18 years. It was a wonderful journey but sometimes not easy, very hard work, incredible effort up to personal sacrifice to juggle my stage career and family life.” Ute Lemper is an inspiration to all working mums. The mother of four can tell us a thing or two about how to cope with a high-flying career and motherhood: “It is often difficult to find the right balance. Before they entered their school life, we often took them on tour. Now, I have a lot of

support at home from my ex-husband, my husband, nanny and au-pair. But when I am at home it is very important to me that I spend as much quality time with my kids as possible. I am 100 per cent there for them when I'm home.” Hence, Christmas is a really important family affair in the Lemper household: “This year, we will celebrate Christmas at home. All my kids will be home from college and university, we will cook wonderful food, listen to music and the grandparents will come to visit. I really look forward to it.” But before that, the celebrated German chanteuse has a very special treat up her sleeve for her London fans. On 17 December she will perform her programme Love Tango at Berlin at the Barbican. “This concert will be rich with many musicians. It will be like a ‘Best of’ journey through my repertoire that accompanied me through my life: famous chansons from Edith Piaf, Kurt Weil and Marlene Dietrich, my own songs and the beloved Argentinian Tango.”


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Winter fun in Oberaudorf s k ii n g

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Visitor Information Center Kufsteiner StraĂ&#x;e 6 D-83080 Oberaudorf Tel. +49 (0) 80 33 / 3 01 20 info@oberaudorf.de www.oberaudorf.de

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... Santa Claus is coming to town. And as much as we adore contemporary design and minimalistic interiors, Christmas decoration just looks best when scattered lavishly all over the house. It is the time of year when we can run around in ridiculous knitted reindeer jumpers, just like Mark Darcy famously did when he met Bridget Jones at the Christmas party. Viva vintage, we vote for retro this year and picked some truly original bits which are a little different.

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BY TINA AWTANI

2. We love the Hessian Christmas Santa Sack which adds a vintage feel to Noel. With a size of 80cm x 50cm it offers plenty of room for bigger presents too. £7.99. www.gingerray.co.uk 3. Now, this Santa Claus is a design icon by no less than the famous Kay Bojesen. The original dates back to the 1940s and still enchants generations Christmas after Christmas. Made of lacquered beech wood and measures 19.5 cm. £57.50. www.desiary.de 4. An all-time-classic is the good old straw star. This illuminated plastic model is called "Herrnhuter Stern" and measures approx. 70cm in diameter. It is also suitable for outdoor use, so it looks great in the garden. £36.80. www.heimatwerke.de

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5. Complete the retro look of your presents with the matching Hessian Christmas gift luggage tags from the Vintage Noel collection. Choose from four different designs to make sure no parcel gets mixed up. £3.99. www.gingerray.co.uk

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The Unfettered Gaze

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1. Have a cuppa in the morning and say hello to Rudolph and his friends. Merry Christmas mug collection by Koenitz Porzellan GmbH. £7,85. www.mug-shop.com

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7. Good morning Santa Claus. Stylish and simple, the plugs made by Plopp are pretty cool for adding some seasonal decoration to your bathroom sink. £12. www.plopp.co

6. Recapturing childhood memories of Christmas was the idea behind Villeroy & Boch’s Nostalgic Dreams collection. And it does work! The classic pick-up truck is just one example from a very inspiring collection. £98. www.villeroy-boch.co.uk

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The Rasch Brothers and their Influences on Modern Architecture 25 October 2014 – 1 February 2015

Fon +49.5221.994430-0 www.marta-herford.de

Supported by

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Fashion Finds Let’s sparkle! December is the season for Christmas parties and black tie events. It is the time of the year when we all dress up to look utterly glamourous from head to toe. While the “black tie” dress code is pretty straightforward for men – a sleek tuxedo it is – ladies are spoilt for choice in terms of style. From a little black dress to an elegant floor length gown, allowed is what we feel best in. After all formal dressing should be about elegance and confidence. BY TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: © WEISE

Stand out from the crowd in this ruby red satin robe by Tina Weise. Looks absolutely fab with just a pair of diamond drop earrings or a statement collier around your neck. P.o.a. www.weise.eu

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

These luxurious rings are from Haan-based jewellery manufacturer Johannes Hundt. The stunning Mona collection is made from 750/000 Gold and comes with a citrine, amethyst or white topaz. Why just pick one when you could have them all? £1,400 each. www.hundt-schmuck.de

If full floor length is not your first fashion preference for a formal occasion, try the sequinned skirt from designer Steffen Schraut. Team with a black organza top or blend with an opulent silk blouse to achieve an elegant look. £146. www.conleys.de

The German wedding dress label Tina Weise was founded in 2012. A feminine romantic style meets contemporary design and all dresses are made from soft and floating fabrics. Unless your name is Liz Taylor, the occasion to buy a wedding dress does not pop up that often in life, so we are very excited about the new evening dress collection including this absolutely stunning black gown. P.o.a. www.weise.e

Designer Michael Michalsky certainly did not aim for understatement when he sketched these crystal studded glitzy high heels. Almost too pretty to dance in them all night, we would love to simply display the pair on a shelf and admire their beauty all year round. £282. Available at www.zalando.de

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Exploring the North Sea islands in winter Raw nature, fine tradition and blissful recreation Empty broad beaches, cosy little tea houses, fresh fish, strong winds and the rough North Sea: North Germany’s islands are commonly known as summer and beach holiday getaways, but in recent years more and more travellers discover the wide range of activities and the traditional and individual charm the idyllic islands have to offer in the winter months. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Longing for vastness, solitude, silence and nature in a fairytale winter wonderland setting? A visit to one of Germany's North Sea islands could be the perfect solution. Imagine a storm rampaging outside, whitecaps building on wave ridges and the wind howling around small Frisian houses with their thatched roofs.When faced with several kilometres of empty beaches without a single person in sight, snow-covered dunes, which look like someone just covered them with icing sugar, and strong raw winds blowing in your face, you are likely to be on one of Germany’s North Sea islands, which reveal their

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rough charm blended with a cosy, calm, idyllic and natural side in the winter months. From lonely car-free island to luxurious getaway, every vacationist will find a place to relax either on one of the East Frisian islands of Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog and Wangerooge or on one of the North Frisian islands of Pellworm, Sylt, Amrum or Foehr. Natural beauty and diversity The second-biggest of the East Frisian islands, Norderney, was in the Top 20 of Eu-

ropean Quality Coast Award winners of 2013. And it’s not surprising that it was: Norderney is located in the middle of the UNESCO heritage side of the Wadden Sea


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Discover Germany | Feature | Exploring the North Sea Islands

Left: Sylt © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.. Photo: Hans R. Uthoff Left below: Föhr © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.. Photo: Andreas Kaster Below: Norderney © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.. Photo: Ernst Wrba Bottom: St. Peter-Ording © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.. Photo: Dietmar Scherf

and can offer a varied natural landscape. Discover impressive dunes, dykes, 14 kilometres of sandy beaches or salt meadows. Hiking enthusiasts can take long strolls on empty beaches and take in the beauty of the Wadden Sea mudflats Nature Reserve. See thousands of crabs, worms or mussels inbetween the tides. Situated in the North Sea in the West of Germany, Norderney is an Eldorado for nature enthusiasts, who seek to explore the raw forces of nature and the diverse landscape the island has to offer. Mudflat walks

in thick coats, icicles hanging from thatched roofs, German “Gemutlichkeit” and white soft snow underneath your winter boots will surely free your mind from any remaining stress.The island of contrasts offers unspoilt variety of nature, beautiful wide beaches and many historical buildings worth visiting, such as the windmill ”Selden Ruest”and the 54-metre-high old lighthouse, which offers a breathtaking view across the ocean. Frisian tradition and cosy tea-rooms Wrap a thick scarf around your neck, put on a down feather jacket and slip your fingers in warm gloves before embracing miles and miles of whiteness, ice-cold winds, clear ocean air and the churned North Sea. Take long beach walks inbetween snow and ice floes, enjoy the soft seagull noises, leaning against the strong wind gusts and clear your lungs with the crisp fresh air of the North Sea before heading to one of the cosy Frisian bars and restaurants just behind the dunes to warm your freezing fingers and rosy cheeks at one of the fireplaces. Indulge yourself in one of the tasty Frisian specialities under a traditional thatched roof such as sea buckthorn berry tea, a “Gluehwein” [mulled wine] or a “Pharisaer”, which is a mixture of coffee, rum and whipped cream. Every 21st February, the “Biike Brennen” seeks to drive out the winter on the North Sea Coast and big fires are set alight. Join the locals to drink some ”Schnaps”and to eat some traditional kale, gammon steak, sausages and fried potatoes. Places to relax and be healthy Long beach walks are said to be really healthy for your body. When the crisp winter air tingles in your lungs like champagne, it also clears your airways.The special bracing climate in winter and the salty, iodine rich winds are renowned for containing maritime aerosol, which are small sea water droplets that find their way deep into the lungs. This helps with breathing difficulties and inhalation is good for asthmatics. Norderney received the German tourism “Special price health tourism”in 2010 and is Germany’s oldest North Sea spa. To get

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Discover Germany | Feature | Exploring the North Sea Islands

Above: Sylt is famous for Oysters © TASH. Photo: Jens Koenig Below: St. Peter-Ording © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.. Photo: Dietmar Scherf

rid of the additional pounds, visit Norderney's sea water swimming pool, the“Badehaus”. Sea water is said to be healthy for skin and mind. Or why not join some locals when they warm up in one of the saunas before cooling down in the North Sea? If you’re especially brave, visit the capital of the island Sylt to join the famous NewYear swimming festival where brave participants (in rather funny outfits) jump into the freezing Baltic Sea to boost their immune systems. Famous seafood, oysters and champagne Most Germans know that Sylt is the birthplace of the most famous seafood diner and best fish sandwich shop in Germany, “Gosch”, so make sure you pay a visit to the legendary “Alte Bootshalle” to burrow your teeth into one of the delicious pickled herring sandwiches. Or alternatively, you can go visit Sylt’s last common shrimp fisherman, Paul Walter, and learn the art of peeling North Sea shrimps. If you search for a more luxurious getaway, visit Sylt’s Kampen. High-end boutiques line the streets and thick Barbour jackets are worn

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on the patios of posh little bars to keep warm while sipping a glass of champagne or two.

Frisian islands are mostly silent and meditative with sleepy towns lined by beautifully decorated traditional Frisian houses.

Seal babies and solitude

If you are searching for raw nature with this special atmosphere, which will make you forget work and stress, you should consider a visit to one of the North Sea islands this winter. Who wouldn’t want to observe oyster fishers or seal babies undisturbed by thousands of other tourists?

Visit Helgoland for a special dune on which seal babies with white soft fur are born from December until the start of February. On islands such as Wangerooge or Juist horses replace cars, so people who want total solitude, should come here. The other


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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | The WineBarn Column

Sparkling and sweet surprises this Christmas! TEXT: IRIS ELLMANN | PHOTOS: THE WINEBARN

Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends and what better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a glass or two of bubbles. This festive favourite will be served in homes and hotels up and down the country, but I wonder how many will be opening a bottle of German sparkling wine? My favourite sparkling wine comes from the Rheingau region and is produced by the Solter family. Sekthaus Solter Helmut Solter was trained in the classic French Champagne tradition, but he had a vision of producing top class sparkling wines in Germany using Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes. He followed the French method of hand-picking the grapes, pressing them carefully and fermenting them in the bottle for at least 18 months. He also insisted on hand turning the bottles to give the ‘Sekt’ the finishing touch. His hard work was rewarded with exceptional sparkling wines that are the German equivalent to French Champagne and his 2008 Solter Brut Rheingau Riesling Sekt was voted in the Top 10 sparkling wines by Gault Milau. His sparkling wines can also be found in Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. Sadly Helmut passed away in October of last year, but his wife Verena and the team are continuing his philosophy.

Important facts to know about sparkling wine: - Bubbles are important for accentuating the taste as it is the carbon dioxide that activates the sensory receptors in the mouth and nose - A flute shaped glass is considered better than a coupe as it retains more of the bubbles - Sparkling wine keeps its fizz for longer if served slightly warmer at around 18°C - Tilting the glass as you pour prevents the sparkling wine from losing too much of its initial fizz - The average flute holds around one million bubbles – 14 million fewer than was previously thought

Another great choice for your friends and family to enjoy is the German Eiswein and you can’t do much better than Weingut Allendorf and their 2012 EisRiesling Eiswein – Winkeler Gutenberg. The character of this Eiswein is wonderfully elegant and delicate with a well-integrated and very appealing sweetness. The aroma of honey, fullyripened apricots, oranges and raisins can be detected wafting from your glass. Its ideal drinking temperature is between 8-10°C and this wine can be stored for a long time. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy NewYear! Iris

Sweet Surprises Another favourite of mine for Christmas dinners and entertaining friends and family is a delicious sweet wine to enjoy with your dessert. These wonderful wines should be enjoyed in small glasses and savoured like a glass of Scotch! If you like your wines to be organic you can do no better than Weingut Wittmann – Winemaker of the Year in 2013. A delicious dessert wine to enjoy this Christmas is their 2013 Riesling Auslese. This has a fresh and clear aroma of ripe stone fruits and citric, minerally freshness. There is a fruity sweetness on the palate and a delicious long lasting finish.

Iris Ellmann (above) is managing director at The WineBarn, an award-winning merchant of German wine based in beautiful Hampshire. The WineBarn, Clump Farm Barn, Farleigh Lane, Dummer, Hampshire RG25 2AF E-mail: iris@thewinebarn.co.uk www.thewinebarn.co.uk

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Norderney Europe’s Thalassotherapy island number one A trip to Germany’s Thalassotherapy island Norderney is priceless. Feel the vibrant pulse of the tidal waves and be part of the game of the natural elements. Experience humbleness, embrace real freedom and develop a special relation with the island while embarking on the quest to re-discover your inner self. Those, who leave, know they’ll be back. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: NORDERNEY TOURISM BOARD

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The East Frisian Island of Norderney is located off Germany’s North Sea coast in the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea. Just under an hour by ferry or a short train ride from Norddeich near Bremen, the island is almost free of cars. 14 km of sandy beach and dunes line the shore and form the scenery for over 80 km of cy-


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Discover Germany | Top Island Tip | Norderney

cle paths and walking trails, while the iodine-containing sea breeze is a blessing not only for those suffering from respiratory ailments. “The demographic change in our society calls for presentational measures and maintenance of our health and performance. Norderney pays tribute to this by offering a holistic Thalasso, health and wellness concept. But there is much more, such as our historic seaside resort architecture and sophisticated cultural variety. Spectacular events and peaceful reflection, distinct charm, nostalgic grandezza and cool urban lifestyle are all embraced in the spirit of Norderney,”Wilhelm Loth, Director of the Norderney Tourist Board says. The island is perfectly suited to take some time-out, explore the elements and find inner peace and relaxation. Feel the power of the sea salt water The City of Norderney is the heart of the 2.5 sqm wide island. Striking seaside resort architecture goes hand in hand with contemporary shopping and gastronomic concepts, making it the best of both worlds for connoisseurs. While the Conversationshaus at the Kurplatz is the centre of information and social gathering for visitors and locals alike, the newly established bade:haus is a haven for Thalasso devotees. 8,000 sqm of wellness oasis make Germany’s largest Thalasso centre a wonderful winter retreat. By taking full advantage of Norderney’s natural resources, sea salt water is used as the magic ingredient for body and soul enhancement. Deriving from the Greek word thalassa, meaning 'sea', the ancient science of Thalassotherapy is based on the proven positive effects of seawater, seaweed, mud and sand on the human body. Blended with the unique North Sea climate, Thalasso in Norderney’s bade:haus truly becomes a holistic concept. Take full advantage of the three different bade:haus zones to fully immerse in the world of Thalasso. On the Water Level, several pools vary from cool 14 to hot 42 degrees. A further salt water pool, which exactly resembles the water conditions of the Dead Sea makes one want to float on for-

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Discover Germany | Top Island Tip | Norderney

ever while the sea salt steam bath clears lungs and pores. A heated outdoor pool allows full exposure to the elements even on a cold winter day, while cosy hot water beds are part of the relaxing zones. An inviting lounge area caters for culinary needs. On the bade:haus Fire Level, a great mix of different saunas and steam rooms such as classic sauna, bio-sauna or Kelo-outdoor-sauna on the rooftop terrace spoil guests for choice. Once here, a must-try is the original Norderney mud bath. The third section of the bade:haus is dedicated to families and kids are most welcome to slide, splash, swim or just fool around here while fully absorbing the magic of H2O. After a relaxing day of Thalasso haven, what could be better than just walking up to your room in slippers and bathrobe?Yes, you can as the bade:haus offers a fine selection of contemporary apartments for your stay and in the luxury of a water bed, even sleep gets truly thalassic. The bade:haus is literally located 200 metres from the beach, and although Norderney is breathtakingly beautiful in the winter, there is no need to leave the bade:haus if you don’t want to.

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Explore Norderney Those eager to stretch their muscles see Norderney as a huge adventure playground ready to be explored by foot, bicycle, horse, boat, surfboard, kite and countless other options. Outdoor sports are big here and all levels are catered for. Walking along the endless white powder beach is one end of the spectrum, while the other extreme participates in a high-profile Windsurf World Cup. The possibilities are limitless and while the seasons change, the salty air filling the lungs never fails to make one feel energised. On the cultural side, Norderney’s event calendar is packed with great entertainment such as the Summertime@NORDERNEY Festival, which attracted 50,000 visitors per day back in August. December marks the start of the iconic“Winterzauber”[winter magic], which starts right after Christmas. Sparkling champagne, fresh oysters and plenty of other delights are served along the festive culinary mile under the wintery sky. If you feel hooked on Norderney please be aware: Once there, you may not want to leave again! www.norderney.de www.badehaus-norderney.de


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Main image: Michael Zeno, the Munich-born painter, took only three months to complete the huge panoramic painting in 1896. From left: The glass facade allows visitors a stunning panorama over the Inn Valley and the city of Innsbruck. Discover some rather surprising exhibits in ‘Showcase Tirol’

Attraction of the Month

Tyrol panorama with Kaiserjägermuseum

Austria

On the trail of the“Myth of Tyrol” By combining Tyrol’s largest panoramic painting, modern architecture, stunning views and a location that is steeped in history, the TYROL PANORAMA with the Kaiserjägermuseum [The Museum of the Tyrolean Imperial Infantry] has transformed the museum on the Bergisel into one of Innsbruck’s hotspots.

awards, the TYROL PANORAMA with the Kaiserjägermuseum sets the‘Myth of Tyrol’ firmly under the microscope – in all its imperfections and fascination.

TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: ALEXANDER HAIDEN, TLM

The Bergisel, home to the TYROL PANORAMA with the Kaiserjägermuseum, Zaha Hadid’s ski jump and the 2.2 kilometre Panorama Loop Trail, is an enticing day out for the entire family. On the edge of the Tyrolean capital, the museum’s restaurant terrace offers visitors stunning views over Innsbruck and the alpine Inn Valley.

At the heart of the TYROL PANORAMA with the Kaiserjägermuseum stands the legendary giant panoramic painting, which is both Tyrol’s largest oil painting and one of the world’s last remaining cycloramas. Covering 1,000 square metres, the 360-degree painting depicts the fascinating and astonishing events that unfolded during the Tyrolean struggle for freedom in 1809. Created in 1896, this spectacular piece of art explores the ‘Myth of Tyrol’ in its entirety, portraying landscape and people, the irrepressible urge for freedom and the battles that subsequently raged. Equally present in the huge panorama are the strong ties with religion and God. Once encircled by

the painting, visitors are drawn into the dramatic events of the Tyrolean struggle for freedom, which was led by Andreas Hofer. Inaugurated in 2011, the TYROL PANORAMA is linked to the historical Kaiserjägermuseum by an underground passage. As a ‘museum within a museum’, this documents Tyrol’s military history during the 18th, 19th and 20th century. The connecting passage is home to an exhibition entitled ‘Showcase Tyrol’, which confronts the themes of religion, nature, politics and humans and enthrals visitors with its surprising and at times somewhat ludicrous exhibits. Having won multiple

The TYROL PANORAMA with the Kaiserjägermuseum Bergisel 1-2, 6020 Innsbruck Wed-Mon 9am – 5pm, closed on Tuesdays Audio guide in German, English, Italian, French and Spanish. www.tiroler-landesmuseen.at

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Spa Destination of the Month Germany

A fine retreat for body and soul Nestled 1,044m above sea level in the Bavarian Allgäu mountains the HUBERTUS Alpin Lodge & Spa is a wonderful retreat for those who wish to take a valuable timeout, relax and recharge the batteries in a most charming and natural Alpine surrounding. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: HUBERTUS ALPIN LODGE & SPA

Close to the Austrian border and in the vicinity of Lake Constance lies Balderschwang, a most idyllic village which is still considered an insider tip for summer and winter alike. Here, the Traubel family has established a little paradise of their own. “For over 20 years my parents have been running a mountain lodge and when they took over the HUBERTUS ten years ago, both did so with a clear vision to transform the existing hotel into a charming chalet. Today the interior, the design and most importantly the respectful, but casual and familiar interaction with our clients, is what makes the HUBERTUS Alpin Lodge & Spa so very special,”explains Marc Traubel, son of Karl Traubel and deputy managing director. Father Karl with his wife Christa, as well as son Marc with his better half are all actively engaged in the family business.

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“Of course the occasional conflicts pop up, but overall it is great to look back and realise how much we achieved as a team,” Marc Traubel proudly says. Apart from the beautiful natural setting, the lodge itself offers a large spa area, where guests can enjoy beauty treatments, a variety of relaxing massages or participate in the extensive range ofYoga programmes. And especially in the winter months, guests appreciate a dip into the heated outdoor pool or a good sweaty time in the five saunas. When it comes to culinary needs, the Traubels rely on the concept of authenticity. Slow food is the motto, and all healthy ingredients are freshly sourced from local producers according to season. The deli-

cious dishes can be enjoyed in the Berglar Stube, the Bauernstube, Kristallstube or even the sun terrace on a beautiful day. Of course the Traubels have a much treasured wine cellar too and connoisseurs are usually quite keen on further exploring the HUBERTUS vinotheque. From big events to a romantic weekend for two the HUBERTUS Alpine Lodge & Spa caters for all needs. When visiting make sure to check out the latest offers as packages like the AlpinDetox or MountainTimeOut are perfectly suited for the upcoming winter months. www.hotel-hubertus.de


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Mountain Royalty in Switzerland Switzerland: that quiet, efficient and discreet country in the geographical heart of Europe has for decades been the winter sports destination of choice for the world's royals, celebrities and aristocrats. Discover Germany embarked on a journey to find out why this country, with a mountainous backbone running across its centre, and known for chocolate, banking and high price tags, continues to draw the "blue blood" of the world to its beautiful white slopes. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

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Bathed in snow, glistening under the red sky, the sunset over Switzerland's mountain royalty (the Matterhorn, Jungfrau, MÜnch et al.) is one of the world’s most exquisite everyday happenings and there can be few more pleasurable ways to spend an evening, swaddled up for warmth with a glass of champagne in hand, gazing at these landscapes.


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Discover Germany | Culture | Mountain Royalty in Switzerland

certainly lies in its traditionally generous approach to hospitality, its discreet nature and opulent provisions. Who couldn't deny that Michelin dining reaches new levels when you are dining in one of the most picturesque Alpine villages? The pinnacle of a luxurious winter is perhaps embodied in Gstaad’s motto:“Come up, slow down.”With around 144 pistes for all ability levels served by 53 cable cars, this Bernese village is this millenium’s resort of choice for the songstress Madonna and her offspring, and was famously described by actress Julie Andrews as“the last paradise in a crazy world.”Its understated glamour and Alpine authenticity have been preserved by the strict building regulations imposed, which have prevented the high altitude resort from becoming over-crowded. Decades ago, the Gstaad Palace bolstered the town’s celebrity status, with stellar performances from Louis Armstrong and Dionne Warwick. But, unlike other destinations, celebrities enjoy an isolation here that they’re rarely privy to elsewhere. Roger Moore famously remarked that the people of Gstaad are “less interested in me than they are in my car." Perhaps Switzerland’s appeal therefore lies in its respect for privacy. And, of course, once enveloped in voluminous skiwear, with extremities covered by cashmere, who would really be able to tell the difference between any of us?

Main image: Sunset at Mt Kronberg, Appenzell. Photo: Switzerland Tourism/Roland Gerth Top: Evening falls in St Moritz in the Upper Engadin. Photo: Switzerland Tourism/Christof Sonderegger Above: The aerial cable car to Mont Fort with bumping slopes. Photo: Switzerland Tourism/Christof Sonderegger Right: Wellness goes hand in hand with a white week. Photo: Switzerland Tourism/Gian Marco Castelberg, Maurice Haas

A century and a half after the legendary hotelier Johannes Badrutt’s notorious bet that his sun-seeking British tourists would enjoy – rather than endure – a Swiss winter, the country’s reputation for bestowing a winter wonderland upon its guests has been cemented and it now stands firmly at the pinnacle of luxury ski holidays. The in-

vention of the T-bar lift in 1934 by Swiss engineer Ernst Gustav Constam drastically reshaped the wintery experience, meaning that thrill seekers could really benefit from an entire day on the Swiss slopes. Today, accessing the vast swathes of snow couldn’t be easier as the compact country has 240 ski areas in total, of which six can be considered major, boasting several hundred kilometres of pistes. With European royals, Hollywood A-listers and dotcom billionaires from across the continents all opting for Switzerland over its close neighbour Austria – which, incidentally, is ranked higher in terms of ski tourism – its appeal

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Discover Germany | Culture | Mountain Royalty in Switzerland

A sunny enclave just north of Italy’s Lake Como, St. Moritz is considered an Alpine metropolis by many. Lined with luxury boutiques selling haute couture, it’s the resort of choice for King Carl Gustav of Sweden and the elite jet set of Europe, who have long coveted membership of the town’s exclusive Corviglia Club. Yet global recognition has resulted in a hustle and bustle in St. Moritz. Whether it is high summer or the depths of winter,

people from a broad cross-section of society flock here. And this is never more true than in February, when, armed with a glass of champagne in their gloved hands, 35,000 spectators descend on St. Moritz for its nigh on annual White Turf, a horse racing extravaganza that was first held in 1907. Over three weekends, the lake, covered in ice, is the setting for numerous races, including the infamous skijoring, which sees horses pull skiers around the course. Generous prize money, illustrious

sponsors and a chance to see world-class jockeys compete in unique circumstances is what draws in the crowds year after year. Similarly, the city plays host to the Snow Polo World Cup at the end of January. With first-rate international teams mounted on magnificent horses, these three days are yet another rare spectacle to add an extra frisson of excitement to a winter break. St. Moritz's 350km of pistes and state of the art infrastructure are matched by few, butVerbier, in the French-speaking region, certainly gives it a run for its money. A favourite with the Danish royals, Verbier might go all out when it comes to luxury, but it still retains the unobtrusive nature in which aristocrats instinctively feel welcome. With many private homes and extended rental stays on offer, it is common for those with some coins in their pocket to pitch up for the entire season. Ski-in, skiout options ensure that privacy is maintained, while private chefs and the local's “seen-it-all-before” attitude are two well appreciated characteristics of this stunning resort in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The adventure playground of the British royals has long been the combined resort of Klosters and Davos, best known as the

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city that goes into lock-down for the sake of global politics. Since Prince Charles famously descended the children's slopes for the first time in the early 1960s, watched tentatively by his royal elders, the Windsor family have returned almost annually. That touch of fresh air in winter reinvigorates the royals, whose deftness on the slopes has not gone unnoticed. With 307km of pistes accessible, they've honed their skills while taking the time to appreciate the succulent fine dining, entertaining apres ski shenanigans and local culture. Most recently it was voted by 'Premium Europe' as the best resort in the Alps and Kate and William, who first shared an intimate moment here in 2004, certainly agree as they return year upon year.

For that touch of elegance, indisputable top class service and well-tendered ski slopes, cross-country ski tracks and toboggan runs, Switzerland holds all the ingredients for a successful winter jaunt. But with so many good resorts, hundreds of kilometres of pistes all densely packed in such a small country the question still stands:“Where does one take oneself?�

Top left: Zermatt in Canton Valais. Trockener Steg at 2939m with the Matterhorn in the background. Top right: Carriage ride in the Val Roseg Left: Hasliberg in the Bernese Oberland. Photo: Switzerland Tourism/Christian Perret Right & below: Photo: swiss-image.ch/Andy Mettler

Equally popular but on a smaller scale is Villars-sur-Ollon in the canton of Vaud, which attracts more family-orientated skiers as it is home to several high-end boarding schools. Once the holiday season starts, it is flooded with international parents, soaking up some of Switzerland’s most generous views from this sunny enclave, seeing as far as Geneva, the Mont Blanc massif and the Dents du Midi. What their offspring spend the academic year admiring is now finally in their vision too.

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Hotel

of the Month Switzerland

Ultimate hospitality right in the heart of Switzerland The five star superior Hotel Schweizerhof Bern leaves no room for desire for the discerning guest. 150 years of fine tradition are blended with state-of-the-art design and technology to ensure that every visitor experiences the epitome of the legendary Swiss hotellerie.

hotels we host a large number of leisure travellers from all over the world, who visit to explore the boutique town Bern,” hotel Director Iris Flückiger says.

TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: HOTEL SCHWEIZERHOF BERN / MAIN IMAGE: ROBERT MILLER

After a comprehensive two-year refurbishment, the doors opened again in 2011 and the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern now shines in

Choosing destination Bern is a wise decision when visiting Switzerland. Surrounded by the spectacular mountains of the Bernese Oberland, the city is often dubbed the“gateway to the Swiss Alps”and regularly listed as one of the world’s best places to live.The old town centre is declared UNESCO World Heritage and the rich cultural scene is wellstocked with some of the most significant museums and galleries in the country. The epitome of luxury Rated five star superior, the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern is an accredited member of“The

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Leading Hotels of the World”as well as the “Swiss Deluxe Hotels”association. Perfectly located right opposite the central station and only a 15 minute drive from Bern-Belp airport, the prestigious hotel has always been a magnet for the discerning traveller. Actress Grace Kelly, Albert Schweitzer and Peter Ustinov are just a few of the many celebrities who did not think twice about making the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern their first choice when in town.“The majority of our guests are business travellers, ranging from the individual female professional to conference or seminar participants. Compared to other city

Iris Flückiger, Director


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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Switzerland

modern amenities such as 40-inch flatscreen TVs, cutting-edge IP telephones and entertainment systems as well as bathrooms designed to deliver a unique wellness experience. Every inch was designed to set new standards, from award-winning restaurants to an unparalleled spa world to the“Bel Etage”, where 800sqm of gorgeous event space do not fail to amaze even the most dainty visitor. Great tastes of the world and the best wine list in the country In the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern guests can embark on a culinary journey around the world. French Brasserie cuisine is teamed with great classics in“Jack’s Brasserie”and the iconic Wienerschnitzel is tipped to be the best in town. A good portion of art is part of the menu too, since the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern has teamed up with the Zentrum Paul Klee to pay homage to the famous Swiss German painter, who was also a passionate chef. A specialty menu featuring Klee’s original recipes with a contemporary twist is available from 16 February to 1 March 2015. Gourmet and wine lovers’s bible Gault Millau not only rated“Jack’s Basserie”with 14 points, it also voted the wine list as the best in the country for 2015.

new splendour. No costs have been spared to establish a perfect blend of tradition and state-of-the-art technology for ultimate guest comfort. 99 rooms including a Royal and a Presidential Suite are equipped with

Authentic sashimi, arguably the best sushi in Bern and more Japanese specialties are served in the Lobby-Lounge-Bar by fugu-licensed sushi Chef Hironori Takahashi and his team. After a good dinner, cigar aficionados are most welcome in the hotel’s cigar lounge with its crackling fireplace, where an impressive selection of the finest tobacco produce from South America is available.

Oriental is the motto on the hotel’s fabulous Sky Terrace. Here guests can absorb a 360 degree panorama above Bern’s rooftops and the spectacular mountains in the back while tasting light bites in genuine mezze style. Subtle lounge music adds to the magic atmosphere under the stars. Bern’s only luxury spa The Hotel Schweizerhof Bern’s basement has been transformed into an elegant spa which is second to none even beyond the Bernese border. 500 sqm of unsurpassed luxury offer an indulgence pool with bubble beds and massage jets, a Turkish bath, Finnish sauna, experience showers, a relaxation room with water beds as well as treatment and fitness rooms. Conveniently open 7 days a week all year round, it comes as no surprise that the Schweizerhof Spa made it to the finals as Best Luxury Hotel Spa at the World Luxury Spa Awards. Overall it is the variety of high calibre hospitality that makes the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern such a wonderful choice when staying in Bern and when I asked Ms Flückiger about her secret of success, she smiles and says:“It is the friendliness, the professionalism and the service quality in the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern. With heart and soul our staff members are dedicated to deliver our guests an unforgettably pleasant stay. Beside international top standards, we emphasise strongly on personal service and authenticity and that is how we distinguish ourselves.” www.schweizerhof-bern.ch

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Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt Winter holiday in an idyllic landscape that would inspire every artist If someone were to paint a perfect mountain covered in snow it might look exactly like the famous Matterhorn in Switzerland. Around Zermatt lies one of the most popular European Ski resorts and the Parkhotel Beau Site offers everything one could enjoy on a winter holiday: Peace or winter action, a quiet evening in front of a fireplace or a tour to the nearby village. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PARKHOTEL BEAU SITE ZERMATT

When snow is falling, every landscape changes. The air becomes crisper and the

layers of snow on meadows, trees and branches soften noises. But while some en-

joy the silence and calmness the winter season brings, for others begins the time for their most beloved sport activities: skiing, snowboarding or hiking through a wintery landscape. Zermatt in Switzerland is one of the world’s finest winter sport locations. High up in the Swiss Alps with a view of the famous Matterhorn, Zermatt offers everything a winter holiday has in store. A view as painted by an artist Only five minutes away from the village’s centre, up on a hill, lies the Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt in an outstanding location: While easy to reach by foot, the hotel is surrounded by quietness and conveniently distanced from any noise celebrating winter tourists may cause. The four star superior hotel shines through comfort and service, but it is the informal atmosphere of a family-led hotel that adds the magic. Founded

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Discover Germany | Sparkling Winter Destination | Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt

mountain view and it is fantastic, the Matterhorn is right in front of us,” states a reviewer on TripAdvisor during his autumn holiday. Rated four and a half stars on the independent travel review portal, nearly 300 guests have acknowledged the Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt’s excellent quality so far. Special offers for the white season Great winter offers include an attractively priced three night package deal that comprises use of the wellness and spa area, breakfast and afternoon tea as well as a ski pass that also allows using the ski bus to Zermatt’s main destinations. Holders of the ski pass are allowed to go skiing around Zermatt and Cervinia on the Italian side of the mountains. For everyone who loves skiing Zermatt is a dream come true with about 360 kilometres of slopes in total going up to a height of 3,883 metres, spectacular views of the peaks and the Matterhorn always included.There are slopes for all levels – from the absolute beginner to the professional with years of experience. And if tired, numerous cosy restaurants up in the mountains invite to a break.

in 1907, guests have not only enjoyed luxurious service for over a hundred years now, but also admire the stunning view towards the Matterhorn – a panorama that might as well have been painted by an artist imagining the perfect mountain panorama.

ities, the hotel’s spa area becomes a most important destination to relax stressed and hurting muscles. The Parkhotel Beau Site spa features a 30 degree Celsius warm pool plus two whirlpools, two Finnish saunas, an aroma steam bath and a cosy winter garden to warm up and relax after a day outside in the snow. To further relax the body, a variety of massages and body treatments to improve health and well-being after winter sport activities, are available. Another great spot to spend a relaxing evening is the crackling open fireplace in the lobby. The hotel’s restaurant offers highclass dinners in addition to the breakfast included in the winter specials mentioned above. Or, as a recent hotel guest put it on TripAdvisor: “We found that there was a great breakfast selection, a selection of newspapers in different languages and fruit in the foyer. We enjoyed all aspects of our stay at this hotel and would definitely recommend it to others.” www.parkhotel-beausite.ch

Whoever goes on a winter holiday in Zermatt is most likely to enjoy spending his or her time on the slope or on the cross-country ski track. However, and especially in the evenings or – when staying longer – during a restful day in between winter sport activ-

The hotel has various luxury suites, for example the 90 sqm large tower suite “Turm Suite Beau Site” featuring views towards Zermatt and the Matterhorn, two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom and a salon with a glass dome. Apart from the palatial suites, superior double rooms are also a great choice for a distinctive stay. The interior design is dominated by wooden furniture and timber work, so typical for the Alps, blended with contemporary fabrics – all perfect to relax after a long day on the slope. “No wonder it has so many good reviews, we are currently in a deluxe room with a

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Grischa – Das Hotel Davos Where tradition meets up with innovation If you desire to relax where environmental sustainability is at least as important as the values enshrined in tradition, the Hotel Grischa Davos is the place you are looking for. Since 2011 the cosy hotel – located in the heart of the Swiss Alps – has glowed with a new design that appears totally in harmony with the fascinating and omnipresent rural atmosphere. TEXT: IRINA SIMMEN | PHOTOS: GRISCHA – DAS HOTEL DAVOS

If you take a look at the creative names of the six wonderful suites the Hotel Grischa Davos leases out for guests from all over the world, you will get a first impression of the Hotel's charm: ”Weisshorn” or ”Piz Grialetscht” – names from mountains around Davos – grace the doors: just a fraction of the detail that makes the Hotel Grischa Davos so very special. But it would be a mistake to denote the Hotel just as accommodation. ”Grischa has a long wine list with a wide range of regional wines and selected drops from Europe,” marketing director Corina Buff says. To bring the pleasure to an even higher level Grischa Hotel Davos features a wonderful wine cellar. In the special ambience of the cellar, taster sessions for guests in-

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clude delicious, fine Swiss cheese in combination with a corresponding wine. Enjoy, I’d say! To stick with culinary delights, the Hotel Grischa Davos runs no less than five restaurants. From Chinese or Mediterranean to a Swiss Fondue, a wide and internationally oriented supply of exquisiteness is on offer. The food’s quality and origin are of utmost importance.This brings

us to ecology, a core feature of the hotel’s concept. ”Our nature is precious and Hotel Grischa takes responsibility, considers the natural cycles and engages in sustaining nature,” Buff explains. Wherever possible, the hotel sources all ingredients from local suppliers. Furthermore, ecological consciousness is maintained in considering the hotel’s heating, lighting, even the architecture. ”For example, the lobby walls are decorated with the roofs of disused mountain huts,”Buff explains further. Visiting the Hotel Grischa Davos is a great pleasure, combining relaxation, enjoyment and a bit of luxury in a perfectly sustainable manner. www.hotelgrischa.ch


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© Valua Vitaly | Dreamstime.com

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Cosmetic surgery in Austria The goal is always to harmonise your appearance The Österreichische Gesellschaft für Plastische, Ästhetische und Rekonstruktive Chirurgie (ÖGPÄRC) [Austrian Society for Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery] is the official professional body representing medical specialists in the field of plastic surgery. TEXT & PHOTOS: ÖGPÄRC | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

Due to the field’s extremely wide spectrum it is vital that specific techniques are mastered in order to carry out certain procedures. Alongside the medical know-how, the plastic surgeons have to possess a certain level of empathy.“As a society we published the guidelines for cosmetic and plastic surgeons in 2010 and these form the basis of our work [http://www.plastischechirurgie.org/de/qualit-tssicherung]. Within these guidelines the medical quality management is classified with regards to medical services and equipment, that is to say, their spatial conditions and instruments. Quality can therefore be measured and determined on three levels: the quality of the process, the structure and the result. Our goal is only reached once these three aspects are judged by both doctor and pa-

tient to be of the highest level: a flawless surgical and cosmetic result,” explains Dr Walter Jungwirth, the president of the Austrian Society for Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery. “Giving patients the best advice possible is certainly the core task for cosmetic-plastic surgeons today given the abundance of treatment options available. In principle, every procedure holds an inherent risk and so it is vital that the patients are fully aware of the likelihood for success and any possible complications that could arise. Patients need to enter the treatment room with realistic expectations if their cosmetic surgery is to lead to better body consciousness,” stresses Dr Elisabeth Zanon, a board member of ÖGPÄRC. Cosmetic and plas-

Special Theme

Smart Beauty Guide Austria

tic surgery’s objective is always to lead to a harmonisation of your appearance. Far more than just lip service, ÖGPÄRC’s quality assurance is evident in their many projects, such as the implant register, the guidelines for cosmetic treatments and a service project for apprehensive patients, which prompted the birth of the society and – as Dr Walther Jungwirth, President of the ÖGPÄRC says: “Cosmetic and plastic surgery can only be justified when it is carried out to the highest quality standards.” www.plastischechirurgie.org

Dr Jungwirth & Dr Zanon

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Defeating time – very gentle, but highly effective At Vienna’s MOSER MILANI MEDICAL SPA a team of highly skilled cosmetic surgeons work hand in hand with professional aestheticians and beauty therapists. Based on the latest scientific research and technology, patients are offered powerful new treatment methods, which are extremely gentle on the body, while delivering impressive long-term results. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: MOSER MILANI MEDICAL SPA

Dr. Shirin Milani and Dr.Veith Moser, both specialising in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery are the founders of MOSER MILANI MEDICAL SPA. Here, the world of cosmetics, medical cosmetics and plastic surgery come together with the unique combination of a doctor’s surgery, featuring experts for a whole range of medical conditions. While the concept of medical spas is already fully blooming in the United States, Europeans are just about to discover the advantages of the one-stopshop concept. Until recently those unhappy

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right measure to solve a very personal issue as effectively as possible in a most comfortable atmosphere. From small surgeries in the in-house surgery suite to non-invasive cosmetic and beauty treatments the range of services

with their appearance had either the option to visit a spa or, if more drastic measurements were required, opt for an appointment with a surgeon. Besides the fact that a significant amount of time gets lost by attending several meetings, communication between the individual therapists was barely non-existent. At MOSER MILANI MEDICAL SPA visitors can take full advantage of the resources available and enjoy the best of both worlds. It is about a holistic approach, finding the

Dr. med. univ. Shirin Milani & Dr. med. univ. Veith Moser


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Smart Beauty Guide

complex cosmetic procedure, even professional hair-styling, we have it all covered,“ Dr. Milani says. In-house consultants are available for the following areas: plastic and aesthetic surgery, reconstructive surgery, neurology and psychiatrics, dermatology and venereology, urology, general surgery, adipose surgery, A&E surgery, sport trauma therapy as well as a neuropathic pain centre. While a little nip and tuck is standard procedure for the residents of some countries, Western Europeans are reluctant to take the plunge and opt for plastic surgery.The good news is that in the past years ground-breaking progress has been made on the scientific as well as the technological level and what required full surgery with long recovery times, now in many cases can be replaced with minimal to non-invasive surgery that barely requires a local anaesthetic. Patients no longer look battered for weeks, they just get up, go home benefiting from a great enhancement of their features instantly.

in Europe to offer this revolutionary new technique which strengthens the skin’s own collagen to its clients.The procedure is completely non-invasive and results are clearly visible after just one session.The unique radio frequency treatment can visibly improve the appearance of sagging or loose skin resulting in a smoother, sleeker and younger look. While primarily used to enhance facial skin condition from forehead to eyes, mouth, chin and neck, Thermage is well suited for improving the skin on other parts of the body as well. Hands, arms, tummy, bottom, knees and legs can also get a quick efficient makeover with a long lasting result. www.medspa.cc

Turning back the clock on ageing “Modern cosmetic products, shockwaves, radio frequency or Botuline and Hyaloronic Acids are perfectly suitable to fight the wrinkles. Our credo and main aim is to postpone the effects of aging and give our clients a fresher appearence while keeping their natural look.”, Dr. Milani explains. leaves no room for desire.“Our patients love the quiet and cosy ambience, they cherish the competence in our services and enjoy the fact, that all treatment and therapy options are available under one roof,” explains Dr. Milani. MOSER MILANI MEDICAL SPA guarantees to always work with the most advanced treatments plans and equipment, while patients receive tailor-made solutions to their problems.

The latest trend from America is the socalled Thermage. MOSER MILANI MEDICAL SPA is proud to be one of the pioneers

The ground-breaking concept ensures that, whatever the treatment is, patients are always under the supervision of competent, qualified and experienced medical staff.“Our clients appreciate that all health related consultations are in-house. From plastic surgery to post-surgery like lymphatic drainage or physio therapy, state-of-the-art laser treatments such as tattoo removal, the complete range of beauty treatments from manicure to

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Bringing aesthetics to its highest level Doctor Markus Handle is an international specialist in aesthetic facial surgery Every part of the human face changes with age – a process that cannot be stopped but slowed down with efficient plastic surgery, be it with minimally invasive or surgical techniques. Markus Handle, certified by Professor Ivo Pitanguy, is an accredited plastic surgeon in Austria and Switzerland. His very special field of expertise is the face. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: DR MARKUS HANDLE

“The human face fascinates me, it always has, it’s the mirror of ourselves,” surgeon Markus Handle says. For working as an aesthetic surgeon it is fundamental to have broad and profound surgical skills. Aes-

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thetic surgery is always an elective medical treatment, meaning all risks have to be minimalized. A surgeon and his or her team have to meticulously plan several treatment steps. “We have to take all stress factors

from the patient to give him or her the chance to focus on the regeneration and wound healing,”Handle explains.“Only if the patient fulfils all the necessary criteria for a minimally invasive or surgical treatment does my team start to plan a treatment sequence. This includes factors like realistic expectations, good health and also trust in the surgeon.” New individualised concepts of analysing the patient are important for Markus Handle as they lead to more natural and long


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lasting results.“By using the newest techniques from the US and Brazil we are able to cut the recuperation time by about 50 per cent.That makes even a facelift more interesting for businessmen or -women.” Markus Handle calls these new procedures “reconstructive aesthetic surgical techniques”. Reforming different facial tissues – bone, fat, elastic fibres and skin – in the end leads to an improved and more natural movement of the mimic muscles. “My facelift patients therefore just look young and fresh but not pulled.”In considering the different tissue qualities and their different function, every facelift combines different techniques. Plastic surgeon Doctor Markus Handle is the only surgeon working in Austria who was certified by Professor Ivo Pitanguy, who is often referred to as the Michelangelo of aesthetic plastic surgery, a pioneer in the field of plastic surgery and a worldwide paragon. Most of Handle’s skills were acquired in Pitanguy’s clinics in Brazil. Additional expertise he acquired by training with the famous US-facelift surgeon Doctor Daniel Baker of New York, founder of the world's leading Cutting Edge Aesthetic Surgery Symposium. Especially in the US and Brazil, plastic surgery has made enormous steps to achieve more natural and longlasting results and at the same time reduce stress on the body and the risks of compli-

cations. The main idea is to improve the quality of living and people’s self-confidence. Doctor Markus Handle is the best-ranked plastic surgeon in the western part of Austria according to patients’ satisfaction (www.docfinder.at). Back in Austria for only three years, his big success has led to a new project: he realised his dream of opening a highly specialised clinic inVienna.This new clinic now includes an advisory centre for complications and a training centre for aesthetic surgeons, and works with internationally accredited plastic surgeons. “We constantly have to improve our quality standards,”he says, reminding of the concepts behind Pitanguy’s clinics and education programme.“We have to get rid of bad results, avoid unsatisfied patients and, most important, we as plastic surgeons are obliged to reduce risks for our patients and their complications.”

No matter which technique is used for the face the result always has to have one main characteristic: a smile that convinces and attracts everyone. The face is an entity and if one part is treated the result has to harmonise with the rest of the features. “We want people to stay natural which means enhancing the best features and at the same time weakening the disadvantages”. A leading expert in facial surgery, Markus Handle developed his own state-of-theart techniques, he regularly participates in and presents at world-leading aesthetic surgery events. His name is frequently mentioned in specialist publications, including the most important medical journal in the US and he is high in demand for training aspiring surgeons all over the world, especially in the field of facial surgery. www.acaps.at Dr Markus Handle

Markus Handle’s concept – as he puts it – rests on three pillars: safety, long lasting and natural appearance. The face is the most important communication organ of the human body. Changing characteristic parts such as the eyebrows, eyes, cheeks and nose and their expressions, changes a human’s life and interaction with the world. “That makes it so important that a change is for the better, nothing else is acceptable.”

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Plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. med. Dabernig

A Doctor for Happiness and Confidence Who is not dreaming of the perfect body, a smaller nose or a slimmer waist? However, before planning cosmetic surgery it is vital to study the procedure in which you are interested and carefully choose your surgeon. Such as Dr. med. JĂśrg Dabernig, an experienced Austrian plastic cosmetic surgeon who has performed thousands of operations in his professional life. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: DR. MED DABERNIG

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According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, more than 50,000 cosmetic surgery procedures were carried out in the UK last year – a rise of 17% on average since 2012. In such a booming market it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff and have a close look at the


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doctors’ training and experience. Dr. Dabernig was already given the chance to work with the best in the field when he underwent his six years of training as a plastic surgeon. Later, his talent and diligence earned him a call to the prestigious Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit at the North Glasgow University Hospital Division, known as the cradle of plastic surgery. In Glasgow he completed his specialist training in trauma, breast, face and neck surgery, laser surgery and plastic surgery for children. Dr. Dabernig’s professional dedication was awarded with a Fellowship at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, the well-known hospital of the royal family. “From the start I was interested in the many specialist trainings plastic surgery offers,” remembers Dr. Dabernig.“A one-year training in plastic-aesthetic surgery in London was crucial for my future career path.” In 2011, after a brief professional intermezzo at Professor Mang’s Parkklinik Grünwald, the plastic surgeon opened his own practice in Salzburg. From 2014, Dr. Dabernig welcomes his patients in the “Haus der Schönheit” (House of Beauty). Always enough and never too much A patient who underwent breast enlargement in April at the House of Beauty, is more than happy with the treatment and the result:“The operation went without any complications and I had to stay just one night at the hospital. I have rarely met a more empathetic, competent and friendly team. And I am extremely satisfied that I had the courage to take this step that restored my self-confidence.”

neck and sagging cheeks. It could be necessary to perform an additional neck lifting if there is a lot of excess skin.”There are impressive examples of what a person looked like before and after the treatment on Dr. Dabernig’s website.

By the way, it is not only women who seek Dr. Dabernig’s help. About 10 per cent of the people who trust his skillful hands are men. Botox, eye lid correction, rhinoplasty, liposuction and hair transplantations are their preferred treatments.

Look younger but natural

A patient who had a face lift and liposuction of the belly describes her feelings afterwards: “The delight about my nice flat tummy and my fresh appearance improved my joy of living enormously. And that begins every morning when I dress for the day and everything fits perfectly. I radiate the happiness about these positive changes and get a lot of compliments from people who do not know about the surgery I had.”

Gentle treatments and naturalness are the new trends in cosmetic surgery. A transplantation of body fat, for instance, in combination with a face lift generates very good results for a long-lasting facial rejuvenation. Furthermore, there are many treatments for people who dread surgical procedures. The neuromuscular stimulation of the facial muscles, the Beauty Booster, counteracts the aging process in a natural, risk-free and not time-consuming way.^ There is a good chance that cosmetic surgery will be a life changing experience, if the patient is in psychological distress because of real or subjective beauty flaws. However, not every problem can be solved by plastic surgery.“When a patient comes with unrealistic aesthetic ideas about the outcome of the surgery, I advise against treatment. Also, there can be medical reasons why I would not perform a certain operation,” explains Dr. Dabernig.

www.drdabernig.com

Below: Dr. med. Jörg Dabernig Director, plastic and aesthetic surgery Haus der Schönheit, Salzburg

Whether you will have a face lift, liposuction, eyelid correction or nose operation, Dr. Dabernig always aims to get the best possible results whilst ensuring that the look remains very natural.True to his motto ‘Always enough and never too much’, he advocates the new, soft-lifting methods in cosmetic surgery: “A soft-lifting is a very gentle face-lifting method.You don’t need anesthesia because it is performed in a semiconscious sedation. The face areas which can be corrected with this method are the mid-face, the jaw line, the upper

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More reasons to smile A dental pioneer in Europe, Dr Kaan Yerit’s expertise in dentistry and professional approach to Lumineers has earned him a host of clients each seeking added confidence in their smiles. The secret, he explains, lies in his choice of whisper-thin Lumineers, an advanced type of veneer with a painless application and a proven-tolast formula. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

For the Vienna-based Lumineer specialist Dr Kaan Yerit, everyone is entitled to feel confident in their smile.“Often there can be issues with your teeth that can exist despite having the healthiest teeth – gaps, discolouration and positioning, for example,” he explains. As one of Austria’s foremost dentistry experts, he believes that possessing neatly aligned pearly whites can bolster your confidence, propelling you further with poise and polish, and he’s now making it possible to enjoy a Hollywood smile in Vienna too. In order to guarantee the Lumineers don’t look artificial, Dr Yerit explains that his process begins with an initial consultation before conducting a photo and video shoot

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to analyse your current dental situation. “After this, we produce a‘Digital Smile Design’ so you can get a first-hand look at what the result will look like,”he continues. “Using cerinate porcelain this innovative technology enables us to create your dream smile – while ensuring they retain their natural form and style.They’re all produced individually and we pay particular attention to transparency and light refraction as well as the individual’s own dental form, of course.” Unlike traditional veneers, bonding the ultra-thin Lumineers onto your teeth is a straightforward and non-invasive treatment involving gluing the porcelain onto each tooth separately. Gums are left intact

throughout, which makes the process particularly appealing. DrYerit’s custom-made method suits clients and their input into their own pearly whites is valued and encouraged, with regards to colour, shade and form. Twenty years on, the amiable specialist assures clients that their Lumineers will be intact and stain-free. From his clinic in Vienna’s Mariahilfer Strasse, Dr Yerit’s adept team perform a number of facial and dental treatments and his reputation for delivering the highest standards of treatment and unrelenting commitment to natural beauty precedes him. www.yerit.at

Dr Kaan Yerit


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Hello, We are Manuela and Martin, we are Forma Photography, we love each other and we love weddings. Visit us at:

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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

A New Arrival: Dad TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

If your family is expecting a new arrival after 5 April 2015, lucky mum might be in line for somebody else to arrive on her baby boy’s or girl’s nappy tails: dad. I am pretty sure that the last thing my wife would have wanted at that stage on top of everything else would have been to have me in her way constantly but apparently life is all different now for the modern family. At least the government appears to think so and has therefore given us (or perhaps rather: you) a new scheme which makes working parents eligible to take shared parental leave during the first year following the birth of their child, courtesy of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014. The legislation is designed to give more flexibility to qualifying parents, allowing them to take parental leave alternately or at the same time. The measure is intended to benefit not only parents but interestingly also employers because the measures are anticipated to reduce staff turnover. The basic idea is that sharing parental leave more equally will make it easier for women to balance child care with a dynamic career and help fathers to spend more time with their new-born child. However, the experience to date is not encouraging if the system of additional paternity leave currently in place is anything to go by: less than 1% of fathers took advantage of the scheme in 2011/12, which falls some way short of making it a resounding success. But this, too, will apparently now be all different because the new system is designed to be more flexible. So here is an outline of the new rules: - Parents will not be obliged to take shared parental leave. Maternity leave and statutory maternity pay are not changing.

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Women who give birth will still be able to take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave (of which 39 weeks will be paid leave under the statutory scheme). Statutory maternity pay is paid at 90% of average earnings for the first six weeks of leave and thereafter at a statutory flat rate for the remaining 33 weeks. - Fathers will still be entitled to two weeks' paternity leave straight after a child's birth but the new shared parental leave replaces the additional statutory paternity leave regime which is currently in place. - Mothers must take the first two weeks off work after giving birth, but they will now be able to change from maternity leave to shared parental leave by ending their maternity leave early and returning to work at any point after the first two weeks, thereby transferring or allowing their partner to share the remaining 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay. Any untaken maternity leave and/or pay potentially becomes available to take as shared parental leave and/or pay. - The new scheme does not provide that the first six weeks of shared parental leave have to be paid at 90% of salary as it is the case for statutory maternity pay. - The intention to take shared parental leave must be notified to the employer at least 8 weeks in advance. An employer cannot refuse a request for a continuous period of shared parental leave and up to three separate periods of non-continuous leave can be agreed, thus enabling parents to mix and match periods of work and leave. - Parents have the right to return to the same position as the one held prior to their leave, provided total leave does not amount to more than 26 weeks. If it does amount to more, they have the right to return to a similar position.

The reform brings the English parental leave system more in line with that of countries such as Germany, whose system grants both parents the same entitlement to a period of leave and allows it be taken by one or both parents. However it does not go quite as far as the rules in some Scandinavian countries with their so-called ”daddy quota” where part of the parental leave period is exclusively reserved for fathers. Let’s see whether generation Y is ready for a shift in culture. In any event, good luck, mum.

Gregor Kleinknecht LLM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Lincoln’s Inn. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QN, E-mail: gjk@hunters-solicitors.co.uk www.hunters-solicitors.co.uk


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Discover Germany | Business | Dr. Kurt Riemer

Dr. Kurt Riemer ”My former hobby is my work today” By virtue of several incidents that happened to him, Dr. Kurt Riemer rejected his initial plan of life about 20 years ago and became a mental and team coach. Today he helps people to cope with problems that occur in everyone’s life sooner or later, a passion he had discovered when he was very young. TEXT: IRINA SIMMEN | PHOTOS: DR. KURT RIEMER

”There is a certain continuity in my life, as far as my work as mental and team coach is concerned,” Riemer says. The 66 year old Austrian studied business management in Vienna and obtained a doctorate of social science and economics in 1976. Upon completion his parents expected him to take over the family business, which was founded when Riemer was four years old. Riemer was always absolutely at ease with this plan, when suddenly he had to battle with health issues. ”The handing over of my parents’ firm was already completed when I decided to turn my life inside out,” the mental coach remembers. Riemer was determined to find his vocation, a quest

that naturally led him to specialising in business consultancy for family matters. The work of a mental coach is hard to imagine if you've never met one. Riemer summarizes his occupation as ”supporting people in visualizing, striving for and catching certain goals.”Furthermore he explains that the intention of mental training is to stimulate the emotional side of a client instead of the intellectual side, because of greater access to the energies. Certainly teaching other people to overcome difficult situations is not everyone's cup of tea. Riemer identifies his strengths as a blend of the experiences he underwent before and during his illness as well as his capacity for

the distinctive empathy and intuition involved in his work. The most frequent issue Riemer has to deal with is that people are afraid of or uncertain about an upcoming event. In addition to his core competence – the business consultancy for family concerns – Riemer recommends rounding up support three to five years before the change to allow enough time to prepare for a smooth handing over to the next generation. Riemer expects an increasing demand for mental coaches as a consequence of the growing number of generation change based hand-overs in the years to come. But apart from this, the protracted curriculum vitae of this man full of energy suggests that he will never be bored anyway. ”At 70 I plan to retire gradually and then I'm looking forward to my twilight years with my wife and family.” www.mental-riemer.at

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Opposite page: Große Nike 2013: Museum Kolumba, Cologne. Architect: Peter Zumthor. Photo: Jonas Stürzebecher

Special Theme

Top Architects Germany

Architects of conviction Meet the Association of German Architects Founded in 1903, the Association of German Architects [Bund Deutscher Architekten, BDA] is Germany’s oldest and most renowned society of freelance architects. Influential members of the BDA include Egon Eiermann, Hans Scharoun and Günter Behnisch to name but three. Quality and personal integrity are the decisive factors, which permit entry into our association. We have around 5,000 colleagues, each actively volunteering across Germany and in 16 regional associations. While BDA members only comprise eight per cent of Germany’s architects, they are responsible for one third of the construction sector’s volume.

clients receive a reliable fee and transparent costs. Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA, Köpenicker Straße 48/49, 10179 Berlin www.bda-bund.de

TEXT & PHOTOS: BUND DEUTSCHER ARCHITEKTEN BDA | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

The BDA’s primary goal is to ensure the quality of responsible planning and construction with regards to society and the environment. We want to contribute to improving the quality of life in our towns and villages, limit the overdevelopment of our rural areas and improve inner city areas. We are progressive in that we promote new ideas and avant-garde developments within the field of construction.Yet we are also conservative, believing steadfastly in the ideals and values of good architecture. In order to reach our goals, we get involved by talking to citizens and politicians, highlighting exemplary architecture and expressing ourselves at events and in publi-

cations on virulent topics, such as major projects and the realm of responsibility for architects. Competition drives us. We take part in planning competitions and applying for architecture prizes. BDA architects are skilful, competent and independent advisors to our clients, managing the entire construction management from the initial sketch to the final delivery. We determine the most cost-effective solutions while taking environmental and energy concerns into account. Our services are calculated according to the statutory scale of services and fees (HOAI), which ensures our

Dr. Thomas Welter, Managing Director, Association of German Architects (BDA)

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Anthropometric Pavilion

Architectural Research Office Arphenotype

Ahead of future evolution Plastic electricity pylons reinforced with fibreglass, a pavilion shaped by gravity and a sound-absorbing office wall are just some of the unusual designs architect Dietmar Köring and his architectural research office Arphenotype are known for around the world. His work looks revolutionary to some, but is in fact evolutionary.

serves to communicate a Utopia.The ground plan is a means to convey an idea to the building contractor, which can be optimised through a discussion or‘feedback loops’.”

TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: ARPHENOTYPE

Köring's approach to architecture often seems unexpected and futuristic, but always follows a philosophy which is reflected in the name Arphenotype. It creates a relationship between “architectural research” and“phenotype”, the outward appearance of a human being, and refers to the reciprocal influence the two have on each other. In other words, architecture, or the“extended phenotype”, is a human-made product that in turn shapes people's environments. It is additionally influenced by the digital traces human beings leave behind, so-called“virtual extended phenotypes”.

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“In essence,” explains Köring, “it is about evolution and communication. The fundamental thought behind this philosophy is that the world consists of systems, which interact through ‘feedback loops’ as defined by Jay Forrester. For example, an architectural ground plan to me is a defined system that

Dietmar Köring. Photo: Thomas Riese


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The name Arphenotype originates from his installation “Electro Flesh Disorder” from 2007, which dealt with the human being in relationship to real-time data and the global net, calling into question the importance of physical locations. It depicted the human being in contemporary Smart Cities and highlighted the invisible networks and their influence on our future evolution. Collaborations Köring, who studied architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, the University of Western Sydney and the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts before receiving his MArch from the Bartlett School of Architecture University College London, has not taken the easy route, and has no ambitions to work in a traditional architectural office.“In today's economic climate, it is no longer viable to open a classic architectural office,”Köring says.“Only very few offices can create secure employment through a constant stream of projects. Instead, collaborations have become essential.” Arphenotype have created a network which enables them to collaborate on oneoff projects with other partners. Loose, brainstorming collaborations are the norm, and rigid, office-based collaborations are rare.“Most collaborations are like a Jazz jam session. This allows the project to evolve freely rather than being bound by one decision-making body.”

through them.“I am convinced that the new world of data will result in a paradigm shift for the work of architects,”Köring sums up. At Arphenotype, where blurring the boundaries of different artistic disciplines forms a prerequisite, research topics include robotics and intelligent materials like membranes in combination with LED technology.“We expect to communicate differently with machines in the future,”says Köring.“The computer mouse and keyboard will be things of the past.” (see image “Future Workspace”) This attitude is reflected in Arphenotype's designs such as the Anthropometric Pavilion, a temporary structure reinforced by membranes. Another example is the Woody Wall, a sound-absorbing office wall created by means of software which generates fractals. The shape of the Taipeh X-Site Pavilion is determined by two assumed forces of

gravity, which form two surfaces, creating a space – the pavilion's interior – between them. The Lion's Gate bridge in Dubai was designed with the help of a virtual sculpting software used primarily for modelling video game characters, creating a free, organic form.“Even though the experimental nature of our designs often generates a challenge to building contractors when it comes to budgeting and the unusual use of materials,” Köring says,“our designs always have the finger on the pulse, act as an inspiration for future projects and are frequently published and exhibited internationally.” www.arphenotype.com

Below: Lions Gate (left), Power pole (right) Taipeh XSite (left), Woody Wall (right) Future Workspace

Education and Research Dietmar Köring's work has been internationally published and exhibited at MoMa NewYork, Heide Museum of Contemporary Arts Australia, Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin and many more. He frequently gives lectures and conducts workshops all around the world and has been invited to provide guest critiques.“The bond between research and education on the one hand and practical work on the other is extremely important to me, as one cannot exist without the other,”says Köring, who is a research fellow at TU Berlin / CHORA City & Energy. For his dissertation, he is creating the BrainBox (Prof. Raoul Bunschoten & Team), an interactive platform controlling future cities, providing insight into people's acceptance of “invisible architecture” such as social networks and the data generated by people

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Main image: MoMA Design Store SoHo. © Peter Aaron/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect Opposite: Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect Brand New School LA. © Nikolas Koenig. Courtesy of 1100 Architect

Two continents – one vision An architectural firm with a transatlantic reach embraces one goal Based in New York and Frankfurt, 1100 Architect is led by architects David Piscuskas FAIA, LEED AP and Juergen Riehm FAIA, BDA, with Gunter Weyrich serving as the director of the Frankfurt office. The two offices are well known and sought after for their distinctive and timeless modern designs. TEXT: JAIME SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS: 1100 ARCHITECT

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Since opening its doors in 1983 as a start-up design studio in NewYork’s creative SOHO district, the firm has retained a strong connection to its artistic side. In their formative years 1100 Architect worked on many projects that deepened their involvement in


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Germany

the art world. Designing the interiors of MoMA stores in NYC , offices for the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and residential projects for well-known artists such as Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein are just some examples of this relationship. Although the range of typologies in which they work has increased, these formative relationships have had a lasting impact on the firm's design process. Whether demonstrated by a design’s thoughtful clarity or the firm’s ongoing intellectual discourse, they believe art and architecture have always been inextricably linked. Juergen Riehm explains: “Early in our career, collaborations with artists informed our thoughts and approach to design. Artists care about materials, space, and light; we founded 1100 around an appreciation for the craft associated with our passion.”

result of an effortless process. We believe that well-designed architecture inspires ease in the viewer and we aspire towards the effect of effortlessness – work that resounds with clarity, with a sense that the designer’s hand is almost invisible.” While some of their clients have changed and the scope in which they work has expanded, this sentiment remains. The team views each project as an on-going process of collaboration, research and discovery. To discern their needs, clients are asked incisive questions from the beginning and their responses are continually ad-

dressed throughout the project. 1100’s experience and their deep awareness of how human proportion, natural light and material integrity affect space have guided a multitude of designs.This nuanced understanding is key to the collaborative process as it facilitates the synthesizing and distilling of client goals and ideas into functional spaces. “As seasoned, keen advocates of our clients’ interests we are highly responsive, insightful, and efficient; and we enjoy the process of designing as much as the product,”says Mr. Weyrich. Of course no project comes without difficulties and during the design

1100 Architect has used the last three decades to hone their distinctive methodology. Informed by proportion, material, light and detail the firm also considers a site's larger context as a paramount factor in the design process. 1100 avoids a dogmatic approach to design, the team instead choosing to focus on their client’s goals and each project’s unique features. The end results are functional, innovative, and sustainable designs that elegantly integrate into their surroundings.“We believe that design can motivate and inspire users, and make an affirmative, lasting impact on individuals and communities alike.” The influence of these qualities is experienced not only in the visual engagement of the user but in their emotional engagement as well. Pursuing a range of architectural typologies has been a way for the firm to foster their artistic interests while exploring new and sometimes complex building types. Whether designing for a private client, a community, or a corporation, 1100 believes that working on a range of projects allows for a positive exchange of information across projects and people. Regardless of the type of project they are working on, Mr Piscuskas explains,“an action that appears effortless is seldom the

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phase challenges can arise around a site’s constraints and/or pre-existing building conditions. Crafting unique and often innovative solutions, while managing client expectations and budget restrictions, is something 1100 Architect has learned to negotiate masterfully. They view site and building mishaps as a normal part of the process and enjoy projects which have challenging conditions. In this way they creatively approach each project like an artist does a blank canvas, allowing the site and client to influence the aesthetic direction. Another challenge 1100 Architect welcomes is meeting sustainable building goals.Their experience of building according to German “Passivhaus” Standards as well as the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Lead-

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ership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements has led the firm to promote sustainable building strategies and support environmental awareness out of both offices. “Our design philosophy is premised on sustainability. We view good design and environmental sustainability as interconnected elements of any thoughtful, responsible project,”says Mr. Riehm. This commitment to creating environmentally sound and functional architecture is demonstrated by utilizing high-performance building technologies, green materials, and by including energy-efficiency as a mandatory element of every building design. The collaborative exchange of information on these sustainable building strategies from the Frankfurt office to the New

Above: Queens Library CLDC. © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect. Bottom: House on Shelter Island. © 1100 Architect (left) House on Ikema Island. © 1100 Architect (right) Opposite: Main: East Side Lofts. © 1100 Architect (left) Brownsville Recreation Center. © 1100 Architect (right) UPenn Perry World House. © 1100 Architect (bottom)


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York office has resulted in positive impacts. The Queen’s Library Children’s Discovery Center in Jamaica, NewYork, was expected to reach LEED Silver certification, but the project was recently awarded LEED Gold. Embracing sustainable building materials isn’t the only thing that comes easy to 1100 Architect. Their desire to research and continually educate themselves inspired the opening of their overseas office in Frankfurt, Germany. This was premised on the idea that one way to advance their practice would be expanding into a new environment. Although NewYork offers a plethora of cultural diversity, having an office abroad

became a clear way to manifest their growing interest in the global exchange of ideas. Believing in architecture's power to contribute solutions for both current and future challenges is central to this transatlantic team of fifty. Spread across both the NewYork and Frankfurt offices this highly motivated team is collectively fluent in twelve languages and counts amongst its ranks thirty registered architects. While each office works independently on a number of projects, in all aspects of design the two offices work closely with one another – enjoying the exchange of ideas and allowing the vision and ethos of 1100 to connect people and projects.

The team is able to provide their international clients with architectural and interior design, space analysis, programming and master planning services. Currently the firm is working on a range of projects: a daycare centre and k-12 schools, a university building, multi-residential and single family houses, a recreational centre and a detention facility, to name a few. With an ability to take on projects spanning educational and arts institutions to residential buildings, retail environments and civic facilities, the firm has become a major presence across the two continents. www.1100architect.com

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Gewers Pudewill Contemporary and contextual design Architecture surrounds everybody and everything. It is a world of figures and forms, natural and constructed settings. The young Berlin firm Gewers Pudewill designs intelligent and inspiring environments; they create places – and spaces – that enhance the quality and enjoyment of life. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: GEWERS PUDEWILL ARCHITECTS

Gewers Pudewill are architects in the classical sense. They embrace holistic concepts that begin with inspiring designs and are then completed in the best possible way. In doing so, they strike the balance between topical and timeless architecture. Their designs are both contemporary and contextual. Their architecture is urban, functional and state-of-the-art. As one of Germany’s top architects, Gewers Pudewill have realized prestigious projects and worked with a number of notable

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clients in recent years. And although their modern designs are always individual and unique, their homogenised architecture is

contemporary yet classic, sustainable and integrative. A holistic approach to architecture Gewers Pudewill believe in interrogating the deep structures that are evident in different types of architecture. They work through these precedents and propose original forms.“The holistic approach is more important than the size of a project – so we


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Today, Gewers Pudewill employs 32 architects who work in their spacious BerlinKreuzberg office.The firm states that its designs are derived from a number of sources: “We broadly draw interesting concepts from everywhere: nature, art, the countryside – but ultimately it is the individual design process in our office that produces standalone building ideas. Our aim is to show not only beautiful 3D images but also that the building will later redeem the promised design. Therefore, we place a strong emphasis on a detailed, high quality implementation. The result is good architecture, individual, sensual, holistic and expressive.”

Pudewill worked as partner for Henn Architekten in Munich and Berlin and abroad for 15 years. Main image & above: Bosch and Siemens. New construction of technology centre in Berlin. Photos: Eberle & Eisfeld Below: Draft for a 5-Star Hotel in Southern Germany. Photo: EVE Images (left) Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. New office building and laboratories. Photo: Eberle & Eisfeld (right) Right: BER Airport Berlin-Brandenburg. Willy Brandt - New construction of four buildings for security and ground transportation. Photos: Eberle & Eisfeld

Many of the projects for which they were responsible were honoured with awards. In 2014 alone, they were recognized with the ‘Thuringian State Prize for Architecture and Urban Design’ and the ‘ICONIC Award’ from the German Design Council. Much of their work has also been featured in art galleries or exhibitions on modern architecture.

And, by using building resources in accordance with the pertinent economic and ecological needs of a space or environment, Gewers Pudewill is changing the parameters of functional, yet responsible corporate architecture.

are just as happy working on small as on large projects: from a small villa to city offices, from interior décor to high-rise buildings.” In fact, the award-winning architects state that: “We never have a preconceived notion, but we develop our designs and ideas always in the context of the task and the situation. This can lead to different approaches and results – which has a different focus every time.” A history of success In 2008, Georg Gewers and Henry Pudewill founded the firm in Berlin. Both partners look back on more than 20 years of experience in prestigious offices with high-profile clients and international projects. Georg Gewers began his career in 1990 with Sir Norman Foster in London, while Henry

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Left & above: Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS. Photos: HG Esch Below: New construction of lake residence in Potsdam. Photo: Christian Gahl (left) Town House Linienstraße Berlin-Mitte. Photo: Sebastian Reuter (right) Right: Headquarters of Mercedes-Benz Sales Germany in Berlin. Photos: HG Esch

living spaces, city architecture, hotels and interior designs.

Combining practice and pulse The firm develops concepts for new buildings and projects in Germany – and abroad. The majority of their work stems from directly commissioned projects as well as successful contests. “The firm stands for a modern and contextual architecture, which is functionally developed – but also sensual. We combine high design standards in every detail with clear messages to build a holistic building. Contextualized and functional statements are closely associated with each other. Both are expressive, emotional approaches that enhance each other.” Gewers Pudewill are architects – but also artists.“To us, architecture always arises from a specific time and context, which it then reflects. The openness, diversity and innovation of our time must be visible. We do not constantly seek new forms, but rather often

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Thinking with and for their clients

By combining creativity and their vast professional expertise, Gewers Pudewill creates unique and meaningful experiences. Their designs put architecture into its relevant context; they merge the present and what already exists, with the effective, the innovative and the aesthetic.

The firm’s areas of expertise include: Architecture, interior design, renovation and revitalisation, master planning, general planning, and consulting. With an average of 15 clients per year, its team has conceptualized, designed and built office buildings, research and development spaces, cultural buildings,

Former clients include notable German and international names: Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, Berlin, CA Immo Deutschland, Carl-Zeiss Meditec AG, Berlin, ebay GmbH, Berlin-Dreilinden, FraunhoferGesellschaft, München, Freie Universität

for new materials and surfaces that can play a role of their own,”states the firm.


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Berlin, Marquard & Bahls AG, Hamburg, Mercedes-Benz Vertrieb Deutschland, Berlin, Porsche AG, Stuttgart, andVolkswagen AG, Wolfsburg. Modern office spaces in Berlin For instance, the new distribution centre of Mercedes-Benz in the eastern district of Berlin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg will trigger further development in this industrial area. Close to the O² Arena, directly on the River Spree, Gewers Pudewill created a 13storey-high tower and modern office spaces. Clear cubic forms and a rhythmic glass facade, and vertically offset double windows, characterise the appearance of the modern building. An important pillar of the firm’s success and their continuous growth in Germany and abroad is their absolute commitment to delivering the best service, and to meet all deadlines and budget agreements. Future success and sustainability In recent years, the firm has won many prestigious building competitions and projects. Their expertise and interest encompasses a wide spectrum and their name resonates with many industry experts and clients. Looking to the future, Gewers Pudewill wants to continue to conceptualize, plan and build a plethora of buildings and spaces.“Our motivation is to build well. We want to take our high standards to build good and even better architecture. This has been our goal from the beginning and it will remain our focus for the next year and beyond.” www.gewers-pudewill.com

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Spectacular holistic solutions by DITTEL | ARCHITEKTEN

Architecture meets interior design From private houses to offices, from hotels to cafes: The interdisciplinary architecture and design studio Dittel Architekten are passionate about designing eyecatching buildings and breathtaking inside decorations. TEXT: ISABEL WAGNER | PHOTOS: MARTIN BAITINGER

Dittel Architekten was founded in Stuttgart in 2005. Today it operates from two offices (one in Stuttgart, one in Berlin) and employs 25 people: predominantly architects, interior designers and communication designers. Dittel Architekten cover a variety of areas such as office spaces, hotels, restaurants, furniture, shops and bars, private houses and trade fairs. Combining architecture, interior design and communication design allows the architects to ensure high-end quality products across a wide creative spectrum. Pivotal to their success is the creation of distinct, recognisable and exclusive looks which are 100% in line with the brand of

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their clients. Always in close contact they accompany clients in the design process from the first outline to the finished result. At the heart of their philosophy lies a passion for space, accuracy and originality. Answering my question about the secret behind their enterprise, Managing Director Frank Dittel explains:“We are no conventional architecture firm in that we also offer communication design, alongside architecture and interior design.This makes it interesting for our clients not only to seek advice relating to aspects of the architecture alone, but also in terms of a holistic corpo-

rate design. This is how we manage to define and differentiate brands in keeping with our client’s wishes.” Central to their


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or differentiate something new or something that already exists,”Dittel continues. PANO cafe, Stuttgart Indeed, the projects designed by Dittel Architekten in the last decade speak for themselves. There is, for example, cafe PANO in Stuttgart which offers organic and regional products.To match the honest and qualitative programme of the cafe, the designers created a warm and natural atmosphere by using materials such as oak wood, handcrafted real leather and Italian tiles. A huge oak table (over five metres long and one metre wide) defines the room and invites customers to sit together in an open and friendly ambience. There are also smaller and individual seating options, so everybody is welcome to delve into this natural yet modern space. Sansibar by Breuninger, Düsseldorf

Opposite & above: The city’s first PANO branch is designed by Dittel Architekten in Stuttgart. Right & below: A clear design and a passion for detail is found at the Breuninger Mitarbeitercasino, Stuttgart.

work is the delivery of a product that represents all the aspects of a client’s brand. “And it doesn’t matter whether we define

Restaurants and cafes are noted successes of this architectural firm. Another accomplishment is Sansibar: This famous restaurant on the island of Sylt has just opened its second branch in the new department store called Breuninger in Düsseldorf. Over more than 230 m² Dittel Architekten were faced with the challenge of coming up with a concept that would represent two big brand names at the same time, namely Sansibar and Breuninger. They met this challenge by creating a vast and neat outlay with reminiscences of the Northern island of Sylt, presented, for example, through the use of

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typical materials such as wood waste and oak tree. Furthermore, they built separated sitting areas which resemble the wooden huts which typify Sylt. All these elements are recreated in an elegant way, worthy of the principles of its department store home. With the warm lighting design, the wine cellar-like structures and the special parquet flooring, the designers have created a restaurant with a unique and noble atmosphere. ISDB Logistikzentrum, Friedrichshafen Whilst these former two projects showcase the professionalism of Dittel Architekten in the realm of interior design, this office construction for ISDB Logistik shows off their architectural skills in the world of corporate design. For this newly built project the architects aimed to translate the company’s values of dynamics, commitment and vision into the art of construction. The play with white and anthracite brings a great dynamic to the building, and the gen-

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erous use of glass symbolises the vision of the company and has the advantage of bringing a great amount of light into the office space. The interior furthers this approach by making use of quality furniture and an elaborate use of colour.

only hope that Dittel Architekten are able to add their touch to as many eateries and accommodations as possible.

Opposite: Due to the use of white the office complex of ISDB Logistik looks endearingly dynamic. Below: The elegant entrance area in a private property in Switzerland. The treasures of the house can be kept in the dark wine cellar.

www.d-arch.de

Villa T, St. Gallen Dittel Architekten are masters in the creation of luxury housing. The exquisite villa T in the Swiss Canton of Sankt Gallen shows just what they are capable of. The building was completely gutted and designed anew by the architects and the result is magnificent.The elegant entrance area is dominated by white colours and interesting shapes and forms which contribute to the welcoming atmosphere of the villa.There is a modern wine cellar that stylishly integrates wine boxes in a dark room. One of the highlights of the house is the lavish spa area featuring a pool and a sauna.Thanks to the huge glass windows one almost feels like this is an outside area; the stunning view over the surrounding landscape does the rest, making this the perfect space for relaxation. Wood from walnut trees is used to enhance this impression. The overall design of the villa is characterised by forms, shades and patterns which are extremely exciting to look at. And this is the common denominator of their work: a sensual feast for the eye which never fails to appear contemporary and graceful. In this context Dittel remarks: “Thanks to our way of thinking which requires looking at a project in its entirety, and thanks to our precision and natural creativity, our customers always feel in the best and most capable hands and they always like coming back to us.” In 2014 Dittel Architekten was honoured with the German Prize for Interior Design in the category “Hotel and Gastronomy”. The prize was given to projects which were conceptualised, designed and executed in an exemplary fashion. With all these formidable achievements the future is bright for this architectural firm, and there are many international projects planned which will build on their successes in the realm of gastronomy and the hotel business. We can

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Imagining the impossible Architecture and interior design bureau Frank Architekten convinces with its timeless approach in harmonically merging functionality with aesthetics and designing modern buildings that are beautifully embedded in their surroundings.

realisation of complex construction projects easier and more feasible. The language of architecture

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: FRANK ARCHITEKTEN

Based in Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Winnenden, family business Frank Architekten was founded in 1965 by Werner Frank and can look back at successfully designing buildings for over four decades.Today his son Arion Frank, who became a partner in 2000, has taken over and runs the bureau. Together with his team of architects and interior designers, Arion Frank develops sophisticated designs for private and industrial purposes, ranging from single-family homes to complex office buildings. Services include comprehensive consulting as

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well as the planning and supervision of construction until the handover of the finished building. As well as developing new buildings, Frank Architekten also offers support for re-construction and refurbishments. Over the years the company’s professional network has naturally expanded and clients benefit greatly from the close relationships the architects have with engineers, specialising in structural planning, technical building facilities, building physics, fire protection and geodesy. This makes the

Frank’s well established team of architects do not follow a stylistic design idiom but try to think outside the box in order to find neat all-round solutions. Frank explains:“I approach every new project with an open mind and curiosity. That is what my creativity springs from. For me architectural expression arises from the dialogue between design, functionality and built environment.“In my opinion architecture has to convince through clear geometrical shape and conceptual and functional simplicity. Quality architecture is generally a result of an experienced approach to proportions, a sense for space and carefully selected combination of materials,”he adds.


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Through focusing on true quality and implementing clear management down to the smallest conceptual detail, Frank Architekten has gained a reputation it can be proud of. Frank says: “As architects and interior designers, we think from the outside to the inside and from the inside to the outside. This symbiosis of architecture and interior design is a particular strength of ours.” The architects and designers work precisely yet remain flexible and open, which can also be seen as one of the ingredients in the

bureau’s wide success. It should come as no surprise that Frank Architekten has received the award for Exemplary Construction amongst others and their buildings have been featured in highly regarded publications.

munity. He claims: “Architecture defines our lives and shows what values a society has.”A building has to correspond with its environment and consequentially with the people who inhabit it, as well as those who are just passing by.

The architect’s responsibility

The intensive exchange between Frank’s trusting clients and his enthusiastic team builds the backbone for unique, tailor-made design solutions. Frank believes that the key is to carefully listen to the clients, to really understand their specific needs and then

Frank sees it as the architect’s responsibility always to keep the individual requirements of the future user in mind as well as being aware of the impact buildings have when it comes to the cityscape and its com-

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cater for them. Defining a clear goal together is crucial as it becomes lynchpin of the planning and building process. A transparent work flow contributes to building trust. Because long-lasting relationships with his clients are of major importance for Frank, he never looks for quick solutions. Instead he aims for refined concepts that stand the test of time and also integrate sustainability on various levels.“Superficial architectural effects usually do not last very long. We are noticing more and more that the perception of our industrial and private clients is changing. There is a new recognition that well-designed architecture and

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high-quality workmanship are simply more valuable in the long run,”Frank says. Commitment beyond architecture Family homes, commercial buildings and social institutions aside, Frank also shows true commitment when it comes to supporting his immediate community. His company helped an up-and-coming directing student at the prestigious film academy Ludwigsburg and let her film not only in one of the buildings they designed, but in Frank’s very own family home. “The exposed concrete architecture inside our buildings supported the atmosphere of the film perfectly.There were a few houses that

fit the description. The film team finally chose our home because it has an oversized bathtub which played a major role,” reveals Frank. Not many architects would go that extra mile and it just goes to show how passionate Frank and his team are about their architecture. Next to the remarkable buildings, which speak for themselves, the team’s genuine excitement about their profession and the pride they take in perfect execution is invaluable and the number one reason for approaching Frank Architekten. www.frank-architekten.de


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Lee + Mir Stuttgart’s finest

Architect Patrik Yves Lee and his partner Marc Mir started working together as Lee + Mir in 2004. Recently the duo finished their latest project VILLA BELICE, which makes it very clear why they are so renowned for their elegant and luxurious style. TEXT: ISABEL WAGNER | PHOTOS: OLIVER RIEGER PHOTOGRAPHY, WWW.OLIVERRIEGER.COM

Stuttgart is well known as a city of architecture. There is the famous majestic castle right in the city centre, and modern marvels of architecture like the Weissenhofsiedlung, the Kunstmuseum and the Mercedes Museum which all go towards showing the importance that the art of construction has

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for this place. It is no wonder the architecture firm Lee + Mir is thriving in these surroundings. Their philosophy has proved a key to their success.The architects always listen closely to their client’s wishes and come up with

solutions customised to their client’s architectural needs, combining functionality and beauty at the same time.The result they aim for is large-scale harmony on both the inside and outside of a building. Architect Patrik Lee explains their approach as follows:“We offer our clients an all-encompassing service, which surpasses the typical services of architects. We deal with the building envelope, the kitchen and bathroom, lighting system and the outdoor facilities alike.The consistency of the archi-


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or business realty, reconstructions or new constructions – the architects always strive to achieve a solution which showcases the client’s personality and individuality to its best. All these factors are apparent in the new high-end project which the architecture dream team has just completed: VILLA BELICE – a deluxe property built to measure in the south of Germany. With this project the duo shows once more that they have got what it takes to design a luxury house to die for. And again, in order to design a harmonious product, they were asked to plan everything from the inside to the outside. The house is exemplary of the modern, sophisticated and graceful style of the architects.The offset steps leading up to the house introduce a funky element to the villa, which has a cubic appearance to it. The specific character of the front is achieved by varying the depths of the different parts of the house. This interesting effect is heightened by a contrasting use of white plaster and black elements that enhances the three-dimensional feel of the construction.

tecture, interior and exterior designs lead to a harmonious overall product.” Apart from this holistic approach, part of Lee + Mir’s professional attitude is linked to precise planning and controlling of costs as well as professional site management.“We are proud of our 100% customer satisfaction, because we don’t just concentrate on aspects relating to design and technology, but also offer accurate cost planning and cost control and site management on-site,” Lee continues. Whether it is family homes

In order to safeguard privacy, the front is kept in a modest and closed fashion, whilst a great amount of glass is used at the back to guarantee a bright interior with lots of daylight. The silvery panelling material with eye-catching black joints shapes the garage gate, letterbox and intercom. The balcony at the back of the villa serves as a roof top for rainy days, and the parapet is made of glass in order to enhance the view over the magnificent surrounding nature reserve.

reaching the pantry through the garage. Lee states that “the functionality of the ground floor is of utmost importance.”The upstairs bedroom, bathrooms and fitness and sauna area create the perfect conditions for relaxation. One of the highlights of the villa clearly is the Caribbean ambience of the outside area: palm trees have been planted next to the pool. They survive the cold German winter with the aid of a special heating system. The lighting arrangement of the pool and garden evokes an intimate and warm atmosphere in the evening. And the consistency of the colours of the facade, the interior and exterior realms contribute to the holistic effect that is so important to the architects. Technologically the house is extremely up to date, since it uses solar energy to heat the water and to generate electricity – an outcome that is not only smart and striking, but also sustainable. So after this ambitious project, what is in store for the future, I can’t help wondering? “A new mega villa in Stuttgart is being developed which will leave nothing to be desired,” Lee is quick to answer. www.lee-mir.com

The inside of the house also has countless elaborate details, for example the possibility of

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Leaders in health and science – based on more than 60 years of expertise Since 1950, RDS Partner architectural society has been striving to become a leading expert in the field of medical and scientific buildings. The unparalleled expertise is not only limited to these sectors and has gained the Hattingen-based company with its 3 subsidiaries countless industry awards and an outstanding reputation. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: RDS PARTNER

After graduating from prestigious architectural universities GHS Essen and RWTH Aachen, Peter M. H. Damm joined the architectural office Rauh + Rauh in the 1970s. Since then the company has come a long way. In 1989 Damm became co-owner and since 1995 he has been Executive Associate in Rauh Damm Stiller Partner Planning So-

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ciety Limited. Today the managing partner oversees a highly qualified team of 50 spread over four different office locations. Rejuvenation without disruption Newly built hospitals, care homes, residential and administration buildings as well as industrial, environmental, educational, cul-

tural, research, juridical structures grace the RDS Partner hall of fame. But it is renovation and restructuring, where the architects truly stand out from the crowd.“We have over 60 years of complex expertise when it comes to planning and implementing supreme quality buildings for the health sector. We specialise in newly built and,


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which is absolutely unique, are experts in renovating a building without requiring shutdown for refurbishment. Business can go on as usual within the facility, which is absolutely unprecedented and one of our key skills,” managing director Peter M. H. Damm explains. This is truly revolutionary: instead of shutting a hospital down for sometimes years because of maintenance, daily business can be carried out as usual with minimal disruptions for staff and patients. Masters of science A fine example of a scientific research centre has been created in Riems.The client required a facility that complied with strong regulations. Inside, farm animal health and welfare, as well as the protection of humans from infections which can be transmitted from animals to humans, were to be researched.“As an international team with Swiss colleagues we planned and realised the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut – Bundesforschungsinstitut für Tiergesundheit [Federal Research Institute for Animal Health], one of the world’s most advanced scientific research centres in the field of infectious medicine. An investment sum of about 320 million Euros resulted in a state-of-the-art building that provides the highest security level of 4. A fact that only applies to two other research facilities in the whole world,” Peter M. H. Damm says proudly. Another prime example of a scientific project successfully completed by RDS Partner is the Center for Molecular Plant Biology (CMPB) on the university campus Tübingen. In partnership with another architect 5,400 sqm of space are dedicated to 16 independent research groups.Thanks to free, large-capacity structures, areas can be flex-

ibly divided into laboratory plots varying from 30sqm to 700sqm for the scientists and their teams. Hospital highlights One of the core competences of RDS Partner architects is the hospital sector, an industry which has experienced major improvements and new developments over the past ten years. National and international standards of healthcare facilities have reached an unprecedented level, and RDS Partner have been there right from the start. In partnership with another architectural studio, RDS Partner won the first prize for the realisation of Karlsruhe’s St. Vincentius-Clinics. The project volume was 230 million Euros, turned into a sophisticated healthcare facility that is second to none and ready to embrace the future.

precise architecture is as much important to us as economic, sustainable, cost- and time-efficient and high quality realisation. Our clients appreciate the guaranteed consistency of the services we provide,”Damm reveals. Today RDS Partner is run in the third generation, with Arne Thorben Damm being the latest partner who joined the team.The young architect has already set new standards as he is the youngest member to have been called in the German Association of Architects BDA, as well as the youngest member of the AKG – Architects for hospitals and Health Association. www.rdspartner.com

Main image: St. Vincentius-Clinics, Karlsruhe

After having launched an international competition, the hometown of Volkswagen entrusted RDS Partner with the complex project of the Wolfsburg clinic. Old structures needed to be brought into the 21st century while a completely new part was built and connected. Again RDS Partner left their mark with a building fit for the future.

Portrait: Peter M. H. Damm, Managing Director Opposite down: Patient room, Augusta Clinics, Bochum Surgery suite, Cologne Clinics Wolfsburg Clinic Team: Rémi Bonnefous, Volker Brachvogel, Roland Ladusch, Andreas Koch, Arne Thorben Damm, Michael Holewik, Peter M. H. Damm, Arnd Krug (from left to right) Below: Friedrich Loeffler Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Riems Center for Molecular Plant Biology (CMPB) on the university campus Tübingen

When dealing with hospitals, it is vital to keep a building functional and ultra-efficient for the medical staff to work in. On the other hand patients need to feel comfortable and safe in the same environment. Cologne clinic’s surgery suites do just that. Again and just like in the patient suites of the Bochum clinics, RDS Partner know exactly how to close the gap between efficiency and comfort effortlessly. “Of course the human being is the centre of our attention. An individual, functional,

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User-focused architecture With the building's final user firmly at the forefront of their minds, Braunschweig's Ahad Architekten have spent the past 14 years cementing their position as one of northern Germany's leading architectural practices. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: AHAD / ADRIAN SCHULZ

As one of the partners of the intimate architectural office based in Braunschweig, Katja Ahad explains that they take a similar approach to all their building commissions: "We evaluate our own experience as well as imagining what life in a building will be like. Part of the creativity results in anticipating every detail.� For one of the city's latest kindergartens the architects spoke to the staff about their

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Ahad & Ahad

needs. Often conducting yet further research, the design team is firmly committed

to creating sustainable buildings that exceed expectations. "We believe we owe the benefit of experience and improvement to future users." Similar in-depth interviews took place during the design process for Volkswagen's newest centre for development, as the architects held discussions and workshops prior to embarking on construction to gain a full understanding of the users' wishes. In the kindergarten, expansive south-eastward facing windows and skylights allow for generous natural light. Clear, comprehensive divisions between the classrooms and common areas are formed with a heart-warming simplicity. With its pastel green exterior and iconic terraced houses concept, the competition-winning design of the kinder-


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Opposite page: Am Klosterhof Right: Kindergarten St. Leonhards Garden. Apartment building to be completed 2015 (left) Development centre with offices and team work space (right)

garten emits a light-hearted playfulness while bestowing a sense of local identity upon its young patrons. For the architects responsible, it's the users, childcare professionals and young children in this case, who so often go unheard during the design process, but for whom the building holds the most importance. Alongside public buildings, their residential projects can be found throughout the city and its surrounding regions. Situated in what is now one of the city's most desirable locations, the town houses in St. Leonhard's Garden resulted from extensive discussions with the individual families who were to reside there. Now, as the huge windows flood each apartment with light and the generous balconies prove incredibly popular, both the architects and the residents can be equally satisfied, as "the basis of everything was a common agreement." And, partner Sascha Ahad adds, the lower building costs that the architects were able to negotiate were highly valued too. In fact, their aptitude for creating low energy consumption and low budget buildings has not gone unnoticed, seeing them win numerous awards for their creations. With sharp eyes and genuine passion for creating valued buildings, the office´s holistic approach to architecture makes a refreshing change from quick-fix constructions with little thought for their surroundings. "We like materials to tell us what they are all about," elucidate the firm, who strongly advocate using materials in ways that comply with nature. "The traits and properties of the assembled construction parts should be a poetic statement about themselves; a brick wall is about the individual brick: its colour, imperfection, modular size, their combined texture and blend of colours. Architecture at its best has a sensuous language of its own. Everyone can understand it and you can live your life in it. It is there to enjoy."

Tackling challenging projects appeals to Ahad and 2014 has seen the realisation of one of their most exciting projects, in which they have extended a protected farming estate in the village of Evessen am Elm, known as Am Klosterhof. Uniting the main house and outbuildings with a new build, a striking exposed concrete living space with substantial windows, the pair have made the most of the existing materials and bolstered the original stone walls with wooden beams and the concrete exterior. With a slight turn of the building they have been able to drastically increase natural light and the expansive balcony, artfully framed within the concrete, captures a sprawling view of the surrounding area. The reasons behind this space, explain the Ahads matter-of-factly, is that “the surroundings become part of the project.”In fact, by making

the conscious decision to merge titanium zinc and sand with the concrete, they succeeded in their quest for a tone that complements the locally quarried original structure. With designs characterised by distinct lines and their use of wood and cement creating a timeless minimal aesthetic, Ahad Architekten are shaping the future of northern Germany, forging a way for its residents to appreciate their natural surroundings and open spaces, which have crept into the houses and add an extra dimension of space. Confirming this, Katja concludes: “Our idea always results in a dialogue between the outside space and the inside space that we then shape accordingly.“ www.ahad-architekten.com

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Special Spacial Solutions from Munich to Kigali From Wessling, Tubingen and Stuttgart over Jordan and Rwanda to China and India: The team of architects at Spacial Solutions has played a pioneering role in creating quality master plans for revitalisation of old projects as well as large-scale new projects in a primarily international context since 2004. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: SPACIAL SOLUTIONS

Hotels, industrial buildings, master planning, corporate design concepts and international projects including project management services are the main competences of the 40 to 50-head-strong international architect team ‘Spacial Solutions’. The team’s vision is to embrace the art of significant simplicity:“We speak a spoken, as well as a visual language, which experts and amateurs both understand and like. We bring together visionary generosity and fastidious detailed work to a seemingly effortless entity. Instead of ‘does not work’, we prefer to say ‘it works like this’,”owner Professor Roland Dieterle said.

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Main photo: Gabriel Dusabe, Kigali (Rwanda) Portrait: Prof. Roland Dieterle, Dipl.-Ing. Architect BDA, CEO. Photo: Myrzik und Jarisch Right top: Headquarters of Siegle+Epple. Photo: Dirk Altenkirch, Atelier Altenkirch (left) Design of Oasis Tala Bay in Jordan. Design: Spacial Solutions International GmbH. Rendering: Daniel C. Wolf (right)

Based in Munich, the company was founded in 2004 by 50-year-old Prof. Dieterle after he decided to end his previous career as leading and worldwide-active architect for Siemens and to bring his experience into his own business. Today, Dieterle can show off a wide range of architecture prizes, including being nominated for the 2014 German Design Award, winning the Iconic Awards 2013 in the category of concept and winning the African Property Awards in 2009 for a significant project in Rwanda. Architecture as a sign of new departure A project of global scope and of international importance is the Kigali Convention Complex in Rwanda, which is expected to open in 2016. Spacial Solutions had a vision of establishing an urban convention centre, alongside a convention hotel, office park


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and museum in a country where not many companies would invest 230 million dollars in congress architecture. Despite risks, the convention complex came to life: the building is designed to hold 3,000 people. It can stage conferences, festivals, concerts and fairs and is characterised by a big spiral construction dome with a 28-metre radius and 38-metre height, which seeks to symbolise a time of change. Its architectural design comprises elements of Rwanda as a country as the colour range and the graphic concept of the project is based on country specific colours and materials. Prof. Dieterle said:“We got the chance to create something unusual – unusual for us and also for the country of Rwanda.” He thinks that this investment can help Rwanda’s positive development and that people in Rwanda developed many skills through this project: the management of big enterprises, the dealings with investors and the comprehension of sustainable building. A cement factory and a local stone factory were created with the help of the Convention Centre, so that less building material needs to be imported. Excellence in workspace creation

ing expresses what kind of company the client is in a natural way. Other notable projects include a factory for Stihl power tools in Qingdao (China) and the impressive Tala Bay Resort & Oasis in Jordan: a fully autarchical city, thanks to a, in this form unique, thermal solar power plant with an integrated sea water desalination device. The enormous roof at the same time serves as a shade roof for a soukh and an office park – naturally airconditioned through the wind of an integrated updraft power plant.

value the capacity for enthusiasm of the people that we sometimes miss in Germany,” Prof. Dieterle said. Spacial Solutions’s architectural creations exude a sense of humanity and spaciousness. They have something familiar and hold a degree of surprise and functionality at the same time.The company seeks to assimilate form to construction, to always develop new aesthetics, in which everything has a function and nothing is pure decoration. www.spacial-solutions-int.com

“We developed some skills, which make us successful overseas: we don’t shy away from the foreign, the effort, the difficult. We Germans are valued for our reliability. And: We love to work for people who think that trust and a handshake means at least as much as contracts and formality. We

Below: Canteen building of STIHL company in Qingdao, China. Photo: Prof. Roland Dieterle, Spacial Solutions International (left) Single-family house in Wessling. Photo: Oliver Schuh (right) Bottom: Apartment complex in Tübingen. Photo: Spacial Solutions International (left) Dome of the Kigali Convention Complex. Photo: Spacial Solutions International (right)

Workspace as a room of knowledge – this is how Spacial Solutions takes on the task of creating workspace for clients. The attentiveness to comfort in both the physical and emotional sense in combination with impressive, sustainable and inviting buildings stands at the centre of an understanding of quality. This guiding threat was used to create the international headquarters of Siegle+Epple in Stuttgart, an internationally active air-conditioning and ventilation systems manufacturer. The façade of the blended building structures is exciting, without being fashionable. They have translated the recommendations of the energy-consultants in an innovative way into a memorable shape: the space between the deep, walkable window bays serve as file cabinets for the employees. Through this, the build-

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More living space for Berlin ‘Our houses are as unique as the places where they originate.’ That is a simple, but very precise description of the design attitude of the two German architects Frank Arnold and Mathias Gladisch. New building constructions and refurbishments, accompanied by cost-effective and timely implementation, is what they do. TEXT: MERYEM HAUER | PHOTOS: ARNOLD UND GLADISCH GESELLSCHAFT VON ARCHITEKTEN MBH

The currently most important building project in Berlin is housing. By 2025, over 10,000 apartments have to be built each year for meeting demand. Thereby one main focus for the architects lies on the construction of new homes with ongoing projects such as Berlin Lake Suites, 12Brueder and the Myrica Buildings. Established in 1996 Arnold and Gladisch architects develop feasibility studies, design city planning and buildings. Their scope of work covers architecture, general planning and project management by keeping the focus on the budget as well as the special features of

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each place. A careful analysis of the property and its surroundings forms the basis for a precise insertion into the urban context. These factors are combined with architectural quality: clear and reduced shapes, coherent material concepts and a high ecological standard. The needs and preferences of each individual client are top priority; therefore the architects attach great importance to intensive support throughout the process. Every client receives assistance with the fulfilment of the obligations and is constantly updated about the project development.

Successfully engaged in the area of new constructions and refurbishments for almost 20 years, Frank Arnold and Mathias Gladisch built up a strong network within the politics and administration of Berlin.


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houses is being built. This area was originally surrounded by woods and the Wuhle River. The project 12Brueder goes back to the fairy-tale of the same name by the Brothers Grimm and is directly located at the Dornroeschenstrasse. The houses provide spacious rooms, a garden and a sunny roof terrace. Despite the family resemblances between them, they provide large scope for individuality and personal development. Koepenick satisfies the desire for calm and represents the ideal retreat far from the big city.

portation links to the city centre and the proximity to the lake. Myrica – living green in Berlin Mitte The inner-city ensemble, which is located in Berlin’s Mitte district, is built by a housing cooperative and consists of five buildings with a total of 95 rented apartments that provide 1.5 to 5-room flats A creative connection ties up the façade with the motives of the cooperative construction in Classical Modernism. Affordable rents are combined with low energy costs, therefore energy requirements are 45% below the new legal energy performance standards.

The Weissensee Lake Opposite page & above: Berlin Lake Suites Portrait: Frank Arnold (left) and Mathias Gladisch (right). Photo: Katharina Bohm Right: Apartment house, Wohnen am Weissensee, Berlin. Photo: Werner Huthmacher Right bottom: One-family house 12Brueder, Berlin. Photo: Berliner Volksbanken Immobilien GmbH (left) Myrica apartment house. Berlin. Photo: Werner Huthmacher (right)

Their many years of experience support the architects in developing concepts, even for challenging properties. Berlin Lake Suites – an oasis in the middle of town Directly located in the inner city of Berlin, an apartment building with owner-occupied flats has been designed to meet the highest requirements. The six-storey residential house provides exceptional living comfort and mediates between modernity and history in its unique way.

The home-building cooperative project is located in Berlin and consists of the remodelled town hall, four new buildings and a shared outdoor space. Arnold and Gladisch architects took over the planning of House B within this construction complex and placed it next to the park. Large areas of glazing and high rooms offer a visual reference from the apartments into the park or to the courtyard of the site. Thus 13 distinct custom-made apartments with high energy efficiency standards offer living areas from 25 to 185 sqm.Tenants are often persuaded by the excellent trans-

20 year anniversary coming up Arnold and Gladisch architects were founded in 1996; it is a general partnership. All activities from the first sketch to the moment when a building is ready to be occupied are fully taken care of. Clients range from private to corporate investors to housing cooperatives. Many of them, especially in the luxury apartment segment, are already returning customers who are very satisfied with the all-round service provided by the architects. Now Arnold and Gladisch are looking forward to their next 20 years. www.arnoldundgladisch.de

The twelve apartments with living spaces from 120 to 550 sqm create exceptional living comfort for its residents by providing ceiling high windows. An open living-, dining- and cooking-area is combined with integrated fireplaces.The absence of columns allows flexible usage, oriented towards the individual requirements of the residents. The simplicity and elegance of the facade is underscored by large, natural stone panels. Nearly all loggias face Lietzensee Lake, offering a spectacular view and the feeling of being idyllically surrounded by nature. Living in a Brothers Grimm fairy-tale In the heart of the Koepenicker Maerchenviertel, an ensemble with twelve detached

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Left: Lindau Marina. Photo: Albrecht Schnabel Above: Lindau Marina. Photo: Marcus Schwier Below: Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Lindau Inselhalle, Lindau

ELWERT&STOTTELE Integrating new buildings into urban landscapes grown over centuries Working in areas with existing structures is always a challenge for architects. ELWERT&STOTTELE in Ravensburg have specialised in that field. Their motto: Every project should be for the benefit of people’s living conditions and should recognise and respect a place’s history. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: ELWERT&STOTTELE

“Ideas are not only the base but also every project’s essence of life,”the architects Ulrich Elwert and Wolff Stottele describe their approach. The German duo founded the ELWERT&STOTTELE GbR in 1998 in Ravensburg, where Ulrich Elwert had established himself as architect since 1974. Wolff Stottele learned his skills from distinguished teachers such as Sir James Stirling in London. Today the team’s main focus lies on working in areas with evolved building structures like the projects realised in Lindau, which is a unique historic town situated on an island in Lake Constance. “Wohnen am Yachthafen” – living at the marina – combined the renovation of existing buildings, extensions and new buildings. In a multi-level competition Professor Ernst Kasper was chosen as lead architect. Kasper had been Wolff Stottele’s professor

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at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and invited him to work on the project together. When Ernst Kasper died in 2008 Wolff Stottele took over and fulfilled the idea of individual buildings that also blend into the existing historic and listed architecture. A second remarkable project that required working with existing building structures, is the Inselhalle Lindau, also located on the island. In 2007 the architects had proved in a study that it would be possible to extend the existing conference hall, location of the renowned annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. This resulted in a European-wide call for submissions. In co-operation with the Swiss architect Hubert Bischoff ELWERT&STOTTELE gained the second prize and likewise proved that engaging in current affairs architects can work for the public’s benefit without gaining anything themselves.

The architects are currently working on remodelling and extending the Hotel Bayerischer Hof which lies at the harbour promenade of the island Lindau. The family owned 5-star-hotel was established in 1854 and the architects were obligated to respect and conserve the grown structures while designing a new building to complement the hotel with an indoor swimming pool complex and some significant suites. From spring 2015 the skyline of the historic harbour with its famous lighthouse and Lionsculpture, both erected during the reign of Bavarian King Maximilian II, will be enriched with a fine restored building respecting traditional architecture. www.german-architects.com/de/elwertstottele


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Nickl & Partner Giving architecture a human dimension Bringing intelligent design to life while showing respect for both people and resources: that is the mission of the architects at Nickl & Partner. TEXT: EMILY ENGELS | PHOTOS: NICKL & PARTNER

“The efficiency and motivation of hospital staff is fundamentally dependent on the work environment,” says Professor Christine Nickl-Weller. That’s why Nickl & Partner always aims to give clinics and hospitals

a human dimension. Fair, light-filled spaces instead of dark, gloomy hallways help to dispel fear and anxiety. The concept also continues into the patients' rooms, which are full of warm colours, wooden floors and large windows. Professor Nickl-Weller explains: “A patient who feels comfortable in their environment is less stressed and can heal more easily. A doctor who likes going to their place of work will be more motivated at their job.” Healing architecture

Hans Nickl and Prof. Christine Nickl-Weller

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The first example of their concept of “Healing Architecture” is the district hospital in Agatharied, in the foothills of the Bavarian

Alps.The 508-bed hospital is designed and built as a small city. It comprises seven freestanding structures: a treatment area, four wards each with slightly different designs, and a psychiatric unit. The floor plan is designed so that medical staff is as close as possible to their patients, and all areas are naturally lit to encourage people to stroll, linger, and, most importantly, get better. Nickl & Partner’s recently completed modernization and expansion of Frankfurt’s university hospital was designed to reflect its reputation for advanced medicine.The campus faces the river Main and is bounded by two research and laboratory buildings, a lecture building, and other central teaching and research facilities. A canopy links the different parts of the complex and highlights the transparent foyer’s role as the interface between the university and the hospital.


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Incorporating special requirements Located on the site of a former garden centre, the retirement centre “Am Englischen Garten”in Landsberg am Lech allows elderly people to live in a calm atmosphere while still being involved in city life. “When building a retirement centre, the challenge is to find the balance between public and private. Also, there are certain clinical pictures to consider. Dementia patients, for example, have a limited sense of orientation. That's why carefully determined planning and consideration of the external site is vital,”explains Professor Nickl-Weller. Learning and research The architects of Nickl & Partner adopt an almost scientific process for their work. During planning and realisation, they go way further than relying on the expert knowledge they have gained since their foundation in 1979. Their practical work is supplemented by Professor Christine Nickl-Weller. Having founded the company together with Professor Hans Nickl, Professor Nickl-Weller's area of expertise is “Architecture for Health”. A charter member of Nickl & Partner, she isn't just involved in every phase of the firm’s projects – she also teaches and researches at the Technical University of Berlin. The recently finished Helmholtz Institute of the University of Ulm shows the importance of unity between science and practice in Nickl & Partner's projects. Situated in the high-tech city of Ulm, the institute specialises in electrochemical energy storage. The design accommodates the existing greenery, while its distinctive façade makes reference to chemistry and physics. Its homogeneous perforated sheet metal, with

holes of various sizes and variable sunblind positions, creates visual tension and gives the building a strong identity. Approaching resources with respect Awarded the LEED Gold certification, which signifies a high degree of sustainability, the Sunyard in Munich is a prime example of Nickl & Partner's attitude towards the environment. This former government building was no longer in a condition where it could be rented, and was therefore revitalised to create a new focal point in this mixed, mainly residential area close to a park. The ground floor contains shops, a café, a newspaper kiosk and a kindergarten, and the upper five floors house offices. Spacious glazed passageways run through the building and link the inviting landscaped courtyards, attractive places to linger which echo the greenery outside. The elegant white plaster façade with its bands of windows is distinctively rounded on one corner.

working on an office building, a hospital, a university or a research centre – their focus is always on the people who will live, work, learn or recover in the premises. They are among the leading architects for medical institutions, clinics and research centres in Germany, but are also internationally active: their projects reach as far abroad as China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. www.nickl-architekten.de

Opposite, main image: Agatharied Above: Helmholtz Institute of the University of Ulm Below: Frankfurt’s university hospital Bottom: Sunyard, Munich

Focus on people Most importantly, Nickl & Partner believe that one should always remember that buildings are designed for humans. No matter if they are

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Vivid living – creating spaces that inspire Architecture is not just buildings. Architecture creates places for people to enjoy themselves, to live in and to experience. Nattler architects bring orientation and new shapes into being. TEXT: LEONIE PUSCHER | PHOTOS: NATTLER ARCHITECS

“Ideas for new designs and projects develop from being alert in different situations, brief moments that inspire, visual

Heinz Hecht, Dipl.-Ing. Architect, managing director and Heinz Nattler, Dipl.-Ing. Architect BDA, owner

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stimulations and from communication with other people.” Thomas Hoextermann, member of the board of directors at Nattler architects, speaks for the team.“Ideas also develop from experiences and advancement of thoughts.These ideas form a guiding theme. For us that means to grasp and understand spaces, to take in surrounding conditions and to then create responsible and sustainable architecture.” Nattler Architects is one of the largest architecture bureaus in the Ruhr region in Germany. Since 1949 it has been their goal to create the best possible outcome for their

customers and partners. In the centre of their work is the construction of office buildings, shopping centres, cultural facilities, schools and pre-schools, health centres, department stores, commercial buildings as well as private housing. The dedicated team of Nattler architects realises projects over the whole of Germany and in neighbouring countries. Based on their holistic approach, creativity, know-how and extensive experience, they act as consultants, planners, architects, interior designers and managers. One recent project is the perfect portrayal of the extensive skills of the team at Nattler architects. Hotel Franz**** in Essen, in the west of Germany, is unique of its kind. The Hotel is part of an integrity firm that focuses on the equal treatment and inclusion


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The team certainly pulled on the same rope to design and build this Hotel.They created a building that is liberal and tolerant – that does not exclude anything or anyone. The design was meant to create a feeling of belonging rather than an overwhelming piece of architecture. 48 barrier-free rooms, 90 high quality beds, a connected event centre for around 400 people as well as a variety of meeting rooms equipped with modern technology are part of the first integral and therefore unique Hotel Franz**** Walking through the Hotel Franz**** guests experience a different and unique atmosphere. The friendly openness and welcoming feel is also down to the people that work here. About 50% of the staff has physical disabilities. Because the general job market is not as inclusive as it should be, the Hotel offers possibilities to people outside the“norm”. The combination of people, design and forward thinking makes a stay feel unique and interesting. The Hotel management says: “We might sometimes be a small step away from perfect, but we certainly compensate with our humane atmosphere that our guests will enjoy and that makes them feel comfortable.”

thoughtful features in Hotel Franz**** are the low hanging curtain rails, tables with adjustable heights and the smooth surfaces throughout the Hotel. The rooms are generously designed, fitted with braille and decorated in a modern style. www.nattlerarchitekten.de

of handicapped citizens. Including them in every part of society and providing opportunities, personal as well as professional, is the goal of the“Franz Sales Haus”. The project has been a great experience for the team at Nattler Architects. Hoextermann states: “Teamwork is important on every level. Fast and focused workflows are based on a well functioning team of client, architect and constructors. Control is important to make sure everything is on the right track but trust is important to impart and experience motivation and enthusiasm. If the balance is right, it is ideal: comparable with a perfectly intact team on a sailing boat.”

A sustainable approach in architecture and design is very important to the team at Nattler architects. Creating new buildings in a sustainable way is a big responsibility for future generations.“For us sustainability means to be energy efficient, to preserve space, to save resources, to recycle, use regenerative energy and to think about people’s needs. With these aspects in mind, we create a product of high quality and areas that combine retreats, communication, relaxation and optimised work spaces. When building Hotel Franz**** an old, unused building was taken down instead of using up new space. The Hotel is an allrounder sustainable project, energy wise as well as space wise.”

Left: Hotel Franz****, Essen. @Michael Rasche Top right: Revitalization „living factory“, Mülheim a.d. Ruhr. @HH-Vision Above: Shops and carpark, Dortmund. @virtuell format Below: Reconstruction and interior design water castle, Aachen. @Nattler Architekten

The design of the Hotel is meant to comfort everyone – people with and without disabilities. Whether guests arrive with a large suitcase, a pram, a wheelchair, a guide dog or a hearing aid – smart solutions offer comfort all around. A sneak peek at the

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All buildings have their own personality Kister scheithauer gross architekten renovate old buildings and build new ones in a sustainable way TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: KSG ARCHITEKTEN

For the architects of kister scheithauer gross buildings should either write history or radiate their history. All new buildings are constructed in a way that gives them a unique character and reflects their function. Old buildings are considered as valuable

Prof. Johannes Kister & Prof. Susanne Gross Photo: Wilfried Dechau

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remnants of past times and are treated with diligence when they are renovated so that their character is preserved. Over 20 years ago, in the year 1992, the young architects Johannes Kister and Reinhard Scheithauer founded their architectural office Kister Scheithauer & partner in Cologne. Five years later Susanne Gross joined the duo and they formed the trio kister scheithauer gross architekten und stadtplaner (ksg). Nowadays, over 50 professional architects and interior designers at two premises – Cologne and Leipzig – work daily on the concept of kister scheithauer gross: to put into practice an in-depth dialogue between the location and the function of a building.

One example for the realization of ksg’s architectural concept is the construction of a research laboratory for the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Bremen: the façade consists of anthracite-coloured ceramic tiles that resemble the shell of a space shuttle and reflects the highly complex interior of advanced and sterile research labs that are annexed to the already existing building of the DLR by a bridge. Another important characteristic of ksg’s work is sustainability. By transforming old buildings into present-day living space architectural history is saved for present and future generations and resources are used in an ecology-friendly manner. “In order to renovate an old building successfully we have to operate like a doctor: we have to get


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to know every detail of our patient and elaborate an anamnesis. We don´t try to give a young face to an 80 year-old building. We try to preserve the substance and keep the edifice’s dignity and character,”says Johannes Kister. By using the old substance energy is saved as a lot of the material doesn´t have to be destroyed, newly purchased and transported anymore. One signature renovation project was the refurbishment of the granary situated along Cologne´s old Rheinauhafen harbour front. Comprising several houses with pointed roofs it has affectionately been called “Siebengebirge” by locals, alluding to the regional mountain massif consisting of seven mountains. As after the War the Rheinauhafen turned into wasteland, the Siebengebirge granary also lost face. The renovation of the complex steel-framed building originally built in 1908 by Hans Verbeek seemed impossible to do. A particular challenge was to consider the vast building depth and low storey height with regards to natural lighting. In order to secure the building’s heritage the ksg architects renounced integrating atriums. Instead, they created open plan layouts and glass loggias. Over 130 flats were built with attractive commercial areas on the ground floor within a revitalised harbour area. When ksg dedicate their time to building new buildings they try to ensure sustainability by using high-quality materials, integrating natural light, generous proportions and sufficient ventilation. Furthermore, they aim to design timeless, beautiful frames. Within 20 years ksg architects have garnered numerous nominations and awards for their work. Recently, they won first prize for the realization of a sewage system edifice in Cologne or in 2012 first prize for the design of the engineering faculty´s campus of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in a town planning competition. One cornerstone project for which ksg received first prize was the construction of a new synagogue in the Southern German town of Ulm. The old synagogue had been destroyed by the Nazis in 1938, so building a new synagogue was a specific, delicate chal-

lenge. The new Weinhof synagogue has a detached position which integrates it into this highly sensitive location. It has no structural border. It is a place of peace as all the city´s distractions are blocked off via the enclosed playground. Is there any building which stimulates the imagination of the experienced ksg architects? For Johannes Kister, who also gives lectures at the design school Bauhaus Dessau, it is the inconspicuous distribution centre of the now-defunct German retail company Quelle in Nuremberg. Kister regards it as the“biggest built Gesamtkunstwerk of modernity”.“Its outer appearance reflects its past function and is a representative type of the Bauhaus movement,”summarizes Kister. On behalf of an investor Kister has now developed a masterplan for the renovation of this monument of the post-war Wirtschaftswunder. He wants to transform the unit into an assembly of community, sports and living facilities.

www.ksg-architekten.info

Opposite, main image: DLR Bremen. Photo: Yohan Zerdoun This page, top: Siebengebirge Cologne. Photo: Christoph Seelbach Above: Synagoge Ulm. Photo: Yohan Zerdoun Below: Quelle Nuremberg. © KSG

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The far-reaching capabilities of BAURCONSULT Architekten + Ingenieure Led by Andreas Baur and Peter Kuhn, BAURCONSULT Architekten + Ingenieure is known for its interdisciplinary strengths in the fields of architecture, urban planning, civil engineering and energy and technology. As one of the largest privately run firms of its kind in Germany, BAURCONSULT stands firmly at the helm of the nation’s architecture and infrastructure. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: GERHARD HAGEN, © BAURCONSULT

While BAURCONSULT indisputably considers the sum of the parts as vitally im-

Andreas Baur (left) and Peter Kuhn

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portant, what really counts – and what the company prides itself on achieving – is its proficiency in managing, observing and conducting projects in their entirety. In fact, the firm explain, this was the guiding principle that led Günter Baur to set up BAURCONSULT Architekten + Ingenieure over five decades ago.“This philosophy shapes our actions today, as a concept of value, an impetus and in our attitude to partnerships,” they explain. BAURKONSULT’s comprehensive approach to their commissions – ranging from individual residential properties right through to the construction of extensive complexes and facilities for infrastructure – allows them to confi-

dently promise long-term gain for their clients. “Given the ever more complex planning issues, tighter budgets and increasing requirements to be met, the architecture and engineering involved has to be as complete as possible – while still allowing for individuality and inimitability in each project. We accompany the client throughout the entire process, never losing sight of the end goal.” One of BAURCONSULT’s strongest principles is that of ensuring the accurate and timely completion of all their projects, regardless of size or client. “Our project managers are all highly skilled when it comes to monitoring projects. This is performed using the latest developments in construction data and IT services. From this data, the complex process remains consistent and we’re able to guarantee that we meet manufacturing needs, optimum efficiency requirements and deadlines.”


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Technical aspects aside, the aesthetics of a finished project are also ranked highly by the firm.“We’re of the opinion that architecture has to reflect and map reality. Purpose and functionality form the parameters of our approach to architecture, so when we commence with a project, we consider every potential avenue,” explains Peter Kuhn CEO of BAURCONSULT.“Beauty in terms of architecture arises from clarity, conciseness and care – and this is vital both in the construction as well as in the details. These are characteristics that we wholeheartedly believe in and this conviction has become part of our distinctive style.” “As a member of the German Society for Sustainable Building (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen, the DGNB), we are obliged to behave sustainably, ecologically and resource-efficiently,”explains Peter Kuhn from the Frankfurt Office, where some of Germany’s brightest minds strive to connect technology and sustainability and give form to their designs. Where architecture and engineering collide Splitting the firm into several pillars, architects and engineers work both collaboratively and concurrently and this interdisciplinary team now numbers around 200. Alongside architecture, civil engineering projects feature highly too and BAURCONSULT’s specialists are called upon to complete projects across a broad spectrum, including the planning and implementation of new or improved water supplies, waste water disposal, traffic facilities, and hydraulic and electrical engineering. Their expertise has seen them turning the tap on Germany’s water supply, carrying out extensive and vital work in Külsheim, Wertheim, Bamberg and Ebermannstadt to name but a few.

passionately. “From the very outset of a project we never lose sight of the objective to create something that will have the capacity to keep step with technical or economical developments in the future.This is why we’re constantly in dialogue with both the client and the planners to ensure that a building exceeds their demands.” A step ahead It is their breadth of work that really sets BAURCONSULT apart from the competition. First established in 1961, Günter Baur recognised that by uniting the skills of architects, civil engineers and urban planners under one umbrella, projects could be completed with an unbeatable level of professionalism and efficiency.Today, with nine offices across Germany, BAURCONSULT can look back over continuous growth and a steady rise to prominence. Yet the company sees its position not as a privileged one, but as one that needs to be

constantly strengthened. There’s no telling what they’ll do next but if the past five decades are any indication then it’s likely to possess technical flair, an innovative edge and a sustainable future. Main image: Schulzentrum in Hassfurt Top: Wine cellars Nuesslein, Zeil a. Main Vileda headquarters Weinheim Below: Client Centre Sparkasse Bayreuth Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nuernberg Bottom: Finn Comfort's production and admin offices, Hassfurt NATO Hauptqaurtier Ramstein

Offices: Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Würzburg, Hassfurt, Teltow, Pegnitz, Dorfen, Taunusstein-Neuhof, Bad Windsheim Services: Architecture, Urban Development, Structural Design, Landscape Planning, Interior Design, Water Supply, Waste Water Disposal, Environmental Planning, Measurement, Control and Regulation

Within the dynamic fields of energy and technology, the group have built up a lengthy list of satisfied clients, whose buildings and structures now exceed energy and efficiency standards. “What is technically feasible? And economically wise? Questions such as these link architecture, planners and engineers,” says Andreas Baur

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Top: Kastanienhof, Berlin Below from left: Metropolis, Berlin Simplon, Berlin Metropolis Berlin, Haus Lissabon

Passion for architecture A versatile architect and designer from Stuttgart in Germany is still as passionate about her work as she was thirty years ago. There are no limits to being creative in many different ways, as the stunning projects of Ursula Steinhilber show. TEXT: MERYEM HAUER | PHOTOS: STEINHILBER PLUS

Ursula Steinhilber is very experienced in working with various types of architecture. After finishing her studies at the University of Stuttgart in the 1970s, she gained valuable professional experience by working for different architectural offices. Passionate about her field of expertise she has worked as a freelancer for almost thirty years now, from 1996 to 2012 in partnership with Otfried Weis, and since 2012 SteinhilberPlus represents future partnerships and networks with young architects. Additionally, Ursula Steinhilber has been engaged as a professor of design and building construction at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart since 1992. The experienced architect specialises in areas

such as living, building associations, urban planning, commercial premises, interior constructions and competitions. Kastanienhof Berlin – village idyll in the city Kaulsdorf is one of the numerous villages around Berlin built by the German colonisation process in the 13th century.The original structure of the village is well preserved, thanks to thanks to its conservation as a monument. New constructions replace gaps caused by war or demolition. The unique listed barn conversion project incorporates ten residential units with open views to the countryside, a newly constructed house and a refurbished neo-classical farm house.

Metropolis Berlin – living in the lap of Berlin Located between the Potsdamer Platz and the future park area at the Gleisdreieck, in the heart of Berlin, this exciting project offers versatile high quality living within ten houses. It is a place of upheaval, where a completely new district is planned and built in order to provide new residential and commercial areas as well as infrastructure facilities. Metropolis Berlin is an excellent example of the advantages of an effective building association and represents a most contemporary way of urban condominium creation. Altogether, eight architects are involved. Two of the houses derive from the work of Ursula Steinhilber. Simplonstrasse Berlin Since the 1990s, Friedrichshain developed itself into a district with a variety of small shops and bars, a vibrant and trendy area especially for the younger generation. The newly built train station Ostkreuz acts as central junction and connection to the new airport Berlin-Brandenburg. Despite strict planning permission requirements, the apartment buildings are another prime example of high quality living diversity created by Steinhilber Plus. www.steinhilberplus.de

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Main image: ‘Heart of the City’ competition design of Kaliningrad’s urban centre. Photo: ©osterwold-schmidt.de Below from left: ‘Leipziger Terrassen’ – apartment complex with terraces alongside river. Housing complex at the river. Photo: ©osterwold-schmidt.de Luminous bike storage at Erfurt train station. Photo: Steffen Gross, Weimar New bus- and train terminal building in Gotha. Photo: Steffen Gross, Weimar Bottom: Renovated family home from 1956. Photo: Matthias Schmidt, Weimar

Special tasks with special solutions From 2001, the office partnership of Antje Osterwold and Matthias Schmidt, Osterwold°Schmidt EXP!ANDER ARCHITEKTEN BDA, with a loyal and efficient team of architects and engineers, tries to merge the place and the personality of the client, the philosophy of the company and a concrete idea of the design into their architectural answers without copying their previous work. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: OSTERWOLD°SCHMIDT EXP!ANDER ARCHITEKTEN

The partnership, based in Weimar, was created in their university days in Paris, Lisbon and Weimar where Antje Osterwold and Matthias Schmidt worked on mutual projects. Their long history of cooperation has paid off: the architects won numerous national and international awards for their work, such as an honourable mention in the urban development competition “Heart of the City” 2014 for planning and developing Kaliningrad’s urban centre.They also won the best architects award 2013 for rebuilding and expanding an old family house from the 50s into a modern and bright single-storey villa. Other awards for their work include the 2013 Architizer A+ Jury Award in the parking

structures category for a luminous facility for storing bikes safely at Erfurt train station. It includes service facilities such as a bike workshop and a kiosk with a charcoal grill. Quiet shapes, straight lines and angular, clear forms.Their sympathy for modern de-

sign is unmistakable but short-lived trends and superficial sensationalism don’t fit their pragmatic stance in private and public, old and new, industrial and urban architecture. “Our work is characterised by a steady eagerness to experiment with typologies and the search for fertile hybrids or creative interpretations. We focus on the creative interaction of opposing principles, which complement each other and act as fuel for our work,”Antje Osterwold and Matthias Schmidt say. Their credo “the special task with a special solution always exists” is a big reason for commissioning them.“We find solutions for seemingly unresolvable plans with our creativity and we try to start our projects with an unusual, new perspective. By now, our clients trust our ideas for individual solutions,”the duo explains.“Our clients appreciate our unusual way of looking at things, mixed with simultaneous project optimisation.” www.osterwold-schmidt.de

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Design in Dialogue Communicating meaningful experiences through architectural designs The Hamburg based Störmer Murphy and Partners are an architectural firm who succeed at articulating the natural environment, urban context, and history of a location. TEXT: JAIME SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS: STÖRMER MURPHY AND PARTNERS

For the firm, led by lead architects Jan Störmer, Martin Murphy, and Holger Jaedicke, a design is not simply a way to build a building but a way to build conversation. “For me, every project starts in my head,”explains Jan Störmer.“When something comes into form, I take a pencil to paper and seek a response.”The firm aims to begin a dialogue with their designs that does not end once a building is completed. Mr. Murphy tells:“We are interested in making designs which have an impression on the user but one that arises from their own personal experience of it. We prefer to see our designs as an impulse that can create

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new and continuous lines of thought and communication.” These notions are relevant to the firm's recent hotel projects as traveling undoubtedly opens up new channels.“Travelling is such a great education,”acknowledges Mr. Murphy.“You get the chance to have new experiences, time to see new things and really learn what you enjoy.”Naturally, hotels play a major role in travel and the forging of memories.“No one really wants a hotel experience that reminds them of home,” claims Mr. Murphy.“What they really want is something more, something that feels

Jan Störmer and Martin Murphy (right) © Bruch


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ergy finding what they need. We try to plan so that guests can find their way around quickly and easily, whether it’s finding the hotel bar or the bedside lamp switch.”

Main image & above: Fontenay Hotel, Hamburg Right from top: Ramada Hotel, Hamburg Hotel Kloster Haydau, Morschen

special.”Jan Störmer also weighs in.“Conceptually nothing about hotel projects have changed in the last decades, except on the consumer end where today's guests expect to have their curiosity satisfied in both the luxury and economy sectors.” As the saying goes, you never get a second chance for a first impression and in the firm's hotel designs they make sure to pay careful attention to a hotel's lobby. The influence the entrance experience has cannot be overlooked as lasting opinions are often formed based on a guest's initial emotional response. What makes or breaks these first moments goes beyond a visual impression for Störmer Murphy and Partners. Usability and intuitive layouts have thus become hallmarks of their hotel designs. Mr. Murphy explains,“The last thing you want is a guest who’s tired from travelling spend extra en-

With the increase of travellers within Germany and abroad Störmer Murphy and Partners see this influx benefitting users. “The whole landscape of hotel projects has changed remarkably in the last decades and primarily for the better,” tells Mr. Murphy. Hotels have become more than just a place for travelers to sleep and the evolving nature of many hotels' guests is partly responsible for this. As business travellers become more casual, they are spending more time in the actual hotel for both business and pleasure. This expanded use has also influenced what goes into a hotel design, particularly in terms of light. A fundamental concern in any project for the firm is the play of natural light and this is especially central to their hotel projects. Working with light designers has become essential to make a space come alive, for the guests and for those who work there. Bringing natural light into the design also allows the location to be in rhythm with its natural environment, another key feature of the firm's hotel projects.

new ideas and messages, hitting at the core of what the firm's strives for in a design.“In some ways hotels are actually the most wonderful building typology to work on,” tells Mr. Murphy.“It's incredibly satisfying to work on something that is explicitly there to make people happy and provide them with an enjoyable experience.” www.stoermer-partner.de

The Hotel Kloster Haydau in Morschen, Hessen is one example of the thoughtful use of a site's surroundings. Elegantly merging old and new, the 136 room conference hotel was layered into the monastery’s original structure. The hotel harmonizes with the existing complex and its baroque gardens and chapel while permitting the complex's historic elements to retain their importance. Another project demonstrating the firm's interest in engaging a design with its location is the upcoming Fontenay Hotel in Hamburg. The hotel will fit like a pavilion into its park surroundings and the firm was committed to incorporating the view of the nearby Lake Alster into its design. Large picture windows on the hotel's ground floor windows will welcome the external and internal environments to mingle. For Störmer Murphy and Partners working on hotel projects is a great way for their talents and passion to come forward. Hotels are interactive spaces, filled with all sorts of

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Where form follows the project CHRIST. associated architects is one of the oldest architecture firms in the world but with every new generation, a fresh perspective is integrated into the company’s philosophy. Roger Christ, youngest partner and great-grandson of the original founder, talks about how architecture is personal and influences the way we live.

The architecture office goes as far back as 1898 when Karl Christ senior founded it in Wiesbaden. From then on the family business kept flourishing and can proudly look back at its impressive credentials.

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: CHRIST.CHRIST. ASSOCIATED ARCHITECTS

Before joining the family business in 2006, Roger Christ studied at the Technical University of Graz and worked at the prestigious Norman Foster architecture office in London. On returning to Wiesbaden, Christ started working on his own projects straight away. He remembers: “I never worked with my father on the same project. He acted as a consultant in a way, which was very helpful, as he is very experienced. I guess it was the same with him and his father. Our profession is very dependant on the individual person. More or less a new office emerges with each generation.”

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The architects’experience together with the appreciation of the next generation’s influence seems to play a crucial part and is maybe one of the reasons for the company’s on-going success, both in its past and present work. “We do not have a special design credo. For me it’s important to have an open-end design approach unhindered by preconceived notions of forms and aesthetics,”explains Christ further. Turning obstacles into inspiration The architecture office designs a great variety of different building types, from commercial to private but it also does not shy away from transport infrastructure projects, energy consulting and interior design. Every construction task is interesting for Christ, who does not believe in specialising but maintains a generalised exposure to architecture as a whole. Sustainability and ecological construction methods are an integral part of this. Supervising the entire process from start to finish, enables Christ to see the bigger

picture of each project as well as keeping a close eye on the details. Understanding the client’s individual requirements is crucial to a project’s success. Christ says: “First we get as much information as possible about what the clients want, even information they think is not that important. Then we visit the site and its surroundings. We try to understand and identify what the design task really is. Most of the time the inspiration comes out of an obstacle or problem, which we try to solve.” An impressive past, a promising future Buildings by CHIRST.CHRIST. associated architects have received many awards and nominations. The conversion House S in Wiesbaden, in particular, received a lot of praise and was awarded the best architects award 13, Iconic Award 2013, International architecture Award 2013, SAIE Selection 2012 and the German Design Award 2014 amongst others. House H and the project for Eckelmann AG are currently nominated for the German Design Award 2015. Of course the awards are exciting but Christ is more enthusiastic about his current projects. One of them is the refurbishment of an old stable in Mainz, which is as interesting as it is challenging due to preserving old elements such as brick walls, vaults and the iron framework. Christ reveals: “Regarding design language and materials, the new components form a radical contrast to the existing elements. Through this contrast and the resulting dialogue between the elements, a completely new experience of space is created.”

Aside from a challenging project in New York, Christ is also working on a big residential project with 16 housing units:“On the ground floor there are only parking lots, cellars and entrances, which means the upper levels and the connected gardens with their trees are seemingly floating above the area. That way every flat has a view over a lot of greenery.” The influence of architecture Christ believes that the quality of our surrounding architecture plays a major part in our daily lives. Therefore he tries to bridge the gap between client needs and social responsibility, never forgetting to ask critical questions in order to find a conclusive solution. Perhaps the foundation of his philosophy and the understanding of the impact a building can have, is rooted in Christ’s upbringing as he recalls:“I was influenced by the building I grew up in, which was built when I was born. It was an experimental steel construction that everybody hated at the time. Our family was referred to as‘The Christs in the devil's box,’as the building is totally black. With that building I realized very early on that architecture can be a very provocative thing and influences its surroundings and inhabitants very much.” www.christ-christ.cc

Opposite page top: House S, Wiesbaden Opposite far left: House H, Wiesbaden Left: Eckelmann AG, Wiesbaden Top from left: House R, Karlsruhe House O, Wiesbaden Apartment building Heiligenstock, Wiesbaden Photos: Thomas Herrmann, Stuttgart

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Main image & above: Mercedes car dealership Rosier, Paderborn. Photos: Christian Eblenkamp Portrait: Breithaupt Architekten team. Photo: Thomas Schmid & Kirstin Gottesmann

Breithaupt Architekten 60 years of innovative architecture The projects that Breithaupt Architekten have completed have changed over time but one thing has always remained the same: the human being has always been the central focus of their projects. “It’s a matter of taking the needs of residents and people, who live or work in our buildings, into account,” Andreas Breithaupt, owner of the company, says. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: BREITHAUPT ARCHITEKTEN

Winston Churchill’s words:“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us,” could indeed have come from the Salzkotten-based company Breithaupt Architekten. Social engagement, sustainable building and planning, energy-efficient architecture, which seeks to help and simplify peoples’ lives – this is at the very heart of their philosophy. A special emphasis is put on bringing low-energy and passive houses into use and a wellthought-out approach is used to transform public buildings into an oasis of well-being

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through intelligent positioning, suitable colours and clear lines. Behind simple and contemporary facades, intelligent architectural solutions are found to meet the needs of various clients. The company strives after innovation and benefits for its customers. The company has a history of building housing estates, schools and municipal complexes but the current team of full-time architects has now primarily turned its talents to building hospitals, low-energy nurs-

ing homes for the elderly, psychiatric wards and industrial buildings. Family business In 1953, Klaus Breithaupt, father of today’s owner of the company, founded the company “Klaus Breithaupt – Architekt BDA”. After his studies in Karlsruhe and following work in the offices of O.M. Ungers in


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Cologne and Karlsruhe, and Karljosef Schattner in Eichstatt, Andreas Breithaupt decided to come back to Salzkotten in 1992. After the death of his father, the office’s name was changed to Breithaupt Architekten in 2004 and since then they have been responsible for diverse construction projects in the social, ecclesiastical, community and charitable sectors. “Maybe it’s our flexibility and reliability paired with a passion to innovate, which has kept us operating successfully for so long,”Mr. Breithaupt explains.“Our clients trust us and have been working with us for decades. We cover all areas from planning to building management. Reliable costings are ensured by built-in cost controls. We gain recognition for both the quality of our buildings and the ability to meet our time schedules.” Successfully merging new and old Notable projects include the extension of St. Vincenz hospital in Paderborn, which optimizes the use of space. At the forefront of the project was the desire to integrate one of the hospital’s outsourced sites: as the technical departments were geographically separated, patients’treatment had not been what it should have been. Now, patients no longer have to travel between buildings during their care. Also, a more efficient use of space was needed to free up parking areas. Breithaupt architects managed to successfully integrate and expand the existing structure into the new one. Even the underground parking lot was merged into the new building allowing extra parking space. More space, more natural light, easier navigation and orientation, clear structures, linoleum floors for comfort and hygiene and fresh, friendly colours were chosen: “A differentiated colour scheme in various areas creates an ambience in which patients and employees feel good.”

colour scheme was used to support therapeutic approaches inside the institute, while the outside blends into its existing surroundings. When Breithaupt architects join buildings or create new ones, nothing is left to chance. Material and colours are carefully positioned to create a well thought-through feeling of comfort and perfection for their customers. For example, a special atmosphere was created in the new guesthouse for Benedectines in Herstelle simply through the use of colour accents, glass elements and intelligent planning of the outside facilities.

Rosier in Paderborn was successfully converted so that the former disjointed parts of the car dealership were successfully and intelligently connected.The design became a prototype of different future Mercedes branches. The glass-dominated, simple but modern structure, the clear design and use of suitable colours visible in this project is a thread that runs through all of Breithaupt Architekten’s projects and gives them that special, individual signature. www.breithaupt-architekten.de Top: Psychiatric ward, Detmold. Photos: Christian Eblenkamp

Becoming a role model Being truly multi-talented, the architect’s office also has a pioneering role in industrial building. The Mercedes car dealership

Above: St. Vincenz hospital, Paderborn. Photos: Christian Eblenkamp Below: Guest house of Benedictines, Herstelle. Photos: Christian Eblenkamp

Social aspects Other examples of Breithaupt Architekten’s work include the expansion of a psychiatric ward in Detmold into a passive house, which sought to create open sight axis and communal areas with diverse impressions for both employees and residents. A strong

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MBA/S Matthias Bauer Associates develops sustainable architecture with innovative materials MBA/S is a specialist when it comes to developing a new form language and new design ideas in architecture. At MBA/S architectural thinking does not stop at the design process itself but includes also the use of new, sustainable and innovative materials. With buildings like the House 36 – a striking residential complex – MBA/S have set a mark on the German market. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: © ROLAND HALBE FOTOGRAFIE

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Matthias Bauer Associates – MBA/S for short – have more than 15 years of experience working as a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, interior designers and project managers.The Stuttgart-based team offers a wide spectrum of services, starting with consulting up to finished projects of all


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programmes and sizes. Matthias Bauer Associates work for public and private clients internationally. Sustainability and efficiency play an important role. A holistic approach that involves specialists and consultants from all fields guarantees that projects are realised resource efficient without neglecting custom solutions, functionality or charismatic design. Part of an urban evolution towards a more“liveable, sustainable and desirable” life for everyone: Made in Germany with added value. “Special places require special solutions” Matthias Bauer, founder and principle of MBA/S, designed a house in Stuttgart, which is shaped and engineered entirely of insulating ”warm” concrete – making the building one of a kind in Germany.The initial situation was quite challenging, thus perfectly suited to, and just what they like it at, MBA/S: Not only do strict construction regulations exist in the area the house was planned for; the architects also had to cope with a sloped terrain on an inaccessible, steep, north-facing hillside. Part of the challenge was to create a modern and unique design while blending into the grown urban landscape. The new building had to be shielded from view from the street level above, so as to exploit the potential of a garden area on the west side of the building plot. “Special places require special solutions,” says Matthias Bauer who researched the features and possibilities of insulating concrete for years, becoming the expert in the field. The insulating properties of this special concrete lead to an innovative design not only of perimeter walls but also of a faceted roof to achieve a seamless construction and eliminate additional thermal layers. From the outside the design now resembles a crystal – on the one hand blending into the residential context, on the other having a unique presence with its triangular sloped roof and its geometric forms creating an icon of modern housing. To glean a bit more of the material used for House 36, as the house is called, one has to look at its structural features and components: The pebble stone aggregate normally

used in this lightweight concrete is replaced by recycled foam glass granulate, while the cement matrix contains 20 per cent of air bubbles. With a wall-thickness of 45 to 50 centimetres, this perfect temperature and moisture balancing material creates an ideal room climate – for all seasons. The insulation gained from this haptic and warm concrete simultaneously makes other thermal insulation measures obsolete and in the same way typical environmental and building issues are avoided. Walls, floor and roof are all made from this natural and fully recyclable composite material. In a way, this new material can be compared to the best features of old stone houses: In summer they stay cool for a longer time while in winter the warmth remains for a longer time span as well. What makes the House 36 really outstanding is the interaction of inner and outer spaces. On the ground floor, big windows open up to the outer terrace, skylights provide additional light from above and often enough inner and outer forms nearly meld, when for example a bathtub is set into the concrete next to a triangular window. The outside crystalline form here finds its counterpart on the inside. The interior design also works with the contrast of rough stone and fine natural wood panels. All three floors are connected by a central flight of stairs, the last 11 steps, leading to the master bedroom under the roof, are a subtle construction floating between thin white cords. Another solution unseen before. Innovation leads to success: For their work the MBA/S team has been awarded multiple times: In 2014 alone they were shortlisted for the German Hugo-Häring Award, nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2015 – the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, finalist in the global WAN Award “House of the Year” and won the global WAN Award for Concrete in Architecture as well as the prestigious ICONIC award “Best of Best” in architecture awarded by the German Design Council. www.mbas.de

Top: Spacebath by MBA/S with round ceiling windows and sunken bathtub. Middle: The milled acrylic sink with invisible water supply, innovation by MBA/S principal architect Matthias Bauer. Bottom: Floating steps leading to the master bedroom.

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Klaudia Keilholz Architecture and art merged in an inspiring entity Art and architecture are somehow related but not the same. Klaudia Keilholz has found a passion for both: the structured planning of architecture and the freedom artistic paintings have to offer. Based in Berlin she designs homes for private clients as much as she enjoys painting in watercolour. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: KLAUDIA KEILHOLZ

Klaudia Keilholz regards architecture as a dream put into stone, a dream her clients have longed for over a lifetime. Between

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1975 and 1981 she studied architecture in Aachen and Venice and later worked as an architect in Düsseldorf, Atlanta and Berlin.

Specialising in designing exclusive country homes, villas and town houses Klaudia Keilholz is committed to the traditional style of Berlin’s historical and listed buildings. “Private homes especially always mirror the owner’s values and dreams,”she says. The clients’ideas and wishes will always be considered in function and design, using aesthetic and balanced proportions and at


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attention to detail, painting has more of an ease and is a reduction to the essentials of art.”When painting, Klaudia Keilholz most often works in aquarelle to encourage the viewer’s imagination. Nude bodies and intimate body parts are in the centre of her work, developing into more and more risqué compositions that aim at the reduction to essentials. Soft brushstrokes speak of tenderness, life and passion, often enough the female and male body is reduced to its distinctive shape, hands or heads are omitted not to overload the painting. Erotic and sensitive, the bodies are displayed in an empty space, sometimes reminiscent of antique statues – fitted into the above mentioned architecture both create an inspiring entity. www.klaudiakeilholz-atelier.com www.keilholz-architektur.de

the same time incorporating a building’s function. Excellent architecture mirrors the residents’ values and is the foundation of their happiness. Light-flooded and spacious rooms having regard to the aesthetic proportions of classic architecture are merged with the use of modern technologies. Architecture is a creative process that can be completed and elevated to a further and more detached dimension.“Painting on the

other hand always offers an impulse to dream,”Keilholz says. In a way related to architecture, painting is the result of recognising forms and proportions and composing them into a new reality – the artist’s view of the world. But no matter how much both have in common, there is also a difference that makes working in both fields interesting. “Architecture needs a lot of expert knowledge and

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County of the Month

BadenWürttemberg

Focus on: Baden-Württemberg Where the sun shines Each month Discover Germany presents one of the 16 German federal states. December is dedicated to the southern region of Baden-Württemberg. Some call it “the sunny side of Germany”, and given its beautifully warm climate it is not only humans who benefit from the weather. The region enjoys worldwide recognition as one of the finest wine growing regions. TEXT: TINA AWTANI & NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

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A striking natural habitat, a wealth of art and culture, an abundance of festivities all year round and great leisure facilities make sure that there is something for everyone in Baden-Württemberg. Great wines – and beers too – go hand-in–hand with delicious gourmet food.The cultural landscape


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is overwhelming and diverse, the capital Stuttgart alone is home to a world class Ballet, the renowned State Opera and the Staatsgalerie with its unrivalled Classic Modern collections. A visit to Mainau island is most enchanting, while motorists gasp at the sight of vintage models in the Mercedes-Benz and the Porsche Museums. Not only kids fancy a trip to the Steiff Museum, home of teddybears and cuddly toys with the yellow button. The playground for the rich and famous is Baden-Baden with its casino, the Festspielhaus and the horse race track, while many others have a trip to a theme park, such as Tripsdrill, Europa-Park or Sensapolis on their bucket list to feel the adrenaline rushing through their bodies. Heidelberg enjoys an iconic status when it comes to sightseeing, but history also plays an important part beyond the town situated on the River Neckar.The Romans, the Staufen dynasty, the Allemannians, different dukes and various kings all shaped history here. The ancient Roman Limes Road is part of the cultural landscape as much as the Hohenzollern Castle, where the last German imperial dynasty once resided. The Swabian Mountains with the magnificent Kaiserstuhl or the Black Forest spring into mind when thinking of Baden-Württemberg – the sunny state in the south of Germany has a lot more to offer! On the following pages Discover Germany presents a great selection of places to see and experience when visiting Baden-Württemberg. Find out what makes the Tauber Val-

ley so lovely, read about the stunning nature, which makes the Enzkreis a paradise for hiking, mountain biking and Nordic walking. And discover why the city on the Lake Constance has it all.

15 Facts about Baden-Württemberg 1) 10.7 million people live here – this is more than Austria or Switzerland 2) The capital is Stuttgart 3) Highest museum density in Germany 4) At 36,000km2 Baden-Württemberg is bigger than Belgium 5) Friedrich Schiller, Hermann Hesse and Albert Einstein came from here 6) People speak two main dialects plus many regional dialects 7) 1,515 hours of sunshine a year make it the “sunny side of Germany” 8) 27,194 hectares of land are used for wine-growing 9) The match, permanent waves and the car were invented here 10) It is the only German state which was created by referendum 11) The unemployment rate is the lowest in Germany 12) According to a study it is the “most innovative region in Europe” 13) Three of the 11 “Universities of Excellence” are located here 14) Michelin guide 2015 says: “most excellent restaurants” 15) Almost 1,000 different beers are brewed here

Main image: Heidelberg/Neckar castle. Photo: © German National Tourist Board/Andrew Cowin Opposite page: Constance/Lake Constance. Photo: © German National Tourist Board (left) Near Hechingen: Hohenzollern Castle in winter. Photo: © German National Tourist Board/Dietmar Scherf (middle) Schonach/Black Forest in the ”Paradise”. Photo: © German National Tourist Board/Walter Storto (right) Right, from top: Stuttgart: Württemberg State Museum. Photo: © German National Tourist Board Stuttgart: Christmas market, Schillerplatz square, collegiate church. Photo: © German National Tourist Board/Werner H. Müller Stuttgart: Mercedes Benz Museum, in the evening. Photo: © German National Tourist Board/Jochen Keute Stuttgart: State Opera by night. Photo: © German National Tourist Board

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Lake Constance Cult city and colourful region with everything to offer An impressive history, beautiful gardens, a big art scene, breathtaking hiking paths, extensive shopping opportunities, an old town full of winding streets, a harbour, a flower island, a world-renowned lake on its side and an incredible view over the Alps – the German university city on Lake Constance has it all. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: TOURIST-INFORMATION KONSTANZ GMBH

“So many tourists come to visit Constance because it offers a wide range of leisure activities for bad and also good weather. It’s a very international and young city with approximately 12,000 students. It’s modern but historical at the same time,” Kirstin Krausse from the Tourist-Information Konstanz GmbH says. On clear days, one’s gaze wanders over the wide calm surface of the big lake to the impressive snow-covered peaks of the Alps lying in the mist before strolling through the medieval town centre with its small alleyways and cute cafés.

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Pulsating life in old masonry Historical evidence can be found wherever you go in Constance, the former seat of the biggest bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire. The biggest city on Lake Constance held the only papal election north of the Alps in 1417 during the Council of Constance. In the oldest part of town, Niederburg, visitors can enjoy the small dark wine cellars, unique fashion – and art ateliers and eccentric cafés in crooked houses. If you want to learn more about the city, why not join one of the many creative guided tours offered by the city such as the night guard tour, which seeks to draw visitors into Constance’s turbulent nights of the past? Shopping and feasting Shopping fans should visit the biggest shopping centre on the Lake of Constance,


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structed buildings. It’s one of the biggest open-air museums in the whole of Europe. Six villages and boardwalks above the lake take you back in time and show what life was like for early traders and farmers. Premium hiking opportunities Constance offers several premium walking trails.The beauty of the surrounding nature, isolation and silence far away from any city hustle and bustle is mixed with breathtaking views of Lake Constance and the Alps behind it. A 53-kilometres-long trail, called “Seegang”, leads visitors to scenic and cultural highlights. Charming areas, deep gorges, colourful orchard meadows, wild romantic ruins and enchanted forest paths fill several day’s hike.

Main image: Constance, Harbour. Photo: Mende Left from top: Constance Catamaran Fridolin and Imperia. Photo: Domenico Constance, Christmas Market. Photo: Mende Constance. Photo: Mende Bottom left: Arenenberg Below: Konstanzer Münster. Photo: Mende Kirchen Klöster Konzil Nachweis, Constance Hermann-Hesse statue, Ulrike Klumpp & Halbinsel Höri (pictured) Castle Mainau. Photo: Mende

Enjoy the romantic season

the “Lago Center”. Gourmets can go to the “Hafenhalle”, a beer garden with Mediterranean flair and awesome views. Eat some fresh fish from Lake and try some local specialities, such as the carpaccio of common perch fillets with herb salad or the“Dünnele”– the pizza of Baden.

Constance is the ideal holiday destination in the calm and festive season.Visitors can relax in a thermal bath, stroll through the snow-covered old town or look at sea creatures in Sealife Center – and a winter flat rate of Constance’s hospitality industry can be booked over your hotel until 19 March 2015. It includes two nights with breakfast and free entry into one attraction of your choice.The Christmas market at Constance is the biggest and most beautiful in the region. 170 stands with craft workers, restaurateurs and street traders will attract around 450,000 visitors until 22 December. A highlight is the Christmas ship, which extends the market bustle onto the lake “Europe as guest” As if the city doesn’t have enough to offer visitors already, Constance also celebrates

Discover Lake Constance’s treasures from the past Visitors can find a wide range of UNESCO World Heritage sites around Lake Constance. Island Reichenau’s medieval Benedictine abbey has great religious and cultural importance. Explore traces of the first settlement in Hornstaad-Hornle, visit several museums, conservation areas and marshland settlements. Don’t miss out on the beautiful Unteruhldingen Museum and its prehistoric pile villages with 23 recon-

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600 years of the Council of Constance from 2014 until 2018, when the city remembers the time it lay at the heart of the occidental world. Each year is dedicated to a topic and Council times are revisited. 2015 will be the “Year of Justice� and visitors can look

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forward to several interesting exhibitions, music festivals, guided tours and readings. Creative hub It might be the unique landscape, the Mediterranean climate or the many muse-

ums, which inspire this region. One thing is clear: the university city with approximately 80,000 inhabitants has fascinated artists of all kinds for over 100 years. Only 600 metres away from the lake, Beate Bitterwolf created a renowned academy for temporary


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Churches and pilgrim meal For church enthusiasts, Lake Constance’s tourism centre offers a booklet for the most beautiful churches, monasteries, church festivals and pilgrimage sites of the region. If you are hungry after one of the pilgrimages or sightseeing trips, you can order a special“pilgrim meal”in several restaurants at the Untersee. But don’t expect a sparse meal. The only guidelines for the kitchen: all the ingredients were used in the Council times and come from the region. So don’t expect tomatoes or potatoes as they didn’t exist in the region back then. Green spaces and gardens Along Lake Constance the whole history of horticulture can be seen: from the Stone Age over antiquity and the Middle Ages until the 19th century and further into the present, the visitor can travel through time. Island Reichenau is the birthplace of occidental horticulture and plant fans should visit Mainau island, which is probably the most famous flower island in the world – easily visited by boat, foot or bike.Thanks to the mild lake climate, palm, mammoth, lemon and orange trees grow here, which is definitely an unexpected sight in Germany.

are 20 per cent cheaper, the Sealife offers 25 per cent off and you can get guided hiking tours along Lake Constance together with other free offers. It includes free bus and train rides through the region for people staying on the German side of the Untersee and it is valid over the entire administrative district of Constance. www.bodensee.eu www.konstanz-tourismus.de

Offers for visitors Main image & above: Reichenau. Photo: Kertzscher (left); Photo: Mende (top & middle); Photo: Helmut Scham

The VHB guestcard offers many perks: boat drives between Constance and Schaffhausen

Opposite page, below: Tour guide dressed up as Richental on the Konzilterrasse. Photo: Kirstin Krauße (left) Auer, Lake Constance. Photo: Helmut Scham Culinary delights of the region. Photo: Gottfried Moos (right) Right top: Kunstroute, the ”Art Route”. Photo: Ulrike Klump. Right: Photo: G. Koch

art – the“Kunstfabrik am See”. Peter Lenk created the nine-metre-tall harbour statue “Imperia”, which is now the city’s landmark. The flirtatious oversized woman divided opinions in 1993 but 18 tonnes of concrete dressed in light clothing are still rotating around their own axis every four minutes. The former house of one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Otto Dix, is now a museum and visitors can learn about his art, life and the repression Dix encountered under the NSregime.

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Enzkreis Where wanderlust meets wonderment As one of Germany’s most diverse districts, Baden-Wurttemberg’s Enzkreis possesses its own distinctive character, history and distractions. Not one to be overshadowed by its larger neighbours, Enzkreis’s wealth of history and cultural attractions has ensured that it remains a firm favourite all year round. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: GUNTER BECK/FOTOVERLAG PFORZHEIM

Since its borders were officially set in 1973, the residents have seen the area go from strength to strength both economically

and culturally with countless new additions to the cultural landscape and calendar. Spread across its 28 towns, Discover

Germany takes a look at some of its many highlights. With literary heroes, a coffee grinding heritage and a stunning UNESCO-crowned 850-year-old monastery, Enzkreis’s multitude of excursions will leave any visitors feeling satisfied. Whether you’re strolling around the Neuenbürg castle or careering through the Schwarzwald on a mountain bike, this region has plenty of activities to ensure each generation keeps coming back for more. A landscape worth exploring Taking its name from the river Enz that flows diagonally through the district, its landscape is as exhilarating as the river’s current, with vineyards, sweeping valleys, rich pine forests, lush glades and rolling hills.

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merous streams and lakes give it a gentle buzz of life mixed with the tranquillity of nature. The Cistercian cloisters of Maulbronn can validly declare itself the only complete medieval monastery north of the Alps. Given its exceptionally well-preserved state, it has stood proudly on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993. Founded by monks in 1147, the Maulbronn Monastery’s stunning architecture has witnessed innumerable religious, political and economic developments within its stone walls. Economically, the influence of the monks with their motto of‘Ora et labora’–‘Pray and work’– can still be felt today as they ensured that the surrounding regions flourished. For visitors to this extraordinary piece of history, guided tours are available, as well as special tours focusing on architecture or the monastic way of life, that provide a rare and in-depth glimpse into its history. Fair trade, flowers and Faust

Main image & above: Maulbronn Monastery. Photos: Uta Süße-Krause/Maulbronn Left below: Knittlingen Faust-Museum Neuenbürg Castle Right below: Wine harvest, Keltern-Dietlingen Coffee Mill Museum in Wiernsheim

A veritable haven for outdoor sports lovers it has over 500km of hiking trails, cycling paths and winter sports to suit all. Justifiably, the Schwarzwald is one of the nation’s most popular outdoor destinations, touting itself as ‘peace for the soul’. Discover Germany recommends taking the time to get to know the area: with stunning panoramas there is a lot to see from afar or close up. Add in the region’s impressive Kraichgau-Stromberg, with over 1,000 hills and your heart rate will certainly rise to see all those vistas.

Whether it’s the bustle of Mühlacker or Pforzheim, Enzkreis’s urban centres are veritable Aladdin’s caves with architecture, gastronomy and art waiting to be explored. In terms of cuisine, Enzkreis has seven of its many restaurants gracing the list of Germany’s Top 100, which – given the region’s relatively small size – is quite remarkable. Once resurrected on paper by Goethe, now the Faust Museum in Knittlingen’s former town hall recounts the tale of the historical Faust, born in 1480. Reincarnated in this stunning museum, his tale is retold through an exhibition charting his life through music, theatre and film, including his countless rebirths as a fictional and dramatized figure.

If you’re not satiated by culture yet, another highlight of a trip to Enzkreis involves the Römermuseum Remchingen. Founded in 2010 by local volunteers, the museum charts the region’s history since antiquity, showcasing a broad spectrum of Christian wares and fascinating archaeological finds. For caffeine aficionados, a visit to Wiernsheim’s rather unusual Coffee Grinding Museum is recommended too, allowing you an extraordinary glimpse into the grinding process of these very popular beans. Next year sees the hotly anticipated garden show Enzgärten 2015, from 9 May to 13 September. During this period Mühlacker will be in bloom, celebrating 128 days of a continuous summer fairy tale with magical gardens, a fitness oasis, playgrounds and much more bringing the packed events calendar to life. New efforts to boost Enzkreis’s fair-trade credentials have been very well received and it is one of the few districts paving the way towards a more sustainable Germany. Their dedication to renewable energy sources and a gentle approach to the environment has seen the region deservedly crowned with the gold standard European Energy Award. As a region defined by centuries of culture and history, Enzkreis’s appeal lies not only in what there is to see and explore, but the hospitality shown by the locals. Occasionally overlooked in favour of the larger regions, Enzkreis is one of Germany’s treasured gems that will not only keep you entertained, but also coming back time and again. www.enzkreis.de

Centuries of culture Paying particular attention to Maulbronn, a town that is defined by its stunning medieval monastery, the quaint market town is a popular stop for many. With its UNESCO monastery the main draw, the town’s nu-

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Lovely Tauber Valley Where culture and culinary delights are plentiful The region in Baden-W端rttemberg and Bayern was named after the river Tauber, but has more to offer than an idyllic stream and beautiful landscapes: beautiful biking and hiking paths, several fine wine-growing areas worth seeing and tasting, local culinary delights and lots of medieval history and culture.

Herrgottskirche and Jakobskirche; the Tauber bridge by Balthasar Neumann should not be missed and art works by Thomas Buscher can be found in the church of Tauberbischofsheim.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: TOURISMUSVERBAND LIEBLICHES TAUBERTAL, PETER FRISCHMUTH

Discover the Main- and Tauber Valley and visit vineyards, gentle rolling hills, enchanted forests and idyllic wine-producing villages. Impressive medieval towns and villages border the rivers Tauber and Main and lie hidden in small valleys or on top of mountains. Castles, museums, palaces,

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monasteries and old stone bridges make the area a popular destination for tourists, which seek to experience culture, history and art vividly as treasures of internationally famous art can be found everywhere. Altars by Tilman Riemenschneider can be found in churches, such as the

Besides culture and art, a fascinating range of museums makes sure it never gets boring in the Tauber Valley. The Earldom Museum or the Glass Museum in Wertheim, the Teutonic Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim, a museum of local history in Tauberbischofsheim, the Thimble Museum in Creglingen or the Crime Museum in


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Discover Germany | County of the Month | Baden-Württemberg

which was awarded the highest score of five stars from the German Cyclists’Federation. The route leads past green meadows and fields, towards sunny hillside vineyards and across shadowy forests, which lie parallel to the river, towards welcoming, small towns. In 2015, the famous path is turning 35. New ‘Hörstationen’, acoustic exhibitions, will be installed until next April, where information is provided to be heard. Locals from the Taubertal tell authentic anecdotes

and stories about the region and its inhabitants or explain cultural sights.You can either download the whole text on the website www.liebliches-taubertal.de or easier: scan the QR-Code on the acoustic exhibition site plates and simply listen to the text on your smartphone. The Wine, or the Grünkern tour are also a great tip for a themed culinary cycling tour. For the less energetic e-bikes and pedelecs are available for hire at 12 locations and re-charging is possible at over 58 stations.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber are just a few examples of what is there to be explored in this region. Activity holidays for everyone On foot, by bike or by train – there are many options to discover the lovely Mainand Tauber Valley. The vacation landscape offers a whopping 2,200 km of biking trails. The 100-kilometre-long cycle path “Liebliches Taubertal – Der Klassiker”from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Wertheim on the river Main is a real attraction and one of the most beautiful German cycle trails,

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Those who prefer walking can find several high-quality hiking paths, such as the Panoramaweg Taubertal, the Jakobswanderweg or a variety of 30 circular walks. Expect impressive vistas of romantic old towns from above, medieval castle roofs in the distance, a diverse remote nature and vast vineyards beneath your feet. Other activities include golfing, horse riding or water and camping fun. The options are endless. An eventful day in the TauberValley should be finished off with a visit to a cosy local restaurant with regional specialities. Dig your teeth into culinary specialities, such as Grünkern, which is made of spelt grains harvested young and then dried and smoked, brown trout or products of the regional piggery. Try one of the excellent wines from the local vineyards, regionally brewed beer or a fine ‘Edelobstbrand’, a fruit spirit. An exciting journey through the history of wine The ‘Weinstrasse Taubertal’ invites visitors to get to know the viniculture, the landscape and the wine experiences of the region, which is divided into three winegrowing areas. Don’t forget to look at the world-famous ‘Bocksbeutel’, a distinctive Franconian type of wine bottle, on the fas-

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cinating route, which leads along a diverse range of cultural sights, such as old churches, monasteries or castles, and winegrowing towns of all three of these areas. Taste the local wine speciality ‘Tauberschwarz’, visit the castle in Wertheim and buy a glass from Taubertal’s wines in the castle’s own medieval pub or on its terrace while enjoying a spectacular view across Wertheim’s old town. The town of Markelsheim offers overnight guests a

rather unconventional way to spend the night: Here you can sleep in a wine barrel. www.liebliches-taubertal.de


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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Done your Christmas shopping yet? If you’re German, the answer is likely to be yes. There are exceptions, of course, i.e. me, however, according to a survey I came across recently, a lot of my fellow compatriots seem to be very keen on getting an early start, settle things before the rush sets in and, well, essentially, be organised. So far, so stereotype. Let’s take a look at the figures, shall we: TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

About 60% of Germans start hunting for Christmas presents once November has arrived. Interesting: It’s the men who seem more concerned with getting things done as early as possible (or maybe it just takes longer for them) with almost 66% compared to 54% of women kicking off the main Christmas shopping period in November. The said survey then further broke down this general figure they had come up with for the whole of Germany and looked at individual federal states. According to this, the good people in Bremen seem to be the most concerned about Christmas shopping since 89% start in November while at the other end of the league table the inhabitants of Saxony-Anhalt are the most relaxed with only 42%. Next question now, and after having settled the question of when, is the what: What are all those Germans buying their loved ones for Christmas? I came across another survey − started enjoying myself there, as you can tell − and ranking of the most popular Christmas presents in 2013 based on the search queries during a two week period in late November. Apparently, items with high search volumes are the products ending under the tree then.The list is a field day for everyone looking to have some of the lasting clichés about Germans confirmed: They’re not the most romantic and they’re practical. (Again, there are exceptions, just

saying ….) So, electronic items therefore feature heavily throughout the list with smart phones and tablets at number one, followed by kitchen appliances (I wonder, is that all the men starting early in November to really, really find something special for their ladies?) and game consoles. Number four is no real surprise either: Pod coffee machines. EVERY German household needs one nowadays.These are followed by another item that betrays a strong male influence: Hi-Fi speakers it is. With number six on the list we’re getting a bit more active and out of the house/kitchen/living-room and into the realm of sport articles in general, such as trainers. But wait, on number seven there’s internet radios and yet another electronics item. Moving on to number eight, things get a bit more tasty with sweets, directly followed by electronic tooth brushes and other dental hygiene items on number nine. Brilliant, isn’t it. If you eat sweets, make sure to counteract immediately and clean your teeth thoroughly. Last but not least, number ten is finally taking care of the children with toys and cuddly toys. Moving on. We’ve had the when and what, and now it’s time for the how much. Again, I found a survey for that, hooray. Which actually doesn’t bode well for German retailers this year because according to an

Ernst & Young study, consumers in Germany plan on spending less on Christmas presents than in 2013: EUR 219, on average, they intend to splash out in 2014 compared to EUR 273 the year before. Feel free to compare that with your personal budget and then, most importantly, don’t get stressed about the whole thing. I mean if you really get stuck for ideas, you can always get a smart phone. Or a pod coffee machine. Others do, too …. Merry Christmas everyone − make time for friends and family and enjoy!

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind ww.germanyiswunderbar.com, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

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Culture Calendar Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss this Christmas. Chicago - Das Musical, Stuttgart (until 30 April 2015) (pictured right) Our cover star Ute Lemper is the ambassador for this award-winning musical, that has all the right ingredients for a mesmerising Broadway show: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you've ever seen. www.chicagothemusical.com

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ARCHITECT @ WORK GERMANY, DĂźsseldor (2-3 December 2014) & Stuttgart (3-4 December 2014) Exhibition for Architecture & Interior Design. ARCHITECT@WORK gives you the opportunity to get into contact with: architects, interior architects, designers, engineering bureaus, project developers, technical services, towns & district councils. www.architectatwork.de


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Discover Germany | Culture | Calendar

Christmas Oratory by St. Thomas Boys Choir, Leipzig (12, 13 & 14 December 2014) The over 800 year old choir, which was once led by Johann Sebastian Bach, performs at Leipzig’s St. Thomas church. Enjoy Johann Sebastian Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248, Kantaten I-III und VI. www.thomaskirche.org Ute Lemper Live in Concert, London (17 December 2014) The extraordinary chanteuse charms the audience with a mix of music from Kurt Weill, Berlin cabaret songs, the Chicago musical and more. www.barbican.org.uk

Top left: Christmas markets Top right: Christmas Oratory by St. Thomas Boys Choir, Leipzig Right: Pferd & Jagd, Gala - Nacht der Pferde. © FAHeckmann GmbH Below: nachSITZen - Martin Rutter live on stage. Photo: Mark Rehbeck

Pferd & Jagd, Hannover (4-7 December 2014) Europe's biggest exhibition for equestrian sports, hunting and angling has a lot to offer the country life enthusiast. Also part of the event is the Gala - Nacht der Pferde 2014, a fantastic equestrian gala show on 5 and 6 December. www.pferd-und-jagd-messe.de www.nacht-der-pferde.de

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Discover Germany | Culture | Calendar

Georg Baselitz — Back then, in between, and today, Munich (until 1 February 2015) (pictured below) The formal and contextual renewal to which Baselitz repeatedly subjects his own work, is demonstrated retrospectively using related and complementary examples from the mid-1960s to today. www.hausderkunst.de/en Christmas markets (December 2014) Although Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is probably the most talked about, gorgeous Christmas markets are held all over the country. Mulled wine, some hearty food and fine traditional crafts are lovingly displayed on countless beautifully decorated wooden stalls. Fir trees, fairylights and carol singers set the mood for Christmas. A visit to a Christmas market is an absolute must-do for everyone!

Vierschanzentournee, Oberstdorf (27-28 December 2014) (pictured above)

200 years of Viennese Waltz Gala, Vienna (30 December 2014)

Vierschanzentournee, ski jumping’s greatest annual event, consists of four jumps, two in Germany and two in Austria that bring together the sport’s greatest athletes. www.vierschanzentournee.com

Famous dancing school Arthur Murray hosts a gala evening with dinner & dance at the Parkhotel Schönbrunn in Vienna's oldest ballroom – numerous programme highlights are going to infuse the evening with a wonderful Waltz-mood. www.arthurmurray.at/gala_en.html

Winterzauber auf dem Kurplatz, Norderney (27 December 2014 -1 January 2015) Sip champagne and try a few fresh oysters when strolling along the festive culinary mile on the beautiful island of Norderney. A plethora of treats for the taste buds are served by some of the poshest names in the industry. www.norderney.de

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New Year's Eve Party, Berlin (31 December 2014) One of Europe's biggest street parties on New Year’s Eve is celebrated between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column in Berlin. Together, about one million people await the beginning of a new year. www.berlin.de


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Emotion . Excitement . Expectation

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Discover Germany | Issue 21 | December 2014  
Discover Germany | Issue 21 | December 2014  

Discover Germany promotes German, Swiss & Austrian Design, Tourism, Food, Culture and Business.