Discover Germany | Issue 28 | July 2015

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Issue 28 | July 2015






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is an island.

Surrounded by the ocean with its treasures – salt, mud and algae. Favoured by the climate, the sun and the purest air. In the bade:haus Norderney we utilise the treasures of nature. For your health. For your well-being.

Photo: iStock

Welcome to Norderney, the island for thalasso-therapy.

Staatsbad Norderney GmbH :: Am Kurplatz 3 :: 26548 Norderney

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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents JULY 2015

77 84 Photo: © Gerber Architekten

Photo: Claas Dreppenstedt


Sandra Bullock Meet the incredible Sandra Bullock, right off the yellow Minions movie premiere carpet. The Hollywood star with German roots talks about what makes the minions such cute creatures and how sometimes it really does feel good to be bad.


Must-haves for a great day in the dunes. 12






Restaurant of the month


Culture Guide Austria Buckle up and take a ride through Austria’s captivating cultural landscape. Discover the greatness of Gustav Klimt and Frederick Kiesler, dive into the Sprachsalz

Business Our legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht and his team celebrate their 300th birthday. Also, great businesses to bear in mind and an array of architects and landscape architects to keep an eye on.

Wine & Dine

It’s all about the Strudel. Poushe is the first and only authentic strudel house boutique chain in Switzerland offering delicious sweet and salty handmade strudel creations.

Schleswig-Holstein: The real North! Schleswig-Holstein, the country between the North and Baltic Sea, is famous for fresh air and clear blue sky with white cotton clouds. Find out what makes Germany’s most northern state so very irresistable.


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international contemporary literature festival and find out where to sleep in true Vienna style.

Meet the wonderful hosts behind some truly amazing places to dine in style and enjoy the most exquisite wines.

Perfect software partners Software, systems and solutions for those who are looking for the latest industry highlights.

Photo: VG Bild-Kunst / S. Gervasi

Hotel of the month Austria’s Hotel Schani embodies the 21st century charm and character of Vienna. This modern boutique hotel reflects the elegant yet upbeat style that defines the city today.

Successful start-ups Austria Meet Austria’s successful company founders and the great ideas behind their amazing ventures.


Art & Design A stunning selection of innovative designers and artists worth remembering are just the tip of the iceberg.

Adventurous Germany From the exciting Harz Mountains to lakeside splendour, from seaside gems to a town a where history comes alive, there is a lot to discover for little and big adventurers.

Fashion Finds All you need to hit the beach in style.


Dedicated to Design

Green business of the month Sustainable printing made easy with druckprozess.

100 Culture Calendar Save the date! Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in July. 102 Barbara Geier Our columnist Barbara Geier takes a closer look at the German habit of being punctual.

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 28, July 2015

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 01.07.2014 ISSN 2051-7718

Laura Hummer Antonietta Cutarelli Noura Draoui Stefan Cameron

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.


Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Discover Germany is published by: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Tina Awtani Art Director

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423

Svetlana Slizova Feature Writer

For further information, please visit

Nane Steinhoff

Welcome to our July 2015 issue. The summer holiday season has officially begun as the North German coastal strips get pretty busy. Although the weather is not always as reliable as in the Mediterranean (our national football coach Jogi Löw has just been pictured on the posh island of Sylt wrapped in jacket, scarf and beanie hat), German beach life has its benefits. From fresh fine seafood to endless dunes and countless Strandkörbe lining the shores, North and Baltic Sea coasts are truly inviting. Strandkörbe are a big part of German beach culture, and you can find out more about these iconic beach loungers in this issue. Inspiring art and design are also part of the package this month as well as very exciting holiday recommendations for little (and big) adventurers, such as mountain magic, lakeside splendour and a town with an authentic medieval flair. Our Austrian section takes a closer look at cultural highlights not to be missed, while on the business pages it is all about amazing architects, landscape architects, software experts, successful start-up companies and much more. Last but not least a few words about our cover star. The fantastic Sandra Bullock stars in the new Minions movie and tells us all about the quirky creatures. If you have children, you may already know Kevin, Bob and Stuart and their friends. If you haven’t met them yet, don’t miss out as they make everybody laugh.

Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey

Whatever the weather and wherever you may travel, on the following pages you will certainly find lots of inspiration and something that makes you a tiny bit happier.

Contributors Emmie Collinge Vicky Dearden

Enjoy the magazine!

Elisabeth Doehne Barbara Geier Jessica Holzhausen Sonja Irani Gregor Kleinknecht Benedikt Meininger Dorina Reichholdt Marilena Stracke

© 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

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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: London Private Banking Team +44 (0) 20 7246 4225

Ulrich Graner +352 (0) 2623 2310


Gregor Neumann +352 (0) 2623 2881



*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

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Sandra Bullock

SANDRA BULLOCK “It’s so good to be bad” Stepping on to the appropriately yellow coloured carpet for the London premiere of Minions, Sandra Bullock looked absolutely stunning. In the new animated spin off of the successful Despicable Me films, Sandra voices a super-villain alongside the much-loved characters Stuart, Kevin and Bob. TEXT: HOT FEATURES | PHOTOS: DREAMSTIME

The 50-year old actress is no stranger to challenging roles, one of her recent ones being a stranded astronaut in the technically groundbreaking film Gravity. With a career spanning over 30 years, she has starred in multiple genres of film, from the action comedy Miss Congeniality, to the heart stopping drama Crash and the inspirational true story Blindside which won her an Oscar in 2009. Now she has taken a walk on the dark side voicing the part of Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb (John Hamm), hatches a plot to take over the world. Sandra says it was her son Louis, five, who first introduced her to the Minions and inspired her to be a part of the movie. But she also admits that she enjoyed playing a baddie for once. At the London premiere, Sandra spoke to Vicky Dearden about her latest project.

WHAT’S YOUR REACTION TO THE LONDON PREMIERE? My reaction? Look at it. It’s so great. Actually I prefer the yellow carpet. It makes you happier. It’s not as stuffy. It makes everyone relaxed. Everyone seems to be in a really playful mood, which is so nice. YOU MUST HAVE LOVED PLAYING THE VILLAIN IN THIS MOVIE. SCARLET OVERKILL IS A GREAT CHARACTER. Oh yes, yes. I mean I’ve played tough, aggressive women before but to actually to be a villainess, it’s liberating, because I think we all are villainesses on the inside but society just asks us to be well-behaved and we don’t really want to be well-behaved – at least I don’t. SO IS IT GOOD TO BE BAD? It’s so good to be bad! It’s nice and get paid for it which is even better.

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Sandra Bullock

AND YOU ARE USUALLY SUCH A LOVELY NICE PERSON BUT YOU’VE GONE ALL EVIL IN THIS? [Jokingly] Not really, not really. Now finally the truth will be out and evil will prevail, I will make sure of it! [laughs] It’s liberating because we all have the baddie in us and we’re all crabby and bitchy and we’re just not supposed to be so it was so liberating and fun. HOW DID YOU FIND JUST USING YOUR VOICE TO PLAY SCARLET? Ah yeah, well, it wasn’t easy put it that way. I now have a whole new respect for the people who do this. Steve Carell is a god in this world. It didn’t come naturally to me but they [the directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda] helped me through it. I was really proud of what the outcome is. SO VOICE WORK DIDN’T COME EASY?

wrong. But you know what? They’re innocent. Nothing they do is malicious, it’s always out of naivety that someone inadvertently gets killed. And everyone understands them, it doesn’t matter what the language is, everyone understands the Minions and they feel exactly what they’re saying. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE MINIONS THAT EVERYBODY LOVES, AT ANY AGE, ANY NATIONALITY? Because they’re able to make you laugh without using words that you understand. The Minions can always make you laugh, no matter how highbrow you might think you are, they’ll take you down a notch and bring you to the same level that we’re at. And again like I said, they’re innocent. There’s not a lot of innocence left so that’s nice. WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH THE MINIONS? WERE THEY DEVIOUS? WERE THEY GOOD? HOW WERE THEY?

It was one of the hardest things I’ve done. They were really helpful in the fact that this is not my forte, it’s not something that I do as an actor, you use your face and your body. All I had was my voice and they constantly, nicely asked me to do it because I was giving them nothing of what they needed.

Well, look at them. As much as you want to crush them and take over you just look in their eye, well, the eye, and you fall in love. Look at him! And then they creep up behind you like that and just urgh!



Unfortunately yeah and they film you while you’re doing it.You forget about it, like you do so many months, it went on two years and I think back and I’m like,‘Please, dear god, don’t let any of this footage show up anywhere on the internet.’ Because I was doing horrible things to my face. But it needed to be done to get the effect. When your face is squished in animation you must squish your face in real life.

Yes, the reason I did it because I wanted to make something my son could see and I could watch him enjoy. Even though he doesn’t know what I do and he doesn’t know it’s me, I can sit in the theatre and watch him. And nothing makes me happier than hearing that boy laugh. Physical humour and animation, it kills me, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that. THANKYOU.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE MINIONS THAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS FILM? I wanted someone to be able to take them down and I thought it could be me – I was

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... Summer is in full swing and we take this wonderful opportunity to introduce you to German beach culture. The so-called Strandkörbe, a form of beach loungers made of wicker, are lining the coasts of the North and Baltic Sea. Perfectly shielding you from the wind, they can be turned towards the sun easily and put into several recliner positions for comfort. Check out what great design items we have discovered this month to make the most of your beach day.




Keep cool and carry on with the new coolerbag by reisenthel. Available in seven different designs it keeps food and drinks nice and chilly when it gets hot outside. £22. Truly a classic is a Strandkörbe from the island of Sylt in the North Sea. Since 1947 and today in the third generation, the Trautmann family is manufacturing the one and only original. This model is a very special edition created for Sylt’s legendary Sansibar beach restaurant. £1,280.


Take the Brandenburg Gate to the beach. The wonderfully fluffy towels by Moeve are available in various designs and great to drop a hint about your favourite city. £36.


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Get to the beach in style with this practical winner of the red dot design award 2014. Since 1994 the Hase Bikes factory specialises in unique bikes and trikes. The Pino Porter is is the first-ever tandem that doubles as a shopping and cargo bike for everyday use. From £3,700. Music to go with the wavemaster MOBI high quality amplified mini speaker system that can connect to audio sources such as smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, PCs and laptops. The red dot award winner 2014 comes in four great colours. £22.


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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Now that the time for fun at the beach has arrived, we take the occasion to congratulate Bayreuth based Adolf Riedl GmbH & Co. KG to becoming Germany’s best selling swimwear producer for the fourth time in a row. Their label SUNFLAIR® has once again won the hearts of beach babes, and we have picked some of this season’s top models to make you look great on the beach. EDITOR’S PICKS | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Vibrant shades of red, pink and orange define the ‘Inka Fire’ swimwear range. And the skirt is perfect to cover up a few extra pounds in great style. Bikini £57. Skirt £60.

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Go for gold! Bright and shiny it is the perfect shade to spice up any summer outfit from tip to toe. Make sure you display perfectly pedicured feet when wearing these pretty sandals. £49.99.

The brand Adelheid stands for happiness and every single item leaving the workshop is meant to be a lucky charm, an idea we absolutely love. Adelheid ‘Glück Ahoi’ beach bag. £35.

A tunic is the ideal fashion companion for a trip to the ice cream parlour or beach bar in case one has to leave the lounger. But limiting a tunic’s use to the beach would be a waste, as it also looks fabulous with a short skirt or jeans and stilettoes in the evening. ‘Virgin Paradise’ Tunic £70.

A bit of retro and an all time classic are polka dots. Always cute and always a safe bet - be it on the beach or on board of a yacht. ‘Dotty Dots’ bikini £78.

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The new elegance? Effortless and ethical! Ever since Swiss designer Julia Greiner founded her label in 2011, she has been on a worldwide quest to combine nature’s beauty and high-quality craftsmanship to create her signature sustainable fashion pieces. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: JULIA GREINER

“I notice a trend towards effortlessness,” says Greiner, whose sources of inspiration include nature as well as the street styles of Paris, Berlin or Zurich and less touristy travel destinations such as Iran. “People want to make a fashion statement, but they don’t want it to look like they put a lot of effort into it. An example would be to combine a beautiful, classy dress with comfortable sneakers.” Julia Greiner’s label serves this trend perfectly. “My current collection is an exciting mix of ethical and elegance,” explains the well-travelled and qualified tailor. “It starts

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with the choice of fabrics. There is a striking contrast between fine silk materials and handwoven cotton, also called Ikat, which I brought back from my last trip to Iran. I enjoy mixing the influences and traditions of different cultures.” Even though those fine materials lead to designs that feel light and elegant, they are not obtrusive and are rather understated. “The floor-length coat is one of my favourite collection pieces,”reveals the fashion professional.“It just creates a great impact – it’s graceful and majestic, but without seeming presumptuous.The fabric was em-

broidered by hand and took many hours of work. It is light, but still gives the wearer a feeling of safety. Plus, as so many things are carelessly thrown away these days, it’s just a great piece of sustainable quality.” Greiner tries to mirror the importance of nature with its diversity and beauty throughout her collection: “My designs stand for a low key, feminine style, which gives the wearer an instant feeling of freedom.” If you would like one of these unusually beautiful designs too, the designer announces that her label will most likely be available in a Zurich Concept Store from next season. “Asides, you can always write to me directly of course if you are interested in the collection or a co-operation,” she adds.

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Eveningwear Fur and Leatherworks tailored and handmade in Berlin 4IPXSPPN #PVUJRVF t .VMBDLTUSBTTF t #FSMJO


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Discover Germany | Design | HUBER Bodywear & Thompsons

The original made in Austria HUBER Bodywear has been a renowned undergarment manufacturer since its foundation in 1908. The highest quality, sustainable thinking, an unparalleled wearing comfort, more than 100 years of experience and bodywear know-how and a keen eye for innovative and fashionable collections have made the traditional brand an all-time favourite. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: CHRISTINE ANDORFER

HUBER creates high-quality underwear and nightwear collections for women, men and children. A majority of the fabrics used originate in HUBER’s own Austrian textile production. Meeting high environmental standards, the fabrics get made into the final product in HUBER’s European contract manufacturing plants.“Thus, HUBER stands for Made in Europe with textiles from Austria. We put special emphasis on sustainable and fair production with in-house resources and textiles,” Carolin Bauer, head of marketing, explains. Highest wearing comfort and perfect fit, as well as innovative products and fabrics, a long-

standing tradition and the long-term survival of the brand despite many competitors make HUBER stand out. Twice a year the label designs modern collections, which are paired with long-term proven basics. The current fall/winter collection impresses with product innovations, cutting-edge colours and designs and high-quality materials. “Our customers can be sure to feel comfortable, and at the same time, look good.We show colourful and exciting patterns and prints, elaborate lace details in the lingerie range and modern materials in the basic ranges,”Bauer says. Whether 30 or 70 years old, any customer will feel comfortable in HUBER.

HUBER fall/winter collection 2015

The fall/winter collection 2015 is now available online and in selected stores.

An American dream made in Switzerland Feel free like a bird. That’s the message and logo of Thompsons – a Switzerland-based fashion label for independent fashionistas, who instead of following the crowds like to invent their own trends. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: THOMPSONS

“We are convinced that with enough effort, persistence and talent every goal can be reached - however challenging it may be,” explains company representative Jasmin Marty. “Being stylish is not about the money, it’s about passion. It doesn’t mean that you constantly have to follow the newest trend. It’s more about discovering the real you and staying true to yourself.” This idea is reflected across in the Thompsons design range, which currently includes women’s and men’s polo shirts, t-shirts and ¾-length sweatshirts, and it is

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set to be expanded to other clothing items soon.“I particularly like the fresh summer colour polo shirts,” says designer and founder Jordan Thompson. “Meanwhile, our red Chili Cream polo shirt has been one of the most popular designs with our customers.” American-born designer Thompson dreamt about having his own brand ever since being a teenager. With a good deal of courage, willpower and patience he made his dream a reality when he founded his label Thompsons – Independent Fashion 4

Independent People in 2010. These days, you can make the Swiss-American dream designs your own by checking into the label’s online shop or stopping by in its hometown of Lachen in Switzerland. Here, the designs are currently available from the tattoo studio First Chapter or the boutique shop Speicher 10.

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Discover Germany | Design | Margarete Steiff

Making children’s eyes sparkle since 1880 Established 135 years ago, Steiff stands for high quality and handmade cuddly toys. Easy to identify thanks to their bright yellow ‘Steiff - Button in Ear’ tag, the cute creations have conquered the world by storm. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: STEIFF

tention to detail. Steiff does not just rely on tradition, innovative and forward-thinking new measures are constantly taken, while still focusing on the core values. Since 2009 Steiff has its own fabric production, making it the only soft toy company that produces its own materials. Today teddy bears, cuddly animals, baby and kids clothing are all part of the product portfolio. Watch out for the new autumn and winter fashion collection, featuring great looks from jackets to party dresses. Just in time for the Oktoberfest, a special traditional handbag will be launched. Another novelty is the cuddly warming cushions with removable cherry pit pillows – perfect for little babies. “For the children

Margarete Steiff GmbH | Richard-Steiff-Straße 4 | 89537 Giengen/Brenz

When Margarete Steiff, a young seamstress bound to a wheelchair, created her first stuffed animal over a century ago, little did she suspect that her iconic cuddly toys would be cherished by whole generations across the globe long after her time. In 1902 Steiff created a bear with the model number 55 PB. It was exported to America and named after president Theodore ”Teddy“ Roosevelt: The teddy bear was born. With great creativity and passion, new collections and unique creations are continuously added to the Steiff stuffed animal family. From top to bottom a Steiff product is made only of the finest materials. True to the company founder’s philosophy, every single animal is hand-made with great at-

Top: Production process Above: Teddy bear PB55 (left) & Warming cushion Floppy Trampili Elephant (right)

only the very best is good enough,” Margarete Steiff used to say, this will always be Steiff’s motto.

Giant sized and cuddly

“For children only the best is good enough”

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Aiming for simplicity through complexity Berlin-based industrial design studio DEISIG DESIGN impresses with exceptional products which are characterised by intelligent composition, magnificent appearance and a strong user focus. Covering a number of product areas, DEISIG DESIGN’s office chairs are successful worldwide due to profound ergonomic research and new, innovative concepts. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: DEISIG DESIGN

“We seek to design products which serve the user, which can be operated intuitively and are self-explanatory,”Wolfgang Deisig, founder of DEISIG DESIGN, explains. He adds:“The human body hasn’t changed but it’s an ongoing story to adapt the daily products to it. We shouldn’t be slaves of our surroundings and we want to create products

Portrait: Wolfgang Deisig

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that free us.”Founded in 1971, the studio of industrial designer Wolfgang Deisig is situated in a creative hub in Berlin - the Hackescher Markt - where Wolfgang Deisig and Senior Designer Nils Köhn have transformed DEISIG DESIGN into an industry leader in product design.“We work conceptually, conduct intensive research and don’t primarily see ourselves as product stylists. This makes our developments honest and accountable,”Wolfgang Deisig says. DEISIG DESIGN’s studio is equipped with‘state of the art computer technology’in 2-D and 3D and‘Rapid Prototyping Facilities’. DEISIG DESIGN products are coined by function, ergonomics and the fact that solely meeting formal-aesthetical demands isn’t satisfying for the product designers. The company is renowned for adapting their products to the needs of humans.“We

don’t orientate ourselves towards products of competitors, but rather emphasise the solution of a problem,” Wolfang Deisig notes. Their exclusive designs are inspired by a contemplative mood, bionics and the impatient urge to move matters forward and further pursue initial ideas. Deisig adds: “The inspiration for a design often emerges independently of a product category and derives from various influences of the personal surroundings.” Design that fosters efficiency Successfully designing products in the areas of office- and home furniture, bathroom products and products for the healthcare market, DEISIG DESIGN is especially renowned for their exceptional office chairs. Intelligent design with a maximum of sitting comfort increases the personal performance and creates a true well-being atmosphere. Based on deep ergonomic research and the changing ways of working, new and innovative concepts have been developed.“We have made a name for ourselves with the ergonomic shaping of the working world for which we have received several international awards,” Wolfgang Deisig says. He adds:“We have developed

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Discover Germany | Design | Deisig Design

a database in close cooperation with occupational physicians and ergonomists which we constantly readjust and expand. In the process, we take into consideration the ‘New Ways of Working’ which develop through new technologies.” What makes their products stand out is that they don’t need a user manual. After all, “when you come into the office in the morning, you don’t want to noodle over the handling of an office chair, but rather focus on the actual work. Operating should be easy, intuitive and self-explanatory. We reduce it to the absolutely necessary functions. You want to do your job and it’s our job to find a solution for this,”Deisig smiles. TheVITRAMAT chair wasVitra’s first bestselling product and was sold for more than 30 years. Since its introduction in 1976, the award-winning product has become a classic amongst office chairs. The AGITUS, developed for the UK’s Senator, is another high performance office chair which impresses with individual adjustable panels in the lumbar, 3D arms, headrest and a coat hanger in the back. While fully supporting the human body, all technical components are concealed by a woven fabric, which creates an unique and appealing look.The design of DEISIG DESIGN’s CERES chair for HON is the essence of scientific ergonomic research. While reclining, it provides a proper alignment of pivot points in the hip and pelvis area to give total support to the body and the tilt motion imitates the movement of the human body. Wolfgang Deisig says: “CERES isn’t a styling study. Everything has a reason.”

way people work. While DEISIG DESIGN stands for innovation and professionalism, they are sure to offer their business partners individual and extensive support.“Thus, we are involved in all areas of product development – from the initial idea to series production,” Deisig concludes.

Main image: The VITRAMAT for Vitra Above: The AGITUS for Senator (left) Adjustable panels of the AGITUS for Senator (middle) The METRIX for Teknion (right) Below: The METRIX’s side press (left) The CERES for HON (middle)

The MOTIVATE for HON (right)

The award-winning METRIX chair for Teknion comprises of innovative‘flex zones’ which distribute the seated user’s weight evenly to relieve pressure. A patented Smotion backrest provides proper back support and keeps the eyes on the level of the computer screen. It’s no wonder that the product won the 2007 GOOD DESIGN Award. DEISIG DESIGN’s MOTIVATE for HON is a multi-purpose chair and table line designed for a flexible use of space. Components can be efficiently stored by stacking and nesting. Using a common design language throughout the product line, MOTIVATE responds to and supports the

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Squareone The message of machines At first sight we associate design with aesthetics - and aesthetics with beauty. But ask yourself if aesthetics need to derive from the realm of product development. The answer is given by Germany`s Squareone design agency: a product has to convince the human onlooker - and this is where its exterior form takes on the task of selling its inner value. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“The message of a product, what it expresses emotionally, is often neglected in many areas of the industry,”explains Martin Topel from the Düsseldorf-based Squareone GmbH. “Essentially, products have to move us, they have to make their competences tangible for consumers, as every decision we make is based on our emotional response. But this is unfortunately something that industry often fails to fulfil.” Long considered a pioneering company within the world of intelligent product

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design and innovation consultancy, Squareone GmbH is headed by Gert Trauernicht and Martin Topel. First set up

Portraits: Prof. Martin Topel (left) & Prof. Gert Trauernicht (right)

in 2002, this forward-thinking firm has a string of successes under its belt, involving strategy development, consultancy services for product management as well as generating innovations and securing patents and copyright. Thanks to the implementation of their own highly effective innovation method, known as the ‘Cube of Innovation’, Squareone have gained a worthy reputation as a force to be listened to.

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Discover Germany | Design | Squareone

“Businesses need to have more trust these days,” Trauernicht continues. “The buzzword in social media today is ‘share’ and that’s exactly what we enjoy doing, just look at the highly effective workshops on patenting that we host, as well as the successful strategies that we develop for such a variety of companies.” According to Trauernicht, small and medium-sized businesses in Germany and Europe are still in a lull, but there are big changes afoot. “As more companies attempt to establish the role of innovation managers, we see that former attitudes need to be left behind. New products and services are adopting a much more innovative development process, but such exploits require external support. This forward-thinking perspective that these companies are seeking can only be fulfilled by those who really live within this realm.” As veritable experts within their field, both Trauernicht and Topel are undeniably in a position to advance companies, products and machines. Doubling as the founders of Squareone and as esteemed professors at the University of Wuppertal, they unite theory, practice and reality on daily basis when it comes to developing new products – and attuning them to the market. Moreover, as specialists in protection rights for intelligent product systems, Squareone can guarantee full copyright protection to their clients, thereby securing their investments.

then they have the opportunity to decide upon how a final product will be received and potentially realign it to suit the market,” they continue. Every machine has a message Consumers, they explain, have a radar for quality; they judge a product based on its design language – the message it gives. “Every object, machine and form speaks to the onlooker and it is up to the designers to use their expertise to translate value, quality, systematic characteristics, functionality and the promise of usability into approachable and understandable communication from the product itself. The impact of this leads the onlooker to consider the product, thus our radar for quality is engaged." Frequently, inconsistent design language means that terms are thrown around and consumers are left confused with little understanding of the technical complexity of the terms. But, the pair stresses, they do recognise – thanks to their radar – which products exude a higher promise of quality. The vocabulary within the design language can range from any element, including clearance, technical construction principles,

right through to colour, texture and smell. “When it comes to assessing quality, language is largely untrained. Often we succeed in sensing that a construction is too weak, too fragile, or too heavy, and such observations stem from our highly sensitive radar that perceives the quality of a product,” they explain. To tackle such complexities, Squareone turn to their ‘Cube of Innovation’, a tool that activates ‘Design Thinking’ as well as the TRIZ method, proven to successfully solve technical issues. And the more designers and engineers cooperate in depth, then they won’t just be rewarded with fulfilling and motivating work, but also with the knowledge that they’re building long-lasting, satisfied clients.

Main image: Cube of Innovation Top: “Every machine has a message”, product development for ELHA: Product design perfectly communicates the technical and systematic competence. Bottom: System and shell component development for Dornbracht: “Always looking behind the core function to bring inner and outer values in total harmony.“

When developing products, the pair believes steadfastly in a broad team approach. “If engineers and designers collaborate during the initial stages of the design process,

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Discover Germany | Design | Braake Design

terials and a long-term, high-quality appearance and sometimes working in very rough production environments, have to be joined in the products. Our design developments and products should not only look exceptional, but also support and appeal to the people who work with our designed products in the industry and in the craft sector on a daily basis.”

Design creates distinctiveness braake design’s aspiration is to develop outstanding design that is successful in the long term and comprises innovative details for technologically leading products and companies. Technical interest and understanding, as well as enthusiasm for designing and sensitivity for formal trends are the core factors for their success.

Each of their products are unique as each client has individual strategies which have to be implemented in a design development.“We develop design solutions which are perfectly suitable for each specific product and company, which stand out from their competition and which guarantee the long-term success of our customers,”Knut Braake says. Through putting special emphasis on reliability, meeting tight deadlines, close cooperation with their clients and the fulfilling of individual wishes and demands of their customers, long-standing trustful customer relationships have been formed.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: BRAAKE DESIGN “The goal of all our developments is the success for our clients,” Knut Braake, designer and founder of braake design, explains. Thus, braake design’s team stands for the recognisable and successful product. With long-term experience, technical competence, industry knowledge and interdisciplinary design they supervise innovative product developments from the investment and consumer goods sector. Numerous international design awards are proof for their exceptional work quality. Just last year, braake design won seven international

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prices in renowned design competitions. braake design primarily focuses on the area of investment good design. Small and medium-sized businesses, as well as internationally leading corporate groups are their clients.“The significance of industrial design for the competitiveness of a business – especially in mechanical and plant engineering – is immense. It is an integral part of product development,” Knut Braake notes. He adds: “Design tasks on a machine are very complex. Intuitive operating concepts, easy assembly solutions, new ma-

Top: The ROBO Stripper for Wolff (left) Braake’s plasma station TUBE for Plasmatreat GmbH (right) Bottom: Knut Braake, designer and founder of braake design (left) Access and parking barrier system ASD 300 for Hacker AG (middle) The folding machine system M80 for Braake Design’s client MBO (right)

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Art & Design

Portrait: Desginer Britta Schwalm



A unique design for unique parents German designer Britta Schwalm has beautifully visualised the connection mothers have to their babies. Her unusual yet elegant collection of rings each carry a sleeping baby, either on the outside or on the inside of the ring setting. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: GLUECKSKIND®

Britta Schwalm’s label is called Glueckskind®, which can be translated as Blessed Child, and this is how the rings are best understood. They are not just a piece of jewellery like any other. The meaning behind them, a manifestation of the deeply emotional mother-child relationship, is as important as the elegant design of the ring itself. Schwalm takes her inspiration from her own son, who used to mainly sleep on his belly when he was a baby. After drawing him frequently in that position the idea for the special ring popped into her head. But there were some obstacles to overcome. “It took some time and effort until I was

entirely happy with the design,” Schwalm remembers. It is difficult to design a complete miniature baby. The size of it presented the main challenge. Later on 3D files were created and used to produce the wax stencil. Schwalm’s hard work paid off. The rings are made of gold, silver or platinum and are becoming more and more popular. International awards such as the A’ Design Award in the category 'Ready-Made' make Schwalm proud. However, her customers are always more important to Schwalm. To make sure the version with the baby on

the inside is not uncomfortable, customers can order a sample ring to test for comfort and check for size.The rings are an ideal gift for someone expecting, and can be bought in Schwalm’s workshop in Langen or online through the website. They can also be customised with an inscription or a precious stone. But Schwalm does not only design rings. Her diamond necklace called Eve’s Weapon has been funded by the prestigious world leading design contest HRD Antwerp, for innovative diamond jewellery. Schwalm’s stunning necklace bears 110 diamonds and arrived at the EXPO in Mailand, its first stop of its tour around the world.The necklace has also been nominated for the German Design Award. Schwalm’s journey can be seen as a shining example of true passion. Some might have said the idea for the ring was too unusual to be successful, but Schwalm followed her instinct. It was undoubtedly the right decision.

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Main image: Object Cehris Above: Object Dokris Below: Object Ekka (left) Object Hellos (middle) Object Kybris (right)

Light art of the special kind Unconventional shapes, alluring colour mixes and exceptional light-shadow patterns - ART LUMINARI stands for an intriguing combination of sculpture, painting and light design. Artist Herbert Stecher’s creative light objects are sure to brighten up each room and space and to even affect a person’s wellbeing. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: ART LUMINARI

“Light, basis of all life on earth, is existential for all of us and influences our moods more than we often envision. Feelings, such as security, warmth, coldness or loneliness can be supported and even caused by lighting moods,”Herbert Stecher explains.Thus, Stecher seeks to use light as a design medium. A qualified photo designer in the area of architecture and industrial photography, the artist has substantial knowledge in placing natural and artificial light sources for photo shoots. “The topic of light has substantially influenced me throughout my professional career. I developed a technique

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with colleagues to illuminate whole buildings and industrial plants with colourful light sources. We created pictures, which went far beyond the mere portraying of an existing situation. This contact with lightshadow effects then strongly influenced the

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Discover Germany | Art & Design | Art Luminari

creation of my light objects since the foundation of ART LUMINARI in 2011,”Stecher explains. Creating a unique design principle, which merges painting, sculpture and light design, Stecher manages to make a stylish connection between art and design. A combination of coloured concrete, raw iron and pictorially designed, colourful surfaces develops an expressive balance between playful effortlessness and solid materiality, which creates an entirely different spatial effect. Stecher explains: “This spatial effect fascinates me when it comes to the placing of my objects. Unlike with classical paintings or sculptures, my objects can be moved freely in the room without losing the intended lighting effect. Thus, the perfect position can be easily found.”His objects get atmospherically illuminated by integrated energy-saving LED lights. This, in combination with relief-like surfaces of concrete, iron, gypsum, structure paste, leaf gold, pigmented textile hardener, synthetic resin or acrylic paint, produces an exceptional effect.The horizontal axial bearings, with which the heads of the detached objects can be freely rotated and moved, cause particularly appealing light effects. Thus, different light and shadow patterns as well as intriguing shadows at the ceiling contribute to the overall impact. A complete rotation of the object’s head is also possible. This means that the reverse side turns into the front and a different object-spatial effect is obtained.The results are extraordinary artworks for indoor- and outdoor areas which already include their own pleasantly warmcoloured lighting.

Handcrafted and unique “I believe that in times of industrial mass production, sustainable and individually manufactured objects have a special significance,” Stecher says. All exclusively handcrafted in his atelier in North RhineWestphalia, Stecher’s ever growing portfolio currently consists of 14 different light objects – all unique copies. In Burscheid his artworks are checked for technical feasibility and experimental developments are carried out. Stecher explains:“The conceptual formulation is always chosen by myself. The material tests sometimes take several months as the chosen materials, such as concrete, need long drying- and fabrication periods.”The objects vary in size between 1.20 and 2.40 metres and, depending on the choice of material, the objects weigh between 20 and 50 kilograms. A variety of combinations of different pole colours and concrete stands can be realised, as well as even more special customer wishes.“Thus, individual objects can be made which suit the interior,” Stecher notes. “As I’m interested in the spatial effect of my objects I prefer to personally place them at my customers and to advise them on positioning,” he adds.The total height, as well as the object’s character is changeable through colour-coated poles.This offers yet another possibility for individualisation. By using weatherproof materials, some objects are largely protected against environmental influences and can be installed in outside areas, such as object Bolus. “Two main topics give me inspiration for my objects,”Stecher notes.“While dealing with the topic of light, I have inevitably come across fascinating space images by modern telescopes, probes and satellites. The infinite diversity of colour compositions and representations of structures influenced many of my ob-

Top: Object Bolus outside Portrait: Herbert Stecher Below left: Object Jalos (front and reverse side)

jects, such as Hellos, Cehris, Jalos or Ekka.” Another inspiring factor is the ornamentation of classical labyrinths.“The possibility of presenting them in my works through the relief-like structure in combination with exciting shadows account for a special impact as seen in object Dokris.”The exceptional artworks in combination with extensive personal customer advice by Stecher and his wife, are sure to make for a special art experience. To get inspired, to see for oneself or simply to learn more about the technical aspect of the work, atelier visits are also possible upon request.

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Portait: L.M.Gossmann with laptop case and folding screen. Photo: Rowan Hotham-Gough Below: Clutch Botom: Book Jacket

made and each one is unique. Her customers share the desire to find something extraordinary, either for themselves to use or as a special gift to someone else. So they will surely stand out of the uniformed business world with an unconventional tablet case by transFORMATE, while the charming transFORMATE clutch guarantees a special performance for a night at the opera. transFORMATE customers appreciate the design's functionality and original idea. In addition, it stands for high-quality craftsmanship. In accordance with the idea of individuality, customers can order their very own custom- made design. Collect a newspaper of your own choice for example and get your personal item designed by Gossmann.

Eye-catching individuality German designer Luzia M. Gossmann recycles old newspapers to create truly unique bags and furniture which combine sustainability and novelty in one piece. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: TRANSFORMATE

The clue is in the name transFORMATE. Transforming something past its time, into a different and unique item.This is the idea behind Luzia Gossmann’s transFORMATE designs. Gossmann uses old newspapers as her material to create various types of bags, cases, boxes and even furniture pieces such as carpets or folding screens. The newspapers are cut into stripes, folded and woven into new forms. A thin layer of sealing material makes the item damp-resistant and guarantees its longevity. ”I am excited to challenge things by placing them into a new context and to play with

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alleged contradictions,” explains Gossmann. ”For example working with newspapers, which we think of as cheap waste material, in a way which transforms it into a high-quality and durable item such as a transFORMATE shopping bag.” She also enjoys the subtle irony within her products as the printed text in the old newspapers becomes part of the texture of something new. An extra twist in the design is that newspapers darken with time, giving the item a sepia-coloured patina, which is an appealing contrast to its clear-cut design. All of Gossmann’s designs are hand-

The latest plaiting design for 2015 is a cubic seat, which is part of the interior design collection. But Gossmann has even more projects to realise: ”At the moment I am working on a new bag design. It will be bigger than the clutch and smaller than the shopping bag. That is all I will reveal for now.” More design ideas are already being transformed into reality.

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müller möbelwerkstätten

















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Discover Germany | Art & Design | SWF-Skulpturen

Sculptures to touch Fascinated by working with natural stone, Silvia Withöft-Foremny (SWF) creates exceptional sculptures, grave decorations, garden objects, as well as personalised stones as creative gift ideas. Each object is unique and is sure to impress with its intriguing contrasting surfaces and abstract, figural or clear geometric shapes.

in her atelier in Laatzen near Hanover. “I want to show how great it is to work with your own hands, clear your mind and thereby create something beautiful,” she concludes.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: VG BILD-KUNST I S. GERVASI “My stone shouldn’t solely be seen, it should be felt and touched,”sculptress Silvia Withöft-Foremny explains. All of her objects are autographed and carved by hand.The elaborate process of polishing in combination with keeping part of the original stone surface creates fascinating contrasts of rough and smooth exteriors. Always seeking to find the perfect so-called soft rock, such as limestone from Thüste, the sculptress gets inspired by nature, spirals and symbols.

in 2004.“I was so fascinated by working with stone and slowly finding its form and the possibility to create an object with soft curves out of hard stone, that I made my hobby my profession,”the sculptress says. She self-educated herself, received further training, became a state approved artist and now works as a freelance sculptress.“Through my autodidactic career progression, I have a different approach to art than ‘trained’ artists. I don’t feel obliged to a certain style,”she notes.

A trained civil engineer, Silvia WithöftForemny had her first contact with sculpting

Having been part of many exhibitions, Silvia Withöft-Foremny also offers workshops

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Top: Sculptures made out of limestone from Thüste Portrait: Silvia Withöft-Foremny

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Molecular sculptures


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Comprehensive exhibition

Thomas Feuerstein

Trevor Paglen


The Octopus

29.05. — 30.08.2015

20.06. — 30.08.2015

The exhibition is a partner project of:

In cooperation with: Media partner: © Trevor Pagl en

Pho to: WES T. Fotostudio , © VG Bil d-K uns t, Bonn 2015

We thank:

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Hotel of the Month Austria

Hotel Schani Modern meets classic in Vienna Looking for a modern, comfortable, high-tech and spacious hotel that is located in the heart of the Austrian capital? You need to look no further. Vienna’s new Hotel Schani embodies the 21st century charm and character of Vienna. This modern boutique hotel reflects the elegant yet upbeat style that defines the city today. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: HOTEL SCHANI

Although the Hotel Schani opened its doors only three months ago, its guests already feel like they are visiting an old friend. One of those friends that always greets you

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with a smile and with a surprise. Here, the surprise is that the latest technologies, coworking areas and sustainable design complement the hotel’s comfortable, warm and

Portrait: Family Komarek, owners of Hotel Schani Vienna

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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Austria

welcoming spaces. Fast, free Wi-Fi and outlets are ubiquitous, appealing to tech-savvy travelers. Welcome to Vienna’s smart hotel But what or who is ‘Schani’? In traditional Viennese restaurant culture,‘Schani’meant the friendly waiter who read the desires from the guests’ eyes. ‘Schani set up the garden!’was a common command, and the Schani brought chairs, tables and flower boxes out in the front of the restaurant to make the guests feel right at home in their ‘Schanigarden’. Starting from this premise of Viennese hospitality, the philosophy of Hotel Schani is based on five key values: openness, accessibility, community, sustainability, and collaboration. A new and old approach Situated in the center of the city, in the Belvedere district, Hotel Schani is the perfect medley of classic and modern hotel business: Classic - in terms of honoring the Austrian traditions of providing the best service, comfort and enjoyability. Modern – in terms of the sustainable design, the bohemian philosophy and the community working aspects. Excellence as a family tradition

its conceptual outlook by offering and encouraging a creative and entrepreneurial environment. Hotel Schani wants its guests to incorporate the energy and buzz of coworking into their lodging experience.“The full-fledged, co-working space in the lobby includes 20 single work spaces, working stations and three seminar and event rooms. The comfortable seats in the lobby can be used free of any charge,”explains the management.

from Vienna International Airport, the hotel is easily accessible by foot, public transport, high speed trains and car.

Below: Lobby at night Lounge area Hotel bar Room

The spacious, light-flooded rooms (135 rooms, including ten maisonettes) all feature modern furniture, superior mattresses and warm colours. The perks of Hotel Schani include the mobile check-in and check-out for reservations, having the room key on your smartphone, the multifunctional lobby, the ‘Greissler’, a charming store in the lobby area offering authenticViennese products, and the ‘green oasis’ Schani-Garden, which will be completed soon. Visiting Vienna Either for business purposes, conferences or a longer holiday, the city’s newest hotel is the right destination to unwind. Vienna is packed with imperial history; at the same time it has exciting contemporary museums, lively eating and nightlife scenes and many quiet corners to explore. Vienna is a city where postmodernist and contemporary architectural designs contrast and fuse with sustainable and ecological values. And this also applies to the Hotel Schani.

For the owners, theViennese hotelier family Komarek, it is the second business venture. For three generations, they have been successfully operating the environment hotel Gallitzinberg on the Wilheminenberg inVienna’s 16th district. Now, Benedikt Komarek, the youngest son, is continuing the family’s successful hotelier tradition with this 21st century hotel.“Hotel Schani Wien combinesViennese tradition and the modern in a unique way, not found anywhere else. Here, you will encounter local Viennese expressions and traditional elements ofViennese culture, but you will also experience the Vienna of the future through temporary exhibitions and local artists,”explain the owners.

A lot of thought – and love – went into the construction of the hotel. The forwardthinking design, usability, sustainability and innovative reservation mechanisms were developed in cooperation with Fraunhofer IAO and the architects Gabriel Kacerovsky from archisphere. Hotel Schani has been recognised with the Green Building Award by the European Commission, and with the Hotel & Design Award for Hotelier/Architektur 2015.

Spaces to work, relax and enjoy

Getting there

The bohemian hotel has also created a workspace at the hotel lobby that expresses

Conveniently located just 100 metres from Vienna’s Central Station and 18 minutes

Award-winning design

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Mammertsberg Where passion meets perfection Located at the Southern edge of Lake Constance, the Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant Mammertsberg perfectly blends Swiss heritage with a most welcoming contemporary atmosphere and an outstanding cuisine worth travelling far for. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Over a century old, beautifully restored and listed, the timber frame building in the canton of Thurgau offers spectacular views across the nearby lake and the surrounding Alpine mountain panorama. Designed by award-winning Swiss architect Tilla Theus, the striking premises are sleek and modern, while boasting original features and cosiness. Three rooms plus a further three luxurious suites are situated on the upper levels, while the ground floor with its variety of gastronomic highlights is the heart and soul of the Mammertsberg. Luisa and August Minikus opened the Relais & Châteaux Mammertsberg in 2013. The project has been a dream come true, especially for head chef August Minikus, who learned his skills from the bottom up and has over 40 years experience in creating culinary delights. With an impressive 17

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Gault Millau points attached to his name, he spent decades in the luxury kitchens of the world, but his heart and soul always belonged to his native Switzerland. “My brigade and I, we celebrate the art of cooking on the highest level. Every day we are mastering the challenges of creating outstanding dishes with a maximum of performance, creativity, passion and solid craftsmanship,” August Minikus explains. While he makes sure things run smoothly behind the scenes, his wife and sommelière Luisa is in charge of the house. Meeting and greeting guests is just the tip of the iceberg.“Passionate about wine, I take care of the interior and live my passion for hospitality,” the charming hostess admits. From a romantic dinner for two to private and corporate events, the Mammertsberg is the perfect backdrop for every occasion.

The two restaurants Escale and Monolith are ideal for a top class dining experience, while Lounge and Esprit Lounge are cosy places to enjoy an aperitive. Meetings are best held in the Gallery and wine lovers find a choice of over 500 positions in the state-of-the-art wine cellar. Weather permitting; al fresco dining is the ultimate treat in the Panorama Garden. A visit to the Mammertsberg is a holistic experience, where creative cuisine, exquisite wines, spectacular views and unique architecture are a treat for all senses. Top: Relais & Châteaux Mammertsberg Portrait: The hosts August & Luisa Minikus

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Restaurant of the Month Switzerland

then also opened Poushe branches in Zurich over the years. “Our brand ‘Poushe‘ reflects tradition, culture, art and folklore and our handmade Poushe Strudel also echoes these values,“ Violeta Naydenova explains.

Having founded the family business primarily to learn to foster their individual talents, the four women especially appreciate that they are able to inspire many young people to understand and live these values. Offering sweet, as well as salty strudel creations with slight Eastern influences and an individual touch, the four Poushe branches invite you for indulgence of the special kind.“The history starts with our great-grandparents who owned a mill and were confectioners and our grandparents chose the same profession. We grew up in an idyllic setting with homemade food and strudel in sweet or salty variations depending on the season. The Poushe Strudel originates from these old recipes and the creativity and innovation of our family,“ Vania Naydenova says.

A tradition for each generation In 2002, a Swiss family with Bulgarian roots created an innovative restaurant chain whose scope soon went far beyond Switzerland’s border. Today, Zurich’s Poushe stands for simplicity, luxury and deliciousness. The first and only authentic strudel house boutique chain in Switzerland is sure to impress every palate with their sweet and salty handmade strudel creations.

The Poushe strudel houses impress with a cosy, friendly, uncomplicated and elegant ambience.A highlight is the open production space where guests can admire the spectacle of making handmade strudels.“We want to create a platform for people to enjoy and celebrate the tradition of homemade and fresh artisan food – just like we do,“ Ivanka Suter concludes. The original family business offers strudels in every form and shape from apple to onion. So, why not stop by at your next Zurich trip to taste true traditions?


“Our mother used to be a theatre director and dealt with folkloric motifs. She always wanted to create a stage for this simple, but yet luxurious way of living and thus, the strudel became the main protagonist,“ Vassilena Naydenova explains.When Ivanka Suter opened the first Poushe strudel house in Zurich’s

Wollishofen over ten years ago, the bakery quickly developed from an insider tip to a success story. Soon after, Ivanka’s first daughter Violeta Naydenova took over another strudel house in the Albisstrasse. It seems like no surprise that the second and third daughters, Vassilena and Vania Naydenova,

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Discover Germany | Wine&Dine | Schloss Ueberstorf & TIAN

Schloss Ueberstorf Sleeping in a historic monument, enjoying a 500-year old tradition Built in the early Renaissance style, Schloss Ueberstorf in the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland, is a unique hotel and restaurant. The historic ambience makes it the perfect place for authentic dining with regional cuisine, a romantic holiday for two, weddings or dynamic and special business seminars. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

A gravel path leads along green meadows towards the castle’s white and yellow painted front, with turquoise shutters on the many small windows. In the early 16th century Dietrich von Englisberg, an important man, decided to build a new home in the village of Ueberstorf. Unlike many other castles it was no fortress with thick walls and a moat, but it honoured the ideas of the upcoming Renaissance era. Over the centuries not only the owners changed but also the castle’s use. Since the early 1990s it has been in the ownership of a foundation, in 1999 the hotel and restaurant opened its doors.

History and modern design form an entity here. The rooms are light-flooded and furnished with modern and antique furniture alike. In the Schlossdamenzimmer, named after the lady of the castle, a guest might sit in a comfy chair with the windows open and listen to the fountain rippling in the park. Where once cheese, jam and sausages have been stored now people can stay overnight, situated near the kitchen and the café Vorratskammer is an ideal place for early birds. Bringing people together is part of the philosophy: The castle’s former chapel, a beautiful room with a high ceiling and

gilded windows, can now be booked for weddings or events. Apart from its romantic ambience the hotel also offers first-class modern conference rooms just half an hour away from Bern Belp airport.

A perfect place of silence and relaxation Four-star superior Eco- and Vitalhotel Weissenseerhof impresses with a magnificent location at the untouched Weissensee amidst a beautiful nature reserve. Those who seek a sustainable hideaway for extensive recreation will find their ideal spot here. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: FOTO AUGENBLICK I FELSCH FOTODESIGN

Located in Austria’s Neusach, the hotel’s philosophy is holistically geared towards sustainability. Electric bikes, boats or scooters are available for outdoor activities and the spa and hotel are low energy constructions. The silence of the surrounding nature, the exceptional lake location, the luxurious lake spa and wellness landscape with its stimulating treatments, the warmth of the employees who seek to fulfill every wish and an exquisite cuisine are exceptional. Directly on the hotel’s door step, guests can go swimming, hiking, cycling, ice skating on Europe’s biggest frozen surface, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. After an eventful day the organic, natural cuisine of award-winning gourmet and diet cook

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Florian Klinger will persuade every palate with fresh, seasonal and regional products and the combination of Austrian tradition and innovative components. The option of a vegetarian gourmet full board is also available.

Owner Christian Halper and manager Sabine Loy put special emphasis on exceptional service and above-average comfort in the elegant rooms.“There are simply marvellous things on our planet of which we know little. Things that do us good and enrich our lives with a ‘wow‘,” says Halper, summing up his philosophy. The balance between activity, repose and nature make the hotel a distinctive hideaway.

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rm any 15 / 2 20




Tagungen und Events mit Weitblick im Bio-Seehotel Zeulenroda

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Schleswig-Holstein - the real North! Wandering barefoot over the seabed, letting your mind drift away on the sunsoaked beach, splashing in the waves and waiting with the seagulls for the return of the fishermen. Surrender yourself to Schleswig-Holstein’s pace of life and you’ll soon leave the stresses of daily life far behind. TEXT & PHOTOS: SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN TOURISM AGENCY | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

Holidaymakers in Germany’s northernmost federal state have the choice between the North Sea and the Baltic, where picturesque lighthouses, proud sailboats and green dykes are testament to the country’s rich maritime history. Seven islands, ten Halligen islands, historic towns and idyllic villages offer both relaxation and adventure. While foodies delight their senses with freshly caught seafood and regional delicacies, artists have long flocked here for inspiration, and outdoor enthusiasts will find no complaints in the water, on the green or on two wheels.

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From the gentle Baltic to the rougher North Sea, via endless sandy and unspoilt natural beaches, wind-protected dune paradises, imposing steep cliffs and vast tidal flats, there are countless spots on the coast to explore between Sylt and the bay of Lübeck. The southern beach of Fehmarn boasts the title of Germany’s sunniest island, and for a hint of exoticism – think Brazil or California – head to Schönberg on the Baltic coast. Pure white sand, chic lounges and casual beach bistros attract the crowds flocking to Tim-

mendorfer Strand on the Baltic and Kampen beach on Sylt in the North Sea. But if it’s peace and quiet you’re after, Amrum’s famous Kniepsand is the place to be. Surfers, kitesurfers and beach yachters love a visit to the beach at St. Peter-Ording and families appreciate the protected bathing paradises of Büsum, Scharbeutz and Kellenhusen. The sporty north Sport is the order of the day in the summer, as Timmerdorfer Strand invites a host of top athletes to compete for the national beach volleyball title in August, followed by the descent of the surfing elite on Sylt in September for the World Cup. Boasting elegant horses, top polo players and a whole lot of glamour, beach polo is a veritable sight to be seen, and it

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Discover Germany | Feature | Schleswig-Holstein

event with its role as Northern Germany’s largest celebration. In July the Travemünder Week regatta week unites an abundance of maritime flair with an extensive music and stage programme.

as Schloss Gottorf and its stunning baroque garden, as well as the Globushaus or Glücksburg Water Castle on the Flensburg Fjord.

Culture, culinary delights and coastal lifestyle First-class concerts await music lovers throughout July and August at the internationally renowned Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. In late October and early November, the Nordic Film Days focus on Scandinavian, Baltic and Northern German cinematic offerings, bringing a lot of excitement to Lübeck. The Karl May Festival, based on his famous Native American character Winnetou, is also ranked in the extensive list of cultural highlights.

Main image: Take a break in Kiel’s Louf. Photo: Oliver Franke Left: Lübeck-Travemunde. Photo: LTM K.E. Vögele (top) Photo: Jens König/ (middle) Strandkörbe lining the Baltic Sea coast. (below) Photo: Below: Boat trip in Friedrichstadt. Photo: Anke Stecher Bottom: Thatched house on the North Sea coast. Photo: Lehner

The culinary calendar has a great deal of tasty goods too, with September’s weeklong Diethmarscher Kohltagen dishing up the tastiest cabbage dishes. While many of Germany’s top chefs are drawn to Schleswig-Holstein throughout autumn and winter, the regional festivals, such as the Husumer Krabbentage in October, focus on the rich seafood delicacies.

plays out on the beaches of Timmendorfer Strand, Sylt and in St. Peter-Ording. The E.ON Hanse Cup is set to delight crowds too, as the world’s toughest rowing race makes its annual return in September to the most-commonly used artificial water channel in the world, the Kiel Canal. On another note, Brunsbüttel hosts the jovial mud-fest, the Wattolümpiade, where the tidal mud flats set the scene for competitive mayhem including Wellington boot throwing, Nordic Walking through the water, as well as July’s messy Aalstaffellauf. Yet another huge moment for the region is the world’s second-biggest sailing event, the celebrated Kiel Week, taking place annually in June and doubling as a unique event, combining its role as a top sailing

The maritime lighthouses shine on the coast, like those in Bülk near Strande, Westerhever, on Amrum and in Hörnum on Sylt. The light from the High Sea Island of Helgoland stretches approximately 30 sea miles, rendering it the strongest German bay. Schleswig-Holstein’s history and culture have massively impacted on these coastal lifestyles, and the region is prime for discovery. At the Wikinger Museum Haithabu in Schleswig your gaze is thrown backwards to the tough Northern men, and the Multimar Wattforum in Tönning reveals the secrets of the Wadden Sea. A visit to the renowned expressionist artist Emil Nolde’s former home and studio, the Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, shows how artists have been inspired by their roots in Northern Germany. Behind the famous Holsten Gate in Lübeck, the choice is vast, with the Buddenbrookhaus, the Günter Grass-Haus and the Willy-Brandt-Haus. For a taste of nobility, try one of the countless castles, such

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Culture Guide Austria

Main image & left: Gustav Klimt Centre at Lake Attersee. © Gustav Klimt Centre at Lake Attersee, 2015. Photos: Michael Maritsch

Gustav Klimt Foundation Vienna Established in autumn 2013, the Gustav Klimt | Wien 1900–Private Foundation (Klimt Foundation) is home to over 90 pieces by the outstanding artist. The non-profit organisation is entirely dedicated to preserve and research the life and works of the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: KLIMT FOUNDATION

“Modern, sophisticated and always in quest of something new in the arts”- these are the words to describe Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) according to Sandra Tretter, managing director at the Klimt Foundation. One of his works with the name Adele Bloch-Bauer I fetched the record sum of $135 million in 2006. Although officially declared childless upon death, the eccentric artist had six illegitimate children with three different women. The first born, Gustav Ucicky (1899–1961), became a keen collector of his father’s artwork. After his death, his third wife Ursula established the foundation in 2013 with the aim to preserve existing works as well

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as further research the life and oeuvre of the famous artist, who significantly influenced the ‘Wien 1900’ art deco era. One of the foundation’s treasures is Klimt’s painting The Bride, which he commenced shortly before dying of a stroke and was not able to complete. Although the foundation itself is not open to the public, a selection of the precious artworks travel within Austria as well as abroad. Some items are currently on display as part of a permanent exhibition in Vienna’s Austrian Gallery Belvedere. In Spring 2015 the Klimt Foundation took over the management of the Gustav Klimt Centre at Lake Attersee, where the artist

Above: Painting Freundinnen I (Die Schwestern) © Klimt-Foundation, Vienna. Photo: Manfred Thumberger, Vienna

used to spent his summer holidays in the Salzkammergut area for well over a decade. Visitors are welcome to watch a movie about the life of the painter, take a closer look at historic documentation and see for themselves what inspired the artist to complete 40 breathtakingly beautiful landscape motifs. A boat trip across the lake completes the perfect Klimt experience.“A very special treat is the exhibition of Klimt’s painting Freundinnen I (Die Schwestern) (Girlfriends I,The Sisters) that will be on display here until 2 August 2015,”Tretter recommends. But 2015 holds more surprises, as two new publications will go to print shortly. One is revealing further details about the artist’s time on Lake Attersee, while the second book is entirely dedicated to the, almost a century-spanning, life of the foundation’s benefactor Ursula Ucicky.

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RESTAURANT MIRABELL A wide selection of tasty wines and the love for the native cuisine will make every visit to the Restaurant Mirabell a unique experience. The restaurant pampers its guests with Austrian and international delicacies. The inviting ambiance of the restaurant and its romantic Mirabell Terrace offer unforgettable culinary moments. Restaurant Mirabell Auerspergstrasse 4 5020 Salzburg, Austria

RESTAURANT GOLDENER HIRSCH Discover authentic Austrian cuisine at its best. The Gourmet Restaurant Goldener Hirsch offers an ambiance with Salzburg charm and award-winning cuisine as well as a selection of fine local and international wines. Restaurant Goldener Hirsch Getreidegasse 37 5020 Salzburg, Austria

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Discover Germany | Culture Guide | Austria

Spicing up language and literature The Austrian literary festival Sprachsalz presents international contemporary literature in a distinguished and intimate atmosphere. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: SPRACHSALZ

The name itself is a play on words. Meaning literally ‘language salt’, the literary festival Sprachsalz is annually held at Hall in Tyrol, the Austrian ‘city of salt’. It was founded in 2003 as a festival organised by writers for other writers and takes place every September in the picturesque medieval town in Tyrol. Its goal is to bring selected and distinguished literature to a wide audience and to spice up literature festivals. Sprachsalz is an exquisite event, presenting international contemporary literature in an elegant setting. The prominent Austrian cultural magazine Falter wrote about Sprachsalz: ”Possibly the best literary festival in the country is not in Vienna, it is in Hall in Tyrol: Sprachsalz.”

of the festival’s organisers, proudly explains that the authors enjoy the festival’s intimate and special atmosphere very much. One of his personal favourite moments was meeting American author Frank McCourt in an Irish whisky bar in New York to plan his reading. McCourt claimed afterwards: ”Did this writer love this festival? Ja!!! Danke, danke AND danke!”

All of the writers are staying in Hall’s Parkhotel, which also provides the setting for the festival’s events. Entrance to the festival is free of charge and lovers of literature get the chance to experience great writers not only during their readings but also to meet them at the hotel’s bar. Heinz D. Heisl, one

This year’s festival will take place from 11 to 13 September. Guests will include John Giorno, the NewYorker who invented performance poetry, along with celebrated Israeli writer Lizzie Doron, who will read from her new novel about an ambivalent Israel-Palestinian friendship. French film

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director and writer Delphine Coulin will also be there and Swiss-German writer Peter Bichsel will celebrate his 80th birthday with the Sprachsalz visitors. On Friday, the festival will attend to the melodic texts of Syrian poet Nouri al-Jarrah in a cooperation with the Tyrol festival for contemporary music Klangspuren. Internationality, variety and creativitiy, important spices that will make for a successful Sprachsalz festival 2015! Main image: Parkhotel with Leseterrasse

Next to famous authors such as the Japanese Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburõ Õe, Sprachsalz also features writers who are yet to be discovered. ”The newcomers are always given an enthusiastic welcome by the audience and most of the time they leave with a new fan base,”states Heisl.

Above: Frank and Ellen Mc Court together with actor Thomas Gassner in 2007 Sprachsalz organizers Elias Schneitter and Heinz D. Heisl at the Tennesse Williams Festival New Orleans together with head Paul J. Willis and Susan Larson Below: The heart of the festival – team with pug: (from left) E. Schneitter, V. Besl, U. Aerni, Otto the pug, U. Woerner, H.D. Heisl, M. Kauz, M. Hafele

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Discover Germany | Culture Guide | Austria

Visions from Vienna Frederick Kiesler is known as one of the rare Austrian artists, who bridged the gap between the 20th and 21st century. Today his works are more relevant and influential than ever before. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: FREDERICK AND LILLIAN KIESLER PRIVATE FOUNDATION

Since 1997 the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation inVienna is dedicated to explore the heritage of AustroAmerican Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965) and integrate it into today’s art scene. Exhibitions and research projects examine Kiesler’s work, its historical impact and its place in contemporary art.The foundation’s director Peter Bogner says:“Kiesler created a symbioses between artistic and social areas and was driven by an interdisciplinary combination of theory and practice. He worked in various disciplines, architecture, fine arts, design and theatre. This holistic approach builds the backbone of the Kiesler Foundation.”

This year marks Kiesler’s 125th birthday, the 50th anniversary of finishing his famous work Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem as well as the 50th anniversary of Kiesler’s death. A special exhibition is dedicated to the Shrine of the Book until October.The prestigious Kiesler Prize is granted biennially and comes with prize money of 55,000 euros. Bogner explains: “An international jury of theorists, artists and architects award the prize for extraordinary achievements in architecture and the arts that relate to Frederick Kiesler’s experimental and innovative approach and his theory of‘correlated arts’by transcending the boundaries between the traditional disciplines.” Previous winners include Bruce

Living out one’s own individuality The exclusive holiday rentals of Duschel Apartments in the middle of Vienna are sure to impress. The family business ensures that their guests fully enjoy their stay in Vienna while they can soak up the big city’s special ambience in the best way possible. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: DUSCHEL APARTMENTS

“Staying in an apartment makes holidays more individual. You don’t have to abide by mealtimes, you can cook, privately explore the city, feel at home and you can come and go whenever you want to,“ Florian Duschel, manager, explains. Exclusively a family business for almost ten years, Duschel Apartments individually and personally cares for their guests. Constant availability, exceptional friendliness, helpfulness and attentiveness – these are the words that describe the company.“We also help with ticket purchases or table reservations. We want to make our guests‘ stay in Vienna unforgettable,“ Duschel says. All of Duschel Apartment’s private flats

are located in Vienna’s city centre next to the State Opera so that all sights are only a short walk away. Comprising of a modern and homely ambience or a rustic charm,

Top: Peter Bogner (left) and Hani Rashid (right) in front of the „Endless House“ (1959) model (also featured above) created by Friedrich Kiesler, New York.

Nauman, Heimo Zobernig and Frank O Gehry. Bogner and the foundation’s president Hani Rashid are currently working on establishing a larger international network with more exhibitions abroad and plans for another base of the foundation in New York.

their portfolio consists of exclusive penthouse apartments with breathtaking views across Vienna. Luxurious terraces, air-conditioning systems, free Wi-Fi and Satellite TV are included. Their flats have a minimum of two bedrooms and two bathrooms and normally possess more than 100 square metres of living space. Whether a family, a couple or an employee search for a temporary home, they are sure to find the perfect one at Duschel Apartments.

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Hotel Donauwalzer Original Vienna tradition has found a new place Hotel Donauwalzer, near the city centre of Vienna, has a long tradition. For over a hundred years it has welcomed guests from all over the world with charm and a personal touch. But what makes the hotel so special is their room design. The WIENER ORIGINALE were decorated by traditional firms from Vienna, each with an individual style. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

For the quite recent refurbishments, 12 traditional manufacturers and service providers were asked to design a room, displaying who they are, what they do and stand for. Altmann und Kühne for example are well known for their chocolate pralines that in the hotel room are featured as a large print on the wall. Searching for a new idea to make the hotel different from what big hotel groups have to offer, the owners, Katharina and Klaus Kluss, decided on creating the WIENER

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rooms are decorated with antique furniture combined with modern colours and fabrics. The three-star hotel with 73 rooms lies in walking distance to the city centre and is an ideal place for sightseers. The owner family Kluss looks after their guests in person and a café bar open 24/7 and a lavish breakfast complement the service.

ORIGINALE rooms, all situated on the fifth floor.“These are all typical Viennese companies where I am a customer myself,”says Katharina Kluss. Sadly enough there are not many of those typical manufacturers and companies left. “With our WIENER ORIGINALE we wanted to take them from behind the curtain unto the centre stage.” And at the same time the hotel became special and outstanding as well. Founded in 1901 the hotel today still has the charisma of times long gone by, some

Portrait: Katharina and Klaus Kluss

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Discover Germany | Culture Guide | Austria

The traditional paper made by the manufacturer has been well liked for over a 100 years now. Sigmund Freud for example ordered his directly from this manufacturer. The room is not the only connection Huber & Lerner has to the hotel, as both were founded the same year in 1901. Another tradition of Austria’s capital are the Fiaker – typical Vienna horse carriages. Therefore one room is completely horse themed, designed by Sissy Ringl Fiakerunternehmen, even the bedside lamps are carriage lights and horseshoes are pinned to wooden beams. Beer lovers on the other hand might find the Ottakringer Brauerei room more to their liking. Golden taps provide freshly draught beer at anytime of the day. Cheers! Café Landtmann, Confieserie Altmann & Kühne, jams made by Staud’s Marmeladen or the restaurant Zum Schwarzen Kameel with a tradition dating back into the year 1618, they all are introduced to travellers coming to the city. “We want to give our guests an understanding of Vienna’s traditions. Every product’s history for example is printed unto the inner surface of the door, so guests can read about it,”says Katharina Kluss.

“Our motto is: three-star hotel, four-star service, five-star charm,” says Katharina Kluss. But what surprises guests most are the WIENER ORIGINALE.“Our guests often compliment the refreshing design and the many tiny details they can detect in the rooms.” Snow globes are a joy for many collectors – and a breath-taking decoration for a hotel room dedicated to the Vienna Snow Globes. The room not only tells the thrilling story of how snow globes were invented but also

displays the world’s first snow globe bedside lamp. Finding new approaches, fiddling with things and working on details lies in the family of Vienna Snow Globe inventors, not only with its creator Erwin Perzy I but also with his grandson Erwin Perzy III, who was responsible for designing the room in the Hotel Donauwalzer. Whoever likes hats can try them on while staying in the room designed by hat manufacturer Mühlbauer. Writers might like to try out the Huber & Lerner room instead.

No matter which theme hotel guests choose, the designers always tried to recreate a product’s, a manufacturer’s or a place’s unique character, like a stage and fresh roses for the arriving star in the Metropol theatre room.“It is hard to say which room is my favourite, because every room is so special,” says Kluss. “The Augarten room with the incredible sound out of porcelain speakers, the beer in the Ottakringer room or the tiny details Ferd, Piatnik & Söhne have created. Which one I like best: All of them!” Apart from the WIENER ORIGINALE the hotel also offers non-themed rooms, for example a whirlpool room for a relaxing time. A patio with calm atmosphere especially invites during summer times and free Wi-Fi is available in all parts of the hotel.

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Special Theme

Adventurous Germany

Adventure holidays in Germany The innovative spirit for which Germany is famed also applies to sporting challenges, discovery and adventure. For example, one of today’s most exhilarating niche sports – free climbing – was first practiced in around 1864 in Saxon Switzerland, before its popularity spread around the world. TEXT & PHOTOS: GERMAN NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD

Twenty two per cent of all visitors to Germany come to ‘escape’ the stresses and strains of modern life, in the German countryside. Destination Germany has a wealth of natural landscapes, many of them virtually untouched by the hand of man. There are 104 nature parks, showcasing the country's most beautiful landscapes; 16 national parks offering extensive landscapes that are protected from development, plus Germany's 15 UNESCO-biosphere reserves. These areas are of great scenic beauty but which also have a mission: to demonstrate

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how man and nature can coexist in harmony. These precious havens of natural and man-made landscapes, many of them the only examples of their kind anywhere in the world, are here for you to enjoy. There are also 200 long-distance cycle routes that combine to form a network covering 70,000 km, plus nearly as many signposted long-distance walks, with a total length of 200,000 km. Climbers, geocachers, windsurfers and skiers will find plenty to keep them entertained.

Hiking and walking Many of the 200 or so marked trails in Destination Germany are certified for quality and maintained by volunteers. The former border regions between east and west offer a host of new discoveries, including the Harz Witches’ Trail and the Vogtland Panorama Trail. Other quality-assured paths include the 66 lake trails around Berlin, the ridge trail between the Erzgebirge mountains and the Vogtland, the Kyffhäuserweg in Thuringia and the Rennsteig, signposted throughout for cross-country skiers. Germany has 16 national parks where you can discover the power of the natural world. For example, the Saxon Switzerland National Park (in Germany's most easterly federal state, Saxony), offers bizarre eroded

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Adventurous Germany

In Thuringia, avid walkers can tackle seven 900metre summits on the 30kilometre Suhl Peaks Trail. The magnificent seven are Grosser Eisenberg (902m), Grosser Finsterberg (944m), Fichtenkopf (944m), Sachsenstein (915m), Schneekopf (978m), Rosenkopf (939m) and Grosser Beerberg (982m) – an exciting prospect for walkers who love a challenge. On the summit of the Schneekopf, which was a restricted military area until 1990, a broad mountain plateau has been restored to its natural splendour, offering fabulous views in all directions. Unlike other peaks in Germany, the Schneekopf is completely undeveloped and is covered by one of the last remaining highland moors in Thuringia.

High levels of adrenaline and high wind speeds are on the programme in Sylt for the windsurfing world cup, which this year takes place from 25 September to the 4 October and offers breathtaking feats by day and fantastic places to relax at night.

Main image: Palatinate Forest: climbing. Photo: Daniel Geiger Left: Elbe Sandstone Massif: rock climbing at Mount Pfaffenstein. Photo: Andreas Kaster (top) Near Weltenburg Abbey: Canoeing on the Danube. Photo: Andreas Kaster (below) Below: Wiesbaden: Neroberg, high-ropes course. Photo: Dietmar Scherf (top) Kiel: Sailing with Camp 24sieben. Photo: Kristina Steigüber (middle) Essen: Zollverein Colliery winding tower, disused coal mining plant, evening. Photo: Frank Vinken (bottom)

Cycling Germany’s network of long-distance cycle routes cover more than 70,000 kilometres and offer accommodation for every taste. Mountain bikers will find plenty of varied and challenging trails in all of the low-lying mountain regions, including the Harz, the Black Forest, the Erzgebirge and the Eifel. Or head to Brandenburg, where ‘Berlin Wall’ trails offer the opportunity to cycle from the Brandenburg back to Berlin city centre – or onwards up to the Danish border! Other tips for active adventure holidays To the south of Berlin is Teltow Fläming, known as Europe’s in-line skating region. The 230 kilometres of traffic-free paths through meadows, woodland, fields and villages are perfect for skating at your own pace. rock formations dating from the Cretaceous period, a fascinating landscape that is the only one of its kind in central Europe. The park is characterised by sandstone cliffs, deeply carved valleys, table mountains and gorges – a truly remarkable landscape. Other options for exploring this amazing landscape include hiring a rowing boat or taking a boat excursion to admire the scenery from the river. For those with an interest in archaeology, the Sky Paths Route here is well worth exploring. Star attractions include the original Nebra Sky Disk, now listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register and the Nebra Ark visitor centre.

Or why not explore the Duisburg-Nord Industrial Landscape Park? Once a glowing beacon of heavy industry, this blast furnace ensemble is now a powerhouse of creativity, its landscaped park a new type of pioneering attraction. From inside blast furnace number five you can peer into the gigantic casting hall, and outside it is possible to climb right to the top of the 70metre high steel structure and enjoy superb panoramic views. The gasometer has been transformed into a unique diving centre for all abilities, while one of the halls now contains an open-air cinema. The German Mountaineering Association has founded a climbing centre on the site

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Harz Mountains A magical mountainous landscape in the heart of Germany Regardless of the time of year, the Harz Mountains are home to a wealth of experiences, creating a whirr of excitement across all generations like few other regions. With over 9,000 kilometres of paths and trails, outdoor lovers can wander through this breath-taking wilderness, formed of ancient forests, deep valleys, gushing rivers and rich mountain meadows. TEXT & PHOTOS: HARZ MOUNTAINS TOURIST BOARD

The Harzer-Hexen-Stieg (The Witches Way), a particular favourite, is ranked among the ‘Top Trails of Germany’, and has been awarded the esteemed ‘Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland’, testament to its appeal to hikers. Measuring around 100 kilometres in length, the trail connects Osterode in the southwest and Thale in the northeast, weaving hikers across Harz’s diverse landscape. More adrenaline-fuelled sports like mountain biking and climbing draw a younger crowd to Harz, and there are around 70 marked mountain bike routes to suit all abilities. For the ultimate

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downhill kick, head to the bike parks in Hahnenklee, at the Wurmberg in Braunlage and Thale. While the rugged rock formations of the Oker and the Steinbach valley attract climbers looking for a more authentic climbing experience, the adrenaline-boosting climbing facilities in the Harz region are no less demanding, craving both endurance and technique as you scale their ten-metre walls. But for a complete vision of this spectacular region of the Harz, nothing beats an exploratory tour for a close encounter with

the region’s culture and history. Think picturesque, historic half-timbered towns, countless relics from the mining era, spiritual places and the traditional Harz narrow-gauge steam railway, which breathes life into the mountain panorama. “Of outstanding universal value,” was the conclusion drawn by the UNESCO committee as they selected three sites within the Harz, bestowing the UNESCO World Heritage Site title on the following sites: the Old Town in Goslar with the Rammelsberg silver mine, the Upper Harz Water Management System and the Old Town of Quedlinburg as well as the Luther Memorials in Eisleben. Mining and the city – searching for traces in Goslar Also known as the old imperial city, the old town of Goslar unites with the Rammelsberg mine and the Upper Harz Water Management System to form one distinc-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Adventurous Germany

Around 150 lakes and over 500 kilometres of water ditches have generated hydropower over the course of centuries, and 107 lakes and 310 kilometres of water ditches still stand today, making it by far the best example in the world’s foremost pre-industrial energy supply, as UNESCO confirmed. The idyllic beauty of Quedlinburg – town of the Ottonian Germans A stunning old town that is home to one of the most valuable church treasures of the Middle Ages, the treasure of Emperor Otto’s reign, can be seen in Quedlinburg. As legend has it, Henry I was crowned the first king of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in this very town. According to UNESCO, Quedlinburg is an "extraordinary example of a medieval Europe city,”whose narrow alleys and around 2,000 traditional half-timbered houses exude centuries worth of history. Recognised by UNESCO as an ”architectural masterpiece from the Romanesque era”, the Stiftskirche St. Servatii still inspires artisans and crafters who bring the old town to life in their works. With a host of cafes, shops and ateliers, a stay in this medieval town is certainly worthwhile. Cornerstones of a life – explore Eisleben with Martin Luther

tive World Heritage Site. Visitors flock to admire the medieval Imperial Palace, wandering through the pages of a real-life picture book of half-timbered houses that date back to the Middle Ages. The Rammelsberg has immeasurably shaped Goslar’s history, with its wealth of silver, copper, lead and zinc that was mined from the Bronze Age until the year 1988, a total of 27 million tonnes. The Upper Harz Water Management System is testament to how Harz’s mining scene grew ever more innovative over the centuries, offering sustainable solutions even by today’s perspectives as to how a continual ‘flow’ of energy in the form of water is ensured.

There are many places that pay homage to Martin Luther’s works and his impact. The closer we get to the magical 500th anniversary of when he nailed his NinetyFive Theses to the door of the church from 1517, the more apparent it is how much of an impact Luther and his fellow campaigners from central Germany had on Europe’s sectarian, political and cultural landscape. To fully comprehend Luther, a visit to the eastern edge of Harz is crucial, where roots are now cemented in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lutherstadt Eisleben. Born in the city, Luther paid regular visits to his birthplace, declaring it his ‘fatherland,’ and the town of Eisleben also bore witness to his death. A stroll following the traces of Luther takes you to many authentic locations including, amongst others, his place of birth and death.

Main image: Collegiate Church Quedlinburg Left: Quedlinburg town hall. Photo: HTV, M.Gloger (top Picturesque alley in Quedlinburg. Photo: Quedlinburg Tourismus Marketing GmbH, J. Meusel (below) Hiking along the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg. Photo: HTV, M. Gloger Above: Market square, Goslar. Photo: GOSLAR marketing gmbh, S. Schiefer (top) Luther memorial, Lutherstadt Eisleben market square. Photo: R. Faure (middle) Pond cascades, Oberharzer Wasserwirtschaft near Clausthal-Zellerfeld. Photo: Harzwasserwerke

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Charming historic town with a stunning lakeside setting Plau am See [Plau on the Lake] in the Ludwigslust-Parchim district of MecklenburgWestern Pomerania is a true gem for nature lovers, water sport enthusiasts and little adventurers too. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: TOURIST INFO PLAU AM SEE

Located on the western shore of Lake Plau, one of Germany’s largest lakes, and the Müritz-Elde-Waterway, the area is officially declared a climatic health resort and part of the famous Mecklenburg Lake District. Plau am See was established as a town in 1235 and beautiful timber framed houses as well as lovingly preserved brick buildings in the historic city centre are silent witnesses of the past. A visit to Plau am See holds many positive surprises and highlights include “the lifting bridge, the Burgturm fortress tower with its rampart, the St. Marien church dating back to 13th century or our town hall, which is built in Dutch Renaissance style,”as Michael Wufka, managing director at Tourist Info Plau am See, points out. A new watchtower directly above where the Müritz-Elde-Waterway meets Lake Plau offers spectacular views. “The interaction of silence, nature and water right in front of our doorstep makes

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one leave all stress behind immediately. A stroll through the forest or along the shores of Lake Plau is truly relaxing and paddling along the Elde River through town towards the open Lake Plau facilitates the feeling of total freedom,” Wufka says. Don’t miss the Plauer Segelsommer sailing weeks, when countless white sails are gracing the glistening water. Walk, cycle or take a bus around the lake and take advantage of the ‘Plau kocht’ campaign. Initiated by award-winning chefs, seven restaurants around the lake teamed up to offer delicious culinary delights made from local produce. Plau am See is great for families as kids never get bored. They can follow the traces of the knights in the ancient ruins, explore the technical innovations of the 19th century in the Burgmuseum, which gets an entire new floor in 2015, or take a guided tour

Main image: The old town of Plau am See Above: Endless waterways offer perfect recreation (top) Hiking path through the forest along the lake (below) Below: Inside the Burgmuseum Award-winning chefs of Plau cooking campaign (bottom)

through town with Plaulina, the lovely witch. More adventure is available in the Bärenwald Müritz bear compound, where 19 of these magnificent animals can be observed in their natural habitat.

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Explore a lively fairy tale town Boasting 420 stunningly restored historic timber framed buildings, a packed event calendar plus a most welcoming array of cafes, wine bars and cultural highlights, the city of Alsfeld should not be missed while travelling along Germany’s most iconic routes.

Main image: Historic market square Top: The Grabbrunnen square Bottom: Historic wine cellar


Neatly positioned right in the heart of Germany, Hessia’s historic town of Alsfeld is to be found on the German Fairy Tale Route as well as the German Timber-Frame Road, both clearly dropping a hint about what to expect. “Since 1975 Alsfeld has been declared a European Model City for heritage building conservation. Only 50 cities in Europe have been chosen (including Amsterdam, Verona and Istanbul) and thanks to Alsfeld’s forward-thinking approach to preservation of sights of historic interest at the beginning of the 20th century, we are one of them. Today we are proudly counting 420 perfectly preserved timber framed houses, some of them up to seven centuries old in our town,” member of the Alsfeld Tourism team and local tour guide Marco Leweke explains.

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The medieval flair is best absorbed with a visit to the magnificent town hall. Built between 1512 and 1516, the over 500-year old symbol of Alsfeld brings history alive and never fails to impress visitors of all age groups. Around the town hall, Alsfeld enchants with countless little alleys and picturesque squares. The Fairy Tale House, a collection of doll’s houses from two centuries or the nearby Romrod Castle are just a few examples of what not to be missed. Exciting events such as the Herb Market and the Fairy Tale Fair are scheduled, allowing visitors to dive into bustling medieval market square activities or rub shoulders with Little Red Riding Hood and other characters of the famous Brothers Grimm fairy tales.“A lively town in a historic dress,“ is how Leweke describes his hometown.

In August, The Home and City Fair is part of Alsfeld’s cultural calendar, while September marks the Bewitching Night and the Beer Festival. In October the Chocolate Market attracts locals as well as guests alike, followed by the Taverns Festival in November and of course the iconic Christmas Market. Whatever the occasion, Alsfeld is the perfect historic backdrop.

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recreation culture history



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Kulturinsel Einsiedel A place for adventure seekers and explorers Situated in Europe’s largest forestland, Kulturinsel Einsiedel is more than a theme park. It is a place for young adventurers and adult explorers who have preserved their sense for childhood excitement. Themed around the 1,000 year old legendary Turisede culture, visitors not only try to reveal their secrets but can also enjoy leisure time – for example in Germany’s first tree house hotel. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Kulturinsel Einsiedel is a place for the soul and is surrounded by nature. Situated at a woody hillside facing the Neiße river the tree houses offer adventurous nights in nine different houses – ten meters high between branches and connected by wooden bridges. There are six tree houses for up to four people (constant hot water included) and three even more spacious houses with space for six people, a little kitchen and a comfortable bathroom. Guests can also stay in adventurous accommodations on the ground and even under the earth’s surface. The earth house for example is a cosy retreat especially for those normally working in an office. Here a wooden structure creates a safe cocoon, shielding from constantly ringing mobile phones and blinding computer screens.

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Mattresses are laid out on a platform surrounding the entire earth house, up to 28 people bringing along their sleeping bags will find a place to sleep or listen to the sounds of the night.

The name Faulenzum is a wordplay and refers to the German term for lazing about. Culture also plays an important part, not only speaking of the dinner show or special events on public holidays. On the first weekend in September Kulturinsel Einsiedel houses the FOLKLORUM – Germany’s second biggest festival for folk and world music. Kulturinsel Einsiedel is a multicultural place: Situated directly at the Polish border it blends into the Polish adventure village Bielawa Dolna.

No matter if you're staying in an oriental tent in the so-called Waldsiedlum or in a tree-bed, the entertainment programme, daily and nightly adventures make staying on Kulturinsel Einsiedel truly special. It is a unique place with more than 500 metres of underground tunnels, a magic castle, a tree house village and animals from all over the world. While children might enjoy an evening at the bonfire or a midnight adventure, many adults may prefer the sauna or a long relaxing bath in one of the Faulenzum tubs.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Adventurous Germany

Hiking where red wine grows The Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail is one of a kind in Europe. Nestled into magnificent scenery, it leads visitors through beautiful vineyards and cosy wine-growing villages where one can visit vintners and stop by at traditional ‘Häckerwirtschaften’ for tasty delicacies and, of course, a glass of regional wine. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: CHURFRANKEN E.V. I MAINBLENDE

The 70-kilometre long hiking path through Churfranken in the middle of Franconia is perfect for wine lovers to explore the wine’s origins. A most tempting region for gourmets on the Main River between the Forest of Odes and Spessart, Churfranken is offering special wine and hiking adventures all year around. Here, in one of the sunniest areas of Franconia, a splendid range of wines, from outstanding Pinot Noir to Riesling, is grown by top-class vintners. Rugged new red sandstone soil gives the region’s famous wines its fine minerality. The typical ‘Churfranken Pinot Noir’ is harvested by

hand and impresses with clear fruity nuances, a supple elegance and distinctively tasty origin. “It’s a very special experience to taste the regional delicacies while enjoying the unique scenery and its indescribable view,” Brigitte Duffeck, Managing Director at Churfranken e.V., says. Amidst vineyards and grapevines, the view across the Main Valley with its steep terraces will take everyone’s breath away. Other attractions along the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail include a herb garden in which hikers can pick herbs for domestic use and a Via Ferrata which attracts many visitors that seek

New red sandstone terraces

to climb on the region’s typical new red sandstone.

Altes Land at Elbe’s shore: A fruit heaven not far from sea and city life Altes Land – which is the German term for old country – is a famous destination not only at Hamburg’s doorstep but also close to the Wadden Sea. It is northern Europe’s biggest fruit growing region especially well known for its apple trees. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTO: MARTIN ELSEN

Fifteen million fruit trees are growing in the region, their scent mesmerising visitors in spring when they are in full blossom. In late summer they enchant with a crisp and rich harvest. Strolling through the landscape, the way leads along magnificent half-timber houses, little streams and cosy cafés situated on the many fruit farms. One of the main cycle routes follows the Elbe, but in its entity the region has about 1,000 kilometres of well signposted cycle ways. Trading has always been essential for the area that lies on the Elbe shore and therefore at one of Germany’s main ship-

ping routes. From the two Hanseatic cities Stade and Buxtehude merchants once traded with all parts of the known world. The historic and maritime flair can be ex-

perienced during fascinating tours here and elsewhere in the region. The geest landscape near Stade is a natural beauty consisting of woods and marshes. The Elbe itself is a great sailing area even though big containerships use the stream for their passage towards Hamburg. They can be spotted while relaxing on one of the Elbe beaches. Further down the Elbe, at Kehdingen, bird spotters will be able to observe many endangered species in protected habitats. And – psssst – in the area also lies Father Christmas’ post office. In the village of Himmelpforten (Heaven’s Door) volunteers answer letters from children from all over the world that are sent in during the Christmas season.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Adventurous Germany

Breathing, feeling and tasting Lake Constance Bodensee-Schiffsbetriebe GmbH offers comfortable trips by ship to discover all the sites of Lake Constance as well as extraordinary tours and fine dining on board. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: BODENSEE-SCHIFFSBETRIEBE GMBH

The only way to really experience water is to be on a ship. This is especially true for the stunning grandeur of Lake Constance. It’s one of the largest lakes in Central Europe, stretching between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A boat trip with BodenseeSchiffsbetriebe GmbH (BSB) is the most impressive way to experience its beauty. The ”White Fleet” offers single or round trips from more than 45 harbours along all of the lake’s shores, guaranteeing passengers comfortable access to all sights along the lake. Petra Pollini, chief of BSB adores the views on board of the ships.”Looking at the beautiful landscape,” she states,“with its picturesque little villages and towns and the stunning view of the Alps is unique.” A special treat is the catering on board. This season, BSB offers regional cuisine in its on-board restaurants, complete with fresh coffee from local coffee roasters, home-made cakes and

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fresh fish straight out of Lake Constance. A taste of the region’s specialities whilst taking in the stunning panorama proves an unforgettable experience. Pollini’s personal favourite tour is the Musik-Frühstück on Sunday mornings when passengers enjoy a relaxed breakfast whilst listening to live music on board. She also enjoys trips in the evenings. ”Sunset tours are wonderful to end a relaxed day,” she says. “Feeling a fresh breeze in your face and simply unwinding.”Evening tours are also a culinary treat as the restaurants offer a selected choice of pasta, barbecued dishes and tapas to enjoy with a glass of wine. A truly unforgettable experience is booking a ship and its crew for a private event. Offering space for numbers from 50 up to 1,300 passengers, a BSB ship can be the extraordinary setting for a special celebration.

Every year the trips to the Bregenzer festival, the famous performing arts festival in July and August, are one of the highlights. Guests can enjoy a festival dinner on board while BSB takes them directly to the festival’s floating stage. Other impressive experiences are the tours to the different smaller festivals along Lake Constance which will show fireworks over the lake, with BSB guests experiencing the show in the first row from aboard. A truly unique Lake Constance experience.

Portrait: Petra Pollini

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Freudenstadt, Loßburg, Pfalzgrafenweiler and Alpirsbach …simply a better climate Freudenstadt, the Loßburg Holiday Country, Pfalzgrafenweiler and Alpirsbach – a perfect combination of city, nature and country life in a superb climate. Go on vacation where the Black Forest is most beautiful.

Freudenstadt Tourism Marktplatz 64 72250 Freudenstadt Tel.: +49 7441/864-730

Municipality Pfalzgrafenweiler

Alpirsbach Information

Loßurg Information in the KinzigHaus

Hauptort. 1 72285 Pfalzgrafenweiler Tel.: +49 7445/8508-11

Krähenbadstr. 2 72275 Alpirsbach Tel.: +49 7444/9516-281 Fax: +49 7444/9516-283

Hauptort. 64 72290 Lobburg Tel.: +49 7446/9504-60

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Adventurous Germany

Take a walk to where fish swim When it comes to close encounters within the unique habitat of the Wadden Sea, the Wangerland region boasts a prime position. Located beside the stunning North Sea, it is bordered by a 27-kilometre stretch of coastline with vast sandy beaches in the north and the Außenjade to the east. TEXT & PHOTO: WANGERLAND TOURISTIK GMBH

Not just appealing to sun-seekers and water lovers, a trip to the region of Wangerland brings with it an up-close, intense and diverse encounter with nature. Accessible at any time, this is largely thanks to the rich knowledge and creativity displayed by the locals when it comes to their regional environment. In fact, nature trails were created here as early as the first half of the 20th century, as well as guided tours and exhibitions – and this all came to fruition long before the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park was set up in 1986. Since then, this popular holiday destination on the majestically diverse North Sea coastline has been further enhanced – and in 2009 it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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The richness of the North Sea is best discovered at low tide, and once the water disappears over the horizon, the experienced and certified Wadden Sea guides are on hand to accompany nature lovers and people from all walks of life on tours in which they share their wide knowledge about the seabed and many other exciting topics. What purpose do jellyfish serve? What do lugworms do in winter? How do beach crabs reveal their position? And what is the purpose of the ‘invisible’ shells buried in the sand?

verse, informative and exhilarating excursions and themed walks that will entice every generation. This broad palette ranges from an informative two-hour walk right through to a challenging seven-hour tour. From family-friendly mudflat walks to tours aimed at lovers of the Low German dialect, there are many diverse excursions that also offer an abundance of information on the biological, geological, geographical and history. Lovers of nature frequently head towards the ‘Forschungsstation Wattenmeer’ [Wadden Sea Research Centre], where children above the age of 12 and adults can get to grips with the Wadden Sea under the guidance of experts and study, for example, the typical microorganisms of the North Sea.

Setting off from the beaches of Hooksiel, Horumersiel and Schillig, holiday-makers can take their pick from the multitude of di-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Adventurous Germany

Holistically happy holidays Situated directly at the seafront promenade of the beautiful Baltic Sea island Usedom, the four-star superior boutique hotel and spa Das Ahlbeck presents everything needed for a fantastic holiday experience. Exceptional flight offers from many destinations make it easy for everyone to visit beautiful Usedom. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: BERGE WERBUNG & FOTOGRAFIE / WWW.BERGE.AT

Endlessly long fine sand beaches, fresh sea air and a nature reserve – the island of Usedom impresses not only in summer, but throughout the seasons. The Ahlbeck hotel with its modern, yet timeless design, is the perfect refuge at the end of an eventful day. A wide range of luxurious rooms and suites with magnificent views, perfect customer service, creative culinary delicacies and a lavish wellness and spa area make the Ahlbeck hotel the favourite choice for many. The hotel’s special flight offers make the island easily accessible for visitors from the DACH region. Flights from Cologne,

Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Zurich and Bern are combined with exceptional hotel packages: One deal offers seven nights with a wellness breakfast buffet, the return flights and transfer from the airport to the hotel. A welcome menu, a welcome cocktail, a relaxing water jet massage, a one-day bike hire for island exploration, a comfortable beach chair for a day and the exclusive Ahlbeck Ticket of Usedom’s Baederbahn (a train connecting villages on the Baltic Sea coast) are only a few perks that are included. Additionally, visitors can participate in the matutinal sport and activity programme and receive

Peace of mind on the go With plenty of experience and awards under its belt, you can be sure that your little ones will travel safely and comfortably with the high-quality products of worldwide acknowledged child seat manufacturer Diono. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: DIONO

“Many child seat manufacturers either focus on a good-looking design or safety,”says Jo Ebdon-Muir, Marketing Manager EMEA. “However, what the consumers are really looking for in child seats and accessories is a combination of quality, safety, comfort, an appealing design and easy handling.” Seattle-headquartered Diono provides just that, for example with their popular child seat model Monterey2. Ten internationally renowned awards for safety, quality and design speak for itself. Since starting the EMEA business in 2001, the company sold over seven million units without a single product recall. “In Germany, Austria and Switzerland

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alone we offer around 60 practical accessories in our range such as the waterproof seat pad Seat Guard Complete or the rear-view mirror Easy View,” explains Ebdon-Muir.“These simplify the daily tasks of parents and at the same time guarantee the highest level of safety and comfort. Just

free access to the sauna, pool and cardio landscape - all for an unbeatable price.

like our child seats, our accessories are crash test proven.” With the Easy View, Diono invented the first back seat mirror that rotates 360 degrees and pivots on a ball and socket for the perfect angle to view an infant, without moving your rear view mirror. Diono products are available from retail partners such as BabyOne or the Reboarder shops. Alternatively, you can buy them online at, and Portrait: Jo Ebdon-Muir Below: Diono EasyView (left). Monterey2 (right)

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Adventurous Germany

Vividly protecting mires Observing cranes, experiencing mires, hosting exceptional events – the European Competence Centre for Peatland and Climate is more than an adventure museum. Combining extensive expertise in tourism, research and science, the MOORWELTEN has a great deal to offer for young and old alike. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: REMIGIUS KONIETZNY

Amidst a large bird sanctuary and wetland reserve lie the MOORWELTEN in Wagenfeld. As Germany’s second-largest stopover site for migrating cranes in autumn, the centre is a popular destination for those who want to observe the beautiful birds. Providing a scientific research base, the MOORWELTEN are also one of the leading institutions for wetland preservation. Intensive cooperation with European partners ensures an exchange of research and ideas.“We combine climate protection with nature based tourism and thus combine a lot,” Jan Grabowsky, manager of the MOORWELTEN, explains.

On offer are interesting exhibitions in the visitor centre and a barefoot park (‘Barfusspark’) to closely experience nature. An adventure playground featuring the white polled heath (‘Diepholzer Moorschnucke’) is fantastic for children and demonstrates the animal’s significance for regenerating peatlands. Adventurous guided tours through nature are on offer, and a mire trail (‘Moorpadd’) lets one experience the different vegetation levels. A historic motor train brings visitors directly into the nature reserve or to the MOORWELTEN. The rail bound group bicycle called ‘Draisine’ is a popular link from the city of Rahden to the

Top: The MOORWELTEN Above: The MOORWELTEN’s video room

historic motor train station.“There is something to explore for everyone,” Grabowsky concludes. The MOORWELTEN are also an extraordinary venue for a wide range of conferences and events.

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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column


This year, Hunters Solicitors reach a very special milestone and celebrate 300 years of forward thinking with a series of special events and a big birthday party in Westminster Abbey Gardens. I must say that this is the first birthday party I will be attending where anybody is turning quite so old and is in fact looking forward to the next 300 years. Our archive remains a rich source of historical deeds and information, so here are some brief highlights from our history. 1715 saw the earliest reference in Chancery proceedings to the founding father of Hunters. A few years later, the firm advised several clients on their failed investments during the South Sea bubble which burst in 1720. By 1799, the firm first moved to Lincoln's Inn before taking up office at 9 New Square in 1802, where our main office remains to this day. Tradition has it that the firm's involvement in the great Beer Flood of October 1814 was purely legal, acting for the brewery at the centre of the misfortune. By the time the battle of Waterloo was decided, Hunters already celebrated its first centenary in business. While the tradition of the‘W Club’, whose members regularly took the train to Winchester and would down a double at every station beginning with a W, does not survive, the Seven Sisters pub is still very much our ‘Outer Office’ and the spirit of conviviality remains alive and kicking. By 1847, the now well-established firm

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leads with the name Hunters for the first time. From the Boer War to early support for the suffragettes, Hunters partners were there when history was written. By the time our bicentenary came around in 1915, disaster struck when during the Great War a bomb dropped during a German Zeppelin raid on London. It scored a direct hit on 9 New Square, destroying six rooms in the office but, luckily, killing nobody. A plaque in our reception still commemorates the day and includes the leather carry handle of the bomb, together with a piece of the shell and a piece of shrapnel embedded in a bundle of papers. We have always been conservative about naming our clients who, over the centuries, included a very rich seam of sportsmen and women, entertainers, actors, politicians, banks, businesses, charities and a fairly liberal dose of aristocracy. Our acting for Evelyn Waugh in the divorce from his first wife Evelyn Gardner is a matter of public record (they were known as the ”He-Evelyn”and ”She-Evelyn”); and this much is probably acceptable, too: Hunters acted for Edward and Mrs Simpson during ”difficult times”. I feel privileged to be part of this proud tradition of serving our clients and conscious of the responsibility that comes with it to take care of the ship that we are navigating before handing the helm over to the next generation. A big thank you to all of our clients and staff, whose loyalty is the lifeblood of our future.

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

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Green Business of the Month

Sustainable printing made easy Even when undertaking a large printing project, it no longer has to be difficult or expensive to protect our natural resources for future generations. Germany-based printing services supplier druckprozess have realised the potential of this trend and offer a vast range of industrial inkjet solutions at competitive rates.

quirements of the different markets because we continuously develop new ways of manufacturing regarding digital print as well as the matter of material, ink and process.”


“We are a Europe-wide manufacturer-independent supplier of digital printing systems well connected to industrial companies, scientific institutes and creative professionals,” says Jan Baden, CEO of druckprozess.“What sets us apart from our competitors is that we offer our clients the best technology match for their individual application. Our solutions meet the re-

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Always on the lookout for what happens on a larger scale, the creative minds at druckprozess also adapt their range of products and services to the current developments in their industry. One major trend at the moment is the use of sustainable technologies, which help industrial companies save resources such as energy, water and raw materials during the production process. Baden and his team back up this important

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Discover Germany | Green Business of the Month | druckprozess

trend by focusing on digital printing which has the great advantage of supporting“ondemand production.” What’s more, together with their partners, the German experts for industrial inkjet applications are working on new developments for waterbased ink in order to reduce the use of ink containing solvents. An all-inclusive package Are you thinking of creating or refining your products with the help of digital printing technology? Then you are sure to be in good hands when placing your order with druckprozess. An extensive consultation, support and guidance are offered all along the way. In addition, the German printing specialists will work out new concepts for industrial inkjet applications so you can find the best solution for your ideas and place your product in a better position than your competitors. Moreover, druckprozess will establish new opportunities for production, new materials like substrates and inks for inkjet printing as well as technologies together with their renowned partners such as research institutions, universities and industrial companies. “After we have worked out the concept, the client can obtain the printing system directly from us or we can refer him to a relevant manufacturer,” explains Baden. “What’s more, we supply consumables such as ink and pretreatments just as much as software while acting completely independently from any manufactures. We also offer our clients the possibility to optimise their processes if they already have a system in place. This enables the reproduction of true colours.”To finish off their convenient all-in offer, druckprozess is looking after the maintenance, repairing and optimisation of your processes.

weight at competitive prices. The reduction of up to 50 per cent in paper weight is reflected directly in the price.” Another noticeable trend is an increase in digital printing systems across all markets. “In this context, single-pass machines which are equipped with a fixed push button are receiving more and more attention,” illustrates Baden.“Their great advantage is that they can reach a particularly high speed.”

projects. “We are equally proud of all our projects because our declared aim is to continue our contribution to the development of digital printing technology,” he clarifies. “We are grateful and proud if we finished a project and can say with certainty that in the future a good deal of products will be created in a much more sustainable, environment-friendly way.”

A bright future In order to further improve and set new standards in printing quality, speed, maintenance and replacement part sourcing, new printing machines are currently being developed in cooperation with mechanical engineers. As Jan Baden reveals, their completion is expected for the third quarter. Another advantageous feature of these machines will be their flexibility when concerning the application of different ink technologies. Plus, they come with the quality label 'Made in Germany'. When asked which project or achievement the company is especially proud of, the CEO emphasises the importance of all the company’s endeavours as opposed to specific

Main image: Areas for industrial digital print solutions Portrait: Jan Baden, druckprozess company founder Below: druckprozess headquarter in Eisenach Bottom: Digital textile print

Textile printing on the rise “The popularity of digital textile printing has been increasing for a while now and is continuing to do so,” observes the druckprozess CEO and explains:“In order to give our clients the opportunity to position themselves within the global textile printing industry and to withstand the general price pressure of the market we offer special transfer papers with a particularly low

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Discover Germany | Business | Asgoodasnew

Extending the life cycle of electronics ReCommerce is an innovative, current trend in Germany which seeks to prevent the waste of resources. asgoodasnew electronics GmbH is Germany’s pioneer and market leader in this field: since 2008, they seek to intelligently rework electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops or cameras. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: ASGOODASNEW ELECTRONICS GMBH

“Normally a smartphone ends up in a drawer after 12 to 18 months and is replaced by a new one even though it’s still fully functional. This is wasting of resources. We established a product condition in between ‘new’ and ‘used’: like new! In the state of new devices technically, but significantly cheaper,” Kamil Fijalkowski, Press and Marketing Director of asgoodasnew electronics, explains. asgoodasnew electronics GmbH was founded by Christian Wolf in his living room in 2008. After his studies at the Europe-University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), he got a job at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories in Berlin where he was responsible for the develop-

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ment of commercial models for mobile services. He regularly received new mobile phones and the devices piled up unused in his drawers. Thus, the idea for the asgoodasnew electronics GmbH came to his mind. Today, the business intelligently links all areas of ReCommerce and has grown to have 100 employees in size in only a few years. The company is located in Frankfurt (Oder) and Berlin and serves hundreds of thousands of happy customers throughout Europe. The purchasing process asgoodasnew’s purchasing brand is the online platform - an inno-

vative webpage where one can easily and quickly sell their used electronic devices. “Customers especially appreciate the simplicity and rapidity with which they can turn their electronic devices into money,” Fijalkowski notes. Additional customer advantages are exceptional safety through certified data erasure from all smartphones, tablets or laptops, free and insured shipping or collection, no fees or other costs and the fact that one can sell several items at once. Money is directly transferred into one’s account within a couple of days and one can immediately find out the value of one’s item thanks to fixed prices and no auctions. “We also offer this service to companies which want to sell bigger quantities to us and where our service helps to refinance new IT investments, for example,”Fijalkowski adds. After buying, asgoodasnew professionally reworks the devices and resells or recycles them.

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Discover Germany | Business | Asgoodasnew

Refurbishment After receiving used electronic devices through, asgoodasnew starts its meticulous refurbishment process. “Thanks to specialising in the area of consumer electronics, we achieve a very high standard in refurbishing electronic devices which no one else in Germany reaches. This makes us unique and enables customers to benefit from many advantages while buying or selling,” Fijalkowski says. With a special focus on sustainability, asgoodasnew sees ReCommerce as an important pillar of business success.“It is sustainable, saves resources and gives people the possibility to buy products, which they wouldn’t be able to afford in a new condition,” Fijalkowski explains. He adds: “Sustainability is an important pillar of our corporate policy and it means that we work in a future-oriented way.”

devices receive technical (hardware and software) and visual inspection and if needed, parts, accessories and entire components, such as the display, cover, speakers or charger, can be repaired or even replaced. When all devices have been thoroughly cleaned, professionally pho-

tographed and controlled once again, they are ready for the reselling process. Main image: Business location in Frankfurt Above: Technicians at work (left & middle) A device gets thoroughly cleaned (right) Below: Device before refurbishment (left) Device after refurbishment (right)

When receiving the customers' used items from, asgoodasnew deletes all data from the devices. This data deletion happens automatically and no employee has access to any information. After that, all

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Discover Germany | Business | Asgoodasnew

The resale The last step the ReCommerce cycle is the resale. Since 2013, is asgoodasnew’s selling brand and is the number one specialist for selling professionally refurbished, high-quality, used electronic devices. Advantages for customers are plentiful: a warranty of 30 months for all products which are sold over the web shop, 30 days of right to return and one can get the products up to 30 per cent cheaper than comparable new goods. “Of course, other companies can also buy bigger quantities from us,” Fijalkowski says. Customers especially appreciate the high quality of the refurbished products and the price advantage.“Both of our groups of customers have one thing in common: they feel very strongly about the topics sustainability and environmental consciousness just like we do,” Fijalkowski concludes. Discover Germany readers receive a 15 euro voucher for both platforms. When selling

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more than 100 euros on, customers get paid 15 additional euros. When buying items for more than 100 euros on, they can expect a discount of 15 euros. The voucher is valid until 31 October 2015 and the code is ‘Germany15’ for both platforms.

Above: A special focus on sustainability Below: Taking professional photos of the items to be sold

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Discover Germany | Business | Eye Acupuncture

Main image: Therapy centre in the park Left: Treatment of a patient Middle: Treatment room Portrait: Joseph Erdin

When the body heals itself The body is known to launch its own self-healing process when it gets injured. Eye acupuncture operates according to this principle which can alleviate, slow down or even stop up to 80 per cent of eye disorders. Joseph Erdin’s practice for eye acupuncture is one of the first premises in Switzerland to offer this exceptional method. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: DANIEL SCHMUKI

Traditional Chinese acupuncture hasn’t had much success when it comes to treatment of eye diseases but Danish professor John Boel, a true pioneer in his field, has explored new acupuncture points which have led to astonishing results. Today, eye complaints such as presbyopia, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract or eye thrombosis can be treated with acupuncture. Joseph Erdin’s practice banks on this method in Switzerland‘s Ziegelbrücke. Located in a beautiful old park, his practice is fully furnished according to the Feng Shui principle. Having been a self-employed therapist for 28 years, he specialised in

acupuncture 15 years ago and now primarily deals with eye diseases. “It’s important to note that we do not offer treatment like an ophthalmologist and medical treatment is still needed. Acupuncture doesn’t mean that all eye disorders can be fully cured but they can be substantially alleviated or their progress can be slowed down. Eye acupuncture is a useful supplement and alternative to conventional treatments,” Joseph Erdin explains. Eye acupuncture works with the nervous system as opposed to the meridian system used in Chinese acupuncture. When an in-

jury occurs, the brain reacts quickly and starts the self-healing process through releasing regulating enzymes, hormones, adrenaline and cortisone. “John Boel discovered sensitive points around the joints which are connected with different parts of the brain. Over these points we simulate an eye injury and trigger a self-healing process,” Joseph Erdin adds. The small needles are placed on hands or feet, rather than directly on the eye. While the first two treatment weeks are intensive (patients receive acupuncture twice daily for five consecutive days), treatment then increasingly slows down to one treatment a month. Regular therapy prevents deterioration and keeps the achieved objective stable.“Almost all eye diseases can be treated with acupuncture. Over 75 per cent of patients can expect an improvement of visual performance. Eye diseases that didn’t occur through an eye malfunction but through a brain malfunction can expect a chance of over 80 per cent of full recovery,”Erdin concludes.

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Discover Germany | Business | DonkeyCat

A traditional Austrian card game turned mobile app:

DonkeyCat’s Schnopsn One could find them huddled over a table in an Austrian pub: Card game players spellbound by the Schnapsen cards stacked on the table. The traditional Austrian game, played for centuries, has never lost its appeal and now it has even become an online multi-player game available via Facebook and mobile app.

though the rules might look complicated. No matter if you understand it instantly or not, the game is quite addictive!

planned for interactions between users and using cloud-based backends. The company states: “We are very active and quite successful in the niche of card games, especially local games typically played in Austria and Germany.” Schnopsn is only one example. DonkeyCat also works on reactivating gaming concepts from the 1980s and 1990s, making them available for a mobile multiplayer gaming world.

With its online version Schnopsn, the Austrian mobile gaming start-up DonkeyCat has made the game known to an even wider public. "If you want a really typical Austrian game and to impress the locals, try Schnapsen,“ says DonkeyCat manager Gerald Novak. “We combined a tradition with a modern approach and in a very short time could establish a big online community playing our Schnapsen version.”

With Schnapsen or Schnopsn the game ends when one player reaches seven game points in total. If the offline practice mode or the online one-on-one game is not enough, Schnopsn players can also take part in online tournaments. The game can be downloaded from the website or from app stores and is available for iOS and Android. Additionally Schnopsn can be played online via Facebook.

DonkeyCat is specialised in designing mobile software for various app stores, often


Schnapsen is a rather fast two-person card game, enjoyed especially in the region of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It is also played in Germany, with slightly different rules, where it is called Sixty-six, because players have to collect 66 point as fast as possible. The Austrian Schnapsen, and here lies the difference to other versions, is played with 20 cards consisting of Ace, Ten, King, Queen and Jack worth 11, 10, 4, 3 and 2 points. One randomly chosen colour is always trump. Every player draws five cards as hand, plays a move (at best with a good strategy in mind) and draws from the stock afterwards. Many say it is an easy game to learn even

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Discover Germany | Business | Durmuller Real Estate Consulting

Paradisiacal property in the sun Switzerland’s Durmuller Real Estate Consulting specialises in selling properties in some of the most beautiful places in the world: Spain and Portugal. With a big network of personal contacts and special emphasis on extensive individual client support, the firm is sure to stand out from large competitors. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: DURMULLER REAL ESTATE

“Distinctive commitment, profound expertise, absolute discretion – this is our philosophy,” owner and manager Jolanda Durmuller says. Due to its smaller size, the company is able to offer close customer contact and thus can respond specifically to their wishes and needs. “Due to our individuality and small size, our clients value that I can personally care for them as a manager and that they only have one contact person,” Durmuller explains. Offering a broad portfolio of exceptional properties at Spain’s Costa Blanca, in Andalusia, on Majorca and on Portugal’s Algarve, the distribution partner is able to present apartments, luxurious

villas, properties and country houses in almost every desired price range. “We strive to offer nothing but properties that are located at selected positions in the middle of a Mediterranean scenery,”Jolanda Durmuller says. Spain’s Costa Blanca is one of the most beautiful and climatically balanced regions and Portugal’s Algarve, which is divided into three natural regions, always impresses new visitors. Additionally, golfenthusiasts will find some of the most attractive golf courses in the immediate vicinity. Exquisite locations, magnificent views and luxury properties – Durmuller Real Estate Consulting is sure to offer everyone a perfect residential or holiday home.

Top: Villa in Spain Above: Villa in Portugal



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Developer AT Software solutions made in Austria The Austrian software company Developer AT not only focuses on developing individual software solutions and applications. The company also consults customers in questions of IT and data security. By founding its US-based daughter company Smargasy Inc., Developer IT has also made a step into the business of VoIP (Voice over IP) implementation. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Since 1996 Developer AT, based in Vienna, has developed software for various platforms. In 1997 the company was among the first in Austria to develop web-based and database supported applications. ”Today we are a software company focusing on development, IT security consulting and VoIP implementation,” says manager Andreas Dolleschal. “We have 20 years of experience in software development, which makes us experts concerning individual software solutions either for Windows, Linux or Macintosh systems.” For five years now Developer AT has been developing mobile applications for Android, iPhone/iPad and Windows phones. Developer AT does not focus on one certain branch but creates individual solutions for nearly every line of business.“That is something we are rather proud of,”says Andreas

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Dolleschal.“We have experience in working for small scale businesses with only two employees but also supply multinational corporations with more than 100 staff members.”Among their customers are the University of Vienna, Zotter Chocolates, various logistics companies and health and wellness providers. IT security is a delicate matter in a world that relies on computer networks – in peoples’ private lives as much as in business environments. Especially in the last three years this has been in focus since the media have reported various hacks, leaks and data abuses. Developer AT consults and trains company members how to deal with these challenges, how to keep data safe. “We for example conduct so called security audits,” explains Dolleschal.

For three years now, Developer AT has had a daughter company in the US called Smargasy Inc. “At its roots Smargasy does the same things as Developer AT, but with a focus on the US market. At the moment the company is preparing to launch a comprehensive VoIP solution that will be brought to the market under the name IP2Speech,” recounts Dolleschal. In short: This is a cloud based software telephone system with functions that conventional hardware based telephone systems cannot offer. And what's best is that customers do not need any extra and potentially expensive hardware or software updates, but only their already existing telephones.

Portrait: Andreas Dolleschal

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Discover Germany | Business | Biomazing

Biomazing sells organic beauty products Good for the body, good for the environment People have a deep-rooted need for beauty and aesthetics, also as an expression of a healthy soul. This manifests in our body routines. Taking a relaxing bath, using a soft body cream with a divine smell and even spending a bit more time on morning routines can be quite relaxing. Why not use natural products – cruelty free, without toxins and organic? TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: BIOMAZING

“I think it is healthy if people want to feel comfortable in their own skin and want to do something good for themselves,” says Biomazing founder Anna Baumgartner. Especially since a care routine is also often linked to inner happiness. “Using natural cosmetics is a health choice: Today we know that many conventional products are full of toxic substances that can accumulate in a body and in the long run have a damaging effect.”Not so with organic products. Born in 1986 in Austria, Anna Baumgartner early discovered her talent for music, starting to play the violin at the age of four. She studied the instrument in a class for highly talented children at the University of Graz from 1996 onwards, starting a regular university career as violinist in 2003. Law studies in Vienna and time as Post-Doc at the Harvard University Law School followed.

Anna Baumgartner worked as lawyer in Switzerland before founding her own business in 2010, now called Biomazing, an award-winning company. Not only her impressive career speaks of a wide interest. Early on she discovered natural cosmetics. “At that time many still thought natural products to be quite unsexy,” she says. “Only recently people have recognised natural cosmetics as what they really are: highquality products, highly efficient and at the same time healthy.” Biomazing sells products fulfilling these demands, from shampoos to lip balms, from perfumes to makeup. A product Anna Baumgartner is quite fond of are the organic and vegan sponges Dr. Sponge makes from konjac fibres, a plant natively growing in eastern Asia. Especially in Japan konjac has been used as food and beauty

product for centuries. Dr. Sponge glides over the skin like a gel and at the same time exfoliating the upper skin layers. Infused with lavender this not only smells good but is also antiseptic. Sponges for the face are combined with bamboo charcoal for cleaner skin or pearl powder that makes the face glow.

Portrait: Anna Baumgartner

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Fine Architects

The pinnacle of prudent and progressive architecture “Places people like to visit and linger in”, this is the aim Gerber Architekten strives towards. The German architecture enterprise wields a convincing compound of assets that integrates four decades of experience, a well-practiced team and professionalism. They remain scientifically informed and cutting edge. Their holistic approach to architecture has seen Gerber Architekten win international awards since the corporation first began. And now a major project is due to open its gates to the public: the King Fahad National Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

As a result of their wide-ranging ethos, Gerber Architekten creates structures that have vast appeal to their visitors. The architectural results are intelligible on various levels: visitors may recognise the building’s


The architecture venture funnels its diligence into their offices in Dortmund, Hamburg and Berlin, as well as their business locations Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Shanghai, informing worldwide architectural pioneering. “Our goal … is to create built environments that affect people and stir their desires,” they said, emphasising the overarching theme, which they stringently pursue. Gerber Architekten promotes a holis-

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tic approach to how a building is conceptualised and built as part of its environment. “Deductions from the site's specific characteristics and history, the surrounding structures, climate and access path are all parameters of our design process, at the end of which the building – as a unique element – reflects the genius loci, formulating a distinctive and memorable idea of structure and space in all its parts.”

Portrait: Prof. Eckhard Gerber. Photo: David Klammer

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Discover Germany | Business | Fine Architects

Main image & left: King Fahad National Library. Main image photo: HG Esch Photo: Christian Richters (top left) Left: Tents to Guard a Treasure (middle). Photos: HG Esch Old Splendour and Modern Elegance (below). Photo: Christian Richters The Treasure Chest unlocked (bottom)

digging into scientific outcomes while informing architectural science and relying on over 40 years worth of experience. A mainstay of Gerber Architekten’s service is their ever up-to-date high-end technology, which allows the experienced team to achieve reliable efficiency. Both private and public clients have called on said reliability as pillars of their projects and subsequently witnessed the construction of award-winning architectural masterpieces. Sustainability and environmental concerns are naturally paid due attention. In their planning of buildings Gerber Architekten aim to avoid“short-sighted thinking … that only uses extreme data”. Accordingly, the firm stars in the list of founding members of the German Association for Sustainable Construction. Not only precise in construction, their team ensures punctuality and budget planning to be accurate. Constant successes in living up to these demands has made Gerber Architekten a deserved contractor. environment concentrated and interpreted into the eaves, the layout or the elevations. Thus the structures embody their encompassing inspirations to form a rich and complex whole. A blend of skills The team at Gerber Architekten are active in a variety of architectural sub-disciplines, with experts in landscape architecture, infrastructure projects, urban design as well as edifice architecture and interior design. In charge of the company, Professor Gerber embodies its goal:

Globe trotting Such precision is comforting to clients, explains the company. The latest beneficiary was Saudi Arabia that saw the completion of the King Fahad National Library in Riyadh in 2014 to commemorate the late monarch. “The new square building encases the old library, which holds the archives like a treasure chest.” The commemorative devotion of the King Fahad Library is but the latest of a resounding and still counting list of projects that the Royal House of Saud have entrusted Gerber Architekten with. The Arab hosts highly regard the creative push that Gerber Architekten make when they approach a new project. With all elements being manufactured by German supply companies, world-renowned highquality material comes to use. Local

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builders and construction workers are supervised and guided, thus ensuring the project’s sticking to the plan and promoting economic growth in the region. Gerber Architekten’s work process is substantially estimated for being fully reliable and their approach of being both constructive and well-structured. Such structuring distinguishes not only the work ethic that the North-Rhine Westphalian architects, but it also qualifies the outcome of said process. The objects designed by Prof Gerber’s team stand out from their surroundings at the same time as they do not. This paradox actually makes for the magic that is best explained by the ex-

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ample of the King Fahad National Library. The assignment was bestowed on Gerber Architekten in a competition winning them first prize. That winning position was vindicated with the plan for the new library, drawing its inspirations from Arab culture. Furthermore, they respected the old building in its genuine appeal whilst creating something new that smoothly fits in with both the old structures and the surroundings. The combination of respectful inspiration, seeking and diligent, as well as focused creativity convinced the Arab jury. The filigree single elements are inspired by old Arab tents. These elements make up the new encasement of the King Fahad Na-

tional Library and it shines like a token of a cultural claim for leadership amidst the vivid Olaya district. The rhomboidal structures that the library is clothed with give the building a light and playful attitude. With temperatures rising to 50°C (122°F) in the region the sail-like covering pays into a cooling system that is made up of a highly technological air flow system that uses up a minimum of energy. Such mindfulness of sustainable systems is well respected and lives up to today’s demands in that regard. The Library sits in a park that Gerber Architekten’s landscape designers have made into a haven for the Riyadh people to sit and enjoy when they need a break from their studies. The indoor restaurant offers

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Opposite page: Main image: Olaya Metro Station Below: Dune and Oasis Combined Right: The Butterfly Dome (top) Info.HUB (middle) The Nobel Quaran Oasis (bottom)

amenities like a restaurant and exhibitions on the ground floor. Future projects On the one hand Gerber Architekten are looking forward to the opening of the King Fahad National Library. Yet on the other hand they prove industrious workers, as another project is being constructed in Riyadh under their aegis and yet another three ventures are in the designing process. The Prince Salman Science Oasis with its seven permanent exhibition galleries is going to be a beacon in the cultural scene of Riyadh. Another library for Riyadh is being planned and it will provide ample opportunity for visitors to enjoy the perks of studying in yet another masterpiece by Gerber Architekten. Moreover a butterfly dome is in the planning. In Mecca, Gerber Architekten are going to provide a subway station just off the Kaba for Hajis to take a train to or from their holiest location. In these projects the careful hand Gerber Architekten have proven with the King Fahad National Library will work its genius again. Prof Gerber states he wants his company’s buildings “to fascinate, to architecturally enrich their environment and the city in which they are located.” By adhering to their objective of stirring people’s desires with their structures, this architecture firm have made their long and successful way to the top of their field. This ship will sail far, these buildings will stand long – and plenty of people will be moved by Gerber Architekten’s oases to strive for the bettering of their own lives.

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Re-defining modern sustainability Through thoughtful consideration of the environmental contexts, sustainable methods, quality processes and the use of natural materials, Kaundbe Architects creates beautiful public, corporate and private spaces. Their architecture is stylistic yet natural, sustainable and integrative. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: KAUNDBE ARCHITECTS

By drawing influences from their immediate environment, using existing materials, resources and sustainable structures, Kaundbe Architects’ creative work has set a new benchmark for modern architecture. The

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firm’s goal is to developing strategies to shape building designs that will ultimately conserve natural resources and create healthy built and economic environments. “We are committed to developing and im-

proving the quality and livability of our environment. We create project-specific solutions for complex tasks, and we build structures that represent our technical, sustainable and aesthetic values,” explains the firm. 17 years of expertise Kaundbe Architects was founded in 1998 by Richard Brander and Thomas Keller as a joint stock company. Together with their highly qualified and professional team of

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Discover Germany | Business | Fine Architects

architects and builders, they plan and oversee constructions in both Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. In 2010, the architect Mirko Schneeweiss joined the firm as a partner. Located in Vaduz, the firm has become a market leader for demanding construction projects commissioned in the Liechtenstein – Werdenberg region.

that capture the unique beauty of a client’s site, respond to the region’s identity and connect its inhabitants to the natural environment. Because their architects and planners listen to each client’s dreams and aspirations, the firm can carefully craft designs through an inclusive and collaborative process.

Vision and values

Minergie specialist

The firm believes that architecture is rooted in its place, responds to the natural environment and merges with the landscape. Drawing on regional materials, they create buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible and authentic, artful and functional. As stewards of the natural environment and their client’s resources, the firm shapes every project with environmental know-how and energy modeling, resulting in sustainable strategies that artfully respond to each site’s unique context.

As a Minergie specialist partner from the onset, sustainability has always been a strong focus of Kaundbe Architects’ work. Their concept of sustainability, however, is a broad one. Not only do they aim to achieve energy efficiency, but in a wider sense, they want creative sustainability. In other words, they construct buildings that incorporate themselves in the environment smoothly and creatively. “For the sake of economic sustainability we do not only take the construction costs into account in the planning process, but also the maintenance and operating costs, as well as the long-term redevelopment potential,”states the company.

Sustainability and development “Our highly qualified team provides the complete set of architectural services. Ever since we first started out, we have always championed sustainability and energy efficiency in our projects and designs,” states Thomas Keller. Accordingly, the firm’s work reflects the belief that sustainability and design are two sides of the same coin – balanced, integrated and inseparable. They are pieces of a coherent, place-based approach to building that successfully merges with the environment. More practically, sustainable design is smart design that looks beyond the building and considers the larger context. Kaundbe Architects’ design responds to its particular place and acts as a partner with the environment. Public and private projects From public projects, cultural and corporate buildings, to residential homes and private apartments, the firm’s philosophy and commitment to quality also includes superb customer value and service. “Our widely specialised and diverse team leads and controls the entire building and planning process. Form the task analysis, to the cost management and to handing over the keys.” In fact, Kaundbe Architects have gained recognition for designing houses

Architecture engineering As part of their future business strategy, the firm sees its architecture as re-defining the relationships between the quality of life and economics, the development and redevelopment of buildings, spaces and individuality and materials and functionality. “We constantly strive to develop our architecture further and have actually found a competitive niche, namely Architecture Engineering (Architekturentwicklung). This strategy enhances the classic activities of the architect with resourceful project development. This means that for the future, our architectural and design quality will go hand in hand with expertise and consulting in economic sustainability.” Main image: Apartment building, Schläppliweg, Buchs, Switzerland Portraits: Richard Brander (left), Thomas Keller (middle) & Mirko Schneeweis (right) Right: Redevelopment of D'Gass, Buchs, Switzerland Haus Da Vinci, Schaan, Switzerland Liechtensteinisches Landesarchiv [State Archive], Vaduz, Liechtenstein Kulturhaus Rössle, Mauren, Liechtenstein

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Taking great joy in the extraordinary Swiss architectural and general planning office IttenBrechbühl are specialists for dealing with complex projects from initial planning to key handover appointments since 1922. Due to their innovative custom-made solutions with an exceptional eye for great design and transparency, award-winning IttenBrechbühl are renowned across Europe. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: ITTENBRECHUEHL AG I HANNES HENZ I JOHANNES-MARIA SCHLORKE I VINCENT JENDLY

At home in Switzerland and active throughout Europe with 300 employees from 17 nations in nine locations are sure to offer the best architectural solutions possible. Because the requirements for buildings become more and more complex, whether it's a hospital, laboratory, airport or residential unit, IttenBrechbühl assemble a specific and optimal team out of their international network for each individual project. This open corporate culture across locations is designed to retrieve the maximum expertise and innovation so that each project benefits from a great measure of new ideas and know-how. Putting people in the centre of things inside the company, as well as during their projects, IttenBrechbühl plans, supervises and controls the entire process from general planning to commissioning. While constantly keeping the magic triangle of dead-

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lines, cost and quality in mind, the architectural office offers services in project management, design, construction management and services, as well as planning. Thus, the company is sure to offer a holistic architectural approach. Having successfully realised almost 3,000 projects in various industries, IttenBrechbühl’s architectural creations impress with a clear, modern design language. An example for this is the new construction of PricewaterhouseCooper’s head office in Luxembourg. The free-standing building comprises striking floor plans, a large atrium, a double façade with an appealing alternating wooden geometry and a structure which makes maximum use of the lighting conditions. Another great example of exceptional architecture is the conversion and expansion of Geneva’s Cornavin Station. IttenBrechbühl’s architects and general planners man-

Main image: The Residenza Vivere blu above Lake Maggiore. Photo: Hannes Henz, Zurich Top: The new construction of PricewaterhouseCooper’s head office in Luxembourg. Photo: Johannes-Maria Schlorke, Saarbruecken Above: Geneva’s Cornavin Station. Photo: Vincent Jendly, Lausanne Portrait: The management

aged to disentangle one of Switzerland’s largest railway stations through an intelligent floor plan. The buildings and arcades intended for passengers were converted in order to give the station an overall organisational structure which travellers can immediately grasp. Exclusive private residential homes by IttenBrechbühl stand in Ticino high above Lake Maggiore. The Residenza Vivere blu fascinates with an architecturally simple, straightforward and minimalistic language of form. The residence comprises of eight large apartments in two flats with breathtaking views through floor to ceiling window fronts, a maximum of privacy, generous and open floor plans and a terrace that instils a true holiday mood.

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Dalian International Conference Center, China; Foto Photo: © Duccio Malagamba

Wolf D. Prix & Partner


Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von \ Kindly supported by:

DEUTSCHES ARCHITEKTURMUSEUM Schaumainkai 43, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, GEÖFFNET \ OPEN Di, Do —So Tue, Thu —Sun 11.00 — 18.00, Mi Wed 11.00 — 20.00




14 04 15 17 51

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Discover Germany | Business | Fine Architects

Top left: Monte Rosa Hut, Zermatt in collaboration with ETH-Studio Monte Rosa Opposite, top right: Winery Gantenbein, Fläsch in collaboration with Gramazio & Kohler Architekten, Zürich Below: Federal Criminal Court, Bellinzona in collaboration with Durisch + Nolli Architetti, Massagno Portrait: Valentin Bearth, Andrea Deplazes, Daniel Ladner

Bearth & Deplazes Architekten

‘Amurs’ - loving landscapes Cultural landscapes, materials, natural light and social conditions provide an essential starting point for new design and structures. Together, they make up the context that is so important for architecture. Bearth & Deplazes Architekten draw inspiration from these cultural contexts and their design responses always show the relationship to the cultural origins of place. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: RALPH FEINER, TONATIUH AMBROSETTI

In other words, the Swiss architects closely observe the surroundings in which their buildings will eventually exist. ”For us, architecture, whether we’re planning or building public, private, small or large projects, always begins with that magical momentum, something that cannot be measured in square meters or money,” explains the Swiss architects. The three partners Valentin Bearth, Andrea Deplazes, and Daniel Ladner head a team of 15 employees. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Chur and Zurich, the Swiss firm has extensive experience across a broad range of building types and sizes: cultural facilities, government build-

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ings, corporate headquarters and private residences. Cultural landscapes - Amurs Their recent publication ‘Amurs’ (the Romansh word for ‘loves’) includes a selection of 19 structures and projects. The architects personally selected these ‘Amurs’ and the book shows their subjective viewpoints, preferences and experiences with theses buildings. All projects are characterised and inspired by very different contexts, environments and each tell a different story. In Europe, the New Monte Rosa Hut in Zermatt has become a well-known exam-

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ple of a modern, alpine hut. On the outside, it is a contemporary donjon that braves the snow and freezing cold, but inside the wooden casing characterises its cosy and safe environment. A fantastic trail leads alpine hikers to the refuge within three to four hours. The building’s terrace is ideal for mountaineers and families wanting to enjoy the warmth of the sun with good food and Valais wine. The landscape of aspirations The vineyard of Daniel and Martha Gantenbein is nestled in the vineyards of the famous, yet well-hidden, village of Fläsch on the edge of the Bündner Herrschaft. Wine lovers praise the legendary Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Gantenbein. The region is a melting pot for German, Valais and Latin cultures and the sight of the Gantenbein estate evokes images of the great pillar stables of the Lombardy. The seemingly windowless building turns out to be a well-lit hall. The sunlight breaks through the open cracks in the clinker brickwork, creating a shadow play. Lounging on the estate’s roof terrace, guests can dine and enjoy the Gantenbein wines while

overlooking the vast vineyards of the Rhine Valley. The magical landscape In St. Moritz, nothing is more relaxing than taking a hot bath after an intense day of skiing. The bright, warm pools of the new bath Ovaverva are perfect for taking in the fresh air while watching the twilight fade over the valleys and mountain ranges of the Engadine. The 'temple bath', as it is popularly known, stands majestically at the base of the snowy landscape and overlooks the scenic forests. Inside, the bath resembles a labyrinth that holds many surprises and perks for its guests. The spa helps guests feeling relaxed, cleansed and energised for the next day.

structure is divided by arcades and oriented towards the public; through both its aesthetic expression and its integration into public life. The building’s front square revives the narrow Bahnhofstrasse, a cafe which invites people to sit and meet and the atrium hosts public events. From this location, visitors enter the famous area of the Bündner Herrschaft. Below: ÖKK-Headquarter, Landquart Bottom: Pool, Spa & Sports Centre St. Moritz in collaboration with Morger + Dettli Architekten, Basel

The new Federal Criminal Court, the highest court in Switzerland, offers an impressive addition to the town of Bellinzona, which is known for the historic Castelgrande. On the court’s outside, old and new materials blend into a new whole – held together by white marbled concrete – and gracefully reflecting the light. The interior structure mitigates the daylight, like the foliage of a tree, and disperses it throughout the shadowy halls of the court. This design is inspired by Switzerland’s history, when courts would take place outside under the town’s linden or oak tree. The Bündner Herrschaft The new corporate headquarters of the public health insurance ÖKK in Landquart resemble a simple, yet charming Venetian Palazzo in the Bündner Herrschaft. The

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Fine Landscape Architects

This page: Kolonnadenhof at Berlin’s famous Museumsinsel. Photos: Claas Dreppenstedt

Delicately transforming the outdoors Berlin’s Levin Monsigny landscape architects design exceptional open spaces which inspire, invite for lingering and relaxation and open the users' eyes to the beauty and particularities of their surroundings – whether they are children in a kindergarten, employees in a company or pedestrians in a city or a park. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: CLAAS DREPPENSTEDT I CHRISTIAN RICHTERS I MARCUS EBENER

Founded in the middle of Berlin in 1998, the office of Levin Monsigny is home to a German-French partnership which includes landscape architects Axel Hermening, Martina Levin, Nicolai Levin and Luc Monsigny.“We share the enjoyment of designing and building, the passion of discovering and capturing new places and the challenge of finding individual answers to fixed configurations,“ Nicolai Levin says. The landscape architects from Berlin have firmly established themselves across Germany and internationally due to their profound and creative work portfolio. The in-

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ternational orientation and the intensive interest in the history, as well as the presence of the special context make Levin Monsigny an exceptional architectural office. Regular invitations to international competitions show the trust of various clients in the work of the architectural office. Projects from Levin Monsigny are regarded as elaborate, as well as stylistically confident and innovative. Their designs are unique and profoundly contribute to the specific identity of a location. Levin Monsigny’s portfolio comprises

of prominent public urban spaces, as well as representative outdoor installations, the ‘business card‘ of companies and also fine, private gardens. Balanced and harmonious compositions of plants and natural materials, such as stone and wood give the sites their remarkable charisma. Working closely together with clients and other planning

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partners to achieve the best possible design and most functional result, the team of Levin Monsigny takes each project through from its early design stages to the professional supervision of its construction.“Our goal is to create a sustainable and highquality environment while making the most efficient use of the available budget,“ Nicolai Levin explains. The special synergy of creativity, reliability and continuity ensures the success of a project. Enhancing specific attractiveness “Every location is singular and has its own history. We start developing our ideas once we find out what distinguishes a specific location, garden or landscape. Our gardens are derived from working in context and by taking a matter-of-course approach to design in order to enhance a location’s specific attractiveness. We aim to develop appropriate solutions that strengthen the identity of a given place,“ Nicolai Levin notes. One of Levin Monsigny’s most notable and visible public projects is the open space for Berlin’s famous Museumsinsel (Museum Island) which is characterised by spectacular historic museum buildings surrounded by landscaped embankments and water. Considered one of the most demanding building projects in Berlin, their redesign manages to strengthen the magical and secluded ambience of this special place in the middle of the city. Granite paving, atmospheric and soft lighting planning, as well as the planting concept make the place an extraordinary ensemble. Since 2002, Levin Monsigny are part of this gradual redevelopment. The outcome will be an enraptured urban space of special beauty and creative restraint appropriate for the is-

land’s character. The project shows the office‘s quality standard of a contemporary, but not a short-lived, fashionable design solution. The urban Carlebach Park in Lübeck serves as a green space where people can come together and relax. It is characterised by its wide open expanses, picturesque group of trees, inviting esplanades and promenades and small sanctuaries. Terraced purposebuilt areas, the playing fields, running tracks, playgrounds and table tennis tables became popular immediately upon opening. Berlin’s Marthashof is a perfect example for how public and private space can function to complement each other. The public space has cosy, secluded areas, smaller sunken gardens and rockeries. Another high-profile project was the redefinition of the plaza around Berlin’s landmark television tower.“Our guiding principle was inspired by the expressive sculptured architecture of the tower's entrance pavilion. We took our cue from its geometric shapes and extended these into the open space,” Nicolai Levin explains. In addition, the open spaces are now easily recognisable and welcoming to visitors. The Nine Tree Village in the Chinese town of Hangzhou is a high-tech residential development that organically merges with the landscape.“In designing the open space it was necessary to intensively analyse the natural habitat. The selecting and siting of plants was guided by what occurs naturally in this region. Subtropical plants such as orange magnolia or camellia have been extensively used,” Nicolai Levin adds. He concludes: “We apply the same meticulous care to smaller challenges, whether it be the recre-

ational space for a Kindergarten or a private garden. It doesn’t matter how unusual or far away a potential project might be.“ Above: Urban Village Marthashof in Berlin. Photo: Claas Dreppenstedt Carlebach Park in Lübeck. Photo: Claas Dreppenstedt Nine Tree Village in Hangzhou, China. Photo: Christian Richters Bertelsmann representative office in Berlin. Photo: Claas Dreppenstedt Bottom: The surroundings of Berlin’s landmark television tower. (left & middle) The Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin. (right) Photos: Claas Dreppenstedt

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Rainer Schmidt Landschaftsarchitekten

Finding recreational spaces in modern city landscapes Rainer Schmidt’s long professional and academic career and his handling of complex design challenges have gained him a wide expertise: from grand scale city master plans to innovative parks and garden designs. According to him, landscape architecture in the 21st century should be a multidisciplinary reflection the relationship between humans and nature. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: RAINER SCHMIDT LANDSCHAFTSARCHITEKTEN

Landscape architecture has to counterbalance today’s problems like demographic change, digital revolution or energy transition preventatively. 50 per cent of the world population is living in cities today, in 2050 this will rise to about 70 per cent. A development demanding balancing measures and new approaches to urban landscapes is needed. “Urban open spaces are a city’s beating heart and lung”, Rainer Schmidt says. “We understand the idea of a city as public garden to be well suited as leitmotif for contemporary societies, a place for discovering and communicating new insights.” Rainer Schmidt founded his international offices for landscape architecture and urban development in 1991. In the last 24 years he and his team of now 30 landscape archi-

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tects and city planners have successfully developed an international reputation in both fields. Rainer Schmidt Landschaftsarchitekten have their main office in Munich but also branches in Berlin and Bernburg. Since 1991 Rainer Schmidt has been a professor for landscape design in Berlin. Before opening his office, Schmidt had studied landscape design in Weihenstephan and later worked for Hansjakob landscape architects in Munich. Honoured with multiple awards, he won the European Garden Award 2014 for Park Killesberg in Stuttgart. The Killesberg’s two topographic characteristics were the starting point for a new design: a soft, nearly natural landscape and man-made quarries. The underlying design theme is based on a twisted perception of

Main image: Doha Aerospace City Top: Airport Munich, Terminal II Above: Culture Wave City, Hangzhou

human scale and a reinterpretation of familiar perspectives. This was achieved in creating a new topography of cushion like lawns between lowered paths. How modern landscape design could look like, Rainer Schmidt has proven in projects like the Terminal II of Munich’s airport, the Campeon Infineon Headquarter in Unterhaching or the Parkstadt Schwabing in Munich, where he created public open spaces and a central park between office buildings and living quarters. Rainer Schmidt Landschaftsarchitekten have conceptualised and implemented the master plan. Since 2002 the office works in Europe, the Middle East, China, Korea, Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan. Among the main projects are the Culture Way City in Hangzhou, a shopping mall and cultural centre, the Dalian Fine Arts Campus and the Leatop Plaza in Guangzhou. Currently the office is involved in constructing the world’s third biggest mosque in Algiers.

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LOMA New architecture for historic landscapes Redesigning historical places needs a sure instinct and a broad knowledge – especially when working with outdoor places like gardens and parks. Here not only does the building itself play an important role, but also the surrounding landscape and nature conservation. LOMA has a sense for all this: architecture, landscape and urbanism. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: LOMA

Great architecture often results from cooperation. LOMA's two architects, Petra Brunnhofer and Ilija Vukorep, have joined with landscape architect and urban planner Wolfgang Schück. Their first project was redesigning the historic castle Vlotho situated in the Weser Hills not far away from Kassel where the office is based.“We always look for tailor-made solutions, taking into account the specifics of each project and who our client is,” says architect Petra Brunnhofer. In one of their most recent projects, LOMA worked at the Hambacher Schloss, a historically important place. In 1832 about

30,000 people came together in the ruins of the ancient castle to protest against repressions of the Bavarian government. The socalled Hambacher Fest counts as starting point of Germany’s early democratisation movement. LOMA was responsible for designing and creating a new entrance area – unhampered by barriers and with new route guidance. “Of course the historical importance played an essential role for our project,“ says Petra Brunnhofer. A great amount of research went into building history and landscape design, considering monument preservation and nature conservation. At

the same time the castle entry had to be representative: Different historical building stages for example can still be seen, as well as the building’s character as an impregnable fortress. “The Hambacher Schloss has grown over centuries, built from local sandstones, we continued this tradition and coherently updated it.” Considering grown structures was also important when working at the Ripple Park in northern Germany’s Oldenburger Münsterland, a landscape shaped by agriculture. Here LOMA had the task to turn a vast landscape surrounding a family estate into a beautiful park while keeping its historic character. “Old oak trees are growing on the estate, the grandparents had planted them. But over the years they had been lost to the forest and we first had to release them,” says Brunnhofer. Ground waves were discovered to be archaeological remnants that were integrated into the overall concept. This is typical for LOMA even when renewing a landscape, preserving and enhancing traces left by time, history and nature.

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An all-rounder in landscape architecture Helmut Hornstein’s landscape architecture office handles a wide range of projects from landscape architecture to building, urban and environmental planning. Since the office’s foundation 22 years ago, Helmut Hornstein and his team are well-known throughout Germany for their ability to create intelligently designed and individual places. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: HELMUT HORNSTEIN

The office processes a wide variety of tasks which stand in context with densely populated areas, town centres, inner cities, as well as residential districts. “The very different projects encourage our fundamental attitude to never see open spaces as residual areas. Rather, we see them as diverse living- and adventure areas,”Helmut Hornstein, founder and owner, explains. Seeing each task as a new chance to create independent places, individual situations and to develop surroundings which are geared towards specific needs, the office puts special emphasis on cooperation with constructors, more architects and other parties.

Their varied experience in free space planning and landscape design is an important foundation for processing tasks in the areas of urban planning. “Thereby, socially sustainable and environmentally friendly urban developments which consider the needs of future users stand at the core of our doings – whether in protection of the local character, for gentle re-densifying or for the development of new building sites,”Helmut Hornstein says. While working closely with local and regional committees, as well as instruments of civic participation, their early integration of landscaping leads to great looking residen-

tial areas and to high-quality living and working environments.

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Main image: Summerhouse with table UNO and benches KARL Top: Bench MIA to take four people (left) Table UNO with bench KARL (right) Below: Bench MIA for a couple (left) Bench NOLA (right)

The garden A new haven of peace When warm summer sunbeams draw entire families and groups of friends out to their gardens to enjoy conviviality and lust for life, one needs the perfect furnishings for these occasions. Berlin-based NEUBERGA offers intelligent garden solutions wrapped in new and timeless designs. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: NEUBERGA, GERALD ZEHETNER

In an era where short-lived trends and rapid innovation cycles are the norm, companies like NEUBERGA pose as a refreshing change. NEUBERGA’s original idea was to offer a variety of high-quality garden spaces, such as summerhouses or sheds. Now, with a special focus on the production of high-quality, durable and sustainable outdoor furniture, the business seeks to extend the product range for garden lovers from all over the world. NEUBERGA primarily uses handicraft techniques long believed to be lost and supports resources and the environment through strict material selection. “Those

who seek to pursue and live sustainably should consider regional resources, quality work, as well as the regional supply chain. I try to pursue this approach with my brand,” Gerald Zehetner, founder and owner, explains. Founded in 2008, NEUBERGA’s range of goods is deliberately kept small. “We offer thought-through items which will still be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren,” Gerald Zehetner says. “The special thing is that we exclusively use European larch wood and that our constructions don’t need screws, metal parts or plastic. They are not only designed for gardens or ter-

races, but can also be used as a cosy dining area in the kitchen.”Bench MIA is equipped with a cut-out heart and is a perfect centrepiece for one's favourite place. Table UNO and the benches NOLA and KARL can be bought individually or as a set.“Each item which leaves production gets branded and equipped with the current serial number. Customers can chose from various standard lengths but I also produce individual requests with other dimensions,” Gerald Zehetner explains. NEUBERGA is geared towards sustainability and offers all the advantages of a reliable traditional brand. With a special emphasis on using natural oil finishes for wood protection, NEUBERGA seeks to spare chemicals, as well as energy-intensive chemo-technical and thermal wood finishings. Impressing with personal consultation and detailed implementation, the furniture comprises of a puristic design which poses as the sober opposite of opulent blossoming and wild naturalness of gardens.“Thus, the design is kept unobtrusive and offers an optical haven of peace,“ Gerald Zehetner concludes.

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Right: The sentiment analysis for example is used to assess products of two leading companies, using Tweets. Portrait: Mag. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Marcus Hassler (CEO) & Dipl.-Ing. Markus Schicho (CTO)

the code book can be adjusted accordingly. For example: “dismissal” is a good term for the financial industry because it means saving costs. In a more political context the connotation is something completely different. At the moment the program is available for texts written in German and English. For analysing a product’s credibility the program normally uses two sources: The social analysis uses the Twitter stream, while the news analysis relies on high-level-data provided by Thomson Reuters and Dow Jones. Every analySpecial Theme sis therefore is up-tothe-minute.

Successful Start-Ups

Currently econob has a unique offer for those with exciting application scenarios but who are searching for a filter aid. econob provides a first consultation worth 400 euros free-of-charge for the first 20 potential customers getting in touch via But who should choose econob? ”Our target group consists of customers who rely on information and want to know what their clients think and feel,”say the consultants.


econob “We know what your customers think. Are you curious, too?”

The amount of information we handle every day has already become untameable and time-consuming. But big data is also an inexhaustible and valuable source and only those able to benefit from it will be an international market leader. Here econob’s approach comes into play. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: ECONOB

econob is one of Europe’s leading Natural Language Processing (NLP) companies. Part of NLP is enabling computers to understand natural human language, to derive meaning from the written word, which is exactly what econob does. They put an emphasis on ‘sentiment service’ that, in short, analyses texts to find out how positive, negative or neutral a product, a person or a company is mentioned. Many well-known companies already use this tool in their everyday work.

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To describe it in an easy way: The analysis is based on an adaptable glossary of words with positive or negative connotation. The program not only interprets single words, but is also able to put the words into a logical semantic context. An example for a sentence that will get an overall positive result would be something like “I am very happy and content with my new mobile phone even though it might be a bit expensive.” Of course every sector is different and so

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Main image: Helping can look so good Below: ‘Ethicpreneur‘ Alexander Zuzzi with rehabilitated orangutans (left) Weltfreund creates fairly paid jobs for craftsmen in Indonesia (middle) Each design supports a charitable purpose (right)

Helping has never looked this good Austrian social start-up company Weltfreund Armbänder seeks to return something to society instead of primarily maximising profit. While buying colourful, casual bracelets, one automatically donates for social and ecological projects and organisations around the world, while also creating fairly paid jobs for craftsmen on the Indonesian island of Bali. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: WELTFREUND

“In times when the earth and its population face more and more challenges such as worldwide species extinction, global warming, epidemics and wars, responsibleminded businesses should be concerned about how to make a contribution to solving the problems of our time,” Alexander Zuzzi, founder, explains. The idea of Weltfreund developed in Indonesia when Alexander Zuzzi was on a six-week trip through the land of volcanoes and komodo dragons. He says: “I was confronted with numerous ecological and social problems. I became a witness of the destruction of the jungle for palm oil plantations and visited a rehabilitation centre for orangutans which have lost their habitat through clearing. I

was also exposed to illegal animal trade and plastic pollution of the oceans.” Affected by the experience, he thought about what he could personally contribute to solving these problems. “I remembered two craftsmen, Levina and Jonni, who I have met in Bali and who produce friendship bracelets in a simple workshop. I contacted them and the concept for Welfreund was quickly born: Colourful friendship bracelets in different designs whereby each design stands for a different charitable purpose,” Zuzzi adds. Thus, Weltfreund represents ecological and social sustainability and a sense of responsibility. The fairly produced bracelets create sustainable jobs for

craftsmen on Bali to pave the way out of poverty, as well as collect donations for 22 organisations from around the world. From projects of AIDS Life and Amnesty International to Bali Sea Turtle Society or Unicef, Weltfreund support a wide range of organisations and projects from helping Syria’s refugee children, orangutans, breast cancer victims or Austrian puppies affected by illegal trade. The colourful bracelets are truly eye-catching – not only at the beach or at a festival. Available in three variations (basic, basic with pearls and braided), each bracelet is waterproof, size adaptable and the trademark is a silver infinity symbol which stands for eternal friendship.“Our bracelets are a casual, cool accessory, as well as an ambassador for a good cause,” Zuzzi notes.

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Discover Germany | Successful Start-Ups | Austria

Catch Mr. Right with mental love Flirting trainer Susi Bartmann of Austrian startup mentalLOVE is on a mission: with mental training she wants to help as many singles as possible finding their Mr. or Mrs. Right. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: MENTALLOVE

The qualified mental trainer knows what she’s talking about. Susi Bartmann has been there herself. “After a few dating ups and downs, negative thought patterns such as ‘Why do I always meet the wrong men?’ were subconsciously stuck in my head,”she remembers. “When I started my mental trainer course, I realised that I had to change my approach to dating if I wanted to meet Mr. Right.” Bartmann decided to convert her negative mindset into a positive one and started to write down a list of all the characteristics she would like her ideal partner to have. A few weeks later she gave a speech at a flirt event. “The topic was how to flirt with men as a woman and he was sitting in the audience,”

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Bartmann recalls the first encounter with her very own Mr. Right. “After that speech, we talked to each other and we both felt an immediate spark between us. He met almost all the requirements on my list and in June we celebrated our two year anniversary.” Today, the professional flirting trainer is sharing the power of a positive mindset with others through eBooks, eTrainings, workshops and seminars:“My motivation is to help all those attractive singles who just can’t seem to find the right person by visualising their success and becoming more active so they can meet the partner they truly deserve. My eight-week training program is great for that as it includes many of my own experiences and is therefore pretty

entertaining,” smiles Bartmann. “It also comes with many practical exercises, which I find particularly important in the age of online dating. I encourage my clients to be active and start a spontaneous conversation with someone they like while they are in a bakery, on the tube, in a park or even on a plane. There are so many possibilities to meet someone new!” Portrait: Susi Bartmann

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BlueLeza your personal smart fitness - because performance matters Capturing movement, pulse rate and other biometric data, the HRM Blue cardio sensor is the perfect companion for active people who aim to optimise their workout performance and monitor their personal fitness level. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: BLUELEZA

Splash water protected, waterproof for up to 1.5 metres and with a flyweight of only 14 grams – a third of comparable products - the HRM Blue is the perfect companion for water sport enthusiasts such as kite surfers or stand-up paddlers. Easy to carry on the chest, the HRM Blue helps to maximise personal performance. “Through Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart) technology, our products are easy to embed into over 100 sport and fitness apps across almost all smartphone platforms such as iOS, Android and Blackberry,”company founder Felix Zalcmann explains. Together with engineer Ralf Lellig, the IT expert and vivid

sportsman constantly enhances BlueLeza’s biometric data devices aiming to offer state of the art personal performance boosters for active people of all age groups. The award-winning HRM Blue pulse belt gathered an impressive amount of positive feedback comments on the German Amazon site and is already in its third generation. In May, the new free BlueLeza fitness app was launched under iOS, ready to collect and proceed cardio and step data including location service. Contrary to most competitors, personal data is never transmitted online by BlueLeza as data protection is taken very seriously.

Ladies will love the new sports bra with integrated electrodes for the HRM Blue, while other novelties include a state-of-the-art activity tracker with OLED display. Top: BlueLeza sports bra Middle: HRM Blue pulse belt Above: BlueLeza iOS App

Hello, We are Manuela and Martin, we are Forma Photography, we love each other and we love weddings. Visit us at: We can’t wait to meet you!

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Special Theme

Perfect Software Partners

Less is more with MOCO

Main image: Screenshot of company report Portrait: Co-Founder Sabine Schaeuble (right) and Founder Tobias Miesel (left) at the Best of Swiss Web Award 2015

110 per cent passion and 110 per cent simplicity – Switzerland’s Hundertzehn GmbH develops easy-to-use software targeted to its users‘ needs. MOCO (MObile COmpany) is a lean online software for small and medium-sized businesses which work on a project basis. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: HUNDERTZEHN GMBH

Most of the conventional business software solutions are known to be complicated. Thus, Hundertzehn GmbH has created a quick and easy overview of financial, project and personnel planning data through informative reports. MOCO maps the entire project cycle from acquisition to operational planning, time tracking and billing in one online platform so that companies can make optimal decisions to continuously enhance efficiency. Being constantly accessible over any browser, action-items are constantly clear and resources can be controlled and allocated in a timely manner and as required. “We believe that complicated software won’t have any future. If another software has five features, do we need eight? No! We reduce and show that software can be easy and en-

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joyable,“ Sabine Schäuble, co-founder and designer, explains. Focussing on the needs of their target group, MOCO stands for consistent simplicity from attractive design to steady optimisation of the software. “Software needs to be simple, fun and should simplify working life. Thus, we focus on the usability of our web-based software for the self-employed, for agencies and service providers. The art of reduction is essential and we thoroughly question each feature before we integrate it,“ Schäuble says. A personal MOCO account is created in seconds without installation costs and users can begin to use it directly without the need for training. A transparent monthly subscription ensures that no hidden charges occur. “MOCO saves administration costs, supports corporate decisions and offers the

possibility of internal process and efficiency optimisation,“ Schäuble notes. Because usability stands at MOCO’s core, Hundertzehn GmbH was awarded Silver in the ‘usability’ category at the Best of Swiss Web 2015. The Hundertzehn GmbH team is not only dedicated to offer an innovative way for quickly examining the ‘big picture‘ of business operations, but also personally and competently advises their customers and helps them find solutions for making day-to-day work more efficient.

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Portrait: Gian Reto Schatz

Boost your website on a budget Zurich-based start-up offers a range of app, SEO and web design services at affordable rates. This enables young entrepreneurs to make a big first impression on a not so big budget. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: APPZZLE.COM

“Our appealing prices are made possible through our efficient workflow and the fact that our business is still in its founding phase,” explains Gian Reto Schatz, founder at The declared goal of the brand new app and website developer is to become the most inexpensive supplier of its kind in Switzerland and to provide all clients with a price deduction of at least 20 per cent when compared to the competition. For that you will get professional app development, website development, SEO services and creative solutions like promotional films or photos.

You can either pick and choose or, if you want to boost all aspects of your website in one go, opt for the completely carefree allinclusive package.“If the client wishes us to do so, we take over the whole development process for him,”explains Schatz.“If, for example, you are planning to launch an online shop for microchips, we can do the market research, define the market potential, the products – just about everything. In addition, we can assist you with the launch of the shop, the marketing etc.” Gian Reto Schatz became devoted to app and website development at the age of 18.

As he was organising events with a friend he envisaged to blend the digital sphere with the real world. However, high costs prevented this plan’s realisation.“As a consequence, I started to teach myself the know-how of website and application programming,” he remembers.“I began to take an interest in all the things that can be done with it and today I can say: There are really no limits to your imagination. This is now my biggest inspiration and driving force.” It’s this enthusiasm that drives the smart entrepreneur to expand his business beyond Switzerland via the international domain“This way, we can assist clients and young people with great ideas everywhere in the world,” he concludes.

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Portrait: Marc Vontobel (left), Starmind Founder and CTO and Pascal Kaufmann (right), Starmind Founder and CEO Below: Based on the query of an employee, Starmind’s know-how management system autonomously identifies the proper contact within a company

aged because they do not know each other. Boosting corporate efficiency with a selflearning corporate brain With Starmind, when an employee has a question it is fed to an intelligent corporate brain and the question gets analysed and automatically forwarded to the right person within the company who the algorithm has identified as the suitable expert. Through rating the quality of the answer,“the system continuously shapes the organisational know-how map”, Marc Vontobel, Starmind Founder and CTO adds. Semantic analysis allows Starmind to find out what a question is about, then this knowledge is stored in a “corporate brain", so that a next similar question can automatically be directed to the correct person. By gathering information this way, very precise profiles of experts are automatically developed and Starmind learns with every interaction.

Brain technology pioneers from Switzerland It was only recently that one could carry 1,000 songs in one’s pocket. Today organisations are dreaming of when they will be able to compress the know-how of their smartest people and access it at the touch of a fingertip from anywhere, at any given time. Starmind, a Swiss company and leading pioneer in corporate Brain Technology, has made this knowledge accessible. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: STARMIND INTERNATIONAL AG

Based on self-learning technology which applies the latest insights from artificial intelligence, brain and neural network research, Starmind has developed an awardwinning and innovative way to network and map internal know-how for large corporations. With roots at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Starmind was founded by entrepreneurs Marc Vontobel and Pascal Kaufmann in 2010, currently with offices in Zurich, Frankfurt and New York. Pascal Kaufmann, a neuroscience graduate with the vision ‘to

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think with the power of 1,000 brains’, together with computer scientist Marc Vontobel, who created Starmind’s algorithms, they formed the perfect match for an innovative business undertaking. “We believe there are answers for each question and that this knowledge should be accessible to each company employee,” Pascal Kaufmann, Starmind Founder and CEO, explains. Often when an employee in subsidiary A has expertise in a certain area, which is required by an employee in subsidiary B, this knowledge remains unlever-

“This gives a competitive advantage. Organisations will achieve significant cost reductions by better leveraging their existing internal expertise to reduce dependency on external resources. Internal proceedings become also much more efficient,”Marc Vontobel says. It also links time savings with salary costs and frees up time for other tasks, as well as retaining know-how as the corporate memory automatically stores the expertise. Starmind is currently in use in over 40 countries by various high-profile companies. The application meets the highest industry standards and hosted onpremise solutions are available.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Perfect Software Partners

Portrait: Harald Goetsch (chairman), Lutz Friedrich (Management board), Volker Müller (Management board) Left: eAkte IT2 Solutions

Key to triggering growth IT2™ Solutions has made its way to becoming a major player in the field of Human Resources Consulting. Henstedt-Ulzburg near Hamburg is home to the headquarters of the service provider who optimise HRM processes using the worldrenowned SAP system. Potential for both saving costs and growth abound may be triggered with services by IT2™ Solutions. TEXT: BENEDIKT MEININGER | PHOTOS: IT2 SOLUTIONS AG/ANDREAS PÖHLANDT

Private firms like Generali Insurance, Goethe Institut, Germanwings, Caritas, GlaxoSmithKline, public institutions like the governments of Nordrhein Westfalen and Hessen as well as the German Government entrusted IT2™ Solutions with their needs. Their requirements were met with diligence and 15 years worth of experience with about 120 employees. “IT2™ Solutions follows the market developments … many years of experience partner up with the latest services designed along the guidelines of demand,” the firm’s homepage relates. Profound expertise IT2™ Solutions offers all-in-one solutions for firms and enterprises of any size. A full range of consulting services may cover a

complete implementation of their Human Capital Management system as well as the adaptation of only selected service segments. As work legislations change IT2™ Solutions keep your firm up to date. Their name combines substantiated insight into the logics of labour market legislation and information technology while their products remain strictly user-friendly. Various products may interlink and thus form a highly functional whole. Harald Goetsch, chairman of IT2™ Solutions explains: “As partners on a par we offer our clients one-stop solutions while we work process-oriented.”Their consistent and universal systems as well as the respective outsourcing options meet any arising needs in the fields of payroll accounting, document

management, personnel management, reporting and revisions. With their IT2™ vCloud the enterprise provides an effective and certified high-end solution using one of Europe’s cutting-edge colocation centres that feature only the highest security standards (IAW ISO 27001). Saving costs and inducing growth at certified quality Outsourcing was shown to pay into cutting costs. Prof. Dr. Markus Bick, IT business engineer, came to the conclusion that “in Business Process Outsourcing there is vast neglected potential for entrepreneurs … to cut costs.” Xing IT2™ Solutions grasps its perks like this. “With IT2™ Solutions as your outsourcing partner you can fully concentrate on your core business.”And while you do, the ISAE 3402 certification ensures full accountability backed by the CrefoZert certificate for IT2™ Solutions’ financial standing as sound. It goes without saying that the ever growing enterprise offers educational services to provide for their clients emancipation in their technological needs. IT2™ Solutions offers certified trainings in their branches in Frankfurt a. M. and Leipzig.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Perfect Software Partners

A true success story A cooperation between Thuringia’s financier bm|t and young company SecondSol resulted in an innovative online market place for solar panels and other photovoltaic products. Since its foundation in 2010, SecondSol has quickly developed into one of Europe’s market leaders with their original business idea. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: BM|T I SECONDSOL

“bm|t is the first address for Venture Capital investments in Thuringia. We invest our assets in young and established businesses and thus finance innovation and economic growth,” Stephan Beier, Investment Manager at bm|t, explains. He adds:“Mr. Fiedler, CEO and founder of SecondSol came to us with his business idea in 2012 and we immediately found it awesome. We offered him a start-up financing and he has developed into Europe’s leading trading platform for used solar components in only three years with over 1,500 daily users.” A few years back Frank Fiedler noticed a significant market gap for solar products. When one panel fails or is stolen, one needs exactly the same one for replacement. The problem was that thousands of module types flooded the market, that a specific one wasn’t easy to find and that most sup-

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pliers didn’t have many panels in stock. This was a significant problem for insurers as their only possibility was to replace all panels with new ones.“The idea of an online market place was born and SecondSol was founded,” Beier says. The result was a trading platform for photovoltaic products for private suppliers and traders.“It is pretty much like eBay for solar panels. You can buy and sell a big range of photovoltaic products and find exactly what you’re looking for. Simply type the name, manufacturer and needed measures in the search box and get a direct offer,” Beier notes. The products are either found in SecondSol’s own warehouses or a platform member put it up for sale. A full-service provider, SecondSol doesn’t only sell used photovoltaic products, but also provides new and refurbished modules. Their range of services

includes testing solar panels for faults, repairing and cleaning measures and even a solar panel theft database. Not only successful in Europe, SecondSol seeks to expand into the North American market. Thus, the company is currently searching for strategic partners and investors. “SecondSol is one of the success story examples of bm|t,” Stephan Beier adds. The investment company with funds of approximately 250 million euros is the perfect companion when it comes to corporate equity financing in Germany’s Free State of Thuringia.

Main image: The team of bm|t Top: Frank Fiedler, CEO of SecondSol GmbH Above: Stephan Beier, Investment Manager at bm|t

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Perfect Software Partners

Making the most ambitious goals a reality mimacom is the open source integrator for enterprises which seeks to develop and integrate the optimum and most individual solutions for businesses. Using innovative open source technologies, their approach is sure to give the greatest possible flexibility for business processes. NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ISTOCK I MIMACOM AG

“We create software that always adapts to new developments in a business – easily, quickly and efficiently. We believe that open source software gives you the best of both worlds: the maximum options at the minimum price,“ David Krebs, Head Customer Services at mimacom AG, explains. Established in Switzerland in 1999 and with subsidiaries in Stuttgart, Vienna, Bratislava, Barcelona and Charlotte (US), mimacom develops sophisticated software solutions and integrates them into a company’s existing IT infrastructure. A longterm player in important open source projects, mimacom is convinced by the benefits of open source software for companies.“It enables flexibility and liberty of action in the further development of business processes and the IT infrastructure,“ Krebs

says. Open source means more deployment options, stronger protection of one’s investments, and additional security and efficiency. David Krebs notes:“Because the code base is open, we can develop new and modify existing functionality and combine different software to provide an allround optimum solution.” Well-known for their pragmatic, agile and costumer-focused approach, mimacom also impresses with innovation and technical excellence. “We don’t just meet the usual quality standards: we are the only company in Switzerland, and one of the first worldwide, to implement CMMI quality maturity level 5 agile processes,“ Krebs notes. With authenticity and competence for the chosen solutions and products, their

expertise in the areas of agility or Java with Spring is unprecedented. Commitment, transparency, ambition and belief in the team – these are the words that describe mimacom.“This also includes continuous improvement. We constantly try to outperform ourselves before others do,“ Krebs says. He adds: “We continuously evaluate new open source products and we contribute to the technical and functional development of existing open source technologies.“ A true innovation driver, mimacom implements substantial innovative methods and technologies at an early stage in customer's environments.“This makes all the difference and gives them the decisive advantage in the digitalisation of the company,“ Krebs notes. Customers especially appreciate the cooperative partnerships which jointly find the best solution, as well as the drive that their employees bring into the projects.“We deliver what we promise. Always,“ Krebs concludes.

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Culture Calendar

Main image: Ennstal-Classic 2014. Photo: Ennstal-Classic/ Martin Huber Below: Schuetzenfest fair in Hannover. Photo: HMTG/ Martin Kirchner (left) Carinthia’s Bodypainting Festival. Photo: Daniel Janesch (right)

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 in July. Montreux Jazz Festival (3 – 18 July)

Schützenfest fair Hannover (3 – 12 July)

On the eastern shores of the beautiful Lake Geneva, the Montreux Jazz Festival attracts around 200,000 people each year. Specialising in jazz, blues, rock and pop, the festival provides groove-busting beats. It has hosted the likes of Stan Getz, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Dexter Gordon since its inception in 1967.

Ranking as the biggest of its kind in the world with over 250 fairground rides, carousels, tryyour-luck stalls and food and drink stands which transform Germany’s capital of Lower Saxony into one gigantic funfair. A highlight is the riflemen’s parade where more than 10,000 riflemen, dancers, artists, entertainers, as well as carnival floats make their way through the city centre.

World Bodypainting Festival, Pörtschach (3 – 5 July) Since 1998, the world’s biggest and most important bodypainting event has taken place in Carinthia with championships in five categories. International bands, DJs, dance shows, exhibitions, as well as workshops and a programme for children round off the program. Schlagermove, Hamburg (10 – 11 July) The ultimate party, the Schlagermove is the number one in Europe for ‘Schlager music’. Hamburg’s streets in between Heiligengeistfeld and St. Pauli Landungsbrücken will once again host the ‘festival of love’. Half a million Schlager fans with flowers in their hair, mini dresses and platform shoes will dance along to a procession of around 45 colourfully decorated music trucks to have a great time. In the

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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

evening, many Schlager stars and popular DJs will kick off the Aftermove-Party. Wellenklænge, Lunz am See (10 July – 1 August) Refreshing, connecting and touching: Inspiring around 3,000 visitors each year, the Wellenklænge Festival stages concerts, readings, performances or workshops. The exceptional ambience of the floating stage on Lunzer Lake is the perfect platform for sophisticated artists. Engadin Bike Marathon, Zernez (12 July) A true highlight of the cycling summer, the Engadin Bike Marathon leads through breathtakingly beautiful scenery around the Swiss National Park. Participants of the thrilling road cycling race can chose between two distances – the easy 97 km route or the ‘tough’ 211 km circuit. Ennstal-Classic, Gröbming (15 – 18 July) One of the most famous classic car rallies in Austria and even Europe for historic cars, the Ennstal-Classic experiences magnificent scenery through the Alpine region on streets with almost no traffic. The rally stands for emotions and passion and for motor sport like it used to be: romantic, challenging and adventurous. Salt Cinema, Zürich (16 July – 16 August) An absolute treat for cinema lovers, the open-air Cinema in Zürich comes to the picturesque lakeside setting of Zürichhorn Park every summer. Showing classics, cult movies, premieres and new releases, Salt Cinema season is a favourite on the Zürich events calendar and definitely an unforgettable cinema experience. Geneva Festival (16 July – 9 August) The highlight of the summer season, the Geneva Festival attracts crowds of people to the scenic shores of Lake Geneva for concerts, food and craft from around the world. Air shows, from techno to classical concerts, a float parade and a funfair are just some of the features of the festival’s non-stop entertainment program. The grand finale is a magnificent musical fireworks display.

of water sport fans from all over the world to experience the unique combination of international sailing and maritime festival in the north of Germany. Visitors can expect sailing highlights with a rich and varied programme on land. International Street Art Festival Linz (23 – 25 July) Linz’s city centre annually turns into the main hub for international street art. The so-called ‘Pflasterspektakel’ festival will present a topclass program of object- and improvisational theatre, of comedy and juggling, high wire- and fire acrobatics, as well as artistry and music performances of all sorts. La Tavolata St. Moritz (25 – 26 July) Warm wind, tasty delicacies and a big sense of community make La Tavolata the perfect summer party. The longest table in the Alps will be the perfect setting for those seeking to eat, drink, laugh, sing, dance and party. A magnificent culinary offer on the 400-metre long table in the city’s pedestrian zone is rounded off with musical performances throughout the evening. Beach Volleyball Grand Slam, Klagenfurt (28 July – 2 August) One of the premium beach volleyball events in Europe, the event is known for its friendly party atmosphere. The event annually attracts thousands of volleyball fans to the Strandbad besides the stunning Lake Wörthersee. Szene Openair, Lustenau (30 July – 1 August) For the 26th time, the music festival in Vorarlberg will be organised by local culture and youth club Szene Lustenau. This is a great event even for families, as camping facilities and a festival kindergarten are also available.

Right: Openair Cinema. Photo: Zuerich Tourism

Travemuender Week (17 – 26 July)

Travemünde Week. Photo: LTM/ K.E. Vögele International Street Art Festival in Linz. Photo: Stadt Linz

One of the most popular regatta weeks in the world annually attracts hundreds of thousands

The Tavolata in St. Moritz. Photo: La Tavolata/ Engadin St. Moritz/ Vera Bohm

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Don’t tell me you’re late - I’m already here Continuing with our jolly series 'German stereotypes', simply because it’s fun and doesn’t do any harm, this month’s topic is punctuality. Because Germans are always on time, right?

Germans who are late comers, I do believe that in general being punctual does count for something in Germany. And after all, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.


Well, speaking for myself, yes, it’s true. It’s one of the clichés about Germans that I absolutely fulfil. I don’t know if that is because I inherited it from my über-punctual father - and certainly not my mother - or if it’s because there is indeed a national teutonic tendency to be reliable when it comes to sticking to the clock. I guess it’s a bit of both and unlike some other alleged German characteristics that I like to distance myself from I will always fly the flag for punctuality. It’s a question of manners, politeness and consideration. There I said it, big words. And it makes life for everyone so much easier. If you can rely on people to show up at a certain place at a certain time, for example, it ensures that everyone involved can actually get on with their lives and not just spend, or rather lose, time waiting for someone who thinks that being 30 minutes late okay. No, it’s not, because I could have done something else with those 30 minutes and I might not have had to stop something else I was doing in order to be on time. It’s rude to let other people wait simply because you think your time is worth more than theirs.

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If you now think you’re detecting aggression in my tone, you’re right. Simply because I am usually on time (or in other words, I hate being late), I have had to wait many times for other people and have built up an intolerance towards the later comers. Now, obviously, there can always be very good reasons for being late, particularly in London where there’s the tube and traffic. I have learnt to accept that 15 minutes after the agreed time is not necessarily late. I have no problem with that.To my own surprise I have even become a bit more relaxed myself. And given that being late is something that makes me feel genuinely uncomfortable and nervous, this is a big step for me. However, I will never really be okay with the situation where someone texts you two minutes before the agreed time saying, 'oh, by the way, I didn’t make it out of the house on time, will be 30 minutes late'. Hello?! I’m already here! Or if the person you’re supposed to meet saunters along, all relaxed and late, without showing any acknowledgement of being late or the concept of time. Coming back to the stereotype, although I have come across

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, 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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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg






London City

GERMANY Brussels






S n acks

Me als


Pap ers



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