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Issue 31 | October 2015

PLUS

MICHAEL STICH GERMAN TENNIS ICON

BIG WEDDING SPECIAL FOCUS ON SAXONY, SAXONY-ANHALT & THURINGIA FASHION, DESIGN & CULTURE

T H E M AG A Z I N E P R O M OT I N G G E R M A N Y, S W I T Z E R L A N D & A U ST R I A


Discover Germany | Contents

Contents OCTOBER 2015

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Michael Stich Nane Steinhoff talks to German tennis icon Michael Stich. Read all about the former Wimbledon champion’s life after putting the racket down (well, almost) and focussing on charity.

58

Architecture & Design Be amazed by the latest exciting architectural projects and the creative minds behind these clever ideas.

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74

Planning My Fabulous Wedding 2016 All you need to know to make the best day of your life absolutely fabulous.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10

12

Hotel of the Month With 140 years of tradition, Hotel Seehof in Swiss Davos is the number one address for luxurious holidays.

Culture A journey through the most charming places not to miss in winter.

Business Legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht explains corporate responsibility. Plus smart energy solutions and great German law firms.

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Culture Calendar Save the date! Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in October.

Wine & Dine Find out where to stay for great hospitality, charming hosts, mesmerising food and great wine.

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84

Fashion Discover the power of red. Seductive, passionate and vibrant, red is the new designer’s darling.

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Design Clever little gadgets and hand-picked design highlights for home and office use.

FEATURES 51

Your Perfect Wedding Newly-wed writer Elisabeth Doehne shares great tips to keep in mind when planning your wedding.

Top Winter Destinations Looking for a great winter holiday retreat? Check out these places for skiing, snowboarding, sledging or just enjoying a relaxing spa time.

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Top Destination of the Month

Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt & Thuringia Discover the beauty and the charm of these three states in the heart of Germany. Now is the time to visit!

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Discover the stunning Glücksburg Castle, which is often referred to as ‘the cradle of European aristocracy’.

SPECIAL THEMES 30

Attraction of the Month The Kunsthalle Mannheim offers an impressive homage to art nouveau and is one of the most respected civic art collections in Germany.

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Barbara Geier This month our columnist Barbara Geier shares her very own opionion about a German tennis hero.

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 3

Gourmet & Spa Hotel Cervosa

COVER FEATURE

Photo: Hotel Seehof

Photo: BombenFest Eventmanagement

art de lux architecture + design


Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 31, October 2015

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 01.10.2015 ISSN 2051-7718

Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Stefan Cameron Vanessa Stromberg

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Cover Photo

Welcome to the October issue of Discover Germany. While all eyes are focussed on the Rugby World Cup here in England, the German speaking regions are completely unaffected by the world’s third-largest sport event. Still, we decided to give this issue a sporty touch. In our star interview the wonderful and incredibly charming tennis icon Michael Stich talks about having won Wimbledon, life in Hamburg and how he tirelessly engages into charitable work.

Action Press/REX Shutterstock

Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Advertising info@discovergermany.com

Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Discover Germany is published by:

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen

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

Editor Tina Awtani Art Director Svetlana Slizova Feature Writer

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

Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor

We also take a closer look at design and architecture this month, presenting fabulous fashion, accessory and product designers as well as renowned architects and their latest projects. Our regional focus takes us to Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia this month, plus we reveal a few top tips for the upcoming winter holidays. If you are planning to tie the knot in 2016, do not miss out on this month’s large wedding special, which is full of inspiration for your big day. There is definitely a lot to get excited about in this issue. Over here, it will be exciting times until 31 October when the finalists will battle it out in Twickenham, the ‘home of Rugby’, and the World Champion 2015 will be announced. Enjoy the magazine!

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Isa Hemphrey Contributors Cornelia Brelowski Stephanie Brink Harck Emmie Collinge Elisabeth Doehne Ina Frank 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

4 | Issue 31 | October 2015

Tina Awtani


Mach dich Fraij!

Albert Dijkman and Mischa Olma are two young creatives that have stepped away from typical rules and conventions to approach woodwork in a fresh and modern way. The company’s Dutch side is expressed by the name Fraij, roughly translated from Dutch as “beautiful, pretty and aesthetically pleasingâ€?. The pair of them have grasped these concepts well. Albert studied Fine Arts in the Netherlands and Mischa has been self-employed as a photographer, designer DQG ÂżOP SURGXFHU PDNLQJ WKHP ERWK SURIHVVLRQDOV LQ WKHLU ÂżHOGV With Fraij they are now designing high-quality furniture and interior concepts for gastronomy, the workplace, shops or simply for private use. By the end of 2015, two full collections will be available via their online store.

The mix of Dutch D steige steigerhout rhoutt dedesign, meaning the use of rough tex tex-tured construction ction planks, together with the Berlin Berlin in metropo litan allu metropolitan allu-re makes makes Fraij Fraijj a v ery unique label. very All products are e handmade from timtimber or recy cled d wood, cre ating inteinterecycled creating resting and rare rare surface structures. In addition to wood,, iron and conconcrete, they use ev arious other mate various mate-rials fro m road road construction and civil from engineering to giv e the fur niture and give furniture lamps an ur ban and rugged look. urban The y oung compan y’s strengths young company’s come from their t refreshing and refreshing creativ e product uct design and their creative modern communication. munication. The two founders ha ve recently formed a have team of y oung, g, talented and momoyoung, tiv ated artists ts and craftsmen. craftsmen. tivated The latest in Fr aij crea tions are Fraij creations presented to customers and ininterested parties parties es in the new BerBerlin showroom,, where customiz ed customized products are being dev eloped for developed both business s and priv ate use. private

www.fraij.com www w.fraij.com


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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Michael Stich

Michael Stich Giving something back to society Former tennis star Michael Stich can look back on an impressive career. Not only known as the only German professional tennis player who has won each German tournament at least once, his portfolio comprises of athletic highlights such as winning the men’s singles title in Wimbledon in 1991. Today, he is choosing a quieter life far off from the spotlight.

Photo: Y Jacobzone

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: CAROLIN THIERSCH I JANN HUSTEDT

Eighteen ATP singles- and nine ATP doubles titles, Olympic doubles champion in 1992, winner of the prestigious Davis Cup in 1993 and of the World Team Cup in 1994 - the list of Michael Stich’s sporting highlights is long. During his sporting career from 1987 until 1997, he has become one of the big names of tennis, but that doesn’t mean that he has his head in the clouds. When we meet him in Hamburg, he comes across as a guy with a down-to-earth attitude who is very thankful for what he has achieved.“I’m really happy that I did things the way that I did them and am entirely content with my path of life,” he smiles. What many don’t know is that Michael Stich never wanted to become a professional tennis player as a child. “I have always loved sports and tennis but never with the goal of making it my job. It was more a product of chance.” What started off as a hobby, soon became a much bigger thing. When he became youth champion in his last year of the youth league, two coaches approached him to suggest giving it a try to play professionally. With the support of Nikola ‘Niki’ Pilic, a retired Croatian professional and former mentor of Novak

Djokovic, Stich's journey started to take its course in the direction of international success. The Wimbledon feeling As a member of Wimbledon, Michael Stich still visits the tournament annually. While Wimbledon has substantially changed since 1991, the tradition and history has remained the same.“The old Court 1 where I won the doubles with John McEnroe in 1992 or the old changing rooms don’t exist anymore but I still love visiting Wimbledon because of the tradition. Thankfully, that special Wimbledon feeling hasn’t changed.” He tells us that other personal career highlights include the ATP World Championship in Frankfurt or winning the Olympic gold medal alongside Boris Becker.“But the most important emotional victory was the one here in Hamburg at Rothenbaum,”Michael explains.That’s why he kept loyal to the International German Open Tennis Championships. Promoting the event and acting as tournament director since 2009, Michael associates almost 40 years of his life with this event.“I’ve visited it when I was a child, have seen big players

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 7


Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Michael Stich

from the audience and have myself played there. The emotional bond is the main reason why I’m still part of it.” Even though it might seem it, tennis doesn’t actually fill that big of a part in Michael’s life anymore. Playing himself very occasionally, he now has other priorities. “I know that many want to see me as a tennis coach and this would appeal to me as regards content.The time requirements, on the other hand, wouldn’t at all. I’ve travelled enough during my career and today, I simply enjoy being home.”Home is Hamburg for him and his wife with which he celebrated his tenth wedding anniversary this summer. Michael is a true North German who was born in Pinneberg, now lives in Hamburg and likes to visit the island of Sylt.“I love the ocean, the people’s mentality and the climate. I have lived in the mountains in Salzburg and yes, the mountains are nice but nothing can replace the North Sea. I simply belong here.” No regrets Today, he spends his time focusing on charity projects such as the Michael Stich Foun-

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dation, which he established in 1994. Raising awareness about HIV and aids, the project seeks to fulfill childrens' everyday life wishes, such as a CD player or a school bag. Conducting prevention work with schools in Hamburg, the foundation sends doctors to schools to talk about HIV and aids. Through this, over 50,000 children were reached in more than 110 schools. “We constantly seek to expand the project and reach more and more schools across Germany. The illness still doesn’t have much significance in our society and children, as well as adults, still get excluded. They still suffer from a deadly disease even though medicine has developed significantly. I want to help these children and make them smile again.” Michael further supports projects for children and teenagers in need, such as TRIBUTE TO BAMBI where he acts as a council member. “It’s important to me that we are aware of our responsibility. I’m so lucky that I can freely divide my time and choose projects myself. I want to give something back to society.” No wonder the list of Michael’s honours is long and includes the Federal Cross of Merit or the 2015 Courage Award.

Portraits: © Carolin Thiersch

We want to know what we can expect of Michael Stich in the future. He laughs: “One shouldn’t expect too much from me as I’m usually a bit below the radar.”Whatsoever, what he wants to do is to work on new projects and events with his foundation. “I want to give full meaning to the projects that I’m doing at the moment. There surely will be future projects which I will want to do but I like to live in the here and now. This is exciting and challenging enough, right?” One personal goal of his, however, is to take a ship to the North Pole to gaze at the polar sea, the northern lights and the impressive nature.“I don’t regret a thing. Maybe I could have won more Grand Slam tournaments or put even more stress on tennis, but in the end I am the person that I am today because I have lived my life the way I did.”


D E S I G N

E N

D É T A I L

www.philippi.com

www.philippi.com


Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... 2

October has arrived and although autumn is one of our favourite seasons with wild windy weather and twirling leaves, the time has come to focus on indoor living. Natural materials are in high demand and especially wooden creations add a warm and sustainable note to our interiors. Check out this month’s hot design picks.

1

EDITOR'S PICKS

Such a clever little companion to keep your mobile charged (if you have to leave the house). New and not much bigger than a credit card, the all-in-one charger for emergencies features clever design and function. £37. www.leitz.com A stylish coat rack is just what is needed now. This 'Scoreboard' model has adjustable wooden pins, that can be placed according to individual needs. £125. www.holzdesignpur.de Forget about dull fruit bowls. Why not make the autumn harvest shine on a wooden display unit? £60. www.werkstatt-design.de Finding decision-making a little tricky? Add a bit of fun and give destiny a chance with the marble-run game decision board. £55. www.country-living.de

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4

A nominee for the German Design Award 2016. Belfakto’s motto is ”when passion takes shape”. We love the Vitox table - it is pure eye-candy. P.o.a. www.belfakto.de

5


Business Class

cases

Your customised presentation case

Air Line series

More information & details about Faisst cases can be found on: www.faisst-cases.com

Faisst GmbH Carl-Benz-Str. 14-16 75217 Birkenfeld/Pforzheim Germany Tel. +49 (0)7231 428089 0 Fax: +49 (0)7231 428089 67 info@faisst-koffer.de


Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Code Red is one of the key trends of the season. The passionate hue comes in all shades from dark burgundy to burnt orange and is ideally worn head to toe – as seen on the catwalks of designers such as Dior or Fendi. If you don’t dare to become a Lady in Red, opt for bright accessories or pick a bold bright red lipstick with matching nail varnish to make the trend work for you. EDITOR’S PICKS | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Kabul-born designer Soraya Azizi lives and works in Hamburg. Combining discreet elegance with effortless functionality, while addressing women who appreciate clarity and perceived value, is her signature style. Blouse £190, trousers £286, jacket £352. www.soraya-azizi.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Now is the time to put sandals and ballerinas into storage and opt for a gorgeous pair of boots. This pair is great for the stormy autumn weather without being too heavy. Boots, £140. www.albamoda.com

The best colours to work with red are black and white. Careful when teaming with other shades as the red should always be the focal point of an outfit. Handbag, £66. www.albamoda.com

An awesome new denim shade that goes perfectly with the new trend is barolo - nearly black with a subtle note of deep burgundy. Jeans, £51. www.zerres.com

This ensemble is another great creation from Azizi’s new winter collection. Blouse/jacket £275, leather pants £990. www.soraya-azizi.com

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Main image & top: © Philip Baske

Essential but special

Above: A E P’s Alpha with Smart Flap in Blended Grey. © F.O. Bags GmbH

A E P (Action Expresses Priorities) is a design and fashion concept which combines innovative functionality with creative design methods. The Cologne-based business offers new approaches for daily challenges while putting sustainability at the core of their doings.

the flexible, contemporary, consciously acting and the active who like to be on the go – just like the team behind A E P. The fall/winter collection 2015 consists of the Alpha Series and the Beta Series in many different colours and sizes. From November onwards, the collection will also include a work bag and a weekender. All products are available online.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: PHILIP BASKE I F.O. BAGS GMBH

“Our bags are talented companions for modern and urban city dwellers whose functionality serves the individual needs of the wearer. Our aspiration is to constantly further develop our products in regards to functionality, sustainability and design,” Sven-Oliver Pink, co-founder, explains. Their designs equip for the constant change towards new lifestyles and working worlds. Today, not everyone works in full-time jobs and more and more people work as freelancers on different projects or let their private passions flow into their professional lives.“We change from leisure time to work and back. We need a smart companion which is able to transport all the things we need during the day. We need to feel comfortable with it whether at a business date in the morning, at lunch with colleagues or in the bar in the evening,”Pink notes. When A E P wasn’t able to find the perfect bag which offered a combination of aes-

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thetics, functionality and sustainability, the brand started to design their own bags. Thus, the distinctive, independent shape and design was born which fulfils many requirements of good, contemporary design: innovation, functionality, aesthetics and transparency. With a special emphasis on sustainability, A E P solely uses the best materials, such as fabrics made out of PETrecycled bottles. Like this, plastic waste finds a whole new utilisation and natural resources are saved. A E P constantly focuses on further improving their products while using the best possible and available materials. “We actively work towards designing our products and the entire production cycle in a more resource-saving and environment-friendly way,”Pink adds. A E P’s bags are a true life companion and a talented assistant for the modern, urban person whose functionality serves the wearer’s individual needs.They’re made for

Below: A E P’s Alpha Classic in Eclipse Blue. © F.O. Bags GmbH

www.aep-studio.com


Discover Germany | Design | Samadelli

Here, individual fashion lovers will find everything they could want – from a casual t-shirt and playful knitted pieces, to smart business suits and chic evening dresses.“At the moment, I really like the short cognaccoloured jacket, which is made out of comfortable cotton stretch,”reveals Samadelli. “You can combine the jacket in a range of different ways, for example to a festive evening occasion or an everyday work outfit. Versatile combination possibilities are really important to us.” Other pieces are established evergreens, such as the label’s popular t-shirt range: “All styles are extremely long lasting and some even come with a double finish.”

Fashionista’s paradise “Everything is in and nothing is out”, reads the motto of Stefania Samadelli and Simone Klemm from Zurich-based fashion label Paradis des Innocents. Their dedicated goal? To encourage women worldwide to wear everything and anything as long as they feel and look good in it.

Even though the designers are working on making certain pieces available on the internet soon, the collection’s availability is currently limited to the label’s flagship store in Zurich as well as a few selected boutiques in Switzerland. However, a Zurich trip would certainly be worth it – not only because of the individual fitting service, as art lover Samadelli assures:“Our shop has a very central location close to the wellknown Bahnhofstrasse. After trying on the various pieces of our collection, you can stroll along the nearby lake or visit one of the fascinating art exhibitions in the city’s many museums.” www.paradisdesinnocents.ch

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: PARADIS DES INNOCENTS

“When compared to the big fashion labels, we are a lot more flexible because most of our designs are produced in Switzerland and a few in Hungary,”Samadelli explains the label’s innovative concept. Back in 1991, Samadelli founded Paradis des Innocents with Simone Klemm. “We also know all our suppliers. This allows us to produce one top-quality collection per season as well as smaller series in-between if there is the demand for it. It is also possible to create a custom-made favourite according to individual wishes. Our design studio is located in the same building as our boutique.”

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The fabulous Flipsters go German What do you do the moment your feet simply won’t endure high heels anymore? Be it while travelling or during a shopping spree in the city - that moment when both your feet and face are turning quickly from high-spirited to unhappy is known only too well to many of us. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

But what is there to do? During the ‘90s, women would bring an extra pair of sneakers: heavy to carry, hardly fitting into your handbag (unless it’s a Birkin) and definitely not attractive. But not to worry, hope is at hand, literally. Origami for shoes sounds a bit daliesque but here they are: stylish shoes, foldable to the size of a drop-shaped etui so slim it fits anywhere during travel or your working day in the city.They come in a variety of wardrobe matching colours and shapes that are fun to wear and pretty to look at. Actually, the stylish case featuring a cool retro design is already a looker. And the size definitely fits easily into your handbag, trolley or wherever you want to keep them close at hand. The secret to comfort lies within the foldable sole: Here, a specific material called EVA, normally used by

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sports shoe manufacturers, ensures extra relief for the foot. The magical shoes had first been spotted by entrepreneur Kevin Klak while travelling in Singapore. Klak and his co-partner Laurent Gachnang together form the Pantara GmbH, a business counselling enterprise. Both are always on the tip of their toes concerning smart new start-up ideas. Following their own motto: “Business plans are for bankers; business models are for founders," they contacted Australian founders Ben Lipschitz and Rick Munitz on the spot and quickly struck the licence deal for the first German language ‘flipsters’ platform.

Over the past two years, Flipsters.ch has literally gained its foothold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The surface is easy to navigate, there are some informative videos on the website, a little history and description of the product and the whole purchasing concept is easy and simplified, with a unified price level and the usual online shopping opportunities and delivery service. Within Switzerland, shipping is free of charge. So if you want to give your feet the opportunity of relief on the spot, at any time of day and wherever you are, you know where to click. www.flipsters.ch/de


“I must admit, that guitar plays so nice and effortless, plus it’s soooo in tune AND intonated, all the way up! Like I have rarely ever encountered! This is the ROLEX within the guitar arena...” - THOMAS NORDEGG - Guitar tech for Steve Vai

R E L I S H G U I TA R S .C O M


Discover Germany | Design | FreiVon.

Transparency is the new sexy Since it has become increasingly important for people to know where their shoes come from, German start-up label FreiVon., literally meaning “free of”, made transparency one of its key values. Here, you can buy shoes and matching care products with a truly good gut feeling.

over Germany. However, you do not need to travel to Germany in order to get your hands on a real FreiVon. shoe.“Our partner Avesu is planning to offer shipping for our FreiVon. shoes to England soon,” reveals Pollinger.“Thus, ordering our shoes will become even more convenient.”

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: FREIVON.

www.freivon-schuhe.de

“We entered the shoe industry by chance,” recalls Paul Pollinger, co-founder and marketing representative at FreiVon. “As we were looking for vegan shoes, we quickly realised that in most cases vegan didn’t equal sustainable or good quality. What was shocking too was the fact that there was hardly any transparency. There was no way for end consumers to find out where their shoes came from. So we decided to change this.” Sarah and Paul Pollinger took a chance at realising their innovative idea for the perfect vegan shoe by putting all hopes into crowdfunding. “It was hard work,” says Pollinger.“But in the end it was definitely worth it.”The result are honest shoes, which are 100 per cent made in Germany using traditional craftsmanship techniques.

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Therefore, every shoe is a truly unique specimen. Furthermore, the production process is completely transparent to the end user. “The customer should be able to keep track of which materials we are using and how the FreiVon. shoes are made,”explains the marketing representative.“This is why we attach a QR code to our shoes. Just scan it and get instant access to all important information about the shoe.” Overall, two creative minds pursue a thoroughly holistic approach with their label.“We just want the best for people, animals and the environment,” stresses Pollinger. Customers that share the love for the alternative concept, can purchase the FreiVon. designs through the label’s own online shop, the online and in-store shoe brand Avesu or selected shoe boutiques all


Discover Germany | Design | Bag to Life

From trash to trendy BAG TO LIFE has made it their task to bring charismatic and authentic materials back to life. Creativity, sustainability and functionality go hand in hand when the label designs their wide range of unique bags and accessories. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: EHRENSACHE GMBH & CO. & HEKTIKPRODUCTIONS, BERLIN

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cycled in the last five years. The idea for BAG TO LIFE emerged on a vacation flight. During the introduction of the safety precautions, Kerstin Rank asked herself what happens with the life jackets after their lifecycles: “We want to demonstrate that a rethinking of our resource demands is fun with clever design and ingenious functionality.” Each BAG TO LIFE is a unicum and as individual as its wearer. Get your own eyecatcher in our prize draw. Simply send the answer to ‘how many kilograms of life jackets were upcycled in the last five years’ to shop@ehrensache.biz by 31 November for your chance to win one of three bags.

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“Some see the trash; we see the trend,” Kerstin Rank, founder and creative director of BAG TO LIFE, explains. The Germanybased label responds to the needs of today’s people and the world with their exceptional upcycling approach. The bags’ outer material is entirely handmade from disposed material of the aviation industry. This means that one can see that the bag has formerly been a life jacket or the pencil holder a mouthpiece. As the aviation industry’s material is known to be highly functional, light and water-repellent, each bag is an ideal companion for daily life adventures. Through this approach, around 119,000 kilograms of trash have been up-

Enter Code (Discover10) at Online-Store www.flipsters.ch - Can not be combined, valid until 31. June 2016 - Nicht kumulierbar, gültig bis 31.Juni 2016


What sweet dreams are made of About one third of our lives are spend in bed. This equals 27 years or just under 10,000 days. Of course, everyone wants to feel good while regenerating and relaxing. With some top-notch pyjamas or silky soft undies by German nightwear and underwear specialist NOVILA, this becomes an easy task. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: NOVILA Below: Lake Titisee

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Founded 1946 in South Germany’s TitiseeNeustadt, NOVILA GmbH can look back on almost 70 years as an independent nightwear and underwear supplier.“Now in our fourth generation as a family-led business, we are proud of the fact that we produce our garments exclusively in our own factories in Titisee-Neustadt and in the Czech Republic,”says Ralph Storz, CEO at NOVILA.“Unfortunately, in our globalised world, we are one of the last nightwear and underwear labels that still produces its garments in Germany. However, this unique advantage has also been our key success factor throughout the years.” Many big brands commission a licence, which means that 20-25 per cent of the licence fees are included in the end prices of their products. As a consequence, these products are either more expensive or significantly worse in quality. “We rather invest in our product


Discover Germany | Design | Novila

mas. They will see and feel the difference straight away.” High ambitions to the last detail “Designing a pyjama that is equally as good looking as it fits, is almost an art,” says Storz. “But this is our goal in everything we do. Our seams, for instance, are a lot finer and feature more stitches per centimetre than those of other brands. This doesn’t only look better, but also makes our garments a lot more durable. Our penchant for perfection also shows in our stitched on pads. Advantages include riskfree ironing, no easy tearing and no breaking of seams.” Another example of NOVILA’s perfect symbiosis of quality and comfort are the label’s woven pyjamas, which are all equipped with a NOVILASoftbund ®. The soft waistband fits perfectly around the body, but at the same time does not cause any pressure that would make the wearer feel uncomfortable. Feel the difference

and offer a much better price-performance ratio,”affirms Storz.“By not commissioning the production of our garments to subcontractors or franchisees, we have full control over the high-end quality of our products and can fulfil special requests from our customers flexibly at any given time.” Nothing less than absolute perfection As a result of keeping the complete production process“at home”, the nightwear for men and women and underwear for men garments all come with the quality labels 'Made in Germany' or 'Made in EU' respectively.“High quality is our lifeblood,” ensures the CEO.“That’s why we do everything to keep it that way. We only use topquality materials and production techniques. In terms of our fabrics, we almost exclusively use natural fibres such as cotton or silk. Through all this, we always stay

true to the traditional processes of exclusive tailoring craftsmanship. This is what sets us apart from the competition.” The brand’s commitment pays off: The high quality, durability and sustainability of NOVILA products can not only be seen but, more importantly, felt on the skin. Fabrics and other materials are obtained exclusively from selected, longstanding partners who are true specialists in their field.“Whether it’s the fabric, the thread, the buttons, the elastic band, the nonwovens, or even the packaging material: if one of these components fails, the quality of the whole product is at risk,”illustrates Storz.“Because our products are so close to the skin, it’s even more important for us not to settle for anything less than the best. We encourage our customers to look at the inside of our pyja-

As an independent brand well established within its industry, NOVILA doesn’t go after trends. Instead, the label is internationally well known for its high-quality underwear and nightwear that all come in the typical fine and classic style. “Hardly any label can make checkered materials into garments that are as pretty and lavish as ours,” says Storz. NOVILA’s most popular items include garments made from 'Voile-Satin', a classic pyjama fabric, which is featured in the high-quality nightwear series for both men and women. Male customers really like the 'Natural Comfort' underwear. Made from 100 per cent Egyptian cotton, which is cleaned and spun in Switzerland and afterwards knitted in Germany, the naturally high quality of the fine interlock is upgraded according to the newest OEKOTEX-standards. The result is a strikingly soft fabric, that fits smoothly around the body and features a luxurious silky touch. www.novila.de

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Faisst Cases

Made in Germany

A case full of tricks Since 1963 Faisst have long stood for innovation merged with tradition and their road to success continues. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

The safe transport of valuable items through the Black Forest in the past always proved a big challenge due to the narrow trails and passes over mountains and valleys. But the inhabitants of the region were not to be defeated and, being a deft and practical people, developed special pack frames to transport fragile and unique items, from cuckoo clocks to glass-blown art. “Due to globalisation and the increased mobility of business people the demand for quality suitcases to transport precious goods has grown,”says CEO Markus Bächtold.“Over 50 years ago founder Karl Faisst recognised the market’s demand and

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started the professional development of business suitcases.”

Top quality, contemporary design in line with their brand and the execution of individual requirements make their suitcases outstanding. The extensive knowledge and innovative development processes of Faisst make them perfectly equipped to fulfil extravagant customer requests.

The ingredients for success Their diversity, the variety and the human element make Faisst cases much more attractive than their competitors. Bächtold adds:“Our suitcases are 100 per cent made in Germany, in our factory in the Black Forest. A modern manufacturing facility with highly qualified specialists ensures the perfect made-to-measure production of our quality cases. All the details of our business cases, such as profile, corners and surface are developed by our creative design team until they are ready for production.”

Alu Light Series


Discover Germany | Design | Faisst Cases

alised logo printing to meet the exacting standards of the most discerning customers. The ‘Alu Light’ series is the most appreciated by sales representatives. It has robust profiles and resilient metal corners.The resistant reef surface in trendy colours, and optional digital print offers a great variety for the individualisation of the cases. A trusting relationship with customers Whilst technology and innovation have taken Faisst a certain distance in the market, the true key to their success is the way in which the business has interacted with its customer base. “We listen, advise and put into practise. It is our goal to always find the best possible solution for our customers. That is why we seek a comprehensive exchange with the customers in order to recognise and then realise their needs. The insights gained from these conversations, together with our customer-oriented support, the choice of suitable materials and the skilled production lead to the foundations for a long-lasting and trusting relationship,” Bächtold says.

Innovative and recognisable design Of utmost importance is the autonomy of the designs of the series and the recognition factor of the suitcases. Clear lines, the profile and the surfaces of the suitcases in Faisst’s typical wave design are the characteristics of success. “Being innovative when it comes to manufacturing, the materials used and the design elements of each case create our particular unique selling points,” says Bächtold. The hard shell cases ‘Vario Case’ and ‘Airline’ each embody Faisst’s brand with their innovative design and resilient shells created with impact-resistant synthetic materials. The series ‘Cargo Air’ is around 25 per cent lighter than compatible cases on the market due to its sandwich technology, whilst the ‘Vario Case’ offers a presentation case that comes with customised inserts and person-

The six-step process from initial consultation, through briefings and rendering, to ensure that the customer is getting exactly the product that they require, and then the final checks to make sure that the product is 100 per cent error-free, delivered on time and to the satisfaction of the customer.

“As a family-run company we tend to think in generations, and sustainability in our corporate policy is second nature.” Since Karl Faisst started the company in 1963, Faisst has been in the family and now sons Michael and Thomas Faisst are in charge with their father having retired in 2002. Faisst continues to grow strongly with the company joining the Kling group in 2010 and moving to new facilities in Birkenfeld, it is poised to continue its success and only recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. Bächtold ends remarking:“One of our goals is to grow the business. On our path forward we would like to become market leaders in Germany as well as generate new market shares in Europe. Our sales team already has a strong international bias and our website is available in four languages.” While that original journey was one fraught with danger, the skill and innovative thinking of Karl Faisst ensured that the travelling salesman could bring his products to market safely. In the modern era with his sons at the helm, a seasoned and highly skilled workforce, and an effective unique link between customer and manufacturer, Faisst are once again leading the way with technology, innovation and skill at the heart of their process. www.faisst-cases.com

Alu Briefcase series

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 23


So much more than just a bracelet Bracelet brand HIRSCH ships its superior products from Klagenfurt in Austria to retailers and watchmakers around the globe. Now, the family-owned business reveals the secrets behind 250 years of ground-breaking success. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: HIRSCH ARMBÄNDER GMBH

Founded in 1765, high-quality leather working has always been at the heart of the family-owned business that is also known as the trusted partner of the high-profile Swiss watchmaking industry. Now in its eighth generation, CEO Robert Hirsch continues the company’s tradition of constantly striving for improvement and actively contributing to new developments in the industry. Thus, these days the traditional leather comes with some modern tweaks and add-ons. “Today, comfort is just as important as a pretty outer appearance,” explains Birgit Nicolelli-Fulgenzi-Laßnig, manager for corporate communication at HIRSCH. “Therefore, we only use materials that are soft and pleasant to wear. In addition to leather, our range includes our very own caoutchouc mix as well as technically intriguing textiles.” This approach led to the innovative HIRSCH Performance Collection. Introduced in 2014, it combined the “best of

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both worlds” – leather and caoutchouc – and thus created a completely new and unique product. The Performance Collection instantly enthused both the international specialised trade as well as the watch industry and even won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award for Product Design out of 5,000 submissions. One of the bestsellers among this collection is the‘Duke’. A classic Italian calfskin leather bracelet with natural-looking alligator embossing, a semimat surface and a pleasant Softglove lining leather, the ‘Duke’ is always in season. For those who would like a‘Duke’or other ‘Performance’ style themselves, there is good news: It has never been easier to get your hands on a true HIRSCH. All products of the HIRSCH brand can be purchased from over 16,000 leading jewellers, their online shops and a selection of additionally certified online stores in 85 countries worldwide.“Through our British subsidiary, our bracelets are also available in the UK,”

states the corporate communication manager and adds with a smile:“We often hear that our British customers really appreciate our high-quality products. Such feedback makes us happy.” www.hirschag.com

Top: Viscount Alligator, alligator skin (left) Lucca, textured leather (middle) Ayrton, textured leather (right)


Discover Germany | Design | Habibi Plush

Heartwarming and absolutely adorable Passionate about warmth and cuddles, Habibi Plush conquered the hearts of young and old around the world with their microwavable bedtime warmers in the form of cute stuffed animals, heatable slippers and body warmers. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: HABIBI PLUSH

Ten years ago Susanne Spachtholz sold traditional millet filled warming cushions from a stall on Munich’s Christmas market. A little girl passed by and asked about stuffed animals. “That sparked the idea and we started creating classic teddy bears,” the company founder recalls. When she travelled to Dubai, she picked up the Arabic word habibi, which means friend, and found the perfect name for the fluffy companions. Today Habibi Plush is an internationally renowned and growing family business, which relies on traditional values and high quality. Mass production is out of the question and every single product is certified and repeatedly tested in compliance with European standards, making

Habibi Plush safe to use for children under the age of 36 months. Cute dogs, sweet mammoths and now even rainbow-coloured dragons with the most adorable faces add warmth to tiny bellies and help the little ones to find sweet dreams.“Just put them into the microwave for 90 seconds or heat them in the oven for ten minutes and a wonderful relaxing scent of lavender, jasmine, lemon grass and vanilla makes the Habibis ready to be cuddled, caressed and loved,” Spachtholz explains. An original Habibi stays warm for up to one and a half hours and then comfortably remains at body temperature.

The Habibi Plush product family conquered the hearts of many over the years and Spachtholz fondly talks about incoming fan mail. “We often receive photos from children in hospitals with a Habibi on their side, saying how much comfort they find in the presence of their warm little friends. On another occasion we received a letter from a woman who gave a Habibi cat to her mother who suffers from dementia.The cat appears to have a very calming effect on the old lady, who keeps it on her lap stroking the warm animal for hours.” In fact the Habibi product family is by far not limited to children’s rooms. Comfortable slippers are perfect to keep the feet warm on a cold winter day and body warmers for neck, back and other areas are ideal to help relieving pain from sore joints and muscles. www.habibi-plush.de

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 25


Two guys and one guitar It isn’t surprising to many that Switzerland is well-known for the art of watchmaking. However, two childhood friends from Lucerne have made it their task to show the international community that Swiss precision and quality can also be found in other products. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: RELISH BROTHERS AG

Pirmin Giger and Silvan Kueng have been music lovers and passionate guitar players since their early youth and have been practicing their skills together for a long time. When Pirmin finished his apprenticeship as a carpenter, he started a degree in industrial design. Silvan studied business administration, followed by years in marketing and sales positions. Friends for over 15 years, Pirmin and Silvan stayed in close contact and decided to make a living with what they love most.“In 2011 Pirmin showed me his first prototype of a guitar called ‘Jane’ which he built at Marco Guitars Workshop.

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After that, she got some great responses and we decided to develop 'Jane' to its marketability. In the end, we founded our own start-up company in 2013,”Silvan smiles. It’s about passion With a product development period of three and a half years, their innovative e-guitar ‘Jane’ is a worthy continuation of Adolph Rickenbacker’s legacy.The Swiss-American was born in Basel and co-founded the eguitar in 1931. Now, it’s time for Pirmin and Silvan to write Swiss e-guitar history with a fresh approach. Rebellious and exclusive,

highly innovative and stunning – these are the adjectives that best describe e-guitar ‘Jane’. With its exceptional design, construction, as well as materials used, their product sets new standards after 60 years of e-guitar making history.“We have set ourselves ambitious goals,” Pirmin says. This can be seen, felt and, of course, heard. Right in line with the Swiss watchmaker tradition, the two Swiss guys have put their emphasis on precision and excellence. ‘Jane’ is available in ash, walnut or cherry wood.The guitar’s fretboard is made of sustainable bamboo. Impressing with an exceptionally beautiful, elegant and sleek design, it sports an aluminium frame and a smooth natural wood finish. Despite an outstanding look,‘Jane’also“features a different composition than common e-guitars as‘Jane’s’body consists of three layers,”


Discover Germany | Design | Relish Brothers

and the design are one of a kind. You need to hold a ‘Jane’ by yourself, touch the chords and enjoy the sound.” Another innovative detail about‘Jane’is the sensors which provide a new way to handle the pickups.“No normal threeway-switch has been used to select between the pickups. Rather we have integrated a smooth touch-sensor system,” Silvan smiles. Thus, to turn the pickups on or off, one can simply touch the sensor. Hidden beneath the wood veneer, it allows to mute the guitar without turning off the volume control. Small LED-lights even show whether the pickup is switched on or off. What makes ‘Jane’ stand out even more is that users can easily access the guitar’s insides while simply taking the back off. ‘Jane’s’ back panel is attached with magnets and therefore all electronics are easily accessible.

world with‘Playing for Change’with Keith Richards or U2. Thomas Nordegg, one of the most famous guitar techs for famous artists, such as SteveVai, mentioned: ”That guitar plays so nicely and effortlessly, plus it’s so in tune and intonated! This is the ROLEX within the guitar arena.” No wonder the Relish Brothers AG have made it into the TOP 100 STARTUP AWARD 2014 and thus belong to the most innovative from over 100,000 young Swiss companies. For those interested,‘Jane’ can be bought at selected dealers, can be directly ordered at their website and is shipped worldwide. www.relishguitars.ch

Main image: ‘Jane’ stands for Swiss precision and excellence Left: An innovative touch-sensor system was integrated (top) ‘Jane’ comprises of a sound-optimising sandwich structure (middle) Connectors inside the guitar (bottom) Below: Three different colours are available (top) Designed, produced and assembled in Lucerne (bottom)

Their goal

according to Silvan. While the middle layer is framed with aluminium, the front and back layer is made of wood veneer. Due to this sandwich construction and the combination of materials and innovative design, a new electric guitar experience has been created. The outcome of this sound-optimised structure is an unbelievably warm and vibrant sound which can even be felt on the top and bottom side of the moulded wood veneer. Pirmin notes:“’Jane’s’ sound is unique.The resonance, the tone richness

All of their guitars are designed, produced and assembled in Relish’s workshop in Lucerne. With a high degree of handiwork, most guitar parts are from Switzerland while some are delivered from high-quality producers from abroad. “We seek to create guitars that music enthusiasts will desire, purchase and be proud of,”Pirmin says. Silvan adds:“We want to create some kind of community where our fresh design and new approach inspires. We want that people say‘the guitar almost plays by itself, I have gotten my inspiration back’.” ‘Jane’ stands for Swiss quality, innovation and passion. Many artists have already recognised the guitar’s great potential. An example is Aloe Blacc’s guitar player Joel van Dijk.‘Jane’can also be found in the famous Capital Studios and is touring the

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 27


Discover Germany | Design | Etiqueta Blanca

A lifelong love of luxurious wool Since its foundation in 2009 in Hamburg, Etiqueta Blanca stands for high-quality products made out of alpaca wool. The woman behind the idea of bringing the luxurious wool from the Andes to Germany is Eliana Strohbach. Born and raised in Cusco amidst the Peruvian Andes, she is thoroughly familiar with alpaca breeding and traditional wool harvesting and processing. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ELFRIEDE LIEBENOW I FLAVIO HERMOZA I URIEL MONTUFAR

“Alpacas have fascinated me since I was a child,” Eliana Strohbach, founder of Etiqueta Blanca, smiles. She adds: “When I came to Germany 30 years ago, the wish to give people an understanding of alpacas and their exceptional wool remained.” Thus, she decided to create her own business to combine her passions for Europe and South America and to give the traditional Peruvian alpaca products a new, modern look. Today, her product range offers everything from accessories, wool for knitting, blankets and knitted goods to basics for the cold winter, such as scarves, hats, gloves, wrist warmers or non-size tops such as ponchos or capes.“My products are different and timeless. My designs are coined by my life in Germany and thus, aren’t entirely linked to traditional Peruvian handicraft. I prefer to use softer colours,” Eliana explains.

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With its exceptional quality, alpaca wool impresses with a wearing comfort like no other. Much softer than sheep or cotton wool, the natural product is lowmaintenance and comprises of natural temperature regulation. Etiqueta Blanca’s products are also 100 per cent sustainable and support the Peruvian alpaca economy. “I have direct contact to producers, families, women, shepherds and knitters in Peru. I know everyone personally and we guarantee that we don’t work with children,”Eliana notes. Solely importing the wool or products directly from Peruvian small producers, Etiqueta Blanca seeks to improve the situation of local families and to preserve the unique handicraft culture of Peru.“Especially the women of traditional shepherd families receive a safe livelihood through the cooperation,” Eliana adds.

As a direct importer, Etiqueta Blanca can guarantee fair conditions and has full control over the wool’s quality.“Through the direct contact with the producers combined with omitting intermediary trade, our prices are relatively cheap compared to competitors despite the high quality,”Eliana notes. Registered as a brand in Germany and Peru, Etiqueta Blanca carries the Peruvian government’s official certificate ‘Brand Peru’. Etiqueta Blanca’s products are exhibited on trade fairs, in museums, in the label’s showroom in Hamburg or can be ordered over the website via email.An online shop is planned. www.etiquetablanca.de Portrait: Founder Eliana Strohbach.


Discover Germany | Design | Krippenwelt

Unique nativity scenes from all over the world The Krippenwelt in Switzerland’s Stein am Rhein is a very special place. Showcasing a diverse collection of nativity scenes, this museum is truly something else. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: KRIPPENWELT

The shop gives the opportunity to bring a nativity scene home and maybe start your own family collection.There are also special exhibitions such as Nativity scenes by Roberto Cipollone (CIRO) from Tuscany. The museum’s bistro is a lovely location to have some coffee and cake, but it can also be booked for dinners or various other events. The popular Christmas dinners sell out quickly and guests are advised to book early in advance. Krippenwelt offers much to explore and is certainly a museum of the unusual kind, perfect for visitors who are looking for something a little special. www.krippenwelt-ag.ch

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

What started as the private collection of the Hartl family in Munich, has turned into a professional museum set in a historical house run by Monika Amrein and Alfred Hartl. The Krippenwelt, which means 'world of nativity scenes', displays around 500 nativity scenes from over 100 countries. It is not only the materials that vary, from wood and bast fibre, to stone and glass, but also the individual cultural interpretations. It is fascinating to see one scene being portrayed in so many different and creative ways. Some are more unusual, some seem more familiar. Open all year round, the museum is an attractive destination for group trips and offers various guided tours.

Giant sized and cuddly

“For children only the best is good enough” www.steiff.com


Special Theme

Architecture & Design

Think global, act local With over 400 implemented projects, architectural office baumschlager eberle counts towards one of the successful architecture firms in an international context. Since its foundation in 1985, an exceptional business approach and unusual vision make them stand out from competitors. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: BAUMSCHLAGER EBERLE I EDUARD HUEBER, ARCHPHOTO

“We don’t see ourselves as visionaries. Instead, we seek to assume responsibility for society,”Tim-Philipp Brendel, partner and manager of baumschlager eberle’s offices in Hamburg and Vienna, explains. Thus, baumschlager eberle put special emphasis on sustainability, while their foremost goal is to work in a resource-saving way so that economic sustainability for places is achieved. “Our buildings should last into the future and should be able to be used flexibly,”Brendel adds.Their concept, which combines direct, practical value with user wishes and cultural sustainability leaves

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enough leeway to realise aesthetic visions and to live the passion of designing. A measure that effectively strengthens the brand baumschlager eberle is their decentralised organisational structure. Even though baumschlager eberle comprises of ten different autonomous offices in Europe (Lustenau, Vaduz, Vienna, St. Gallen, Zurich, Berlin, Paris, Hamburg), China (Hong Kong) and Vietnam (Hanoi) with over 140 employees, the different architects put special emphasis on intensive teamwork and exchanging ideas across borders.

Main image: Project 2226 in Austria’s Lustenau. Top: Interior of project 2226 in Austria’s Lustenau. Above left: Villa Kloser in Los Angeles. Above right: The Maison du Savoir in Belval. Photos: © Eduard Hueber, archphoto

“The presence of our offices builds an understanding for the local cultural framework conditions and for the specific needs of the client,” Brendel notes. At the same time, the knowledge of each individual location is processed in a way so that it can be applied at all other offices. Each office therefore has the entire group knowledge and is able to position itself perfectly in the geographically allocated market. Architecture that lasts Since foundation in 1985, baumschlager eberle have grown to offer everything from single family homes to administration buildings, hospitals, airports or urban development projects. Project 2226 in Austria’s Lustenau and its constructional and energy-related foundations sum up the extensive know-how


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

From left to right: Prof. Dietmar Eberle, president of baumschlager eberle; Tim-Philipp Brendel, CEO and partner at be Hamburg and be Vienna; Anne Speicher, CEO and partner at be Paris; Elmar Hasler, CEO and partner at be St. Gallen; Sabrina Contratto Ménard, CEO and partner at be Zurich. Photos: © baumschlager eberle

about sustainability baumschlager eberle were able to build up over the last 30 years. As the building has no heating, ventilation or cooling system, the flow of energy is controlled by human hand. The stone building with high-ceilinged rooms needs little grey energy and elementary architectural means are used to create a sense of well-being. A 72-centimetre brick outer layer ensures efficient insulation and deep windows reduce the heat input. Attached vents on the inside are controlled by sensors to provide a pleasant room climate.

baumschlager eberle’s first project in the USA, ‘Villa Kloser’, is also a personal one. Because Dietmar Eberle is a childhood friend of film composer, scriptwriter and producer Harald Kloser, he built him a contemporary housing complex on an area of land of 6,660 square metres on the exclusive hills over Los Angeles.The architectural office managed to create a serpentine-like arranged ensemble of several houses with different functions so that it offers space for living, relaxation and working with an exceptional panoramic view.

With their hospital AZ Groeninge in Belgium’s Kortrijk, another prime example of architecture has been created. The giant 144,000-square-metre complex appears discreet and was successfully integrated into a park-like setting. A system of five interconnected blocks enables the massive property to be broken down into appropriately sized units which simplifies the internal organisation. The two-storey reception radiates spaciousness and the interior continuously refers to the outdoor space. An urban structure of great diversity has been created which is open but not exposed.

Another project is called‘Maison du Savoir’. The building for the University of Luxembourg in Belval is the communications centre where the general infrastructure, such as lecture halls, seminar rooms and restaurants are combined. The ‘house of knowledge’ with its 18 floors impresses with a subjective impression of floating which is created by truss structures, cantilevered out from the cores from the second floor upwards. In response to the architects’vision, both two-story auditoriums float above the ground on the corners of the horizontal wing.

The VIE Skylink in the airport of ViennaSchwechat provides the growing service city with a centre to absorb passenger flows in a new building. An elegantly curved structure now connects the new gateway to the skies directly to the existing Terminal 2.Two piers provide parking positions airplanes. The corresponding terminal with a floor area of 76,000 square meters houses 72 check-in counters, shops and lounges, as well as direct access to the parking garages and the underground train station. Neutrality of use and flexibility were the central design principles. The architects created an open structure which makes the new 'Skylink' more than a mere transitional area. It seems no wonder that baumschlager eberle have been awarded numerous international awards, while their list of awards for zero energy projects is extensive. Exceptional architecture combined with a trustworthy team of professionals who listen and address clients’needs make baumschlager eberle the perfect partner when it comes to architecture. www.baumschlager-eberle.com

Left: The VIE Skylink in the airport of Vienna-Schwechat Right: Hospital AZ Groeninge in Belgium’s Kortrijk Photos: © Eduard Hueber, archphoto

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 31


A colourful fusion The whole is more than the sum of its parts. That proverb is bound to be proven true once again, now that three major German architectural offices have joined forces in a bold new undertaking. Wilford Schupp Architekten, zsp architekten | peter vorbeck and Siggi Wernik have fused their talents into ORANGE BLU building solutions, a brand of international significance. “We can do more than just change something – we strive to make a difference!” TEXT: BENEDIKT MEININGER & LEILA STROETMANN | PHOTOS: MANFRED STORCK, ROLAND HALBE, CHRISTIAN RICHTERS, SIGGI WERNIK, BRIGIDA GONZALES, PETER DE RUIG, DENNIS GILBERT

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At the core of ORANGE BLU is the brilliance of consolidated and creative competence in project management and cutting-edge digitalisation of the architectural profession.“Creativity is orange. Processes are blue”, reads their motto. Encapsulated in the metaphoric statement lies a vivid energy. “The fusion is a substantial decampment with a clear concept,” the new


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

leaders say. Hard facts and numbers are to be coupled with creativity, along the guidelines of project management and spearheading technology in architectural digitalisation. The traditions of each of the three contributing offices are diverse and internationally visible. Their planning excellence evolved from a push-comes-to-shove attitude in regard to Stuttgart’s Cultural Mile, the character of which was largely coined by the team. The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart – already having been declared a cultural landmark of eminent importance, the Music Academy and the Museum of History are all three monumental architectural statements that the team has created in this culturally renowned area in Stuttgart – “the German capital of architecture,” as Schupp says. A consortium of 50 creative heads at ORANGE BLU are prepared to cater to an array of needs from the client. International references demonstrate both an excellence in planning, as well as the ability to create lasting design statements. Industrial and commercial projects stand side by side next to educational and civic buildings. Distinguished and representative structures, such as the historical‘King of England’administration building at Schillerplatz in Stuttgart, have been respectfully renovated. Complex masterplans have been continuously carried out over the years for faithful and prominent clients, such as B. Braun’s Melsungen in Germany and Campus 2 in Penang, Malaysia. Furthermore, residential areas in Stuttgart and Munich have been conceptualised and realised, creating vibrant, urban, living places. The achievements of ORANGE BLU range from new embassies in Berlin to a local kindergarten in a Stuttgart city district. That is to say – it is not about what endeavour is on the plate, the importance lies merely in how it performs.

architecture actually tears down walls; the walls that prevent smart processes,” he states, alluding to the technology hiding behind the acronym BIM, which stands for ‘building information modelling’. The method allows users to control the organisation, procurement and relevant information necessary in the planning and building process. BIM deals with digitalisation in an all-encompassing approach, in which the physical, as well as functional, properties can be displayed in both a tabulated and three-dimensional form, allowing the networked users to better coordinate various disciplines. Peter Vorbeck brings from his experience, as partner at zsp architekten, the awareness of investors having become sensitive to sustainable building in terms of energy consumption and the ageing of a building with dignity. The topic of sustainability is one that ORANGE BLU takes seriously, working closely together with the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen). “We can do more than just change something – we strive to make a difference!” – a statement that makes it clear that ORANGE BLU emerges as a colourful fusion, a new force, charged and brimming with energy. With the complimenting colours of experienced hands forming an alliance with fresh blood, it's full speed ahead and together they are gaining momentum to continue the tradition of creating inspiring architecture around the globe. www.orangeblu.com

Main image: Kulturmeile in Stuttgart Opposite: King of England (left) Swabian Gallery (middle) Indian Embassy (right)

Also coming in to play at ORANGE BLU is the expertise of Siggi Wernik, a renowned specialist in the proliferating field of BIM. “The time has come that groundbreaking

Right, from top: State Gallery and Haus der Geschichte British Embassy in Tbilisi Gatehouse Haus der Geschichte (bottom left) Peace Palace in The Hague (bottom right)

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 33


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

Tailored solutions for every need Munich-based architects Alexander Bauer, David Reichert and Alexandra Seitz don’t have a signature style that defines their work. Instead, creativity is just as much king as the customer.

to the adequacy of the creative means as well as the economic efficiency.” Fresh, award-winning ideas

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: BAUER KURZ STOCKBURGER & PARTNER

“Rather than restricting our architectural creativity to a particular style, we are open to new developments and influences,”explains Alexander Bauer, one of three managing directors and chartered engineers at Bauer Kurz Stockburger & Partner, when asked to define his architectural signature style.“This is because every building project that we carry out represents an individual solution and is thoroughly unique. Our aim is to offer the people spending time in our constructions a pleasant, communicative and friendly atmosphere. This atmosphere should be free from unnecessary constraints as they may occur from self-deter-

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mined requirements such as symmetry, grid structure or certain submission principles. When we look at the requirements of our client and determine what’s needed for the project, we always pay particular attention

One example of such a project is the brand new construction of the Ernst-Barlachschool in Munich.“The main challenge we faced were the partly handicapped pupils on one hand and the requirements set by the city council on the other,”remembers Bauer. “Aside from the primary and secondary


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

team with all project participants, we managed to create the school’s campus within a very tight schedule and without exceeding the set budget,”says Bauer.The result was a modern school building that features convenient technical facilities and even received the prestigious Heinze ArchitektenAWARD. Old ideas get new power

schools, the small piece of land had to cater for a traffic zone that could host the transport services of the pupils with restricted mobility.”To solve the space issue, the architects positioned an extended coach lane in the basement of the building. This allowed for a transparent entry level that could even host a nursery and several traffic-free open spaces.The heart of the school premises is a huge airy space that connects all levels of the building. Aside from the usual staircases and lifts, there is a ramp which allows wheelchair users to move around independently and to communicate with each other wherever they are within the building. Another project, which allowed Bauer and his team to prove their skills when it comes to new and efficient buildings, was the local grammar school in the Munich suburb of Grünwald. “While working together as a solution-focused

In addition to brand new school buildings, the talented engineers also know how to turn a building that has clearly seen better days into an efficient construction that can bring joy for many generations to come. An example is the restoration of a listed living and office building in Munich that was originally designed by German architect Sep Ruf. Built in 1952 to ease the housing shortage at the time, the house was now showing severe weather-related damages on the concrete building parts and structures. The decline also showed on the balconies, which were of particular importance to the overall appearance of the building. “The challenges were to reconstruct the former elegance of the building on one hand and to permanently improve the overall building structure on the other,” says Bauer about the successful renovation.“I believe that in the future we will be increasingly faced with the question of whether to renovate an existing building or to construct a completely new building from scratch.”

More to come At the beginning of the year, the company increased the number of its managing directors to three. In order to stay competitive, the creative minds at Bauer Kurz Stockburger & Partner also continuously optimise their workflow operations.“In the near future, all data of our planning processes will be collected, combined and cross-linked by a BIM (Building Information Modelling) system,”reveals Bauer.“The building databank in place will optimise the planning process due to all participants having access to the current status of a project.” Bauer, who has gained some international architecture experiences while working in a London architectural office after graduating from university, would also be happy to expand his office’s solutions beyond Germany. “An international project gives you a unique insight into other cultures, societies and climates,” he says.“A project abroad has so far been missing in our portfolio as no opportunity has arisen until now. But you never know, due to the dynamic nature of our profession this may change tomorrow.” www.bks-partner.de Main image & left: Berufsschulzentrum, Riesstraße Top middle: Restoration project, Theresienstraße Middle: Ernst Barlach School, Munich Portrait: David Reichert, Alexandra Seitz and Alexander Bauer (from left to right) Below: Gymnasium Grunwald

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 35


Axthelm Rolvien architects Outstanding architecture shapes Germany’s capital Annette Axthelm and Henner Rolvien are stars in Berlin’s architectural scene. Their design-shaped studios, hotels and office buildings as well as living spaces, new buildings and historic landmarks. Sure instincts and the understanding that architecture is more than simply creating an outer shell are key to their work. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Our architecture is the result of passion, attention to detail and communication,” architects Annette Axthelm and Henner Rolvien say. Especially concerning housing, architecture not only has to create living spaces, but room for creativity, imagination and a client’s wishes and dreams. Axthelm and Rolvien are experienced architects, having worked in this field for more than 25 years. To combine their knowledge and to offer clients a wider portfolio, in 2010 they founded a joint architecture office in Berlin. Today Axthelm Rolvien Architekten GmbH & Co. KG employs a team of 40 experi-

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enced architects, covering all building stages from planning to implementation. The office’s headquarter is in the historic Siemensvilla, a 1930s listed building in Potsdam better known as ‘Landhaus Köttgen’,


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

named after its former owner. After the Second World War it became a guesthouse for GDR state-owned film companies, then was used by the University of Potsdam, before architect Annette Axthelm took notice of the building desperately in need of repair. The team renovated the villa from scratch without destroying its original historic character. Committed to renovate listed buildings and monuments With great dedication both architects and their team have renovated more than 50 historic buildings in recent years. The ‘Römischer Hof’situated at Berlins number one promenade ‘Unter den Linden’is only one example.The building had been one of the last war ruins before Axthelm Rolvien architects took on the project, revitalising it with great love for detail and deliberately closed the war damage with a glass and steel façade. In 2007 the building was nominated for the MIPIM-Award. Not far away from the‘Römischer Hof’, another building features the handwriting of Annette Axthelm and Henner Rolvien: The restaurant ‘Berlin Moskau’ is a rather exceptional place situated in an administrative building of the German Bundestag. Freerunning staircases, mounted bridges and architectural eye catchers shape the dining area.“The perfection of this project proves that not the size but the challenge is crucial,”the architects say. Respecting and integrating clients’ wishes is always key. Another building project shaping the Berlin cityscape is ‘DAS STUE’. During the con-

version of the former Danish embassy into a five-star hotel, the architects worked together with the responsible Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments.The building neighbours the Berlin Zoo and has been nearly doubled in size with a sculptured annex. A unique photo concrete façade connects the historic natural stone building with modern building materials used for the extension. In 2013 ‘DAS STUE’ was awarded Design Hotel of theYear and today is one of the city’s best hotels. Media buildings Berlin is not only Germany’s political but also the unofficial media capital. Annette Axthelm, a household name when it comes to media architecture, was for example responsible for the new broadcasting centre of SAT.1. Radio studios and newsrooms for Deutschlandradio followed. The most important work for German media so far was designing the new television studio for public broadcaster ZDF in Mainz.

inside and outside design. Wide openings and creative glazing – bordering on the impossible – shape the façade. Two other Axthelm Rolvien objects play with light and a sculpture-like appearance as well: Living 108 and B.Nau. Next to inner city housing the architects also work on restoring and building private villas. Among others they have built a travertine villa at the Griebnitzsee, focusing on a high-quality interior. For Axthelm and Rolvien architecture does not end with a building’s outer appearance but also includes interior design and furnishing. Straightforwardness and functionality determine their architectural language, combining all elements in a consistent concept. Axthelm Rolvien architects today work internationally, currently in China, India and Azerbaijan.They are for example building a technology centre in Chongqing, China, and a new media centre in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.

Residential buildings and private villas Especially concerning housing crises in European metropolises, residential constructions have become quite important – for residents but also for architects developing creative new inner city living spaces. Currently the architects at Axthelm Rolvien work on concepts for 100,000 square metres of housing. In central Berlin they have just realised the project LUX Berlin, a residential building in walking distance from the Brandenburg Gate. Here the architects worked around the idea of bringing light into the building, using this concept for the

The office’s innovative ideas and designs originate in a zest for life and perfection, the desire to responsibly shape the future. In short:“Architecture is an imagined future.” www.axthelm-rolvien.de

Mian image: Das Stue, Berlin. Photo: Das Stue Opposite: Berlin Moskau. Photo: Christian Gahl (left) Römischer Hof. Photo: Hiepler Brunier (right) Below: LUX, Berlin. Photo: Christian Gahl (left) Villa am See Potsdam. Photo: Christian Gahl (middle) ZDF, Mainz. Photo: Christian Gahl (right)

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 37


22quadrat / experiment stille / atelier, studio, büro / konzept, interieur design, umbau & filmische dokumentation (tag der architektur 2014) / Osnabrück / Germany / 2012 – 2014

Creating spaces that connect 22quadrat is a creative, ambitious and already well-established studio for spatial design, visual communication and corporate culture. The interdisciplinary and international studio is dedicated to visualising company and stationary cultures, designing offices, fair booths and creating living and private spaces.

Holistic approach and creating good design

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: 22QUADRAT

Design aims to give meaning to what surrounds us. The form and matter of things reflect a purpose that only good, intuitive and holistic design can communicate. Building on this philosophy, the design studio 22quadrat believes that the conscious design of spaces and atmospheres helps companies or institutions to express their values, culture and goals.

Atmosphere and spaces Located in the German city of Osnabrück, the studio employs eight highly skilled and professional designers, artists, interior designers, architects, landscape architects and philosophers. Together, they develop innovative solutions as one of the most forward-thinking design and communication studios in the country.

“22quadrat’s unique design services and products enhance peoples’ and companies’ quality of life, their working cultures, their wholeness and balance in their daily lives,” explains the studio.“Good design is meant to be accessible to everyone – no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do.”

In 2005, the studio was started as a loose association of artists. Three years later, 22quadrat was officially founded with the goal to develop spaces – based on absolute simplicity – that evoke meaning and make people feel in touch with their surroundings. Their deeply held beliefs are mirrored in their

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lofty studio room's display of purist, holistic and creative aesthetics – striking a balance between a minimalistic approach, atmospheric density, pureness and functionality.

All of their work is unique and draws on a number of influences and disciplines of


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

thought, including graphic design, communication, marketing, liberal arts and humanities. Their products and services range from interior design, graphic design, orientation systems, artistic intervention, and film, to analysing corporate and mediate cultures and making spaces more intuitive and communicative. Throughout the creative process, the team relies on their artistic know-how and creative and emotive intuition. Simplicity and influences “Our every work in the studio is based on the idea that design is not enough. Design evokes and conditions an enjoyable experience if it works in a close and intensive exchange with other disciplines. We also reduce the design to its essentials. Our creative roots and inspiration lie in the minimal art, the concrete art, the Bauhaus and Japanese culture.“ Encouraging conversation and thoughts One current example of their work is the development of a guidance and orientation system for a 21-level high-rise building, as well as the design of 20 rooms. This project, once completed, aims to both communicate and visualise the company’s values and open business culture. 22quadrat has drawn on a plethora of intellectual and artistic influences. The projects’ basis are five large-size hand drawings that run across the floors and are juxtaposed to the works of various artists, writers, scientists and free thinkers. “The aim of this work is to ask questions, to encourage conversations, thoughts and in-

vite the building’s users and visitors to explore this space.The project is part of an active-office concept, which provokes and promotes a sustainable and balanced working culture – inside as well as outside – through the movement of people.“ 22quadrat also works closely with outside experts, architects, designers, planning and constructing companies, universities and design schools. Together with the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and several companies, 22quadrat is developing the basics for a sufficient way of life. This initiative goes hand in hand with their own project that aims towards connecting people and facilitating discourse so that future generations will have a livable planet. Awards and references 22quadrat's outstanding projects have been rewarded by winning several prizes and nominations; from German design award, the red dot award, if communication design

award, to exhibitor design award. Some of their most renowned clients and references include: WALTER KNOLL AG & Co. KG, Vitra AG, Union Investment, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, and Tim Raue. Having worked in many segments and successfully mastered many diverse projects, 22quadrat is confident and excited to help to shape a new future of graphic design, holistic communication design and interdisciplinary culture. www.22quadrat.com

Opposite: walter knoll ag & co. kg / random signs II / ausstellungsgestaltung / salone internazionale del mobile / mailand / Italy / 2011 (bottom) Top: union investment / adaption I / orientierungs- und auszeichnungssystem / Frankfurt am main / Germany / 2014- 2015 Below: schunk group / spot / raumgrafik & orientierungssystem / Heuchelheim / Germany / 2013

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 39


Main image & right (middle): Hall in the Stronghold Giechburg. Photos: © HH-VisionCologne, Frankfurt/M.

The true art of building

Top right: Open-air museum in Glentleiten. Bottom right: Culture project Marstall; concert hall in Munich. © HH-Vision Cologne, Frankfurt/M.

Since its foundation by Frank Wenzel in 1999, ART DE LUX architecture + design has established itself as a highly trustworthy partner when it comes to architectural projects of the highest quality. Following a comprehensive approach to architecture, ART DE LUX puts the human being alongside its needs and emotions at the core of their doings.

ders and puts focus on sustainability.“The final work is the focal point; our work is measured by its quality, aesthetics, functionality, profitability and efficiency,”Wenzel notes.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: TOM THIELE, LEIPZIG I HH-VISION COLOGNE, FRANKFURT/M.

ART DE LUX’s portfolio impresses with individual designs of new buildings, while they also deal with existing buildings. Cautiously handling existing structures, takes up an increasing part of their total assignment volume. Wenzel says:“The large number of protected historic buildings commits us to

Based in Munich, ART DE LUX has a distinctive approach which makes them stand out from competitors.“We conduct intensive research about a location’s culture and history and about the envisaged uses. This is crucial for the result,”Frank Wenzel, architect and company founder, explains. Putting special emphasis on quality in planning, the firm fully advocates client goals. Wenzel smiles: “A client once compared me to a racehorse: I only need a start signal and a direction; then I dash ahead.” The ability to listen to individual needs and

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to integrate different interests without waiving the final goal is their specialty. With quick responsiveness, as well as flexibility to meet project-specific demands, ART DE LUX thinks holistically and beyond bor-


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

valuable buildings; especially buildings with complex requirements; and put special focus on conversions and renovation of landmarked buildings. An impressive portfolio

employ ourselves more intensively with our history and culture and to maintain monuments through sustainable reconstruction.” He adds:“The omnipresent standardisation of construction design and its effect on future generations can already be seen in the USA. It leads to an enormous loss of cultural identity.Therefore, we take our time to get to know the place, its history, culture and local building history.”ART DE LUX’s wealth of experience comprises cultural buildings, office centres or residential buildings. They specialise in object planning of qualitatively

An example of ART DE LUX’s design philosophy is the Stronghold Giechburg where the firm has planned an overall revitalisation of the structures and extension buildings for a historical castle complex in Schesslitz. ART DE LUX have thoroughly examined the cultural and historical context of the castle and found that the impressive history of the Giechburg fortress and of the mountain ridge on which it stands can be traced back until the Neolithic Era. Then, the district of Bamberg was looking for a new concept for the complex’s survival. ART DE LUX suggested a reconstruction of the three-winged Renaissance building and extended the northern and southern wings to create a museum gallery and thus, connect all areas. Celtic and medieval cultural elements were reinterpreted. The design of the new multifunction hall, museum and gastronomy area and historic live workshops has integrated various cultural, historic elements. Old shapes were interpreted with new constructions and historical materials and building methods were used.Visitors should only notice the difference between old and new at second glance; important was the interaction of all elements as a whole. Another prime example is ART DE LUX’s open-air museum Glentleiten. A new entrance building with catering area, a showbrewery, exhibition space, museum shop and administration area was developed within the scope of an architecture contest. A jewel of upper Bavarian culture and monument conservation, the museum documents the rural life, living and working in past centuries. The multi-functional, barrier-free entrance building lies on slightly

falling terrain and fits in well because ART DE LUX have inserted the historic architecture of Upper Bavaria with its reduced form of construction into the whole complex. A quarry stone plinth and white structured areas with wooden constructions follow the local tradition. In contrast, the main entrance reveals the internal skeleton with a glass-wooden construction. Another project which exhibits ART DE LUX’s focus on sustainability and local building traditions isVilla Kordina in Kreuth on Tegernsee.The new luxury construction is situated on a 45-degree-steep slope.The exclusive residence is nestled into nature and enjoys a magnificent view of the KreuthValley. The villa itself is divided into three buildings along the slope. Setting its own accents in interior design, the villa reinterprets former manual skills. Traditional masonry, regional materials, local carpentry craft and construction methods, and filigree lead glass art have been rejuvenated here and combined with contemporary technologies. With more than 1,500 square metres of living space, it is a place of unusual design, elegance and luxury and is holistically energysufficient.The private place, its construction type and proportions blends into the landscape as ART DE LUX have respected the sizes of neighbouring buildings. Putting quality at the core of their activities, all projects and assignments came about through recommendations from satisfied former clients or planning partners since 2012. www.art-de-lux.com Below opposite page: Villa Kordina in Kreuth. © HH-Vision Cologne, Frankfurt/M. Below left: Frank Wenzel, architect and founder of ART DE LUX. © Tom Thiele, Leipzig Below middle: The German embassy in Cairo. © HH-Vision Cologne, Frankfurt/M. Below right: Elysium: Interdenominational graveyard in Weinstadt. © HH-Vision Cologne, Frankfurt/M.

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 41


ahrens & grabenhorst award-winning architects Creating landmarks, not shying from bold designs and colour There are many well-known buildings, especially in northern Germany, bearing the hallmark of ahrens & grabenhorst. The interdisciplinary team with headquarters in Hanover has worked on quite different, but all-in-all unique, buildings: from places of worship to hotels, from residence buildings to museums. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Building an annex building to the state museum‘Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum’in Emden was not an easy task. Containing the region’s oldest collection the museum is situated in what once was the historic town hall. Destroyed in the Second World War it had been re-erected in a modern style only

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partly reusing historic features. When ahrens & grabenhorst took part in a contest in 2003 – and won it – to build an extension, this history had to be taken into account on the inside and outside.They for example created a new, light-flooded main entrance on the backside keeping the existing façade intact.

It is not the only museum building the architects have worked on, they were also responsible for an extension of the Celle art museum and redesigned the Wadden Sea visitor centre in Wilhelmshaven. In 2014 they developed a new concept for the memorial site and museum Gedenkstätte Ahlem, a place remembering crimes and mass murder during the Nazi reign, but also telling about hope. The team around architects Professor Gesche Grabenhorst and Roger Ahrens consists of experts from different fields,


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

Portraits: Professor Gesche Grabenhorst (left) & Roger Ahrens (right) Main image: Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum, Emden. © Roland Halbe Top left: Architecture studio ahrens & grabenhorst. © Roland Halbe Below: Kunstmuseum Celle. © Roland Halbe

working closely together in an interdisciplinary approach (architects, engineers, historians, designers, etc), whatever is needed for the best possible result. Often enough what ahrens & grabenhorst architects do is more than creating a building. They were for example involved in designing the 2000 Expo theme park‘Mensch’– humans. Since January 2014 the architects have been based in a new office facing Hanover’s historic opera house. In converting former

bank offices they gained an open space work environment with clear white surfaces and, as special feature, a RAL colour scheme as wall fresco traversing the whole workspace. The office has an excellent reputation, especially because ecological, economic and social aspects play an equally important role in every project. The architects also work in the fields of urban planning, inte-

rior design or monument preservation. Renovations of existing buildings can lead to stunning effects. ahrens & grabenhorst have won multiple awards. In 2010 they were honoured with Lower Saxony’s state award – for building a new synagogue for the liberal Jewish community. www.ahrensgrabenhorst.de

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 43


Optimising space Munich-based architects and urban planning experts bodensteiner · fest, named after certified architects Christian Bodensteiner and Annette Fest, are dedicated to identifying and delivering the ideal solution for each project, while focussing on adding value and keeping a close eye on special details. TEXT: TINA AWTANI

Following a conceptual approach, their works are defined by an overall quality.The award-winning team is renowned for finding unusual and innovative solutions, be it for public buildings, religious, educational, commercial or residential structures.“Good urban planning can get along with mediocre architecture, but poor urban planning can not be mended with great architecture,” Bodensteiner explains. Interior design, exhibition and colour concepts, tailor-made furniture and especially lighting solutions are also part of the portfolio. The team is also committed to lecturing at universities and acting as jury members for architecture competitions.

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Every bodensteiner · fest project starts with the so-called ‘phase 0’. During this phase, they aim to find the best possible solution before the visualisation even starts in the form of a think tank.“It is absolutely crucial

to figure out how we can create added value to a project. When we get a new project on our desks, first we deeply analyse its actual state before we figure out how we can maximise its features,” Fest explains. And this is where the urban planning expertise kicks in. “How do you position a building? What character has the new building in the public space? We strongly believe that a building is defined by the type of how it is embedded into the public space,”Bodensteiner continues. A prime example of urban planning is the Alte Ziegelei [old brickyard] in Straubing. Measuring a 3.2-hectare large area, a mixed use complex for commercial, as well a residential, use was required.“In our proposal we turned the entire ground floor into a commercial zone, while the upper two floors were turned into apartments, terraced houses or maisonettes,”Fest explains. Dedicating the entire ground floor to com-


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

mercial use adds a lively high street feeling to the area. The cubic architecture cleverly shields the yard from the street noise.“We abandoned objectionable balconies and created loggias instead to give the units a private space,”Bodensteiner explains.“Often the living room and its outside space are facing the boardwalk, resulting in no privacy. Thus a private space is no longer private and the public space is no longer

public. We believe that this can be avoided, so we clearly define private, public and semi-public space in our work,” his partner adds.

concrete underneath. The client was in favour of our idea to sand the concrete walls to make them shine in their natural splendour,” Bodensteiner continues. “We established an exciting contrast between the wooden floor, the cosy lounge and the concrete walls - overall a very stylish room solution,”Bodensteiner concludes.

The Luisiengymnasium in Munich shows how to bring out the best in an existing structure. When the German high school education system was changed from G9 to G8, schools were required to offer fullday facilities for the students. In the case of the Luisiengymnasium a new cafeteria had to be created. Adjoining retail space was acquired and made part of the school to create a space, where the youngsters could spend their lunch breaks or spare hours in the afternoon.“It was very important to us, that the students got a room where they do not feel that they are in school, a place to gather and be with friends, more like a living room,” Fest explains. Up to 12-metre long upholstered lounges have been erected for the students to chill and relax and provide an inviting atmosphere.“When we took the plastering of the wall, we discovered really good-quality

When it comes to details, bodensteiner · fest act meticulous, as the recently completed Pfarrheim Herz Jesu parish hall in Ingolstadt shows. One of the many challenges of the new build was the entry situation.“While the original competition comprised of a larger project, the realisation lead to a higher quality and slightly smaller size. The original plan included a vestibule and a coat rack, but in the new situation we aimed to maximise space. Flexible coat racks were not an option, so we came up with the idea to include the wall. In cooperation with Munich-based artist and metalsmith Sebastian Hepp, we developed the hooks that disappear in the wall when not in use,” Fest explains. And this is exactly what inspires the team bodensteiner · fest over and over again, from the large structures to the very tiny details. Fest puts it in a nutshell: “Creating added value, a contemporary atmosphere and unique finishing touches.” www.bodensteiner-fest.de

Main image & left: Herz Jesu parish hall, Ingolstadt. © Florian Holzherr Portrait: Annette Fest & Christian Bodensteiner. © Florian Holzherr Bottom: Luisengymnasium, Munich. © bodensteiner fest (left) Berufsoberschule, Munich. © bodensteiner fest (middle) Alte Ziegelei, Straubing. © bodensteiner fest (right)

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 45


The space experts If there has ever been an architectural office that knows how to get the most out of a given amount of space, it’s Stuttgart-based architect and engineer dream team BFK Architekten and BFK-Plan. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: BFK ARCHITEKTEN

Founded in 1973, BFK Architekten has always paid special attention to determining the whole picture before embarking on a project.“Our architectural solutions are the results of an in-depth analysis regarding the specific task and location,” says Reiner Hahn, partner architect at BFK Architekten.“While carrying out our planning procedures, we always keep the people in mind – those who will use and see the buildings that we create.”This strategy turned out to be a successful one. In fact,

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Main image and below: STEP Engineering Park, Stuttgart Photo: Dietmar Strauß, Besigheim

it was so successful that the Stuttgartbased company grew quickly and steadily. In 1987, a general engineering service was added with the foundation of BFK-Plan GmbH. Today, the strong work force of over 40 employees and several partnerships allows the company to tackle even complex client requests at short notice and to offer a broad range of performances for different projects. Among these are business-related and industrial buildings, banks, administrational buildings, public buildings, schools, commercial goods and services, multi-storey car parks, logistics centres, residential homes, urban developments, renovation and regeneration projects and architecture competitions.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

put a particular emphasis on meeting our client’s requirements in the most efficient way.”As such, BFK Architekten have conducted or are currently implementing projects for important German brands such as Alnatura, Stihl, Herma, Bitzer, dm, Scholpp and Voith. “For many years now, we have taken over the complete project coordination and architecture implementation planning for notable German general contractors – both within Germany and abroad,” adds Hahn. Making the most of it

One for all

Real-life examples of these all-in projects include the STEP Engineering Park in Stuttgart, which is made up of three spacious office buildings and based on an urban development study by BFK Architekten. Furthermore, the talented architects have come up with some excellent solutions for the production warehouses of several important companies. Among these are the Stihl production hall in Waiblingen-Neustadt and the Greenfield logistics park Lorsch, which is rented by Alnatura. When creating the general engineering plan for this particular project, BFK-Plan decided on constructing these premises in a sustainable wooden building structure combined with innovative geothermal energy and heat pump technologies. Several companies have also made use of BFK Architekten’s expertise in designing office buildings that are located close to the company’s production sites. Examples include projects for Winkels, Leuze electronic, the

Bitzer-Schaufler Academy and Bauer Gear. For the latter, a gear motors supplier, BFK Architekten has just finished an extension of the existing hall as well as an additional three level office building.This comes complete with in-situ concrete, building part tempering and under floor units. Realising the potential of urban developments A great example of an urban development project is the LUPO Bleyle Quartier in Ludwigsburg, Germany. For this, the centrally located but abandoned industrial grounds of a former knitwear company were transformed into a whole new city quarter with 44 sparkling new homes, several flexible office buildings, restaurants, doctor surgeries, a day care unit, a privately owned business school and an underground car park. For the overall project, the client received the Stuttgart Building Award in 2013. www.bfk-architekten.de

Top left: BFK Architekten; Helmut Kalcher, Reiner Hahn and Nico Weber Middle: Bitzer, Schaufler Academy, Rottenburg Bottom: Bleyle, residential and office use building LUPO, Ludwigsburg Below main: Winkels, office building, Sachsenheim. Photo: PhotoKunst Sabine Braun Stuttgart Below right: Bauer Gear, Extension project, Esslingen

Over the years, a particular focus was placed on industrial and administration buildings as well as business clients in general. “We are pleased that so many prestigious business clients have chosen us to carry out their projects,”says Hahn.“In return, we offer our clients a comprehensive all-in-service. From the first draft to handing over the keys: we take care of everything. We provide the initial design, planning and realisation of drafts just as much as the completion of an industrial building or even complex urban developments. We deliver the informed opinions of qualified architects just as much as those of building services engineers, structural engineers or fire-protection experts.Through all this, we

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 47


Büro für Gartendenkmalpflege ‘Un jardin connu est un jardin sauvé!’ Rediscovering and preserving historic landscapes The monastery St. Georgen in Stein am Rhein in the Swiss Canton of Schaffhausen once was a Benedictine Abbey founded during the early 11th century. Today it is a museum with a special feature: its vast and beautiful garden of which parts have only been recently re-opened. Responsible for its new landscape design was the Zurich-based Büro für Gartendenkmalpflege. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: STEFFEN OSOEGAWA

Today Switzerland’s best-preserved monastery St. Georgen is considered to be one of the most important historic monuments in the region. Archeological findings trace the first cloister buildings back to the year 1007, and during that time the later abbey garden was used as a burial site for the first monks. In 1168 the abbey was named after Saint George under which it became widely known in the following centuries.The name exists until today, even though the monastery was shut down during the reformation in 1525 and was later

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reused as a residence for Zurich officials. The monastery lies directly at the shore of the river Rhine and had been an important benefactor for the city, Stein am Rhein, that began to grow and flourish under the monastery’s protection. After gaining imperial immediacy in the mid-15th century, the monks became self-ruled and subjected only by the Roman Emperor for a short time. One of the monastery’s main outside features is the garden, the heart of every

monastery built during the Middle Ages, a place for growing vegetables, fruits and herbs but also for meditation. The Latin words‘ora et labora’– pray and work – were an essential principle for Benedictine monks. Like other parts of the historic buildings the exterior has been redecorated many times during a history full of vicissitudes. The Büro für Gartendenkmalpflege –


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

office for historic garden preservation – headed by Steffen Osoegawa, was responsible for the most recent one. “What I enjoy most is that we could give the terraced gardens back their sensuality in replanting them,” says landscape designer Steffen Osoegawa. During that process, three main aims were fulfilled. First of all the careful maintenance of the lower terrace situated directly at the Rhine promenade. Secondly the restoration of the middle terrace sticking to the original layout and colour scheme of Gustav Amman, a leading figure of modern garden design. Last, but not least, the Büro für Gartendenkmalpflege created a new medicinal garden where once the abbey garden had been situated. What now can be seen, describes Steffen Osoegawa quite appropriately:“The abundance of flowers and herbs, the overflowing growth and the opulence are simply spectacular. It gives us an idea of baroque garden art.” What makes it even more striking is the contrast to the extensive and spacious lower Rhine terrace featuring a completely different style.

completely,”Osoegawa explains.“The historic garden itself is my role model. I do not want to be better than the already great original, because I value the craftsmanship and the art of past times long gone by.” Steffen Osoegawa speaks with great enthusiasm about his work, a work that is never a simple one. Sometimes “it is not easy to communicate that patina and weathering depict a building’s history and therefore should be considered as aesthetic”. And of course there are many official – for example safety – regulations that have to be considered when working on a project like the St. Georgen monastery garden. Often enough modern requirements contradict conservation purposes and historically correct methods:“Historic equipment in many cases is contrary to what we deem safe today.”With researching methods and ideas, Osoegawa not only aims to achieve historic accuracy but also strives to reanimate historic gardens with one great purpose: bringing new life to old places. www.gartendenkmalpflege.com

The office Büro für Gartendenkmalpflege has existed for 11 years now and is exclusively devoted to the preservation of and work in historic gardens. “For some years now, I conduct and oversee the restoration of old gardens and determine how they have to be maintained,” says Osoegawa, who often cooperates with other experts. In Stein am Rhein for example he has worked closely together with an archaeobotanist and historian with expertise in plants and gardens: “Maja dal Cero has great knowledge of plants used during the Middle Ages and was essential for the project’s success,”Osoegawa says. Osoegawa compares his work with that of a detective.“You can only protect what you know to the heart,”he says speaking about researching plants, gardens and hidden connections existing in garden landscapes. Often not visible to the eye, they are key to a healthy environment and for the preservation of historic gardens.“I want a garden to keep its diversity and not to rejuvenate it

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 49


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

Everything from a single source In most cases, landscape architectural offices and garden planning companies are separated entities. However, this notion is fundamentally changed by Switzerland’s Riggenbach GmbH. Located in Oberwangen near Bern, the family business has united the areas of landscape architecture with garden planning and design in one company since 1975. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: CLAUDIO PROTOPAPA

“We offer professional and competent planning, building and maintenance for gardens from a single source,” Stefano Riggenbach, executive, explains. Combining modern garden design with clear lines and classical elements of landscaping is what makes their gardens stand out. Putting special emphasis on innovative and efficient planting, the plants’ natural appearance breaks up the clear lines and breathes life into gardens with their seasonal changes. The results are beautiful and practical green spaces with varied plantings. Riggenbach says: “A garden isn’t finished after the construction phase ends as

plants start to grow at this stage. A garden becomes more and more beautiful over the years through professional maintenance. It grows with the clients who should feel happy about their garden paradise. We want our clients to switch off from hectic everyday life and to find their rhythm in the garden’s nature.”Riggenbach GmbH shows that good garden design doesn’t need to be planned by expensive star designers. “Everyone should be able to afford great landscape architecture.Thus, we can create high-quality garden worlds even with modest budgets,”Riggenbach adds. Solely employing skilled landscape gardeners and

Top: Stefano Riggenbach, executive Above: Bio-pool with pergola

training apprentices, clients often praise the team’s competency and pleasant ways. www.riggenbach-landschaft.ch

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 restaurantmirabell.at facebook.com/sheratonsalzburghotel

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 goldenerhirsch.com facebook.com/goldenerhirschsalzburg


Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Switzerland

Hotel of the Month Switzerland

Davos does its spiriting gently With 140 years of tradition, Hotel Seehof in Davos is the number one address in Davos for luxurious holidays. Situated just off the Parsennbahn Hotel, Seehof emanates a smooth blend of traditional steadfastness and four-star luxury. This combination gives rise to excellent service professionals. Under the aegis of the new director Daniel Braun, hotelier of the year of 2001, Hotel Seehof keeps aiming at greater heights – not to say the leading house in Davos was ever contented with anything less than the pinnacle. TEXT: BENEDIKT MEININGER | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

At Hotel Seehof the unique mixture of firm roots and traditional setting combined with star rocketing niveau in luxury create a comfortable wellness caressing guests’heart and soul.“I felt taken seriously and the staff attended to me as a guest both very personally and considerately,” a former guest relates. Daniel Braun, the hotel’s new director adds:“In paying careful attention to even the smallest details, just like the former owners did, we manage to create something actually magical.” That magic was caught in Thomas Mann’s modern classical novel The Magic Mountain, which is set in Davos.

At Hotel Seehof you will find three separate, exquisite restaurants to wine and dine your palate in their distinct atmospheres and accentual air. The one thing you must not miss is the culinary poetry Mr Bieri, the chef, regales you with. Braun, without hesitation, recommends the saddle of venison and the Davos Alpine lamb.The hotel bar and the lounge are an open invitation to indulge in vivid conversation or the latest newspaper. Have yourself feather-bedded in one of the rich Swiss pine wainscoting suites. After a long day out enjoying the splendour of the Alps you may lean back and put your feet up in the manifold overtures of the 400-square-metre spa.

Set in the city of Davos, Hotel Seehof features a world-renowned cure climate that a sonorous list of political and art prominence have indulged. In July this year Daniel Braun took the helm of Hotel Seehof, and he is now looking forward to welcoming celebrities from politics and the industry like Bill Gates in Hotel Seehof; the place where Mr Peres and Mr Arafat once managed to come to peaceful terms. A historical gemstone as the setting to your holiday. Sense the peaceful enchantment of the Magic Mountain. www.seehofdavos.ch

Portrait: Director Daniel Braun

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 51


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Hotel Hollman Beletage

Feeling at home while exploring the city in Vienna’s Hollmann Beletage

Main image: The Beletage is a medium-sized room featuring an open space bathroom

Twenty-six modern rooms in an elegant historic Gründerzeit building are situated in the heart of Vienna at the Hollmann Beletage hotel. The unique residence, in walking distance from the famous Stephansdom, focuses on small but important extras making Hollmann Beletage more a home than a hotel.

offering fine food and space to relax: a spa and fitness area, a library and a garden.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Up to 60 guests find accommodation in spacious and comfortable rooms and suites in contemporary design, featuring for example freestanding tubs and cosy but modern armchairs.The hotel aspires to be more a home than a hotel, a place people feel at ease and welcome.“This is our motto: Not be but feel at home,”says Kristin Grasser. Together with Katharina Gartner she only recently took over the hotel management from owner Robert Hollmann. Both have been involved in managing the Hollmann Beletage for years.“Our main focus lies on the aspect of living, we basically are not a normal hotel but a kind of luxurious housesharing community,” emphasises Grasser. Whoever searches company in the afternoons and evenings will find it in the shared living room furnished with seat

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groups, featuring a fireplace and piano.The in-house cinema shows Austrian films, well known for their sometimes rather dark humour. “Guests and staff value that we unconventionally break with the hotel industry’s standard patterns and consequently focus on comfort,” says Grasser. But this is only one reason why Hollmann Beletage in Vienna gets top ratings: Viennese authenticity also plays an important role. The hotel’s breakfast for example is one of the best in all ofVienna. Homemade jams, an original Viennese cup of coffee and breakfast trays are served at the table or as room service until 11:30, the hotel’s cook fulfills nearly every additional wish. Hollmann Beletage is a retreat in the middle of an urban jungle,

Above: Meeting other guests in front of a fireplace – the living room (left) Owner Robert Hollmann in the hotel’s relaxing garden (right)

Hollmann Beletage in Vienna is not the only hotel Robert Hollmann and his wife Petra have founded. In 2013 they opened a spa resort hotel in Sri Lanka, the U.T.M.T, Underneath the Mango Tree (www.utmthotel.com), with 22 unique rooms and villas and the same philosophy: A home away from home. Recently they have also started working on three new projects in their chosen home Carinthia. www.hollmann-beletage.at

Portrait: Kristin Grasser (left) and Katharina Gartner (right)


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Gourment & Spa Hotel Cervosa

Ultimate luxury with a very personal twist Feel at home right from the start at the award-winning five-star Gourmet & Spa Hotel Cervosa. Nestled above Tyrol’s Serfaus and considered by many as the Alps’ most charming luxury hotel, it is the perfect destination for the discerning traveller in summer and winter alike. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Just west of Innsbruck in the Tyrolean Oberland, the Westreicher family established a haven of relaxation. The hotel Cervosa dates back to 1959 and has been steadily growing in response to positive guest feedback and thus growing in demand. Today the Gourmet & Spa Hotel Cervosa is a five-star luxury resort offering ultimate comfort for guests while still preserving a very intimate character.“We as a family personally take care of our guests. The hotel has grown over 55 years, which makes the place very exciting, not only from an architectural point of view,”owner Hugo Westreicher, who is running the resort in the second generation, says.

Corporate as well as private guests cherish the luxurious ambience, which is a wellbalanced blend of Alpine tradition, contemporary style and impeccable hospitality. From the top-notch conference facilities to the award-winning gourmet restaurant to the over 3,000-square-metre large and lavish Cervosa Spa, there is absolutely nothing left to desire. “Our typical guests are high performers, such as entrepreneurs or corporate executives. They visit alone, with partners and sometimes with the whole family and friends,” the hotel owner explains. But it is not only the grand facilities that impresses visitors.“The daily challenge to serve our guests on the highest level is what drives us. Changing small details every

single day and the inspiration we gain from personal conversations with our guests is what really matters,“ Westreicher reveals. Also part of the Westreicher business is the Cervosa Alm, featuring a charming restaurant, eight holiday apartments and a spa area right in the heart of the Serfaus skiand hiking paradise. “Together with our long established team our son Hugo just took over the Cervosa Alm this summer under my supervision of course – and our daughter Stefanie will join our reception and administration team next autumn,” Westreicher proudly explains his secured line of succession. From December onwards 14 new rooms and suites will be ready for occupation and new visions, inspired by guests, will be turned into reality by the Westreicher family for the generations to come in the Gourmet & Spa Hotel Cervosa. www.cervosa.com

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 53


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Stock Resort

Main image: The hotel in summer Top: The panorama gym Above: Alpine Lodge Suite; available in three different sizes

Exclusivity for the whole family

Below: Kelo sauna

Nestled into the beautiful surroundings of Austria’s Tyrol, the five-star STOCK resort is a hotel for young and old alike. Family-run for generations, STOCK is as unique as it is full of variety. Divided into different sections, it poses as the perfect destination for spa lovers, sport enthusiasts, families, couples or gourmets with high expectations.

or join one of the hotel’s childcare professionals who cater for action seven days a week.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: STOCK RESORT

“When wishes become reality and when people meet each other with open affection, then you have arrived at the STOCK resort,”Sabrina Rupprechter, marketing of STOCK resort, smiles. It all began in 1976 when Josef and Barbara Stock opened a restaurant which soon grew into the STOCK resort. Their children Daniel and Christine soon joined the family business and now are part of communicating the warm and personal STOCK feeling. Located in the middle of the Zillertal in Tyrol, the resort is only 15 minutes away from the Hintertux Glacier which is known as a hidden paradise for ski fans. The Zillertal impresses with majestic alpine mountains and the ‘nature park of the year 2015’. Whether one seeks to hike in summer or snowboard in winter, the hotel’s surroundings will offer something for everyone.

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The hotel itself comprises of seven different STOCK feeling worlds. Those who want to stay fit can join a sports course, such as yoga, can visit the Box Fit Club, or exploit their potential in the panorama gym with a magnificent view on 190 square metres. The hotel offers bike rentals with special guides, hiking guides six days a week, snowshoe hike excursions and ski guides or courses. The 5,000square-metre large wellness and spa area impresses with an extensive sauna landscape, whirlpools, a 25-metre swimming pool with a mountain panorama and offers various massages and treatments – also with its own beauty brand STOCK DIAMOND. The resort is further known for its kids' programme. Children can get spa treatments, head to the resort’s Aqua Fun Park with a 70-metre high tyre slide

With their own STOCK wine range, called MOUNT STOCK, it is no wonder that the hotel solely offers the best culinary delicacies such as special diet menus, vegetarian options or children’s menus. 30 different room categories are sure to fulfil every individual wish. Even though the resort impresses with its big size, the closeness to the Stock family remains and extensive cordiality can be felt throughout the premises. www.stock.at


On the ‘Roof of Austria’ Inspired by the village’s gold digging history, DAS GOLDBERG offers everything for a precious holiday: A panoramic view of the Salzburger Land, many sports facilities and much space for relaxation. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: GUENTERSTANDL.DE

DAS GOLDBERG, situated in the Upper Tauern National Park, has just celebrated its second birthday. The owners Vera and Georg Seer spent many years of planning the hotel that is inspired by the surrounding region and solely used locally available materials for its construction. For an entirely pleasant night, guests can choose between ten room categories. Among them are the panorama studios, the suites with a free-standing bathtub and an open fireplace for even more cosiness, or the separate Spa Chalet where one can fall asleep while watching the starry sky through a glass roof. The hotel provides manifold opportunities for both sporty and easy-going holidaymakers. Hiking trails, a golf course and the ski resort are ready to be discovered. To get into a relaxed mood, visit the spacious GOLDBERG Spa, where the heated Infinity Pool, relaxation rooms and three saunas are waiting for you. “One of our most liked wellness treatments is 'Der Muntermacher', a refreshing and tightening peeling with coffee,” says Vera Seer. Another emphasis is placed on homemade culinary art. Guests can enjoy freshly baked bread from the hotel's own manufacture and coffee which gets roasted directly in the lobby.“Our aim is to please our guests with healthy cuisine,” Georg Seer adds. In 2016, guests can look forward to the new White Gold Suites and a yoga room. www.dasgoldberg.at

ŝ ƌ ĚǁĂ ƚ Đ Śŝ ŶŐ  ͼ  Dŝ ƌ ĞƐ  ͼ   ǀ ĞŶƚ Ɛ tŚĞ ƚ ŚĞ ƌ  LJ ŽƵ Đ ŚŽŽƐ Ğ  ƵƐ  Ĩ Žƌ  ŽƵƌ  Ğ Ŷǀ ŝ ƌ ŽŶŵĞ Ŷƚ ͕ Ĩ Žƌ  ŽƵƌ  Ĩ Ă Đ ŝ ů ŝ ƟĞ Ɛ  Žƌ  Ɛ ŝ ŵƉů LJ  ďĞ Đ Ă ƵƐ Ğ  ŽĨ  ƚ ŚĞ Ő ƌ Ğ Ă ƚ  Ɛ Ğ ƌ ǀ ŝ Đ Ğ  ǁĞ  ŽīĞ ƌ ͗ tĞ  Ă ƌ Ğ  ƚ ŚĞ  Ğ ǀ Ğ Ŷƚ  ů ŽĐ Ă ƟŽŶ Ğ dž ƚ ƌ Ă Žƌ Ěŝ ŶĂ ŝ ƌ Ğ ƚ ŚĂ ƚ  LJ ŽƵ ŚĂ ǀ Ğ  ďĞ Ğ Ŷ ů ŽŽŬ ŝ ŶŐ  Ĩ Žƌ ͘ KƉĞ Ŷ Ĩ Žƌ  ďƵƐ ŝ ŶĞ Ɛ Ɛ  ŶŽǁ͘ DKKZt > d  E Ͳ   Ƶƌ ŽƉć ŝ Ɛ Đ ŚĞƐ  & Ă Đ Śnj ĞŶƚ ƌ Ƶŵ DŽŽƌ  ƵŶĚ <ů ŝ ŵĂ ƵĨ  ĚĞ ŵ ^ Ă ŶĚĞ  ϭϭ ͼ  ϰϵϰϭϵ tĂ Ő Ğ ŶĨ Ğ ů Ě ͼ  ǁǁǁ͘ ŵŽŽƌ ǁĞ ů ƚ Ğ Ŷ͘ ĚĞ d Ğ ů ͘  Ϭϱϳϳϰ ϵϵϳϴϮϮϬ ͼ   Ͳ DĂ ŝ ů ͗  ŝ ŶĨ ŽΛŵŽŽƌ ǁĞ ů ƚ Ğ Ŷ͘ ĚĞ 


Main image: Kazimierz Stabrowski (1869 – 1929): Against a Background of Stained Glass Window (Peacock). © National Museum Warschau

Known for its collection of German and European, modern and contemporary art, its programmatic exhibitions and various sculptures and paintings, the Kunsthalle Mannheim is a meeting place for all generations. Not only impressing with a rich selection of artworks, the museum’s architecture is also one of a kind. One will be able to Germany find the brand new contemporary museum building in the centre of Mannheim from 2017 onwards. Its connection to the other building of the Kunsthalle, the Jugendstil-Building, will guarantee an unmistakable architectural ensemble. The Jugendstil-Building comprises of exceptional and historical architectural features from its time of erection in 1907. Recently reopened after a three-year restoration period, the Jugendstil-Building poses as the perfect backdrop for the Kunsthalle’s current exhibition.

Attraction of the Month

Remembering the museum’s roots

An impressive homage to art nouveau Founded in 1907, the Kunsthalle Mannheim soon grew to become one of the most respected civic art collections in Germany. Coining the expression ‘art for all’ with its innovative educational approach, the museum impresses visitors with its seminal exhibitions and remains a strong cultural player in Mannheim and beyond. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: KUNSTHALLE MANNHEIM

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For its 300-year anniversary, the city of Mannheim built an exhibition house. The result was the Kunsthalle Mannheim, which opened in 1907 with a big spatial art exhibition in which almost all notable visual artists, architects or designers of that time were represented. The special opening exhibition impressed with entire art nouveau interiors which put the opulent paintings and sculptures in the limelight. More than 100 years later, some of the artists from back then return to the Kunsthalle with the exceptional exhibition The Delicate Glow: On Peacocks and Mother of Pearl in Art Nouveau, which takes up the Kunsthalle’s foundation myth. The exhibition celebrates the Jugendstil’s variation range and sense of beauty around the peacock theme and the material of nacre. Paintings are accompanied by small sculptures, books, designs, furniture, jewellery, fashion accessories or posters. Just a few of the significant names represented are


Discover Germany | Attraction of the Month | Germany

Joseph Maria Olbrich, Peter Behrens or Leo Putz which were also part of the exhibition in 1907. They are accompanied by Émile Gallé, René Lalique and Alphonse Mucha, as well as loans from international museums and private collections from NewYork, Paris and Warsaw. Exhibition curator Dr. Joerg Garbrecht and his team manage to once again elevate the glamorous Jugendstil times in the nobly renovated rooms of the historic building. Thereby, they don’t stage a strict retrospect, but rather look back on the epoch of the Jugendstil with a wink. The exhibition emphasises how Jugendstil wasn’t only an artistic movement, but also set the foundations for the modern design concept. Boldly curved twirls ennobled profane shopping bags or sanitary pots were transformed into valuable objects through floral ornaments in the last years of the 19th century. “A downright arts and craft cult emerged. With this, Europe’s young generation protested against their parents which were surrounded by turgid furnishings with Wilhelmine orVictorian imprints,” Dr. Garbrecht explains. An inspiring showcase The exhibition in Mannheim shows more than 100 exhibits on approximately 350 square metres of the Jugendstil Building’s ground floor. Six rooms with different

themes such as ‘Modern Life’, ‘Vanity Room’ or ‘Winter Journey’, show the Jugenstil in all its contradictory facets; from exuberant and cheerful to mysterious and morbid. Mysterious is also the perfect adjective to describe the exhibition’s entrance. The visitor enters the exhibition through an exotic front yard which is surrounded by an exciting patterned wallpaper. In the same room, porcelain peacock figurines on gouache by Adolph von Menzel represent one of the style-forming animals of the Jugendstil and the main topic of the exhibition. The proud bird with its gorgeous, iridescent plumage and long, sweeping feather train, alongside the swan, dragonfly and swallow belong to the main inspiration sources of Jugendstil artists. The glimmering rainbow colours and delicate shine of rare mother of pearl also fascinated artists of this period. The wide range of exhibition objects shows that art nouveau had an unmistakable sense for the pompous and the precious. This can be seen in the example of a pair of silk weeding shoes from 1905 which are embellished with stylised butterflies. The largest exhibit of the show is also sure to impress. With a height of 2.28 metres an oil painting, called Against a Background of Stained Glass Window (Peacock) by Kazimierz Stabrowski from 1908, shows a woman as a peacock. The floor-

length tail of the deep-blue evening gown shimmers green and brown. On her head, the woman wears a hat which recreates the peacock’s crown of feathers. The exhibition The Delicate Glow invites visitors until 17 January 2016. www.kunsthalle-mannheim.de/en

Top: Leo Putz (1869 – 1940): Bajadere, 1903. © Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich Below: René Lalique (1860 – 1945): Mascotte Libellule grande, 1928. © Musée Lalique Wingen-sur-Moder (left) Koloman Moser (1868 – 1918): Armlehnsessel, 1903. © Ernst Ploil, Wien (middle) Modehaus Liberty & Co.: Abendumhang mit Pfauenaugenmuster, 1900/1910. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstgewerbemuseum / Stephan Klonk (right)

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 57


Top Destination of the Month Germany

Glücksburg Castle A royal jewel high up in the North One of the most beautiful and significant Northern European water castles lies high up in the northern town of Glücksburg near the Danish border and close to the Baltic Sea coast. The Renaissance castle blends stunning architecture with a most compelling past.

Mian image: Bird's view of Glücksburg Castle. Photo: Thomas Raake From top down: Chapel. Photo: Olff Appold Princess Birthday in Glücksburg Castle. Photo: Sven Geißler Suite Royal. Photo: Günther Blankenagel Bottom: The magnificent castle at night. Photo: Olff Appold

TEXT: TINA AWTANI

ing on how people got to know each other in the old times. It is a passionate and entertaining time journey through aristocratic dating behaviour,” Ascheron recommends.

Glücksburg literally translates into 'happy town'. Still the official residence of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein, the magnificent white fairytale castle is steeped into 400 years of history.“Christian IX grew up in parts of the castle before he was crowned King of Denmark in 1863. Remarkably he managed to place all his six children within other European royal families through marriage. For this reason Glücksburg is often referred to as the ‘cradle of European aristocracy’. Today’s Queen Margrethe II of Denmark also derives from the House of Glücksburg,” Susanne Ascheron, managing director of the Glücksburg Castle Foundation, explains.

Apart from guided tours, Glücksburg Castle offers a colourful event calendar throughout the year including concerts like the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival or open-air theatre performances in the castle yard such as Shakespeare in original language. Watch out for the Halloween season, as guided tours through the castle prison and the torture chamber are scheduled (not for the faint hearted).

At Glücksburg Castle history literally comes alive and all guides are dressed in costumes from the late 19th century when sharing enchanting and amusing stories about the former residents and visitors.“The Flirt in the Castle tour is particularly interesting, focus-

Bursting with romance, Glücksburg Castle is a very popular event location.“Up to 300 couples come here each year to tie the knot, inspired by our heraldic motto ‘may god grant happiness and peace’. And little visitors love to celebrate their birthdays in

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princess style in the castle. After all, we still have two real princesses residing here,”Ascheron says. Exciting news includes the opening of the brand new 150-square-metre Suite Royal holiday apartment in the cavalier house. Offering space for up to six people, it allows to sleep like royalty in a fairytale castle when visiting Glücksburg. www.schloss-gluecksburg.de www.fewo1846.de


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Tagungen und Events mit Weitblick im Bio-Seehotel Zeulenroda


Left: Dresden’s Striezelmarkt Christmas market is a visitor highlight and as atmospheric as it gets. © Silvio Dittrich Below: Christmas dreams in the Ore Mountains: The Christmas market in Annaberg-Buchholz is a perfect showcase for the region’s festive traditions and handicraft. © Dieter Knoblauch

Special Theme

Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt & Thuringia

Where Christmas is at home There are a myriad of fantastic places in Germany to get into the Christmas spirit. No news there. However, if you want to get to the root of things, the neighbouring regions of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia are the place to go. Christmas decorations, the tradition of public Christmas trees and not to forget the stollen Christmas cake all originated here. Add to that Germany’s oldest Christmas market in Dresden, and this special German festive cocktail is complete. TEXT: TOURISM BOARDS OF SAXONY, SAXONY-ANHALT & THURINGIA

In Saxony, the Ore Mountains are home to a centuries-long tradition of handcrafting Christmas toys and decorations. The towns of Annaberg-Buchholz and Seiffen are famous for the production of wooden Christmas pyramids, distinctive nutcrackers and incense smokers that are part and parcel of many a German home in the festive season. Saxony’s capital Dresden draws visitors from around the world to its so-called Striezelmarkt Christmas market, dating back to 1434, where every year the world’s biggest stollen, Saxony’s famous Christmas cake, is on display. The Stollen Festival is traditionally celebrated on the Satur-

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day before the second Sunday of Advent. The bakers of Dresden’s Stollen Association get together a week before to prepare a giant cake that is then sliced up and shared out by the Royal Master Baker and the Dresden Stollen Maiden on the day. Definitely not something to be experienced anywhere else. The region is also full of romantic towns where historic market squares provide charming backdrops for atmospheric Christmas markets such as in Görlitz or Radebeul. Saxony’s many beautiful palaces and castles also undergo an enchanting

transformation during the festive season and re-emerge as locations for Christmas markets and festivities. Lovers of historic surroundings should also put neighbouring Thuringia on their list where arguably the most famous German castle, the Wartburg towering above Eisenach, is putting on a historical Christmas market in the run-up to the festive season with artists, craftsmen, knights and many colourful stalls. Thuringia is not short of ‘conventional’ Christmas markets either. Pretty Weimar, where the first public Christmas tree was erected on the market square in 1816, features one of the region’s favourites and it has the added benefit of running until early January. The most famous Thuringian market takes place in the capital Erfurt where the Cathedral Square with the impressive St Mary’s Cathedral and St Severus Church provide a perfect setting for more than 200 stalls, a huge Christmas pyramid and a big Ferris wheel. For something a bit more off


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt & Thuringia

the beaten track, the small town of Lauscha, south of Erfurt, is the birthplace of the Christmas bauble in its myriad variations, and the original Lauscha Christmas baubles market is the perfect place to stock up on Christmas decorations made of glass. The Christmas trail continues in the Harz Mountains in Saxony-Anhalt where some of the towns seem to have specifically been built for the purpose of serving as a pictureperfect Christmas market backdrop. Wernigerode, dating back to the 12th century and full of colourful timber-framed houses, features a wonderful market square with the Christmas market as a major attraction each winter. Likewise, Quedlinburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is lucky to have enough timber-framed houses and cobbled streets to provide for a particularly picturesque Christmas market experience. And there are a couple more rather special attractions that make Quedlinburg a top festive destination.

Below: Cathedral Square in the centre of Erfurt’s medieval old town is a perfect location for the city’s romantic Christmas market. © Andreas Weise / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Above: Colourful Wernigerode in the Harz: Stunning town hall – beautiful Christmas market. © Jens Wolf / Investitions- und Marketinggesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH (left)

Lauscha is Thuringia’s ‘city of glassblowing’: More than 160 years ago, local glassblowers started making beaded garlands and pine cones to decorate their Christmas trees at home – producers such as Farbglasshütte glassworks continue the tradition up to this day. © Adrian Liebau Farbglashütte (right)

Delightful experience not just for train buffs – a ride on the historical Harz narrow-gauge railway up Mount Brocken. © Harzer Schmalspurbahnen (right)

On the second and third Advent weekend, the courtyards of over 20 historic houses open their doors to visitors, inviting to explore arts and crafts stalls and sample culinary delights. Plus, the city itself is transformed into a kind of giant Advent calendar in the run-up to Christmas. Every day until Christmas Eve one of the timberframed houses on the Schloss Mountain above town opens its door to reveal a festive secret. Where it will be on any given day is not known beforehand and each day, excited children and grown-ups alike venture out to find the right house that is marked with a shining star. To put the icing on the cake of the Harz Mountain Christmas experience, a ride on the region’s narrow-gauge railway, the Harz Mountain Railway, is a particularly impressive seasonal experience not to be missed. www.culturalheart.info www.sachsen-tourismus.de/en www.visit-thuringia.com www.saxony-anhalt-tourism.eu

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 61


Musical highlights at Dresden’s Semperoper One of the most opulent pieces in the history of music turns 100 years old since its premiere. A major work of programme music, it was ‘dedicated in gratitude to the Royal Chapel in Dresden’ by Richard Strauss, and the composer himself conducted the premiere of the Alpine Symphony at the then Dresdner Hofkapelle on 28 October 1915 in Berlin. TEXT & PHOTOS: SEMPEROPER DRESDEN | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

To commemorate the anniversary of this symphonic poem, it will be performed under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann on 21 October 2015 at Dresden’s Semperoper as part of this year’s ‘Richard Strauss Festival’, once more recollecting the tight bonds between the composer and Dresden’s Opera and its musicians. Not insignificantly, nine of Richard Strauss’s operas staged their premieres at Dresden’s Opera. The special concert with the Sächsische Staatskapelle will be flanked by two rather contradictory Strauss operas – namely, Elektra (16 and 22 October 2015) and Arabella (17 and 24 October 2015), which testify to the broad spectrum of his musical creations. These will feature outstanding soloists such as Iréne Theorin, Camilla Nylund, Waltraud Meier, Anne

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Schwanewilms, Genia Kühmeier, Bo Skovhus and Kurt Rydl. A concert matinee with the great Soile Isokoski will close the festival on 25 October. The following spring will delight fans of Baroque music, as March’s ‘Baroque Days 2016’ unite Händel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto (18, 22 and 24 March 2016), Alcina (19, 25 and 27 March 2016) and Orlando (26 March 2016) from the Semperoper’s repertoire along with concerts by the Sächsische Staatskapelle and a concert matinee with the young countertenor Valer Sabadus (27 March 2016). Guests of the festival include the conductors Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alessandro De Marchi, Christopher Moulds and, at the Palm Sunday Concerts (20 and 21 March), Reinhard Goebel, all of whom

are veritable experts on baroque music, as well as the vocalistsVeronica Cangemi, Serena Malfi, Sonia Prina and David Hansen amongst others. For both the Richard Strauss Festival 2015 and the ‘Baroque Days 2016’, ticket packages will be available for special rates, with reductions of 20 per cent and 50 per cent on the regular price. www.semperoper.de Main image: Alcina Above: Arabella Orlando Elektra Below: Thielemann Christian


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt & Thuringia

A truly timeless scent, made in Saxony The perfume, Casino de luxe, was first created in the former East Germany but has now entered another phase of success. The rediscovered scent has many fans, those from back in the day as well as new ones. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTO: PRESS IMAGE

Company director Gabriele Fritzsche has known the perfume since her childhood. She remembers how she smelt it the first time her dad gave it to her mum for Christmas. When Fritzsche started running her own perfume store in the 1990’s, many women enquired about Casino de luxe, so she included it in her stock. In 2007, however, manufacturing of Casino de luxe was stopped for good. Despite this, an evergrowing base of customers kept asking about it and so Fritzsche and business partner Torsten Enders did not hesitate and bought the brand, a good decision as it turns out.

Today the perfume is particularly popular amongst elderly ladies but there are some new editions aimed at younger customers too.The intriguing scent has a masculinity to its base note and at first delivers a citrus aroma, which then develops into an elegant, flowery note before turning into an empowering sensual scent. “Those who love the brand, will also enjoy the newVilafee and Classic Man scents,” explains Fritzsche.“The original scent also represents a way of living. It was created in 1965 during the period of the economic miracle in Eastern Germany and many local women still associate the development of their careers with the perfume.”

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt & Thuringia

Dresden makes winter sparkle Winter brings out its best side on the river Elbe, and never more so than at the 581st Striezelmarkt and traditional festivals. But that’s not all – Dresden has a legion of spectacular, shimmering opportunities in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year. TEXT & PHOTOS: DRESDEN MARKETING GMBH | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

The traditional Striezelmarkt, Germany’s oldest Christmas market, promises an inimitable atmosphere in the heart of Dresden’s baroque Altstadt, where Christmas cheer is celebrated from 26 November until 24 December 2015, promising local artisan crafts, tasty treats, irresistible gifts – and the many festivals at the Striezelmarkt. The 22nd Stollenfest on 5 December is an irrefutable highlight, as the giant Stollen cake, more than four metres in length and weighing several tons, will be cut! With 2016 marking the 800th birthday of the Dresdner Kreuzchor, this year’s impressive Advent choir concert in Dresden stadium will shine in preparation for the

great anniversary with thousands of locals singing in harmony. There will also be the remarkableVesper services, where the Frauenkirche welcomes thousands of visitors each year for their annual ChristmasVesper service. Be part of it, rejoicing in the holiday spirit on Christmas Eve with soloists, the Dresdner Motettenchor and the Ludwig Güttler brass ensemble. The best way to end the year is surely at Dresden’s Theaterplatz for the SilvesterOpen Air, where around 20,000 visitors greet the New Year in front of the spectacular backdrop of Dresden’s Cathedral, Semper Opera House and Zwinger. Will you and your friends be there too?

Top: Striezelmarkt. Photo: Sylvio Dittrich Above: Kreuzchor. Photo: Matthias Kruger

www.dresden.de/striezelmarkt www.dresden.de/weihnachtshauptstadt www.kreuzchor.com www.frauenkirche-dresden.de www.silvesterstadt.de

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Dresden makes winter sparkle. 581st Striezelmarkt plus 10 other specially themed Christmas markets 26th November â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 24th December 2015 800th Anniversary of the Dresden Kreuzchor: Open-Air Advent Concert in Dresden Stadium 21st December 2015 Traditional Christmas Vespers outside the Frauenkirche 23rd December 2015 New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Open Air Ball on Theaterplatz 31st December 2015 11th SemperOpernball/ SemperOpenairball 29th January 2016

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Special Theme

Main image: Cross-country skiing through Trin’s nature. © Sandro Spreiter

Top Winter Destinations

Left: The idyllic Lake Cresta. © Hanspeter Herzog (top) Hanging bridge in Trin Station in the middle of the Rheinschlucht gorge. © Sandro Spreiter (middle) Glacial mills on Alp Mora. © Nelly Casty (below) Bottom: Indian summer in Trin. © Hanspeter Herzog

Escaping the hustle and bustle Switzerland’s Trin is different. The small, Rhaeto-Romanic mountain village is located high above an impressive Rheinschlucht gorge on a sun terrace. Nestled into a magnificent mountain world, Trin is the perfect place for relaxation, as well as activity, for the whole family. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SANDRO SPREITER I HANSPETER HERZOG I NELLY CASTY

A beautiful mountain panorama, a steelblue sky and extensive hiking paths – one wouldn’t imagine that Trin doesn’t lie far from the big tourist destination Flims/Laax. Only 12 kilometres from Chur and five kilometres from Flims, Trin visitors have everything at their doorstep but can also enjoy pure nature far off the beaten tourist track. “In Trin you can find small guest houses, privately managed B&B’s and a campsite for affordable prices,“ Pia Caprez, president of Trin’s tourist office, explains. The sun-pampered village on 800 metres above sea level consists of three fractions (Trin, Trin-Digg and Trin-Mulin) and lies amidst the canton of Graubuenden. In summer, the varied topography and the extensive hiking path network invites visitors for hiking or biking tours.“Tranquility and magnificent views across the mountain panorama are constant companions,“ Caprez adds. In winter, visitors can easily

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reach Graubuenden’s largest ski and winter resort of Laax. Trin-Mulin, however, offers an alternative to the busy skiing operations on the mountain. A 17-kilometre-long, scenically varied cross-country ski trail. Professional cross-country instructors offer competent group, private or taster courses on a special training area. “For those, who want to discover the wintery mountain world on foot, we recommend a snowshoe hiking tour across snowcovered fields and meadows. Or try our 15-kilometre-long and well-prepared winter hiking network,“ Caprez adds. Other sights to see in Trin are two castle ruins with spectacular vistas which are witnesses of the village’s history-steeped background. The idyllic Lake Cresta and its crystal-clear water is one of Graubuenden’s protected nature reserves. Or why not look at impressive glacial mills filled with spring water on Alp Mora? Between Ilanz and Re-

ichenau, one can find Ruinaulta, one of the most magnificent landscapes of the Alps. The impressive Rheinschlucht gorge isn’t called ‘Swiss Grand Canyon‘ for nothing, the riverside forests along the Anterior Rhine comprise of rare bird species and wild orchids and in Trin Station one can find a 105-metre-long wooden hanging bridge. The fortress museum Sperre Trin can be found inside cliffs and shows several bunkers of the Swiss army from the Second World War. www.trin-verkehrsverein.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Winter Destinations

The epitome of cosiness and authenticity Amidst the exceptional natural beauty of Trin Mulin, one can find a traditional log house which spreads warmth and quaint cosiness with its interior, as well as exterior. The family-run small hotel and restaurant Ustria Parlatsch impresses with a personal ambience and a sensational, authentic regional cuisine.

Main image: Exterior view of the Ustria Parlatsch hotel Above: The hotel’s sun terrace (left) The hotel’s restaurant (middle) A cosy guest room (right)

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ANDY CRESTANI, HOTEL-FOTOGRAFIE.CH

Built in 1976 with wood from Trin’s forest, Petra Kreilos’ parents were able to transform the hotel Ustria Parlatsch into a true gem with a huge amount of diligence, vigour and affection. “After 33 years, they retired and now I seek to continue the hotel’s tradition in the second generation,” Petra smiles. Standing out due to a special cosiness and homelike ambience, the hotel’s architecture has even more to offer: authentic round beams were used which are no longer easy to find these days. Comprising of nine guest rooms, each one is individually furnished and decorated with great attention to detail.“Because our hotel is so small, we guarantee personal contact with our guests,”Petra adds. Situated only

five minutes from the big holiday destination Flims Laax and located directly at Trin Mulin’s cross-country ski trail, the hotel is nestled into beautiful surroundings so that guests can expect breath-taking views across the magnificent landscape. Many locals and people from neighbouring villages visit the Ustria Parlatsch, especially the hotel’s restaurant as the authentic and young team of employees pamper their guests with specialties and tasty products from Graubuenden.“Our cooking is honest and tastes just like at grandma’s,” Petra notes. Guests can expect genuine, homemade dishes made out of selected products from the region. Convenience food is a for-

eign concept at the Ustria Parlatsch. One can relax inside the cosy restaurant or chose the sun terrace for a morning coffee, the lunch menu, a world-famous ‘Nussgipfel’ in the afternoon or a dinner menu.Visitors should try the region’s specialties, such as ‘capuns’(dishes wrapped in Swiss chard) or ‘Trinser Raviuls’ (pear-filled ravioli). Complementing this with the region’s finest wines or a tasty, cold beer from Flims will turn every day into a true highlight. Petra concludes:“We do this out of passion and our guests can feel this.” www.parlatsch.ch

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 67


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Winter Destinations

Main image: The hotel’s panoramic view across the landscape Right: Casa Selva in summer (top) Casa Selva in winter (middle) Snowshoe hiking with a view across Trin and Flims/Laax (below) Bottom: Table in Casa Selva’s dining room

The forest hotel In the midst of a light pine and spruce forest in Trin lies Hotel Casa Selva. Not your usual inn, tenant couple Regina and Rene Spack put special emphasis on a personal, familial and child-friendly ambience, as well as on cosiness, sustainability and an exceptionally fresh cuisine. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: RENE SPACK

“Our guests aren’t only guests but friends. We do everything for them and we love doing what we do,“ Rene Spack says. Casa Selva is located amidst the beautiful Flims Grosswald, which is one of Graubuenden’s largest and continuous forests. Thus, the hotel poses as the perfect backdrop for relaxation and enjoying nature. Only a few metres away from the hotel, the well-traced and 1.2-kilometre long ‘Fitness Parcours‘ can be found. With its various ferns and forest clearings, it will give the impression of an enchanted forest. Due to its central position, only five minutes by car from Flims and 20 minutes from canton capital Chur, Case Selva is a perfect starting point for trips to Graubuenden’s uplands or the Rhine gorge. In close proximity to the hotel, the impressive gorge is hundreds of metres deep, with bizarre rock formations that invite for exceptional hiking trips

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With its familial ambience, the house and its six single rooms and eight double rooms, as well as one holiday apartment, can be described as‘homes away from home‘. A visual highlight is that the rooms were individually equipped and furnished by artists. The property and balconies are oriented towards the south so that the hotel is flooded with light. Because Casa Selva lies slightly elevated, guests can expect a breath-taking view across the surrounding landscape. Another highlight is the lounge where guests can relax at a Swedish stove or play the piano. After cold days outside, one can even warm up in the hotel’s own sauna. “We try to promote the careful handling of nature. Thus, we use durable and natural materials and put emphasis on environment-friendly events and trips for our

guests,“ Rene Spack notes. The food is therefore solely made with regional, seasonal, organic, animal-friendly and fresh products which were produced by small, local businesses. Rene Spack says: “When possible, we buy our products directly from the farmer or manufacturer so that we personally know the producers.“ Each day sees a new, fresh and seasonal three-course menu so that food waste can be prevented. The fact that guests eat together at two large tables contributes to the hotel’s familial ambience. info@casaselvatrin.ch www.casaselvatrin.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Winter Destinations

Just like at home Restaurant aifach in Arosa sets itself apart with a distinctively welcoming atmosphere and impressive culinary experience. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: PIXELMEISTER.CH

When chefs Flo Weiler and Mark Stalder's searched for new approaches to restauration three years ago, project aifach was born. aifach, Swiss German for 'simple', keeps it simple: from A to Z - with some surprises. Their motto is “Zu gast bei freunden”, loosely:“a guest at a friends”.This is how you feel as soon as you’re greeted by a friendly “hallo”as you walk through the front door and into the charmingly decorated dining room filled with rugged wood tables, the lively sounds of the other guests, the smell of fresh bread and the open kitchen. You’re shown to your table and before you know it, you’re enjoying an aperitif. Every night they serve a different fourcourse meal. The wine selection hangs off

an arch in the restaurant and you select your bottle with one of the hosts. In the open kitchen the chefs prepare their“back to the roots” take on French and Italian

classics in full view of you and your 50 new friends. It is served in a communal plate in the middle of your table, so you can help yourself and enjoy - just like at home. As Mark says:“Every night is special here. Our restaurant is our stage, and the show starts at 6pm. It’s always different, the outcome is unknown… come be a part of it, help write the story of the night.” www.aifach.ch

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Winterberg At the centre of the international winter sports scene As the world’s best snowboarders descend on Skiliftkarussell Winterberg for the World Cup 2016, showing their skills in front of hordes of spectators, the festivallike atmosphere is set to be all-consuming. Not just a one-off either, Winterberg will also host the World Cup Bob and Skeleton races as well as the hair-raising luge. Offering top-class winter sports facilities and international events, Winterberg is irrefutably the leading destination within Germany’s Central Uplands for winter sports. TEXT & PHOTOS: TOURIST-INFORMATION WINTERBERG | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

As one of the most modern and fastest tracks in the world, the Winterberg Hochsauerland bob run hosts the pinnacle of such events, witnessing the FIBT Bob and Skeleton World Championships play out last February and two further elite World Cup events this season too.

20 kilometres of snow-guaranteed pistes, 28 snow-covered slopes, 27 high-tech chairlifts and extensive flood-lit facilities offering winter sports in style.Testament to the quality, the international elite of the snowboarding world ventured there for last year’s World Cup finale too.

More than a hundred of the world’s top athletes will greet Skiliftkarussell Winterberg on 6 March, preparing for the Parallel Slalom and lively after party. As the final contest before the series finale, excitement is guaranteed with crucial overall points up for grabs.

Comprised of ten ski areas, Ferienwelt Winterberg is set against the backdrop of West Germany’s highest mountains, with a total of 83 downhills over 50 kilometres with 56 lifts as well as ski schools and children’s areas. There are runs for every ability and weekday evenings see 32 illuminated floodlit slopes for further fine-tuning of skills. Every cross-country skier’s dream of per-

The biggest of Winterberg’s ski resorts, Skiliftkarussell Winterberg has more than

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fectly manicured tracks is also hidden here. This network of up to 165 kilometres of tracks means fun is limited only by your energy. Winter hiking paths are another option, with easy to tough trails weaving through the snowy landscape. Winterberg also boasts a world-class reputation with its Fun Parks, exciting snowboarders and free skiers with crisp jumps, sweet lines, boxes, rails and wallrides. Give snow kite surfing a go and let the gusts of wind move you over the powdery snow, take a few jumps and get some air. Young and old alike will revel in Winterberg’s ten toboggan runs (three with snow and flood-lights), so let the adrenaline flow as you head downwards head-first or feetfirst on your sledge, bobsleigh, bum slider or even in a wok or a Snow Tube tyre. www.winterberg.de Save the dates BMW IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Cup (4 to 6 December 2015) IBSF Junior World Championships Bob & Skeleton (Race days: 22 and 23 January 2016) FIL Junior World Championships Luge (Race days: 6 and 7 February 2016) Viessmann Luge World Cup (Race days: 20 and 21 February 2016) Snowboard World Cup (6 March 2016)


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Winter Destinations

Race and relax with the backdrop of the Alps Once the mountains and meadows are covered in snow, Alpenwelt Karwendel in Upper Bavaria becomes your go-to winter destination – no matter if you are after a chillaxing home away from home or the next adrenalin rush. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: ALPENWELT KARWENDEL

Angela Merkel and Barack Obama certainly enjoyed their traditional Bavarian reception during this year’s G7 summit in Krün. But even after summer has come to an end, the Mittenwald, Krün, Wallgau villages of the Alpenwelt Karwendel are worth a visit. “If asked to describe the winter season in one word, I would say it’s versatile,”says Carina Zielinski, marketing representative at Alpenwelt Karwendel.“Our guests include just as many families and nature lovers as highly active sport fans. Our many winter activities offer something for everyone. You can try cross-country and downhill skiing, sledging, biathlon, horse-drawn

sleighs and snowshoe hiking. In the advent season, visit the Christmas markets in Mittenwald and Krün, and for a breeze of Alaska in Bavaria, cheer on Wallgau’s annual dog sledding competition in early March.” For the really ambitious ones, Germany’s longest ski route Dammkar will be a pure delight. Those who prefer to stay closer to the ground can enjoy the award-winning cross-country skiing trail network in the sunny Isar valley. This also features the new 'Magdalena-Neuner-Loipe', which was set up in honour of the ever-smiling Olympic champion from Wallgau. Alter-

natively, join one of the guided hiking tours – either during the daytime or after dark with traditional torches.“We hike to a cosy mountain hut,” says Zielinski. “Once we get inside, there will often be a band that plays some cheerful Bavarian folk music.” Accommodation-wise, you can look forward to a homely atmosphere in the Alpenwelt Karwendel. “There are no big hotel chains here,” assures Zielinski. “Instead, you will find guesthouses led by locals, holiday apartments and privately let rooms, where warm-hearted hospitality is a key value. After a day out in the crispy cold air, this is where you can warm up with mulled wine and experience true Bavarian‘Gemütlichkeit’having dinner in a hut.” www.alpenwelt-karwendel.de/en

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 71


Adventurous winter getaway for the whole family The four-star Kids Hotel Oberjoch offers the superlative of infrastructure for young and old alike. Nestled into the cosy mountain village of Bad Hindelang and famous ski region of Oberjoch, the hotel impresses with various inclusive services so that no wish is left unfulfilled. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: KINDERHOTEL OBERJOCH

Germany’s ski region Oberjoch has everything one needs for an unforgettable winter holiday: a magnificent scenery full of white mountains, snow-capped trees and traditional villages. No wonder that it was voted the best family ski area of the Alps by the German Ski Association.“Families find optimal conditions here due to the high number of blue and red slopes,”Tina Stengle, hotel marketing, explains. However, many families are put off by the prices for ski vacations. That’s why the Kids Hotel Oberjoch has created a great deal; those who book an all-inclusive holiday, get gratuitous ski passes for the whole family. All the more gratifying that three new chair lifts, modern snowmaking systems, two ski parks and 32 kilometres of optimally groomed slopes are just 200 metres away from the hotel in Germany’s highest moun-

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tain village. Skiing equipment can be easily rented and various courses or a shuttle bus to the valley station are offered. Little ones can romp about in the‘nappy ski school’under professional supervision and older children can practice their ski skills in the ‘snow kids land’. Babies and toddlers are optimally looked after by 20 professional childcare workers who offer 13 hours of activity programmes daily in five age groups for children from the age of seven days (!). After unstrapping the skis, the hotel’s outdoor area impresses with a magical winter forest, a toboggan run and a mini zoo with ponies, goats, donkeys or alpacas. The longest waterslide in a hotel (128 metres), a big swimming area, a whirlpool, the toddler water paradise, an indoor ice rink or a 2,000-square-metre indoor play area with

a cinema, theatre, bowling alley, softplay space, go-kart track and gym round off the programme. Parents can unwind in the panorama swimming complex with a pool, infinity outdoor pool, as well as an extensive spa and sauna world. Comprising of an informal and casual ambiance, the hotel’s all-inclusive deal includes four meals a day, as well as ever-changing theme buffets. The gratuitous ski passes are available from December to April but only families with children can book the hotel. www.kinderhoteloberjoch.de/en

Main image: Waterslide fun on 128 metres Top: The hotel’s outdoor pool Family suite The Kids Hotel Oberjoch Bottom: Alpacas in the mini zoo


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Your perfect wedding - Ten things to keep in mind Getting married is a big step and in order to be prepared for the big day, there is a lot to be considered. Our writer Elisabeth Doehne, who just got married herself, shares a few useful tips when it comes to marching down the aisle and celebrating stress-free. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTO: MILA APID

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1. Take your time to plan In case you’re just engaged, you’re probably completely overwhelmed. That’s understandable, but it’s always good to start planning early – at least six months ahead of your big day. Keep in mind that most peo-


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Planning my fabulous wedding 2016

On the other hand, in many places, the ”deep”winter months - January, February, and March - are the least popular for weddings. Because there is less demand, you will likely get discounted prices on your reception site and other wedding services, like catering, photography and flowers.

sicians in advance to discuss your taste, expectations and the music repertoire. Familiarise yourself with the type of music the band plays and don’t wait until the last minute to book your wedding music. Otherwise, you might get a bad surprise. 6. Be realistic - know your budget well

2. Choose the right location Many couples are on the search for the perfect wedding location. Luckily, there are unlimited choices: from a traditional reception at a hotel or venue, to an intimate outdoor wedding (most city parks are free of charge), a destination wedding, a romantic beach or castle wedding, to a lowkey backyard celebration. In any case, it’s important to get a grip on the approximate number of guests before settling on a venue. 3. Teamwork is key As a couple, involve your best man or maid of honour, siblings, parents, or best friends in your planning and shopping activities. It makes them feel involved in your special day - and will also lighten your burden of having to do everything on your own. You should still make all the major decisions on your own, but it doesn’t hurt to listen to advice from others. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Do not overspend! There are many ways to cut costs, like do-it-yourself invitations, guest table signs, candles and any kind of décor. While it’s smart to invest in a florist for the most-photographed flowers (bridal bouquet, the head-table arrangements), you can do the rest. Consider taking a class on floral arrangements or ask friends to help you. 7. Catering and cake The cost of the reception and food will likely be over half of your wedding budget. You could ask your guests to bring desserts instead of gifts – or perhaps someone can recommend a reasonably priced caterer to you. Asking your best friends to make a homemade wedding cake is a beautiful gesture. Also, let one vendor lead you to another. Your wedding photographer can tell you which florist's blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band or entertainer packs the dance floor.

4. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Special Theme

Planning my fabulous wedding 2016

ple want to get married in the spring and summer months of June, July and August (the wedding season runs from May – October). Also, special calendar dates are always booked up early – next year, the date 16/6/2016 falls on a Thursday.

Break in your wedding shoes, try on your dress or suit, order your wedding rings, and practise your first dance together. But besides these beautiful things, there’s the other part of getting married: bureaucracy. Nothing can go wrong if you prepare and gather all the paperwork well in advance, especially if you want to marry abroad. For multicultural weddings, consider hiring a translator and be aware of certain cultural and religious differences.Your wedding day will be much more personal and inclusive if everyone feels truly engaged and all guests can understand and share the couples’ joy. Sometimes, of course, this also means to compromise and look at the bigger picture. 5. Hire a DJ or entertainer Decide early on if your wedding would be better off with a live band or a DJ. It’s advisable to meet or talk with the DJ or mu-

8. Be in the moment In the weeks leading up to your wedding, it’s normal to feel stressed, excited and nervous. When the day has finally arrived, remember that this is your big day. Smile! 9. Say thank you! In your wedding speech, make sure to mention those people who have helped you along the way and supported your love. This part of the celebration can be very emotional. 10. Honeymoon away... The honeymoon is a much-needed respite after months of wedding planning. For many couples, it's also the trip of a lifetime; a luxurious resort, the first long, exotic trip taken together or an unforgettable road trip. Enjoy your first vacation as newlyweds!

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 75


BombenFest creates dream weddings Marry like a snow queen or in the summer sun at Lake Garda A snowy winter landscape, a bride wrapped in a white fake-fur shawl, the sun setting behind the mountains. Or, to paint a different picture, a table set with white linen and crystal glasses, shaded by lemon trees and cypresses from the Mediterranean sun. No matter what a couples’ dream wedding looks like, BombenFest Eventmanagement has established itself as expert for individual weddings in Italy and the German Alps.

eight years now,”says wedding planner and founder Christine Wagner. After a successful career in international hotel management at the Munich Marriot Hotel, Chris-

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: BOMBENFEST EVENTMANAGEMENT

Imagine your wedding day. What would it look like? Maybe the celebration is at the shore of a beautiful glistening lake with water as blue as the sky. Welcome to a Mediterranean dream wedding at Lake Garda, where not only the weather and landscape invite to a great feast but also the famous Italian food. BombenFest Eventmanagement organises Italian dream weddings at locations around the lake that is not only a well-known tourist attraction, but was also featured in many movies, for

76 | Issue 31 | October 2015

example the last James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. BombenFest Eventmanagement, the German name a wordplay referring to an outstanding party, is an international team with experts in Germany and Italy that organise weddings on site, leaving the couple time and space to celebrate without the stress of planning and arranging everything. “Elegance and an individual style have been our trademark for more than

Portrait: Christine Wagner


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Planning my fabulous wedding 2016

warm-hearted, creative and customer-oriented,” she says. “And because we have long-time experiences as wedding planners and event agency, couples can rely on us, no matter if planning a wedding in the Munich area or in Italy.”

sunlight. And in the evening when the sun sets the guests will join around the open fire while the last light of day paints the snow outside red and yellow. www.bombenfest.com www.winterhochzeiten.de

Maybe this is indeed the key to a successful business in wedding planning. Not to use fixed templates but to realise couples have individual needs and unique dreams and, in conclusion, try to fulfill them as best as possible. So while some might enjoy the Mediterranean flair and climate Lake Garda has to offer, others might find their dream wedding higher up towards the clouds. In short: The Alps, where ice-cold lakes and green meadows are overshadowed by rocks and steep ridges, is a fascinating mountain landscape like no other. And why not go a bit further, not only enjoying the mountain site but also its culture? Many couples in the German region of Bavaria for example marry in traditional costumes, the bride wearing a Dirndl as a colourful and befitting alternative to a white wedding dress. While some might enjoy the finesse of Italian dishes seasoned with fresh spices, others might prefer the more rustic Bavarian meal. Especially the modern Bavarian cuisine blends traditional dishes with state-ofthe-art cooking. tine Wagner decided to start her own business in 2007. She started to organise and plan sophisticated weddings with a personal touch in the Munich area. Over the years she expanded her business, always focusing on creating unique moments bridal couples and guests will remember all their life. “With us no wedding arrangement resembles another, because we always focus on the individual character of each couple and therefore each wedding,”says Wagner, explaining her concept. She and her team are the mediators between the bridal couple and every single service provider involved, coordinating the couples' wishes and dreams with service providers’ individual style and personal touch. In short: Wagner sees it as her task to make everyone happy. “I would describe my style of working as

But how would the perfect 2016 wedding look like? “A wedding is perfect when the couple can look forward to the celebrations, be relaxed, happy and enjoy the great day to the fullest together with family and friends,” says Wagner. “Every tiny detail needs to get full attention during the planning process, so that in the end we create exactly the atmosphere a couple has dreamed of.” And this might not always be during the spring or summer months. On the contrary, says Wagner:“A winter wedding can be a dreamlike and simply breath-taking experience. Glistening snow and burning candles – that is quite a romantic atmosphere.” Not to mention the wedding sledge. And just imagine the above-pictured Alp landscape but all covered in white snow, shimmering like diamonds in the

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 77


Deluxe DJ Service The best DJ choice for your wedding Are you looking for a wedding DJ for your ceremony, cocktail party or elegant reception? Do you feel that only the best is good enough? Deluxe DJ Service – a small boutique firm of trained music professionals – is dedicated to making your wedding or other special event truly personalised, unique, and memorable. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

For some moments in your lives, you simply cannot settle for almost perfect. For weddings, it can definitely be a challenge to finding the right song or music for the ceremony processional, the first dance and the wedding party. If you are not sure where to start, it's important to find a competent and empathetic DJ service that can provide the entire repertoire of wedding music and ambiance setting.

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In case you are planning your 2016 wedding day or other unique celebration, be rest assured and let Deluxe DJ Service take over. The professional DJ team has the unique approach of merging your vision and ideas with their expansive expertise, musical know-how, technical equipment and passion. They are in the business of making any event perfect.

The best is good enough Headed by DJ Nils Liebich, his team of highly trained, professional wedding DJs provides the best music and friendliest consultation service. The small firm consists of music professionals who have the experience, professionalism and cutting-edge equipment to make any event truly unique and fabulous. “My professional goal is to make weddings more beautiful. For each location, we create an individual sound and lighting concept,” explains Liebich. Based in Münster, Germany, in the cultural centre of the Westphalia region, the team


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Planning my fabulous wedding 2016

ding celebrations and at 100 corporate parties and events. In the past, the team has worked with many prestigious clients like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Sparkasse and celebrities like Formula 1 star Ralf Schumacher. Competent professionals In many ways, this DJ service stands out from the rest. From the onset of the wedding or event planning, Nils Liebich and his team will personally meet with their clients and discuss all issues concerning music and entertainment. From this personal contact, to individualised playlists, attention to detail, genuine passion, and of course unwavering professionalism, this DJ service is committed to providing exclusive quality and music service at all of their events. Empathetic event planning Compassion, too, is an important pillar of the team’s success. They empathise with their clients’ and guests’ personal and unique circumstances, wishes, event locations, and plans. Because the DJ team has a breadth and depth of experience in working with a number of people – celebrities, corporate executives, and wedding couples – they can support couples in setting the right ambiance and harmo-

nious backdrop for the tasteful celebrations on their special day. Expertise in music and equipment Building on ten years of experience, the team will develop a musical concept that matches the taste of their clients as well as the location. There is no doubt that the right technology is one of the most important parts of a successful wedding celebration, and Deluxe DJ Service’s own technical department supplies all systems. They also bring backup equipment and sound systems to all of their events. Advanced planning Preparation and organisation is a must. When planning your special day around next year’s wedding season (March to October 2016) it is important to start early. The same goes for contacting a DJ service. Both cooperation and communication with the future spouses are essential for having a successful celebration. While Nils Liebich’s team prefers to plan ahead, they are also flexible and work to respond to spontaneous requests. www.deluxe-dj-service.de

has worked at many events in the region of Bonn-Cologne-Düsseldorf but also all across Germany. At their clients’ request, the DJ’s will also travel to other European event locations. Weddings and company events This philosophy combines quality, joy and excellent musical know-how.“For us, every time we perform music is a true highlight – and this applies for playing in front of five but also for 10,000 people,“ describes Liebich. In fact, these DJs maintain the absolute highest standards and dedication imaginable. Each year, they play at about 200 wed-

Portrait: Dennis Walterscheid, DJ, event planner and event coordinator for Deluxe DJ Service

Portrait: Nils Liebich, Deluxe DJ Service’s owner, lead DJ, and entertainer

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 79


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Planning my fabulous wedding 2016

Passionate about exceptional bridal wear La Donna offers exclusive and fine bridal fashion from international top designers for the bride and groom alike. Those who seek the exceptional and want to stand out from the masses will find their special dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outfit at La Donna in Schierling. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: LA DONNA BRAUTMODEN I PATRICIA HAU PHOTOGRAPHY

Situated near Regensburg and Munich, the shop impresses with professional customer service, competent advice and, of course, heavenly dresses. La Donna stands for style, quality and a fine sense for emphasising each brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personality. The shop, with its modern, cosy and casual ambience comprises a chill out lounge, a sun terrace and an exclusive coffee bar so that every guest can feel at home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For us, each bride is unique and each wedding an adventure. Our goal is to constantly offer the newest trends, the best designs and highest quality. We love to accompany couples on their way to the altar,â&#x20AC;? Carola Grabs, manager, explains. La Donnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s product range offers special labels

and unique styles. Modest, fine wedding dresses in vintage, bohemian or boho styles are as much past of their product range as classic and elegant gowns, casual jumpsuits or short bridal dresses for beach weddings or the registry office. Trendy styles for the groom, from wooden bow ties to braces and sporty Italian cuts, as well as accessories and type advice are also available. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At La Donna, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t solely care about the sale. We want to get to know our customers and pass on tips and tricks,â&#x20AC;?Grabs smiles. www.ladonna-brautmoden.de Top: Š Patricia Hau Photography Right: Team of La Donna. Š La Donna Brautmoden

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An unforgettable location Those who seek only the most exceptional for their wedding are sure to find the perfect location at Berlin‘s five-star SCHLOSSHOTEL IM GRUNEWALD. The exceptional design hotel offers a maximum of luxury – not only because of a special cooperation with famous designer Patrick Hellmann.

Main image: The SCHLOSSHOTEL IM GRUNEWALD From top down: The hotel lobby Room ‘New York‘. Premium Room designed by Patrick Hellmann Room ‘Bohème‘. Premium Room designed by Patrick Hellmann Bottom: The ‘room of mirrors’ (public sphere)

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SCHLOSSHOTEL IM GRUNEWALD

“The hotel offers 100 per cent satisfaction for their guests; far beyond the normal extent,“ Gabor Steiner, manager of Patrick Hellmann Collection, says.The luxury boutique hotel is situated right in the heart of Berlin’s prestigious Grunewald district. Only ten minutes away from Berlin’s Kurfuerstendamm, the historic villa‘s park-like gardens, high level of privacy, intimacy and personal, tailor-made service make it the perfect location for people who seek to relax after a buzzing day in the city. An exceptional individuality is reflected in the 43 generously sized, historic hotel rooms and ten suites with high ceilings as international fashion- and interior designer Patrick Hellmann is in the process of changing the hotel’s appearance. “The rooms get renovated, redesigned and furnished with attention to detail and according to different themes. Patrick Hellmann’s signature combined with preservation of

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the existing old flair turned the hotel in an inspiring place where one can gather new energy,“ Steiner notes. The first Patrick Hellmann Premium Rooms are already bookable. Built in 1914, the tradition-steeped hotel combines the glamour of the last century with modern conveniences unlike any other hotel. No wonder it was and still is a favourite hangout for celebrities, such as Hildegard Knef or Jogi Loew and the German national football team in 2006. Romy Schneider even chose this location for her wedding day.“Those who marry here, will feel a special connection with the SCHLOSSHOTEL IM GRUNEWALD throughout their life,“ Steiner smiles. Perfect for a romantic hide-away, the hotel staff are sure to fulfill every wish while committing to discrete service and a maximum of attention. The restaurant with its contemporary menus and high-quality ingre-

dients or the elegant lobby provide an ideal ambience in which to unwind. One can enjoy a dip in the pool, indulge in a massage treatment, go to the gym or relax in a sauna in the hotel’s spa and wellness area. A large terrace with new garden furniture, as well as a cigar lounge with fireplace add to the hotel’s exclusiveness. With its warmth, authenticity and incredible charisma, the green oasis in Berlin is sure to pose as the perfect location for one’s special day. www.schlosshotelberlin.com


Discover Germany | Business | Coltene

Main image: Smile to go – the smile to go. © COLTENE Below: Beautiful teeth become more and more important. © Shutterstock Bottom: Due to its special inner surface, COMPONEER sticks even safer to the tooth. © COLTENE

restoration from canine tooth to canine tooth takes around two hours. Individual, broken or crooked teeth can also be adjusted and the result is immediately visible after leaving the dental practice. Co-developer Dr. Mario Besek’s core motive was to facilitate the teeth refurbishment process for dentists. “He definitely achieved this. COMPONEER is a bit like going to the nail spa. A dentist can now immediately and effectively treat caries, gaps, discoloration or broken off edges,” Weis says. “When the veneers are cared for accordingly, they can last ten years,“ Weis adds. Conventional teeth brushing is enough as the robust material is as low-maintenance as one’s own dental enamel. COMPONEER can currently be found in many dental practices all over the world. The following website shows which dentists work with COMPONEER.

Offering a smile to go

www.smile-to-go.info

The beauty of a person gets judged by his or her smile by more than two thirds of Germans, according to an EMNID survey. Harmonious tooth rows are perceived as attractive, but unfortunately not everyone is blessed with a perfect denture. Coltène/Whaledent AG found a remedy for this problem with a novel treatment product called COMPONEER. NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: COLTENE I SHUTTERSTOCK

Thanks to modern dentistry, effective methods which quickly and simply adjust shape, colour and irregularities are able to help patients today. COMPONEER are specially manufactured, very thin composite shells which can be attached to the front of the anterior teeth with a permanent bonding system and thus, give an attractive smile. The novel product from Switzerland offers gentle treatment and poses as a cheaper alternative to conventional ceramic restorations. Furthermore, ceramic is almost unrepairable - but COMPONEER is. The composite veneers are made of highquality, durable composite filling material

and are individually adjusted to patients’ needs and wishes. Size and colour can be adapted so that the new smile doesn’t look artificial. “The main advantage is that the insertion happens in one session. It’s perfect for a wedding, for example, when a patient needs a nicer smile quickly,” Jörg Weis, marketing director of EMEA/AP, notes. Currently, COMPONEER is considered one of the most gentle methods to whiten teeth or to adjust their form.“Solely the enamel gets roughened a bit so that the tooth substance is mostly preserved,“ Weis adds. A

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 83


Business

Smart Energy

The energy park at the DMG MORI Global Headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland

GILDEMEISTER energy solutions Innovative energy products and concepts for all industries A flagship project when it comes to self-generating, storing and utilising energy is the DMG MORI Global Headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland. The project was instigated by the energy efficiency program from the DMG MORI group, the parent company of GILDEMEISTER energy solutions, with the objective to reduce energy costs across the entire company by 30 per cent. Alongside efforts to improve energy efficiency, the integration of renewable energy sources was a major consideration to increase the building’s self-sufficiency level and to create long-term savings. TEXT & PHOTOS: GILDEMEISTER ENERGY SOLUTIONS | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

With 42 solar tracking systems of the SunCarrier brand, Winterthur is now home to an impressive energy park. The systems can yield up to 40 per cent more energy compared to fixed photovoltaic systems, which enables a better spread of the energy yield throughout the day.The solar panels have a power output of 280 kWp, generating around 330,000 kWh of electricity per year – a figure that equates to enough energy for 100 households for one year. Both the building and the integrated e-charging station are powered by renewable energies, and the high-speed charging option for electric vehicles to charge in 30 minutes is highly pop-

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ular both with external e-vehicle drivers as well as for the internal e-mobility fleet. To ensure that vehicles can still be charged with green energy during the night, when the solar systems are not generating electricity, a storage-system has been incorporated into the whole concept. The installed CellCube FB 200-400 has a power output of 200 kW and a storage capacity of 400 kWh. Based on the vanadium redox flow technology, the energy storage system is freely scalable in power output and capacity and features a notably long service life with almost unlimited cycles of charging and discharging.

The storage system does not only supply energy to the e-charging station, it also maximises the facility’s self-consumption. The storage unit, produced by GILDEMEISTER energy storage GmbH inVienna, can also be used to safeguard sensitive areas, to even out peak loads or as an entire off-grid solution. Once the storage system in Winterthur is fully charged with its 400 kWh capacity, it is capable of providing 40 households with 24 hours worth of energy, or an electric car with enough energy for around 2,800 kilometres of driving. The energy efficient construction standard as well as the integration of renewable energies and innovative storage technology will result in savings of around five million Swiss Francs in the next 30 years.The site’s current savings and expenses can be observed in real time with an integrated monitoring system called GILDEMEISTER energy monitor.With innovative systems and products, GILDEMESTER energy solutions is a competent partner, who enables energy-intensive users to gain control of their own energy supplies. If you require more information you can meet the energy experts from GILDEMEISTER energy solutions at the European Utility Week inVienna, held from 3 to 5 November. www.energy.gildemeister.com/en


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Discover Germany | Business | Rechtsanwälte Petersen

Portraits: Jens Petersen (far left) Jutta Petersen (left)

always advise people to rule the succession in each country separately according to the state’s laws, drawing up a testament in each,”explains Petersen, who often works together with a network of local partners to ensure the procedures are done accordingly.

Dealing with inheritances in an international context Losing a family member, a parent or sibling, is never easy and often enough the accompanying paperwork makes it more burdensome. What is not commonly known is that when it comes to handling inheritances one can get the professional help of lawyers like those at Petersen Rechtsanwälte. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Most heirs want a dignified funeral for their relative and even the notion is unbearable that the interior of a deceased’s home, maybe even precious mementos could be simply thrown away,”says lawyer Jens Petersen. Often enough heirs need help with the many regulations that have to be considered when dealing with an inheritance. It is simply impossible to get an overview without having studied the legal situation for years. International inheritance laws have become more and more important in recent years, because people have become more mobile and have properties in foreign countries. Take for example someone who has moved to another country to work there, buys a

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house and in later years moves back to his home country without selling it. The same problem arises when someone moves for example to the Mediterranean when retiring. This means their heirs are suddenly confronted with two legal systems. “We

With 20 years of expertise, Petersen also knows how to avoid costly mistakes.“Compare it to building a house: Of course you can theoretically do everything on your own, but it will probably be more cost efficient to commission an architect.” Petersen, who not only consults clients but also quite often works as lawyer at court, offers full service solutions from settling the inheritance to selling a property. This often is a genuine relief for those who have lost a dear person:“As an heir you are suddenly confronted with managing two lives: your own and that of the deceased.” Without professional help this often leaves people no time to grieve. Legacy is important for Jens Petersen on quite a personal level. It was his father who introduced him to this field of law after working in it for many years. The law office now exists in the third generation – an important factor for many clients putting their trust in a family tradition. www.petersen-nachlassverwaltungen.de


Discover Germany | Business | Höchstetter & Kollegen

Finding solutions for every problem Law and tax firm Höchstetter & Kollegen stands for competent, highly creative and qualified legal advice. Reacting in the quickest way possible, Prof. Dr. Klaus Höchstetter and his team work professionally, reliably, efficiently and budgetconsciously. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: KANZLEI HOECHSTETTER & KOLLEGEN

The Munich-based office with 17 core employees offers everything from tax and criminal tax law to criminal law, the entire spectrum of economic law, as well as corporate, contract, inheritance and foundation law.“We also support our clients with issues in the fields of tax fraud, discussions, international tax law, transfer of property, economic law and property law from A to Z,” Prof. Dr. Klaus Höchstetter explains. Experts in international and European economic law, the law office offers foreign language mandates and is “sure to find a solution for every problem”, notes Dr. Höchstetter. Comprising of interdisciplinary ex-

pertise themselves, Höchstetter & Kollegen also uses an Europe-wide network of qualified professionals, other lawyers, auditors or tax advisors from both in Germany and abroad if further, external expertise is needed. “Thus, we can bundle knowledge and guarantee a high degree of knowhow,”Dr. Höchstetter adds. Portrait: Prof. (h.c.) Dr. Klaus Höchstetter, M.B.L.-HSG

Clients appreciate the law firm’s highly motivated and results-driven working attitude. “We try not to waste time when it comes to advising our clients in a total matter and standing up for their individual rights,” Höchstetter says. The law office is sure to help their clients with a high degree of expertise, quality, professionalism, empathy, reliability, discretion and commitment. Quick, flexible and mobile; Höchstetter & Kollegen is even available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. www.hoechstetter.de


Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

An accident waiting to happen TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

Fashion retailer Hugo Boss UK was recently sentenced to a record fine of ÂŁ1.2 million plus costs after pleading guilty to offences under the health and safety legislation before Oxford Crown Court. What had happened? In June 2013, a four-year-old boy was visiting the Hugo Boss outlet store at Bicester Village with his parents when, tragically, a two-metre tall mirror weighing more than 100 kilograms fell over, causing fatal head injuries to the child from which he later died in hospital. A freak accident? No, an entirely avoidable one: the mirror had simply been propped up against a changing room wall, balancing on the floor, without any fixings, and was a serious accident waiting to happen. To make matters worse, this was not an isolated incident; there had been previous reports from other Hugo Boss stores of unsecured and falling mirrors. Little wonder perhaps that the court took the opportunity to remind businesses and the public at large that the legislation and sentencing guidelines on corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death have teeth. In November 2014, the Sentencing Council opened a new consultation on sentencing guidelines for these types of offences. They propose that the court should consider (i)

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the level of harm (including its seriousness and likelihood) and (ii) the level of culpability (ranging from low to very high) of the offender before (iii) assessing the size and financial turn-over of the corporate offender to find the starting point for determining the appropriate size of the financial penalty. Aggravating and mitigating circumstances would then need to be taken into account in the usual way to adjust the penalty, such as a reduction for guilty pleas. If the new guidelines are adopted, they are likely to result in much higher and more consistently applied fines for health and safety offences committed by large companies and the Hugo Boss UK case is indicative of a move in that direction. While Hugo Boss UK theoretically had a health and safety management system in place, this was clearly neither properly implemented and managed nor was there adequate training and supervision of its staff. The main lesson for businesses (in particular, public facing multi-site retailers) is that they must pro-actively manage compliance with their health and safety policies and continuously monitor and assure the health and safety of their customers and employees across their estate. This must include procedures for reviewing their policies and following up in the case of near misses and incidents.

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, Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Inn, London WC2A 3QN E-mail: gjk@hunters-solicitors.co.uk www.hunters-solicitors.co.uk


Culture Calendar Save the dates 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 October.

Main image: Frankfurt Book Fair 2014, hall 3.1 from the photo artist Michael von Hassel. © Frankfurt Book Fair / Michael von Hassel Above: Frankfurt Book Fair 2014. © Frankfurt Book Fair / Alexander Heimann Below: Berlin’s Oktoberfest at the Kurt-Schumacher-Damm. © Scantinental

TEXT: STEPHANIE BRINK HARCK

Berlin’s Oktoberfest (Until 18 October) If you want to experience genuine German atmosphere, the Oktoberfest is the right place to be. So if you can’t join the fun in Munich, why not head to Berlin instead? Berlin’s Oktoberfest at the Kurt-Schumacher-Damm is sure to impress with genuine Oktoberfest ambience. An original Paulaner festival tent, Bavarian delicacies, bumper cars and many more fun rides, good beer and, of course, ‘Lederhosen’ and ‘Dirndls’ annually attract up to 200,000 guests. www.berlin.de/restaurants/oktoberfest Steirischer Herbst (Until 19 October) The Steirischer Herbst is special in many respects. For 40 years it has been one of the

world’s few festivals of contemporary art, offering great international theatre performances, large-scale exhibitions, public debates, readings, screenings and parties. It presents and supports current artistic working methods, characteristic styles and discourses. www.steirischerherbst.at/2014/english/festival

The Autumn Festival in Lugano (2 – 4 October) Musical groups, artists and entertainers will host a series of different shows while the centre of the city welcomes visitors with local specialties, such as polenta with stew or beans, risotto,

Vienna Design Week (Until 4 October) Vienna Design Week is Austria’s largest design festival which shows how design shapes our material culture and everyday life. During this week, the whole of Vienna becomes a platform of design with a variety of locations and events in Vienna. www.viennadesignweek.at

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 89


Above & left: The Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart. © in.Stuttgart / Thomas Niedermueller

minestrone or gnocchi. Every year on the first weekend in October, Lugano celebrates the beginning of autumn with a festival dedicated to tasty local products. www.lugano-tourism.ch/en/ Day of German Unity, across Germany (3 October) This day is annually held to mark the anniversary of the nation’s unification. Therefore many people in Germany have the day off to celebrate. Across Germany, the atmosphere is very festive, and the day will be filled with many speeches by politicians, concerts, food stalls and culture presentations from Germany’s regions. The day will finish off with fireworks. Delete TV Video Art Festival, Graz (9 – 10 October) The two-night festival shows a selection of the best video art and short films out of 1,300 submissions from 52 countries. It is a unique window to the world of art that offers strong, wild and uncensored works from upcoming artists and filmmakers. mi9384.wix.com/delete

Festival of Lights, Berlin (9 – 18 October) More than 45 of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks and historic buildings will be illuminated during the evenings of the Festival of Lights. The festival, with its laser shows, light projections and fireworks, transforms Berlin’s TV Tower, the Museums Island, the Brandenburg Gate and many more attractions into magical sights. Special ‘lightseeing tours’ by bus, boat or bicycle are offered. www.festival-of-lights.de Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart (until 11 October) For almost 200 years, the Cannstatter Volksfest has enjoyed enormous popularity and annually attracts about four million visitors. People are captivated by the special atmosphere of the funfair coupled with festival tents, a colourful flea market and many spectacular attractions. Swabian food, beer and wine, oompah bands, parades, roller coasters and a large Ferris wheel are sure to impress the entire family. www.cannstatter-volksfest.de Fish Market, Flensburg (11 October) Did someone say it was fishy? Once a month, from 9am to 6pm, visitors can find Flensburg’s

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Fish market along the harbour promenade. At more than 60 stalls one can feast, gaze and buy. Offering different freshly caught fish, culinary delicacies, clothes or decorative items for your home, as well as a popular children’s carousel, the Fish Market is for everyone. www.flensburg-tourismus.de Frankfurt Book Fair (14 – 18 October) The perfect place for book lovers, publishers, translators and authors, Frankfurt’s book fair is known as the world’s largest trade show of books. It invites visitors to take a peek into the international world of books with various readings, exhibitions, concerts, films and, of course, presentations of books. www.buchmesse.de Freimarkt (16 October – 1 November) If there's one place that knows how to throw a party it is definitely Bremen. The Freimarkt is one of Germany’s oldest folk festivals and also the third largest. Throughout the 17-day long festival, Bremen attracts over four million visitors and has more than 320 attractions, rides and fireworks. www.bremen-tourism.de/freimarkt


Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Viennale, Vienna (22 October – 5 November) Vienna International Film Festival, also called Viennale, shows a carefully picked selection of new films from all over the globe, some of them even international premieres. The Viennale is Austria’s most important international film event and one of the best-known festivals in the German-speaking world. www.viennale.at/en Top: The famous Semper Opera during the Dresden Music Festival. © Sonja Werner (left)

Anniversary Concert in Dresden (24 October) The Dresden Music Festival presents a special concert to mark the celebrations of the ten-year anniversary of the reconstruction of the famous Frauenkirche. The program for this evening is coined by Dresden’s musical history and one of the highlights will be a European premiere performance of a newly commissioned work by Wolfgang Rihm - one of the most significant German composers of our time. www.musikfestspiele.com/en

Rallye du Valais, Martigny (28 – 31 October) Do you like cars? Do you like gasoline? And do you like speed? If you can say yes to all of the above, the Rallye du Valais is a must see. The rally is popular due to the spectacular scenery, special stages and central location. It has been a steadfast event in the Swiss motoring calendar for many years. One can look at a wide range of nationalities and motorsport teams. www.riv.ch/en

Vienna’s Viennale. © Viennale / Alexi Pelekanos (right)

Brandenburg Gate during the Festival of Lights 2012. © Festival of Lights Berlin TV Tower during the Festival of Lights 2011. © Festival of Lights (right)

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 91


The season of the vibrant colours Why we love autumn "Grinning pumpkins, falling leaves, dancing scarecrows, twirling breeze, colour, colour everywhere, autumn dreams are in the air!" a poem by Mary Naylor says, and it is so true. Summer may be gone, but there is no need to feel the blues. When the wind whirls the colourful leaves around, it is time to enjoy nature once again before winter forces us into our houses. And there are many more good reasons why we should be in love with autumn. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: EVGEN YATAMANENKO & PAUL GRECAUD

Forget about your hairstyle – at this time of the year, which German-speaking people also refer to as ‘Altweibersommer’, you must let the wind caress your face. It is not quite cold yet, so no matter if you live on the stormy seaside, high up the Alpine mountains or in a remote rural area, use the

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opportunity and take a nice walk outside, hopefully being able to watch some migrating birds on their way to the south. Recharge your batteries and catch the last rays of sunlight, because, as we all know, vitamin D is important for us. And who of us did not love jumping into heaps of leaves as

a child, especially when adults had just raked it up? Food, glorious food After a stroll in the wind, there is nothing better than a hearty meal. We can warm ourselves with a spicy pumpkin soup or roasted chestnuts. Quinces are ripe now too and they make the tastiest preserves. Nature lovers can go to the forests, where they pick fresh mushrooms. White mushrooms, porcinis and chanterelles are up for grabs now and the best places to find them are kept secret for generations. For the sweet tooth, the upcoming Christmas season brings along delicacies like marzipan


Discover Germany | Feaure | Why we love autumn

little ones entertained for hours, even flying it is not that easy at first, however, everyone starts somewhere and the practice is a fun activity outside.

the closet again. If that is too boring for you, have a go at this autumnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trend colours, like nude, pastel, bright red or copper colours.

Time to celebrate

As of now you can also take the liberty of being a little more lazy. Finally there is an opportunity to watch your favourite series again, read a good book, sort the summer holiday's photos on your computer, or to try something completely new. For instance, have you ever been captivated by the suspense of a good audio book? Additionally, anyone who has chafed at the summer slump can hopefully expect a better programme in cinemas now. Indoor activities like visiting museums and art exhibitions are much more enjoyable in autumn, too.

Autumn brings along traditions and celebrations. Thanksgiving, which usually takes place on the first Sunday of October in Germany, has already been celebrated for about 5,000 years. It should remind us to be thankful for what we have and to be responsible towards nature. 11 November marks Saint Martin's Day. People are evocative of the generous knight Saint Martin with processions and eating roast goose. A special feature of Austrian wine-growing regions are the Martini festivities where people enjoy the new vintage of wine. Not to forget Halloween, which is gradually picking up in the German-speaking region with the carved pumpkins to banish evil ghosts. Autumn makes us look and feel good Have you ever thought about how autumn can improve your look? No? Here are some examples why you should. For the ladies: The cool, clear air makes you look rosycheeked â&#x20AC;&#x201C; without using any rouge. And in general, in autumn it is absolutely justifiable to get your beautiful dark clothes out of

Still there are more great things about autumn. We do not have to be afraid of mosquito bites anymore and garden owners can leave the watering of the flowers to the rain. And to be honest, is candlelight not much more pleasant than the light of energy-saving bulbs? So get into nature and find out your reasons why you love autumn! Even if coldness, fog and November rain might depress your mood a little, there is ray of hope: Just look forward to the many Christmas markets starting by the end of November.

potatoes, stollen cake, gingerbread and an endless choice of chocolate delights. Inspiration is all around us Autumn is the time to get crafty. To keep it simple, the colourful leaves themselves make up a lovely decoration for the house. The more patient of us might like to tinker some chestnut manikins, which is a great way to get rid of the old toothpicks and matchsticks that were lying unused in the drawer throughout the year. Or why not try out knitting? It is said to have a soothing effect and you can create cuddly accessories for the winter, which are perfectly suitable as Christmas gifts. Making kites keeps the

Issue 31 | October 2015 | 93


Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

A particular German sporting hero Hooray, Boris Becker is winning again! Wimbledon, US Open, okay, by proxy and via Novak Djokovic but still, it must be sweet for him as well. Now, I’m not a Becker fan, I’d like to state at this point. However, I’m also not one of the ‘oh, he’s a bit of a buffoon’ lot. TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

I might be a bit nostalgic, but I’ll forever associate him with a certain day, July 1985, 30 years ago, which I still remember very well. Since this day was a good one, I’ve always found it a bit difficult to join the ones who seem to enjoy slagging him off for this and that. When he won Wimbledon, and the way he did it – well, that was something, I was 12 years old and playing tennis myself. I was so very involved and this crazy young guy on the court simply provided so much excitement and entertainment that it was difficult not to be enthralled. I always thought it interesting that Bobbele, his silly German nickname, seems to be loved so much here in the UK, and so mocked in his home country. Of course, things were different when he first appeared on the scene and his Wimbledon win turned him into an instant hero in Germany. Beckermania was out of this world, tennis became a big hype, the media followed Boris’ every move and people put him up on a pedestal. Then, gradually, things changed. The hero’s fall from grace, bit by bit. And once he stopped winning and then playing tennis altogether, it became a bit of a‘sport’to make fun of his private as well as business affairs. There was the tax evasion business, his changing female companions, the business ventures he started and stopped and nothing seemed to really work.

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To this day, and whenever the occasion arises, Germans and the German media seem to be quite keen on mocking Boris. In general, Germans can be quite quick when it comes to dismantling their heroes if they don’t play along and return the appreciation presented to them in quite the same way. And Boris never quite did, always doing his own thing and not much caring what people expected. It’s not surprising that he always stresses now how London has become his home and that he always liked being in the city, how much he owes to Wimbledon and how people let him be here. While Germans like to make fun about the way he talks (and in recent years increasingly about the way he looks), here they praise his fluency in English, let him comment on tennis matches, appreciate his sense of humour and put him on panel shows as team captain. I remember years ago when I saw him on They Think It’s All Over and couldn’t believe it. That would simply not have happened in Germany and I was even more surprised when an English guy once told me how Boris was his hero when he was a teenager and that he had his room plastered with his posters. Germans might not be aware of this, but good old Boris did actually contribute quite a bit when it comes to changing people’s opinions (stereotypes) of Germans.

Well, in the end, the story of this particular German sporting hero seems to again prove the ‘prophet has no honour in his own country’saying and maybe also shows that what Germans appreciate in their public figures is different to what matters in the UK. No matter what, Boris Becker has given me and many others in Germany a great memory of a particular day in July 30 years ago. And I think that it’s a nice little twist of fate that 30 years later, he’s – kind of – winning again.

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


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Discover Germany, Issue 31, October 2015  

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

Discover Germany, Issue 31, October 2015  

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