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Issue 32 | November 2015

PLUS

STEFFEN GROTH A M U LT I - TA L E N T O N A N D O F F S C R E E N

MAGICAL CHRISTMAS MARKETS BEST SNOW DESTINATIONS SWISS DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS FASHION & 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


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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents NOVEMBER 2015

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Photo: MAYRHOFER BERGBAHNEN

Photo: STADT ALTÖTTING

COVER FEATURE 6

Steffen Groth Actor, author, narrator, producer, director, family man and do-gooder; Steffen Groth is a true all-rounder. The convinced vegan talks to Nane Steinhoff about life as a multitasker.

SPECIAL THEMES Swiss Design Highlights Design made in Switzerland has long become an international seal of approval for innovative and striking creativity. Meet the designers inspired by the Alpine surroundings. Magical Christmas Markets Mulled wine, roasted almonds and all you need to have a jolly good time with friends and family. A trip to the Christmas market is simply magical, no matter what age you are. Best Snow Destinations From Arosa Lenzerheide to Mayrhofen to Zermatt, we take a closer look at where to hit the slopes this winter. Germany’s successful enterprises Innovative companies conquering the complex world of cyberspace while clearly being a step ahead of the competition.

masterminds of construction rounded off with our top four Austrian architects.

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FEATURES Northern winter traditions Jessica Holzhausen, a true northerner herself, spills the beans about quirky customs and cosy traditions.

Photo: LUPE/Ludwig Thalheimer

warmers, beautiful blouses, innovative timepieces and the best of Swiss design.

Attraction of the Month

Fashion

The municipal Galerie Stihl Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, is a true treasure chest filled with artworks on, or made of, paper and more.

It’s party season and time to stock up on glamorous outfits.

City of the Month Blessed with a spectacular lakeside setting and steeped in history, the extraordinary city of Constance is well worth a visit. Theatre of the Month Discover Schwerin’s beautiful historic Mecklenburg State Theatre, a cultural jewel in the North of Germany. Restaurant of the Month Right in the heart of Zurich is the place to go for gratins as well as a vibrant nightlife. Read all about the restaurant Au Gratin and the Heineken Newsbar.

REGULARS & COLUMNS

Wine & Dine Find out about Emozione, a very special wine from the Weingartner vineyard. Culture Let the winter begin. We have it all covered. From Christmas markets to ski slopes here’s all you need to know. Business Legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht explains why the customer is king. Plus top German engineering, Swiss legal expertise and a happy head hunter. Culture calendar Save the date! Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in November.

Great Architects

Design

Barbara Geier

They know how to turn a vision into reality using concrete, steel and glass. Creative

Award-winning designs from the 2015 Red Dot selection plus fine flooring, winter

This month our columnist Barbara Geier takes us to the Christmas market. Issue 32 | November 2015 | 3


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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Dorina Reichhold

Issue 32, November 2015

Marilena Stracke

Published 02.11.2015

Sales & Key Account Managers

ISSN 2051-7718

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Noura Draoui Stefan Cameron

Design & Print

Vanessa Vogel

Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Freya Plakolb

Executive Editor

Advertising

Thomas Winther

info@discovergermany.com

Creative Director

Discover Germany is published by:

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 Nane Steinhoff

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

Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Contributors Cornelia Brelowski Stephanie Brink Harck Emmie Collinge Elisabeth Doehne

Welcome to the November issue of Discover Germany. November is a month full of tradition and customs. “Remember, remember! The fifth of November…”Every child in Great Britain knows the famous rhyme marking Guy Fawkes Night, when the sky across the country will be lit with bonfires. Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the House of Lords in 1605, he was arrested and executed, and ever since the British put on amazing firework displays outshining the ones on New Year’s Eve by far. On the continent, the 11th day of November marks St Martin, traditionally a time to enjoy goose in gravy and honour the knight who shared all his belongings with the poor. Countless kids will carry lanterns through their local communities to celebrate the generous saint. The end of November marks Halloween. Celebrated to perfection in the USA, scary outfits and trick or treating slowly but steadily conquer the streets of Europe. One of my favourite traditions in November is the beginning of the Christmas market season. All over Switzerland, Austria and Germany the market stalls will pop up, featuring fairy lights, mulled wine, hearty food and the most amazing arts and crafts creations. All in all, we have a lot to look forward to in November, but let’s start with our latest issue presenting some of the finest Christmas markets not to be missed. This month’s cover star interviewee is German actor Steffen Groth, an artist with a colourful repertoire and – no St Martin’s goose for him - a devoted vegan. But there is much more to be discovered in this issue including design, architecture, lifestyle and business features as well as great places to stay and enjoy. Remember, remember to pick up your free copy this November!

Ina Frank Barbara Geier Jessica Holzhausen Julika Huether Sonja Irani Gregor Kleinknecht Benedikt Meininger

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

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Tina Awtani


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SEB voted best Private Bank in German-speaking Europe Over 100 private banks were tested by Fuchsbriefe publishing house with IQF and risk analysis specialists Quanvest. Their conclusion in 2014 noted, “SEB Private Banking Luxembourg stands out in almost every category: in addition to brilliant advice, the competition cannot keep up in terms of either investment proposals or transparency.” Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family finances, from daily transactions to long term investments. Its services cover everything from tailored financial management, through to helping you to optimise the legal and tax structures within which your assets are held. As one of the world’s strongest banks* and with more than 150 years of experience in private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London or Luxembourg: London Private Banking Team +44 (0) 20 7246 4225 privatebanking@seb.co.uk

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

BEST PRIV

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

A TE B ANK

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

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


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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Steffen Groth

Steffen Groth A multi-talent on and off screen German actor, author, narrator, founder of a production company, director, family man and do-gooder; Steffen Groth is a true all-rounder. Due to his good looks, charming smile and sporty appearance, many believe he primarily plays the role of a smart ladies’ man. However, when we met up with him, he puts an end to these preconceptions. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: THOMAS & THOMAS

Born in 1974 in West Berlin, Steffen Groth discovered his passion for acting quite early. “The idea struck me at the young age of nine and I stuck with it. At 16, I auditioned in front of one of my parent's friends at the Kammerspiele Munich theatre. I must have delivered an incredibly embarrassing act,” he laughs.“I have played the death scene from Romeo and Juliet with a rolled-up blanket, while pretending to cry. But then he let me improvise and nevertheless evidenced me some sort of talent. He recommended me to finish school first and then attend drama school.”This is exactly what he did. While visiting the Ernst Busch Berlin School of Dramatic Arts, Groth started off with acting in theatre productions. His television debut followed in 1997 in the series Freunde wie wir. Since then, the charismatic actor starred in productions like Bobby (alongside the gorgeous Veronica Ferres), the iconic Sunday night murder series Tatort, movies like Alles aus Zucker! or Einmal Hans mit scharfer Sosse and in the famous television series Doctor’s Diary. Freaky, strange and funny Female fans especially like to see Steffen Groth as a heartthrob. However, he has a

clear opinion to this:“I was offered to star in Rosamunde Pilcher 15 times but I constantly rejected, before I accepted it only once. I didn’t do it because of the story, but it paid the bills. Apart from that, I have always played freaky, strange and funny roles.” For example, in Doctor’s Diary he was known as an alcoholic fraudster who immured a guy in the cellar and almost had sex with an old lady.“I can remember how I was introduced to the series: I was drunk, half unconscious and floating on a lake in winter. These are simply things that actors are panting for because they are so absurd. I can account myself lucky that I have been used in such a diverse way.” Having played in various theatre productions, television series and movies, Steffen Groth can also be heard on numerous audio books.“The medium isn’t important to me. Either it says something and is fun or it doesn’t say something,” he notes. “When reading for audio books, I don’t have pauses. The longest I read in one piece was 12 hours; that’s really hard work.You need to constantly concentrate.”Other talents of Steffen Groth comprise of various dialects, such as Bavarian or Saxon. When filming

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the movie Marry Me!, where he played a post-burnout ex-pilot, he entertained the whole set with this talent.“I suffer from dialect Tourettes where I jump from one dialect into the next. My Swabian ‘Gruess Gottle’ in the morning has definitely prevailed on set.” “We need more compassion” Steffen Groth has been a vegan for three years because of ethical reasons.“I like animals and they don’t need to be killed. There is this sentence: ‘when slaughterhouses would be made of glass, people would eat less meat’. We simply don’t know what we eat and that’s why we can. Furthermore, over 50 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions stem from the animal production industry. Another reason is that the manure contaminates rivers, the groundwater and soils. Being a vegan is my contribution to the world.”Having been a vegetarian for a while in the past, some of

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Steffen Groth’s friends opened a vegan supermarket. He laughs:“You could say that I have associated with the wrong people. They have convinced me that milk and eggs aren’t really ethical either.” Steffen Groth has always loved the taste of meat. As an enthusiastic cook, he therefore learned to imitate the taste with meat substitute products. “I love to deal with food and it’s important to me. The Dalai Lama once said that if we would be more concerned with food and cooking, this would be a better world.”Steffen Groth also commits to projects with CARE in Cambodia, Kosovo or in Germany.“Since the birth of my two children, the world situation interests me even more. I do believe that we have an ethical, human crisis. We should understand that the world is one community and that we all should have the right to a life worth living. This includes food, water and pleasure in life. But we constantly deprive others of this because of lacking compassion. We

need more compassion and I believe that outlining problems, offering solutions and showing that we can help is a good start.” Groth is planning to establish a production company in the near future and further contribute something positive to the world. “I’m in contact with CARE and we discuss projects at schools in Berlin or in India.”In the future he would like to train to be a mediator or even completing a university degree. But at the moment Groth is too busy, having recorded an exciting audio book thriller about the Congo and currently filming Der kleine Diktator, directed by Dani Levy, where he plays in the lead role alongside actress Katharina Schuettler. “Other roles that I would love to play are the one of a conductor as I have experienced it a lot with my dad who is a musician. Or maybe a marine biologist, as I love the ocean. But I could also see myself as an author, sitting on an island and simply writing.”


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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen

NORWAY

Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg

Gothenburg

Aarhus

UNITED KINGDOM

DENMARK Billund

Manchester

London City

GERMANY Brussels

D端sseldorf

BELGIUM

SWITZERLAND

Munich

Z端rich

S n acks

Me als

Drinks

ba.com

Pap ers

Lounges

Smiles


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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... Design is best when it combines style and function or, in the words of the late Steve Jobs, “design is not just what it looks like and feels like… design is how it works”. We took a closer look at some of the 2015 Red Dot Design award winners in the product design category, which are all just beautiful!

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2

EDITOR'S PICKS

The Yps table is an in-house design by Austrian Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen GmbH. The jury says: “Formally inspired by the letter y, the self-contained design of the table is characterised by a clear geometry. A consistent realisation.“ Price upon request. www.team7.at With Christmas on the doorstep, beautiful crystal graces our tables and sets the right ambience for lavish dinner parties. The Diamonds glass series vases and lanterns by German manufacturer Zwiesel Kristallglas AG are guaranteed to make a great impression. From £25. www.zwiesel-kristallglas.com

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The V-Solid bench by Austrian manufacturer Voglauer Möbelwerk Gschwandtner & Zwilling GmbH & Co KG looks stunning in every environment. Designed by German Design Ballendat, this piece of furniture leaves nothing to be desired. £poa. www.voglauer.com

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Out and about in the cold? It is much more fun with the award-winning Strive CF 9.0 SL Mountain Bike by Canyon Bicycles GmbH. The jury says: “A distinctive frame design and components that adapt flexibly at the push of a button define the Strive CF as a high-performance mountain bike.” From £4,299. www.canyon.com Previously featured in Discover Germany, Swiss designer Karin Sieber-Graf scooped an honourable mention for the innovative Schlüsselbrett key holder. The jury’s verdict: “This key rack is an aesthetically pleasing, locally produced and sustainable solution for the storage of keys.“ Pretty, practical and pure genius! £66. schlüsselbrett.ch

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Mach dich Fraij!

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

www.fraij.com www w.fraij.com


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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds While November means St. Martin’s and Halloween to the kids, mums are more likely to be concerned about the upcoming party season. Everyone who knows about juggling kids and a career knows how vital a versatile outfit is. Just like German designer Anja Gockel, a mother of four and graduate of London’s Central St. Martins, who lives and works in the German city of Mainz. “I care about female forms, a great variety of colours and primarily realistic sizes,” she says. EDITOR’S PICKS | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

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This combination works from office to dancefloor. Just add a bit of jewellery and your day attire turns into a party outfit. Black pencil-shaped leather skirt with paillettes £389, top £222. www.anja-gockel.com


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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

It’s cold outside and we want to stay warm while looking fabulous. A stylish coat should not be missing in any wardrobe! Black and grey coat £150. www.otto.de

Jewellery is always a very personal affair. We like this big sterling silver ring featuring snake skin design by Munich-based jewellery designer Nina Trommen. £200. www.ninatrommen.de

This shirt looks fab with or without a jacket. Wear with black leather pants and high heels for a great night out. Nude top with embellished collar by Vera Mont. £51. www.zerres.com

There is nothing better than the good old shift dress. Keep it casual and team with boots or glamour up with a pair of stilettos and bright red lipstick. Cotton dress with flower print £358. www.anja-gockel.com

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The parquet flooring experts WOHNGESUND is Austria’s largest dealer for exceptional and natural parquet floors and country-style planks. With a special emphasis on friendly, exceptional and professional customer service, it also offers patio floorings and beautiful doors for one’s home. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: WOHNGESUND

“The wooden floors we don’t offer, don’t exist,” Gottfried Crepaz, manager of WOHNGESUND, smiles. This philosophy is reflected in the company’s central warehouse, which comprises of around 100,000 square metres, filled with wooden floors. Founded in 1985, WOHNGESUND has grown to become the forerunner in selling high-quality wood products from elegant oak parquet flooring to rustic country-style planks. The latter is the company’s core business. This seems no wonder as WOHNGESUND’s four country-style plank collections (‘Castle’, ‘Mountain’, ‘Scenic’and‘Vienna-Classic’) comprise of a unique character and exceptional finishing and are sure to lighten up everyone’s home. With its wide-ranging choice, WOHNGESUND’s team of employees is committed to exceptional and friendly customer service, which helps with the choice of parquet or the installation.“We show interest for our customers’ wishes. After all, they should

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get something beautiful and exactly what they want,” Gottfried Crepaz notes. Custom-made designs can therefore also be realised. If needed, WOHNGESUND’s 25 expert fitters can help to assemble parquet floorings or terraces in one’s home. Impressing with an outstanding price-performance ratio, WOHNGESUND offers 800 different parquet floorings in 100 differing wood types. One can find classics such as oak, larch or bamboo parquet, precious wood, as well as unusual types, such as rosewood or tigerwood. Solid timber, prefabricated or fish bone parquet, as well as other patterns are on offer too. Customers can also purchase indoor doors with real wood veneers or go for a modern version in white, as well as for various types of glass doors. WOHNGESUND is also known for their high-quality natural wooden patios made of teak, ipe or tigerwood, terrace floorings and WPC decks.

“WPC decks combine natural wood with plastic material and thus, are especially robust,” Gottfried Crepaz explains. Treated with natural oil, all products are non-poisonous, low maintenance and have high durability.“Besides looking for the highest quality, we also care for fair social standards in our production plants,” Gottfried Crepaz adds. With three stores in Vienna, one in Vienna Neustadt and two in Graz, national or international customers from Italy, Switzerland or Germany can also order online. www.wohngesund.at

Main image: Country-style planks in oak, ‘Cornwall’ Top: Countryhouse country-style planks in oak, ‘Alhambra’ Above: Oak parquet flooring in fishbone pattern Below: Wooden terrace flooring ‘Diamond Nut’


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Discover Germany | Design | Sophisticut & Casio

‘You won't like this blouse, you'll love it!’ For finding a business blouse that fits you perfectly, the online shop sophisticut has launched an inventive and easy concept. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: SOPHISTICUT/HANS DAMPF

Let’s be frank: the perfect business blouse has never been an easy thing to find. After scanning the shops, just when you think you have finally found the blouse to match your look, that's when the problems often start to begin.The new blouse stretches just a little too much around the bust, it may be a trifle too short, escaping the waistband and so on. With sophisticut the solution is just a few clicks away.

With four variations per size, sophisticut has found an easy and completely new answer to the question of how to make a blouse fit individually. Not only can you choose length and width, the blouses also feature a specific buttoning technique and, as a plus, the whole item is completely produced in the EU, with a tight and regular quality control. Click yourself through to your match and your individually fitting blouse will be

delivered to you within just a few days, for a very reasonable price. The colour range is as classic as the look.You can purchase your sophistcut blouse in white and blue and – as of this fall – also in black. When asked about the nature of her clientele, founder Agnes Prem says: “Sophisticut serves all women who do not want to worry about an outfit which doesn’t fit properly all day long, but rather invest their time and thoughts on their daily business agenda. Women who are just like our blouses: classic and modern.“ www.sophisticut.eu

Always a step ahead Since 1957, Casio has been a pioneer in the world of smart electronics, setting one benchmark after the other and conquering the globe with innovative watches, calculators, cameras and more. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: CASIO

Casio watches have reached iconic status since the launch of the first digital watch in the ’70s. Further refinement and futureorientated product development lead to the invention of the world’s first smart watch. ”Casio launched its digital watch featuring touch screen operated organiser, phone and notepad functions in the ’90s, a time when no one ever heard the term smart watch,“ says Kai-Christian Helms, marketing manager watch at Casio Europe. The latest brand of the watch family is the revolutionary Casio EDIFICE.“Supported by Bluetooth® 4.0 technology, the EQB-500 can be connected to several smartphones,“ Helms explains. With the touch of a button the watch can easily be operated via the free

Casio Watch+ app. Its owner can choose from 300 cities around the globe, pick his prime time zone, plus adding a second one, making the watch a perfect companion for business and frequent travellers. A further benefit is the integrated phone finder. Should the phone get lost, the watch locates it in effortless James Bond style. As this issue goes to print, new standards are once again being set by Casio:“We have a lot more exciting and innovative products in the pipeline, but until their official launch at the Baselworld fair next March, further details will have to remain top secret,”Helms smiles. www.casio-europe.com www.edifice-bluetooth.eu

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Discover Germany | Design | RIKA

Heating in a stylish, sustainable way Sitting at a warm fireplace on a cold winter night with the whole family – that is not just about the oven, it is about quality of life. RIKA offers many innovative ways to heat up your home. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: RIKA INNOVATIVE OFENTECHNIK

Founded more than 60 years ago, family business RIKA Innovative Ofentechnik GmbH has accumulated a myriad of expertise. According to their motto,‘The fire of Austria’, the company produces wood burning, pellet and combi stoves, all of them entirely made in Austria. Crackling logs or silently burning off, adding the wood by hand or take advantage of fully automated control – RIKA offers the right solution for every desire. “Customers mainly appreciate four aspects of RIKA ovens: The outstanding design, the innovative strength and functionality, the excellent customer service and RIKA's overall good reputation,” Karl Riener, founder and CEO of RIKA, explains.

Sustainability lies at the heart of RIKA's products and in 2013 RIKA scooped the Energy Globe Upper Austria award thanks to its unparalleled product quality. However, RIKA does not rest on its laurels. An efficient use of wood is equally important to them as to further reduce the emissions of their ovens. Their technology Rikatronic4, for instance, offers pinpoint firing, thereby decreasing wood consumption by 50 per cent. With RIKA's Warm App one can even control the oven on the move. Available at more than 700 partners across Europe, customers are warmly welcome to take a closer look at RIKA's quality ovens. www.rika.at

BERGDUFT ZAUBER DER ALPENWELT

Lassen Sie sich durch die Schweizer Parfumlinie BERGDUFT in die zauberhafte Bergwelt entführen. www.artofscent.ch

Erhältlich als 50 ml Flakon und 10 ml Rollon


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Special Theme

Swiss Design Highlights

The texture of design:

Isabel Bürgin creations When asked about what defines her brand, the textile designer Isabel Bürgin says: treating customers as individuals with individual needs. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: ISABEL BÜRGIN, NIKLAUS BÜRGIN

Consequently, starting out in 1986, her first years in production showed unique, oneof-a-kind woven carpets with each piece championing a texture of its own. Meaning that for each client she would compose not only a unique pattern but also a unique haptic quality. And - it goes without saying - each item was handcrafted by herself. While still doing her own weaving, Bürgin is nowadays also engaging two Swiss hand-weaving enterprises with social backgrounds. Over time, she has developed her own classics, which became the basis for her collection as it is proudly presented today. She prefers simple patterns, using oldstyle weaving techniques, but each design shows something surprising: be it through a new colour combination or the choice of

material – eye catchers are guaranteed. For example, nothing less than Egyptian cotton is used for her softest-ever version of the Swiss 'hospital blanket', with a texture one immediately yearns to touch, even by simply studying the photograph. Apart from her individually styled trademark carpets there is also something rare to find for accessory junkies and lovers of exquisite furniture design alike. Featuring an understated geometry, Bürgin’s patterns range from earthy to bright and playful combinations and there is even such a curious thing as a crossbreed turnaround carpet – with one side made of rough monochrome goat hair and the other featuring soft and multi-coloured sheep’s

wool: truly a magic carpet which adapts to your mood! Since 2013, Isabel Bürgin promotes materials made of 100 per cent Swiss sheep’s wool which is burnt in quantities each year. Through pointing out such mistreatment of resources, she addresses clients who have not only a taste for sensual living environments, but an eye for both design and sustainability at the same time. Social awareness, a sustainable approach to material and exquisite design may be the three pillars of Isabel Bürgin's brand. However, individuality is her utter goal and her clients are as diverse in personality as her materials in texture. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of Isabel Bürgin design. Be surprised by what kind of item she will come up with in time to honour the event. Meanwhile the new Bürgin carpet will be presented in November already, namely at Zurich’s ‘Blickfangmesse’. But what will it look – and feel – like? Sign up for her newsletter and you’ll be among the first to know. www.isabel-buergin.ch

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Fashionable, fair and absolutely unique Luxurious Pashmina shawls are a true classic and highly popular around the world. The label catherine henggeler, of renowned Swiss designer Catherine Henggeler, stands for vibrant beautifully coloured shawls in cashmere as well as scarves in silk. Catherine takes great pride in ensuring that high-quality production is done by fairly paid workers. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: CATHERINE HENGGELER

Pashmina means cashmere. When Catherine travelled to Nepal in 1993, she brought pashmina shawls to Switzerland for a lady who wanted to sell them. However, she was not convinced of the colours. Catherine decided to take over the dyeing process herself. Since then, each piece is individually hand dyed by Catherine in her atelier. Carrying her hand-dyed Pashmina samples, she ventured out to find clients in London and NewYork. A client in London put her in touch with Donna Karan in New York in 1996. This sparked the trend of the ‘90s: Pashmina shawls in many colours, which have remained a classic. It was actually Catherine Henggeler who introduced the unlimited colour palette of Pashmina shawls internationally. Design meets art Recently Catherine has focussed on the Swiss market.This allows her to visit the retailers offering her diverse collections. The

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buyers can select pieces to compliment their seasonal fashion. By maintaining a supply of undyed shawls Catherine can respond promptly to her clients’ needs. Back in her studio, Catherine’s skills allow her to keep a wide variety of seasonal colours.

Through the creative process of designing, dyeing and stitching, Catherine develops new techniques and products to expand her catherine henggeler collection. Inspired by her father’s vintage postcard and book collection, as well as the panorama of the Alps painted by the grandfather of a friend, she recently developed a range of Swiss motifs digitally printed for her on silk in Italy.These scarves have proven to be a hit. The SCHWEIZER HEIMATWERK showcases and sells the best of Swiss design and catherine henggeler scarves can be purchased at their three Zurich airport shops,


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Main image: Vintage panorama of the Swiss Alps from Mount Toedi. Prints on silk form part of Catherine’s collection. Opposite, bottom: Catherine’s atelier space in Staefa. Rooms for paying guests are on the same floor. Below: Alpine panorama draped scarf (left) Digital printing process on silk (middle) Catherine’s creative process leads to bright ideas! (right)

their shops in Zurich city and other exquisite boutiques throughout Switzerland. Catherine creates exclusive collections of scarves and bags for well known museum shops. Catherine says: “It was an honour for me to create scarves in silk and in cotton/modal for the Gauguin exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland. It was the art event in Europe 2015.“ Catherine enjoys her contact with the art world. Always open for new collaborations, she recently visited the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid and established a new business relationship. Fair work as a crucial matter Catherine Henggeler sources materials for her accessories from producers based in Nepal, India and Italy. Most of her suppliers have been working with her for many years. The designer endeavours to ensure good working conditions, safety and fair wages.“Last year I had to solve an urgent problem in India,” Catherine recalls. “The workers were exposed to harmful ammonia vapours. I talked to my Italian producer

about that and also searched on the internet. I found an Indian textile chemistry expert who could help me. Thanks to this my Indian producer immediately took measures. He was completely unaware of the safety hazard. For him my concern had been an eye opener.“ Catherine has travelled extensively in India and Nepal. She has visited craftspeople in remote locations. If possible, she visits the production places and loves to interact with the workers. Once she set up a handloom with an elderly Indian weaver who only spoke Hindi. The loom was the common language. Beating down on prices is out of the question. Her producers know that and make sure to only source the best-quality yarn. Bringing the world home Catherine had a positive cultural experience as an exchange student in the USA at the age of 17. She maintains the essence of this in her large commercial loft space, which she purchased in 1997. Catherine designed and was involved in the con-

struction of her vibrant 650-square-metre living and working space.This contains her atelier, her apartment, and several self-contained studios for rent. It provides an opportunity for paying guests to experience a flavour of her creative world. Speaking six languages, Catherine loves to interact with her international guests.“For me it is like travelling without leaving your home,“ she says. Strangers who arrived at her place to spend their vacation often leave as friends. Anyone who would like to enjoy her hospitality can contact her by e-mail. Living along Lake Zurich, Catherine relaxes practising sports like rowing, swimming, riding her bicycle and hiking in the mountains. All this is inspiration for her and her catherine henggeler collection. New ideas and contacts lead to new products. Catherine Henggeler makes it a point that her creations live much longer than just one season. www.catherinehenggeler.ch

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What you see is what you get Switzerland’s loudspeaker manufacturer BOENICKE audio impresses with exceptionally designed speakers, which try to reproduce the beauty of sounds as purely and genuinely as possible. Sven Boenicke and his young team are committed to their product's high quality in design, of the materials used and of their sound. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SAMUEL RIGGENBACH

“I’m fascinated by the links between technical details and tonal beauty. It astonishes me with which simple means it’s actually possible to reproduce a sound with its sheer complexity with nevertheless a similarity which borders the actual reality and beauty of a tone. Yet the fact that the imperative knowledge about which materials to use to build a beautifully sounding instrument gets increasingly lost, works to our advantage,“ Sven Boenicke, founder of BOENICKE audio, notes.

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BOENICKE audio was born in 1999 and grew to be one of only two companies worldwide which builds speaker enclosures out of solid wood blocks using a CNC milling machine.“These solid wood enclosures are difficult and expensive to produce, but there isn’t any other material which has similar tonal characteristics,“ Sven explains. Customers appreciate that they know where the product comes from. “I like to be in direct contact with our customers and occasionally can even person-

ally install the speakers at their homes,“ Sven adds.The company‘s philosophy ‘Just as outside, it’s inside. What you see is what you get‘ describes BOENICKE audio’s holistic approach which does not solely offer surfaces which hide something with less quality on the inside. Examples of their revolutionary work are the W8 and W5 loudspeakers that are handmade in their Basel workshop. The W5 is small and is the size of a desktop speaker. However, it possesses an exceptional sound quality. Available in walnut, oak, ash tree or cherry, the W5 offers a very surprising form factor - you get a scale of sound which seems to belie the speaker’s physical dimensions: “To say that the W5 blew our minds would be putting it


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criminally mild,“ Srajan Ebaen from 6moons.com notes.The W8 is also available in the four trees and it is optionally purchasable with a proprietary suspension mechanism that most effectively decouples the speaker from the ground - increasing sound quality and relationships to neighbours. Amre Ibrahim from image-hifi.com described the product as “the Heart Opener“ in an article.“Our ultimate goal is to touch people with our sound in a healing way,“ Sven concludes. www.boenicke-audio.ch

Main image: W5 in inthewhiteroom, Basel Right: W8 Far right: W8’s insides; subtractively milled out of a solid wood

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Out of the ordinary Not shying away from bold ideas, the four architects at Vienna-based Who Cares?! Design use their various other talents as musicians, photographers, artists and designers to turn well-known everyday objects completely upside down. The results are refreshingly different designs which really stand out from the crowd. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: WHO CARES?! DESIGN

It all started when four adventurous architecture students fromVienna met by chance while travelling the world. Back in Vienna after their architecture diploma, Robin David Skala, Johann Szebeni, Marcel Steinbacher and Yusuf Yazici were reunited to work on a joint project. This project was never realised, but therefore another dream came true: their own studio Who Cares?! Design. Robin David Skala explains what makes the Who Cares?! concept successful: “We are four completely different personalities, but all four of us have to approve to a design sketch before it’s released to the

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outside world. Only when all four of us like it, is it going to rock!” So far, the power team’s portfolio includes the ultra modern Vienna city apartment Penthouse 23 or the so-called ‘ice bed’. The sleek, white design of the bed, that looks like an iceberg’s top in the middle of the room, even received the prestigious Corian Design Award from far-away Sydney. “We are very proud of this award,” says Johann Szebeni and jokes:“However, up until today we are not quite sure whether this should have been a national

award and the jury just mixed up Austria with Australia.” Whatever the project, the team always tries to think out of the box. Flipping wellknown everyday objects upside down and presenting them in a whole different light is their speciality.“Instead of defining it by the end results, our style can be described as the methods and ways of how we got there,” explains Marcel Steinbacher. “This allows us to work with all standards, whether that’s product design, interior design or architecture.”So what’s new for the four creative Austrians in the upcoming year? “Aside from the third Who Cares?! baby being due in May, we will present a Fashion Tool at London Fashion Week 2016,” reveals Yusuf Yazici. “So see you in London!” www.whocares.at


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vidualised trolleys for one’s home.“What’s so fascinating about trolleys is that each of them tells their own interesting story.They’re full of history,”Corina notes. Customers can pitch their very own ideas and wishes to the Swiss designer who then individually implements them alongside her clients. Thus, each trolley is 100 per cent unique. Corina’s portfolio comprises of gems such as a sound trolley with an integrated hi-fi unit, a trolley decorated with old mountain bike parts, one with a plushy cow fur pattern or one with a rusty look. Other trolleys were decorated with small, colourful tiles, or with colourful paintings and peepholes for children. There are simply no limits to the imagination.

Story-telling furniture Serving trolleys are mostly associated with travelling and planes, but creative mind Corina Hickman made it her task to substantially change this notion. Under the name Trolley4You, she now offers individualised trolleys as furniture pieces which are sure to embellish every home.

Advantages of the trolleys are that they are enormously functional and robust as their twinned wheels are stable, slip-resistant and manoeuvrable.The quality boxes pose as the perfect piece of furniture in the bathroom, office, kitchen or children’s room. They are functional little helpers to hold stationery, toys, bar utensils, barbecue equipment or tools.“I upcycle the old trolleys so that they can get a new use.The circle closes. I now am able to combine my former passion for the travel industry with my current passion for room, façade and trolley design,” Corina adds. For your own individual trolley, simply contact Corina. www.trolley4you.ch Main image: Trolley Crazy Cow Below: Trolley Rusty with Corina Hickman (left) Trolley Think Fancy (middle)

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: TROLLEY4YOU.CH / KARIN TANNER

Travelling has always been one of Corina Hickman’s big passions and also her profession. When Swissair went bankrupt, she had to find a different job and decided to found Ahornrot; a business for interior and colour design.“My first client at Ahornrot worked at an airline and was so impressed with my work that he gave me a serving trolley for free. I decided to revamp it a bit and when friends saw the outcome, they all wanted one,”Corina Hickman smiles.Trolley4You was born. Today, Corina combines her passions for travelling and colour design and offers indi-

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Trolley with tiles and wooden drawers (right)


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Good circulation is the key to good health Tension in the shoulders, neck and back are increasing problems in today’s society. Ever since 1998, BEMER Int. AG has researched its reasons and developed special devices that are scientifically proven to help. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: VERENA RÖLLIN

“Due to the fact that a lot people spend long hours working at a desk, many suffer from painful stiffness and tension in shoulders, neck and back,”explainsVerena Röllin, medical advisor and BEMER Freelance Partner in Switzerland. “Some even get headaches and consequently have difficulty to concentrate and work effectively. My recommendation: Become more active and use BEMER technologies at the same time.” The BEMER healing concept is straightforward. Blood circulation is the human body’s supply system. It supplies the tissues and organs with nutrients and oxygen while removing and disposing waste products. 75 per cent of this process takes place in the smallest blood vessels - the so-called microcirculation. BEMER PhysicalVascular

Therapy improves microcirculation and promotes blood flow in the smallest blood vessels. This improves the performance of the body's cells, which in turn may support pain relief and favour the body’s self-healing capacity. All BEMER products are certified, patented and unique worldwide. “Using a BEMER device is super easy, just turn it on and lay down for eight minutes,”says Röllin who became a BEMER representative due to her own positive experience: “A colleague recommended BEMER to me when I had a sports injury.Thanks to BEMER, the blood circulation in my ankle was brought to a normal level again and finally healed completely.” www.bemer-partner.com/vr-fit

Portrait: Verena Röllin

Where extraordinary design meets functionality Old barrels and canisters – for us, those might be just empty containers. For Swiss designer Martin Speiser in turn, they make up the basis of exceptional pieces of furniture. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: MARTIN SPEISER

The Sissach-based designer designs and produces furniture and home accessories, which are not just beautiful to look at but are also very practical. According to the motto, ‘Shapely in design – simple in its construction’, every piece is exclusively

handmade and absolutely unique.The fully trained craftsman was always on the lookout for something special to add to his home.“My ideas were always differed from what was already available.Therefore, I had no choice but to build the furniture myself,”

the design talent reveals. So he did, and after he presented his first collection at an industry fair, he bagged 50 customer orders straightaway. One of his remarkable creations is the Fassbar® [barrel bar]. With three sizes and more than 2,000 colours available, fans of the classical cocktail cabinet are spoilt for choice. A smaller sized solution is Speiser’s portable canister bars. Avid readers will like the magazine rack La Fleur (the flower). The name drops a hint as when it is full with magazines, the rack resembles a perfect flower. But that is not all: Unusual occasional tables, even with crushed surfaces, are also part of Speiser's portfolio, as well as stunning light objects. With over 20 stockists in Switzerland and Germany, Martin Speiser’s designs have already become a household name amongst the design savvy. www.martinspeiser.ch

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Restaurant of the Month Switzerland

When visiting Zurich, go simply gratinös Cleverly positioned in the heart of Zurich, Switzerland, the News Gastronomie AG, entailing the Restaurant Au Gratin and the Heineken Newsbar, is heading towards its 20th anniversary. The concept comprises of a rich cuisine starring a delicious variety of gratins and a nightlife scene bar. Have a hearty meal in a chic environment with a heartfelt welcoming host. TEXT: BENEDIKT MEININGER I PHOTOS: NEWS GASTRONOMIE AG

With a culinary history dating back to 1996, Urs Pfäffli’s savvy hand for business becomes blatant in his restaurant Au Gratin. Situated just opposite of the main station in Zurich, some 100,000 people pass the restaurant and bar per day and the name and concept of the bar are sold into a location branding. Since then the bar was named ZurichExpress bar, afterwards Carlsberg Newsbar, and for seven years now Zurich’s, and therefore the world’s, in-crowd take their drinks in the Heineken Newsbar. Guests will find 150

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seats indoors and 250 spots for standing guests as well as the desirable 50 seats on the porch. The futuristically lit walls and large array of monitors are one of the spherical pull factors of the urban placeto-be. “We come up with a vast range of spirits and classical cocktails. Moreover, we star seasonal creations of our own,” Pfäffli is proud to state and he goes on: “Our guests may savour our kitchen’s home-made delicacies. I recommend you side your aperitif with our divers empanadas!”

Since we are talking about food: the gratin concept Pfäffli has refined so diligently is still a single star worldwide! Gratins with less meat and more greens, all seasonal, harvest fresh and always breathing the pulse of the time. Next year’s anniversary sees a full 20 years’ worth of experience in gratin cooking. Come and savour the bubbling hot masterpieces. There are a 150 seats on the first floor, all in a simplistic


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Discover Germany | Restaurant of the Month | Switzerland

Lentil salad with smoked salmon accompanied with raspberry vinegar and mustard sauce. Bacon‘spätzli’gratin: homemade spätzli (flour dumplings) with bacon, veggies and white wine cream sauce, all gratinated with cheese Sri Lanka gratin (mild, medium or spicy): a gratin with chicken, rice, potatoes, vegetables, Sri Lankan curry tomato sauce, all gratinated with cheese World-renowned wines from Europe’s topnotch wineries level your pampered palate and prepare you for the rounding up with the house dessert, a light and refreshing cream with a crisp lemon flavour or a chocolate orange soufflé or a carrot orange tiramisu or a cheese plate or a slice of warm apple cake glazed with apricot jam. Heavens! Regular guests call their experiences at Pfäffli’s amenity “veritably a great experience”. Pfäffli, being a trained chef himself, could not think of a greater praise.“There is still this fire inside of me, to be a heartfelt host! Because of that I also demand and encourage my staff a lot and facilitate their developing,” he professes. Another aspect that is constantly being developed is their menu, of course.“I love to create new harmonious dishes for my all guests,” Pfäffli delights to say and points to the fact that they also cater for individual demands, be they rooted in conviction as with vegetarians and vegans, or be they inflicted upon Pfäffli’s guests by nature as with people who cannot eat wheat proteins or lactose.

“All over the world everybody longs for peace, by handling my guests respectfully I like to think I add my bit to this peace.” Open hearts and open doors at Zurich’s Restaurant Au Gratin and the Heineken Newsbar. Step in and enjoy, all about this place is simply gratinös! www.newszh.ch

Above: Enjoying urban flair at the Au Gratin balcony Left middle: Heineken Newsbar Left below: The gallery at the Au Gratin Below: Lentil salad (left) Speckspätzli gratiné (right)

wooden furnishing style that complements soothingly with the overall yellow-orange modern brownish colours of the restaurant.“During the summer time one of the 40 seats on the balcony are the gemstone everybody wants to have,”laughs Pfäffli. Not to make your mouth water while you read this, but here are a few fantasies you may indulge in at Restaurant au Gratin: Tuna salad with a hint of curry, served on warm rice

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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Andrea e Michael Weingartner

Above: Andrea and Michael Weingartner (left)

Andrea e Michael Weingartner

Andrea and Michael Weingartner preparing food for their guests (middle) Candlelight dinner in the Barrique ‘Estrich’ (right) Below: The Weingartner top wine ‘Emozione’

Wines and culinary experiences with a personal touch ‘Emozione’ is Andrea and Michael Weingartner’s top wine and its name – the Italian word for emotions – speaks of the vintner’s passion for and dedication to winemaking. Situated in Ticino in southern Switzerland, Andrea and Michael Weingartner cultivate three hectares of vineyards producing a small amount of white wine but primarily Ticino red wine – 10,000 to 12,000 bottles a year. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: ANDREA E MICHAEL WEINGARTNER

‘Emozione’ is a merlot wine – the vintners’ main product – and has ripened in barrique barrels for 18 months. While tasting of rich fruits, it also has a smoky touch in the finish. “We are a small family business,” says Michael Weingartner. He and his wife Andrea have not been born into the business but found their way into winery due to their passion for wine.“We are both newcomers from different backgrounds,”says Michael Weingartner.“My wife had been a nursery school teacher and I have worked as a software engineer before we started growing vines in 2006.”And they are doing it with

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great passion.“For our wines we only use grapes we have grown ourselves. With the exception of the harvest, we do everything with our own hands: from tending the vines to vinification, marketing and sales.” The grapes currently growing on five vineyards are picked and treated carefully like it is done in the Bordelaise. Fermenting for three weeks in big barrels made of Swiss oak for at least three weeks, the grapes are pressed afterwards and the wine ripens in big barrique barrels for normally ten months. The Merlot Riserva takes even longer – 18 months – gaining richness and complex aromas.

“Next to producing and selling wine, we also have a passion for cooking and do cater guests on our vineyard,” says Weingartner. Once a year they invite guests to a candle light dinner in the barrique cellar, where they can dine between big oak barrels full of delicious wine. Food is an important aspect for both of them and so wine tastings accompanied by regional specialties or a cooked dinner are always a highlight. “Often enough our guests visit one of our vineyards before the first course or we take them on a tour through our cellars, where they can taste our wines.” Culinary events, tours and wine seminars can be booked directly with the vintners. www.weingartner.ch


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Special Theme

Magical Christmas Markets Germany Main image: Hansestadt Lübeck/Baltic Sea: Christmas market for children. © Lübeck und Travemünde Marketing GmbH (LTM). Photo: Koenig, Jens Far left: Goslar/Harz: Santas on the Christmas market. © Goslar Marketing GmbH Left: Nuremberg: Christmas decorations at the Christmas market. © Congress & Tourismus Zentrale Nürnberg Below: Nuremberg: Nuremberg lebkuchen. © Congress & Tourismus Zentrale Nürnberg. Photo: Riese, Steffen Oliver

German Christmas traditions, 21st century thinking Specialist Christmas markets The history of German Christmas markets goes back to the late Middle Ages and Christmas trees and Christmas markets are among Germany’s oldest and most famous traditions. TEXT & PHOTOS: GERMAN NATIONAL TOURIST OFFICE

There are thousands of Christmas markets in Germany and Berlin alone has 60; in Frankfurt and Munich there are ‘pink’ Christmas markets favoured by LGBT visitors, plus Frankfurt offers accessible guided Christmas market tours for the blind and visually impaired. There is a vegan Christmas market in Hanover, an organic, eco-friendly market in Berlin and a ‘maritime’ Christmas market in Emden (East Frisian coastal region) with decorated ships; the pretty town of Goslar offers a dense, aromatic Christmas forest full of twinkling lights. The Old Town of Münster transforms into a wintery fairytale paradise. Dresden has the oldest Christmas market, which was established in 1434 and

the tallest Christmas tree in Germany can be seen in Dortmund. Today, Christmas Markets are a place where visitors can buy quality and hand-made Christmas decorations; discover traditional culinary delights such as gingerbread, the famous Christstollen (Christmas cake), roasted nuts, bratwurst and mulled wine. There is plenty of entertainment on offer, such as ice-skating, nativity plays, carol singing and Christmas concerts. Opening times vary but generally Christmas markets are open during Advent, four weekends from Christmas Eve and some even remain in place until January; entry is free of charge unless otherwise stated or for specific events.

Klaus Lohmann, director of the GNTO UK & Ireland said:“Germany is a country full of traditions and customs which thrive in the 21st century and Christmas markets are a perfect example of this. Nothing quite matches the authentic atmosphere of a real German Christmas market, full of heartwarming seasonal traditions and so easy to reach from the UK for a weekend or longer. Come to Germany for a warm winter welcome and discover our real Christmas spirit. Whatever your interests, it is a very special experience”.

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Christmas markets in Hannover The season of good will returns every year accompanied, as always, by the unmistakable festive mood, magical candlelight and evocative scents. Hark to the romantic sights and sounds of the many local Christmas markets in the Hannover region, and herald in the pleasurable Christmas season! TEXT & PHOTOS: HANNOVER MARKETING UND TOURISMUS GMBH

In the Old Town around the Market Church, between about 170 Christmas stands and the historic half-timbering, there is a magical feel in the air. Stroll through festively lit alleys to the Finnish Christmas village on the Ballhofplatz, where, next to a genuine Lapp tent, Finnish specialties such as freshly cooked flamed salmon or Glögi are waiting for you. Just a ‘reindeer hop’away lies the charms of the historic Christmas village on the banks of the River Leine. Allow yourself to be transported back a few centuries and experience old crafts and great activities you can join in with. In the Wunschbrunnenwald [wishing well forest] situated a few metres away, 50 fir trees on an area of about 400

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square metres create a fairytale atmosphere. Here you can find everything that your Christmas gourmet heart desires. And you can enjoy the Christmas mood outside of the Old Town too: in front of the main railway station, around 40 stands invite you to discover culinary delicacies and Christmas arts and crafts. And on the Lister Meile shopping street, it’s more of a family feel: the children’s eyes will light up at the toy trains, merry-go-rounds and puppet theatres and the culinary delights will also leave nothing to be desired. In the area around Hannover too, numerous small markets with arts and crafts and treats to eat offer you a relaxing Christmas shopping trip.

Hannover – a perfect Christmas shopping experience Whether a lengthy shopping spree or a quick errand – the vast selection of shops, all within easy reach thanks to convenient transport services, make Hannover a great place to shop and one that attracts people from far beyond the region. The pedestrian precinct is one of the most popular shopping venues in Germany and hardly any other city boasts such a high concentration of shopping malls and arcades and specialist stores. Shopping in the area around the Market Church is a particular pleasure, where the half-timbered houses of the Old Town, the elegant boutiques, art galleries and authentic pubs never fail to delight. Christmas markets in Hannover 25 November – 22 December, 2015 (daily 11:00 – 21:00)


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Magical Christmas Markets Germany

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library opens a special exhibition on the life’s work of the universal genius for theYear of Leibniz 2016. There are many things throughout Hannover which remind us of Leibniz, from Leibniz University right through to Leibniz cookies – although they were not one of his inventions. www.visit-hannover.com/en/leibniz

prehensive spectrum of everything from light entertainment to stage productions of the highest calibre.The State Opera and the State Theatre both occupy leading positions in international rankings, and celebrated conductors and orchestras of international renown can always rely on enthusiastic receptions from their devotees in Hannover. A yearly event you should not miss is the opera ball on 26 and 27 February, 2016. www.visit-hannover.com/en www.hannover.de/hotels

Discover cultural diversity Distinguished and diverse, Hannover’s landscape of museums and art galleries enjoys an outstanding reputation.The Sprengel Museum Hannover is among the most important addresses in the world for the art of the 20th and the 21st centuries and recently opened its extended exhibition spaces. The Museum August Kestner presents the ancient world and ancient Egypt, while the history of the state and the city is recounted in the Museum of History. Wilhelm Busch – German Museum for Caricature and Drawings, houses caricature, satirical art and a unique Wilhelm Busch Collection.

Year of Leibniz 2016 – where the polymath lived and worked In 2016, Hannover will focus on an outstanding achiever in every conceivable sector: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. 2016 will be the 300th anniversary of the death of the last universal genius, who lived and worked in Hannover for 40 years.

Main image: Hannover Christmas Market around Market Church. © Christian Wyrwa Left, from top: Hannover Christmas Market Historic Christmas Village. © Christian Wyrwa Hannover Christmas Market in the Old Town. © Christian Wyrwa Christmas Illumination. © Lars Gerhardts Below: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. © Hannover Museum of History Bottom: Opera ball. © Marek Kruszewski

The world exposition EXPO 2000 gave a unique and sustained impetus to Hannover’s cultural scene. Today, the city’s programme of cultural events is more diverse and more exciting than ever, offering a com-

Many events will be held to commemorate one of the most important philosophers and mathematicians. He designed the first calculator for the four basic arithmetical operations and invented the binary system of the digits 0 and 1, which paved the way for computers. The legal advisor and councillor of the Guelph dynasty was also a prolific correspondent and his letters – which fill 200,000 pages – have been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Leibniz corresponded with 1,100 people from 16 different countries.

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Karlsruhe City of Christmas lights During the Advent season, Karlsruhe transforms into a magical Christmas city; the inner city sparkles with thousands of lights, horse-drawn sleighs clatter across the cobblestone streets, imaginatively decorated shop windows invite passers-by to browse and shop, and the scents of cotton candy and roasted almonds waft through the air. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: KTG KARLSRUHE TOURISMUS GMBH

Stores, restaurants, churches, museums, galleries, libraries, theatres and music ensembles offer attractions and events for the whole family. Christmas city Karlsruhe offers the ultimate holiday experience for locals and guests alike – there is truly something for everyone.

Karl Friedrich Memorial invites guests to skate or play a game of curling, and the medieval Christmas market at the base of the Karlsburg transports visitors back in time.

From 26 November to 23 December, the Christmas market at the lovely Friedrichsplatz entices visitors with its extensive array of goods and delicacies.The ice-skating rink at the Schlossplatz near the Margrave

The Friedrichsplatz serves as the heart of Karlsruhe’s Christmas market, showcasing the broad range of arts, crafts and beautifully decorated wooden stalls. The front yard of the Karlsruhe Palace also turns into

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Hot mulled wine, ice skating and shining lights

a storybook winter wonderland, with the ice-skating rink Stadtwerke Eiszeit, where young and old can enjoy ice skating and curling all the way into early February. This man-made ice skating is set aglow by innumerable golden lights and both beginners and experts can take advantage of the 1,000-metre-squared space. Historic charm of past times In front of the Karlsburg in the city of Durlach, the Advent season brings the Middle Ages back to life with camp fires, candlelight, jugglers and musicians. This medieval market is a paradise for children especially, boasting storytellers, crossbow shooting, mouse roulette, a carousel and a fantastic fire show. On the weekends, medieval swordsmen share interesting information about camp life, knight’s armour and sword fighting in the Middle Ages.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Magical Christmas Markets Germany

beautiful Christmas vacation package, which includes hotel accommodation with breakfast (one to three nights), a WelcomeCard valid for a free public transportation ride, discounts for cultural highlights and restaurants, a voucher for mulled wine at the Christmas Market, and a small welcome gift (starting at 69 Euros per person in a double room). Unique character and highlights Home to the residential palace of Baden and the heart of technological developments in the region, Karlsruhe is incredibly multifaceted. With a history of only about 300 years, it is a relatively young city. Today, Karlsruhe is home to Germany’s highest-level court, and the city’s unique fan-shaped layout inspired Thomas Jefferson in his design of the U.S. capital Washington D.C. Numerous monuments, fountains and plazas characterise the city’s charm and most of the local attractions can be comfortably reached on foot. The city boasts a wide array of Neo-Classical, timber-frame and Art Nouveau buildings, along with a renowned example of Bauhaus architecture: The Dammerstock housing development.

‘Flying Santa Claus’ Another highlight and a tradition that is unique in southern Germany is the‘Flying Santa Claus’. Each day, at 5pm and 7.30pm, the tightrope walker Johann Traber embarks on his stunning tightrope show – gallantly walking above the rooftops of the Karlsruhe Christmas Market – and making many eyes glow. Daily choirs and orchestras from Karlsruhe and the region entertain visitors with their live Christmas music. The ‘Kinderland St. Stephan’, a children’s landscape, offers a magic forest, varied programs for children and a children's bakery. Discover the Christmas city Karlsruhe Thousands of lights lend the city a magical glow during the Karlsruhe Christmas Market from 26 November to 23 December 2015. The city’s tourism bureau offers a

Cultural hub and gateway to the Black Forest Karl’s magnificent palace still houses the region’s treasures; the palace is now home to the Badische Landesmuseum (Baden State Museum) and its legendary collection, split into 14 departments. Its treasures include a cabinet full of coins, the renowned‘Turkish spoils’(Ottoman handicrafts), and countless works of art – some dating back 5,000 years. Situated in a one of Germany’s most beautiful regions, Karlsruhe is an ideal point of departure for excursions and hikes. The landscape at the foot of the Black Forest is especially delightful and just a stone’s throw to France and to the Palatinate Wine Route. www.karlsruhe-tourismus.de

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Christmas time in Oldenburg From relaxed shopping sprees to culinary delights With its still mostly owner-managed shops, Oldenburg attracts Christmas shoppers seeking personal gift advice. When stopping by at the Christmas market, one can warm themselves with a cup of the popular burnt punch. Next to traditions like speaking Low German and eating kale, Christmas in Oldenburg has a great deal to offer. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: TORSTEN KRÜGER/ OLDENBURG TOURISMUS UND MARKETING GMBH

Oldenburg, a city of 160,000 inhabitants, is located between the rivers Weser and Ems. In terms of shopping, a huge, connected pedestrian zone fulfils every customer's wish. Delicacies made out of the kale the city is famous for, as well as honey, beer from the local brewery or other regional products are particularly popular as gifts. During Christmas time, the shopping street is especially worth visiting, as every retailer decorates their shop in their own way. For four weeks in November and December, Oldenburg will again enchant inhabitants and visitors alike with its Christmas market, the Lamberti-Markt, which started off as a Christmas tree sale in 1972. 125 market stalls, designed as little huts and individually variegated by the showmen, gather around

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the town hall and the Schlossplatz. Thanks to its location in the historical centre, people usually combine a visit to the market with their Christmas shopping. The Lamberti-Markt conveys a unique ambience. “At more than 70 per cent of the market stalls, the products are made on-site,”says Bettina Koch, from Oldenburg Tourismus und Marketing GmbH.There is a precise selection of who gets a market stand because the Lamberti-Markt's showmen craft character should be preserved. A special emphasis is placed on traditions. For instance, there are lectures in Low German for children. The entertaining programme appeals to young and old alike and one can find a great deal to discover: a big Advent calendar created in the castle's win-

dows, music performances, such as a trombone band playing on the town hall's balcony, and a crib. On 5 December, kids can make their own gingerbread to take home and shops will be open until midnight. Furthermore, the city's sustainable climate concept is applied to the Christmas market. “This year, the market is completely powered by green electricity,”Koch reports. Thus, if you like stress-free Christmas shopping and enjoying titbits from the Christmas market, set out for Oldenburg. www.oldenburg-tourist.de www.visit-oldenburg.com


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HÄNDEL IM HERBST THE SMALL FESTIVAL IN AUTUMN

November 20 – 22, 2015 in Halle (Saale) November 20, 2015, 7.30 pm Konzerthalle Ulrichskirche Festival concert with Julia Lezhneva Julia Lezhneva (soprano) Concerto Köln Tickets: 40, 34, 25 ` Julia Lezhneva

Wolf Matthias Friedrich

Irénée Peyrot

Piers Adams

Enrico Onofri

November 21, 2015, 6 pm Händel-Haus Mars & Amor. Sang- und Klangstücke des Liebeskrieges Wolf Matthias Friedrich (bass), Markus Märkl (harpsichord), Alexander Scherf (barockcello), Sören Leupold (lute) Tickets: 15 `, reduced 10 ` November 21, 2015, 8 pm Marktkirche zu Halle Israel in Egypt HWV 54 Music director: Irénée Peyrot Marktkantorei Halle, Kantorei Halberstadt Neues Leipziger Barockensemble Tickets: 30, 25, 18 ` November 22, 2015, 11 am Händel-Haus Handel in the wind Red Priest: Piers Adams (flutes), Julia Bishop (violin),), Angela East (violoncello), David Wright (harpsichord) d) Tickets: 20 `, 8 ` for students until 18 years November 22, 2015, 3 pm Oper Halle Lucio Cornelio Silla HWV 10 Music director: Enrico Onofri Direction: Stephen Lawless Händelfestspielorchester Halle Tickets: 40, 36, 32, 24, 20 `

Subject to changes

Tickets: +49 (0) 0345 / 565 27 06 (Monday to Friday 7 am – 7 pm, Saturday 7 am – 2 pm) m) Stiftung Händel-Haus, Große Nikolaistraße 5, 06108 Halle (Saale), Germany www.haendelhaus.de

HANDEL FESTIVAL HALLE 2016, May 27 – Juni 12 IN AUTHENTIC VENUES IN THE CITY OF GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL’S BIRTH Official advance booking starts on November 20, 2015


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Tübingen Cosmopolitan yet regional The Advent season is on our doorstep. It’s time for shopping and enjoying seasonal goodies to the fullest. In Tübingen, there is a great deal to discover, not only during Christmas time. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: BARBARA HONNER,VERKEHRSVEREIN TÜBINGEN/ALEXANDER GONSCHIOR, SCHWARZ & GEHILFEN

The third Advent weekend is something really special in the Swabian town of Tübingen. When the Christmas market is back in the old town and the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread drifts around the timbered houses, residents and visitors alike will surely get into the Christmas spirit. Over 400 market stalls are beautifully decorated offering amazing arts and crafts.Tübingen's Christmas market is famous for hand-made crafts and regional delicacies such as boar bratwurst or mulled wine made of the local vineyards. A highlight not to be missed is the open air cinema, traditionally on Friday, where people meet up to watch the classic Die Feuerzangenbowle (The Punch Bowl) while enjoying a drink themselves under the stars. From 1 to 6 December, the town is dedicated to chocolate, as Germany's biggest

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chocolate festival, the chocolART, takes place. Whether it is painting with cocoa, courses on how to make chocolate candy or massages with chocolate, there is much on offer. No need to have a sweet tooth, as there are alternatives of course. “In the flavour and delight alley, one can find many products beyond chocolate, like high-quality oils, for instance,”Manuela Feiler, project manager at Tübingen’s city marketing, reveals. Thanks to Tübingen's town twinning with Aix-en-Provence and Perugia, Provençal and Umbrian products are available as well and enjoy great popularity. From the end of November, one can shop to the top of one's bent at Stilwild.This lifestyle and design fair is a showcase for smaller labels and young designers who, in times of internet shopping, often do not have their own retail shops. At the Christmas street

food market, one can find something for every taste, from Swabian dishes like Maultaschen (German ravioli filled with meat or spinach) to international treats, from ecologically sustainable to vegan. Yet, Tübingen is worth visiting all year round, but at Christmas it shines in full splendour. Small, mainly owner-managed shops offer exceptional goods and personal advice. “Tübingen’s particular flair can be experienced also in those little shops,”Feiler resumes. www.tuebingen.de


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Photo: Romana Dombrowski

Photo: www.air-klick.de

Photo: Romana Dombrowski

Photo: www.air-klick.de

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Magical Christmas Markets Germany

Advent in Münster

A winter’s fairytale As the enticing aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds embraces the glimmering, beautifully lit Prinzipalmarkt, weaving its way through the festively decked shopping streets, it’s clear that Münster’s most thrilling time of year has arrived. Hosting five charming Christmas markets with some 300 stalls, the Old Town is transformed into a wintery fairytale paradise from the 23 November until 23 December.

fuse in the cosy Christmas village by the statue of the Kiepenkerl, the family-friendly Aegidii Christmas Market is hard to resist with its splendid nativity scene and sixmetre-high wooden pyramid. In front of the romantic backdrop of the Überwasserkirche, the Giebelhüüskes-Markt provides an irresistible opportunity to peruse a profusion of artisanal crafts.

With special offerings for children and services while shopping, expect a hassle-free trip to Münster this Advent. The childcare services in Maxi-Turm at the Prinzipalmarkt provide an engaging and diverse range of activities for three to ten-year-olds (available Monday to Friday 2 – 6 pm, Saturdays 10am – 6pm). And to ease the load while gift shopping and strolling around the market, stalls bags can be stored securely and at no cost in the luggage storage at Münster Information (11 am – 9.30pm on Advent Saturdays) and on the special one-off shopping Sunday (from 1pm – 8.30pm, 13 December), when shops will be open from 1pm until 6pm. Christmas market opening hours are Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 8pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 9pm.

Throughout Advent, Münster’s museums will host a packed cultural calendar with

www.tourism.muenster.de www.facebook.com/muenstermarketing

TEXT & PHOTOS: MÜNSTER MARKETING | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

Under a twinkling canopy of lights, the Town Hall’s inner courtyard is home to the largest of Münster’s five Christmas markets, with lovingly crafted jewellery and delicate ornaments standing alongside a plethora of culinary delicacies. At the foot of the impressive St. Lamberti church and surrounded by magnificent gabled houses, the traditional pitched-roof stalls at the St. Lamberti Lights Market shimmer under the glow of the 20-metre-tall Christmas tree. While ancient flavours and traditions

first-rate exhibitions, festive concerts in the churches and yuletide productions in the theatre. Advent-themed tours provide an entertaining look at Münster’s traditions and local festive customs.

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Advent and Christmas in Altötting The loveliest time of the year in the heart of Bavaria Christmas heralds the time of the year when Altötting unveils its most wonderful side, as the hustle and bustle of the market and the profusion of cultural goings-on take place with the inimitable festive backdrop of twinkling lights.

perform, as well as the daily 5pm visit from Saint Nicholas. Come to the cradle

TEXT & PHOTOS: STADT ALTÖTTING | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

Once every year Running from 27 November until 20 December with free entry, Altötting’s traditional Christkindlmarkt draws in the crowds to its spectacular setting in the Baroque Kapellplatz square. Adorned for the festivities, Altötting’s centre becomes a hive of activity, where families, friends and colleagues gather for a warming glass of mulled wine and yuletide treats. As Christmas draws ever nearer, the array of artisanal handcrafted gifts will leave you spoilt for choice. Aromas and sights abound and the stage welcomes brass ensembles and choirs to

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Altötting’s nativity exhibition is open from Monday to Friday (2 – 7pm) as well as


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Magical Christmas Markets Germany

and musicians from Altötting, Salzburg and the Bavarian uplands. To whet your appetite for the festivities, there are many more musical happenings during the run-up to the festive holiday, including countless first-rate Advent concerts from local ensembles and internationally renowned guests, such as Oswald Sattler and Friedrich von Thun. At 7pm on both 30 November and 1 December, the Collegiate Parish Church will host the Sacral Concert with Oswald Sattler. At 4pm on 13 December, the Basilika of St Anne will host the Salzburger Domkapellknaben- und mädchen [Salburg’s boys and girls choir] with Friedrich von Thun.

weekends (11am – 7pm). Costing 2.50 euros (or a discounted 2 euros and free for children up to age 14), this year’s edition of Altötting’s over 400-year-old nativity tradition will be bigger and grander than ever. Alongside the lovingly created annual nativity scene and the historic town hall’s nativity, there will be a further grand exhibition by the Altöttinger Krippenfreunde society in the congregation hall. Celebrating its 50th anniversary and bestowing Alpine-style festive songs on the pilgrimage city, the Altötting Christmas carol singing at Advent the Alpine way (28 November, 2, 5, 9 and 12 December at 7pm), held in the beautifully decorated Basilica of St Anne, is a spectacle of Alpinestyle carols. Alongside welcoming performances from the hosts Liedertafel Altötting, expect to hear well-known singers

For those interested in a guided tour, the themed ‘Magic of Advent and the Nativity tradition’ tour can be enjoyed at the Christkindlmarkt with a warming cup of mulled wine, as you are regaled with information on the town’s history and its rich Advent traditions. After a tour of the Baroque chapel square, head into the historic churches before admiring the large nativity scenes in the congregation room. Throughout Advent, these two-hour tours will run at 2pm on Saturdays and 1pm on Sundays.The fee of 9 euros includes mulled wine and entrance to the nativity exhibition. Guided group tours in English are available on request. Why not combine a weekend trip with a visit to nearby Austrian Oberndorf, where the famous carol Silent Night, Holy Night premiered. Around Altötting there are more Christmas markets to be discovered to make the most of your pre-Christmas weekend. www.altoetting.de www.christkindlmarkt-altoetting.de

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Special Theme

Magical Christmas Markets Austria & Switzerland

Kitzbühel The united magic of Advent and the slopes in the heart of the Alps Easy to reach, this lifestyle metropolis in Tyrol is defined by its long winters and high guarantee of snow. With 68 outstandingly prepared descents covering all ability levels and measuring 173 kilometres in total, Kitzbühel’s unbeatable infrastructure of 54 super modern cable cars mean each piste is easy to reach. TEXT & PHOTOS: KITZBÜHEL TOURISMUS | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

Between Hahnenkamm and Resterhöhe, the legion of cosy ski huts offer stunning sun terraces with picturesque panoramic views and delectable regional specialities. Kitzbühel’s legendary Après-Ski mile is the textbook way to round off a perfect day in the snow. But if it isn’t downhill skiing that brought you to Kitzbühel, you’ll be delighted with the well-groomed cross-country ski tracks, winter hiking trails, snowshoe routes, horse-drawn sleigh rides and the chance to do a spot of strolling through the pictureperfect old town for a change of scenery. Alongside its sport-orientated opportunities, Kitzbühel’s calendar is packed with standout events, such as the arrival of Advent marking its annual Christmas market

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in the idyllic town centre and the New Year’s Eve firework display allowing Kitzbühel to show off its wonderfully romantic side. Events like the famous Hahnenkamm-Rennen and the Snow Polo World Cup see prominent international guests descend on the Chamois City, adding sophistication, glamour and a global presence.The first weekend of Advent heralds the opportunity to check out the pistes, on which ski legends such as Toni Sailer have each claimed gold medals. Held in the town centre, Kitzbühel’s annual Christmas market supplies the essential festive mood, as the aromas of gingerbread, cinnamon, Kletzenbrot fruit bread and punch lace through the festively decked-out stalls. As the kids head to the petting zoo, ride ponies and dive into arts, crafts and baking, visitors can indulge in a spot of gift shop-

ping. Over 700 years’ young, Kitzbühel’s old town can be considered Tyrol’s most attractive ‘outdoor shopping centre’, and more than suitable for a Christmas shop with a touch of Tyrolean charm. Chic highend boutiques such as the Bogner Haus, the Moncler flagship store, Louis Vuitton and Sportalm pose a captivating contrast to the traditional shops with authentic Tyrolean artisanal crafts. In Kitzbühel’s range of eateries, there’s everything from authentic, regional fare to international haute cuisine, with acclaimed top chefs and outstanding delicatessens guaranteeing a flavoursome culinary stay. www.kitzbuehel.com


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Magical Christmas Markets Austria & Switzerland

Christmas in all its facets In the Austrian city of Graz, 14 different Christmas markets are within walking distance. From Styrian delicacies to international handicraft, there is something for everyone. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: GRAZ TOURISMUS / HARRY SCHIFFER

With its old town being a world heritage site, Graz is predestined to be a lovely winter wonderland. The giant ice manger and a shiny advent calendar projected on the town hall’s front are just two attractions that will enchant residents and visitors alike. The city's oldest market can be found in the Franziskanerviertel and gives people an understanding of rustic traditions. At the main place in front of the town hall, one can warm up himself at the Beerenfeuer (berry fire) and children can take a ride in the roundabout. If the little ones are hungry for more, a special Christmas market just for kids and the ice rink will definitely keep them entertained.

Fans of handicraft should visit the Färberplatz market, which is said to combine tradition and pop-up. On the international market, one can get handicraft from all over the world, meanwhile watching different artists perform on stage. Besides, regionalism does not get a raw deal. Particularly worth a visit is Aufsteirern, a Christmas market above the city roofs at the Schlossberg with Styrian food, handicraft and music. Further markets offer live DJ sets or products made by charity organisations. Advent-related guided tours and a ride on the little train running through the city centre top a visit of Graz at Christmas time. www.graztourismus.at/advent/en

The Swiss spirit of Christmas When the streets of Rapperswil-Jona are filled with gingerbread, mulled wine and glowing candles, it is high time to book a flight. This gem of a Christmas market, called Christkindlimaert, right by Lake Zurich, brings a smile to everyone’s face. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: FLORIAN EDELHOFF

The rose-city of Rapperswil-Jona, with its many historic buildings, has plenty to offer all year round. Its scenic historical centre, with the medieval castle and the picturesque lakefront invite you to stroll around. But come Christmas the city is painted in a golden glow from a thousand little lights. The festive season kicks off with the traditional Chlauseinzug which translates to ‘the arrival of the Santas’. The Santas bring gifts, stories and answer children’s questions. Suddenly the air is filled with rich Christmassy flavours and music. Pine trees and beautifully decorated huts appear in the city centre, and show that one of the

largest Swiss Christmas markets is once again opening its doors for nine days. Irene Schuler, events manager at Rapperswil-Jona tourism association adds: “The spectacular Christmas illumination and the over 230 huts with their festive items turn this time into something very special. The Christmas Carol singing in the main square on the fourth Ad-

vent Sunday is the grand finale and a true highlight.” Guests can book special Christmas tours at the tourist office. A guide helps you to explore the old town and tells many interesting stories about the city’s history and its citizens. All in all, Rapperswil-Jona is certainly the place to be this December. www.vvrj.ch

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Special Theme

Winter at its best – Mayrhofen in the Zillertal Tyrol – the quintessence of Austrian skiing adventures. At the heart of this region Mayrhofen boasts ground-breaking technology at your service! The pinnacle of modern ski lifts will start operating in time for the upcoming skiing season. At the doorstep of Mayrhofen, the Action Mountain Penken invites you to show off your skills at the Vans Penken Park. Also ready for you: Austria’s steepest slope adventure – the Harakiri. If you prefer to take your indulgence at a relishing pace, Leisure Mountain Ahorn is your destination. Sit back and enjoy the Alpine sun on the Ahorn plateau or at the chill out area at the White Lounge. Adventurers book their stay in the Igloo Hotel. Skiing richness in abundance provides for everybody’s needs – come and savour boundless winter fun! TEXT: BENEDIKT MEININGER | PHOTOS: MAYRHOFER BERGBAHNEN

Perfectly timed to the start of the new skiing season, the new 3S Penkenbahn gondola cableway will provide 24 comfy seats per gondola within just about eight minutes to and from the mountaintops. The gondolas have Wi-Fi and accessibility is a laid back and child-friendly procedure; nonetheless the cableway shifts up to 2,800

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people towards their skiing excitements per hour.The great opening of this service giant coincides with what can be assumed to be the most spectacular winter sport event. 60 teams with four team members each compete in the RISE&FALL decathlon of ski mountaineering, paragliding, mountain biking and skiing or snowboarding.

Best Snow Destinations

“The slopes in the holiday region of Mayrhofen-Hippach have an appealing thrill for people of every age. Beginners and pros, daredevils and luxury savourers, snowboarders and skiers, old and young,”Mayrhofner Bergbahnen’s Patricia Kröll says. There are 136 kilometres (85 miles) of primed slopes with guaranteed snow on the Penken and the Ahorn mountains.“In general, the Penken is associated with action skiing and the Ahorn is assumed to be more suitable for those who want to take it slow, but both of them share the qualities of the respective other!”Kröll explains. On the Ahorn there is the 5.5-kilometre (3.42 miles) slope right down into the valley – rich rides with splendid views and quite an attitude. Despite its generally more exciting reputation, the Penken is also quite fit for relaxed carving.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best Snow Destinations

Coming up next is the aforementioned 3S Penkenbahn – a masterpiece in ski lift engineering, pampering guests at what can be considered the peak performance of winter touristic technology. The new cableway is the substantial next step towards a pure, stress-free mountain experience.The comforts fit in with the optimised ski bus system commuting guests to and from their lodgings and wellness temples all relaxed. The valley station in the centre of Mayrhofen, as well as the summit station, have sprawling ski depots. This adds to guests’ flexibility. A spontaneous walk or shopping spree in Mayrhofen is followed suit by a quick jump on the gondola, eight minutes of online diversion at a resplendent view later, the hopper carves down the Penken or enjoys a hearty meal in a mountaintop restaurant. This place is a living ski utopia! So, jump in your ski suit and get that carving going! Mayrhofen has winter at its best just for you! www.mayrhofner-bergbahnen.com

Main image: Cablecar Penkenbahn Left: Vans Penken Park (middle) Harakiri (bottom) Right: White Lounge Caffé-Bistro Freiraum

How do those reputations come about? The Penken features the Harakiri – the steepest slope adventure in Austria with a downhill gradient of 78 per cent. That makes it steeper than a runway in ski jumping. The ones who make it down safely can get an ‘I survived Harakiri’ tshirt in the online shop or at one of their cash desks. Just next door there is theVans Penken Park, Europe’s best snow park for practising and showing off tricks on skis and snowboards. The Ahorn pays into the fun mix with the Funslope Ahorn, an absolute when it comes to prominent slopes for boundless fun. Kröll’s heartfelt recommendation: “The absolute highlight you must not miss when on the Ahorn are the White Lounge and the Igloo Hotel, and of course the Freiraum, a café-bistro with an especially hefty view!”

Funslopr Ahorn

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best Snow Destinations

Zermatt Bergbahnen Discover the Matterhorn and its winter sport paradise – on skis or from high above in a cable car High peaks and soft valleys, steep slopes and snow covered paths: during winter season the region around the Matterhorn, the Alps’ most iconic mountain, becomes the winter sport destination number one. Taking one of the Zermatt ski lifts or cable cars, winter enthusiasts can discover all the landscape’s fascinating facets and enjoy the rush of a steep descent on skis. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: ZERMATT BERGBAHNEN AG

Even during summer months the Matterhorn glistens white and snowy in the bright sunlight, but in winter the whole region snows over turning it into a winter sport paradise with 360 kilometres of perfectly prepared ski slopes. With up to nearly 4,000 metres, the ski area around the Matterhorn is the highest in the Alps. It is the landscape that makes the Matterhorn region so special, the magical contrast of steep slopes and soft valleys of rock, plants and a light blue sky. Why not experience this outstanding landscape from the Alps’ highest viewing platform? Or enjoy being the first roaring down the untouched slopes in the early morning? All through the winter season there are special events

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like nightly descents under the moonlit sky. “This winter season’s highlight is without a doubt the new six-seater chairlift, situated directly at the foot of the Matterhorn,”says Sandra Stockinger, marketing and sales executive at the Zermatt Bergbahnen AG that operates the region’s ski lifts.“During the approximately six-minute long lift, the passengers will get a view on the iconic mountain, starting at the northern wall following the Hörnligrat to the eastern wall. A spectacular scenic experience.” Spanning a stretch of 2.1 kilometres, the ‘Hirli’-lift replaces an older lift that had been operating there from the early 1960s until April 2015. Not the only upgrade: a new artificial snow system will help guarantee full snow cover all through the year.

All in all the Zermatt Bergbahnen AG operates six aerial tramways, nine chairlifts, eight cableways, a funicular railway, a rack railway and nine ski lifts – a great deal to choose from. Whoever needs help deciding can, from this winter season onwards, research what to do next online while waiting at one of the stations: every one of them is now equipped with free Wi-Fi. Above that the new free of charge skiguide app helps guests to find their way in this huge ski area. www.matterhornparadise.ch


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Medienpartner

Copyright: Hans Hansen

gs n i 16 h 0 T 2 f ril y o ign r p e es 3A ov – D c s 5 d i e D hy an r 201 h T e rap emb g oto Nov h P 6

Wilhelm Wagenfeld House, Am Wall 209, D-28195 Bremen www.wilhelm-wagenfeld-stiftung.de

Mit freundlicher UnterstĂźtzung

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best Snow Destinations

Arosa Lenzerheide Lets your heart beat faster Since the inauguration of the Urdenbahn from the Arosa Hörnli to the Urdenfürggli in Lenzerheide, Switzerland has a new dream couple. The two ski areas Arosa and Lenzerheide have become a winter paradise with 225 kilometres of snow covered slopes, double the amount of cosy mountain cabins and a record setting number of sunny days. Since January 2014, Arosa Lenzerheide is the biggest connected ski resort of the canton Grisons and stands for action, fun and relaxation. TEXT & PHOTOS: AROSA TOURISMUS

Arosa Lenzerheide offers a versatile guest experience on and off the slopes. Kidslands for the smallest winter sports athletes, snow parks for the adventurous skiers and snowboarders or perfectly prepared blue, red and black pistes for every level. Besides, events like the Arosa Comedy Festival with artists like Carolin Kebekus, SerdarSomuncu and Bodo Wartke or the IceSnowFootball – the unofficial Snow Football World Cup – with international football stars like Ulf Kirsten, Stéphane Chapuisat or Paulo Sergio create very special moments. The new winter sports area Arosa Lenzerheide on 1,230 up to 2,865 metres above sea level, has something to offer for everyone.

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Guests who do not have boards under their feet may enjoy the Arosa and Lenzerheide sun on the 140 kilometres of winter-hiking trails, turn some rounds on the open-air ice rink with a view on the beautiful mountain panorama or rush down the slopes back to the village by sledge to finally relax in one of the numerous SPA’s and wellness retreats – the Tschuggen mountain oasis, created by star architect Mario Botta, offers a surface of 5,000 square metres to indulge yourself. No matter if you ski, snowboard or walk – the perfect end of a winter sports day is on a sun terrace in one of our cosy mountain cabins with an Arosa ‘Munggapfupf’ or a

Grisons ‘Röteli’ in your hand. The best après-ski parties take place in the famous and notorious Tschuggen Hut. Arosa Lenzerheide offers pure joy for small and big guests. The kids-lands and the ‘ski school inclusive’ package allow parents to spend a relaxed day on the sunny slopes. Kids born in and until 1998 benefit from free ski and snowboard lessons when staying at least two nights in one of the participat-ing hotels or holiday apartments in Arosa. The ‘ski school inclusive’ offer is a success story since Winter 2012/13 and brings young people back on the slopes! www.arosa.ch www.arosalenzerheide.ch


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Attraction of the Month Germany

Main image: Building ensemble Galerie Stihl Waiblingen, Haus der Stadtgeschichte (local history museum), Kunstschule Unteres Remstal (art school) and sculpture Pavillon für Waiblingen by Olafur Eliasson. © Stadt Waiblingen; Photo: Peter Oppenlaender Far left: Entrance Hall Galerie Stihl Waiblingen; exhibition Leben in Karton, 2011. © Stadt Waiblingen; Photo: Peter Oppenlaender Left: Exhibition Spiegel der Seele, Galerie Stihl Waiblingen, 2015. © Stadt Waiblingen; Photo: Peter Oppenlaender

Fascinating diversity on paper Classical drawings, prints, comics or paper dresses – the range of exhibitions displayed at the Galerie Stihl Waiblingen is manifold despite its focus on artworks on or made of paper. So far the municipal gallery in the Stuttgart region has attracted more than 245,000 visitors since its opening in May 2008. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

The unusual ‘paper’ concept significantly distinguishes the gallery from other comparable museum institutions across Germany and thus the place quickly started to be recognised as an outstanding exhibition venue beyond the region. Since its opening, the Galerie Stihl Waiblingen has cooperated with numerous renowned national and international institutions, such as the Tate Gallery, London, or the Berlin State museums. The name of the municipal gallery honours a generous donation by the Eva Mayr-Stihl foundation, which facilitated the construction of the building. The gallery presents three temporary exhibitions a year, displaying classical drawings and prints, photographic works, applied arts such as comics or posters as well as three-dimensional objects made of paper

like paper fashion or cardboard furniture. Silke Schuck, gallery director, says: “The fascinating thing about paper is its variety. Artists carefully choose the appropriate material when working with paper and use its flexibility for their own purpose. With regard to the contents of our exhibitions, we do not only show classical drawings. One main idea is to present special printing techniques such as lithography, woodcuts or etchings. It is amazing how many famous artists such as Turner, Kirchner or Picasso have created an outstanding graphic oeuvre which is often much less known to the public than their paintings.” The gallery is part of an award-winning building ensemble by architect Hartwig N. Schneider. The softly rounded build-

Bottom: Robert Indiana, LOVE, Portfolio Formen der Farbe, 1967; Sammlung Domberger – Eine Siebdrucksammlung des Landes Baden-Wuerttemberg (Filderstadt). © Morgan Art Foundation/ARS, New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015; Photo: Stadt Filderstadt, Volker Naumann/ Dirk Kittelberger

ings of the gallery and the neighbouring art school with their transparent industrial glass facades stand in close connection to each other. The art school offers an extensive art education programme for all age groups. Together, the gallery and art school provide a comprehensive art experience, which combines the reception of art with its own creative process. The gallery’s current exhibition, durchgesiebt und draufgeschaut!, on display until 6 January 2016, showcases around 120 experimental and rare screenprints by Willi Baumeister, Josef Albers, Robert Indiana, Sigmar Polke, Victor Vasarely and others from the Sammlung Domberger. 2016 will see an exhibition which is dedicated to the etching masterworks of Spanish artist Francisco de Goya and one that will display unique collages and decollages of international artists. www.galerie-stihlwaiblingen.de

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Theatre of the Month

Main image & top right: Mecklenburg State Theatre. Right: Mozart’s famous opera The Magic Flute (opened 23 October)' Performance of the Russian ballet classic: The Nutcracker

Germany

Mecklenburg State Theatre

A cultural jewel The Mecklenburg State Theatre in Schwerin is one of the most renowned and historic theatres in northern Germany, serving a wide range of performing arts, musical theatre, plays in dialect, ballet and drama. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: MECKLENBURG STATE THEATRE | SILKE WINKLER

Schwerin’s beautiful theatre was inaugurated almost 130 years ago. Behind its NeoRenaissance facade, architect Georg Daniel designed a Neo-Baroque auditorium with three tiers seating 542 spectators, as well as classical foyers. The theatre is situated next to the Museum of Fine Arts and opposite to the magnificent palace that exemplifies the flourishing of court culture in the 19th century. In fact, the Residence Ensemble Schwerin is currently applying to be listed as an official UNESCO World Heritage site. Historic and modern charm Schwerin’s theatre is also one of 14 selected historic theatres on the Germany route of the European Route of Historic Theatres, which provides a cross-section through the European theatrical world of the 18th and

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19th centuries. As a second location, the theatre’s re-modeled industrial factory‘EWerk’ is well known for its contemporary programme, including modern drama, musical nights, readings, chamber dance and chamber opera. For example, the EWerk’s OperaLounge ‘Figaros HAARem’ is a musical play with culinary highlights that seek to transports visitors back to Mozart’s Vienna. Christmas season 2015 During the winter season, Schwerin’s Christmas play is extremely popular among everyone; families with children, groups, season tickets holders and theatre lovers of all kinds. The theatre’s special Christmas play Snow White opens 21 November and runs through 20 December.

On Sundays, visitors can also watch the northern-German dialect program Von'n bunten Teller (opening 29 November). More Christmas and winter performances include: Mozart’s The Magic Flute (23 December), the children’s Christmas concert (26 December), the ballet The Nutcracker (showing 27 December) and the special New Year’s Eve concert featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (29 -31 December). Open-air opera 2016: Aida In Schwerin, Germany’s third-oldest orchestra and all ensembles are busy all year round; every summer they present the Open-Air Opera Festival (Schlossfestspiele) in the palace gardens. In 2016, the Mecklenburg State Theatre presents Verdi’s Aida (performance from 8 July to 14 August, 2016). During six weeks, thousands of visitors are invited to witness a unique and magical opera beneath the stars. Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin www.theater-schwerin.de


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Recipes created by Mother Nature While focusing on natural ingredients, BANO Healthcare offers high-quality products which enjoy great popularity at an international level. The Austrian family business stands for the two brands BANO Arlberger Naturprodukte and Rösch & Handel which sells medical products. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: BANO HEALTHCARE

From sore muscles to dry skin in winter – everyone experiences those little ailments. However, with the large product range of BANO, one can easily find a remedy. For more than 40 years the company has produced pharmaceuticals, medical products, cosmetics and dietary supplements for pharmacies, health food shops, hospitals and selected drug stores. BANO’s varied offer features, amongst others, the Arlberger Arnika Gelee for the treatment of sunburn or insect stings, the Calendulin® Ringelblumensalbe (calendula ointment) and the Murmelin® Sport- und Gelenkssalbe, which is actually one of BANO's most popular products. “For decades, the marmot oil included therein that has been used for the treatment of sore muscles or lumbago and for maintaining the health of joints, sinews and muscles,” Eva Bano, managing director, says. Sticking to their roots and to Austrian value and production principles has made BANO successful over the years. However, the product range is still continuously developed. In 2016, customers can look forward to an enlargement of the product line ApoCare, which is exclusively developed by Austrian pharmacists. There are even more new features to come.“I do not wish to give too much away here, but the aspect of the close affinity to nature will be extended,”Bano reveals.

WILKENS SCHENKT IHNEN 6 KUCHENGABELN beim Kauf einer 24-teiligen Garnitur selektierter Besteck-Designs in 925 Sterling Silber, 180g ROYAL versilbert und Edelstahl

VOM 1. 10. 2015 BIS ZUM 31. 12. 2015

www.bano-healthcare.at

www.wilkens-silber.de


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Lake Constance Experience the extraordinary The region around Germany’s university city of Constance does not only impress with its proximity to the beautiful Lake Constance, but also thrills visitors and locals alike with extensive green spaces, breath-taking hiking paths, an impressive history and art scene, as well as an incredible view over the Alps. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

With over 16,000 students and approximately 84,000 inhabitants, Constance does not only comprise of an international and young character, but the surrounding region also offers a wide range of leisure activities in summer and winter. A city with many faces As the former seat of the biggest bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire, it seems no wonder that Constance is steeped in history. The city held the only papal election north of the Alps in 1417

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during the Council of Constance. Today, visitors can enjoy cosy wine cellars, unique fashion shops, small alleyways, eccentric cafes and cute art ateliers in crooked houses in the medieval town centre, called Niederburg. Shopping fans should head to the ‘Lago Center’, the biggest shopping centre on Lake Constance and gourmets can visit numerous restaurants at Constance’s harbour front for amazing views or local specialities, such as ‘Dünnele’, the pizza of Baden, and fresh fish.

Treasures from the past Visitors can also find a wide range of interesting historic sites around Lake Constance. The 27-year-old poet, novelist and painter Hermann Hesse built his own first home on the lake’s peninsula Höri with wife Mia. From 1904 until 1912, he lived in Gaienhofen and today, one can find the Hermann-Hesse-Höri-Museum Gaienhofen here which makes a great start for a literary exploration tour. On offer are also a geocaching tour around the topic of Hesse or a staged walking tour with a farm girl on the trails of Mia Hesse. Reichenau Island’s medieval Benedictine abbey holds great religious and cultural importance. Furthermore, visitors can explore traces of the first settlement in Hornstaad-Hörnle, visit several museums, conservation areas or


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Discover Germany | City of the Month | Germany

City of the Month

plore the district through the artists’eyes. An art route with 31 stops invites for extensive walks where one can match the artists’ paintings with their original views in the surrounding nature. Furthermore, many ateliers offer courses or creative holidays, Beate Bitterwolf created a renowned academy for temporary art, the ‘Kunstfabrik am See’, and the former house of one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Otto Dix, is now a museum which showcases his art and life. Another highlight is the Museum Art & Cars (MAC) in Singen. It exhibits valuable vintage cars in a dialogue with art on over 1,000 square metres. The current exhibition presents racing cars from BMW which were decorated with patterns and pictures by the likes of Andy Warhol.

Germany ‘Europe as guest’

Main image: Constance by night. © Achim Mende Right: Views on the ‘Art Route’. © Ulrike Klumpp MAC and Hohentwiel. © Sabine Tesche Below: Christmas market at Constance harbour front. © Achim Mende

As if the city wouldn’t have enough to offer visitors already, Constance also celebrates 600 years of Council of Constance from 2014 until 2018, where the city remembers the time it lay in the centre of the occidental world. Each year is dedicated to a topic and Council times are revisited. 2016 is devoted to the ‘Living Middle Ages’ and visitors can look forward to a colourful framework programme.

marshland settlements. The highlight is the Unteruhldingen Museum and its prehistoric pile villages with 23 reconstructed buildings. Creativity all around The region around Constance has fascinated artists of all kinds for over 100 years. An example is Peter Lenk. The German sculptor from Bodman-Ludwigshafen is known for the controversial sexual content of his public art and his most famous work is Constance’s city symbol; the tenmetre-high concrete harbour statue Imperia. Another of Lenk’s work as heavily discussed is Ludwig’s Legacy, which can be gazed at in Ludwigshafen. Famous creatives, such as Otto Dix, Helmuth Macke or Erich Heckel also used to live and work in the region. Thus, visitors can easily ex-

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Discover Germany | City of the Month | Germany

Churches and pilgrim meals The Lake of Constance’s tourism centre offers a booklet for church enthusiasts which is filled with information about beautiful churches, monasteries or pilgrimage sites, as well as about day trips, hiking paths or church festivals in the region. One can even order a special ‘pilgrim meal’ in several restaurants at the Untersee.The only guidelines for the kitchen: all the ingredients were used in Council times and are regional. Premium hiking Nature enthusiasts can look forward to the beautiful region’s numerous certified pre-

mium hiking trails. Solitude far away from any city hustle and bustle is combined with breath-taking views across Lake Constance and the snow-covered peaks of the foothills of the Alps. In close proximity to Lake Constance, one can find the holiday region of Hegau, which offers seven of the region’s eight hiking paths. Here, gentle hills, picturesque river courses and scattered volcanic cones, crowned with castles, attract many visitors who seek to experience true nature. Why not hike from castle to castle ruin and enjoy the impressive view on the way? Closer to the city of Constance, hiking fans can enjoy a 53-kilometre-long trail

which is called‘Seegang’and leads to many scenic and cultural highlights. Garden rendezvous The term of‘blossoming landscape’is as suitable for no other region as for the western part of Lake Constance, where a gardening tradition has grown over the centuries. Almost 1,200 years ago, monk Walahfrid Strabo wrote Europe’s first garden guidebook and a herb garden close to Reichenau’s Muenster was set up to honour it. Even though the region’s castle parks and monastery gardens attract many visitors, the private gardens which are open to the public are even more charming. Along the Lake of Constance, the whole history of horticulture can be found in the so-called ‘Lake Constance Gardens’; from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages and further into the present. Island Reichenau is the birthplace of occidental horticulture and plant fans should visit Mainau island, which is probably the most famous flower island in the world – easily visited by boat, foot or bike.Thanks to the mild climate, palm, mammoth, lemon or orange trees grow here which is definitely an unexpected sight in Germany. Winter destination Not only a haven for summer fans, Constance is also the ideal destination for the festive season.Visitors can relax in the thermal bath, stroll through the snow-covered old town or look at sea creatures at Sea Life Kon-

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Discover Germany | City of the Month | Germany

stanz. Even a winter flat rate of Constance’s hospitality industry can be booked through your hotel until 17 March 2016. It includes two nights with breakfast and free entry into one attraction of your choice. The Christmas market of Constance is the biggest and most beautiful in the region. 170 stands with craft workers, restaurateurs and street traders will attract around 450,000 visitors this year. A highlight is the Christmas ship, which extends the market bustle onto the sea.

bus and train with theVHB-guestcard. The guest card is valid in the entire administrative district of Constance, boat drives between Constance and Schaffhausen are 20 per cent cheaper, the Sea Life Konstanz offers 25 per cent off and you can get some guided hiking tours alongside other offers for free.The accompanying booklet,‘Excursion tips on the western Lake of Constance’, is a practical help for planning day trips.

www.bodenseepur.de www.stockach.de www.hegau.de

Left, clockwise from left: Hiking in Hegau. © Hegau Tourismus e.V. Hiking on ‘Seegang’. © TI Konstanz Lake views on ‘Seegang’. © TI Konstanz Opposite, below: Constance thermal bath at winter’s eve. © Konstanzer Baeder Above: Pilgrim paths. © Tourismus Untersee (left) Pilgrim meal. © Copyright: Willy Meyer (right)

Free visitors’ ticket Those who stay overnight in selected towns can even ride through the region for free via

www.bodensee.eu www.konstanz-tourismus.de www.tourismus-untersee.eu

Below, clockwise from left: Auer’s Garden. © Helmut Scham Flower Island Mainau. © Mainau Hortuculus on Isle of Reichenau. © Helmut Scham

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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

The customer is king TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

On 1 October 2015, most parts of the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force, marking the most extensive reform of UK consumer law in decades. Our consumer protection law had become rather fragmented and a little dated for the electronic age.The Act simplifies, consolidates and modernises the law in this area and must therefore be welcome. It heralds enhanced consumer remedies for defective goods and shoddy services, creates new law protecting those who like to consume digital content, and aims to make life more difficult for businesses who attempt to slip unfair terms into their contracts. Here are a few of the highlights. Digital content The Act for the first time specifically protects consumers who buy faulty digital or streamed content such as e-books, online films, games and music downloads.There is no automatic right to reject a faulty download because there is no way to return the digital content, but consumers now have a legal right to a repair or replacement, or to a reduction in the purchase price (up to the full price paid). Interestingly, a consumer will also now have certain remedies where digital content provided under a contract causes damage to a device or other digital content belonging to the consumer because, for example, the digital content introduced a virus. Clear time frames for faulty goods For defective goods, there is now a clear time limit of 30 days within which a consumer may return the product and get a full refund. After the initial 30 days the consumer loses the automatic right to a refund, but is given a choice between repair

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and replacement of the defective item. Retailers are given just one shot at repairing or replacing the product, and if this is unsuccessful, the consumer can then either claim a full refund or receive a price reduction if he decides to keep the product.These tiered remedies extend to hire and hire-purchase contracts.

good news; now for the bad news: enhanced consumer rights cost money. Guess who will pay for those enhanced rights: the consumer.

Services provided with reasonable care and skill Ever paid for a service delivered poorly or with unreasonable delay? It is now an implied term in contracts for the supply of services that the service must be performed with reasonable care and skill. If this term is breached, the consumer has a right to require a repeat performance. Where this is not practical, or not carried out within a reasonable time, the consumer is then entitled to a price reduction. Compensation can be claimed from the trader in some circumstances, for example, the costs of engaging a second trader to perform the service. Unfair contract terms Unfair contract clauses hidden in the small print of contracts or notices have always been a contentious issue for consumers. Such clauses are subject to a ’fairness test’ and will be considered unenforceable if found to be unfair. Additionally, disputes with businesses can now be resolved using Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures, such as mediation, enabling consumers to save time and money by enforcing their remedies without the need to go to court. Let’s hope that consumers will now more clearly understand their rights and be able to enforce them with confidence. So far the

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


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inside vehicles. While developments in electric vehicles are carried out at the centre of excellence for electronic and electrical drive engineering in Zwickau (Saxony), the focus of the Berlin-based centre is software, where a team of IT experts, physicists, mathematicians, electrical engineers and technical writers work in the so-called Software Workshop on a wide range of projects, from the development of databanks through to the individual preparation of automation and simulation software.

Germany’s Expert Engineers

Future-oriented engineering competence for international clients euro engineering AG, one of the leading engineering contractors in Germany, develop tailored solutions for international clients from all kinds of industries. TEXT & PHOTOS: EURO ENGINEERING AG | PHOTOS: TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

From the initial idea through to development, realisation and implementation: euro engineering AG offers clients competent support throughout the entire engineering process chain, be it in Germany or through their international network in France, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. In Germany alone there are around 2,130 members of staff putting their know-how and experience to use in challenging projects in vastly diverse fields, particularly in the core areas of automotive, machinery and plant engineering, precision and medical engineering, electrical engineering and hardware and software development. The organisation groups its specialised knowledge into four technical areas: Automation and robotics, rail engineering, chemical plant building and commercial vehicles. International global players as well as medium-sized businesses rely on the technical competences of the engineering specialists, as they excel in implementing demanding projects in an integrated but independent way. Countless satisfied references testify to their success. “Technical

expertise isn’t the exclusive main factor for us; we’re equally as interested in building strong relationships and working collaboratively with our clients, for whom we develop individual made-to-measure solutions,” explains Stefan Konrad, chief operating officer (COO) of euro engineering AG. “Our network of 37 branches in Germany allows us to have an on-site presence, with people on hand for close personal communication.”Alongside the numerous technical offices across Germany in which teams carry out projects independently, euro engineering AG has opened additional offices to deal with specific services over the last few years. In Stuttgart, for example, the company recently opened an NVH location, aimed at clients from the automotive industry and focusing on vehicle acoustics – NVH namely stands for Noise, Vibration and Harshness. 20 technicians and engineers with extensive acoustic knowledge and many years of experience carry out on-site analyses and optimisation projects with the aim of reducing road noise and vibrations

Internationally positioned The original two-man project, which began in a small room in the Swabian town of Ulm in 1994, has grown into a highly specialised engineering services provider over the last two decades, and now ranks as one of the industry leaders in Germany. “Whether in Germany or abroad, all of our offices have one thing in common: The name euro engineering is synonymous with the highest level of engineering competence,” continues Konrad, “And to ensure that this continues into the future we do not just continually monitor current trends and technical advancements, but we are continually striving to broaden our expertise and specialisation in relevant areas.” www.ee-ag.com

“We don’t just offer our clients technical expertise, but above all individual and personalised support – worldwide when necessary. Our aim is to build trusting partnerships for the long term.” Stefan Konrad, COO euro engineering AG

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Leading Swiss experts on compliance and regulatory law supporting an international clientele Mercury Compliance AG, based in Zurich, is the preferred provider of legal, regulatory and compliance services in Switzerland for international clients entering the Swiss market. Consulting financial services firms, the team of lawyers and business experts meet their clients’ diverse requirements on an expert level. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

As everyone knows the financial sector is a complicated one – not only in business terms but especially when it comes to laws and regulations. Every company entering a foreign market encounters numerous new regulations and obstacles they often cannot properly handle on their own. Experts are needed: Mercury Compliance AG is a law firm specialised in regulatory law and compliance with a focus on the Swiss and Liechtenstein market. Founded in 2012, the Zurich-based firm offers services for the finance sector, commodity and real estate industry. ”Among our clients are small and

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medium-sized enterprises as well as large internationally operating banking institutions with a presence in Switzerland and well known on an international level,”says lawyer Samuel Ryhner, who has been working in finance for more than ten years now and became a partner at Mercury Compliance AG in 2013. Ryhner is currently one of three partners supported by a team of dedicated specialists – lawyers and other finance experts. Patrick K. Meyer, another partner, has 15 years’experience as a lawyer in the banking

sector with a main focus on regulatory law. Prior to joining Mercury, Meyer headed the regulatory and compliance practice at a bigfour audit firm in Zurich where he gained great experience consulting financial service providers in Switzerland and abroad. He also regularly issues specialist publications on legal and financial topics. Third in this trio is Nadine Blattner, who joined only recently in March 2015. Beforehand she has worked with a big-four audit company for many years in the field of regulatory and compliance services consulting companies operating in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. An occupation she took over after working for the Liechtenstein Financial Supervisory Authority. Due to her work she has become an expert on combating money laundering and on counterterrorism, she now mainly handles compliance issues that are EU wide.


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Discover Germany | Business | Mercury Compliance

regulatory law and compliance, but in contrast to Mercury Compliance AG they are not solemnly specialised in these very important legal fields.“What makes us so special is our boutique approach,”explains Ryhner. “In contrast to other law firms or consultancies, we do not let a junior associate handle our cases, but always do them ourselves. We might be a small company but in our areas of expertise we compete with the big players.” Only experts with long-term work experience will be able to manoeuvre confidently through a vast labyrinth of complicated regulations. It is not always easy to determine what is permitted and what is not, regulations change and law experts always have to be up to date.

Of course there are many other and often bigger law firms also working in the fields of

The finance sector is heavily regulated – that applies to the international market as much as for the Swiss one. A financial service provider opening a branch in Switzerland or doing business there“relies on Swiss expert knowledge”, says Mercury partner Patrick Meyer. Mercury Compliance AG not only assists existing companies, but also those in their foundation phase close to entering the market. When conducting business in Switzerland there are key questions to be answered beforehand, for example: Am I even allowed to operate a business in Switzerland? Even though the country is deemed quite liberal when it comes to its financial market, misconducts are heavily persecuted – there might even be criminal charges when

conducting a business without the necessary permission. Therefore, consulting specialists like Samuel Ryhner, Patrick Meyer and Nadine Blattner is so important for those intending to enter the Swiss market. Mercury Compliance AG helps with the first steps of registering a business with the Swiss authorities and supports a company’s daily business when it comes to legal questions about regulatory and compliance.This includes preventing money laundering, cross-border regulations or distributing financial products, but also sector-specific contracts or compliance risk assessment. “Especially small and medium-sized companies need support in these areas, because often enough they cannot handle these complex questions with their own resources,” says Patrick Meyer.“Often enough employees responsible for compliance miss the forest for the trees.That is why we want to offer our clients efficient and comprehensible solutions – to a competitive price.” Mercury Compliance AG works closely together with its clients not only relying on lawyers, but also engaging a team of experts with a background in business and management, a network of reliable partners. www.mercury.ch Portraits: Nadine Blattner (left) Patrick K. Meyer (middle) Samuel Ryhner (right)

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The happy head hunter Uta Bonacker Regazzoni took a chance at leaving her prestigious job in HR to found her own fashion head hunting business in 2013. Today, she and her all-female power force help organisations to find employees that are happy and engaged. After all, research shows that these are the ones that have the strongest positive impact on business results in the long run. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: UB INTERNATIONAL

Offering head hunting and HR consultancy services in EMEA and the USA from Bonacker’s home base in Ticino, Switzerland as well as branches in London, Milano, Zug, Antwerp and Bologna, UB Interna-

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tional truly is international. The company’s recruitment approach, however, is somewhat different to that of other head hunting companies. German-born Bonacker, who has lived and worked in the USA, the

UK, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, explains how her mission came about. From managing HR to managing people “I have always been thinking like an entrepreneur, but only found out in retrospective,” says the creative business founder whose previous career spans ten years in university teaching and 15 years in HR management for several high-end fashion brands such as Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna and GUESS.“As an HR Manager, I always chose a start-up project. I love tack-


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Discover Germany | Business | UB International Sagl

Portrait: Uta Bonacker Regazzoni

with a great pay package, security, status etc.,”she says.“So it wasn’t an easy decision, but today I can honestly say that it was the best one I ever made.”

granted the Federal Swiss Certificate for International Executive Search for Fashion.” New opportunities in fashion valley

Just relax Bonacker follows a “very personal” approach to recruiting. “Our interviews are not based on a strict procedure,”she says. “Instead, we try to stick to a natural conversation as long as possible. Everyone should feel at ease and respected. It’s only then that people open up about what’s really important to them.The match between a company’s corporate culture and the personal values of a candidate is the key to a successful recruitment project.” The nopressure concept also applies to her team, which is made up exclusively of friends and ex colleagues. They act as completely independent partners.“This releases the pressure that many head hunters are nowadays faced with. We don’t do cold calls, we don’t have a customer visit quota, we don’t have the pressure of having to ‘push through’ candidates. We all trust each other 100 per cent. We also laugh a lot, which in turn attracts positive people.”

Being located so close to the fashion capital Milano with headquarters in the area of Lugano – also known as the Swiss fashion valley – UB International has started to attract the attention of big corporations, such as Philipp Plein. However, it’s the ability to combine a successful professional career with a fulfilling private life that makes Bonacker happiest about the decision to start her own business.“We are all business women with children and families,” she smiles. “It’s great to be successful in your area of expertise and apply all your intellectual skills while at the same time making enough space for family and friends.” www.ubinternational.ch

A specialised partner

ling new projects.”However, her career in the fast-paced fashion world also had its downsides.“In a crisis, HR had to take over the job of making people redundant. I never liked that. I just don’t want to have this kind of impact on people’s lives. At some point I also realised that my stress levels were constantly high – just like a race horse that keeps on racing through life.”In order to have more freedom and focus on the impactful part of HR, the mother-ofone decided to radically re-invent herself. “I quit my job asVP HR EMEA which came

Another distinctive advantage of UB International is that every member of the team has a senior management background in fashion.“Most head hunters cover all kinds of industries,” illustrates Bonacker. “They are all-rounders and often don’t have the in-depth knowledge of the versatile and creative fashion world. We speak our clients’ language as we have seen it all from within.”This concept is reflected through all of the company’s services, such as HR due diligence, organisational design, HR strategy development and the team building and leadership training with horses. What’s more, UB International can back up its expertise with official documentation: “Anyone can call themselves a head hunter. The term is not protected. But to me it was important to be officially recognised as a head hunter for fashion so I applied for and was

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Successful Enterprises

Peter Schneider © Thorsten Scherz

Special Theme

Learning to drive – in the digital world

Germany’s Successful Enterprises

With digital developments advancing at the speed of light in today’s business world, it is crucial to stay on track. In order to support businesses in this, Germany-based start-up LabLive GmbH has launched a new app: the digital driver’s licence. TEXT: SONJA IRANI

platform. “The mix of video snippets and content in the form of a quiz is perfect for presenting the most complex themes in a modern and fun way,” illustrates London.

| PHOTOS: LABLIVE GMBH

“Increasing digitalisation, especially in marketing, communication and (e-)commerce, leads to radical changes in the business world,” says Achim London, CEO at LabLive. “Many long-term employees throughout all departments still stick to the old-fashioned ways of how things should be done. But knowing how to handle new technologies, new means of communication and even new ways of thinking is critical if you want to stay competitive and secure jobs.”In order to meet this demand, LabLive has developed a mobile learning app that can be accessed 24/7 from virtually anywhere. It features the knowledge of ten established experts and is designed in the form of a quiz. “Research shows that mobile-friendliness and a playful approach are the two most important aspects considering the future of learning,” explains London. “Our app

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supports both. The short videos of three minutes each will make you curious to learn more and the quiz is fun. At the same time, reaching a high points score for your certificate of completion gives learners a motivation boost.”Companies that let employees or departments ‘play’ against each other in order to reach the best result will see the highest motivation and best learning outcomes. Furthermore, the app can be used as an empty or serviced White Label

So far, the app, which is available in several different languages, has helped many companies to successfully support their employees on their digital transformation journey. “We are a traditional Bertelsmann subsidiary with many long-term employees,”says Peter Schneider, HR manager at AZ Direct GmbH. “The digital driver’s licence allows us to step into the digital age in an interactive way – from the comfort of our employee’s home.” www.lablive.de


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German business rule #1:

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nulleins™ Brunnenstr. 192 10119 Berlin

+49 (0)30 293 6464 0 info@nulleins.de www.nulleins.de

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Fast track to digital leadership The digitalisation of society changes our way of thinking and acting. This development towards a digitally coined multichannel behaviour fundamentally requires new approaches from businesses. diconium is the perfect partner when it comes to supporting companies of all industries with their future-oriented digital transformations. Celebrating their 20-year-anniversary this year, diconium has more than one reason to celebrate as exciting expansion plans were announced. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: DICONIUM/ WOLFGANG LIST

“We live digital commerce since 1995,“smiles Andreas Schwend, managing partner. The long and successful history of the German business diconium has its beginnings on a ski trip in Scheffau on the mountain ridge Wilder Kaiser where Andreas Schwend and Daniel Rebhorn met at the ages of 18 and 16. Within the scope of a dissertation, called ‘Introduction of an ERP system into a printing plant‘, they decided to found their own joint company. Thus, dmc digital media center GmbH was born in 1995. The first project of the business was a CD-ROM for the introduction of

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the Mercedes E-Class. Quickly, the company expanded into numerous other ventures. At the end of 2013, the duo decided to increasingly profile the activities of the group’s individual companies. Thus, they were all positioned in the market under the umbrella brand of‘diconium‘. A holistic solution provider “We are born digital and help companies in this field from initial strategy developing to the implementation process,“ Daniel Rebhorn, managing partner, explains. Today, five subsidiary companies stand for ‘dico-

nium‘. dmc commerce consultants is a business for strategy consulting services for digital commerce. It poses as a reliable process supporter for the digital transformation of brands, manufacturers and traders. The e-commerce service provider, dmc digital media center, develops technically innovative and creative solutions for online shops and e-business platforms for better e-commerce. Agency ro11 combines performance marketing and digital analytics with the goal of realising automated marketing campaigns. Embitel, on the other hand, comprises of expertise in the areas of embedded technology and e-business software development. With offices in Bangalore, London and Stuttgart, Embitel has grown to be one of the most successful outsourcing partners in the field of digitalcommerce. Perfectly timed for the company’s 20-year-anniversary this year, Andreas Schwend and Daniel Rebhorn are currently developing their fifth subsidiary


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Successful Enterprises

company. The Daimler AG and the diconium group have concluded a contract about the long-term collaboration for the developing of digital-commerce activities for Mercedes-Benz Pkw. For this, the holistically working business with the name CINTEO GmbH has been established to develop creative and technical services in the digital-commerce sphere in Daimler‘s headquarters in Stuttgart. Of course, there are numerous providers on the market which have already specialised. However, the difference to diconium quickly becomes apparent. If we take traditional business consultancies, for example, they indisputably comprise of great competence in classic strategy fields. However, they are not confident in the field of digital. Marketing agencies, on the other hand, have great competence in dealing with brands and consumers, but they have missed out on establishing an own IT competency. Without question, digital agencies know a great deal about digital experience, but they rarely have implementation experience in e-commerce. And IT companies? They might have great competence in system integration the classic waterfall way but not thinking about and developing new agile and fast methods. Therefore, diconium is able to offer something very special as it combines the expertise of highly qualified and experienced people from different companies under one roof and with solely one goal: the optimal combination of ideas and skills for projects and ventures which sustainably design the digital future. Andreas Schwend says:“We are no agency in the digital age, but rather a holistic solution provider for digital leadership. We are strategy. We are management consulting. We are customer experience. We are design, technology and online marketing. We are CRM, analytics and performance, as well as outsourcing and internationalisation. We are hosting and operation. All in all, we are the fast track to digital leadership.”

mented. We want to assist companies to cope with their digital engagement in a consumer world with more and more digital touchpoints.“ From offering high-quality consulting services, strategical thinking, management consulting, new ways of digital engagement, visionary designs or innovative technologies to developing optimal mobile presences, offering expertise in analytics, CRM or hosting, as well as providing for exciting cloud commerce solutions – diconium is sure to provide holistic approaches for their customers. “After all, company building and digital engagement for companies which have to catch up with digital transformation is our passion,“ Andreas Schwend says.

mately, we are there where our clients and their projects need us; whether this is in New York, Zurich, Milan, Peking or Mumbai,“ adds Daniel Rebhorn. With almost 500 employees in Germany and India and a turnover of over 30 million euros, it seems no wonder that diconium has positioned itself as the biggest, independent, ownermanaged provider in their sector in Germany. High-profile companies, such as Edeka, Bosch, Hugo Boss, engbers, Sick, Runners Point, Euronics, Galeria Kaufhof, Lloyd Shoes, Medion, WMF, victorinox, Kaiser+Kraft, Kodak, dm, babywalz, Conrad Elektronik, Daimler or Ludwig Goertz have assigned diconium in the past. www.diconium.de

An impressive portfolio Combining all relevant services for customer-oriented commerce solutions in a digitalised world with a mixed, young and dynamic team of highly qualified employees, who have worked together for a long time, is diconium’s secret of success. Today, diconium comprises of offices in Stuttgart, Berlin, Bangalore and London. “But ulti-

Portrait: diconium founders Daniel Rebhorn (left) and Andreas Schwend (right) Below: diconium group’s managers from Stuttgart, Berlin and India Bottom: diconium celebrated the 20-year-anniversary of its subsidiary dmc digital media center GmbH with the most important clients and partners... (left) ... and, of course, with their employees. (right)

Daniel Rebhorn adds:“Our group of commerce-oriented companies creates a network of interdisciplinary digital commerce service providers so that integrated projects across the entire value chain can be imple-

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Navigating through a complex world Communication has never been more important than in our 21st century world of technology and unlimited information. The award-winning creative agency explainity has made corporate storytelling and reduction of complexity its mission in order to help create brand identities that stand the test of our modern times. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: EXPLAINITY

Whether we wake up to check our friend’s statuses on our mobiles or cheekily surf the web during work hours, wherever we go we are bombarded with news. Quantity instead of quality of information has quickly become the reality of our modern, fast-paced lives. Founder and CEO of the creative agency explainity, Andreas Ebert, sums it up:“The information crisis has already reached us.You could say we are ‘overnewsed’ but ‘underinformed’. Our challenge is to successfully simplify content without trivialising it.” Explainity has recognised the demand for simplifying information, which is particularly interesting for companies who need to communicate content, for example to their client base. “We edit complex subjects for internal or external communication through using differentiated strategies, tools and methods into easily understood content in the form of videos, written documents or as

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part of a workshop or consultation meeting,” Ebert explains. Be it a product or a service that needs to be explained in strong yet simple words, the team at explainity are experts when it comes to communication and selection of key content. Aside from their consulting and workshop services, the team is internationally known for their explainatory videos. From

developing the narrative to the technical realisation of the video, explainity offers an all-round package. “We keep our work process transparent to ensure our clients can follow it closely and are involved throughout,” adds Ebert. Their impressive portfolio includes work for many different businesses from DAX listed groups and banks to universities, government agencies and research institutes. There is no subject too difficult for the team at explainity. Ebert mentions a project they are particularly proud of: “Through our self-funded non-commercial‘explainity education projects’, we provide a young audience with a gateway to otherwise extremely complex subjects. It does not matter if it is the euro crisis, dementia or stock prices.” Thus explainity helps young people to build informed opinions based on having understood complex content through videos. Knowledge has always been a powerful tool on our planet, but knowing how to share it is an art form that explainity has mastered beautifully. www.explainity.com


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Main image: A multidisciplinary team of thinkers and makers. Above: Digital craftsmen at Edenspiekermann. (middle)

Home of brands

Below: Robert Stulle and Pia Betton, Partners in Berlin.

Have you noticed that some of the old household brands are not sitting with us at the dinner table anymore? Brands fade away if they fail to play a role in our lives. The brands that are currently close to our hearts live up to their promise of a social interaction. They provide convincing products and a meaningful service.

about as many developers as we have designers in our office. In our process we work on research, content, design and development in parallel. We have a holistic approach to creating great brand experiences.“ Pia Betton, also partner in Berlin, says: “We take on the user’s perspective. We use design thinking, qualitative research and interviews to get a clear understanding of user needs. As we state in our manifesto, we work for our clients’ customers. We may have to take their side at times.“

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: CLAUDIA BURGER

Meet Edenspiekermann, a global digital agency who shape brands by creating digital products, services and content-driven experiences. With offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Singapore, their high-profile customers include the likes of Mozilla, Bosch, City of Amsterdam, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Bahn and Red Bull. Berlin is a great city and a place where the creative industry, art, technology and startups are thriving. If you are travelling to Berlin from time to time and you are interested in the topics of brand development, digital product creation and service design, it might be a good idea to visit Edenspiekermann in their office near Potsdamer Platz. Have a coffee and a chat with one of their friendly experts (they have fantastic

espresso). They will be happy to show you around their colourful spacious office, share their experiences working with multidisciplinary teams in agile methods and talk about their recent projects. “We combine brand-thinking with brand– doing. Clients work with us not only to get great ideas but also great execution,”Robert Stulle, partner in Berlin, smiles. “We have

The independent, owner-led agency was co-founded by Prof. Dr.h.c. Erik Spiekermann, one of the world’s most influential designers, awarded as Honorary Royal Designer of Industry by her Majesty the Queen of England. Today Edenspiekermann are 100 experts from 18 nations across five offices with one mindset. They are designers and developers, thinkers and makers who describe themselves as digital craftsmen. They have grown to become one of the most successful companies in their field. www.edenspiekermann.com

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Pay with a Tweet

Engaging social media for sustainable business growth The Hamburg-based startup, Pay with a Tweet, brings online marketing to a new level: not using advertisement but word of mouth to gain new customers. Providing simple software solutions, Pay with a Tweet makes use of the diverse target groups social media has to offer. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PRESS IMAGES

What makes people buy things? What makes them choose a certain brand? Marketing experts have been brooding over this not only in modern times, but since the beginning of trade when barkers shouted out incentives to customers passing by. But advertising alone is not what gains loyal customers: people are more likely to buy when someone else recommends a product or company. Word of mouth is important for business and while this often happens spontaneously, many companies today use strategies – so called referral marketing – to influence this process. A study at the Universities of Frankfurt and Pennsylvania has shown that referred customers are more profitable and loyal than customers gained through other forms of

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marketing. They are even more valuable in the long run. Pay with a Tweet – a German startup as an international pioneer “Now imagine how successful this strategy will become when using social media networks with their huge audience groups,” says Aaron Keilhau who founded Pay with a Tweet, a social media referral marketing startup based in Hamburg and an international pioneer. Aaron Keilhau has worked in corporate marketing for four years, beAaron Keilhau fore establishing his

own business.“During that time I have often experienced the importance of customer referrals and that there is a huge potential to mobilise customers – especially online,”says the 30-year-old entrepreneur. The idea for Pay with a Tweet was born. 50 per cent more traffic on a company’s website thanks to customer referrals The innovative company has already worked for household names like Starbucks and Universal Music, implementing programmes for social media referral marketing. Their software solution has been used for over 40,000 marketing campaigns worldwide, offering customers incentives – for example a discount – when sharing a campaign online with friends and followers. Both sides profit: the customer earns a benefit, the company gains greater visibility and new loyal customers. www.paywithatweet.com


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Left: Lea Hildenbrand, junior project leader. Middle: Marc Schuermann, director of sales.

Ambitious e-commerce solutions Consumers prefer to buy in shops they trust and find appealing. This is also the case for the online environment. However, the area of e-commerce is diverse, impulsive and cross-linked and poses a variety of challenges to companies. That is why PHOENIX MEDIA has made it their task to offer individual, holistic solutions and expertise in this field. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: PHOENIX MEDIA GMBH

“Marketing managers and decision makers need solutions which can quickly be adapted to new demands so that they are one step ahead of their competitors,” explains Marc Schürmann, director of sales. Thus, PHOENIX MEDIA develops ambitious, flexible solutions in mobile and ecommerce. Some people might say that numerous companies offer these services but PHOENIX MEDIA really stands out. “PHOENIX MEDIA has been around since the very beginning of e-commerce,” Dirk Schwarz, director of technology and projects explains. Therefore, the company is able to look back on almost 15 years of experience.

solutions, PHOENIX MEDIA is a true e-commerce expert. As if that would not be enough, the company is also dedicated to developing innovative products. Thus, they have been involved in developing the Enterprise Edition for their used shop system Magento Commerce. Furthermore, PHOENIX MEDIA develops its own Magento Commerce interfaces for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and AX, Tradebyte and Commerz Finanz. “Through this, we meet the needs of large shop operators and offer tailor-made ecommerce applications. Quality and success of our customers has always been our highest priority,“ Björn Kraus, CTO, adds.

From design, system maintenance and integration, as well as performance optimisation to hosting and tailor-made mobile commerce

The specialist for online shop systems and strategic consultation have also made a name for themselves as a holistic service

provider for online businesses. As a Gold Partner for Magento and IBM Advanced Business Partner, PHOENIX MEDIA and its large team of certified employees maintain a leading market position. Impressing with fast responses, customer-oriented advice, high-performance technologies and implementation of projects in-time, in-budget and in-scope, PHOENIX MEDIA has several offices in Germany and Austria to be closer to their clients. No wonder internationally well-known retailers and companies, such as Hallhuber, Mövenpick, Canadian Solar, Galt Toys, Commerz Finanz, ikarus, Kettner or Mercavinos, trust PHOENIX MEDIA. Despite their wide-ranging success, the company does not think about slowing down. Another German office is planned, more employees in Stuttgart and Vienna will be hired and close cooperation with IBM in the area of Customer Analytics is looked forward to. Last but not least, the first Magento 2 Enterprise projects will be launched online. Magento 2 is the successor of the prize-winning Magento shop system. www.phoenix-media.eu

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From left to right: Dmitrij Propp, Viktor Eichmann, Daniel Skoda and David Lange

listic understanding of RTB and are able to create outstanding results for our clients.” Sharing the same passion for programmatic advertising, the adlicious team is a trusted RTB trading desk which helps its clients to go beyond agency boundaries. adlicious realises efficient data-driven, programmatic display-, mobile- and video advertising campaigns, as well as Facebook advertising. They put special focus on design and expert-driven optimisation across all channels. “We believe that the decisive factor for a successful campaign is craftsmanship and constant questioning. After all, no algorithm is as smart as a human,”Viktor explains. Having access to all relevant technologies and media buying platforms, each client is sure to get the perfect set-up for their individual needs. Furthermore, with profile data of over 55 million unique users in Germany, adlicious is able to conduct wide-reaching, data-led campaigns.

The human factor in programmatic advertising The RTB (real-time bidding) marketplace is known for being fragmented and confusing. It is dominated by large digital marketing agencies and the skills shortage in the industry is omnipresent. However, an independent start-up company from Hamburg changes this notion with an innovative approach to RTB campaigns. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: TIMUR OEZER (TIMUR O PHOTOGRAPHY)

adlicious’ slogan ‘we love doing RTB’ captures the team’s work ethics in a nutshell. Founded by Viktor Eichmann and David Lange, the agile RTB Trading Desk soon grew to include Dmitrij Propp and Daniel Skoda. All four bring expertise from various fields, from economic mathematics and statistic algorithms to profound experience

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with digital strategies in marketing agencies and on the publisher side. Founders Viktor and David met at a previous employer and soon decided that they“can do it better than others”, smiles Viktor. Since then, the dedicated team’s ideal combination of individual expertise makes them stand out from competitors. David says:“We all have a ho-

With over 1,000 RTB campaigns, their personal expertise in the field is extensive. Trivago, WeltSparen or SWK Bank are just a few of the names that work with adlicious. The overall goals in the project for SWK Bank were to generate more qualified traffic to the landing page and to sell more online loan deals. A challenge was to identify this specific target group, but adlicious were able to quickly find out how to affectively address the most suitable users with Semantic Twinning. Dmitrij concludes:“Our goal is to be a reliable partner for agencies and advertisers.” Daniel adds:“I’ve worked in the digital media industry for 15 years and based on this personal experience I can confidently say that we are doing a pretty good job.” www.adlicious.me


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Creative concepts to promote your brand online When searching for professional implementations of online projects, one must look no further than Thinkideas. The agency specialises in e-commerce and supports customers all the way from shop development to digital brand management. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: THINKIDEAS GMBH

Established in 2009 and now based in Munich, Thinkideas is well versed in dealing with many technologies (Typo3, Magento or WordPress amongst others) and therefore can provide original ideas for clients all over Europe. The concept of Thinkideas evolved when the two founders, brothers Roman and Daniel Schulz, had problems

finding a service provider for their online start-up. “We realised that many agencies had stuck-up patterns of thinking and changed the price of the original offer again and again,”Roman Schulz remembers.“We wanted to change that.”To emphasise its international profile, the agency opened new offices in Israel, India and the US in 2015.

According to Daniel Schulz:“A logical step in our business development.” For the creative minds, face-to-face interaction with customers is key. Clients highly appreciate this personal contact and often consider Thinkideas as part of their team. “We recognise and solve problems before the customer is even aware of them,”Daniel Schulz reports. Thinkideas' performances represent genuine added value for both the customers' brands and their users. It seems no wonder that well-known companies such as Groupon or Haribo are amongst the agency's customers. In a nutshell, Thinkideas wants to achieve entertaining user experiences, designs that reinforce the brands and long-term successful business models – because they believe a better web starts with you. www.thinkideas.de

Innovative shopping solutions for the digital age Let NuBON enhance your mobile and add value to benefit your shopping experiences; because whether it’s a fashion boutique, department store or supermarket, you are rarely without your smartphone. More and more frequently they are pulled out of your pocket to be consulted, revealing price comparisons, the nearest branch, or if there are any current discounts in the vicinity. But at the same time, your overly crammed wallet or purse is there too, bursting at the seams with old receipts, loyalty cards and vouchers. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: NUBON & GOODLUZ / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

This is where NuBON comes in, offering a practical alternative in the form of its eponymous app, which is so far available in Germany and Austria for iOS and Android. The NuBON app enables digital customer loyalty cards, receipts, mobile couponing

and shopping lists directly on your smartphone. The advantages are vast as they wave goodbye to the days of rummaging through chaotic purses, ensuring that everything is digitally organised in one place. Moreover, those important bonus cards, receipts for exchanges and voucher slips won’t be mistakenly placed elsewhere and left at home. The retail industry and other service providers such as gastronomic institutions, hotels and leisure facilities profit too, as checkout times are reduced to the satisfaction of customers and discount

offers are customised for clients. In summary, the NuBON app represents a simplified and sustainable shopping or customer experience – after all, thermal paperprinted receipts and plastic cards aren’t known for their environmentally friendly credentials. For store-based retailers and service providers, NuBON doubles as an innovative platform, a tool which they can use to personally and rapidly inform their customers and guests. NuBON also opens up various options to respond to the growth of e-commerce. nubon.de nubon.de/haendler Left: The iOS version of the NuBON app

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Concretum Construction Science AG

Surfaces made to last The Swiss start-up Concretum AG is an expert and reliable partner for builders looking to pave roads, highways, airport fields, runways and ramps. The company’s high-tech approach, quality products and experience demonstrate the limitless potential and flexibility of concrete as a surface material that is built to last. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: CONCRETUM CONSTRUCTION SCIENCE AG

Concrete is the single most widely used material in the world. In fact, concrete surface projects represent the largest treatment category in commercial construction. Its widespread uses in almost all building types represent our modern society’s need to build durable yet flexible structures. And while, in the traditional sense, concrete is usually not associated with being flexible or adaptable – or even avant-garde in terms of innovation or speed – the Zurich-based building materials company Concretum AG is setting a new benchmark. Their engi-

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neers have created something special; timeoptimised concrete and mortar.

This new, high-tech method – called rapidhardening cement – makes construction work faster, more flexible and durable than ever. For each building project, the company matches their cement perfectly so that the material can withstand external conditions like weather conditions and align with special architectural or construction details. Building and repairing over night

From idea to success Founded in 2001 as a start-up at Zurich’s ETH University, the company was officially launched in 2007 and has greatly expanded since. Today, Concretum AG supplies construction sites in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, as well as international partners with high-tech, time-optimised concrete that is as adaptable and innovative as the engineering and structures it is meant to support.

“The fields of application for our high-tech concretes are identical to those of normal concretes – but our focus is really on timesensitive projects. Our experienced staff continuously performs quality inspections, which ultimatley constitutes the completion of a successful project.” Over the course of one night, Concretum AG can pave or cast 1,000 square metres of concrete. For time-sensitive projects, such


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Discover Germany | Business | Concretum Construction Science

Concretum AG on a number of building projects. Dedication to quality The company, whose products are based on their own innovative research and successful prototypes, constantly strives to meet the highest demands. Their product innovations are based on years of research and now form a monopoly for the time-optimised construction process. Their pioneering high-tech concretes make up a considerable – and unique – part of the European construction market.

fic interruption. By using a slip-form paver, we can rehabilitate airstrips without interruption in night stages. The goal for the coming years is to make our technology the standard application at European airports,” says the company. www.concretum.com

Main image & left: Concretum AG high-tech concrete Below: Repairs at Frankfurt Airport

“As a Swiss construction supplier, Concretum AG places a great emphasis and importance on carefully-tested quality products that are offered at a fair price. They produce and supply special, highperformance concrete and concrete mixtures. These are used for a variety of projects that all have varying building specifications and time frames. For example, our Premium concrete Q-FLASH 2/20 can be fully loaded after only two hours. The quick mortar hardens just as rapidly and is already applied in all areas of construction.” Awards and recognition The firm’s innovative approach, their curiosity and business sense has translated into industry awards. In 2006, Concretum AG was named CTI Start-Up Label, and in 2012 awarded with the Swiss Innovation Award of the Idea Suisse. The years 201213 marked international collaboration, as Concretum AG was part of building the solar power plant Ait Baha in Morocco. Since the year 2014, the company has worked with a range of well-known building companies (Strabag AG and ÖBA among others) and specialised in large-area repairs in road and air transportation. as highway repairs or airport construction – where building work needs to be finished on time and not exceed the budget – the value and quality of Concretum’s products are crucial. After a night’s work – and without interrupting any traffic – their concrete is of high strength and ready for bearing loads. International airports (Vienna, Zurich and Frankfurt) have already worked with

Future vision and goals Looking ahead, the company wants to build on their successful collaboration with building companies and industry partnerships. Since 2015, their focus is on largearea repairs of airports and road constructions.“Our motivation lies in the repair of large international airports without air traf-

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Special Theme

Counteracting climate change with architecture The effects of climate change on our everyday lives and the environment are becoming more and more apparent. It’s vital that we all do our share and live in a more conscious way to counteract the consequences of climatic change. Luckily, that thought is adapted by more and more influential businesses, such as Germany’s award-winning architecture firm ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin GmbH. NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: WOOCHEOL JEONG ARCHITEKTURWERKSTATT VALLENTIN I JACOB KANZLEITER

As one of Germany’s forerunners in sustainable building, ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin intelligently combines energetic innovations with exceptional design. “We see sustainability as a universal issue and our main task. We want to give our best in building sustainably and want to show that this means high-level aesthetics and cost effectivity,” Gernot Vallentin, founder of ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin, explains. Thus, the architecture firm is committed to sustainable building, exceptional design and taking care with customer budgets.

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Founded in 1996 by Gernot Vallentin and his wife Rena Vallentin, the team of

Great Architects

ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin now know exactly how sustainable building works. The physical Passive House Standard, first developed for the Chinese climate, is the energetic minimum requirement for all of their projects. The low-tech concept is balancing the inner climate of the building and reduces the carbon dioxid emission to a fifth of the regular house emissions. This regulation works in all seasons and all climates worldwide – cold, hot and humid. Closely integrating the planning of outdoor facilities into their working process is as part of their projects as developing comfort concepts in which the indoor climate forms a symbiotic relationship with the microclimate of the outdoor area.“Room designs and technical concepts are closely intertwined. The interdisciplinary planning, even in the concept phase, is thus natural,”


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Architects

Gernot Vallentin says. Inspired by nature, Gernot and Rena Vallentin adapt organic forms and convert them into a contemporary architectural language.“The shapes of our buildings are supposed to connect the overall appearance to its surroundings,” Rena Vallentin smiles. The firm constantly considers the topics of design, as well as sustainability in regards to ecological and economical aspects. Creative facets are realised through developing technical and energetically innovative design- and detail solutions which consider culture, nature, comfort and health aspects for the users. All projects are worked on within an interdisciplinary team of experts. With a main office in Munich and a second office in Dorfen, ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin impresses with an outstanding project portfolio. Thus, many international clients started to take notice of the firm. One example of their work is a seminar and youth centre in Korea’s Goesan for the organic food company Pulmuone. ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin implemented a sustainable building concept in which the buildings were planned as a pioneering project towards energy saving and an architecture-nature approach. A distinctively shaped outside, with big windows and a wooden façade, is met by a contemporary, colorful inside.The free form is intelligently integrated into the surrounding nature reserve and vividly combines architecture with nature, as Pulmuone searched for a‘natural design’which expressed environmental and technical aspects. The house is the biggest Passive House in Korea and was awarded several architectural prices. In China’s Qingdao, the architecture firm designed a seminar and administration building together in an architectural group

with L. Rongen and M.Tribus. The building, on 9,880 square metres, attracts with its curved shining glass-covered balconies. It intended to pose as a Passive House experience centre for China and teaches about energy-efficient architecture and housing services inclusive energy generation with Photovoltaics. It impresses with distinctive shapes and indoor gardens and will be finished in 2016. ArchitekturWerkstattVallentin will also build another Passive House experience centre in Estonia, with seminar and apartment rooms to stay for living on approval.“The international work has substantially strengthened our understanding of other cultures and other climates. The cold, warm, wet climate in Korea or the arctic climate in Estonia lead to different buildings in a climate-related context,” Gernot Vallentin notes. The firm shows that it’s able to transfer its extensive know-how about the Central European climate into other climate zones.

has been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for his work in the field of energyefficient construction in 2012. www.vallentin-architektur.de Main image: Entrance of the seminar and youth centre in Korea’s Goesan. © Woocheol Jeong Opposite: South façade of the seminar and youth centre in Korea’s Goesan. © Woocheol Jeong (left) Interior design of the seminar and youth centre in Korea’s Goesan for Pulmuone. © Woocheol Jeong (right) Top: Passive House experience centre in Qingdao as Passive House PLUS. © ROA Rongen Tribus Vallentin (left) The courtyard of the Montessori Children’s House in Erding. © Jacob Kanzleiter (middle) Entrance of the Montessori school in Aufkirchen, the first certified Passive House school worldwide. © Jacob Kanzleiter (right) Below: Entrance of the Wastewater Association in Eitting as Passive House PLUS. © Jacob Kanzleiter Bottom: Entrance of the nursery in Geisenhausen. © Jacob Kanzleiter Portrait: Gernot and Rena Vallentin (from left to right). © ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin GmbH

However, the architecture firm’s regional and national projects are also well known. The Montessori School in Aufkirchen, for example, is the first Passive House school project worldwide. Not only impressing with beautiful design, which is closely linked to nature, the project was also completed without additional costs.This shows that the architecture firm developed intelligent strategies for cost reduction so that Passive Houses can be realised in a ‘lowbudget way’. ArchitekturWerkstattVallentin also looks beyond horizons in a contentrelated way. Not only designing contemporary, yet affordable, chairs and stools, parts of their office in Munich poses as a gallery which showcases exhibitions on design and sustainability. Gernot Vallentin also gives presentations, talks or holds seminars about sustainable architecture and innovative building concepts. No wonder he

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Communicative construction KSV architects bridge the gap between design and information KSV stands for three architects who finished their studies at the Bauhaus University Weimar in 1988, one year before the wall came down. Since then, Torsten Krüger, Christiane Schuberth und Bertram Vandreike have merged into the well-received enterprise KSV-architects, working “between the poles of architecture, design and communication”. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

KSV architects have long settled themselves in Berlin and established a highly recognised reputation for innovative architecture and design. Situated in a huge, light-flooded loft at Rosenthaler Platz, the agency houses a combined workforce of architects, designers and graphic designers who together tackle sustainable solutions for companies and brands as well as private and publicsector clients. They have won numerous competitions and the manifold nature of their talent is as flexible and broad as the variety of projects they engage in.

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KSV's eye-catching Humboldt-Box, a cubic element with futuristic structures, is a wellknown temporary building in the heart of Berlin, designed to provide information on the upcoming Humboldt-Forum, which is being constructed on the grounds of the former Prussian Stadtschloss. The inside and outside of the building is a wellmatched structure with almost sculptural elements. Standing right by the construction site, the steel structure holds gigantic layers of stretched canvas. Lit from within, by night the sculptural element of the

building is therefore even more predominant. Transparency is a major aspect of the design: it is no secret that the HumboldBox not only holds information for the visitor, but is also designed to encourage submitting potential donations for the costly Humboldt-Forum facade. Being itself a temporary installation, the box mirrors the constant change of the Berlin landscape ever since 1989 as well as the merging of culture and commerce that came with it. Culture and science form one of the pillars of the KSV workload – the Museum for Modern Art in Bozen, Italy is as much an intervention in the historical heart of a city as the Humboldt-Box in Berlin and both bear an emphasis on communication of knowledge. In Bozen, the cube is standing at the end of two new bridges, the Talferbrücken, also designed by KSV. They symbolise not


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only the connection between the old and new part of the city, but also the merging of German and Italian culture, with both languages present in that particular region of South Tirol.The slightly compressed‘media facade’facing both the river and approaching visitors, has two functions: through movable translucent slats the daylight is filtered and directed into the building. By night, the same slats turn into a projection screen for media art. On top of this, the “intelligent” facade functions as a climate wall: depending on temperature and the position of the sun, the facade gap between slates and glass wall regulates both air and temperature within the building. Two big topical KSV projects worth mentioning are: the MBS Mittelbrandenburgische Sparkasse extension in Potsdam, already in construction and to be finished by 2017, and the big restructuring of the Berlin Bundesallee 204 – 206 address, a largescale project designed as an urban housing complex uniting business, apartments and hotels. While the MBS extension stands for the unique brand of the bank in its design and features elegant structures with playful elements like a spiral staircase, it also provides enough room for customer service, directorate and an event space. Here, an individual and innovative looking exterior goes along with a meticulously designed interior, which in the end gave KSV the upper hand in the competition.

The restructuring of the gigantic Bundesallee complex focuses on partial removal as a way of breaking up and reconnecting the block-like complex to the eaves heights of surrounding older buildings, thus creating three addresses. There will also be three‘garden houses’, a traditional part of Berlin’s urban housing as well as a ‘green heart’, accessible through semipublic paths. After a long planning phase, with KSV architects' 2012 draft putting them in the forerunner role, this project is now underway. Always with an eye and ear open to the connection between architecture, design and communication, KSV's creative agency is designing brand events for clients such as BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce. Projects are underway in Brussels, Dubai, Delhi and Guangzhou.

KSV truly serves a large variety of clients. Asked about what makes up the nature of the multiple people they work with,Torsten Krüger says: “Fascinating, clear thinking and structured individuals”. And how does modernist KSV see the future?“Never stop exploring! Who knows, maybe we'll discover a new continent?” With their ‘anything goes’ attitude and much curiosity about the human species at large and in detail, they might as well! www.ksv-network.de Main image: The Humboldt-Box, Berlin. © Karsten Pagel Top: MUSEION - Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Bolzano, Italy (left). © LUPE/Ludwig Thalheimer MUSEION - Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Bolzano and bridges across the Talfer river (right). © LUPE/Ludwig Thalheimer Below: Extension of the headquarters of the Mittelbrandenburgische Sparkasse, Potsdam (left). © KSV Bundesallee Quarter, Berlin-Wilmersdorf (right). © KSV

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Award-winning architecture with a sustainable and client-focused approach Building sustainably and energy efficiently is becoming more and more important in the face of increasing energy prices – and because it is the responsible thing to do. The GME group with offices in Bremen and Achim in northern Germany specialises not only in sustainable building, but also in transforming clients’ dreams and individual wishes into actual buildings. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: GME GROUP

“It is important to make ones own creative ideas come alive in the eyes of the beholder,” says GME co-founder and shareholder Bernd C. W. Müller. A team of planners, designers, architects, interior designers and CAD specialists are working at GME to make creative ideas come to life – everyone has his or her own place wherever competences and personal preferences

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lie. The highly qualified employees and team members – between 30 and 35 according to the current workload – plan and realise projects with a total budget of 60 to 80 million euros every year. The offices in Achim and Bremen, with a space of more than 1,500 square metres, are a creative space that can be adjusted ac-

cording to current needs allowing to work together in different teams and project groups. Ideas developed during brain-


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storming can directly be transformed into data and pictures at the CAD workspaces in the office’s EDP landscape. The creativity displayed in this work layout transfers directly into the buildings. Transferring clients ideas into sustainable buildings The individuality and customers’ personal whishes and requirements are always the main focus when shareholders Bernd C. W. Müller, Axel Diederichs, Jürgen Keil and Christian Buck and their team work on a project. The results are as versatile as the projects, even though the handwriting is recognisable due to the often subtle but clear lines lying at the core of GME’s designs. One example for GME office architecture is a building currently developed in the Bürgermeister-Spitta-Allee in Bremen. While from the outside simplicity dominates, the flexible interior offers space for offices as well as restaurants, exhibition spaces and shops on the ground floor. The building demonstrates how the outer form influences the inner climate: deep window soffits reduce the direct sunlight ensuring a cooler room temperature on the inside. A flat with a view: ‘Maritima’ residential complex in Bremerhaven A completely different project took form in 2013 and 2014 at the foot of an old lighthouse in Bremerhaven at the German North Sea shore. For the 22 attractive new flats in three buildings, the architects not

only created attractive terraces and balconies with a view on ships passing by through the lock, but also ensured that every flat is barrier-free.

in 2016 and the redevelopment of a school’s gymnasium – here the façade is currently being renovated to make the building more energy efficient.

“To design great architecture is quite easy – if you know how to,” is the statement of GME. Easy to say for a group with such a long experience in architecture. Bernd C. W. Müller founded the group GME in 1971 together with his then co-worker Jürgen Gräbner. For GME good architecture does not stop at planning a building’s outer form: the interior and overall design are also part of the full package service – no matter if constructing public buildings, residential complexes or high-class privately owned villas.

Another project the office is currently working on is a school also built to Passive House standards:“Learning together how to learn” is the motto here. Next to the classrooms the architects included learning workshops, a learning kitchen with a dining room directly connected, rooms for teachers and of course sanitary facilities. With a design that included already existing school buildings, GME architects won against 20 competitors. The outside cladding will – when the building is finished next year – insulate the school building to Passive House standard and by using high-quality material will reduce the maintenance costs in the future.

GME today has a focus on sustainability: sustainable building materials and new technology for renewable energies like geothermic or solar panels have already been used in various building projects – residential buildings as well as office spaces. Consulting clients on how to build more sustainably and to the highest energy standards, while keeping the costs in mind, therefore is an essential part of GME’s work. Since 2014 the group is certified as energy adviser, trained by the DGNB e.V., the German Sustainable Building Council. From housings to educational buildings and sports complexes Two current projects with a sustainable approach are a Passive House nursery in Bremen, Schwachhausen, that will be finished

The GME group is multi-award winning: “Recognition and appreciation for me is like applause for good work,”says Bernd C. W. Müller. For architects the greatest applause is of course a happy client, but an award for a building is always like a cherry on top of a cake. www.gruppe-gme.de

Main image: New office building, Bremen Opposite: New office building, Duisburg Below: New medical and office building, Bremen (left) Interior design of new office building, Bremen (middle) New apartment house with interior design, Bremen (right)

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Jürke Architekten bda Balancing exterior circumstances with interior functionality “Treating the interior and exterior of buildings as equally important is what sets our work apart,” says Joachim Jürke, who opened his architectural office in Munich in 1999 and now leads a team of more than 50 professionals, building residential, office and retail spaces following the philosophy of “silent architecture”.

Ambigon – homogenous multifunctionality

TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: JÜRKE ARCHITEKTEN BDA

Essentially, this concept is about architecture understanding its purpose and its creative but also destructive potential. In their day to day work, Jürke Architekten start with shaping the exterior and then the layout of the interior.“The placement of openings in the façade starts from inside out and is then added to, corrected and tweaked,” says Jürke. “This guarantees a holistic plan that incorporates the necessary functionality and guarantees a balanced proportioning of the interior.”

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proportions,” says Jürke. Testament to the success of Jürke Architekten’s approach are, of course, the buildings themselves.

The overriding factor is always the purpose of the future build. ”The functionality of a building determines the approach we take to plan and build it,” Jürke explains. The different uses as public, semi-public or private spaces inform the layout of the project, but also the types of materials used, from “robust”to“sensitive”.“Within the framework of these choices, we can approach each task with a distinct signature to create the individuality required while using the allocated resources in different dosages and

The building works for Ambigon, a multifunctional complex in West Munich, started in 2011.The horizontal banding of its façade reflects the functional division inside. The elongated pedestal made from exposed concrete, which was cast in one piece, is set into the sloping grounds and houses two supermarkets, a pharmacy and additional medical retail facilities. It also forms the basis for other superimposed units. The upper stories cover a wide range of utilisations from a ballet school to agencies.


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The trestle shores behind the glazed façade divert the forces from the interior to the exterior and allow the ceiling of the ground floor and the underground car park to be unsupported. The interior layout is defined by three staircases, which can be seen from the outside as broad, vertical glass panes. Towards the West the L-shaped building opens up to form a residential unit. The clear lines that permeate the building from the exterior to the interior give Ambigon a sense of homogeneity despite its autonomous functionalities. Case Study House – in the forest, at home A home for a young family, this house is a fresh interpretation of the classic Case Study Houses, known for their modular structure which created a new atmosphere for private homes and the use of prefabricated parts, which enabled a quick realisation of this particular project in the spring of 2014.

els to match the sloping grounds, and forms the sculpture-like centre of the home from which everything else can be experienced. The offset spaces and the dark façade create an optical illusion that makes the house look fairly small and modest from the outside. Inside, the flowing rooms and openness becomes tangible and gives the house a surprisingly spacious feel. The wooden balloon framing with its vertical formwork made of blackened larch wood is a reference to the high but slender trunks of the beech forest. Wood also features in the interior, forming floor boards, occasional wall paneling and the balustrade of the staircase.

exterior spaces. The structural shells are arranged economically and in reference to the open spaces and the unusual form allows for the floor plans of all 38 residential units to be designed differently. An excellent example of how Jürke Architekten adapt buildings to their immediate environment and at the same time create interiors that make the best possible use of the given exterior situation in terms of functionality and living comfort, Bereiteranger 15 gives a glimpse of the many exciting projects Jürke and his team are yet to realise. www.juerke.com

Bereiteranger 15 – residential diversity Currently under construction, this residential building seamlessly integrates itself into the surrounding architectural landscape through its cascading shape, which also helps to create light-flooded interior and

Main image: Case Study - House Heimgartenstraße © Florian Holzherr Above: Ambigon. © Florian Holzherr Below: Wohnanlage-Bereiteranger © Florian and Joachim Jürke

The house borders a beech forest, which projects into the property’s northern side and frames it beautifully. The plan aimed not only to protect as many of the trees as possible, but to incorporate the given topography, interleaving house and nature by aligning the volume and use of the building’s interior with its immediate environment. The separate spaces inside are grouped around a central staircase that both links the spaces, offset at different lev-

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but also includes an own vegetable garden directly in front of one’s door. Other extraordinary designs of apcon cps deal with the application of innovative, multifunctional and interactive building skins. For example, apcon cps designed a façade with photovoltaic elements for Warsaw’s music school in Raclawicka street. Another example is a climatic shell for the residential building project Invex near Berlin’s Goerlitzer train station.The facade is made of two layers: an outside layer protects from the street’s noise and pollution and brings about a greenhouse climate, while the inside layer creates a sustainable living climate within the apartments. More information can be found on their website. www.apcon-berlin.de

Sustainable custom property solutions Berlin-based apcon cps is an expert when it comes to architectural projects and project management. Founded in 2010, the company stands for innovation, expertise and commitment; especially when it comes to sustainable architecture. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: APCON CPS I AGNIESZKA PREIBISZ I PETER SANDHAUS

“Your project is our project,”notes founder and managing Architect Agnieszka Preibisz. Committing to developing highly effective strategies for buildings, the individual needs of the architectural firm’s clients are put in the focus of their doings. Offering services in planning, architectural project development, project management, as well as in acquisition consultancy, apcon cps is sure to solely work in a highly qualitative, sustainable and interdisciplinary way. apcon cps puts special emphasis on transparency, a holistic, critical view, open communication and pro-active planning, management and risk evaluation of the projects. Currently, apcon cps supervises office and business expansions and plans office and retail extensions, as well as private homes. “We work on existing structures and also build new projects,”Preibisz adds. An example of their remarkable portfolio is the conceptual and spatial planning

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of the modernisation of the Fernsprechamt and the Torhaus West in the landmarked ensemble of the Forum Museumsinsel in Berlin. apcon cps also provided project management services for the office expansion of the new Etihad Airways Headquarters on Berlin’s Potsdamer square. “An important focus of our work is the exploration and fostering of new sustainable concepts for modern, urban life and a contemporary combination of living and working,” Preibisz says. An impressive example for this is the conceptual high-rise building project Green8 on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. A joint project with artist and architect Peter Sandhaus, the residential building is designed as a vertical garden city with a central atrium as a greenhouse and for urban gardening and private gardens. The project enables living in the middle of Berlin with a breath-taking panoramic view,

Main image: Project Invex’s climatic skin in Berlin. © apcon cps Below: The vertical garden city Green8 at night. © Agnieszka Preibisz, apcon cps and Peter Sandhaus Bottom: Music school in Warsaw; façade with photovoltaic elements. © apcon cps


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Great Architects Austria’s Top 4

Far left: School expansion (Reading Court), ‘Fünf Höfe für die Zehnergasse’, Wiener Neustadt 2013 © Lisa Rastl Top left: School expansion (Pergola Court), ‘Fünf Höfe für die Zehnergasse’, Wiener Neustadt 2013 © Lisa Rastl Top right: Reconstruction for Stadtkino Vienna, 2013 with temporary sculpture for Wiener Festwochen 2014, both by Gabu Heindl © Lisa Rastl Right: Conversion of the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna 2008 © Hertha Hurnaus

Analytical architecture and social justice While connecting the inner and the outer, GABU Heindl architecture has society at heart. For Vienna-based Gabu Heindl, architecture is not about commerce, but about the people it is designed for and the inner and outer meaning of a project in relevance to society is key to her work. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Having studied inVienna,Tokyo and Princeton/USA and with considerable international work experience, Heindl writes, teaches and lectures on topics such as the connection between work, time and space. Her work list includes the Austrian Film Museum, the City Cinema ofVienna, public space interventions, as well as exhibition design and curating. She is also chairwoman of the Austrian Society for Architecture. Together with artist Eduard Freudmann, Gabu Heindl won the international competition for the memorial project ‘From those you saved’ by the Poland-based ‘Remembrance and Future’foundation in April 2015. Here the task was to create a memorial honouring Polish citizens who saved Jews from NS-Persecution by hiding them. Named‘The Monument May Be a Forest’, the outline of

the Heindl/Freudmann memorial is of a highly conceptual nature: the project will stand and fall with its participants, who are to extract seedlings out of a nursery of thousands to replant them where they have enough space to grow.This way the installation has the chance to grow into a real forest, but also to expand into public debate. The ‘Donaukanal-Partitur’, a concept for the Danube riverside in Vienna, is another collaborative project, this time with architect Susan Kraupp. Donaukanal-Partitur translates as‘Danube canal score’and aims at protecting urban space from commercial exploitation. The goal is to actively preserve the green areas and dedicate it to citizens as a non-consumerist and‘improvisational space’: a recreational hideout for all seasons.

In Wiener Neustadt, a city close to Vienna, Heindl's solution for the expansion of the Zehnergasse high school creates open spaces in various ways: Through two annexes with slightly twisted angles, five new courtyards are made available for various activities or reading, and the classroom spaces themselves become flexible in size through moving walls. As a refreshing extra, the new sports area features a sports hall with a panoramic view to the large sports field, which is shared with the neighboring school, as well as a self-organized work-out club and an ”open air gym“: the Pergola Court. The planning process included participatory workshops with the 100 teachers and most of the 1,000 school kids populating the school. “Architecture is not simply a service; it means designing the environment in a critical way.” Gabu Heindl manages to both serve the democratisation of society and create meaningful architecture at the same time. www.gabuheindl.at

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Crinkled perfection How Wiesflecker architects put their buildings in context with the environment By adjusting blueprints to surroundings, Wiesflecker stand for a modern approach to enhance life quality through architecture. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: DAVIS SCHREYER/ MARKUS BSTIELER

Regularly collaborating with artists is one of the ways Austria-based Johannes Wiesflecker mixes up traditional ideas in architecture. Such is the case with the Wiesflecker high school annex in Kufstein, which offers a highly philosophical statement. A wall looking like crinkled paper, designed by artist Karl-Heinz Klopf, stands not only for the struggle of academic growth, but also for the trial and error principle of writing something down, then crumbling up the paper and beginning anew. Wiesflecker's own architectural philosophy to a large part also comprises of integrating the new into the old, to settle the

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building well into its surroundings, both into landscape and urban space alike. In the case of the Kufstein high school, the colouring in white and light greys links the modern annex to the older school buildings visually, while its conical shape settles the building within the existing landscape. Having participated in a myriad of competitions already as a student, Johannes Wiesflecker started his own enterprise at the tender age of 33, eager to put his own ideas out there. Relentlessly working through the nights on a regular basis has paid off for him in the long run.

For example, with challenges like the office and business property ‘Sparkassenplatz 2’. Here, the project asked for integrating parts of an older building as well as creating a new outline of an increased height from four to a whopping seven stories.This complicated task inspired Wiesflecker to “go human”on a larger scale. By creating inner spaces of various sizes and identities to accommodate the enterprises and offices and through an artistic layering of the stories themselves, the block-like nature of the existing building is broken up and the new additional stories feature a“lighter”quality, simply by recoiling a few metres from the outline and displaying glass walls to mirror the sky. Doubtlessly, Wiesflecker architects stand for modern materials: Concrete, glass and steel


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Light and air again are dominating components with Wiesflecker's concept for living spaces such as the ‘Wohnanlage Aldrans’ housing complex. The three elements of the building are gradually “climbing”a hill, making cost-intensive lifts unnecessary. With all-around views of the natural surroundings guaranteed, the translucent quality of the living spaces, combined with generous roofed courtyards, embrace and mirror the outside rather than contrasting it through massiveness. Asked about what kind of clientele feel drawn to the Wiesflecker style, Johannes Wiesflecker refers to both competitions and his knack for finding creative solutions in case of existing “complicated constellations”. Half of his clients, he says, become attached to that specific quality Wiesflecker architects view as part of their job – namely to combine various personal wishes with the existing setting and environment. They observe the process and come back for the next project. The secret is that Wiesflecker doesn't see a prerequisite difficult situation as a hindrance but rather as a creative stimulus: “We apparently solve those situations in a creative way through looking at them as an enrichment to the creative process.” For next year, Wiesflecker architects will be opening a branch in Vienna, due to some exciting projects in the Austrian capital.

However, for all geographical expansion, the increased periphery will never be pushed wider than necessary. As Wiesflecker says:“The office may only get as big as it is still possible to have all creatively relevant decisions passing over my desk.” Taking a close look at where and how the new building will be situated in its present surroundings, letting go of just a few metres of massive wall here and there through replacing concrete with glass to give the structure a more lofty quality: these principles do not only elegantly evade the temptation of merely creating overwhelming landmarks, they rather give the human touch to Wiesfleckers innovative, light and air-filled spaces, serving the future inhabitants and their environment with style, an eye on innovation - and grace. www.wiesflecker-architekten.com

Main image and top middle: Schülerhort Kaysergarten; 2008 Bauherrenpreis, Zentralvereinigung der Architekten Österreichs Middle: BRG Kufstein; 2014 Honourable mention, County of Tyrol New Build Award. 2015 Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award Below top: Sparkassenplatz; 2006 Staatspreis Architektur Below bottom: Studentenheim Bischof Paulus Innsbruck; 2010 Winner, County of Tyrol New Build Award

are combined to create lofty, light-filled spaces, always designed in connection with the type of people who will inhabit the building as their work or living space in the future. Take for example the Bishop Paulus student hall of residence in Innsbruck: the rooms for the students are bigger than usual, granting more personal space. The communal areas are varying in size, therefore both creating different conversational situations and a smooth transition from urban space to personal surroundings. As Wiesflecker says: “Apparently, most of the communication between students nowadays takes place on the world wide web.” Therefore, the focus for the students’ residence lies on a larger personal space, with a view of the town and the river: a refuge for studying and contemplation.

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Creating identity-forming designs Vienna-based Pichler & Traupmann Architects (pxt) impress with a distinctively unexpected design vocabulary. Elegantly curved facades, innovative glass fronts and unusual, contemporary shapes which adhere to their clients’ orientated content are just some of the features that make them stand out in Austria’s architecture landscape. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: TOMASELLI I PXT I ROLAND HALBE

The founders of pxt, Christoph Pichler & Johann Traupmann, know each other from Vienna’s University of Applied Arts. Even as students, it quickly became clear that they both shared the same high mental and creative affinities and Pichler & Traupmann’s first attempts in the architecture world have proved the duo’s worth.“We pair our proven abilities with the ambition of improvement,” Christoph Pichler explains. That way, a long-standing office partnership grew out of small, jointly successes at the start and today the cooperation is sure to approach the

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most challenging tasks with the same vigour as on the very first day. The shared fundamental idea of the company foundation was actually the selfless, pure enthusiasm for architecture and for the fascination of creating something imaginative. This core principle can still be found in pxt’s designs today. The architectural office knows how to translate complex assignments and programmes into unexpected spatial structures whose innovation also reflects and clearly communicates their

clients’orientated content.Therefore, identity-forming, impressive unicums are realised. Sheer pragmatism as regards to functional and economic factors are not the only elements in pxt’s office.“However, of course, both aspects aren’t disregarded,”Johann Traupmann notes. What makes pxt stand out is their congruence of theory and praxis, which shows as pure ambition across all project phases. An unusual portfolio Working on projects in every area from villas or schools, to working on functionally demanding building typologies, such as conference building or concert hall, pxt’s main emphasis is put on building company headquarters and institutions for entrepreneurial use.“Furthermore, we have built up extensive knowledge in the entire building process, such as in construction and detail


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other. The building’s singular, circular and star-shaped form impressively stands for mobility and mediates the organisation’s efficiency.“It’s therefore an architecturally articulated sign of an organisational centre and activates the user’s feeling of a strong, reliable partner,” Christoph Pichler notes. The new building of the Future Art Lab for Vienna’s university is another highlight of pxt’s creations. It poses as a unique ensemble in Vienna’s landscape and reminds of a campus of Anglo-American heritage. Due to its prominent location, pxt decided to use a moderate development of height, as well as to integrate the building into the volumetric developments of neighbouring buildings. Comprising of the institute for electroacoustics and composition, a film academy and an institute for keyboard instruments, the inner organisation of the building has primarily considered functional and construction-acoustical demands. Furthermore, pxt’s goal was to guarantee each institute the greatest possible compactness, as well as maximal daylight exposition. All performance spaces and halls have integrated a gapless roomin-room construction and innovative wall features to meet high acoustic demands. The facades have been equipped with solar shading louvres to keep the energy input from outside to a minimum. planning,” Johann Traupmann adds. Their unique designs are sure to stand out due to their comprehensible character and their unexpected design language with its precise reference to the assigned task.

Centre in Eisenstadt. Impressing with great, innovative details and an impressive structure on the inside, as well as a contemporary glass façade on the outside, the project is designed in a way that it looks like one entity from the outside. This was achieved through a perforated skin which stretches across large parts of the new building and the existing one. Other significant projects that have been developed are a new conference centre for Adidas or Regensburg’s Museum of Bavarian History. Special expertise has been gained in the field of music performances. Examples are the House of Music in Innsbruck where innovative architectural measures were used to bring about the best acoustic qualities. pxt started off as two passionate young architects and has quickly grown into one of the most impressive architectural offices in Austria.Through the creative and dedicated input from their team of highly qualified employees, the office has realised numerous outstanding projects. www.pxt.at

Main image: ÖAMTC headquarters in Vienna © Tomaselli Top left: Future Art Lab, University in Vienna © pxt Middle left: Culture and Congress Centre, Eisenstadt © Roland Halbe

pxt also planned the integration of a new building into the Culture and Congress

Bottom left: Museum of Bavarian History, Regensburg © pxt Below: Gate 2 Tower in Vienna © pxt

An example for this is pxt’s project for ÖAMTC, Austria’s equivalent of the ADAC. The design of the company headquarters in Vienna impresses with a distinctive architecture. All elements, from the reception area and offices to the heliport, are linked together on one single vertical axis. A highlight is the entrance area which is situated in a colossal, glassy dome. From here, one has a panoramic view directly into the work shop. Furthermore, a spacious void opens up to the top through which a striking staircase rotates around the lobby. The intelligent design and structure enable all parts of the building to communicate with each

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Always on the lookout for the next challenge Viennese architecture firm gerner°gerner plus has nearly two decades of experience realising an impressive portfolio of sophisticated projects, such as the refurbishment of the ‘Karlsplatz Passage‘, various residential buildings and health resorts, as well as stunning wineries. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: GERNER°GERNER PLUS | MATTHIAS RAIGER | MANFRED SEIDL

Their venture was a great success and laid the foundation for a creative and flourishing partnership, leading to the establishment of Austrian architecture firm gerner°gerner plus in 2013, with fellow architect Matthias Raiger joining the team as a partner.

Exuberant creativity, courage and a consummate expertise are the attributes which spring to mind when browsing through all ventures architecture firm gerner°gerner plus has realised over the years. Their success story began with declining the offer of an assignment. Andreas Gerner and his wife Gerda Maria Gerner knew from the start of their career that they wanted to work beyond the ordinary and take on more challenging projects. They turned down the offer of refurbishing an attic, and so their professional cooperation started in 1997 with the planning and building of a de-

Teamwork is very important within the firm. A group of creative young people supports the three partners, each one of whom adds their own special talent to any task. This gives the firm the vast range of skills needed to successfully realise a design. The name gerner°gerner plus was established to put emphasis on this fact.“The plus stands for our team members as well as for our various business partners and of course for our clients,“ explains Gerda Maria Gerner.“The plus also stands for our sons and our friends who were always supporting us by showing a great deal of patience for our work.“

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tached house instead. At this time they were still students, so the decision to take on such an interesting task as their first job reflects a great deal of courage and ambition.


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Another outstanding project which was realised this year was for Kampichler, a company for natural stone processing, in Lower Austria. It saw the development of new company buildings with the notion to create ”a simple box with an organic backbone”. It is composed of a 120-metre-long main body with various storage areas in front of it, some of them closed and others only partly closed.The interaction of space, concrete, glass and wood as material subtly creates the desired gripping effect.

The designs gerner°gerner plus are working on are as varied as their ideas. The team is involved in the building of housing, public and commercial buildings as well as projects from the cultural, tourism and health sectors. One of their portfolio examples they have recently completed was the redevelopment of the Copa Cagrana, a location built in the early 1980s, which had become very famous for its vibrant nightlife. It is situated on the Donauinsel, Danube Island, inVienna. gerner°gerner plus put the idea of sustainability as its focal point and placed the new building in context of the water which borders one side of the establishment. The probability of flooding has been taken into account as part of the new design concept for example. The building consists of a pavilion covering two levels. The lower one would be below water in case of flooding.

Gerda Maria Gerner mostly enjoys the first steps of each new venture: “The planning period, studying a project and developing it and then watching it grow when the building process starts.“ The firm`s most significant works have been discussed internationally in professional architecture literature as well as various magazines and newspapers. Many of their ideas have won several national and international awards and are regularly part of international architecture exhibitions. One example is the Winery Hillinger, which involved designing the centre piece of a winery, a stunning modern glass building set amid vineyards, which is modern yet in perfect harmony with its surrounding landscape.The design has been presented at various exhibitions in Europe as well as at the Austrian Cultural Forum in NewYork City and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The firm's expertise is highly sought after and both

Gerda Maria and Andreas Gerner have had teaching assignments at the Vienna University of Technology. After nearly two decades of work, still some dreams are yet to be realised. The couple enjoys spending time in the Austrian Alps, so they very much fancy the idea of working on a project with a mountain backdrop. Yet work is neverending for the team. One of the big goals for 2016 is the completion of the‘Garden of Eden‘, which will see the building of five residential buildings at the lookout point Hohe Warte on one of the last foothills of the famous Wienerwald. For the future, gerner°gerner plus is looking forward to new projects. It does not matter if they are small ones or on a big scale, as long as they are exciting and challenging. www.gernergernerplus.com

Main image: ‘Garden of Eden‘, Vienna, 2016. Rendering: Jump Tomorrow Opposite bottom: Company building, 2015, Lower Austria. Photo: gerner°gerner plus, Matthias Raiger Top left: Karlsplatz Passage, Vienna, 2013. Photo: gerner°gerner plus, Matthias Raiger Left: Office building near Vienna, Lower Austria, 2015. Photo: gerner°gerner plus, Matthias Raiger Below right: Gallery Multifunctional Building, BadenWuerttemberg, Germany, 2008. Photo: Manfred Seidl Below left: gerner°gerner plus architects Matthias Raiger, Gerda Maria Gerner, Andreas Gerner (from left to right). Photo: gerner°gerner plus, Matthias Raiger Bottom: Single-family home, Vienna, 2011. Photo: gerner°gerner plus, Matthias Raiger

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Between storms, crashing waves and biting frost: Northern German traditions As it is slowly getting colder outside, many look for a warm place to cuddle in. But the oncoming winter is also the season for many regional traditions to arise from their slumber. From tea ceremonies to kale dishes, from ball games to merchants’ bets, many of them are honoured for centuries. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

Wintertime at the North Sea coast: Waves are crashing against the dyke like thunder, the wind is howling and on the coldest days the Wadden Sea freezes over. No wonder people in East Frisia are so fond of tea – not only during winter, but all through the year.“Tea has been part of everyday life in Eastern Frisia for centuries,” says Andrea Siebert from the East Frisian Tea Museum in Norden. The tea tradition developed when the Dutch East India Company in the neighbouring Netherlands started importing tea in the 17th century. And since the drinking water came from marshlands

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and never tasted any good, tea was more than welcome. “In contrast to the fast consumption that took over coffee culture, drinking tea needs calmness,”says Siebert. In a traditional tea ceremony, the teapot is first rinsed and warmed with boiling water. One spoon of East Frisian tea blend is added per person and an extra spoon for the pot, followed by just enough hot water to cover the leaves. After brewing for three to five minutes, the pot is filled completely. A Kluntje, a big piece of white rock sugar, comes to the bot-

tom of each cup before adding tea.“Then we use a special spoon to add cream, we like to do that counter clockwise to symbolically stop the time when drinking tea. The cream will sink to the bottom and then resurface as creamy clouds,” Siebert explains. Never stir the tea but drink it as it is. Taste the cream first, then the strong tea and sweet sugar last.Three cups are Frisian law, only after that should a guest refuse more tea by putting his spoon into the cup. Further south, an important food tradition emerged also due to cold weather: Eating kale, harvested after the first frost. The city of Oldenburg is known to be Germany’s kale capital and crowns a kale king or queen every year – most times a wellknown politician like chancellor Merkel. The Oldenburg people tell a myth, stating that kale came directly from the Olympian


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Discover Germany | Feature | Northern winter traditions

tal for Oldenburg as is the carnival for Cologne,” says Iris Welzel. Today there is even a – not to be taken too seriously – kale academy dedicated to the tradition. A‘Kohltour’normally is a long stroll before a great feast. Often enough, much alcohol is involved – for example drinking a snaps at every crossroad to keep the cold at bay – and games are played to establish who will be kale king and queen. A famous tradition in all of north western Germany is‘Boßeln’, where contestants have to throw a heavy ball over a defined distance with as few shots as possible. Boßeln is also part of the ‘Friesensport’(Frisian sports), a partner discipline to Klootschießen and Schleuderball. Many in northern Germany are proud of their own language, ‘Plattdeutsch’, and their traditions, no matter where the origins lie. In Schleswig-Holstein for instance many Danish traditions entered the regional culture like the traditional Jöölboom, a variety of the Christmas tree made of a wooden frame and decorated with green twigs and salt dough figures.

gods: A king had quarrelled with the god Dionysus which caused the death of the king’s son. Sad about the loss of his son, the king started to cry and where his tears touched ground the first wild cabbage plants – related to kale – began to grow. The Oldenburg kale tradition already existed during the Middle Ages, as a document from 1345 proves. “Kale has never been entirely a food for the poor,”says Iris Welzel, who works for the city’s tourist office.“When a winter was long, the city’s notabilities arranged a sledge tour through the landscape, later stopping at a wealthy country estate.”To eat kale.Today families, friends or colleagues do something similar and meet for so-called Grünkohltouren – kale walks, a tradition the Oldenburg gymnastics association established in 1859.“A kale tour with a hearty kale meal at the end is as vi-

Some traditions might exist for a long time, but have been criticised in recent years. The Bremer Eiswette – the ice bet – for example. Celebrated on 6 January at noon, people are betting of “de Weser geiht or steiht” – whether the river Weser is flowing or frozen over. The tradition has its origin in the 19th century when rich merchants established gentleman’s clubs and betting became a pastime. For the first bet in 1828 the price was – how could it be otherwise – a joint kale meal. Even though it is used to collect money for the German sea rescue during the traditional meal today, some reject the Eiswette as elitist and because women have been excluded. Main image & top left: Marshlands near Oldenburg © Jessica Holzhausen Left middle: Coast and marshland © Jessica Holzhausen Left below: Dorum at the North Sea coast © Jessica Holzhausen Right: Boßeln © Verena Brandt, Oldenburg Tourismus und Marketing GmbH Kale walk © Verena Brandt, Oldenburg Tourismus und Marketing GmbH Preparing Kale © Martin Müller, Oldenburg Tourismus und Marketing GmbH Table set for an East Frisian tea ceremony in the Teamuseum Norden showing all steps involved

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Culture Calendar Go ahead and save the date, as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in November. TEXT: STEPHANIE BRINK HARCK

hanseboot, Hamburg (Until 8 November) Interested in boats, marine gear and accessories? hanseboot, Hamburg’s International Boat Show, is a nine-day event at the Hamburg Messe und Congress in Hamburg. Celebrating its 56th anniversary this year, the event shows off various products from the marine and boat industry from canoes and luxury yachts to travel destinations, artworks or wakeboards. www.hanseboot.de/en Basel Autumn Fair (Until 8 November) This traditional event is still popular even though it can look back on 500 years of history. The fair is spread across seven of the city’s plazas,

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giving the impression that it stretches over the entire city centre. Every year families come here to have fun and enjoy some time together. www.basel.com/en/event/autumn-fair WIEN MODERN, Vienna (5 – 28 November) Wien Modern is a music festival in Austria that was founded by Claudio Abbado in 1988. It was created with the intent of revitalising the traditional music scene of Vienna. Today, WIEN MODERN festival serves a rich tapestry of contemporary music. The festival is also filled with various events for children and teenagers, such as workshops, talks, scenic productions or symposiums. www.wienmodern.at


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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar Main image: Hamburg’s hanseboot fair. © HMC/ [N]/ hanseboot Right: Basel Autumn Fair. © Basel Tourismus Bottom: WOW Glacier Love. © WOW Glacier Love

Jazzfest Berlin (5 – 8 November) This year, the Jazzfest Berlin begins with the question ‘what is jazz today and what will it become in the future?’ The festival program presents artists from different generations and nations who all try to show that jazz is not a style, but rather an attitude or a spirit that visitors get to experience and explore for four days. www.berlinerfestspiele.de Geneva International Film Festival (6 – 14 November) Geneva International Film Festival Tous Écrans is a place where all genres and disciplines meet. The festival has been exploring the relationship between cinema, television and new forms of digital creation since 1995, with a programme based on one simple idea: Authors are at the heart of audio-visual creation and their viewpoints are expressed through our screens. www.tous-ecrans.com WOW Glacier Love, Zell am See-Kaprun (6 – 8 November) Thousands of music and winter sport enthusiasts will head to the Austrian Alps in November to party and play at Europe’s largest official season opening music and winter sport festival. Visitors can expect an expressive live music programme, various parties, ski and snowboard contests and many possibilities to do winter sports themselves. www.wowglacierlove.at/en

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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Hamburg Winter DOM (6 November – 6 December) The Hamburger Dom offers colourful booths, nostalgic carousels and high-tech rides. Both Hamburg’s citizens and its visitors can have a wonderful time walking across the Heiligengeistfeld with its many exciting sights. Old horse carousels, show booths, modern high-tech rides or delicious foods of all varieties are just some of the attractions. www.hamburg.de/dom interfilm FESTIVAL, Berlin (10 – 15 November) The Berlin International Short Film Festival is the second most significant international film festival

in Berlin. Every year more than 6,000 films are submitted from filmmakers from more than a hundred countries. The festival team then selects approximately 500 films and arranges them into different thematic topics in which they then compete. Visitors can expect various screenings, parties, panels, expert talks and much more. www.interfilm.de/en St. Martin’s Day, all over Germany (11 November) St. Martins Day is the day which remembers Martin of Tours who began his life as a Roman soldier and ended up as a monk. On this day,

Top & above: Hall Advent Market. © Gerhard Watzek / www.hall-wattens.at Left & below: Onion Market in Bern. © Bern Tourism Right top: Stuttgart Christmas Market, Schiller Square. © Werner Dieterich Right bottom: Hamburg’s Winter DOM. © www.mediaserver.hamburg.de / Frank Scymanska

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PERLSTAB LOUIS XVI Limitierte Jubiläumsedition in Versilbert

Zum 125. Jubiläum ist der Sterling-Klassiker PERLSTAB LOUIS XVI bis zum Jahresende in einer auf 125 Sets (30-teilig) children and families go from house to house with paper lanterns and candles and sing songs about St. Martin. You will find different festivals celebrating the saint across Germany.

limitierten Sonderedition zu einem Jubiläumspreis erstmalig in 180g ROYAL Versilberung erhältlich.

Onion Market, Bern (23 November) The Onion Market (‘Zibelemärit’) is a traditional folk festival held on the fourth Monday of every November. Colourful market stalls offer lots of braided bunches of onions, ceramic pots, vegetables and traditional market goodies. To help resist the winter cold, you should also not miss the mulled wine stalls. A highlight for young and old alike is the confetti fight. www.bern.com/en/city-of-bern/events-bern/top-events/onion-market Stuttgart Christmas Market (25 November – 23 December) Every year during Advent, Stuttgart is transformed into a glittering Christmas city. The Christmas market comprises of over 282 beautifully decorated stalls which make the market one of the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe. You won’t experience a better ambience to get you into the Christmas mood then right here. www.stuttgart-tourist.de/en/search-book/ e-stuttgart-christmas-market-2015 Hall Advent Market in Tirol (Until 24 December) The charming old town of Hall makes an inspirational statement with its unmatched Christmas illumination on houses in the town centre. The spectacular lighting displays show numbers, stars and Christmas motifs. Also the little ones can explore the magic of Christmas as storytellers take you to discover excitement, mystery and music at the Hall Advent Market. www.tyrol.com/e-christmas-market-hall

www.wilkens-silber.de


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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

How to do a Christmas market Most people would probably say, simply drink as much mulled wine as possible. The rest will (inevitably) follow. However, what do you do if you really, really don’t like Glühwein (like me)? Is it all doom and gloom at the Christmas market then? No, obviously not. Here’s my very personal ‘how to’ for a decent Christmas market outing. In list form, as this is the way to do things nowadays, these are five things that are part and parcel of every Christmas market visit (for me): TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

Get a Nutella or nougat crêpe. It’s inevitable, it has to be done and even if it’s usually not the first thing you do when you get to the market, I’ll mention it first here. Because it’s so important. No matter where you go and in which part of Germany, you can trust on every decent Christmas market worth their money featuring a crêpe stand. If not, frankly and in my point of view, don’t bother. Stuffing your face is an important Christmas market element (if you feel a bit sick after, not to worry, you did it the right way then) and the Nutella/nougat crêpe is the centrepiece of the culinary Christmas market experience. Get a sausage in a bread roll. Ideally, you do that before the crêpe. It always makes sense to start with the savoury, followed by the dessert. My favourite is a Rostbratwurst, a grilled sausage, and the specimen at the market I usually frequent when back in Germany for Christmas is long and thin, and gets broken in the middle to make it fit in the bread roll. Other varieties work too, but please try not to go for something like Currywurst. It might be sold to you as the most popular thing in Germany, however,

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and taking up everyone’s space. Add a more or less constant shuffling from one foot to the other because that’s the thing to do when cold.Yes, very good, you’ve nailed it. Finally, don’t forget to get yourself that crêpe. Even if it’s the last thing you do… it usually is for me.

it’s somehow not really Christmas market style. And let’s be honest, it looks revolting. Find a hot drink that’s not mulled wine. This is much easier than you might think. You can, for example, get a hot chocolate with or without a shot of something alcoholic or lovely things like hot elderberry or apple juice. Admittedly, when I saw that for the first time at my, see above, go to market, I thought it sounded revolting. I tried it though, and it’s lovely. I always have it now and even my companions, all mulled wine drinkers in general, join in. It’s warm, fruity and it provides you with one of the most important requisites for a Christmas market: a warm cup or glass that you can clasp your hands round while you’re doing the next thing on the list: Huddling. It’s important to huddle around in groups when at the Christmas market. It doesn’t matter if a small gathering of three or a bigger sized congregation of ten, you need to form something that resembles a circle, no matter how complicated that might get, given how many other people there are at Christmas markets huddling

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 YOUR STYLE. www.padconcept.com


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neomatik 1st edition: Introducing ten new watches from NOMOS Glash端tte, powered by DUW 3001, the next generation automatic movement. Ultra-thin and extremely precise. Now available at selected NOMOS retailers and at nomos-watches.com

Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Germany, Issue 32, November 2015  

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

Discover Germany, Issue 32, November 2015  

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