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Issue 36 | March 2016

BARBARA

MEIER

TA K I N G T H I N G S A S T H E Y C O M E

PLUS DISCOVER CEBIT 2016 BEST CULTURE DESTINATIONS OUR TOP ARCHITECTS DESIGN & FASHION

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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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 a cks

Me als

Drinks

ba.com

Pap ers

Lounges

Smiles


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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents MARCH 2016

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Photo: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Photo: Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt

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COVER FEATURE 6

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Once a year, CeBIT brings together the most innovative products, companies and start-ups in the field of digital business and IT in Hannover. Discover Germany presents some of this year’s great exhibitors.

Barbara Meier Most people know Barbara Meier as the winner of the second cycle of Germany’s Next Topmodel. But she and her fiery red hair have far more to offer as our interview reveals.

SPECIAL THEMES 21

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32

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Dedicated to Design We found some great items to embellish your home with pastels, as well as other great design products.

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Fashion Finds This spring, many designers love bold, colourful prints and styles that remind us of the ‘70s – and we do too.

Hotels of the Month

Our favourite hotels in Switzerland and Germany, the Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt and the Hirschen Horn Hotel and Inn, are great for modern relaxation amenities and the outdoors.

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City of the Month

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Wine & Dine Whether you are searching for a luxurious hotel, a cosy hostel or some private apartments, our Wine & Dine section has got you covered.

While Bayreuth became famous as the centre of Richard Wagner’s works, the city has a long brewing tradition and is an exciting sightseeing destination.

Top Coaches Switzerland Looking for exclusive executive coaching and business training? Look no further. We found some of the best ones in Switzerland.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 9

FEATURES 26 & 28

Best of NRW North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s most populous state and also the fourth largest by area. No wonder visitors can find a variety of historic cities and must-see places here.

Photo: Kaspersky Lab

Top Architects This month, we put a spotlight on Austria’s and Germany’s great architects.

Culture Destination Germany Germany has a great deal to offer when it comes to culture. We picked some of the best museums, foundations and art galleries to introduce to our readers.

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Enchanting Jewellery This special theme presents some intriguing brands and their beautiful products from handmade bracelets to exclusive watches.

CeBIT 2016

Business Legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht talks about data protection and privacy laws and we have a great CeBIT special, some architects and innovative companies and coaches to offer.

Snowshoeing in Germany’s Little Siberia Our writer Emmie Collinge headed to Balderschwang and explored the region on snowshoes.

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Weird and wonderful Easter traditions

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Thomas Schloers collected the DACH region’s most unusual Easter traditions.

Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in March. Barbara Geier Our columnist speaks about some weird and wonderful happenings across Germany.

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 36, March 2016

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 01.03.2016 ISSN 2051-7718

Welcome to Discover Germany’s March issue. As the Easter season arrives and with it, hopefully, the first warm sunrays, our writer Thomas Schloers thought that it would be a great opportunity to introduce our readers to the DACH region’s weird and wonderful Easter traditions and customs, such as following a ram through the city or the‘Easter Egg-Kitschen’.

Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Stefan Cameron Freya Plakolb

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Cover Photo

Design & Print

From:

Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Dein Weg zum Glücksgewicht, Dorling Kindersley Verlag,

Executive Editor

Photo: Christian Brecheis

Thomas Winther

Advertising

Creative Director

info@discovergermany.com

Mads E. Petersen

Discover Germany is published by:

Editor Nane Steinhoff

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

Art Director Svetlana Slizova Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey Contributors

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

Nadine Carstens Sonja Irani Emmie Collinge Jessica Holzhausen

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Elisabeth Doehne Silke Henkele Julika Huether Cornelia Brelowski Marilena Stracke Dorina Reichhold Gregor Kleinknecht Barbara Geier

We also thought that this issue should feature some great ideas for exciting weekend getaways and trips, as the long Easter holiday is the perfect time to take some days off. Whether you are searching for a luxurious hotel, a cosy hostel, a water park or a special restaurant – we have got you covered. A special focus on exciting destinations in North Rhine-Westphalia reveals some great destinations in Germany’s most populous state and this issue also features some of Germany’s most interesting museums and art exhibitions. Or why not visit Bayreuth – an impressive city that not only became famous as the centre of Richard Wagner’s works, but also combines great parks with a long beer brewing tradition? Our writer Emmie Collinge found another exciting activity to do for the more adventurous travellers out there: snowshoeing in Bavaria’s mini Siberia. Our cover star, Barbara Meier, is best known for winning Germany’s Next Topmodel, but our interview with her reveals that she has far more to offer. Also a great actress, she recently published her first book in which she reveals some useful tips on how to become happier, healthier and skinnier without the need for strict dieting. Considering how great she looks, we can’t wait to try it out ourselves. This month’s business section is all about the CeBIT in Hannover. Packed with interesting articles about some of the most innovative companies present at this year’s trade fair, we seek to find out all about big data, internet security or mobile and cloud solutions. Furthermore, we explore great German and Austrian architects, beautiful jewellery from great designers and much, much more in this issue. Sit back, relax and enjoy the magazine!

Thomas Schloers Ina Frank

© 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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Nane Steinhoff


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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

BA LTIC COUNTRIES

*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 | Barbara Meier

Barbara Meier Taking things as they come Barbara Meier is widely known as the pretty redhead with the friendly smile who won the second cycle of Germany’s Next Topmodel. However, there is far more to her than meets the eye: she also studied mathematics and is an environmental protection enthusiast, an actress, a passionate marathon runner and now also an author. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: DORLING KINDERSLEY VERLAG / PHOTOS - CHRISTIAN BRECHEIS

Born and raised in the small town of Amberg in Bavaria, Barbara Meier decided to study mathematics in Regensburg after finishing school.“I then watched the first season of Germany’s Next Topmodel and instantly became a big fan. At some point, I read that there would be a casting for the show’s second season in a shopping centre in Regensburg. I decided to go and have a look but suddenly a model scout came up to me and asked if I wanted to join. To be honest – I was a bit too shy to say no,”Barbara laughs. “I would have never ever thought that I would pass the first round, let alone win.” Barbara describes her time at Germany’s Next Topmodel as a“wonderful and exciting” experience that opened up her world. “I had never really travelled before the show,” she says,“I saw various new places and had so many people around me – it was a completely new world for me.”After she came out as the winner of the casting show, Barbara soon noticed that she had to learn a bit more about the modelling routine. Thus, she moved to Turkey and Greece for a few months. She says: “This might not sound

overly glamorous but I had the chance to work on a daily basis there. In Paris you have to go to 1,000 castings and get one job. In Turkey and Greece, I attended one casting and the jobs arose from that.” After gaining more practical experience, her modelling career really took off. Thanks to her distinctive looks, fiery red hair and her versatility, Barbara quickly grew into an internationally sought-after model. Her editorial and campaign photos appeared on the likes of Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Grazia, InStyle or Madame Figaro. She was booked for Wolfgang Joop’s runway show and various others in LA, NewYork, Paris, Cannes, Bangkok and – of course – Germany. Pantene, Disneyland Paris,Yogurette, Schaebens or Müllermilch also chose her for their TV advertising campaigns. Recently, in the last few months, she became the first German face for Skechers. Her emotional centre What Barbara loves most about modelling is the ability to convey emotions through a picture.“When people look at an editorial photo, they are somewhat fascinated and

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Barbara Meier

get put in a certain mood. This is really exciting. I studied mathematics where logical thinking and theories were the most important and suddenly I had to work with emotions,”she explains.This is exactly what fascinates her about acting as well. The model has starred in various TV shows and movies, such as The Pasta Detectives 2 or SOKO 5113. Rumour has it that she will soon star in her first American movie with non-other than Twilight star Kellan Lutz. Is that why she was invited to the Golden Globes a few weeks ago? She laughs: “I can’t reveal more about it at this point I’m afraid.” But she can tell us what she loves about acting.“It’s great to deal with different psychological character traits and to impersonate somebody else”. Even though acting is now a big part of Barbara’s life, she would like to model at the same time. “I know that Germans like to do one job at a time, but I prefer the American mentality. I have lived in New York for a while and Americans like to try more things at once. I want to keep modelling and acting at the same time.” Exercise vs. dieting When people think about getting a great body, the first thing that comes to mind is strict dieting. Barbara Meier seeks to

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change this notion with her new book Dein Weg zum Glücksgewicht, in which she seeks to help people integrate more exercise into their daily life. The book is an effective little helper to become happier, healthier and skinnier without the need for a diet. It includes various practical tips for endurance training and other fitness exercises, as well as beauty, motivation and healthy eating advice. The overall message of the book is that it is really important to implement exercise into our daily routines.“We tend to sit way too much – it’s like the new smoking. You don’t need to go to the gym for three hours a day, but it does make a difference when you decide to walk 15 additional minutes a day, use the stairs instead of the lift or stand up while working.” Barbara explains: “Models might have to be skinny, but not every woman on the street needs to have size extra extra small to be beautiful. I believe that beauty comes from somewhere entirely different. It comes from a healthy body and from being happy with oneself.” She adds: “As a model I did many diets, I tormented myself and was hungry but I never really became skinny through this. When I decided to run the New York City Marathon, I ate three times as much during the training phase but lost

weight much quicker. I was happier, had better skin and was full of energy. I simply noticed that exercise is far more important than counting calories.” Besides modelling, acting and writing books, Barbara spends her time as an ambassador for POWER-CHILD where she seeks to foster strength and confidence in children to prevent sexual violence. Environmental protection is another big passion of hers as she actively supports the WWF. When she is not busy working, the model likes to relax at her home in Munich. “I travel a lot and there’s always something happening, so it’s nice to come back to Munich. It has a lot of nature and is a bit calmer, slower and more traditional,” she says. Having achieved a great deal, we wanted to know what dreams Barbara still has. She laughs:“I love fantasy films so I’d love to play a role like the ice queen in The Chronicles of Narnia. But apart from that, I let myself be surprised. I have experienced so many great things already and they mostly happened rather incidentally.”


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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... The Easter season is all about chocolate eggs, long brunches, the first blossoming flowers, a good spring clean and re-decorating your home with fresh colours. It is about finally saying goodbye to the long, cold winter we slowly but surely learned to despise. We found some fantastic items which will add beautiful and subtle pastel nuances to your home and which, at the same time, will finally get you in that spring mood.

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EDITOR'S PICKS

Easter time without Easter decorations is only half the fun. That is why these adorable porcelain Easter eggs are our favourite ornaments this year. Set of five, £46. www.anneroessler.de Puristic and modern – this elegant sofa by IMPRESSIONEN LIVING is sure to add a subtle touch of colour to one’s home while also being incredibly comfortable. £912. www.impressionen.de Decorate your home with this Pastel Zig Zag rug by TOM TAILOR. Made out of 80 per cent wool, it is sure to be as comfortable as it is pretty. Available in different sizes. 65x135 cm, £75. www.tom-tailor.com

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Lieblich designs a variety of extraordinary lamps like this beautiful paper ceiling lamp in aquamarine. Handmade from high-quality materials. £36. www.dawanda.com Why not embellish a room with flowers in these pretty, handmade ‘Alice’ porcelain vases by feinedinge to welcome spring into your own four walls? Large, £95. Medium, £91. Small, £37. www.feinedinge.at

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds With Easter time fast approaching, we can almost feel spring and the warm sunrays on our skin. As we start to pack those oversize knit jumpers in the back of our wardrobes, why not have a look at this year’s spring and summer fashion trends? This year, many designers have put their focus on bold prints and styles with a hint of boho and ‘70s-chic. EDITOR’S PICKS | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

The summer collection of Sônia Bogner, a subsidiary of the famous German fashion label Bogner, reminds us of North African culture with its array of loud, exotic and eye-catching prints. Skirt £390, embellished shirt £160, jacket £620. www.bogner.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

This year, the Sônia Bogner collection puts special emphasis on floaty silhouettes made out of lightweight fine-quality fabrics. Striped palazzo pants £310, top made out of guipure lace from St. Gallen £790. www.bogner.com

This beautiful bag from Liebeskind Berlin is embellished with a colourful Inca pattern and will spice up almost every outfit. £200. www.liebeskind-berlin.com

For slightly colder spring days, this ‘70s-inspired goat suede leather mix jacket by Marc O’Polo is sure to keep you warm and stylish. £232. www.marc-o-polo.com

These crazy platform heels from Görtz are a combination of some big upcoming trends: exciting patterns, bright colours and ‘70s-style. www.goertz.de

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430 years of innovation, quality and creativity – making fine art paper the traditional way Artists working with paint, as well as those who enjoy writing with ink and pen, value high-quality paper from traditional manufacturers. The German manufacturer Hahnemühle stands out among competitors, not only because of their 430-yearold tradition, but also because they continually adjust their products to modern technology. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: HAHNEMUEHLE

While many companies tend to emphasise their traditions, very few could claim as much consistency as Hahnemühle. The paper manufacturer based in Dassel, Lower Saxony, was founded in 1584 and for centuries has been recognised for its outstanding quality papers and papermaking experience.“Our motto has always been quality instead of quantity,”says Ann Kristin Plüss, responsible for marketing and communication at Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH. The self-conception as traditional manufacturer relying on handcraft and innovation is essential for

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Hahnemühle. No machine can replace an experienced craftsman or woman: “Our employees have over the decades developed a sense and eye for paper and examine every sheet before it is sold to customers.” Today the company employs about 180 people and produces around


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Discover Germany | Design | Hahnemühle FineArt

range of high-quality premium coated art papers, developed for Fine Art Inkjet prints. “We are talking about genuine artist papers with different grammages and surface textures, but also canvases for high-quality art reproductions, photography and digital art,” says marketing expert Ann Kristin Plüss. Due to its quality, Hahnemühle has become world market leader when it comes to Fine Art Inkjet Papers. The right paper guarantees highquality inkjet prints suitable for display

3,000 tonnes of high-end paper, which is distributed in 85 countries worldwide. Papers to inspire artists Even today, Hahnemühle has relied on the same raw materials when producing their traditional art papers: high-quality cellulose, cotton fibres and spring water. “We for example manufacture original mouldmade watercolour paper from pure cotton, using a mould machine, traditional procedures and old recipes,” says Ann Kristin Plüss. “These papers inspire and delight painters, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers as well as artists working digitally, bookbinders or archivists.” Hahnemühle often works together with their customers to develop new products or improve existing ones. Of course many things have changed during the last 430 years since the company was founded. Starting out as a manufacturer of handmade writing paper, Hahnemühle soon extended its product line to high-quality art papers. One of the newest assortments are FineArt inkjet papers, adjusting the business to the digital era. The Digital FineArt Collection is a product

Innovations like these are keeping the traditional paper mill alive – even after more than 430 years of manufacturing paper at the same location. The company’s emblem of a red rooster – ‘Hahn’ means rooster in English, and ‘Mühle’ is the German word for mill – today is an indication for quality paper. With papers for watercolour, sketch, mixed media, pastel, oil and acrylic paints, Hahnemühle has a range of papers for nearly every requirement. www.hahnemuehle.com

The quality is astounding.The variety of surface structures combined with the haptic of true handmade and cotton papers.“Above that, the archivability properties have been internationally recognised by TIPA, BIPP and American Photo,”emphasises Plüss.TIPA is the Technical Image Press Association, BIPP stands for British Institute of Professional Photography. The paper’s premium coat keeps the distinct paper character and haptic exclusivity and at the same time guarantees detailed, long-lasting prints according to the demands of museums and galleries.The paper is certified after ISO 9706, i.e. strict standards for ageing resistant papers, something that is also important when archiving is intended.“Prints made on Hahnemühle Inkjet media are quite impressive with a wide colour range, sharp contrasts and fine tonal gradation,”says Plüss. Something that is very important for artists, galleries and exhibitions.“And because we are working together with the leading producers of fine art printers, our papers and canvases are compatible with all fine art printers using pigment and dye inks.” Reproducing famous art One example for the FineArt Inkjet paper use can be admired at the Albertina in Vienna in a facsimile reproduction of Dürer’s famous Young Hare printed on Hahnemühle FineArt Inkjet paper.The aquarelle painting made in 1502 is a masterpiece of observational art with an almost photographic accuracy. Therefore, the paper quality is crucial for reprints, so the fine lines recreating the hare’s fur and the fine gradations in shade and colour are reproduced in detail and will not be lost due to smudges or bleeding colours.

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Clear forms and innovative materials Unlike other industrial designers, the Basel-based industrial design office studio colony has decided against specialising in a certain field. The advantages of this approach are manifold – studio colony upholds the highest degree of innovation and is not afraid to outline new paths for its clients. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: CLAUDIA LINK I STUDIO COLONY I RETO HAEFLIGER I SARA SEZGIN

studio colony was founded in 2012 by former fellow industrial design students Stephanie Estoppey and Ozan Alaca. After their studies, both have gained experience in industrial and interior design at renowned studios in NewYork, London, Munich, Frankfurt and Zurich.“Then we met again in Basel and while working on our first joint project, we noticed that we are on the same wavelength artistically,” smiles Stephanie Estoppey. She adds: “The shape (materialisation, manufacturing, design) of surrounding objects is really important to us and we seek to influence it as much as possible. With the foundation of studio colony, we started to have the possibility to interpret creative aspects ourselves.”Thus, since 2012, the team has implemented creative

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product design ideas and has worked on interior or visualisation projects. But why did they choose not to specialise on a specific field like other industrial

designers? Ozan Alaca explains:“We believe that the creative process is the same in different disciplines. Thus, working on furniture and consumer goods, as well as packaging design projects, isn’t a problem.” Furthermore, the duo’s multidisciplinary background in medical science and biochemistry enables a differentiated view on new projects and the small core team enables personal customer contact and short decision-making paths.


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Discover Germany | Design | studio colony

studio colony not only develops its own products and concepts and experiments with form and material, but also puts special emphasis on commissioned product design, interior or visualisation projects.“We give a client’s idea a shape, develop concepts, visualise them and accompany them until realisation,” says Stephanie Estoppey. studio colony’s customer dealings are coined by transparent communication, extensive research about the needs and desires of customers, as well as about the requirements for the product. During the design process, the duo seeks to harmonise form and function and to find the best suitable material. Thereby, studio colony does not do superficial styling, but rather integrates the needs and the end user into the process from the very start. Ozan Alaca adds:“After all, we see the industrial designer as an interface between engineer and end user.” Most advanced, yet acceptable This motto can be seen in each project of studio colony.“We aren’t satisfied with the first idea that comes to us. We want to uphold the highest degree of innovation and aren’t afraid to show our customers new paths – whether of technical or materialspecific nature – with which new market sectors become accessible,”notes Stephanie Estoppey. Working hand in hand with the respective engineers and having gained a large expert network, the outcome is sure to be a holistic product. While innovation is used in an inflationary way, it is still very important to studio colony. Ozan Alaca says: “A part of a project needs to contain innovation whether is it a newly introduced technology, a new material or an old material which has been combined with a new processing manner.”

Here, they designed a dynamic chair, the ‘rotavis’, which mobilises the pelvis and the spine. The patented mechanism was developed at the institute of mechanical systems (IMES) of the ZHAW. studio colony has worked closely alongside engineers to optimise the manufacturing process. While the chair is extremely slim and flexible when it gets assembled or dismantled, it also comprises of innovative padding. Folded steel has been used for incorporating the backrest instead of a casting part because it is much more cost efficient for smaller serial sizes.The special thing about the chair is its laterally swinging seating surface, which simulates the hip movement during walking. Thus, the chair’s dynamics activate the lower back muscles. As opposed to conventional dynamic chairs, the centre of rotation can be found above the seating surface, which guarantees the natural movement. Stephanie Estoppey says: “The requirements for us were clear: a straight, appealing design which doesn’t look like an old medical chair. The lean structure grants enough space for mobility and the padding can be easily replaced.” Through its warm look and visible wood elements, the chair is able to integrate itself into a contemporary office environment.

studio colony’s vast portfolio of commissioned work further includes a concept for business class tableware for Swiss International Airlines, a redesigning project of a dental practice, as well as designing an innovative packaging and storage system for Dagamas. In the four years since the foundation of studio colony, Stephanie Estoppey and Ozan Alaca have successfully realised many different projects and new, highly promising assignments are in the pipeline.“Because of this, we consider an enlargement of our team. At the moment, we deal intensively with a kitchen tap and faucet and a stool version of the‘rotavis’ chair is planned which will guarantee even more mobility.” www.studiocolony.com

Portrait: Ozan Alaca and Stephanie Estoppey. © Claudia Link Main image: The dynamic chairs ‘rotavis’. © studio colony Below: The dynamic chair ‘rotavis’. © studio colony (left) Dynamic chair ‘rotavis’. © Sara Sezgin (right) Above, from left: Textile partition walls in dental practice. © studio colony A bench for both young and old for a dental practice. © studio colony Porcelain that is furrowed by capillaries. © studio colony Shelving system ‘Umlaut’. © Reto Haefliger

This innovation factor can, for example, be seen in studio colony’s project for Rotavis.

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Discover Germany | Design | Jähn Handels GmbH and Ötscher

Uniting multiple brand worlds under one roof Being successful does not always mean standing in the spotlight, and nor does it require your own name to be emblazoned across a product to bring it to market. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE I PHOTOS: JÄHN HANDELS GMBH & CO. KG

For Jähn Handels GmbH & Co. KG, this step away from the limelight has proven to be a winning formula. As a brand, it stands for colour, design and functionality, each of which is united in innovative and stylish kitchenware and homeware. The German firm has made it their task to track down high-quality goods that are not just designer, but also practical and functional. The presence of these brands is then systematically built up across the German and

Austrian markets on behalf of the respective supplier, such as Lékué from Spain, Nuance from Denmark, Vice Versa from Italy, as well as Epicurean and zak!designs from the USA. The 30-strong team at Jähn can now look back over nine successful years of uniting multiple ‘brand worlds under one roof’. With total sales of eight million euros recorded in 2015, the company is hoping to hit double digits for 2016. Jähn Handels

GmbH currently unites more than 20 brands in its portfolio, and its objective is to continue to offer innovative and stylish products to the retail world in the future. The products are available in shops, department stores, by mail order or online. www.jaehn.org Below, from left: Multiple brands under one roof in the Westerwald. Epicurean Big Block chopping board - the original: environmentally friendly natural wood fibre composite chopping board in a stunning black. Simply the best: a practical, simple to use corkscrew by Nuance that effortlessly opens any bottle! Vice Versa sandwich toaster: this toaster unites a stylish design with sophisticated functionality, bringing the Italian dolce vita into your kitchen.

Ötscher – Top design and quality workwear The Austrian family-owned company offers personalised, well-designed, stylish corporate apparel as well as durable, high-quality and functional workwear and protective gear. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE I PHOTOS: ÖTSCHER BERUFSKLEIDUNG GÖTZL GESMBH

Those wearing Ötscher products love the clothing’s natural feel, modern design and the high quality – evident in both the material as well as the attention to detail and style. The pieces can be worn in practical, professional or leisure environments, making them extremely versatile and multifunctional. Because all workwear and gear can be finished with a company logo and tailored to corporate colours, they become part of a company’s unique identity. As one of the leading businesses for corporate wear in Europe,Ötscher Berufskleidung Götzl GmbH can look back on a history of success that spans almost eight decades. Founded in 1947 in Amstetten, Austria, the family-owned company stands for quality,

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reliability, tradition and harmony with nature and its resources. In fact, the name‘Ötscher’ stems from the Ötscher mountain nearby, whose magnificent and natural energy served as inspiration for the business’founders. This sucess, built on superior quality, durability and flexibility, continues even today. Each year, the company equips more than 7,000 customers with their work clothing. The range of Ötscher’s clients represents the extreme versatility of their corporate clothes: from small workshops, to guest houses, munic-

ipal communities, all the way to international companies such as Mazda andVolkswagen. All of Ötscher’s products are multifunctional and can be worn in many professional settings – from industrial environments, to office spaces and other work shops – and all Ötscher products are extremely comfortable, designed to fit perfectly and to last. www.oetscher.com Below: Ötscher softshell jacket.


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Discover Germany | Design | HEY-SIGN

Fitting stylish crafts into everyday life Contemporary, stylish and uncontrived, Germany’s HEY-SIGN are designers in the truest sense of the word. They adhere faithfully to the glorious heritage of wool felt, their chosen material, while creating timeless furnishings and accessories for homes and retail spaces. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE I PHOTOS: HEY-SIGN, REIMUND BRAUN

Based near Düsseldorf in a town called Meerbusch, Bernadette Ehmanns and Mathias Hey specialise in wool felt designs and the pair have spent close to two decades carving a niche for wool felt in the homeware market by actively addressing the technical potential of felt cutting. An age-old natural material that is sustainable, versatile and welcome in any home, all of their products are designed and handcrafted in Germany with 100 per cent natural, high-quality wool felt.

the brand, which gives each item a timeless form and feel.

An unusual material choice for some, but one that makes complete sense as it is naturally soft, sound absorbing and, in the words of HEY-SIGN, one that bestows a “positive impact on the atmosphere”. It is not hard to see why either. As each stylishly minimal product is available in 50 different colours, there is a simplicity engrained in

But aside from home and retail space furnishings, HEY-SIGN deftly designs stylish bags, vases that would not be out of place on the pages of any high-end design magazine and plush felt cushion covers. Having long recognised the boundless possibilities with wool felt, the pair welcome the opportunity to expand their creativity with

Top: Paravent Wave (left) Paravent Flow (middle) Paravent Toern (right) Below: Felt vase ENYA

tailor-made projects and one-off designs. Indeed, their wool felt designs are testament to the fact that one single material choice does not limit your horizons, and there is always going to be a space for felt in our world. www.hey-sign.de

January 2016 saw the launch of more select products including the delicate room partition FLOW, whose light and transparent form gently divides a space into two as well as the all-new, freestanding TOERN screen. Moreover, the award-winning acoustic screen WAVE, a firm favourite with interior designers, has been enlarged to feature additional space elements.

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Inventive designs combined with clever features If you are searching for the perfect present for a man, TROIKA Germany GmbH offers a great variety of design products with modern shapes and helpful features. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: TROIKA GERMANY GMBH

Finding gifts for men can be a difficult task, especially when you do not know him very well and are unsure about his interests. A tie is hardly very imaginative and if you buy the latest thriller bestseller, chances are that he already owns it. Those looking for a fancier and more useful gift, should take a look at the online shop of TROIKA Germany GmbH. As a market leader, TROIKA offers a great range of products specially for men that suit the spirit of time and authentically reflect their desires. “We certainly found a niche,”says Marcus Ahrend, marketing director of TROIKA Germany. “People, for example, often search for presents for their male colleagues and at first have no idea what to buy. But in our online shop they will surely find an appropriate gift since we offer products for everyone’s taste and budget.” What makes TROIKA’s products special is that they combine modern design with functionality, so that they can be used in

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various ways. A gift, which happens to be especially popular, is the multifunctional ballpoint pen CONSTRUCTION that could almost compete with a Swiss Army Knife. This pen does not only write, it also works as a ruler, a spirit level and even a screwdriver. “When the company was founded in England, it originally started as a little workshop for Sterling cufflinks with initials,” Ahrend explains. TROIKA was transferred to Germany in 1992 by Liudger Böll, today’s managing director. In the beginning, he had five employees. Now, TROIKA is seated in Müschenbach in RhinelandPalatinate and delivers products to more than 70 countries with the help of 54 employees and ten trainees. Whereas gifts for men account for about 70 per cent of TROIKA’s range of products, there are also various accessories for women, as well as innovative keyrings and charming products for the office.

What all these pieces have in common is their unique design for which the company already received numerous awards, like the German Design Award and the award for ‘product of the year 2016’by theVerband für PBS-Markenindustrie, an association for the brand industry selling paper, office and writing products. “Currently, even the whole TROIKA brand is nominated for the ‘German Brand Award’,”Ahrend says proudly. Shop for German customers: www.troika.de Shop for international customers: amazon.troika.de Top left: This paperweight with a magnet for paper clips received the German Design Award 2016. Top right: A keyholder leather loop with a twistlock. Below: Multi-functional ballpoint pens.


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Portrait, top: Chief designer Cari Zalloni’s

A style that lasts

the young New York scene. And today many international celebrities are wearing this design classic yet again.”

Closely tied to the hip-hop movement of the 1980s, CAZAL eyewear continues to inspire with its extraordinary frames that are celebrated worldwide.

CAZAL’s brand colours are black and gold and feature predominately throughout all their fashion lines. Gold is not just a colour for CAZAL - the metal pieces are all goldplated. Only high-quality materials are used to produce the frames. Up to 70 closely monitored work processes ensure the highest standard of craftsmanship.

TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD I PHOTOS: CAZAL-OP COUTURE BRILLEN GMBH I BLENDE11_FOTOGRAFEN

CAZAL specs have to be recognisable from the other side of the street.This ambition of designer Cari Zalloni sums up the core principles of CAZAL eyewear: creating amazing spectacle frames that are statements in themselves. All of the designs have one key thing in common: they are eye-catching. Founded in 1975 and using chief designer Cari Zalloni’s initials as the brand’s name, CAZAL immediately rose to fame with their concise shapes and high recognition value. The spectacle frames became iconic in the fashion world of the 1980s as they embodied the hip-hop style like no other fashion brand. Zalloni’s extraordinary style has been distinctive from the beginning

and therefore has gained both notoriety and fans up to the present. Some of the original models, the CAZAL LEGENDS, have been re-launched and are still going strong. Lovingly called‘Cazzy’by their fans, they are highly sought after as collectibles. The frame designs are for both men and women, but first and foremost for people who highly value individuality and extravaganza as a major part of their lives. Like CAZAL, they do not follow the mainstream, but are always finding their very own ways to express themselves. Beate Obersteiner, managing director of CAZAL, favours the CAZAL 607: ”This iconic design has made the brand famous worldwide. Back in the 1980s it was a status symbol for

An international team of designers is continuing the legacy of the late Cari Zalloni, and follows his ideas of creating something extraordinary, a style that lasts. Launched this season, Cazal de luxe is a limited edition of sunglasses that features 24 carat gold. These collectables are only available in selected stores. Surely, they will be another model of spectacles instantly recognisable from the other side of the street! www.cazal-eyewear.com

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Main image: Venturini shirts, detail Left, from top: Venturini shirts, made-to-measure Venturini shirts, detail (monogram) Venturini shirts, detail Below: Venturini shop, Spiegelgasse, Vienna

A shirt for all times – Venturini designs since and for generations A well-designed, custom-made shirt makes a man. And if you are looking for expertly executed craftsmanship on top, you will certainly find it at Venturini’s traditional family business based in Austria. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: VENTURINI

Their little shop in Vienna’s Spiegelgasse will provide you with excellent service as well as good advice, for example on how to wear your shirt and keep it in good shape. Enter the shop and you will experience a world almost forgotten where you will be attended to by Nici Venturini himself.Your measurements will be taken, albeit nowadays with the help of a special app, and stored for future purposes. Once your own personal cut has been created, it will be newly adjusted: after all, the ‘made-tomeasure’ principle includes a second fitting! With the adjustments applied, fine fabric is picked out of a choice of hundreds, and voilà! Your very own tailor-made shirt is ready to be paraded through town. Needless to say, once your measurements have

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been taken and stored, they can be applied again and again. A reliable shirt is like a good comrade in arms, as it protects and reflects personality and, in this case, quality and style. How is it done? The small team of tailoring experts who work for the Venturini family truly know what they are doing. From the first measuring to the last button applied, the shirts are created step by step with an eye for detail, resulting in the finest craftsmanship. Or, as Nici Venturini puts it: "It is not the measuring tape that makes a bespoke shirt, but the people who invest their heart, experience and love of detail." Your very own custom-made shirt, carefully designed especially for you, is a long-term investment for your wardrobe, assuming

you follow the care instructions. In the best case it will simply be joined by the next one and the next one, until you have a collection for all situations and seasons – to last and accompany you for a good part of your life. Take a look at the informative video on the Venturini website and you will be in awe to learn what truly traditional tailoring entails. It is worth the shirt on your back. www.venturini.at www.facebook.com/gino.venturini.hemdenmacher


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Special Theme

Enchanting Jewellery

Gedankenkraft Schmuck The power of thoughts Buddha said: “What we think, we become,” expressing Susanne Kos’s philosophy behind her jewellery brand Gedankenkraft Schmuck (‘power of thoughts jewellery’). The unique fair trade bracelets and necklaces, handcrafted from real silver, are not only beautiful items of jewellery, they motivate people to realise their dreams. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER | PHOTOS: SUSANNE KOS I EVA PEITL I RUTH PEKOLL

The desire to remind people that ideas and wishes can come true is inspired by Kos’s own experience. In her mid-20s, she found herself on a beach in Bali, thinking about the one thing she would ask for if she was granted a wish: building a boat she could sail around the Indonesian islands with. Despite friends and family doubting a young woman could oversee the building of a traditional wooden Phinisi schooner with ten cabins and all mod cons, the Moana first set sail less than a year later. Meanwhile, Kos had learned Indonesian and hired a crew to care for guests on what is now one of the

most popular diving boats in the region.“I want to remind people that they are the architects of their own fortune,”says Kos.“The way we think often determines whether we succeed or fail. Positive thinking is not enough; only when we become aware of our own thought patterns can we turn deconstructive into constructive thoughts.” Wearing Gedankenkraft Schmuck jewellery, inscribed with different mantras or inspirational words, helps people to remember their dreams and to take one little step per day towards realising them.“Picturing the dream again and again fuels the wish to

Main image: Photo: Susanne Kos Above, from left: Inspirational words. Photo: Eva Peitl Crystal bracelets. Photo: Susanne Kos Wraparound bracelet. Photo: Susanne Kos Portrait: Susanne Kos. Photo: Ruth Pekoll

achieve it. It is like a rocket drive,”says Kos. Her first and favourite creation, the wraparound bracelet with an engraved silver pendant and rock crystal clasp, is subtle yet eye-catching. When spread out, it looks like an anchor, grounding the wearer in everyday situations and reminding them of their dream. Available in 15 different colours, it is an excellent example of the jewellery range, which also includes scroll-shaped locket pendants that can be opened up to hold an individually written wish. Future additions to the range will include men’s leather bracelets with subtle inscriptions. True to her philosophy, Kos currently donates one euro for each crystal bracelet to Stiftung Kindertraum, a charity realising sick and disabled children’s dreams.“They share Gedankenkraft Schmuck’s core value,”Kos explains. ”Wish fulfilment.” www.gedankenkraft-schmuck.com

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enchanting Jewellery

Jewellery that engages the senses When Claudia Milić designs her enchanting jewellery, she does so with the desire to fully engage her customers’ senses. The timeless design of her earrings, necklaces or bracelets thus impress with their exceptional look and feel. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: CLAUDIA MILIC JEWELLERY

Claudia Milic’‘s jewellery is entirely handcrafted in Germany’s Pforzheim. Here, her meticulous and traditional manufacturing process creates new, delicate chains from endless, prefabricated chains – some comprising of thousands of identical elements. The results are exceptional, elegant and sophisticated jewellery pieces, guaranteed to be individually handcrafted and distinctive. The gold and silver diamond chains have an impressive visual effect as they sparkle and shine through simple light reflections. “My customer´s sensory experience begins with the visually striking sparkle. It continues with the surprising weight and versatility of the chain, when

touched. This becomes almost sensual when the chain is worn around the neck,” says Claudia Milic’. Due to its smooth touch, its agility and tactility, the timeless jewellery feels incredible on one’s skin. It

is no wonder Claudia Milic’ came second at the Legnica International Jewellery awards, as well as at the Jewellery Award 2012 in the ‘Classic’ category. Whether a long or short necklace, earrings, bracelets, rings or even unique brooches, the jewellery can be bought in various galleries throughout Europe. www.claudia-milic.de Portrait: Jewellery designer Claudia Milic’ Below: Earrings SIARA; 750 yellow gold Necklace TWIST; 750 yellow gold

Passion for pearls Hamburg’s jewellery label YUSIMI-passion for pearls, which is the German phonetic transcription of You See Me, lives up to its name. Founder Friederike Voswinckel designs eye-catching pieces that are trendy, vibrant and top quality. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: MICHAEL DE BOER I THORSTEN SCHROEDER

Raised in Hong Kong, Voswinckel developed an early passion for pearls and precious stones. It was her mother who introduced her to the art of jewellery making and taught her how to succeed in the pearl trade domain. Today Voswinckel often travels back to Asia for inspiration and to find the perfect stones. All of her pieces are unique, and great focus is placed on jewellery that can be worn in many different ways. Many necklaces can be turned into bracelets and vice versa. “The long black and white pearl necklace Coco can be worn classically long or elegantly wrapped around the neck a few times,”Voswinckel explains.“Our customers are confident women, who have their own

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style and want to escape the mainstream. They expect quality, but do not want to spend too much. That combination is the pillar of our philosophy.” YUSIMI’s diversity is reflected in the material, ranging from gemstones to precious metals to various pearls. Exciting colour combinations give it the contemporary touch. Voswinckel’s personal favourite is the long necklace Golden Swing with rose and smoky quartz, labradorite and freshwater pearls. She also loves the leather bracelets Glam Casual. The pieces are fitting for all occasions, making them the perfect companion for every versatile woman.

Top: Necklace Coco. Photo: Thorsten Schroeder Middle: YUSIMI bracelets. Photo: Michael de Boer Above: Necklace Golden Swing. Photo: Thorsten Schroeder

www.yusimi.de

Portrait: Founder Friederike Voswinckel (right)


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enchanting Jewellery

From left: Noah’s Ark; FOSSILOVE; To keep cave

annsus - take a look

Below: Annesuse Raquet and Enigma

Shedding a new light on ancient relics Petrified freshwater sharks from Germany, a palm tree from Wyoming, dragonflies, shells, fish and other fossils that are 30 to 400 million years old are the stars of Annesuse Raquet’s ‘paleo design’. Using fossilised wood, copper, silver and gemstones, she stages them adeptly and turns them into 21st century art and jewellery. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER I PHOTOS: ANNESUSE RAQUET

When Raquet quit her job as a tax officer more than 30 years ago, she made her passion for fossils her new profession. It took several years of hard work to build up her reputation as one of the world’s top fossil experts and dealers, supplying museums, institutes and collectors. Searching for a way to tell the fossils’stories and arouse people’s curiosity for the ancient creatures set in stone, she started turning them into sculptures, which she displays at fairs in Hong Kong, Paris, Munich and New York. With gemstone dealers and jewellers being Raquet’s most avid customers, she has just released her first range of jewellery called ‘FOSSILOVE’. They feature cut gemstones set in 100 to 150-million-year-old ammonites, the spiral-shaped molluscs. From fossil to paleo design Starting with a single fossil that piques her interest, Raquet lets her imagination wan-

der until she comes up with an appropriate design.Thus, a 70-million-year-old tooth of an African Tyrannosaurus Rex turns into the sail of ‘Noah’s Ark’, the boat itself shaped out of a deep green uvarovite gemstone. A fossilised skull of an Ice Age cave bear,‘To keep cave’, is beautifully dressed on an amethyst druse. The huge egg of an extinct cursorial bird becomes the head of a figure in a red feather robe, called‘Enigma’, and other relics from times gone by become modern pieces of art with an immeasurable decorative and historical value.

the aesthetics and distinctiveness of fossils. To show them both the fascinating, abundant details such as the veining of a dragonfly’s wings as well as the wider context in which the diversity of evolution made it possible for humans to come into existence. www.annsus.com

Aided by a local goldsmith who creates Raquet’s one-of-a-kind sculptures by hand, she uses materials like acrylic, wood and metal to shed a new light on petrified turtles and small dinosaurs alike. Rather than giving people a boring, scientific lesson in history, her aim is to make people aware of

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Main image: Store Right top & middle: Rolex Lounge Bottom: Adrian Rösselet

Where tradition meets competence Buying high-class brand watches at a family business Whoever wants to buy a Rolex watch can do that only in licensed shops: Rösselet in Zug, Switzerland, is one of them. With a long tradition as watchmakers and sellers, the family-led business today focuses on exclusive watch and jewellery brands. Individual service and great competence is what customers can expect here when buying a watch that lasts a lifetime. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: ADRIAN RÖSSELET

More than 100 years ago, in May 1911, Arnold Cäsar Rösselet, a watchmaker from La Chaux-de-Fonds, decided to buy the watch shop of Julius Keiser in Zug. The canton then was one of the poorest and the buying price was therefore affordable. In the following years he and his son Werner established the business. Their soon loyal customers made it possible to survive two wars and the recessions of the interwar period. In 1953 Werner took over from his father and years later, in 1978, forwarded the business to his son Adrian. Today Rösselet is the oldest shop for watches and jewellery in the Canton of Zug. “Our tradition is very important because it proves that we can guarantee high quality – something that customers and watch

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manufacturers value today,” says Adrian Rösselet-Welti. Not only is the product’s quality important, but also the person selling it: Adrian Rösselet and his competent team know how to present watches, show their functions and can explain how every cogwheel grabs onto another.

dealers guarantee authenticity and know how to find the right watch for every customer, something to enjoy for a lifetime. Rösselet also sells Breitling, Tudor, Victorinox or Hermès.“What has changed in comparison to former times is, that we now have specialised on these exclusive brands and higher price levels,” explains Adrian Rösselet. Tudor or Hermès watches, for example, cost about 2,000 CHF. Rösselet also has jewellery on offer “that can be made according to what a customer would like to wear”.This is why prices here differ greatly. www.roesselet.ch

“What is important for me is to fulfil customers’ wishes according to budget, interests and demands,”emphasises Adrian Rösselet. Rolex and other high-class brands trust retailers like Rösselet because of their technical knowledge and special facilities. “Rolex as the number one watch stands for superb quality and continuity,” says Rösselet. “Rolex is contemporary, ageless and one of the few brands that can be worn when exercising or swimming.” Specialist


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enchanting Jewellery & Attraction of the Month

Cosmopolitan, sustainable, individual Having inherited a passion for gemstones, Lea Tudosze proudly continues her parents’ Viennese jewellery business. With a sure instinct for style and beauty, Tudosze masters the art of jewellery design. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: LEA TUDOSZE

For Lea Tudosze a gemstone is not just beautiful to look at, she sees the bigger picture and is fascinated by the whole process. “I am touched by the work of art in its entirety,”enthuses Tudosze.“The emergence of the gem in the depths of the earth, its formation during eruption, the craftsman who polishes it to increase its intensity and finally the jewellery designers who combine the stone with other materials, thus making it a centrepiece.” Tudosze works with different independent jewellery designers and the resulting style is anything but mainstream. The distinctive pieces are made from a wide range of untreated gems and rarities from closed mines, giving the designers far more options to play with than usual. Due to

high demand, Tudosze also specialises in Marking, whereby a personal item of strong emotional value is marked with one or many precious stones. Any item can be personalised this way, from pocket mirrors to laptop cases. Also increasingly popular is the practise of buying coloured gems, such as the ruby, for investment due to the decline of natural resources. Tudosze offers expert consultation on buying the right stone. Tudosze’s jewellery exudes a cosmopolitan attitude and a passionate respect for the beauty of nature. It makes a statement anyone can be proud to wear. www.leatudosze.at

Badeparadies Schwarzwald Action, recreation, relaxation: the 21st century waterpark

Attraction of the Month

Not just a waterpark, Badeparadies Schwarzwald offers a chance to dive into a world filled with tropical oases, amazing waterslides and pampering wellness areas. Situated by the famous Titisee in Germany’s southwest, guests can have fun, relax and unwind at the 10,500-square-metre complex.

Germany

TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER I PHOTOS: BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD

Open 365 days a year, Badeparadies Schwarzwald attracts more than 650,000 guests per year, ranging from babies to senior citizens, locals to international tourists. It houses three areas featuring state-of-the-art facilities as well as restaurants and pool bars. The Palm Oasis is a recreational area, featuring tropical temperatures inside the pool and outside, 200 real palm trees, Jacuzzi loungers, a steam bath, a panoramic outdoor pool and a retractable glass roof.

The Wellness Oasis with its four saunas, ice fountain and crystal shower offers more opportunities to recharge the body and mind. Adventures for the whole family are guaranteed at the Galaxy Schwarzwald area. Over 25 attractions from the world’s largest stainless steel halfpipe, to a wave and a sports pool, make for an action-packed day out. The newest attraction is the Galaxy Racer. At nearly 100 metres, it is Germany’s longest quadruple mat water slide.

The spring of 2017 will see more changes at Badeparadies Schwarzwald: an exclusive wellness area on three levels, adding at least seven saunas, more pools and a unique panoramic roof terrace with a stunning view of the surrounding Black Forest.A health area with luxurious massage and beauty treatments, as well as spa pools will complete the impressive offerings. www.badeparadies-schwarzwald.de/en

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Hotel of the Month Switzerland

Classic, modern, breathtaking: Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt A luxurious four-star superior hotel, Parkhotel Beau Site is ideal for relaxation, outdoor sports and family holidays. Its traditional hospitality and modern comforts, including a spa area and inspirational cuisine, complement the outstanding setting with its spectacular views of the Matterhorn, the most iconic of Swiss mountains.

Main image: Parkhotel Beau Site in Zermatt. From top down: Matterhorn double room. Alpine Chic Junior Suite. The Gornergratsaal – buffet and hall.

TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER I PHOTOS: PARKHOTEL BEAU SITE ZERMATT

Built as a traditional Grand Hotel in the Belle Époque in 1907, the Parkhotel Beau Site is situated just five minutes from the centre of Zermatt. With unbeatable views onto the village and the Matterhorn, it enjoys a peaceful location and an air of classic elegance.The 66 Beau Site Classic rooms and suites pay tribute to its past with elegant details and warm colours, yet offer modern amenities and comforts, as well as that divine mountain view from the Matterhorn rooms.The ultimate combination of traditional splendour and modern décor can be found in the Beau Site Alpine Chic rooms and suites built in 2010. “Our favourite spot, without a doubt, is the panoramic terrace,” says marketing manager Julia Gesswein.“The unique view from the mountain village up to the mountain of

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mountains, the Matterhorn, is breathtaking. The terrace invites guests to enjoy the sun, the views and the dining delicacies offered all day round.” With a wide selection of tasty dishes served by the restaurant as well as gala dinners and Swiss cheese fondue nights, gourmets will not be left wanting. The hotel’s generous wellness and beauty area with a heated pool and Jacuzzis looks onto the Matterhorn. The saunas, steam bath and relaxation room are being fully refurbished this spring and a wide array of massage, hammam and beauty treatments enable guests to leave the worries of everyday life behind and relax. Active guests can make the most of the stunning scenery while snowshoe hiking, climbing, cycling and – even during sum-

mer – skiing and snowboarding. Various cultural offers such as open air theatre shows and music festivals make Zermatt, despite its small size, an ideal location for a holiday in any season. In preparation for the summer ahead, the hotel offers a number of exciting packages from taster holidays and short breaks with fine dining, to stays packed with activities and ‘The Flowerage’, including a flower guide and a Peak Pass. With so much luxury, pampering and activities on offer in a dream location, 2016 promises to be a special year for Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt and its guests. www.parkhotel-beausite.ch


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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | LENIKUS and Superbude

Modern design combined with energy efficiency Located in the heart of Vienna, the two boutique hotels LAMÉE and TOPAZZ stand out with their extraordinary design. Here, guests can enjoy the casual deluxe standard. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: LENIKUS HOTEL- UND GASTRONOMIEBETRIEBS GMBH

Just a stone’s throw away from Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, both hotels lie close to the city’s most exclusive shopping spots, spectacular museums and the Chamber Opera.The elegant hotels, which are run by LENIKUS Hotel- und Gastromomiebetriebs GmbH, are located opposite each other and impress with their eye-catching design:“The unusual windows and the dark façade of the hotel TOPAZZ are inspired by Koloman Moser’s creations and resemble a cylinder with large, oval gemstones,” says Stephanie Schellerer, sales and marketing director for both hotels. This unique appearance earned the hotel various awards since its opening in 2012. By combining a cosmopolitan atmosphere with 1930s-styleViennese charm, hotel LAMÉE has a special appeal as well. On

its rooftop terrace, guests have the chance to enjoy a stunning view of the city centre, while drinking a glass of wine. The internal spaces and furnishings reflect the urban approach to a life of openness, of seeing and being seen. Designed with a loving attention to detail, LAMÉE and TOPAZZ attract guests who prefer the charm of a boutique hotel instead of the usual lodging chains. When the establishments, which each offer 32 rooms, were built, architects also paid close attention to an efficient use of energy: “Both hotels are run as energy-efficiently as possible,”Schellerer emphasises. For example, the two buildings and the interior furnishings are predominantly made from sustainable construction materials. Top: Hotel TOPAZZ is known for its extraordinary façade.

www.lenikushotels.com

Staying at home in Hamburg Imagine going on a holiday with your friends and feeling at home: watching a film in the home cinema or having an epic video game battle. At Hostel Superbude in trendy St. Georg in Hamburg’s city centre, all this is possible – and more. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER I PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN PERL

The hostel follows a unique concept, offering guests a stylish hotel room with all mod cons, while providing that personal touch of a boutique hostel. “We wanted to create something personal,”says Constance Perl, sales and marketing manager.“Something that is not just ‘standard’, but focusses on design without being posh or unaffordable, something recycled and handmade.”

The Superbude comprises of 71 rooms and three suites with high-quality furnishings and funky design ideas, a courtyard, a roof terrace, free use of computers and washing machines, a self-service kitchen, a cinema, a video games room and bikes, longboards and games consoles for hire – all in walking distance of Hamburg’s train station, sights, shops, cafes and clubs.

Above: A look inside one of TOPAZZ’s rooms shows the windows’ unusual form.

Winning several hotel and design awards has not made the Superbude team complacent. In January 2016, all rooms were refurbished and rearranged. The nautically themed suite ‘Superkiste by DREIMETA’ features a bar with a fully stocked drinks fridge and a TV that can be connected to any smartphone, while the ‘fritz-bude’ features bed frames made out of scaffolding and an oil barrel seating area. More unique accommodations can be enjoyed at Superbude St. Pauli, and, as of 2017, at Superbude Kiez. Book at the following website and save five Euros with the promotional code‘Discover’. www.superbude.de Far left: The lobby of St. Georg’s Superbude. Middle: The ‘Palomabude’, one of the themed rooms. Right: A four-bed room.

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Hotel of the Month Germany

Where life slows down Main image: The heated outside pool and lake view.

Combining the traditional charm of the Bodensee region with modern relaxation amenities, the Hirschen Horn Hotel and Inn, located on the peninsula Höri, will surely provide a wonderful setting to reload your batteries.

The choice of accommodation types is equally impressive. There is the hotel’s newest addition ‘Haus Verena’, completed in 2012, which offers modern panorama suites and superior rooms, the‘Villa Maria’ with exclusive suites including a wellness suite, the ‘Haus Seeblick’ with stunning lake-view holiday apartments, or the tradi-

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Top middle: Double room Superior: 30 square metres with balcony and Bodensee lake view. Above: Panorama Suite: 80 square metres with balcony and Bodensee lake view. Below: Markus Merk, chef of the Untertee-Stube, sourcing wild caught Bodensee trout with fisherman Martin Dietrich.

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: HIRSCHEN HORN

“We like our guests to feel as if they are visiting friends,” says Verena Amann, who manages the family-led hotel and inn in the seventh generation with her husband Karl, their two sons and daughters-in-law. “Our motto is relax and unwind. We offer a 350-square-metre wellness area with a heated outside pool and our private Island Garden, which is only accessible to our hotel guests.”For a stress-free stay, guests can choose from a broad range of hotel packages: from a pampering wellness break to a cleansing ten-day fasting stay, an active cycling and hiking package or a wild herbs forest experience.

Top: The ‘Untersee-Stube‘.

tional ‘Stammhaus’ with cosy double and single rooms.“Location-wise, we are at the hart of a large natural conservation area and very close to Switzerland,”says Amann. “In fact, the closest train station is Steinam-Rhein, an important Swiss medieval town. From Zurich airport, we offer a taxi service to our hotel in 45 minutes. Furthermore, we recommend boat rides to islands like Reichenau as well as the museums dedicated to writer Hermann Hesse and painter Otto Dix. Both internationally renowned artists have lived and worked on our beautiful peninsula Höri.” Afterwards, enjoy a cold German beer in the hotel’s Mediterranean beer garden, a four-course menu with a choice between meat, fish or vegetarian in the ‘UnterseeStube’, or the legendary giant ox steak with a generous side of regionally sourced vegetables and fruit in the traditional inn. With so much on offer, it is no surprise that Hirschen Horn was awarded the ‘Most

Beautiful Country Hotel’in 2012. When will you relax and unwind in the Bodensee’s most magnificent island paradise? www.hotelhirschen-bodensee.de


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Some of Andreas Frech’s business apartments have a roof terrace. The furnishings of Vienna Business Apartments are a combination of classy and modern styles.

Providing the comforts of home Whether you are in business or an artist seeking inspiration, Andreas Frech offers a fine selection of business apartments in Vienna. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: ANDREAS FRECH

Feeling as comfortable as if you were at home, while being on vacation or on a business trip, is what guests experience when they book one of Andreas Frech’s business apartments in the capital of Austria. In contrast to staying at a hotel,Vienna Business Apartments are completely equipped with a kitchen, WLAN and cable TV. Classy yet stylish furnishings create a cosy atmosphere, plus some business apartments even have a roof terrace.“All of our eight business apartments are located very close to the inner city ofVienna,”Frech explains. “Two apartments lie in the third municipal district, six others are located in the fifth municipal district. In the surroundings, there are also various hip bars, restaurants and subway stations.”

Before Frech started his lodging business, he ran his own international consulting firm. Back then, he often used to search business apartments for his employees when they had to undertake projects in other countries. “From my experience, it was always hard to find adequate accommodations,” Frech remembers. Therefore, he decided to start Vienna Business Apartments. Now, eight years later, guests like expats working for banks or industries, as well as actors and other artists, enjoy the service of his lodging business.“In addition, there are many people who simply want to take some time off in an inspiring place for one or two months,” Frech says. “For instance, a year ago we had an English philosophy professor as a guest who spent

a couple of weeks in one of our apartments in order to finish writing his book.” According to Frech, the beautiful nature of Prater Park, the several museums, theatres and the opera serve as perfect inspiration. In general, reliability and professionalism are values that are very important to him. “Our landlord is a company with a VAT number and of course we offer all commercial standards. Then, we also act straightforwardly and generously,” Frech emphasises.“For example, if a guest needs theatre tickets or tickets for the opera, we can usually provide some thanks to our good network.” Next, Frech plans to additionally offer two cars in terms of a car sharing model. Renters then have the chance to go on a short trip by car without paying any extra costs. www.app4u.at

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Restaurant of the Month Germany

Speciality beers in a nostalgic train setting The Bayerischer Bahnhof (Bavarian Station) in Leipzig is truly one of a kind. It is not only a restaurant, but also a brewery in a listed historic train station where the almost forgotten ‘Gose’ ale enjoys a revival and a cult following. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: BAYERISCHER BAHNHOF

Combining a brewery with an abandoned train station and turning it into a unique culinary experience might not be an obvious choice, but it was certainly a very successful one made by owner Thomas Schneider. The bold idea to revive not only a forgotten historic setting, such as the oldest remaining terminus station built in 1843, but also use it as the new home of Leipzig’s once popular Gose beer now seems to be pure genius. The refreshing aroma of the tangy Gose blend had already convinced beer lovers back in the 15th century, gaining popularity up until its height around 1900. However, over the succeeding decades the special ale, once known as Leipzig’s Gold, fell into oblivion, only to be rediscovered and has been enjoying a great comeback at Bayerischer Bahnhof from the turn of the 21st century.

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The brewery has obtained special permission to use the original ingredients such as lactic acid, table salt, coriander and other spices. The result is a taste that beer enthusiasts simply have to try. Guided tours of the brewery give an exciting little insight to the otherwise secretive art of beer brewing. For those who want to go a step further and gain in-depth knowledge, the beer seminar comes highly recommended.“The train station itself has been Leipzig’s gate to the South for many years,” explains managing director Frank Wiegand. “After its opening a hundred years ago, slowly but surely it fell into a deep sleep. In 2013 it was awoken from its slumber with the grand public opening of the city tunnel, one of the most important traffic junctions in our region. The gastronomic use has become a double stroke of luck.”

Buzzing with life and now easy to reach, Bayerischer Bahnhof is an excellent choice for events of any kind. The rustic German cuisine fits perfectly with the brewery and is an attractive spot for guests of all ages. Ancient ale and a historic train station, brought back to life together, are testimony to the fact that quality truly stands the test of time. www.bayerischer-bahnhof.de Main image: The Bayerischer Bahnhof. From top down: Guests at the Biersiederei. The Brewhouse. The brewing process. Below left: A master brewer.


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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Solaria Serviced Apartments

Solaria Serviced Apartments Independent holidays with hotel-quality service Set amidst the Swiss Alps in the picturesque town of Davos, Solaria Serviced Apartments combine independent living with the service and mod cons of a hotel. With accommodation ranging from a studio to a detached house with a garden, this family business caters for active tourists who appreciate the flexibility it offers. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER I PHOTOS: SOLARIA SERVICED APARTMENTS I CHRISTIAN GRUND

“We are personal, dependable and honest. That is what makes our guests feel at home,”says Stephan Huber, whose fatherin-law built Solaria in the 1970s. With a team of seven, including family members, as well as 25 cleaners, Huber manages the 75 serviced apartments and houses that can be rented by anyone from a couple of friends to a family of seven, amounting to 220 beds in total.“We offer a huge variety, including detached houses for just two people,” says Huber. All of the apartments are homogeneously furnished, competitively priced and benefit from a sunny, quiet location near the town centre.

Solaria enjoys an average occupancy of more than 60 per cent, 365 days a year, and has been ranked as highest quality accommodation by the Swiss tourism board.“The apartments enable guests to live independently and privately, while offering the service of a hotel,” says Huber. Shuttle buses to and from the train station and ski resort, lunch packs, DVDs and video game consoles are just some of the services on offer. “If you want to go for a hike in the mountains at four o’clock in the morning, we offer breakfast. If you do not want to get dressed in the evening, you can cook ‘at home’in your own kitchen.”

This flexibility is being enjoyed by everyone from a party of four female friends just wanting to get away, to a complete football team, senior citizens, bikers and businessmen, old and young alike.“What unites our guests is that they are all active people: they come to explore the region together and experience new things and wonderful landscapes.”A certified mountain bike and ski hotel, guests can rent bikes, sledges and skis from Solaria. They also benefit from safe storage of skiing equipment including a ski boot heater and waxing facilities and free guided skiing tours organised by the town of Davos. Cyclists can enjoy 1,500 kilometres of bike trails, charging stations for e-bikes, a freeride trail and free mountain railways, as well as many other services aimed at tourists. www.solaria.ch

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City of the Month Germany

Bayreuth 2016 A city with many faces Bayreuth became internationally famous as the centre of Richard Wagner’s works. Every year in July and August, thousands of opera lovers from all corners of the world head to the Green Hill to watch and listen to Wagner’s oeuvre. But Bayreuth is also worth a visit as an attractive sightseeing destination. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

The Prussian Princess Wilhelmine – the favourite sister of Frederick the Great – established a unique ensemble of palaces, garden art and a wonderful margrave opera house in Bayreuth.The latter is said to be Europe’s most beautiful, preserved baroque theatre and was registered as a“unique example of baroque theatre and festival culture” on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The New Palace is a true rococo masterpiece with margrave couple Friedrich and Wilhelmine’s historic rooms. Garden art of

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Main image: The Hermitage with the orangery and solar temple. © Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung Below: Richard Wagner Museum. © Bayreuth Marketing & Tourismus GmbH, Harbach

European importance can be found slightly outside of the city centre at the Bayreuth Hermitage, which impresses with its palaces, grottos and water features, as well as the unique, semi-circular orangery embellished with glass and quartz. Additionally, its central solar temple is crowned by Apollo, the god of the muses. Richard Wagner Museum Bayreuth Richard Wagner’s former residential house ‘Wahnfried’ and the Richard Wagner Museum Bayreuth re-opened in summer 2015 after extensive renovation and extension works. The museum in house ‘Wahnfried’ presents itself in an entirely new light with an extension building and three, thematically different permanent exhibitions. In house ‘Wahnfried’, Richard Wagner’s life, oeuvre and works are documented in an authentic


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Discover Germany | Culture | City of the Month Germany

setting. The extension building, created by Berlin’s renowned architect Volker Staab, is dedicated to Bayreuth Festival’s performance history. Here, a large collection of historic stage design models, costumes and equipment from the Bayreuth Festival Hall are showcased. Never before was one able to see the valuable collection in this diversity. In the Siegfried-Wagner-Haus visitors can gaze at the living spaces of Winifred Wagner, which have been made accessible for the public for the first time in its entirety. Here, Wagner’s ideology history or the Wagner family’s relationship to the Nazi regime are presented. In close proximity, one can find Bayreuth’s Jean-Paul-Museum and the last residence of Richard Wagner’s father-in-law Franz Liszt, which houses the municipal Franz-Liszt-Museum. National horticultural show 2016 In 2016, the cultural metropolis and Wagner city of Bayreuth will organise the hitherto largest Bavarian national horticultural show from 22 April until 9 October. A new park with the name ‘Wilhelminenaue’ has been developed in the Red Main valley under the motto‘music for the eyes’. It was named after the horticultural show’s figurehead and host margravine Wilhelmine of Bayreuth. Her visions: the baroque garden art, the castles that were created in her time, the Hermitage, Castle Fantaisie, with the first German garden art museum, or Sanspareil Rock Garden still shape city and region today.

breweries were located in Bayreuth. Around 200 breweries produce over 1,000 different types of beer in the region, and thus holds the world record for the highest brewery density as measured by population figures. Today, Maisel’s Weisse, which is brewed in Bayreuth, is one of the most popular wheat beers in Germany and Maisel’s brewery museum is the world’s most extensive beer museum according to the Guinness Book of Records. On approximately 2,400 square metres and with over 6,000 exhibits, the museum brings beer culture to life. During Bayreuth’s ‘BeerTour’ through the brewery museum and Bayreuth’s catacombs – a long labyrinth of 400-year-old rock cellars – visitors can learn interesting facts about the city’s brewing history and get to know regional delicacies on two culinary stopovers. Just in time for the 500 years of beer purity law anniversary, the new Maisel & Friends brewing workshop opened, in which visitors can look over a brewer’s shoulder and follow the entire brewing process from grain crushing to fermentation.The focus is put on traditional brewing craft and Franconian beer culture. The beers that are brewed here can be tried in the new restau-

rant Liebesbier, which impresses with an incomparable atmosphere. 21 special beer types are freshly tapped from the barrel and numerous bottled beers are served. After visiting the brewery museum, up to 280 guests fit inside the new restaurant and 300 additional guests in the beer garden where they can enjoy more than 80 beers and culinary delicacies. www.wagnermuseum.de www.landesgartenschau2016.de www.maiselandfriends.com Further information: Bayreuth Marketing & Tourismus GmbH Opernstraße 22 95444 Bayreuth +49-(0)921-885 88 www.bayreuth-tourismus.de

Below, clockwise: The Fantaisie Castle. © Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung The New Palace. © Bayreuth Marketing & Tourismus GmbH, Björn Vollmuth Pavilion at the national horticultural show. © Landesgartenschau 2016 GmbH Visitors take a look into the brewing pot. © Bayreuther Bierbrauerei AG

The new park of the national horticultural show was also inspired by Wilhelmine and builds bridges between the historic city centre, Hermitage and the court garden. This contemporary, yet playful ‘pleasure garden’with its water elements and garden pavilions inspires visitors to go on a scenic discovery journey. In the unique river scape and meadow landscape with flowers, woods, perennials and trees, the national horticultural show presents itself as a blossoming area thriving with various species in the new, 45-hectare landscape park. Unique beer experience Bayreuth is able to look back on a long brewing tradition. In 1884, no less than 74

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THE MECKLENBURG STATE SCHWERIN PRESENTS:

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Special Theme

Culture Destination Germany

A manifold and thriving cultural scene There are not many countries that have a cultural scene as vibrant and thriving as Germany. There are almost 6,300 museums covering art, history, nature and technology. Whether you are interested in abstract or figurative painting, photography, contemporary art or works from other epochs, art enthusiasts will be overwhelmed by the fine range of exhibitions. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

The museum island in Berlin, for example, is worth a visit not only because it houses outstanding treasures, but also because the five different museum buildings are quite a unique ensemble. Built between 1823 and 1930, they were designed by some of the most eminent architects of their time. Today, eight internationally renowned collections represent the development of European art and culture as well as its roots in the Near East. Among the museums’ wealth of objects, you have the chance to see the world-famous portrait bust of Queen Nefertiti, unique objects dating from the 6th millennium BC to the 1st century AD, as well as famous German art from the NeoClassicism of Goethe’s time to Romanticism, Biedermeier and Impressionism.

Germany, a venue for contemporary exhibitions that emphasises trends of national and international cultural developments, taking into account scientific and technological aspects as well. A couple of steps away, there is also the Museum Alexander Koenig, which counts as one of Germany’s best zoological museums. One of its permanent exhibitions gives an impression of the precise knowledge about species, which allow well-founded prognoses about the cooperation in the ecosystems.

Those who would like to see or even acquire some top-quality 20th and 21st century artworks, should visit the Art Cologne, which is regarded as the oldest art fair of its kind. Over six days, about 200 international galleries present an excerpt of their art that is up for sale. On the following pages you will get a little impression of further fine museums and galleries that might be not as famous as the ones mentioned above, but which are still worth a visit.

Main image: Bode Museum, Museum Island Berlin, Am Kupfergraben. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Bernd Weingar Left: The Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn. © Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland GmbH Middle: Thousands of people visited the Art Cologne 2015. © Koelnmesse Right: Portrait bust of Queen Nefertiti. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung / Sandra Steiß

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Bonn Museum Mile is one major culture destination. Here, you can for example, visit the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Culture Destination Germany

A walk into the past:

Experience the art of revolution in Bad Frankenhausen More than 2.6 million visitors cannot be wrong. Germany’s largest panorama picture Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany at the Panorama Museum Bad Frankenhausen is a truly unique art experience not to be missed. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: PANORAMA MUSEUM

Bad Frankenhausen is a small, but historically important town situated within the Kyffhäuser hills in Thuringia, East Germany. In 1525, it was here that the radical preacher and doomsday prophet Thomas Müntzer initiated one of the last bloody battles fought during the German peasant war. To commemorate this event, a cylindrical building housing the monumental painting Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany was erected in the hills overlooking the town. Originally commissioned by the

East German state of the GDR, painter Werner Tübke created the impressive work of art with more than 3,000 individual figures between 1983 and 1987. Today, marvelling at the 14-metre-high and 123-metre-wide painting is like a journey into the past. Museum Manager Silke Krage reveals that visitors often say they felt like they were “becoming one with the painting”. In addition to the monumental painting, there are three changing exhibitions a

Main image: The Panorama Museum. Photo: ZK-MEDIEN Above right and bottom: Werner Tübke, Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany, 1983-87, oil on canvas, 14 x 123 metres, Panorama Museum, Bad Frankenhausen. Copyright: Tübke, VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2016; Photo: Dieter Leistner, Würzburg

year. These exhibitions are devoted predominantly to contemporary figurative art of international significance and to subjects from art history. Furthermore, the Panorama Museum regularly shows a carefully selected‘arthouse film’in its own cinema and presents first-class concerts, often including folk and blues artists, on Friday nights. With rich brine springs and many accessible nature trails nearby, Bad Frankenhausen is also the perfect location for those seeking relaxation and health benefits during their holidays.The‘leaning tower’of the church in Bad Frankenhausen is worth seeing too as it is more crooked than the famous leaning tower of Pisa.“We also recommend day trips to the Barbarossa Cave, the largest, accessible anhydrite cave in Europe as well as the Kyffhäuser monument and fortress,”suggests Krage.To learn more about the monumental painting, the museum offers free multimedia guides in English, which are either 25 or 70 minutes long.“Furthermore, we are working on an English re-launch of our website that will go live later this year,”reveals Krage. www.panorama-museum.de

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Culture Destination Germany

Main image: Kunsthalle Weishaupt. © Kunsthalle Weishaupt, Daniel Scheffold Above right: Robert Longo installation. © Christoph Seeberger Below left: Gerold Miller instant vision 151, 2013. © Gerold Miller Below Right: Josef Albers Homage to the Square, Opal 1984. © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016

Kunsthalle Weishaupt Pushing the boundaries of art from the ‘60s to today As one of Germany’s most avid art collectors, entrepreneur Siegfried Weishaupt has continually grown his collection of European and American contemporary art over five decades. His collection, presented in the Kunsthalle Weishaupt in Ulm, attracts culturally attentive locals and tourists alike. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER

The thematically changing exhibitions are open to the public six days a week, and the guided tours include special tours and workshops aimed at children. Kunsthalle Weishaupt, built by architect Wolfram Wöhr, is in fact a piece of art in itself, and has been designed to showcase the impressive collection. Its glass front, spanning 16 metres in height, acts like a passepartout framing the works inside, making the cube-shaped exhibition rooms look as if they float in space.

ideas changed the product lines and a bond between the Weishaupts and Ulm School of Design founding director Max Bill and his own works of art developed.

The building was commissioned by Weishaupt, who inherited his father’s fuel technology business along with his love for design and art, which developed when Weishaupt senior commissioned product designers from the Ulm School of Design in the early ‘60s. Bauhaus and clear design

Throughout the years, colour became the dominant theme for the entire collection, and colour field paintings from Mark Rothko,Yves Klein, Imi Knoebel and others were added. Pop art from Warhol to Robert Indiana and other contemporary works from both sides of the big pond, including

Artist and educator Josef Albers also taught at Ulm and influenced Siegfried Weishaupt’s perception of art significantly.Together with his wife Jutta, Weishaupt started collecting geometrical and concrete art by artists such as Richard Paul Lohse, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart and Max Bill.

ZERO and Op art, as well as selected sculptures and installations from Keith Haring, BernatVenet and more, completed the collection. Meanwhile, international contemporary works by Markus Oehlen and multimedia artist Robert Longo keep pushing the boundaries of this broad collection. One such artist, the Berlin-based Gerold Miller, will be showcased in a special exhibition this spring, which will include more than 70 large-scale works and sculptures from all phases of his working life. The year 2017 will see the tenth anniversary of Kunsthalle Weishaupt, with many special exhibitions and events to look forward to. www.kunsthalle-weishaupt.de

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Main image: View in the hall I, Carlshütte. Photo: Inga Aru From top: Long Night of the Lights; Ochirbold Ayurzana (Mongolia) ‘Man is not an abundance on the earth’, steel, 500 x 350 x 450 cm. Photo: Jörg Wohlfromm Mikhail Dronov (Russia) ‘Skater’, bronze, 300 x 550 x 200 cm. Photo: Jörg Wohlfromm

Hotspot of international art

Bottom: Angelika Haak (Germany) video-installation ‘Portrait of the Known Dead’. Photo: Asmus Henkel (left)

The exhibition centre Kunstwerk Carlshütte in Büdelsdorf is not only home to a variety of fabulous exhibitions of contemporary art, but also frequently hosts concerts, readings and film screenings. It is on an inspiring mission to give artists from all over the world a voice. This year, it will host the well-known NordArt exhibition for the 18th time.

The exhibition welcomes back the NordArt awardees Liu Yonggang (China), Jang Yong Sun (South-Korea), Lv Shun (China) and Ochirbold Ayurzana (Mongolia).

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Kunstwerk Carlshütte, a non-profit cultural initiative between the ACO Group and the towns of Büdelsdorf and Rendsburg, opened its doors over 17 years ago and has gained an excellent reputation, locally and abroad, ever since. Diversity and contrast can be seen as the pillars of Carlshütte’s concept and philosophy. Carlshütte is based in an old iron foundry, which was originally built around 1830. The character of the foundry brings about an undeniable charm and contributes to the special atmosphere of the 22,000-square-metre exhibition space. Why not walk amongst various art objects in the sculpture park, which stretches over 80,000 square metres? To round up the experience, the art café invites guests to take a break. NordArt – an art trip around the world The centrepiece of Kunstwerk Carlshütte is the NordArt exhibition that brings the world together artistically and fosters mu-

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tual understanding through art. It is one of the biggest European exhibitions of contemporary art and attracts approximately 70,000 guests each year. This year NordArt received around 4,500 applications from 109 different nations – a new record number.

Liu Bolin (China) ‘Iron Fist’, stainless steel, height: 200 cm. Photo: Jörg Wohlfromm (right)

NordArt 2016 will present works by 250 selected artists from 55 countries and is designed as a total artwork by chief curator Wolfgang Gramm in which the artworks do not only speak for themselves, but also develop an own ambience through the interplay with the industrial architecture’s imposing setting. www.nordart.de

NordArt successfully promotes and nurtures the exchange between international artists, both newcomers and established ones alike. Every year, the NordArt exhibition puts special attention on one country. After China, Russia, the Baltic states and Mongolia, it is Israel’s turn this year. Under the title‘Circle of Life’, Israel’s pavilion will showcase contemporary art from a country that has integrated influences from various nations in its culture like no other. Curated by Carmit Blumensohn, the Chinese artist Liu Ruowang with his expansive sculpture groups Wolves Coming and Original Sin is presented as NordArt’s main artist this year.

NordArt 2016 4 June - 9 October 2016 Opening times: Tues - Sun 11am - 7pm


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WINNETOU I (wieder ab 14. Mai); MOMO (Premiere am 28. Mai) und DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (Premiere am 11. Juni)

Spielplan

2016

FELSENBÜHNE RATHEN Europas schönstes Naturtheater MAI

JULI

So

8.5. 12:00 Theaterfest im Kurort Rathen

Fr

1.7. 15:00 Winnetou I

Sa

14.5. 16:00 Winnetou I

Sa

2.7. 14:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

So

15.5. 16:00 Winnetou I

Fr

29.7. 20:00 Hamlet – Die Rockoper – Gastspiel

Do

Sa

30.7. 15:00 Momo

Fr

19.8 20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Sa

20.8. 14:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

AUGUST

So

21.8. 19:00 Zwinger-Trio – Gastspiel

Mi

Mi

24.8. 15:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

20:00 Die Zauberflöte

19:00 Winnetou I So

31.7. 16:00 Die Zauberflöte

18.8 11:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Mo

16.5. 16:00 Winnetou I

So

3.7. 16:00 Winnetou I

Sa

21.5. 16:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Do

7.7. 20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

So

22.5. 16:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Fr

8.7. 14:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

Sa

28.5. 16:00 PREMIERE Momo

So

29.5. 16:00 Momo

Sa

9.7. 14:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

Mi

1.6. 11:00 Momo

So

10.7. 16:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Sa

4.6. 16:00 Momo

Di

12.7. 11:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

So

5.6. 16:00 «Felsenkonzert der Musikschule Sächsische Schweiz» – Gastspiel

Mi

13.7. 11:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

Sa

11.6. 20:00 PREMIERE Die Zauberflöte

Do

14.7. 20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

So

7.8. 16:00 Momo

So.

4.9. 15:00 Winnetou I

So

12.6. 16:00 Die Zauberflöte

Fr

15.7. 14:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

Di

9.8. 15:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Sa

10.9. 15:00 Winnetou I

Fr

17.6. 20:00 Die Zauberflöte

Mi

10.8. 11:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

So

11.9. 15:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Sa

18.6. 16:00 Die Hexe Baba Jaga «Geburt einer Legende» – Gastspiel

Sa

16.7. 14:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

Fr

12.8. 20:00 Der Freischütz

So

19.6. 16:00 Die Zauberflöte

Sa

13.8. 15:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Di

21.6. 11:00 Gastspiel

20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

JUNI

20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Mi

22.6. 11:00 Winnetou I

Do

23.6. 11:00 Winnetou I

Sa

25.6. 14:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

So.

26.6. 16:00 Winnetou I

Di

28.6. 11:00 Winnetou I

Mi

29.6. 11:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

19:00 Winnetou I

16:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot 16:00 Winnetou I Do

30.6. 11:00 Winnetou I

Do

4.8. 20:00 Der Freischütz

Fr

5.8. 15:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot 20:00 Der Freischütz

Sa

16:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame 20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

3.8. 11:00 Der Traumzauberbaum und Mimelitt mit dem REINHARD LAKOMYENSEMBLE – Gastspiel

6.8. 15:00 Sächsischer Bergsteigerchor «Kurt Schlosser» – Gastspiel 20:00 Der Freischütz

20.7 15:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

So

14.8. 16:00 Der Freischütz

Do

21.7. 11:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Mi

17.8. 11:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Fr

22.7. 20:00 Die Zauberflöte

Sa

23.7. 15:00 Momo

So

24.7. 16:00 Momo

Di

26.7. 11:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot 27.7. 20:00 Die Zauberflöte

Do

28.7. 15:00 Momo 20:00 Die Zauberflöte

27.8. 14:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

So

28.8. 16:00 Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame SEPTEMBER Fr

2.9. 19:00 Carmina Burana

Sa

3.9. 17:00 Carmina Burana

20:00 Der Freischütz

17.7. 16:00 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot

Mi

Mi

26.8. 20:00 Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Sa

Änderungen vorbehalten!

So

20:00 Die Zauberflöte

Fr

N RATHEen E N H Rath NBÜ FELSE01824 Kurortthen.de a rund • BH ehne-r Amselgww.felsenbuACHSEN GMbeul •w ade NS 77 7-0DESBÜHNE52 • 01445 R54 - 214 / 4 2 0 5 LAN er Straße 1 . 0351 / 89 sen.de Tel. 03 Tel nen-sach Meißn esbueh d n a l . www


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Bygone but not forgotten

Main image: The Etruscans, From Villanova to Rome: reconstruction of an Etruscan wagon with bronze foils.

Discovering the traces of the Etruscan civilization

Above right: The Etruscans, From Villanova to Rome: gold fibula of an Etruscan woman.

More than 2,000 years ago the Etruscans – Italy’s first advanced civilization – disappeared from history. Who they were and how they lived has been, until today, partly hidden behind a veil of mysteries and legends. A new exhibition at the State Collections of Antiquities in Munich now explores their culture and everyday life, displaying items that have never been exhibited before.

Apart from the current special exhibition, the State Collections of Antiquities is always worth a visit.“It stands a bit in the shadow of the neighbouring Glyptothek, even though its collection needs not shy away from any comparison,”says director Florian Knauß.“We have one of the most beautiful collections of antique vases and many outstanding examples of antique craftwork like the Girl of Beröa or the Loeb Poseidon.”James Loeb, a banker from New York with German-Jewish origins, had bestowed major parts of his vast collection of antiquities to the museum after his death.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN PHOTOS: STAATLICHE ANTIKENSAMMLUNGEN UND GLYPTOTHEK MUENCHEN; RENATE KUEHLUNG

The special exhibition, The Etruscans, From Villanova to Rome, allows visitors to discover a time and culture long gone by, even though the things they left behind can still be found in Tuscany today. Since the 18th century everyday items and outstanding examples of Etruscan art have been found in Etruscan graveyards. These objects tell a story of dynamic developments.“The gold fibula of an Etruscan woman from Vulci is a good example for the incredible changes that took place in Etruscan culture in only two or three generations,” says Dr Florian Knauß, director at the State Collections of Antiquities.“Under the influence of Greek and Phoenician culture the Etruscans turned from a rural peasant culture into Italy’s first advanced civilization, capable of technological and artistic excellence.”Their history is mysterious and still poses many questions: appearing suddenly in the 8th century BC

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their culture declined only a few centuries later, their territories were occupied by their greatest rival - the ancient Romans. “For nearly 200 years now, Munich has one of the most important collections of Etruscan antiquities,” says Knauß. Many objects now shown have not been exhibited since World War II, some are even being presented for the very first time.“We have singular Etruscan masterpieces on display – James Loeb’s tripods, bronze foils from a wagon found at San Mariano or Etruscan gold jewellery.”

Below from left: The Etruscans, From Villanova to Rome: James Loeb’s Tripod.

The Loeb Poseidon. The Girl of Beröa.

www.antike-am-koenigsplatz.mwn.de


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Culture Destination Germany

Ursula Blickle Foundation Aesthetic education through art The Ursula Blickle Foundation emphasises the cultural value of art, the aesthetic education of society, and the importance of supporting both individual artists and the creative discourse. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

The Ursula Blickle Foundation, established in 1991 and located in the beautiful Kraichgau region of Baden-Württemberg in Germany, promotes national and international contemporary art. Noteworthy curators as well as new discoveries are invited to present their works, realise exhibitions and projects. With the presentations and discussions that accompany the free exhibitions, the foundation acts as an intermediary between the art itself and an interested public. The private foundation seeks to preserve, collect, and make publicly accessible its collection of contemporary art as a means to strengthen and contribute to the greater artistic and intellectual discourse.The foundation’s aesthetic, intellectual and programmatic events showcase the work of

newcomer artists and curators. In fact, several well-known contemporary artists were supported by the Ursula Blickle Foundation at the beginning of their career. “Unlike museums and other institutions, I act as a private person – which has many advantages. I don't have to submit a balanced programme, I can give free rein to the curators I have chosen,”explains Ursula Blickle. “If people are really interested in an exhibition, they will not be put off by having to travel a greater distance to reach the venue. Contemporary art can't always be shown just in big cities.” Each year, the Ursula Blickle Foundation presents two to four thematic exhibitions with accompanying talks, catalogues and

Main image: Annja Krautgasser, Remake: Le Madison, 2008. © Annja Krautgasser Left: Ursula Blickle Foundation. Photo: Ulrich Hasenmajer Middle: Heidelbeeren und Preiselbeeren, 1983 by Renate Kowanz-Kocer. © Renate Kowanz-Kocer Right: Ella Raidel’s Family Affairs, 2010, videostill. © Ursula Blickle Videoarchiv, Vienna

publications. In 2016 – honouring the foundation’s 25th anniversary – a special exhibition, TANZ ES! (DANCE IT!), will run from 10 April through to 26 June 2016. DANCE IT! shows work by artists devoted to movement and bodies in motion.The exhibit’s reference frame is deliberately kept open: dance as a social phenomenon as well as a marker of virtuosity; dance as a disciplinary form as well as an opportunity for self-observation; and dance as a direct form of artistic expression. A vernissage with the artists, curators and guests will take place on the night of 9 April (7pm) at the foundation’s galleries. In addition to ongoing exhibitions, the digital Ursula Blickle Video Archive, operated in cooperation with the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Belvedere/21er Haus, features 2,800 videos by more than 600 national and international artists. www.ursulablicklevideoarchiv.com www.ursula-blickle-stiftung.de

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Special Theme

Best of NRW Left: Teutoburg Forest. © D. Ketz Tourismus NRW Top right: Perfect city breaks in NRW. © KoelnCongress

North Rhine-Westphalia:

An inviting destination for all generations In the heart of Europe with its outstanding transport network and infrastructure, North Rhine-Westphalia is not just popular for Germans – in fact, when it comes to visitors it is the second most popular state after Bavaria and ahead of BadenWürttemberg. TEXT: TOURISMUS NRW | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

It is a state where you are never far from a museum, as it happens to be Europe’s most culturally rich region with 900 museums welcoming 13 million visitors annually. Moreover, North Rhine-Westphalia boasts no fewer than five UNESCO-listed sites; each a tourist magnet in their own right including the Cathedral in Cologne. Aachen’s Cathedral is also listed and the two palaces in Brühl – Augustusburg and Falkenlust – were both added to the UNESCO List in 1984 alongside their gardens and parks for their value to the German rococo movement. Yet there is a wholly different and more industrial era reflected in the cultural landscape too, namely in the form of the Zeche Zollverein in Essen, once the world’s largest and most modern anthracite conveyor system, which joined the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2002 as a coal mine and coking plant duo. The newest addition

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to the World Heritage list is the Corvey Castle in Höxter, which marks the first UNESCO location in Westphalia. In terms of culture, North Rhine-Westphalia is not just home to 91 public theatres, 40 private stages, three casinos, a multitude of orchestras and the host of countless concerts, it also features a ‘musical mile’ from Cologne through Dusseldorf, Duisburg, and Essen right across to Bochum.You will also find nine recreational parks and ten zoos and animal parks. The Rhineland’s carnival is surely one of the state’s most popular events, although the numerous Christmas Markets and annual events such as the ‘Extraschicht – The Night of Industrial Culture’in the Ruhr region, as well as Dusseldorf’s ‘Rheinkirmes’, the largest funfair on the Rhine, should not be overlooked.

Right: Industrial heritage in Essen. © Tourismus NRW e.V. Ketz

Geographically, North Rhine-Westphalia features more than 60,000 hectares of water, including 1,500 kilometres of rivers, 360 kilometres of canals and more than 200 lakes.The well-known River Rhine weaves 226 kilometres through the state and given the presence of huge inland waters such as the Eifel Rur Dam, you could argue that North Rhine-Westphalia is the land of lakes, with no fewer than 78 dams. Aside from the 14 wildlife parks, which take up more than 25 per cent of the state’s surface area, there are many smaller areas of greenery to discover too. For unspoilt nature and wild animals, the Eifel is home to the state’s sole national park. For those looking to boost their health and wellbeing, there are over 30 therapeutic baths and spas offering diverse wellness and fitness programmes. Cyclists will be enamoured with around 14,000 kilometres of way-marked cycle routes across the state. Unsurprisingly, North Rhine-Westphalia’s cycling infrastructure is held up as an example within Germany. Similarly, hikers will be spoilt for choice as they encounter some of the country’s most significant hiking trails criss-crossing North RhineWestphalia, known as the Top Trails of Germany, including the Rothaarsteig, the Eifelsteig or the Hermannshöhen routes. www.nrw-tourism.com


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of NRW

Like velvet and silk The German town of Krefeld is still seen as the flourishing city of velvet and silk. Aside from an exciting history and wonderous architecture, Krefeld today offers a diverse range of attractions for guests from all over the world. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

Krefeld started playing a major part in the international silk trade in the 17th century. It brought fame and fortune to the formerly unknown town between Rhine and nature reserve Hülser Bruch. Today Krefeld still benefits from its romantic past as some remarkable buildings related to the era of silk manufacturing have survived the test of time and are open to visitors.

PR spokesperson Ulrich Cloos points out that there is much more to explore in Krefeld: “From mountain bike trails, bridle paths, historical parks, a wonderful zoo, to one of Germany’s oldest golf courses, Krefeld has a lot to offer.”Many lakes and wooded areas give Krefeld a diverse cityscape, where guests can enjoy the traditional, heartfelt coffeehouse and beer garden culture.

The two 1920s mansions, built for silk magnates Lange and Esters by avant-garde architect Mies van der Rohe, are certainly worth a visit together with the German Textile Museum and the Haus der Seidenkultur, which offers an insight into silk culture for all ages.

The flax market in spring is a very popular tourist attraction. Guests can book special offers such as the culinary or the night watch tour amongst many others. Krefeld’s historical steam train called Schluff invites visitors on a lovely trip from the small town St. Tönis to the scenic Hülser hill.

Main image: Castle Linn with flax market. © Arbeitsgemeinschaft Flachsmarkt Above right: Wood Art Gallery, Creation of a Wasp by Anat Ronen. © FreddArt Streetpainting

This summer the refurbished Kaiser Wilhelm Museum will open its doors again. Not only is it home to an astonishing collection, but also worth visiting for its architecture. Cloos also recommends visiting the Wood Art Gallery in the nature reserve Hülser Bruch: “As part of the project Krefeld’s Change of Perception, 20 street artists from nine countries created an art gallery in the forest.” In June more culture can be enjoyed during the big festival ‘Kultur findet Stadt(t)’ when Krefeld becomes a vibrant platform for poetry slams, art and literature markets, various performances and concerts by the Niederrheinischen Symphonics or the JazzSwing College band of the music school. With its historical background and its contemporary diversity, Krefeld is a wonderful destination to explore German culture and landscape. www.krefeld.de

Left: Symphony orchestra at the ‘Kultur findet Stadt(t)’ festival. © Stadtmarketing Krefeld Middle: City forest. © Stadtmarketing Krefeld Right: House Esters, Krefeld art museum, architecture by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. © Volker Döhne

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Centuries of culture, coal and a Cistercian monastery After its last remaining mine closed in 2012, the vibrant town of Kamp-Lintfort is now enjoying something of a renaissance. With its new identity as a university town, it still visibly thrives on its industrial heritage. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: KAMP-LINTFORT | BETTINA ENGEL-ALBUSTIN, FOTOAGENTUR-RUHR

Located in the Lower Rhineland, the town is perhaps best known as the home of Germany’s first Cistercian monastery, founded back in 1123. Today, visitors flock here for days out, picnics, open-air theatre and concerts, taking the time to stroll around Kamp Abbey and its exquisite gardens. But away from the manicured park, the rest of the landscape proudly bears the memories of Kamp-Lintfort’s productive past, and the network of hiking trails and cycling routes provide the perfect opportunity to explore. Its deeply rooted heritage is firmly celebrated at Lehrstollen, an exhibition where visitors delve into the former mine workers’training building and explore firsthand accounts of what life was like working in the mines. As the industry flourished, the town duly built orderly residential areas for the workers, of which some have been

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expertly restored to their original state.True to life, the Miner House museum depicts a genuine two-family home from the 1920s, in which day-to-day living is shown alongside the technologies with which they worked on a daily basis in the mines.

Main image: Germany’s first Cistercian monastery. Top right: Residential areas. Above right: Lehrstollen Bottom main: Panoramabad Pappelsee. © Bettina Engel-Albustin / fotoagentur-ruhr Bottom right: The Stephanswäldchen

No longer reliant on industry, Kamp-Lintfort is proving that history and progress can go hand in hand as it embraces innovation at the high-tech Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, transforming customs into culture and enticing visitors with centuries worth of culture. www.kamp-lintfort.de


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of NRW

In addition, the Roman museum presents an exhibition which leads visitors through the different chapters of Xanten’s almost 400-year-old Roman history.“The museum was built on the foundation walls of the Basilica Thermarum, which used to be the monumental entrance hall of Roman baths,”Van der List explains. The Roman Catholic St. Victor’s Cathedral, built in the 13th century, is another dominant landmark of Xanten. Here, visitors will encounter a unique collection of altars, sculptures and stained glass windows. Right next to it is the Chapter Museum, which houses treasures from the Cathedral as well as numerous internationally renowned artefacts.

Tracing the footsteps of the Romans

Tourists interested in myths and legends should not miss the Siegfried-Museum either. By exhibiting illustrated books, shiny armours and numerous other interesting exhibits, the museum shows how people tried to approach the Nibelungenlied, an epic poem about dragon slayer Siegfried, crown prince of Xanten.

In Xanten in North Rhine-Westphalia, tourists can explore historic treasures and go on a journey through time at one of the largest archaeological open air museums in the world, as well as a Roman Gothic Cathedral and a historic inner city.

Not only Xanten’s museums and historic places are worth a visit.Those seeking recreation can also go cycling and hiking or take a ride with a Segway.Taking a boat tour on the Rhine or a walk along Xanten’s southern and northern lakes are further activities to enjoy.

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

www.xanten.de

“Xanten looks back at a 2,000-year-old past,” says Sabine van der List, managing director of Tourist Information Xanten GmbH.“It is the only Roman colony (later fortress) north of the Alps that was not subsequently covered with a medieval town.” Thus, you still find many traces from the Roman Empire: significant reconstructions based on relicts can be seen in the LVRArchaeological Park on the site of the ancient Roman city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana, whereas original exhibits are shown in the corresponding Roman museum.

for example, with a total height of 27 metres, is visible even from a great distance. “The city walls, the Roman hostel, as well as the Amphitheatre and the homes made of loam, where craftsmen used to live, also give an impression of the city’s past,”Van der List says.

Main image: The Xanten Cathedral (back) and a former monastery (front). © Tourist Information Xanten GmbH Top middle: Statue of Saint Victor outside of Xanten Cathedral © Tourist Information Xanten GmbH Bottom left: The partially reconstructed harbour temple. © Archäologischer Park Xanten Bottom right: The exhibition room Liturgy is part of the Chapter Museum. © StiftsMuseum Xanten

Visitors will be taken on a trip back to ancient times as soon they enter the Archaeological Park. Designed after years of excavation and research, edifices were built true to scale at the original location. The harbour temple,

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Snowshoeing in Germany’s Bavarian Siberia Can’t ski, won’t ski? Snowshoeing: accessible, astonishingly high on adrenaline and able to offer a real taste of the wilderness. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE I PHOTOS: GAESTE-INFO BALDERSCHWANG

I regain my breath as the exertion of the climb eases. It feels like we have been going for hours, but my watch shows a touch over 20 minutes. Urging my heart rate to return to a more reassuring pace, it dawns on me just how underestimated snowshoeing is, being brusquely lumped alongside more leisurely activities such as knitting, book clubs and ice fishing. In anticipation of February’s world championships, taking place just down the road from our base in Northern Italy, we decided to acquaint ourselves with the sport of snowshoeing. And where could be better than Germany’s Bavarian Siberia? Re-

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markably easy to reach from Bregenz, we drive due east and cross the border from Austria into Germany, almost immediately reaching the picturesque village of Balderschwang. Flanked by substantial yet not intimidating mountains, the village with just 250 residents is clearly a hit for those looking to keep fit. Cross-country ski tracks linked with the Austrian town of Hittisau line the road, and the pavements are awash with kids heading out of the quaint town and towards the big, white snow-covered landscape. Gazing around me from the top of the ski slope that we have just ascended – largely

thanks to the poles that I clung on to – I am struck by the vastness of the landscape. We had set off from the somewhat shady village on the valley floor, crossing the flat plains of the cross-country ski tracks before a little wooden bridge over the now frozen stream took us to the bottom of the ski piste (a ski trail with compacted snow). As a non-skier, pistes have always terrified me, but as we criss-cross the gradient in the wake of our guide, the piste is surprisingly mellow. Unlike many locations across Europe, Balderschwang has little to worry about in terms of snowfall. Annually, the village receives the highest snowfall in all of Germany, earning it the loving nickname of Bavarian Siberia. At 1,000 metres, the resort is encircled by summits of around 1,600 to 1,800 metres, meaning it is more than fam-


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Discover Germany | Feature | The Bavarian Siberia

As we set off again, our guide explains that more and more ambitious snowboarders are using snowshoes as a means of accessing new routes and fresh powder. With this ringing in my ears, I take on the downhill route with a new vigour and discover that it is actually pretty fun to run with these lightweight, state-of-the-art snowshoes. The snow ahead of us is wholly untouched powder and there is real glee in our shouts as we power through it. We make it down to the village in just a fraction of the time it took us to get up there, and by the time we reconvene outside one of the many bars and cafés, I am visibly glowing. With more and more resorts offering specially made snowshoe routes, courses and guides, it is clear that this sport is here to stay – with very little sign of age or ability discrimination.

ily friendly – in fact, it is practically a masterclass in offering something for every generation, with guided snowshoe hikes for all abilities, as well as cross-country and Alpine skiing. As we strapped our feet into the snowshoes for the first time under the watchful eye of our guide, I had expected to trudge through snow as if on tennis rackets. But, as the guide comments, snowshoeing has come a long way since its conception and today’s high-tech devices allow you to walk with ease and confidence across even the deepest snow, opening up the joys of snowy backcountry to non-skiers. He points to a hut on the horizon, which we reach half an hour later, welcomed with strudel and hot chocolate. Smug in the knowledge of having avoiding the cable car queues, the cake tastes even better.

No longer as a non-skier are you limited in your wintertime activities, with snowshoeing being as physically demanding as cross-country skiing, as adrenaline filled as snowboarding and as rewarding with the panoramas as ski touring. It is a sport that surely has to be added to everyone’s winter holiday to-do list. And the perfect reward for such exertion in the fresh air has to take the form of a great German beer and a relax in the spa or in front of the cosy fire. Whatever you choose, there are plenty more adventures to be had the following day.

USEFUL INFO www.balderschwang.de has an extensive guide to snowshoeing on its website along with info on the guided tours and GPX files on potential routes. When to go: December to April Getting there: By car, train, bus or airplane (Munich, Stuttgart or Zurich). Staying there: There are a host of accommodation options for all budgets. Equipment: Wrap up but expect to get warm if you are going uphill. Local rental shops will offer great advice on weather, snow conditions and the perfect equipment.

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Special Theme

Top Coaches Switzerland

A rare interview with a kingmaker It is hard to find a publicity-shy coaching company, but we found one of the oldest established firms tucked away in the heart of Zurich’s charming Old Town. I.J. Martin & Co Ltd, Executive Coaches for Global Business Leaders, keeps a low profile, but its clients are some of the world’s best known and most successful business leaders. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: I.J. MARTIN & CO LTD

“Look at this!”said Iain Martin, with a big smile. “This is what really excites us!” He had just received news of a client’s big promotion as we started our interview. Scots-born Iain Martin is worldwide chairman of this high-end leadership coaching and mentoring firm. Marlene Uetz, an internationalised Swiss, is co-founder and MD of its Singapore-based sister company. Their close-knit team comprises 16 handpicked coaches, all former C-Suite executives, located in three continents. This is

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coaching for leaders, by leaders, as Iain Martin and Marlene Uetz explained in our interview. I was lucky to find you in Zurich. You seem to be travelling constantly between Europe, USA and Asia. MU: That’s because our clients are senior leaders in global corporations. We are always available to them, so we want to be in their time zones. We also need to be with our local teams, based in strategic locations around the world.

Is that what makes your coaching firm different? IM: It’s certainly an important aspect. Having founded our firm in 1998 means we can draw from a lot of real-life coaching experience. Furthermore, we are bottom-line focussed, with our own well-tried common sense techniques and a no-jargon policy. MU: Clients also like dealing with a trusted single source for their worldwide coaching needs.They benefit from our consistent approach and the combined wisdom of our team. What was the initial idea in founding I.J. Martin & Co Ltd? IM: After I had consulted a coach myself in 1985, my career took off in a big way. I soon moved up to global CFO and CEO roles in Europe and Asia and I still use what I


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Coaches Switzerland

learned every day. In the mid-1990s, I was CEO of a company in Dongguan China – just me and two thousand Chinese. The saying “it’s lonely at the top” was never more true. I knew that ‘experience-based’ coaching could benefit others like me. MU: When Iain sold the company in China and returned to Europe, we started to build our global coaching boutique. Our objective was to provide a new kind of practical coaching service – to help companies grow the bottom line through excellent leadership. What are the most important qualities that business leaders should possess? MU: A leader is someone that others want to follow. Looking at history, the best leaders shared three key qualities - a powerful vision, repeated articulation of that vision and the ability to influence events without direct authority. Think of Moses, Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr., as prime examples.

How can you help an executive become a good leader? IM: Leaders are made, not born. I really believe that! Our coaches help you maximise your career potential and learn real leadership qualities. We clarify complexity and offer you thinking space. An experienced, objective discussion partner gives you reassurance, helps you see reality through honest feedback and challenges your business assumptions. MU: We’ve been called ‘The CEO’s Secret Weapon’. Many of our clients test their early strategic thinking on us first, in the strict privacy of a coaching meeting. If it makes sense, you read it later in the Wall Street Journal and the FT, but you never see our name.

IM: Mostly, though, we are really proud of our clients’personal successes. One newlypromoted client told me: “This leadership stuff is great – I love it!”So did his company! Great leadership spreads throughout the organisation. We are proud of our role in making it happen. Any last advice for our readers? IM: If you want to be a great leader, remember history’s role models. They had never heard of spreadsheets, but they did share their dream repeatedly, until the people believed that they could achieve the impossible. Start your leadership like this, and only then can you achieve the unthinkable in your business. www.ijmartin.com

Which awards or projects are you particularly proud of? MU: Our coaching helped a US corporation to restructure around the world and it saved an ongoing $500 million on the bottom line. The ROI in this and all our mandates is huge.

Portrait: Iain Martin, Chairman. Below: Marlene Uetz, co-founder and MD Asia. Bottom: Coaching discussion on a business challenge. (left) Iain Martin explains the value of Visionary Leadership. (right)

IM: Global business is complex. ‘Command and control’ no longer works. A two-dimensional matrix is inadequate to describe today’s international organisation. Modern businesses are threedimensional‘hollow cubes’, with relationships between all points therein. Giving out orders does not work. Sharing an exciting vision motivates people, influences events and moves the corporation in the right direction. In my leadership writings, I show how ‘influencing inside the cube’ leads to business success. How has the role of leader changed since you founded your firm in 1998? IM: Good leadership is timeless and its attributes have never changed, but the global business environment has. The world has experienced at least two major business disruptions in the last two decades, and it still suffers from the events of 2008. Demands for greater transparency, better governance, short-termism by activists, economic and political complexity and cyber-security issues have all combined to make leadership life more challenging.The value of an experienced discussion partner/coach has never been greater.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Coaches Switzerland

Portrait: Iain J. Martin, author and executive coach Above: MacMentor - the author's alter ego (left) Finalist in a major business book competition (right)

nervous that that he messed up his arguments and we signed the deal that day. Is there a role for humour in business? I recently wrote an article called laughing out loud for leadership. Well-timed humour humanises the boss and defuses tensions. Stressed people think of problems. Relaxed employees have great ideas. In your opinion, what are the key qualities of a leader?

Learning by laughing In his book Looking Down on Leaders - a bird’s eye view of business and bosses, Scots-born Executive Coach Iain Martin takes a humorous approach to how successful leaders are made. Here, he explains why this works.

Looking at history’s best leaders, three things stand out. An energising vision, communicating it repeatedly and influencing events where they had no direct authority. A leader without a vision is just a manager. I call those Excel Leaders. What do readers like about your book?

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: I.J. MARTIN & CO LTD

What was the idea behind your book? I wanted to write the most entertaining book ever to be chargeable to business expenses. ‘Learning the light-hearted way’ for busy businesspeople was my objective. I also wanted to introduce novel organisational concepts like ‘Influencing Inside the Cube’ and‘The Morale Curve’.These serious counterpoints are often summarised in the book by my ‘alter ego’ MacMentor. Besides, I’ve been nagged for years by clients and colleagues to write a book about my experiences in the global business jungle.This is the result!

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When looking back at your own experience as a business executive, which were the funniest situations you found yourself in? In China, my local colleague called me one Tuesday to say:“I need to cancel our Thursday meeting. I forgot that I’m getting married”. Another story concerned my CEO days in Germany. In the midst of tense negotiations, the police came to arrest the trade union rep for non-payment of alimony. I bailed him out on condition that he became more cooperative. He didn’t, but he was so

The funny stories, which everyone can relate to. The self-contained chapters that let you open it anywhere when you have a few minutes. People take it on vacation, because it’s‘learning by laughing’. What would you like your readers to take with them? Twenty copies of my book for their colleagues. Seriously though, my key takeaways are the power of visionary leadership and understanding that we share more across cultures than we think. www.ijmartin.com


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Special Theme | Top Coaches Switzerland

Portrait: Ilona Geiger

“I would hate to stand still,” she stresses. “That’s why I am continuously enhancing my expertise.”Her former corporate career, which spanned many business models, working situations and communication hierarchies, has given Geiger a significant advantage over her competitors; her diverse practical knowledge and her wide-ranging coaching and training skills are a perfect match for her clients’individual needs. While Ilona Geiger is an expert in many aspects of human interaction, one of the main topics she addresses in her many seminars and workshops is the role of change management and its communication. Her training approaches range from experimental learning to outdoor teambuilding experiences and enhance the process of finding new ways of communication – a process that never fails to amaze Geiger.“I have a great passion for working with humans,” she points out, “and the process of working with clients is a journey of finding new ways of interacting with others that is simply fascinating to watch it unfold.”

Ilona Geiger Business coach and trainer In an ideal world, your company is running smoothly. The figures exceed your expectations; customers are content and love your product. Most importantly, your staff enjoys an inspiring working atmosphere. Yet, reality can be different. Although your company is operating successfully, staff seem to be discontent and communication is often miscommunication. Thanks to Ilona Geiger, these situations can be improved and prevented. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: ILONA GEIGER

Ilona Geiger has had roles in management with companies from the Near East, Europe, and Africa before she finally decided to follow her passion to work with individuals. In 2009, she started her own business as a coach and trainer. Today, Geiger offers a variety of seminars and workshops to im-

prove workplace communications. “Every customer is unique and has her or his own story to tell,”she points out. Following this credo, seminars are tailored to the customers’ individual needs and are as unconventional and as successful as Geiger herself.

Client recommendations consist of several Fortune 500 companies who have given enthusiastic support and recommendations based on one notion: Geiger’s approach is successful. Geiger is an energetic coach who takes a fresh and unconventional look at you and your team. Someone who directly addresses the issues she identifies and whose actions are guided by cutting-edge expertise as well as common sense. So if you want someone who may seem unconventional but is results-oriented, Ilona Geiger is your answer! Expect the unexpected – in the most positive way. www.ilonageiger.com

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Main image: Ernst Blissenbach (left) and Ranga Yogeshwar (right). © KD Busch/compamedia GmbH Below: Production hall. © Ernst Blissenbach GmbH Far below: The next generation of eb cutting rings. © Ernst Blissenbach GmbH

Top Innovative Company Germany

Tube scarfing systems ahead of the times As a global market leader for inside tube scarfing systems, Ernst Blissenbach GmbH is setting standards worldwide. The company’s BLISSart® tools for demanding manufacturing applications guarantee stability, longevity and functionality. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS, CONSULTING: NIEDIECK ADVERTISING GMBH

Quality stands out. By developing innovative systems that enable pipes to be produced in superior quality, the company based in Remscheid in North RhineWestphalia secures maximum reliability for demanding pipe production processes. BLISSart® tools ensure that tool-related machine downtimes are reduced and that spiraling costs can be avoided. They also significantly improve the quality of inside tube scarfing constantly. Among the pipe producing industry, Ernst Blissenbach GmbH counts as a global trendsetter when it comes to optimising tube production standards. When developing new tools, managing director Ernst Blissenbach and his 15 employees always orientate themselves on customer needs. Since all the company’s business processes are aligned with that approach, pipe production processes become predictable and calculable, whereas procedures accelerate

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and sources of errors can be reduced. For instance, BLISSart® seam monitoring (for tubes > 90-milimetre tube inside diametre) provides a reliable scarfing control. As a result, scrap rates are slashed. Combining technical innovation with intensive tool and process research is the secret of the company’s success. The dynamic tool specialists gain inspiration not only by working closely with their customers to develop tangible solutions. Many ideas for new productions also come from the employees, since Blissenbach always tries to encourage them to think outside the box. “Generating good ideas and implementing them quickly is an important competitive factor for us,” says Blissenbach.“This is why we invest a lot of time and money into managing innovation. In doing so, we are relying on the creativity and inventiveness of all of our employees.”

This strategy pays off. In June 2015, Ernst Blissenbach GmbH received the TOP 100 award at the German Summit in Essen, in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research. Mentored by famous science journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar, the competition determines Germany’s most innovative enterprises. As it turned out, Ernst Blissenbach GmbH was even 15 years ahead of both national and international competitors. In order to continuously enhance inside tube scarfing systems, Ernst Blissenbach GmbH has already developed the next generation of cutting rings. Featuring a brilliant design in a special carbide metal quality and a new coating in cooperation with a worldwide well-known carbide manufacturer, the new tools offer an improved heat resistance and promise to avoid even micro-fissures. Visit the Ernst Blissenbach GmbH at the TUBE 2016, Düsseldorf, in Hall 6 Booth G 01. www.blissenbach.de


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Business Leader Austria

comrecon brand navigation A revolution in market research Did you ever wonder why some brands remain successful on the market while other brands seem to vanish right away? If you asked Charlotte Hager, founder of comrecon, she would be able to tell you why, and how to creatively formulate and employ the right strategies to make and keep a product attractive for its targeted audience. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: COMRECON

Hager founded the institute for market research comrecon (a name composed of the terms communicate, rethink and construct) in 2008 and, initially, exclusively focussed on traditional market and brand research. Realising that a traditional approach did not suffice her claim to comprehensive brand consulting, Hager saw the need to enhance her services.“If you solely rely on the results of classical market research you will not be able to sufficiently communicate the brand’s message to the selected target audience,” she stresses.

Hager and her team undertook the company’s relaunch in 2015. With a fresh focus on brand navigation, comrecon is more than a traditional market research institute, offering a whole new range of additional services.“We want to take brands and their market position to new levels,”emphasises Hager.

attitudes or objectively analyse the subconscious conception of a campaign are just two examples from a wide array of methods employed by Hager and her team. The process itself primarily aims at a change of perspectives and paradigms that Hager and her team help their clients to initiate.“Very often it is only a small change that has a big effect,”resumes Hager. If you want to re-establish your product on the market, or if you want to target a new audience, Charlotte Hager and her team at comrecon will provide you with the creative strategies to accomplish that. www.comrecon.com

The creative method of brand navigation is a circular process of observation, adjustment, and fine tuning. Techniques like LEGO® Serious Play® or semiotic research, creative methods to visualise subconscious

Portrait: The comrecom team: founder Charlotte Hager, Tina Koisser, Fabian Wingert and Ariana Mohar (clockwise from front right). Main image: Brand reinforcement.

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Assistance systems in manufacturing environments – a guidepost for industry 4.0 In order to avoid defects during an increasing number of variants in manual production processes and to secure globally consistent quality, electronic assistance systems are increasingly required for production today. The Bremen-based company Armbruster Engineering offers an industry 4.0 solution that is well-reputed on the market: its ELAM-platform. TEXT: ARMBRUSTER ENGINEERING | TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ARMBRUSTER ENGINEERING

The ultimate goal of each manufacturing company is to constantly produce quality products – even under difficult circumstances. For this reason, more and more interactive, electronic assistance systems with corresponding assistive devices, such as a scanner or a pick to light display, are deployed at workplaces. Through this, pro-

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duction processes become notably more reliable and efficient and the obligation to provide information about product results can be guaranteed. The interactive assistance system from Armbruster Engineering with its range of functions, as well as its tailor-made operat-

ing instructions, complies with the most difficult but, at the same time, the most important part of a secured process execution – the gradually monitored assembly. Employees are directed through various visualisations with text, pictures and drawings on their screens and in their languages. The ELAM-system is suitable for all industrial manufactories in which employees manually assemble components into products. It is especially profitable when fluctuant quantities and several versions get manufactured.“The ELAM-platform works everywhere where processes can’t at all or can only partly be automated,” explains


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Discover Germany | Business | Armbruster Engineering

innovations,”stresses Norbert Armbruster, founder of Armbruster Engineering. When the development of ELAM began, linking tools, process documentation and traceability were focussed.Today, comprehensive assistance functions and document presentations for paperless production are available in the ELAM-platform. In order to further design and shape the ELAM-system in the future, Armbruster Engineering constantly works on innovating all components to always be one step ahead of the market. For this, Armbruster Engineering falls back on its long-term experience which it gained through many nationally and internationally successful projects throughout different sectors.

HenningVogler, the technical manager.The ELAM-system gives employees the right information in the right place and at the right time – throughout the factory and at all required locations. Thereby, the ELAMsystem is easily adjusted to a client’s needs.

The ELAM-system is able to control a company’s entire production process from order picking in the warehouse, over to the assembly at the workplace, to quality control and complete traceability through the saved production data. This helps employees to also orientate themselves during difficult processes and creates an ideal production environment for accurate and error-free operations. The system can be used in companies of every size as it is very adaptable. Airbus, Daimler, Voith and Volkswagen rank among Armbruster Engineering’s clients, but also much smaller businesses chose Armbruster Engineering’s IT systems.“A total changeover to a digitalised and paperfree assembly department is a huge investment for many companies. That’s why we often start off with pilot projects and begin with individual work steps,” says Henning Vogler. Thereby, ELAM can be set up at different levels - from compact assembly solutions with simple assistance systems up to

industrial manufacturing systems for the factory-wide equipment of workstations. Armbruster Engineering acts as general contractor during these projects. From Bremen the company provides its own software and hardware from selected manufacturers, adjusts this with the processes on-site and integrates it into existing IT infrastructures if wished. Additional workshops and training courses help employees to deal with the software and prepares them for independent adaptions after the system is put into operation. “Today, more and more manufacturers demand the entire documentation of the production process from their suppliers,” tells Vogler.“At the same time, error rates and the need for training efforts decrease with the ELAM-system and efficiency increases. We have already been on the market with ELAM for 15 years and have established ourselves in everyday production processes.”One of the biggest challenges for every producing company in digitalisation, according to Vogler, is the handling of a rapidly growing data volume. However, due to its connectivity to production planning systems and to software, such as SAP, the ELAM-system is optimally prepared for the challenges of industry 4.0. www.armbruster.de Main image: Typical workstation for manual assembly from Armbruster Engineering. Left, from top: The headquarters of Armbruster Engineering in Bremen. Pick to light displays help the worker with order picking and assembling. Armbruster Engineering’s management: Mr. Vogler (left) and Mr. Armbruster (right). Worker guidance with the ELAM-system and tightening tool connection. Below: Industrial manufacturing system from goods receipt up to shipping.

The company foundation and the ELAMsystem (Executive Level for Assembly Manufacturing processes) resulted from the need of many clients to control manual assembling processes.“A crucial success factor for us was and still is the strong focus on

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Special Theme

CeBIT 2016

CeBIT 2016 puts the spotlight on digitalisation With every passing year, business and society are being more and more profoundly impacted by digitalisation. This sweeping wave is giving rise to a steady stream of innovations powered primarily by digitalisation. Thanks to its sharp and determined focus on digital business, CeBIT today ranks as the world’s foremost event for the digital transformation. TEXT: HARTWIG VON SASS, DEUTSCHE MESSE AG | PHOTOS: DEUTSCHE MESSE, RAINER JENSEN

Hannover, Germany. From 14 to 18 March, the world’s leading corporations, SMEs and startups will flock to Hannover to showcase the current state of the art in key areas of the digital economy, including big data and analytics, cloud, mobile, and social business applications, IT security, and the Internet of Things. The featured Partner Country at CeBIT 2016 is Switzerland – a nation famed for its tremendous commitment to the development and deployment of digital technologies. Every year, the CeBIT Global Conferences is the centerpiece of the CeBIT conference programme. In the course of four days, around 200 international speakers from business and politics will discuss the latest trends shaping the digital world. The fifth and final day of the CeBIT Global Confer-

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ences is given over to the ‘Rock the Blog’ networking event for bloggers and marketing and PR specialists. With its lead theme of ‘d!conomy: join – create – succeed’, CeBIT 2016 once again puts the focus squarely on people and their role as deciders and creative designers, positioning them right at the centre of the processes that are driving the digital transformation. This year will also see the return of SCALE11 following its successful premiere in 2015. SCALE11 is a unique showcase that brings together entrepreneurs and innovative digital startups with established companies and investors. This year’s exhibitor lineup includes 250 international startups, who will present the latest digital and disruptive business models in a highly creative and inspiring setting.

A diverse range of additional events will be staged in collaboration with the Salesforce World Tour, the official partner of CeBIT 2016. For further information on CeBIT 2016, please visit the following website. www.cebit.de

Get free professional visitor CeBIT tickets that are valid for all five CeBIT days.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

IT Security Musketeer style: One for all and all for one When it comes to IT Security, tradition is good and necessary. Without previous experiences, our infrastructures would not be as protected as they are today. Trusting in tradition alone, however, will lead to a dead end. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: SOPHOS GMBH

New methods have to be developed in order to scotch modern hacker attacks and tackle the challenges that come with the increasing peripheries of both the business and private computer environments. Traditional IT Security Systems lack collective intelligence The concept of IT Security is at a crossroads right now: whether it is Sony or the German Parliament – even systems that are supposedly equipped with state-of-theart solutions allow for security gaps to happen. Their identification rate is top notch, they feature a perfectly installed Firewall and technologies like Advanced Threat Protection. So why is it still possible to break into the system via an online channel? The answer is pretty straightforward. Up until now, the traditional security approaches were sufficient enough to ward off hackers.

In the meantime, however, so-called cyber crime has become a great deal more advanced and versatile. It is this flexibility that poses a problem to the traditional security systems because they lack any kind of collective intelligence. The only way to close security gaps and ward off all those ever more cleverly devised attacks is to connect all of these systems in an intelligent way so they can communicate with each other. After all, what is the use if an antivirus system offers the best identification rate, but the bug can still find its way into the system via other gaps and therefore finish off its damaging work incognito?

change of important details thanks to the innovative connection between Endpoints and Firewall. With ‘Synchronised Security’, Sophos is implementing a brand new concept, which unites various endpoint and network security solutions in one system, automatises them and lets them work together. For organisations, this approach not only ensures higher security, but also more economic benefits. www.sophos.de/heartbeat

Main image: Heartbeat Diagram – Next Generation Threat Detection. Bottom: SG-Appliances with Flexi.

For increased security, communication is the key Sometimes, small changes can lead to big achievements. An example is Sophos Security Heartbeat, which enables the ex-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

Working for their customers’success Behind each technical development stands people – this is especially true at technosert electronic GmbH. Based in Wartberg/Aist in Austria, the company is a full electronics service provider which solely works on behalf of their clients’ success with high-quality technology and holistic expertise. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: TECHNOSERT

Apart from putting special emphasis on customer proximity and long-term partnerships, developing the most modern technologies of the highest quality alongside their clients is the core aim of technosert electronic. As the company does not sell its own products, it is fully dedicated to work on their clients’orders and with a high degree of openness, commitment and passion, the employees of the electronics company flexibly implement precise high technology. The fundamental idea behind technosert electronic is to offer embedded electronics engineering services. When a client contacts technosert electronic with a product idea, the company is sure to work closely alongside them to implement it while transparently integrating itself into their clients’ organisational structures. While technosert develops, designs, produces, tests and as-

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sembles electronic devices, the company also looks after clients’ products over their entire lifecycle. “We support our partners on their road to success – this is our ultimate goal,”notes Johannes Gschwandtner, technosert electronic’s CEO. technosert electronic has expertise in various fields and thus offers a wide range of services from conceptualisation and development of electronic devices to development of test strategies and test systems, prototype service, production and assembling of electronic devices, as well as modification and repair works service. From March 2016, technosert electronic will also offer a special x-ray analysis. With this, electronics can look deep into the components just like doctors can into the human body. Thus, a nondestructive examination of soldering joints hidden from view, as well as a fundamental

analysis of components and circuit boards is possible, malfunctions can be recognised at an early stage and faulty parts do not end up in electronic devices in the first place.This indepth analysis has not been possible before with conventional methods. But not only the developed technology gets continuously improved. As the success and happiness of people stand at the core of the company for Gschwandtner, technosert electronic has already won the special jury award within the scope of the Austrian national quality award twice. With their special business approach, technosert electronic has managed to successfully assert itself on the market for around 30 years and, despite the stagnating economic development, technosert electronic managed to grow – 50 new employees joined the company in the past two years. www.technosert.com

Portrait: CEO Johannes Gschwandtner and CEO Hermann Schübl


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

Above: Microflex Advance Table Array Below: Microflex Advance Ceiling Array

Redefining quality sound in the workplace with Microflex Advance A new audio solution by Shure, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of microphones and audio electronics, enables the highest level of intelligibility for AV conferencing. The Microflex Advance is an innovative networkable conferencing audio solution and is designed to dramatically improve the audio quality for modern conferencing applications where pristine speech intelligibility is of the utmost importance. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTO: SHURE INC.

”The perfect conferencing solution is a balance,” says Peter James, managing director at Shure Distribution UK. ”It has to produce high-quality sound, irrespective of how the presenters are using it or the bad room acoustics, in addition to being user friendly and integrating perfectly with architectural aesthetics and your network infrastructure. Microflex Advance successfully achieves all of these things.” Comprising high-quality networked ceiling and table array microphones, audio interfaces, intelligent mixing DSP and intuitive, browser-based control software, Microflex Advance draws on Shure’s extensive experience in microphone, audio networking and automatic mixing technology, and packages it in a discreet, architecturally unobtrusive design. Microflex Advance significantly improves the sound quality experienced by employees in the workplace, making offices and businesses better places to work.

It is widely accepted now that noisy workplaces are detrimental to conversation and concentration. When communication is taking place via microphones and loudspeakers, the words spoken are much more susceptible to misunderstanding if the environment at either end is noisy. As refined as modern microphone technology has become, it is essentially passive and cannot distinguish between wanted audio (a person speaking) and unwanted noise (fans, air conditioning, printers etc.) and will reproduce everything indiscriminately, to the detriment of intelligibility.

pended to avoid fans for example.The table array microphone captures up to four channels of audio from around a desk or conference table and offers an innovative, wholly new ‘toroid’ (ring-shaped) pickup pattern to reject unwanted sound from overhead. Signals from the array microphones are auto-mixed by the built-in Shure proprietary IntelliMix DSP providing seamless activation of the best microphone while attenuating microphones that are not being addressed. Furthermore, the audio signals can be interfaced with a Dante audio network via an Ethernet cable connection. Simple-to-use, browser-based software controls connectivity and monitoring. Pre-set configurations are included for typical operations, and the system is designed to integrate with third-party audio control systems. mxa.shure.eu

Microflex Advance tackles these issues with innovative new technology, including software control of the array microphones’ pickup patterns to optimise audio capture from speakers and presenters — Shure’s proprietary Steerable Coverage technology. The Microflex Advance ceiling array offers an adjustable pickup pattern that can be defined in three dimensions, and can be flush-mounted with ceiling tiles or sus-

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Biometrics for the world – balancing security and convenience For more than two decades, DERMALOG has been an international forerunner in manufacturing automated fingerprint identification systems and other biometric identification systems. Today, around 140 government agencies in 75 countries use DERMALOG’s innovative solutions, but, despite this extensive success, DERMALOG is still an owner-managed company which has managed to retain the special character of a medium-sized business. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF, JON AUGESTAD I PHOTOS: DERMALOG IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS GMBH

Around 60 years ago, the idea of identifying people by their fingerprints had sounded like a visionary idea inspired by a sciencefiction movie. Today, however, thanks to companies like DERMALOG Identification Systems, biometric fingerprints are used worldwide to issue highly secure official documents, in banking or to combat crime. At DERMALOG’s headquarters in Hamburg, a growing team comprising of about 130 researchers, engineers and scientists conducts extensive research on human biology and morphology to develop a vast array of biometric solutions. To give but one

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example, the DERMALOG‘Next Generation AFIS’has the capacity to compare 129 million fingerprints in a second without loss of accuracy - a world record. DERMALOG provides governments, administrations, banks, businesses, law enforcement, health and security agencies, as well as large organisations with innovative biometric solutions. These include Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), Automated Biometric Identification Systems (ABIS), live fingerprint scanners, ‘FingerLogin’, ‘FingerPayment’ or ‘Finger-

Banking’ solutions, as well as biometric face and iris recognition. Apart from Germany and Europe, the biometrics innovation leader's main markets are in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. While some employees work at DERMALOG locations in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Phnom Penh, the remaining 130 employees work at their Hamburg headquarters. Thus, decision-making channels are short and fast.

Portrait: CEO Günther Mull


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

Undivided focus on customer needs Winning more than 23 international awards and tests, such as the ‘Germany – Land of Ideas‘ contest in 2007 and 2010 or the IT Innovation Award for ePayment and FingerBanking at CeBIT 2014, it seems no wonder that DERMALOG is one of the forerunners in developing biometric innovations. Furthermore, DERMALOG owns a large number of registered patents in the biometric field. Major countries are benefitting from these innovations, e.g. Brazil where a large high-speed and criminal AFIS has been installed as an eGovernment solution, successfully preventing identity fraud. Fostering strong relationships with its customers gives DERMALOG a healthy lead over its competitors. This approach has proved particularly successful in Nigeria, where DERMALOG has modernised the country’s financial system by implementing a nationwide system to identify all bank customers by fingerprint. ”Fraud was one of the biggest challenges in the Nigerian banking sector,” says Günther Mull, CEO of DERMALOG. ”Thanks to secure and convenient fingerprint identification, it is no longer possible to fake and misuse identities.” Furthermore, DERMALOG has supplied new, secure biometric passports together

with a bespoke IT solution for the registration and personalisation of electronic passports to the Republic of Maldives. Additionally, DERMALOG has delivered a new border control system, including automatic gates and a high-speed AFIS to the Maldives immigration authority. The country is now the first in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to introduce such a sophisticated biometric passport and border control system. Award-winning products DERMALOG’s newest products include the VF1 – the world’s first combined scanner which scans both passports and fingerprints on the same surface. Until now, two different scanners were required, so this innovation represents an ideal solution for electronic gates, kiosks, border control or national registration. Günther Mull explains: “The VF1’s capability to capture signatures, barcodes and flight tickets, as well as arrival and departure documents makes the VF1 very versatile.” As mobility is becoming an increasingly important part of the biometrics landscape, mobile biometrics is an important part of DERMALOG’s portfolio, as well. A perfect example is the LF1, the world’s smallest optical fingerprint scanner: its pioneering space-

saving dimensions of 29.4 millimetre x 43.4 millimetre x 13.7 millimetre and light weight of only 16 grammes make it ideally suited for a wide range of applications. Integrated in customer’s own products the LF1 is the ideal solution for physical and logical access, time and attendance checks, POS terminals, vending machines as well as printers, mobile devices, and even safes. Using software also developed by DERMALOG, the fingerprint scans captured by the LF1 can easily be transferred to and used on a smartphone or tablet and can then be compared to a database of stored identity characteristics. DERMALOG’s LF1 represents a milestone on the path to replacing passwords and PINs that can easily be forgotten or stolen - while biometric data is unique. All in all, the device is fast, accurate and reliable – just like DERMALOG. www.dermalog.com

Main image: The LF10 Fingerprint Scanner Top: The LF1 Scanner (left) DERMALOG’s awards (middle) 140 large scale installations in 75 countries (right) Below: Biometric Gate

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KUMAVISION Business Cloud ERP and CRM software from the cloud KUMAVISION has specialised in offering business software to the mid-sized sector. The ERP and CRM solutions, which are based on Microsoft Dynamics (Navision) for the industry, trade, service and healthcare sectors, are now additionally available as cloud solutions.

tuations in demand,”explains Markus Birk, who is a member of KUMAVISION’s executive board and responsible for the department of cloud services at the company.

TEXT: KUMAVISION AG | TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: KUMAVISION I RAWPIXEL.COM

Flexibility as a competitive factor

Whether enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) or office and business intelligence (BI) – the KUMAVISION Business Cloud enables companies to obtain these pivotal business applications directly from the cloud. The deployed cloud platform Microsoft Azure allows for a smooth integration of further Microsoft solutions. Because infrastructure and operations are entirely managed by the provider, the use of company software on the user side becomes significantly simplified. ”The new offer allows mid-sized companies to react

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quicker and more flexibly to changes in the market, new regulatory demands and fluc-

But what exactly are the advantages of solutions like the KUMAVISION Business Cloud compared to local installations? When companies receive their ERP and CRM software from the cloud, they remain more flexible in many ways. The adjustable solutions are easily scalable: changing user numbers, as well as amended requirements due to new business models, can be intercepted. Because, if needed, additional capacities can simply be added or cancelled. Furthermore, cloud offerings foster liquidity: when ERP software is implemented, a company does not need to invest in new software and costly


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

hardware at the same time. Last but not least, the increasing, internationally coined orientation of the German mid-sized sector forms an important argument for the cloud: it is easier and quicker to interlink subsidiaries, service locations or distribution partners without the on-site need for own server IT. An additional advantage is that companies work with the latest versions of their software at all times and get constant access to the most modern technology. In the background, the cloud service provider assumes the entire maintenance work and brings in updates.

setting up own systems in a time-consuming way, the cloud solutions are available very quickly. Here, hardware and software only needs to be rented out. IT ressources, such as computing power, main memory or storage are retrieved according to demand and are billed based on usage, which opens up substantial saving potentials.

the cloud does not lead to a dead end. ”At the core of our doings stands the added value which cloud solutions bring about in practice. KUMAVISION, as a certified Microsoft partner, offers qualified consultation which is based on many successfully implemented projects in a variety of industry sectors,”explains Markus Birk.

Maximum security

About KUMAVISION

Companies are often concerned about entrusting their data and processes to international service providers. The legal situation appears too uncertain, the fear of data loss and espionage seems too big. Providers like KUMAVISION take these concerns seriously and consequently bet on German data processing centres.The data exchange between a business and its locations, on the one hand, and the cloud on the other takes place through encrypted connections. The data processing centres‘ certification, according to ISO 27001, promises the highest data protection and data security – thus not only to prevent unauthorised access, but also loss of data through technical defects, a fire or theft. Through this, the data in the cloud is significantly better protected than on-site in most companies. But stability is also an advantage of the cloud: KUMAVISION and its data centre partner Pironet NDH guarantee an availability of 99.5 per cent – a figure that is not achieved from most local installations.

The KUMAVISION AG is a specialist for ERP and CRM software on the basis of Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics CRM for companies from the industry, trade and service sectors.The company, which is based in Markdorf at Lake Constance, counts towards the leading German Microsoft partners in this field and is the only software provider that is represented in the top 50 innovation ranking of the trade magazine WirtschaftsWoche. For around 20 years, the company has realised and implemented industry-specific software solutions for mid-sized businesses, as well as for international groups. Today, the KUMAVISION AG employs over 350 employees at 14 locations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the company‘s turnover accounted for 39.2 million euros in 2014.

Strategy decides The cloud opens up valuable opportunities to mid-sized companies for improving their competitiveness. However, a well-planned strategy is needed so that the journey into

www.kumavision.com Main image: ERP software as a flexible cloud solution. © Rawpixel.com Opposite bottom: KUMAVISION’s ERP solutions for industry, trade, service and healthcare can be used cross-platform across all mobile devices. (Windows, Apple, Android). Left from top: Maximum data security, maximum data protection. The KUMAVISION Business Cloud is run in German data centres of the partner PIRONET NDH. Below: The control centre in the data centre is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Multifaceted fields of application Cloud solutions are not only suitable for the daily use in a company, but are also great for IT systems that are only needed for a limited period. Typical scenarios for this are test, training or development systems. Instead of

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What is the future of data centres? Most likely using Linux and open source software In modern business a company’s data centre has become its heart and core. With enhancing technology and flexible markets, it is quite important that data centres are flexible, easy to manage and secure. Consultancies like ATIX AG, The Linux & Open Source Company, can help to find the right solutions with Linux-based data centres, using the potentials only open source software has to offer. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: ATIX AG

Open source plays an increasingly important role in IT and will be the future of data centres and their management – that is the belief of Jan R. Bergrath, a board member who is responsible for marketing and distribution at ATIX AG. ATIX, based in Munich, is a specialist for Linux applications and open source software use in complex data centres.Today 75 per cent of data centres are already based on Linux, not only because of Linux’s functionality, security and stability but also because it works well

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with cloud-based applications and is free to use. It is easy to understand why software developers like using open source: they can rely on what others have already developed, make their own adjustments, add new features and improve existing software instead of having to start from scratch. In addition, co-operations between developers are far easier when everyone has access to the same open source software. But why


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does this also work for data centres? What is the advantage? The same as with every other application. Just imagine operating a data centre and what this includes: applications for customer use have to be managed; employees are using the same servers and systems to, for example, coordinate the various steps in a supply chain. The more data there is, the bigger the data centre – so in the end it can consist of a couple of hundred servers connected to each other. When there is a security risk or a data breach or a bug infiltrating the software, this has to be combated. If this has to be done by hand, the IT department will need at least a week to address the issue.This is why companies frequently rely more and more on automated solutions – and should rely on that. The right tool can manage, monitor and update a system and therefore save time and money. Because systems have become so complex, most developers cannot achieve solutions on their own while keeping costs and time in mind. So the overall trend is towards collaborative development. This is why open source solutions in data centres are the least expensive and most flexible basis for developing or adjusting the needed monitoring and managing tools. This is

where ATIX comes into play. As a consultancy specialised in developing individual data centre solutions, ATIX will either design new data centres according to clients’ needs or optimise existing data centres using open source programmes.“Open source is not only a practical solution but also a philosophy, we believe in open standards in computing – something that currently is becoming mainstream,” says ATIX board member Bergrath. The origins of ATIX are slightly reminiscent of Apple’s beginnings in a garage. In 1995 the later ATIX founders established their first small-scale business in one of their parents’cellars to finance their studies. While developing and implementing complex computer networks for medium-sized businesses, they were already focusing on what ATIX does now: using Linux and open source software for data centres. What started as a side project soon turned into a serious business. Since 2005 the founders have been working under the name ATIX, but only in 2007 registered as an AG, a stock corporation. Since then the company has constantly grown, today employing 40 people.“We have been well-known in the German speaking DACH region for quite a while, but only in the last two years ex-

panded internationally to the UK and US markets,” says Bergrath. ATIX is a hidden champion and only one of three companies in the European market working in the field of open source-based data centres. ATIX is currently recruiting.“We are looking for people who think differently,” board member Bergrath explains.Therefore, ATIX does not look for a certain group of professionals, but for those with an affinity to open source software and Linux-based data centres. “Many of us really ‘live’ the open source idea,” Jan Bergrath says. “I think about 90 per cent of my colleagues work on open source projects during their spare time – because they love it.”And that is the kind of people ATIX is currently looking for to expand its business. The Linux and open source specialists ATIX will be at the CeBIT in Hannover 14-18 March; hall 3, stand E29. www.atix.de

Portrait: Jan R. Bergrath Below: Consulting, engineering, support.

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Be safe – the intelligent way

Above: Kaspersky antivirus lab.

Cyber attacks are becoming more complex every day. At the same time, our world is becoming increasingly digitalised. In order to be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow, internet users and organisations must look for new solutions and services today. Kaspersky Lab may have something in store.

Kaspersky Lab to present yet another ground-breaking new product.“With this solution, organisations will be protected against advanced and persistent cyber threats,”says Suhl.“This is a milestone that Kaspersky Lab has thoroughly researched and continuously developed for many years.”

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: KASPERSKY LAB

“The threats to the cyber world are changing fast,”says Holger Suhl, General Manager for the DACH region at Kaspersky Lab. “Highly professional cyber groups now attack organisations in a very targeted way. The process of discovering attacks like these can be extremely difficult.” Furthermore, the experts at Kaspersky Lab are pretty sure that attacks targeted at critical infrastructures will become more frequent in the future. That is because almost all companies and organisations store valuable data on servers and in data processing centres.“Digital systems are everywhere in our lives now,”Suhl continues.“From collecting huge amounts of data to large-scale controlling of industrial plants. Without sufficient cyber protection, the internet and the Industry 4.0 will be doomed to fail.” The solution? Intelligence.“Within the industry, we are particularly known for our well-developed cyber security intelligence,”

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explains Kaspersky’s DACH manager. “Thanks to this intelligence, we were able to uncover some of the most sophisticated cyber weapons and espionage attacks.” The Kaspersky Security Intelligence Services meets recent security demands by combining the company’s comprehensive cyber security expertise with services such as staff training, penetration tests, intelligence reports and data feeds. For extra protection, Kaspersky Lab also offers dedicated security modules to data processing centres, critical infrastructures and the finance industry. Kaspersky’s success speaks for itself. In testing scenarios held by independent organisations, the popular provider of IT security software is regularly achieving top marks. Most recently, its flagship product, Kaspersky Internet Security, was elected‘Product of the Year’by the prestigious and independent test lab AV-Comparatives. Furthermore, CeBIT 2016 will be a welcomed opportunity for

Portrait: Holger Suhl, General Manager for the DACH region at Kaspersky Lab. Bottom: Kaspersky headquarters.

www.kaspersky.com www.kaspersky.com/enterprise-security/intelligence-services


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Setting new standards for communication Much has been written about changes in the workplace brought on by the digital age, with efficiency, productivity and flexibility all increasing as a result. But, as our workplaces become more fragmented, many fail to address the complex task of finding the right technological solution for unified communication. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE I PHOTOS: PASCOM

These days, ‘your call cannot be taken’ just will not cut it with clients, so the need for an easy-to-access communication platform is certainly there – and it just so happens to be Germany-based pascom’s speciality. Up and running across Europe with a recent expansion into the UAE, mobydick is their advanced software-based phone system that essentially supplies and unites telephone lines running through the internet to one centralised communication platform while supplying each user with a concise overview of current goings-on. pascom, Discover Germany learns, is living proof of this efficiency

as we are seamlessly (and unsuspectingly) put through from Peru to Germany after calling the London office. An idea not just understandable for those in the boardroom, pascom’s James Barton explains from his home office exactly how mobydick is setting new standards for communication across all sectors, and for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) in particular. As ISDN networks continue to lose their dominance, pascom fill a glaring gap in the market with mobydick, which first came into the real world in 2006 after the company was initially launched in 1997. Able to be installed virtually or by national representatives (pascom are active in 12 countries), Barton explains how mobydick can be managed with the minimum of difficulty due to a specially designed admin interface. Imagine if a valued member of staff plans to relocate, continues Barton, why bemoan their loss when mobydick can simplify the situation

by linking teams virtually. Should one team be unavailable or flooded with incoming calls, Barton reveals how another employee could take a virtual step into their team with the click of a button to provide backup. Always looking to innovate communication, pascom’s latest technological development is the mobydick cloud solution, which launches at CeBIT 2016. The cloud solution essentially eliminates the need for centralised software as well as eradicating the drawbacks commonly associated with cloud solutions. Usability, scalability and flexibility are just some of the many qualities that pascom and mobydick deliver and, as a growing company active in multiple countries, pascom are testament to the benefits of a system that allows you to open your business to new possibilities and productivity. www.pascom.net

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Quicker, better, digital Knowledge is power – in our digital age, this is more relevant than ever. Yet in a great deal of companies it is still difficult to find, access and share important data. ECM Software by OPTIMAL SYSTEMS helps organisations use information deposited in dusty storage systems in a way that is more efficient, more profitable and increasingly fit for the future. TEXT: SONJA IRANI I PHOTOS: OPTIMAL SYSTEMS

With the digital revolution transforming our lives at the speed of light, the software developer’s 25th anniversary could not be more spot-on. Founded in 1991 in Berlin, OPTIMAL SYSTEMS GmbH was one of the first to realise the potential of a completely digital work environment. Thus, the corporation with subsidiaries all across the DACH region specialised in the development of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) – a clever software concept that increases the transparency, quality and security of a company’s information flows all at the same time.

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Optimal digital thinking thanks to enaio® For the purpose of designing business processes more efficiently, providing company knowledge in an ingenious, logical way, and facilitating smooth collaboration between employees and departments across different locations, OPTIMAL SYSTEMS developed and launched its very own ECM software called enaio®. Now used by around 250,000 people worldwide every single day, enaio® ensures that the daily flood of data and information in a company is organised via a uniform digital plat-

form. This is not just a question of capturing information in a straightforward way, archiving it securely, finding it more rapidly and managing it more transparently. enaio® also ensures that the information is kept up to date and is provided to the right employees at the right time. Examples of where enaio® can significantly improve the workflow of a company including features such as automatically saving e-mails in an archive, managing contracts electronically, replacing paper invoices with digital signatures or coordinating approval processes digitally. All of these features are mobile responsive, which means that employees can access important documents from wherever and whenever they need to. This, in turn, greatly improves the collaboration between employees and departments, no matter


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what their location or the time of day. It also means that knowledge, one of the future’s most important natural resources, is securely shared and preserved. Sounds a bit too technical? Not to worry. enaio® can be painlessly integrated into any company’s existing IT landscape. Moreover, OPTIMAL SYSTEMS is there to help. Aside from software development, the company also offers services such as product management, consulting, support, and training for customers and partners in the company’s own training centre. Case Study: Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft One of the numerous happy clients that use OPTIMAL SYSTEMS’s ECM software on a daily basis is Goldhofer AG – a renowned vehicle manufacturer and global expert for combined transports between road, rail, sea and air. Before the Goldhoferspecific ECM system was developed and implemented by OPTIMAL SYSTEMS GmbH Munich, the Memmingen-based supplier of aircraft tractors had been on the lookout for an IT solution that would improve and accelerate the transfer of data across the corporation. At the same time, it was required to facilitate and enhance the transparency of business processes, improve quality management and ensure long-term preservation of corporate knowledge. Today, Goldhofer benefits from a company-wide enterprise content management system that is used in various departments.

member of staff in a paper-based form, can now be accessed and edited on any workstation.

Get advice from the digitalisation expert and receive free access to CeBIT 2016.

Meet the team at CeBIT 2016 If all this has increased your appetite for digitalisation, celebrate 25 years of digital thinking with OPTIMAL SYSTEMS at this year’s CeBIT in Hannover. According to their motto “full of digitalisation”, the experts at OPTIMAL SYSTEMS will showcase the richness of their top ingredient for any company’s digital transformation: their very own ECM brand enaio®. In addition, daily highlights in the CeBIT‘restaurant’will allow visitors to discover both the savoury and sweet side of OPTIMAL SYSTEMS and ‘success recipes’will be tailored to the individual needs of each visiting company. The end result? Full digitalisation – in every area of the business!

Your guide for the successful digitalisation of your business.

Stay digitally informed with OPTIMAL SYSTEMS’s true ECM.

www.optimal-systems.de/en/cebit www.optimal-systems.de/en/topic/digitalization

“The solution by OPTIMAL SYSTEMS is characterised by its flexibility, which allows us to meet all requirements and needs of the different users,”says Michael Feneberg, application developer and project manager at Goldhofer AG, about the company’s extensive enaio® use.“Additionally, the system provides an integrated development environment for scripts,”he explains.“Thanks to this, numerous digital workflows, for example, for plant inventory, changes related to workstation groups or approval of material, further accelerate the work processes at Goldhofer.” The availability of corporate knowledge has also improved greatly: information previously maintained by a

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Portrait: CEO Suresh Shamanna

Experts for inventive software solutions Thinking ahead with innovation at its core and introducing the newest technologies to their clients has been the approach of Hexad GmbH since 2010. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: HEXAD GMBH

By offering cutting edge solutions for corporate portals, mobile applications, Business Intelligence (BI) analytics and big data solutions, as well as agile project management and testing software, Hexad defines itself as innovative and future-oriented, says Suresh Shamanna.“Many companies do not know a lot about digital transformation, but sense that this aspect will be important to make sure that they remain successful and sustainable on the market.” According to Shamanna, big enterprises particularly tend to have difficulties with adapting modern technology and making them work. Hexad employees therefore professionally assist with developing demanding customtailored applications as well as mobile applications. Hexad’s customers hence gain a crucial competitive advantage at a competitive pricing model.“Kicking off these commercially off the shelf products or solutions

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that enrich the value of our customers every day and every moment has been our motive since the first day we started.” It goes without saying that Hexad will also be present at this year’s CeBIT in Hannover from 14 to 18 March.“There, we would for example like to show a mobile platform to which enterprise systems can be connected. You then get access to important data stored on these systems via mobile devices like your smartphone or your tablet,” Shamanna explains. As he says, there are only two more companies in Europe that offer this tool. This so-called mobile platform as a service can, for example, be useful for car salesmen who want to get access to certain data via their tablet while talking to their customers. Based in Wolfsburg in Lower Saxony, the technology company today has branch offices in Spain, USA, India, and in Frankfurt

on the Main.“We are planning to establish an additional office in Berlin soon with about 50 employees for an elite project that focusses on digital transformation,” Shamanna adds. Since Hexad is growing so rapidly in the field of Cloud, BI and mobile platforms, the managing director says that Hexad is constantly looking for additional employees such as big data experts, data analysts and software engineers. Those interested in learning more about Hexad can take a look at the company’s website. www.hexad.de Main image: The mobile platform to which enterprise systems can be connected. Below: GW scout.


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Portrait: Prof. Dr. Michael Durst, the founder of ITONICS.

The future is happening today Today’s pace of life can be a real challenge. Disruptive changes happen often and in quick succession with a complexity that is almost impossible to comprehend or foresee. Identifying where a particular market is heading and how client demands are developing can be a daring endeavour. ITONICS offers a solution. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: ITONICS GMBH

Intrigued by the increasing volatility of modern markets and technologies, Prof. Dr. Michael Durst, the founder of ITONICS, had a vision of a software that enabled people to base their decisions on a wellgrounded analysis of the current and potential future state of a market. “We provide our clients with the unique opportunity to make better decisions for tomorrow,”offers Durst. ITONICS, founded in 2009, is a vibrant and fast-growing company. Its strategic and integrated approach towards innovation and technology management is globally unique and realises Durst’s initial vision of future-oriented decision making.

The keystone of ITONICS is the development of IT solutions that reliably identifies trends, technologies and developments in any market. Among these is ‘Innovation Insights’, a unique software solution that scans the internet and proprietary document stores for patents, scientific publications and websites, etc. about business relevant technologies or developments. It collects, aggregates, interprets and intelligently links this data and generates a reliable base for strategic up-to-date and cutting-edge management decisions that enable the client to adapt business decisions even more effectively to the expected, and unexpected, developments of the market.

Above: Innovation Suite. (left) Innovation War Room. (right)

“If a client wants to remain successful we need to proactively search for opportunities that enable management to react early to even the most subtle market changes,”stresses Thomas Beauvais, CTO at ITONICS. For opportunities as finely tuned as these, the team at ITONICS with its profound and widely spread expertise is an ideal and reliable partner for a wide and diverse customer base. Several DAX companies as well as many successful international clients from Central Europe, the United States and South Africa are already profiting from ITONICS’ services and are a proof for the success of ITONICS’ integrated approach. “An organisation which has no precise idea of the future does not have a future at all!” urges Durst. Give your company the future it deserves! www.itonics.de

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Information Technology made in Switzerland Information Technology (IT) can be a real challenge as the life cycles of electronic equipment become shorter and shorter and software more complex. In a world where we need to remain flexible and knowledgeable in all sorts of fields, support is valuable indeed – support that will save you and your company precious time and resources. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: NETKOM

The success story of Swiss-based Netkom IT Services GmbH began in the year 2001 when founder André Matter started the company as a one-man IT consulting service for major enterprises. Wide-ranging services and the strive for excellence Today, Netkom employs a team of highly qualified and motivated professionals for

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whom their clients’needs and requirements are of the utmost importance. Netkom’s client base is varied and comprises international as well as national companies, small businesses and major enterprises. Projects such as the migration of 3,500 computers onto a new operational system have been monitored and executed with equal diligence and professionalism as the consolidation of IT infrastructures of an en-

terprise that employs a workforce of 50,000 employees. It is not only through projects like these that Netkom has itself firmly established in the highly competitive market for IT services. Long-lasting experience and excellence, constant growth as well as permanent enhancement of its services has made Netkom one of the few Swiss companies who are able to offer classic IT services (server/client installations networks and systems, computer support and the sale of hardware and software), consulting services as well as the planning, supervision and execution of large-scale projects. The development of modern virtual solutions like cloud applications is an add-on that


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makes Netkom even more attractive to its client base. n’cloud – the virtual office “IT today shows an ever stronger growing tendency towards the outsourcing of hardware and software, as well as data, such as the use of cloud-based services,” stresses André Matter, CEO at Netkom. The Wi-Fi accessible, private n’cloud was created to meet this growing demand and is subject to security standards, which are equally strict as the Swiss banking security standards. All of n’cloud’s servers without exception are located and maintained in Switzerland, which prides itself with the world’s most rigid data privacy act. A Swissbased data storage system, amongst other advantages, prevents data access or data scan by unauthorised third parties. Moreover, data backups are made in regular intervals thus guaranteeing the safety and availability of a company’s data. In addition to these security measures, data stored in the n’cloud succumbs to supplementary security checks: access to data is managed by a supervisor who defines the access rights of each user. Whenever a user accesses data from the n’cloud, he or she will have to identify themselves separately with a login.

showcases such as a mobile workplace (n’cloud office), virtual document management system (n’cloud DMS), automatic IT surveillance (n’cloud System Monitoring), as well as IT solutions that run simultaneously on different appliances such as notebooks, tablets, smartphones, or PCs (n’cloud Mobility).

safety of data is of Netkom’s utmost concern. “In us,” stresses André Matter, “you will find a trustworthy and competent partner.” All of Netkom’s services, local installations or data outsourcing projects like the n’cloud alike, are one-stop services. This will warrant solutions and guidance that will help the client make seminal and wellgrounded decisions.

Another one of Netkom’s highlights, to be introduced at this March’s CeBIT, is the introduction of the n’cloud virtual office solution to resellers – a step that will make the application available to an even wider clientele and also open the market for potential resellers, distributors, or agents.

Pay Netkom a visit at the CeBit in Hannover (14to 18 March 2016) in hall 5, stand G47. André Matter and his team are looking forward to meeting you there and to introduce you to the latest developments on the IT market.

A guiding hand

www.netkom.ch

Next to the client’s satisfaction, the customer’s trust in the company as well as the

The n’cloud is at the user’s disposal whenever or wherever data is needed. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time of day or night and with any webenabled device – a flexibility that makes the n’cloud an ideal and easy-to-use solution as a platform for virtual office applications. A turning point This year’s participation at the CeBIT in Hannover is going to be a turning point in Netkom’s successful company history. It does not only signify Netkom’s entry into the international market, but also the launch of Netkom’s cooperation with another successful company, namely with Samsung Electronics Switzerland. Samsung is going to supply the appliances for the introduction of varied and n’cloud focussed

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Voice over IP The future of business telephony with phones engineered in Germany The term Voice over IP is something many have heard of without taking a closer look at its advantages. Especially in international business, VoIP telephony is cheaper, increases productivity and can be used nearly everywhere as long as an internet connection exists. The Berlin-based company Snom Technology AG designs and develops professional VoIP telephones to the highest security and audio quality standards. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: SNOM

Founded in 1996, Snom is a pioneer in the field of business IP telephony and a constant developer of new and advanced technology as VoIP is the future of business communication. While in recent years costs for national calls have dropped rapidly, phone charges for international calls are still a mas-

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sive cost factor in business.Therefore, above anything else, using VoIP telephony saves costs. “Instead of being processed across conventional commercial telecommunications line configurations, voice traffic travels as data packets carried over the internet,” says Snom’s CEO Nadahl Shocair.

Another important benefit is the increased productivity:“VoIP makes interactive media possible. People can check out their colleagues’ presence before calling, they can send instant messages, choose between


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voice or video calls, transfer images, share documents and screens or collaborate on virtual whiteboards.”VoIP can be used at the office, but also during your travels or at home. “Many businesspeople today carry their IP phone connection on a smart phone application when travelling and use the same office numbers wherever they are.” Of course, like with any mobile application or use of computer-based technology, security is a key aspect. “Snom telephones are ethically guaranteed to be free of any Spyware and in addition adhere to the rather strict German data privacy laws,”explains Nadahl Shocair. Even though no IT network is 100 per cent impenetrable, Snom suggests only working with trusted consultants and providers when building an IT network – especially when VoIP becomes part of its structure. Firewalls and monitoring software for example should never be neglected. Snom Technology, says CEO Nadahl Shocair, aims and promises to engineer the “best business telephones in the world”, a brand promise that stands on four pillars. The first pillar is the audio quality: carrying and delivering voices over the internet is not an easy task, especially when it comes to sound quality, emphasises Shocair:“We

utilise some of the worlds most advanced voice quality engineering tools.”The second pillar is – how he describes it – the sophisticated software. For more than 15 years now Snom has developed and improved its VoIP software. Speaking in technical terms: each telephone operates on about 700,000 lines of computer code, making it not only secure but easy to adapt with over 900 individual features consumers can choose from according to individual needs. The third pillar of Snom’s brand promise is its design. German industrial designers work with attention to detail according to Snom’s German engineering heritage, says CEO Nadahl Shocair:“Special attention is given to the look and feel of the keys, the laser cut and lighted alert keys, the weight and balance of the handsets, the precise fit of all parts, the significant thickness of the plastics, the quality of the cords, the nonslip rubber feet, the high-resolution displays, the audio chambers, the 360-degree alert light, the navigation rocker switch and even the sound of the handset hanging up.” To put it short: everything was designed “on purpose”.

sellers across Europe and the world, but we also provide technical support 24/7 through our European multi-lingual help desk,”says Shocair. Snom has worked for respectable clients like the University of Würzburg, the Birmingham Women’s Hospital or Orange Dominican Republic. With a project starting in 2005, the University of Würzburg for example replaced its old ISDN system with IP telephony. The main challenges were that every staff member needed their own individual phone number, while at the same time separate phone numbers for organisational units were necessary as well. Phones at public areas like corridors, the lobby, in elevators or seminar rooms had to be considered. Students needed their own numbers and the limits for future growth had to be as few as possible. While the University’s IT department laid the technological basis, Snom secured a contract to install its‘Snom 370’phone, which was so well received after a testing period that the number of phones used was increased to 4,500 only shortly after its introduction. www.snom.com

The last, but maybe the most important, pillar is the German-based support centre. “Our complex VoIP equipment is not only installed by thousands of trained re-

Main image: Snom’s D375 model. Below: Snom’s Ci1000 model. Portrait: CEO Nadahl Shocair.

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Providing high-speed Internet for any connection Over half the German population uses it, be it at home or in the office, and chances are quite high you are using a FRITZ!Box for Internet access. At CeBIT in Hannover, AVM GmbH will be presenting its latest FRITZ! products. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: AVM GMBH

With its FRITZ! product line, AVM GmbH is a leading manufacturer of broadband devices for DSL, cable, LTE and fibre optics in Germany and Europe. The brand’s devices offer high-edge hardware as well as matching intelligent software. Due to ultra-fast speeds and large range, you can enjoy a powerful home network. “Whether you want to stream films or TV shows, play online games, or make Voice over IP calls, the FRITZ!Box manages to perform all these tasks with its high-speed broadband connectivity,” says Joachim Töpel, product line manager at AVM GmbH. FRITZ!Box models serve as DSL, cable, fibre optics and LTE hubs, and provide Internet, powerful home networking, as well as telephony all in one device.The companys’ latest models will be presented at CeBIT, the world’s largest computer expo in Hannover from 14 to 18 March 2016. For example, visitors have a

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chance to experience two innovative FRITZ!Box models, which offer significantly higher VDSL speeds. They also feature more speed for cable connections, as well as WAN (Wide Area Network) connections. In the second quarter of 2016, AVM GmbH is also introducing a high-end VDSL router, which provides fast, intelligent wireless LAN for mobile devices within the home network. Rolling out the FRITZ!OS operating system for further FRITZ!Box models is scheduled for the upcoming CeBIT as well.“We call it the spirit of our FRITZ! product line,”says Töpel. The latest version offers extra functions, such as an overview of all wireless devices within the home network.This way, you can update all FRITZ! products centrally. Plus, FRITZ!OS helps you to set up a wireless hotspot for your guests in no time.

Main image: New FRITZ!Box model (CeBIT). Top: FRITZ!Box for each broadband connection. Above: FRITZ!OS - the spirit of FRITZ!Box. Below: Fast internet and strong Wi-Fi connections with FRITZ!Box.

FRITZ!Apps for iOS and Android are another useful tool, since they provide users with remote access to their FRITZ!Box from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet. “With the MyFRITZ!App, you are able to check missed calls on your landline from wherever you are. You can also listen to messages on your answering machine or even adjust the temperature of your living room with it,” Töpel explains. Last, but not least, all apps and updates are free of charge. www.avm.de


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

TOPdesk – Shared-service management simplified Happy customers are the goal of every supporting department. That is why TOPdesk has created a simple and intuitive software solution that helps companies improve customer communication, manage workflows and keep track of assets. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE I PHOTOS: TOPDESK

The global service management firm was founded in Delft, in the Netherlands, over 20 years ago by two recent graduates, Wolter Smit and Frank Droogsma. Their goal was to help service providers – first IT departments and later facility suppliers or human resources management – to improve their customer service with simple, intuitive, adaptable and easy-to-use software. Their goal was to transform complex and chaotic service processes into organised, coordinated and flexible actions. Since the two founders first got started, their company has grown rapidly: from two employees to 500, and from a single small office to 11 branches and 4,000 customers worldwide. All of the TOPdesk’s departments – from development to sales, con-

sulting, support and marketing – are all located under one roof. The German TOPdesk headquarter is located in Kaiserslautern and a team of 80 employees offers support and direct contact for clients in German-speaking countries. In addition to offering an effective Helpdesktool, the company also provides clients with streamlined, shared service management processes. In fact, at this year’s CeBIT in March 2016, TOPdesk is releasing a new product targeted at those clients who are in the business of customer and employee service management. The highlight will be a new Self Service Portal, a convenient, simple and integrated tool that lets clients complete their services even more efficiently and effortlessly.

Top: Global representation of TOPdesk. Portrait: Frank Droogsma (right) and Wolter Smit (left), founders of TOPdesk.

www.topdesk.de www.topdesk.co.uk

TOPdesk Software Entdecken Sie die benutzerfreundlichste )$!*&+$F2(20$F$(/@)8,/:2!$ ,W! >?A C2+&3&/D 7(< XY Wir stellen aus:

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R.I.P.

â&#x20AC;&#x17E;Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a Â&#x2022;Â&#x2019;Ä´Â&#x2022;Â&#x17D; Â?Â&#x17D;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x203A;Â&#x160;Â&#x203A;¢ Â&#x160;Â?Â&#x17D;Â?¢ǰ Â?Â&#x17D;Â&#x153;Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A;Â&#x;Â&#x17D; Â&#x2014;Â&#x17D;Â&#x2019;Â?Â&#x2018;Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A; Â&#x2019;Â&#x2039;Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A;Â?¢ Â&#x2014;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x203A; Â&#x160;Â?Â&#x17D;Â?¢ǯČ&#x192; ČŹ Â&#x17D;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201C;Â&#x160;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2019;Â&#x2014; Â&#x203A;Â&#x160;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2022;Â&#x2019;Â&#x2014;

Celebrate the comeback of Privacy & Freedom with Qabel. Visit https://qabel.de or come to our Product Presentation & Press Conference, CeBIT Global Conferences, March 16, Hall 8, 12:45-1:30 pm, Open Stage.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

From freedom to quality to total surveillance ”We do it for your security,” say the states and secret services. Reassuring works to justify the rather homoeopathic results of mass surveillance measures. If they really prevented terrorism and crime, then the PR departments for the respective agencies would surely know to start with that and would surely make high-profile use of the good news.

After the secret service scandal, a brief murmur went round the world - but nothing more. Still today, the average person has no easy option for encrypting their communication and their data, much less for keeping their metadata under control. The question arises: why aren't there any usable tools yet?

TEXT: QABEL

In 2012, a study by the New America Foundation found that the mass surveillance, collection and evaluation of metadata from telephone conversations has played a demonstrable role in the fight against terrorism in a maximum of 1.8 per cent of cases since 9/11. According to a study by the Federal Criminal Police Office, the controversial issue of data retention has improved the clearance rate for terrorist offences, currently at 55 per cent in Germany, by an unbelievable 0.006 per cent – in statistical terms. In another sector, the implications of non-selective mass surveillance have had a significant effect. Socially, in particular, they have been a disaster. According to the CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey, 61 per cent of internet users are worried that the police or other government institutions in their own country are monitoring their online activities. 28 per cent are already censoring what they say online themselves. As a consequence, we deny ourselves the fundamental principles of democracy such as the right to freely form and express opinions. Little by little we thus give up our freedom. The post-Snowden era Benjamin Franklin said, in 1775: ‘Anyone who gives up liberty for safety will lose both.’ Nevertheless, and despite the NSA scandal, more surveillance and, at the same time, a prohibition on the countermeasure, encryption, is called for in almost all Western countries. As a result, cryptography is the only effective tool with which you can protect yourself against surveillance and data theft.

Reclaim your privacy now! Easy to use end-to-end encryption and metadata ,#20 1&,+ 4&1% ") Ҏ 1%" ‫ޖ‬/01 ))Ҍ&+Ҍ,+" 0,)21&,+ for encryption is coming to the CeBIT. • easy to use • end-to-end encryption • metadata obfuscation • across application • platform as open ecosystem PRODUCT PRESENTATION & PRESS CONFERENCE CeBIT Global Conferences, March 16 Hall 8, 12:45-1:30 pm, Open Stage

https://qabel.de Issue 36 | March 2016 | 79


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Portrait: Dr. Robert Reinermann

responding to this security risk in the SME sector. Behind the industry-neutral guidelines are underlying measures specifically tailored to SMEs, by which the information security status of a company can be audited and certified. The minimum requirements for information security are designed so that SMEs are not organisationally or financially overwhelmed. With about 20 per cent of the outlay compared to ISO 27001, SMEs can divert to the upward compatible VdS guidelines, measures and processes, as they ensure the required level of protection in the IT sector. In addition, a certification in accordance with VdS 3473 can also at all times be the entry into the ISO 27000 series certification, to whichVdS also offers certifications.

Cyber security Fire protection of the 21st century The use of modern IT systems to manage all business processes is now essential in order to be competitive. However, digitalisation provides cybercriminals with a wide area of attack to tap the data and know-how of companies and disrupt sensitive operational procedures. Unfortunately, cybercrime and attacks on IT systems have become commonplace for most companies. TEXT: DR. ROBERT REINERMANN, CEO VDS GMBH I PHOTO: FOTO SEXAUER

”Especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are often in the sights of cyber criminals because they are the most highly innovative but, at the same time, have insufficient protection in the field of IT security,” saysVdS CEO, Dr. Robert Reinermann. A major reason are the conventional security standards, which often overwhelm SMEs. This has the consequence of mainly

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large companies addressing the cyber security issue and getting themselves certified, whereby there continues to be significant security risks to SMEs.

VdS-certified Cyber Security generates a high level of trust with customers and suppliers and leads to competitive advantages for certified companies. To pave the way for certification toVdS 3473,VdS offers two practical tools: the VdS Quick Check - a free web tool that is available on the internet which enables companies to gain a first impression of the status of their cyber security. The results can subsequently be verified on site by VdS in a so-called QuickAudit and the client is provided with measures that, if required, need to be taken. In addition, VdS has within the training courses ‘Information Security Officer’ and ‘VdS 3473 - Guidelines for information security’ supporting educational opportunities in the programme. The guidelines VdS 3473 and further information on Cyber Security can be found for free to download online.The guidelines forVdS 3473, as well as VdS Quick-Check, will also soon be available in English. VdS is one of the world's most renowned and prestigious institutions for corporate security and safety. More information aboutVdS Cyber Security can be found on the following websites.

New guidelines tailored to SMEs With the publication of the guidelines‘VdS certified cyber security’(VdS 3473) and the corresponding range of new services,VdS is

www.vds.de/en www.vds-quick-check.de www.vds.de/cyber


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | CeBIT 2016

Live life in the fast lane In this fast-paced world, where technology and speed are everything, Swiss consulting firm aragost Trifork helps businesses keep up. They offer essential skills to remain successful in the ever-changing global market TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: ARAGOST TRIFORK

Zurich-based company aragost Trifork specialises in organisational development and helps clients to improve their ability to react quickly and efficiently. Founder and senior Agile coach Klaus Bucka-Lassen says: ”Today it is more important than ever to respond quickly to change. The biggest 'hotel' in the world, AirBnB, has only existed since 2008; the biggest cab company in the world, Uber, is even younger. New companies such as Skype, Facebook, Google and Netflix are turning established markets upside down, and often catch even ‘settled’and hitherto dominant companies off guard.” Managing director Jonas Andersen explains that the world is becoming more en-

tangled and hence more complex: ”Despite having more information available than ever and computing power growing exponentially, it is paradoxically getting harder to predict the future.” What matters is the ability to act fast, regardless of a company’s size and previous success. Bucka-Lassen and his team are experts in the field of agility, Scrum and Bimodal IT. They travel widely in Europe and North America to talk about these topics with customers and present them at conferences. They offer lectures, workshops, seminars, coaching and complete organisational transformations. Their services are particularly attractive for decision makers such as entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, executives or anybody who sees the need to be able to react more quickly in the future. Their clients' ecstatic feedback speaks volumes; so act fast and book yourself in with aragost Trifork. www.aragost.com

Want Sales? Our sales superstars are trained up and waiting in the wings to step up to your business challenge! We have 20 years of experience in the distance selling industry and we provide B2B sales and customer service in the following languages: – Swedish – Danish – Norwegian – Finnish – German – Dutch We supply combined outsourcing services in customer service and telemarketing which have been developed from a unique combination of service and sales rhetoric and technology.

Contact us today! 3C ONLINE LTD 147 Snowsfields, London SE1 3TF Email: mikael.svensson@onlinesverige.se Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 www.3c-online.co.uk


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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

Power to the geeks TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

Data protection used to be as geeky as the clunky Information Technology to which it related; but just as Apple has made computing cool, so data protection and privacy law has become all the rage these days, and rightfully so. Data hacks such as the recent TalkTalk disaster will still be fresh in many users' minds. As our lives happen more and more online and become ever more interconnected, the law must keep up to protect the basic rights and freedoms which define liberal constitutional democracies. The law seems at long last to move into the right direction, albeit slowly.

light of the declaration of invalidity of Safe Harbour, the ICO will continue to consider complaints under its regulatory policy, but is clearly not rushing off its feet to expedite complaints about Safe Harbour while the process to finalise its replacement remains ongoing and businesses await the outcome. Contrast this with the CNIL, the French data protection authority, which seems rather more pro-active and issued a formal notice against Facebook earlier this week, including on the basis that it was still transferring data to the US under the now invalid Safe Harbour regime.

In fact, there is so much happening in data protection and privacy at the moment, not a day appears to pass without some new development hitting the headlines. Here is a snapshot of just the last few weeks: first, there was the call by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) (that is, basically, the best privacy guardian angel we have got for the time being in the UK) for tougher sentencing for people convicted of stealing personal data, including custodial sentences.

Also this week, a number of bodies went public with their reports on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill published on 4 November of last year. The consensus is that there are concerns. Rather fundamentally, the Bill does not cover all the agencies' intrusive capabilities. This failure means that their various powers and authorisations remain scattered throughout different pieces of legislation; and that, as a result, the draft Bill is limited from the outset in the extent to which it can provide a clear and comprehensive legal framework to govern the use and oversight of investigatory powers. Furthermore, the provisions in relation to three of the key agency capabilities: equipment interference, bulk personal data-sets and communications data, are too broad and lack sufficient clarity. There is a need to ensure that the proposed new system of judicial oversight delivers the increased independence and oversight that have been promised; and vital protections for communications of lawyers and journalists must be safeguarded. But in reality the Bill

Next, as for the bigger picture, we had the announcement on the EU-US Privacy Shield for data transfers which was politically agreed last week. It is too early to say whether the new Privacy Shield now provides adequate protection for personal data passed from the EU to the US. However, one effect which the European Court of Justice's ruling on Safe Harbour has certainly had is that companies' privacy policies are under scrutiny more than ever before. As regards to enforcement action in

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should go further in strengthening privacy protections and provide universal privacy protections, not just those that apply to sensitive professions. The UK (and Europe) can and must do better by their citizens.

Gregor Kleinknecht LLM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Central London. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Inn, London WC2A 3QN E-mail: gjk@hunters-solicitors.co.uk www.hunters-solicitors.co.uk


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Special Theme

Top Architects Austria

Zechner & Zechner Architects Integrated urban design and development Zechner & Zechner is a creative, well-established architecture firm in Vienna that completes projects in architecture, urban design and urban development. The interdisciplinary and international firm is dedicated to designing, planning and realising complex buildings and sustainable spaces across Austria and Europe. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

Urban development should be guided by a sustainable planning and management vision that promotes interconnectivity, a holistic infrastructure and transportation system, multifunctional living and corporate working spaces. This vision informs the work of Zechner & Zechner Architects.

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Building on the philosophy that architectural forms and matter of things aim to give meaning to what surrounds us, Zechner & Zechner Architects incorporate the conscious design of buildings and spaces with sustainable resources and their creative concepts.

Their team covers the whole spectrum of architectonic design. As architects as well as project managers, the office has implemented several projects of different scales and functions ranging from single family homes to high-rise office buildings, hotels,


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Austria

airports, and train stations. In all of their projects, however, the firm applies the same level of creativity, efficiency and quality. From the first idea, to the realisation of highly complex, large public or private developments, the firm focuses on guaranteeing both sustainability and style in everything they build. Integrative design concept and philosophy “The spirit of Zechner & Zechner is not the form and shape of buildings alone but our integrative concept,” explains partner Martin Zechner. The firm develops its exceptional architecture through the strong conceptualisation and the input of various team members who work in close cooperation without hierarchies. Throughout the creative process, no distinction is made between designers and builders, but rather the focus is on creating aesthetic, efficient, well-built projects and spaces. Martin Zechner and Christoph Zechner were born in Graz, Austria and studied Architecture at the Technical University of Graz. After working with several architects in Austria (Arch. Plottegg, Arch. Kada, Arch. Domenig), Germany and Switzerland, they set up their own office Zechner & Zechner in Vienna in 1988. At their main office – in a sophisticated, refurbished factory building – the firm employs 30 architects, technicians and design specialists. Together, they develop innovative and complex designs as one of the most forward-thinking urban development firms in Austria and Europe. Multifunctional, sustainable buildings “Working and living processes are rapidly changing; and in a way, the materialised world always lags behind. That’s why the aim of Zechner & Zechner’s work is not only to plan‘modern’buildings, but also to develop multifunctional, resource efficient and sustainable spaces that show the visions of future working environments and space – from small scales or single apartments to a large-scale urban development,” states Martin Zechner.

functionality and aesthetics. This sense of modern urban development epitomises the firm’s approach to looking at things in their context and to employ this contextual knowledge to build onto it; aesthetically and practically. Awards and references Zechner & Zechner´s buildings have been awarded many times. Among others with the European Steel Construction Award, Brunel Award for outstanding design in railway transport or the AR-Award for emerging architecture, the Austrian award of mobility and the World Infrastructure Award. Their expertise and interest encompasses a wide spectrum. They have planned and built a plethora of buildings and development projects: from public transport, parts of Vienna’s main train station, Vienna’s international airport tower, corporate office buildings, and infrastructure projects all over Austria among others. Zechner & Zechner´s engagement in urban design and large-scale buildings led to several commissions abroad like projects and competition entries in Moscow, Kiev, Warsaw, Budapest and St. Petersburg.“Due to a long collaboration with qualified expert planners, we can accept the responsibility for the whole planning process as project managers – from the first draft up to the detailed planning and the construction supervision,” explains the firm. Having worked in many segments and successfully mastered many diverse projects, Zechner & Zechner Architects is confident and excited to help to shape a new future of urban development, interdisciplinary architecture and international building projects. www.zechner.com email@zechner.com

Main image: ÖBB company headquarters. Photo: Markus Kaiser Left: Regional traffic hub Europaplatz, Graz. Photo: Pierer.net Top left: ORBI Tower, Vienna, TownTown. © ZOOM visual project gmbh, 2013 Top right: Tower airport Vienna. Photo: Thilo Härdtlein

Through their creative work, Zechner & Zechner seeks to explore and expose the interrelations between structural order,

From top down: Graz central station. Photo: Pierer.net Hotel Courtyard Marriott, Vienna Messe. Photo: Thilo Härdtlein Office Zechner & Zechner ZTGmbH in Stumpergasse 14/23, 1060 Vienna. Photo: Pierer.net

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Austria

Home run: how HNP architects help to shape the ever-evolving architectural landscape of Vienna “In the beginning, there is the sketch”. Heinz Neumann looks back on decades of work experience and is still known to haunt his own offices at night to mull over the good old blueprint, on paper. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

He is the central figure in the team of architects and engineers known as HNP architects, with his younger partners Florian

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Rode and Oliver Oszwald.- an enterprise which today counts more than 70 co-workers. A Viennese at heart, Heinz Neumann has

left remarkable footprints in the city's landscape from reviving impressive remnants of the k. & k. monarchy era, as in the case of the recently opened Park Hyatt, now one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, to hightech endeavours like his iconic Uniqua tower, set right by the Danube canal in the heart of Vienna. The 75-metre high office building features a futurist outline, a flash-


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ing LED media wall and technical assets like an airing double-skin façade and a thermic system based on the use of geothermal energy. Aiming at creating both a landmark by the Danube canal and a future-oriented outlook to match the client's visionary attitude, the design of the building is based on an elliptical shape that provides an allround view of the city from all storeys. With increasing height, the shape opens into what in the essence looks like an unrolling cone. An event hall with an expressionist glass roof connects the tower with existing office buildings. At present HNP are in charge of five highrise projects in the city for commercial and residential use with quite a few more planned for the near future. There are scores of other activities and projects as well concerning various sites inVienna. Always keeping existing city structures in mind, the overall aim is to create new living spaces and concepts.The span reaches from new buildings to densification to functional overlapping and multiple usage of buildings: a complex and exciting challenge for HNP architects, which has captured their full attention! As the spectrum for HNP architects ranges from family homes to social housing, to visionary urban planning, their clients are as diverse as their projects. They appreciate their trademark of individual yet timeless designs, respectful inclusion of old and listed structures and the ability of embedding new concepts into existing contexts. Last but not least, HNP architects’ clients enjoy a formally sustainable planning within any given time frame and always reaching the economic target.

the construction phases will amount to seven. With every inch of the approximately 154,000 square metres of office space rented out, the business park has already proved to be a profitable endeavour for investors and the sleek outlines with rakish glass façades and dynamic outlines draw admiring crowds to the south of Vienna. HNP see the architect as both a contractor and a conductor, who coordinates both diverse talent and technical innovation to meet the client's needs in the best possible way. Also, they build“for the actual people who are to inhabit the building” and try keeping any image cultivation away. Creating landmarks while refraining from superlatives is what Heinz Neumann personally believes in, while applying a diverse and multi-fold approach, based on a high level of teamwork. One of the greatest architects in Vienna, he has seldom strolled away from his home soil, which may have added to his impressive presence and influence in the city's architectural landscape.

Not believing in solely CAD-based creativity, for Neumann himself the sketch is still the path to any functioning building outline that can truly serve the people making use of it. Going on 75 this August, Neumann is still curious on how to apply his ideas on new projects together with the younger generation of architects and their different approaches. As long as the road is free and politics allow, he will continue to rattle the bars of ready-set, biased views on architecture and apply his own that are as flexible and innovative as the ever-changing nature of the task at hand. www.hnp-architects.com Opposite top, from left: UNIQA Tower, exterior view. © UNIQA, Bisutti Donau-City ARES TOWER, exterior view. © Manfred Seidl Donau-City ARES TOWER, Skylobby. © Manfred Seidl Opposite bottom, from left: Park Hyatt Vienna, banqueting hall. © Gregor Titze Goldenes Quartier, view of Tuchlaubenhof. © HNP architects Palais Fürth, Detail Siegenhaus. © HNP architects This page, top from left: Residential building Velden, view from lake. © Stich-Planungsbüro House at a hill, exterior view. © HNP architects Below, from left: EURO PLAZA construction phase IV, detail crystal façade. © AnnABlaU Residential building Kundratstrasse. © WBV-GPA

A truly huge endeavour of HNP architects is the ongoing project of the Euro-Plaza, a gigantic business complex in Vienna's southern Meidling quarter. With big players as tenants such as Microsoft, Sony and Hewlett Packard, the business park is ever growing. Construction started 15 years ago, with phases one to five completed; building phase six is underway. All in all,

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Combining playful ease with subtle elegance A diverse range of skills is a core strength of BEHF corporate architects. Founded in 1995 and located in Vienna, the top Austrian architecture and design firm has successfully completed a wide range of prominent projects from shopping centres and hotels to office spaces and residential buildings. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

When implementing projects, BEHF corporate architects feature an individual aesthetic quality which is on a high technical level. Addressing the specific needs of both building owners and occupants, it goes without saying that the group of architects also follows building standards to conserve resources at the same time. In doing so, BEHF’s language of architecture draws a bow between playful ease and subtle elegance, combining aesthetics with functionality. The three co-founders Armin Ebner, Susi Hasenauer and Stephan Ferenczy launched

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the firm in 1995 after studying together at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. “Everything began with a company’s request to design a future outlet with a size of about 3,000 square metres,”explains Ebner. Today, the team provides design services in corporate architecture, urban design, restorations, and interiors for a wide variety of public and corporate clients. BEHF corporate architects even received the Real Estate Brand Award and was honoured as Austria’s most valuable architecture brand. Combining history with a contemporary design One of the Austrian architects’ prestigious projects, which they finished just recently, was refurbishing the famous department store Stafa. Opened in 1911, the striking, nine-story building has now been converted into a hotel and retail spaces on the basement floor. So far,


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pick up these aspects for the current modification. The integrated hotel suite is yet another distinctive feature. All tenants will be allowed to use it gratuitously, for example when they would like to accommodate external customers.The roof terrace is going to be publicly available, too. Residing above Vienna’s roofs The international BEHF team of about 100 architects is also involved in building the MGC Plaza, a new urban district at the Erdberger Mais in Vienna which distinguishes itself with broad, public, free and green spaces. According to the plans, there will be three high-rise blocks of flats soaring above an urban semi-basement, whose green roof can be shared between households. BEHF corporate architects designed one of these high-rise blocks.“We understand architecture as a medium of communication. Buildings contribute to the well-being of people – they can create a feeling of comfort which is generated through shapes, materials, colours, light and through a harmonious appearance,”Ferenczy explains.

the Stafa Tower has been Austria’s oldest building which received the international green building certification LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). At present, BEHF corporate architects are working on a project which is about to be finished this summer. The former post and telegraph office at the Naschmarkt,Vienna’s most popular market, is being turned into large-dimensioned office spaces and a hotel suite.“There are going to be flexible office spaces on five levels of the listed building, which will offer perfect working conditions with a lot of daylight,”says Ebner. “We want the building’s historic character to blend with a contemporary design.” What made the former post and telegraph office so special, was a felicitous combination between functional use and architectural representation. The architects therefore try to

Another project, which was finished last year, is the refurbishment of Shopping Graz Nord, a specialist retailer centre of approximately 10,000 square metres. BEHF corporate architects not only rebuilt and expanded the centre, they also updated it technically. Now, this location offers attractive new retail and catering spaces.

rank among BEHF corporate architects’ clients. But next to corporate architecture designs, theViennese firm has also created various gastronomy concepts. To name an example, the team designed the elegant restaurant Shiki in the historic centre of Vienna, which combines Japanese tradition with a European cosmopolitan presence.The restaurant bears quite an individual signature: by using just a few puristic, high-quality materials like bronzed brass or handmade paper, the interior design features a sensual minimalism.The different areas of the restaurant, to which a Japanese garden, as well as a terrace belong, therefore have a simple, yet subtle architecture. When designing the sanitary facilities, the architects were inspired by study trips to Tokyo and London. In future, BEHF corporate architects seek to further advance in order to continue providing perfectly tailored solutions. Therefore, the team is willing to partly redefine itself in terms of organisation as well as expanding and deepening skills, which are essential to meet customers’ demands. Ebner is confident of the firm’s future:“Fortunately, our team keeps on growing, so that we are able to continuously reinforce our efficiency particularly abroad.” www.behf.at Main image & top left: The elegant restaurant Shiki in the historic centre of Vienna. © Maximilian Haidacher (main image); © Bruno Klomfar (top left)

Gaining inspiration inTokyo and London

Opposite bottom: The MGC Plaza, a new urban district at the Erdberger Mais in Vienna. ©BEHF

Big companies like Deutsche Bank AG, REWE AG, Telekom Austria and Real Invest

Below: Vienna’s former post and telegraph office is being turned into large-dimensioned office spaces and a hotel suite. © Andreas Wallner (left); ©BEHF (right)

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Riegler Riewe Architects Quality, aesthetic, sustainable design Riegler Riewe Architects, founded 1987 in Graz, Austria, is an internationally renowned and award-winning office for architecture led and managed by Florian Riegler and Roger Riewe, both professors at universities in Graz and Berlin. The firm’s primary practice areas include: educational and cultural buildings, infrastructure facilities, office and research projects, as well as master planning and urban design. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

Architecture and design aim to give meaning to what surrounds us. The form and matter of things reflect a purpose that only well-built, intelligent, aesthetic and sustainable concepts can communicate. Building on this philosophy, Riegler Riewe Architects is dedicated to providing highquality architecture through analysis, thoughtful design and professional realisation. European-wide innovative design solutions “One highlight in the success history of Riegler Riewe Architects is certainly that

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the firm gained broad international recognition early on after realising their first projects. And they continue to build on this strong international reputation today,” explains Professor Riewe.

In addition to their Graz office, the architectural firm has established branches in Katowice, Poland and Berlin, Germany. Riegler Riewe Architects currently employs approximately 45 architects, designers and planners. Together, they develop innovative solutions as one of the most forwardthinking and respected architectural firms in Europe. The interdisciplinary task of building Driven by curiosity and creativity, they go beyond the obvious. Their work is characterised by the conceptualisation and under-


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Austria

Wide range of partners and sectors From the first project phase of planning and consulting, Riegler Riewe Architects always look at the respective brief holistically. They are experienced at medium and large public and private projects, successfully working together with local governments, stakeholders and private clients. For example, they built the Main Train Station Innsbruck for the Austrian Federal Railway Company; the new Silesian Museum in Katowice; faculty buildings for the Graz University of Technology; and currently the new campus of the Medical University Graz commissioned by the Austrian Federal Real Estate Company BIG. The firm also works for private companies and has realised several large laboratories for Boehringer Ingelheim; as well as urban master planning for private real estate developers commissioned by the City of Munich. Their private client portfolio also includes marina facilities, gallery spaces and lofts. Contextual, diverse and international

standing of demanding architectural solutions with innovative technical concepts. Because Riegler Riewe Architects see the process of design and building as an interdisciplinary task, they bring together leading experts from different areas to optimise the quality, sustainability and cost efficiency. Riegler Riewe Architect’s philosophy is driven by their belief that well-thoughtout projects – which are conceptually and clearly structured – can be reduced to the essentials of good and purposeful building. This means that all of their architectural concepts enable an economical and sustainable implementation.

Currently, Riegler Riewe Architects are completing projects for the public sector, as well as for private clients in Germany, Austria, Poland, Croatia and Korea. The areas include urban master planning, infrastructure projects, housing, cultural and educational institutions, office buildings, and highly complex facilities. Moreover, Riegler Riewe Architects are particularly interested in the interrelations of projects embedded in the context of urban and socio-cultural development. This experimental field allows the firm to explore and conceptualise innovative, inspiring solutions for communities that go beyond formal considerations.

architecture prize (Mies van der Rohe Award) and for the World Architecture Award of the UIA in the category ‘Applied technologies’. Finally, their projects were honored with the best architects award, the contract.world.award and with the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award. Having worked in many segments and successfully mastered many diverse projects, Riegler Riewe Architects are confident and excited to help shape a new future of architecture – with both private and public projects, urban development, master planning and design culture.Their future is one built on high-quality planning, building and living. www.rieglerriewe.co.at

Main image & top left: The new Silesian Museum in Katowice. Photo: Wojciech Krynski Opposite bottom: Penthouse in Graz. Photo: Paul Ott Below: New campus of the Medical University Graz. Photo: Paul Ott Bottom: König Gallery in Berlin. Photo: Ute Zscharnt

Awards and recognition In addition to their on-going projects, the team has been recognised with numerous design awards and nominations for their creative work. They have won many Austrian housing prizes; the Austrian construction prize; three awards from the Austrian Bauherrenpreis; three awards from the Architecture Prize of Styria and two awards from the Architecture Prize of the Austrian Society for Concrete and Cement Industry. Furthermore, they have been nominated three times for the European

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Austria

Main image: The award-winning ‘Haus Zull’. Right from top: Country estate Ewald Gruber. Winery Zull. Winery Weber. Bottom: Capella Verticale.

The art of architecture The buildings of today provide the most diverse ways of living: detached houses, tower blocks, small apartments, large villas and others too many to mention. Yet sometimes there are constructions that will take your breath away by falling out of every category – edifices such as those that have been planned and realised by Norbert Steiner and his team from the Austrian architecture office Sputnic. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: MARIANNE GREBER, NORBERT STEINER

When Steiner finished his studies in architecture, he decided he needed to found his own architect’s office if he wanted to realise his ideas of modern architecture.The name he gave his newly founded business is reminiscent of the Russian satellite that conquered space with little effort but with a big effect. Similar to this satellite and its name, which translates as ‘companion’, Steiner sees himself as the companion of his client during the project phase and as someone who accomplishes a great deal with seemingly little effort. “Primarily, I am planning and building homes I myself would like to live in,”stresses Steiner. “This is a guarantee that the customer gets the best results.”This manner of approach may seem as unconventional as

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Steiner is himself. One of his projects was initiated during a journey to Kilimanjaro and Sansibar and ended in a project named ‘Haus Zull’that, in 2012, received an award for energy efficient and sustainable building, one of the many awards Sputnic has been presented with in the last ten years. As one of the key factors to his success Steiner identifies a close customer-provider relationship: “I normally would like my client to tell me their vision of their new home. And I would like them to be open to my ideas. Yet, if they don’t have a vision yet, I will create one for them,”he sums up. Sometimes the difference between art and architecture is small and Sputnic’s building projects always incorporate an arty touch.

One of the aspects that makes Sputnic’s work so singular is the long-standing relationship with Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig, who presented Austria in last year’s Biennale and with whom Steiner already has realised projects in Zurich, Munich and Cologne. Architecture may become art – an observation that holds particularly true for the building projects planned by Norbert Steiner and his team at Sputnic. www.sputnic.at


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Top Architect of the Month Germany

Main image: Laboratory. © Johannes Marburg

Passion for precision The Düsseldorf-based, owner-managed architectural office Meyer Architekten can look back on over 50 years of experience throughout which the second-generation family business has gained special expertise in the construction and renovation of buildings for the education, science and research sectors. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: MEYER ARCHITEKTEN I JOHANNES MARBURG

Established in 1955, Meyer Architekten has planted its roots firmly in the planning, implementation and renovation of laboratory buildings. Today, the architectural office works for all major research associations in Germany, as well as for a variety of universities and other research institutes. “Thereby, precision is our most important virtue as no project resembles another each one has special requirements,” notes Jan Hinnerk Meyer, CEO of Meyer Architekten. A distinguishing feature of the business is that they are adept at carrying out renovations and reconstructions while day-to-day operations continue in scientific bodies. Meyer Architekten are thus able to perform their architectural works without disrupting the regular workflow in their client’s companies or buildings. Thereby, the architects

have to consider that ongoing and complicated experimental setups from scientists must not suffer from the building works. But how does Meyer Architekten achieve this? The answer is simple: with a high degree of empathy for the users’ personal matters, expertise, precision, respect for the accomplishments of others, as well as a long-term, cooperative business relationships in which architects and clients appreciate each other. While Meyer Architekten’s focus is on architectural services (renovations, reconstructions, extensions and new constructions of laboratory buildings, research institutions, buildings for product development, workshop centres or production facilities) for clients in the fields of education, science and research, a special emphasis is also put on constructional property man-

Portrait: Jan Hinnerk Meyer, CEO Meyer Architekten. © Meyer Architekten

agement in which the architectural office has gained decades of know-how.This vast portfolio enables a competence transfer with which Meyer Architekten are able to offer their expertise to clients from the industry. Using innovative 3D Building Information Modelling and an advanced quality management system. Meyer Architekten is – of course – certified by TÜV. Meyer Architekten’s 50 experienced employees primarily work in DüsseldorfWittlaer, while some are located in offices from cooperation partners to bring together their expertise. The employees plan everything down to the smallest detail, cater for smooth building processes, coordinate large planning teams and adhere to all deadlines and budgets. As a secondgeneration family business, Meyer Architekten does not only guarantee continuity, but also personal dedication for realising the best solution possible. All in all, the architectural office is a true specialist for individual, highly complex and nationwide building projects. www.meyer-architekten.de

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Weird and wonderful Easter traditions From weird games to delicious food, from recreational walks to ritualistic processions, Easter is one of the oldest of celebrations, met with a vast variety of traditions all over the world. And when it comes to traditions, Germany, Switzerland and Austria are masters in this arena. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Located right at the core of many Easter celebrations is a theme of light and the intention to bring light into the darkness. While this theme has its origins in the religious accounts that form the basis of Easter, it also expresses the human desire to drive away the darkness of winter. This said, one of the widest spread German Easter traditions is the Easter fire. Not only in small villages, but also in the cities, people gather around huge fires the night before Easter Sunday to admire the beauty of the flames. Having seen the Easter fire the night before, the Germans start their Easter Sunday with a delicious breakfast, which naturally includes Easter eggs. But before the eggs are eaten, there is another tradition called ‘Easter Egg-Kitschen’. This game is a friendly contest between two family members, both of which have a hardboiled egg

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in front of them. With their tips, these eggs are knocked against one another. The contestant whose egg is not broken wins the game. When breakfast and lunch are done, a further tradition is to take a long Easter walk, preferably through nature. This tradition is so ubiquitous in the German culture, that one of its greatest poets, Wolfgang von Goethe, included a poem called Osterspaziergang (Easter Walk) in his famous tragedy Faust. In the poem the narrator exclaims: “Here I am human, here I can be”, which expresses a feeling of belonging that many Germans have when they go on their Easter walk.

self. The important thing to note here is that many of these traditions only take place in special regions of the country. Hence, if you would like to take part, you have to find the right spot. In the canton Wallis a very important tradition is to share food. Come Easter, the people especially like to share bread, wine and cheese with each other. For many of the Swiss, these simple fares remind and refocus them on the importance of sharing and the importance of food in general. After coming together to eat and drink, the Swiss turn to some more playful Easter traditions. One of these is the old Zurich custom ‘Zwänzgerle’, which is meant to help children get additional pocket money. This is how it works: children take a peeled hardboiled egg and stretch it towards the adults.The adults now have to throw a coin onto the egg. When the coin gets stuck into the egg, the adult has won and takes the money and egg. When it does not, the children are allowed to take the money.

Sharing food and playing games Much like Germany, Switzerland has developed many different Easter traditions it-

Another playful tradition is ‘Knütteln’, which is nowadays only played in the vil-


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Feature | Easter Traditions

lage of Rumendingen. Similar to the known game Boccia, the contestants take up small wooden sticks. The eldest of the players has the first throw. His thrown stick is the centre of the game and now everybody aims to throw their own sticks as closely as possible. While the winner does not take home a special prize, the loser is obliged to pay for the next round of drinks in a nearby restaurant.

follow a colourfully decorated ram through the streets and towards the church in which the ram is lead three times around the alter. After the mass, the animal is auctioned off among the people and the winner is allowed to take the ram home. If you are not so lucky as to win the ram, there is an opportunity to have an authentic Austrian experience by visiting one of the many Easter markets around the coun-

try. For the Austrian people, Easter markets are used to preserve and nurture their culture. Visitors can expect to see typical Austrian artwork and, of course, can enjoy some delicious Austrian dishes.

Far left: An Easter market. © www.ostermarkt.co.at / Gerhard Fally Midle & right: Following the ram. © HOLZER FRANZ Below: Easter eggs: © Colorvision Uthoff, Hans R.

Following the ram When looking at Austria, many aspects of the country’s Easter traditions are similar to other German-speaking regions. However, as with every country there is a variety of curiosities to explore. One of these motives is again concerned with food. Around Easter it is a traditional fashion that godparents visit their godchildren to bring them a ‘Godnküpfi’. Baked out of yeast dough, the ‘Godnküpfi’ is a sweet delicacy that is an essential part of an Austrian Easter celebration. Once the family has had their meals, it is time to follow the ram, which is meant quite literally. A custom that is practised mostly in the village of Virgen in Tirol, the ram procession brings together huge crowds of people. When everyone is gathered, the procession starts and the people

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Culture Calendar Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in March. TEXT: INA FRANK

Creativ Salzburg (4 – 6 March)

Artistika, Visp (5 March)

This trade fair is all about gift ideas, home accessories and other lifestyle products. Thanks to it being scheduled at the beginning of March, it is the perfect opportunity to order spring and Easter goods or to take a gander at the upcoming autumn trends. www.creativsalzburg.at

At this international artistry festival, you will surely be entertained: six artists present their skills and seem to break physical laws with their bodies to gain the prestigious trophy. The jury is made up of expert artists who will perform themselves, and the audience may select its favourite as well. www.artistika.ch

Turkish-German Film Festival, Nuremberg (4 – 13 March)

Diagonale Film Festival, Graz (8 – 13 March)

The Turkish-German film festival commits itself to an intercultural dialogue and showcases short films, feature films and documentaries. An expert jury will elect the most excellent performances, but in the category Filmlandschaften (film landscapes) films can also be shown out of competition. www.fftd.net

This festival regards itself as a forum for presenting and discussing Austrian films so that Austrian filmmakers gain greater media attention. This idea turned out to be successful: since 1998, 25,000 visitors come annually to Graz for the festival. www.diagonale.at/en

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Easter Market Schloss Schönbrunn, Vienna (9 – 29 March) The annual Easter market brings traditions and seasonal handicraft to the city. Visitors can enjoy culinary delights while the little ones make their own marzipan Easter bunnies or join the 'imperial Easter egg hunt’. www.ostermarkt.co.at Art Austria, Vienna (10 – 13 March) Art Austria combines the hustle and bustle of a trade fair with the calm atmosphere of a museum, which makes a visit a unique experience. Taking place in the Leopold Museum, solely pieces of art made in Austria are presented. www.art-austria.info


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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Slow Food Market, Bern (11 – 13 March) The Slow Food Market offers a great alternative to the cheap, ready-made food full of unhealthy ingredients. Here, visitors can discover handcrafted, regional products and find out more about the producers themselves. In the restaurant one can then try the new discoveries on the spot. www.slowfoodmarket.ch/bern INTERNORGA, Hamburg (11 – 16 March) About 1,300 exhibitors and 95,000 visitors come to the only international trade fair for gastronomy in Germany each year. All fields, from food and drink to kitchen techniques and IT, are represented and many delicacies can be tried on-site. www.internorga.com Fribourg International Film Festival (11 – 19 March) Described as the 'festival of freedoms', this festival presents a varied programme representing the notion of freedom in all its facets. The audience is free to laugh about the absurdities of this world and directors from rather 'suppressed' societies can obtain a hearing here. www.fiff.ch/en

Lucerne Easter Festival (12 – 20 March)

Book Fair, Leipzig (17 – 20 March)

The Easter Festival is always characterised by spiritual music, with many concerts taking place in churches. Internationally renowned soloists, orchestras and choirs will delight fans of classical music with miscellaneous performances in Lucerne. www.lucernefestival.ch

Authors, publishers and readers meet up in Leipzig to exchange ideas and make new discoveries. From fiction to fact books, audio books or screen adaptations, every genre is represented. A varying programme of readings and talks makes sure that you can spend an entertaining day or two here. www.leipziger-buchmesse.com

Rock the Pistes, Portes du Soleil (13 – 19 March) This music festival is not only a great experience, but also quite a challenge: the first concerts of each day take place at a height of 1,600 metres and can only be reached with skis. If one does not venture this climb, there are still the après ski concerts in the heart of the region's small towns. www.rockthepistes.com/en

Hamburger Frühlingsdom (18 March – 17 April) The Hamburger Dom is the biggest public festival in the North of Germany. Three times a year, visitors can experience thrilling rides, sweet treats and a bit of nostalgia, as the Dom dates back to the 11th century when it was actually held in a dome. www.hamburg.de/dom

Improfestival, Berlin (11 – 20 March) Are you ready to discover a slightly different kind of theatre? Improvisation theatre is a genre that is defined by spontaneity and telling stories together. From improvised audio plays to musicals or stage plays taking place in a bus, the festival is sure to offer an exciting programme. www.improfestival.de Snow Jazz Gastein 2016 (11 – 20 March)

CeBIT, Hannover (14 – 18 March) The largest and most internationally represented computer expo will again be held at the Hannover Exhibition Grounds this year. Visitors can look forward to the latest IT trends, talks by high-calibre speakers, panel discussions and, of course, exciting product innovations from all over the world. www.cebit.de

Osterfestspiele, Baden-Baden (19 – 28 March) In Baden-Baden, visitors can enjoy classical music for Easter amidst the magnificent scenery of the city's Festspielhaus. This spring's highlight is the new staging of Wagner's famous opera Tristan and Isolde. Other venues throughout the town will host master concerts and chamber opera. www.festspielhaus.de/en/program/easter-festival

Are you tired of the music at après ski parties? Why not combine your skiing fun with great jazz music? The Austrian region of Gastein makes that possible. This year's edition focuses on trios, which will present jazz, blues, tango, afro beats, chamber music and much more. www.gastein.com/en/winter/events-culturenature/snow-jazz-gastein

Main images: Book Fair in Leipzig. © Leipziger Buchmesse/Uli Koch Opposite bottom: Easter Market Schloss Schoenbrunn. © www.ostermarkt.co.at/ GERHARD FALLY Above, left: Lucerne Easter Festival. © Teresa Llordés Above right: CeBIT 2015. © Rainer Jensen (Link to Deutsche-Messe.presse@messe.de) Right: Snow Jazz in Gastein. © Gasteinertal Tourismus GmbH

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Strange, weird and wonderful TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

Now, you probably think Germans are pretty strait-laced, sensible, no nonsense, organised kind of people not prone to overflow of feelings, silliness and stupidities. This might be based on Angela Merkel, German businessmen, work colleagues, the holiday makers who use targeted, strategic towel placing to steal yet another deckchair from you (ha, joke!). Well, let me bring you some of the strange, weird and wonderful happenings I’ve come across in Germany over the past few weeks. Here’s one from Stuttgart where a traffic warden who – contrary to popular belief about this profession – actually wanted to do good and now very likely regrets not simply carrying on with handing out parking tickets. While out on duty, he came across two guys having a fight outside a pub. As he saw one punching the other in the face, he decided to step in and try to calm things down. Off went the 54-year-old with his colleague who was on duty with him – only to end up with his ear bitten off! Yes, one of the brawlers had nothing better to do but follow hitting with biting, so much so that that the doctors were not able to attach the traffic warden’s ear back on. Ouch. Exhibit one against German sensibility and self-control. To add some good to the bad, here’s one that is actually quite heart-warming and on the positive end of weird. Over the past

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weeks, numerous people in a town in North Rhine-Westphalia have received letters containing cash and a note with a bible verse. The mysterious Christian benefactor has so far sent out 1,050 euros, mostly to the tenants of a block of flats. Still waiting for this to happen here. He or she also left envelopes with money in a supermarket and attached them to parked cars, and a number of people actually handed it in then, thinking someone had lost it or had the police check that the money wasn’t fake. The donor definitely seems to have a plan and knows what’s going on in town, because one of the people receiving not just one but four envelopes is the landlord of a restaurant that had recently been vandalised by unknown perpetrators. Bless. We remain in the state of North RhineWestphalia for another little gem, which takes us to the unbelievable end of the spectrum. Policemen in the city of Oberhausen received an emergency call from a woman, saying that she had locked herself in and couldn’t free herself. When the police arrived at the 50-year-old’s flat they didn’t find a person in distress, but someone who wanted to complain about their food. Yes, you read that right: The lady was unhappy with some‘Pizzabrötchen’(pizza rolls) that she had probably bought frozen in a supermarket and put in the oven (my guess) and had nothing better to do but call the police, feigning an emergency, to share her

grief. As you do. Best of all, she stubbornly remained unwilling to see her error and said that in a similar situation she’d do exactly the same and put in another emergency call. Charming, eh? Or: strange, weird, wonderful – and also German.

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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Wearable toughness for men.

Rings with personality for hands with personality. BLASTA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the fusion of the art of jewellery making and the next-generation design of high-end cars. By men, for men. www.blasta.ch


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© Tourismus NRW e.V./D. Ketz

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NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA. YOUR PERFECT WEEKEND. If you are looking to get away from it all for a few days, look no further than NRW. Immerse yourself in fascinating cities with outstanding museums, first-rate concert venues and world-class events. Get active on award-winning cycle routes and top hiking trails, or take time to relax in one of our many health resorts and spas. Then reward yourself at the end of the day with the finest delicacies our North Rhine-Westphalian cuisine has to offer. A large number of direct connections means you are never far from your destination. You can be sure of a warm welcome – in your NRW.

WWW.NRW-TOURISM.COM WITH THE KIND SUPPORT OF

Discover Germany, Issue 36, March 2016  

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

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