Discover Germany, Issue 42, September 2016

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Issue 42 | September 2016








Our corporate ties even serve their purpose after work.

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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents SEPTEMBER 2016

20 Photo: © Christian Faustus

30 Photo: © Willi Rolfes

76 Photo: © Ben Huggler

COVER FEATURE 20 Melanie Raabe German author Melanie Raabe impressed the world with her debut novel The Trap, which was published in over 20 countries. She speaks to our writer Nadine Carstens about her latest book, her life as an author and much more.

SPECIAL THEMES 12 Premium Living More and more money is spent on premium-quality furniture, such as beds, armchairs, cupboards or accessories in Germany. This does not come as a surprise when one looks at the vast diversity of award-winning German design furniture. 38 Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture Switzerland has much more to offer than the Alps, cheese and Toblerones, as the country’s art scene is thriving. Home to numerous museums, galleries and theatres, we have selected some of the best hotspots showcasing fine art and culture. 49 Austrian Destination Special Planning a trip to beautiful Austria soon? Then be sure to read this special theme, which gives you some inspiration of what to visit and see whilst there. 62 Safety & Security In this special theme, we explore some of the greatest companies that deal with the topics of safety and security. Read about how to find the right bodyguard, innovative alarm systems and much more. 74 Top Architects Switzerland With the likes of Le Corbusier, Max Frisch or Karl Moser, Switzerland is one

of the greatest architectural countries. In the present, various innovative architects keep this image alive.


Fashion Finds For fashionistas, fall might be the best season of the year. Layered looks make your outfit look interesting and are just perfect for the changing weather conditions in September. So let us see what the DACH designers love to layer.


Dedicated to Design This month’s design section boasts luxurious body care products, stylish clothes for men, great products for the office and much, much more.

FEATURES 28 Top Luxury Hotel Germany The five-star luxury Excelsior Hotel Ernst is not only an exceptional place situated in the centre of Cologne, the Grand Hotel also offers some rather enchanting events. 32 Adventure of the Month Germany Ever dreamed of travelling the world? The Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost will help you do it within hours, while making you sweat, freeze, marvel, laugh and learn about our planet. 34

Bavarian Traditions The Oktoberfest in Munich begins this month, but did you know that Bavaria has far more to offer tradition-wise? Our writer Monique Amend provides you with some cultural background information of southern Germany’s best traditions and customs.

36 Accessible Tourism Germany Barrier-free travelling has become one of the most important tourism topics of our time. That is why our writer Thomas Schroers sheds a special light on this area in this issue. 48 Gallery of the Month Austria The Gallery Walker does not only showcase exceptional international works by Austrian artists. While being situated in a beautiful renaissance castle, it also impresses with great castle gardens.

30 Culture This month’s culture section is filled with great things to see and visit in the DACH region. How about exploring the beautiful corners in North Germany or hiking through the Swabian Albs? We have got you covered. 55 Business Top wealth management companies, innovative companies, architects and much more fill the business section this month. On top of that, our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht talks about what Brexit actually means for Europe. 88 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in September. 94 Barbara Geier This month, our columnist Barbara Geier explains what ‘backwards emancipation’ means in Germany.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 3

Dear Reader,

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Dorina Reichhold Ina Frank Emmie Collinge Sonja Irani Silke Henkele Bettina Guirkinger Gregor Kleinknecht Barbara Geier

Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Cover Photo Christian Faustus

Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Freya Plakolb

Discover Germany Issue 42, September 2016 Published 09.2016 ISSN 2051-7718

I have always asked myself why the Oktoberfest is called the Oktoberfest even though it starts in the middle of September. After some internet research I found that this has historical reasons: the first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 in honour of the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of SachsenHildburghausen. These festivities started on 12 October 1810 and ended on 17 October with a horse race. In the following years, the festival was repeatedly held and it simply became prolonged and temporally brought forward. Of course, the better weather also had a significant role in this: the nights are warmer and thus, strolling through the festival grounds and partying in the tents can be endured for longer without getting the chills. For this month’s issue, our writer Monique Amend further explores Bavarian traditions and customs and explains what else is worth visiting in South Germany apart from the omnipresent Oktoberfest in Munich.

Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia

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

Feature Writer Thomas Schroers

Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421

For those who do not want to spend a weekend in their dirndls or lederhosen drinking beer, be sure to check out our Swiss art and culture special instead. We have collected some of the finest galleries and art museums in Switzerland. Other topics in our September issue include great architecture, top outdoor destinations, innovative companies that are specialised on the fields of safety and security, great design and fashion picks and much, much more. Furthermore, don’t miss out on our cover feature this month. Nadine Carstens met up with the charming author Melanie Raabe to talk about her famous debut novel The Trap, which has been published in more than 20 countries. If you are searching for a great book to put on your reading list, her new novel Die Wahrheit has just been released and is definitely worth a read.

Contributors Jessica Holzhausen Cornelia Brelowski Nadine Carstens Monique Amend Elisabeth Doehne Marilena Stracke


Enjoy the magazine and thanks for reading,

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey

For further information please visit

Nane Steinhoff

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

4 | Issue 42 | September 2016


Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds For fashionistas, fall might be the best season of the year. Wearing functional clothes is not the main priority like it is in summer or winter, when one feels like wearing as less as possible or one just wants to wrap themselves in a big coat. Layered looks make your outfit look interesting and are just perfect for the changing weather conditions in September. So let us see what the German labels love to layer. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND | PRESS IMAGES

The German label comma stands for feminine fashion for modern women. Their urbancasual brand comma casual identity, is defined by its relaxed, unique and high-quality looks. Blazer £115, top £40, jeans £85 (left). Coat £125, shirt £40, trousers £75 (right).

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

A scarf keeps you warm during the first windy days of fall, but it is also a colourful highlight and brightens up your outfit. £30.

This beautiful mahogany-coloured bag will carry everything you need for a day at work or a nice Sunday stroll through the old town. £85.

Black boots have become a must-have just like the little black dress. They add an extra touch of coolness to every urbanstyle outfit. £85.

This comma casual identity outfit proves that combining the same colour does not have to be boring at all, while looking great as a layered look. Waistcoat £75, shirt £50, trousers £75.

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Discover Germany | xxxxxx | xxxxxxxx

Shirts in all colours with a suitable tie.

Which bow tie would you like?

The perfect combination.

Smart Casual Dept.

Modern attire for every occasion The German brand Venti stands for high-quality business and casual shirts, while also offering accessories for fashionable, open-minded young men. Modern slim-fit designs and body-fit cuts assure that men are properly attired for every occasion - whether that is in the office, for leisure time activities or on a night out. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: VENTI

Searching for a brand that perfectly combines business and casual attire? Look no further. Oldenburg-based fashion brand Venti dresses men with contemporary, close-fitting shirts. As a special emphasis is put on the highest quality, it seems no wonder that the shirt design process is conducted in Oldenburg, while the manufacturing process happens in the company’s own manufactories. “Only like this, can we guarantee the highest quality,” explains Klaus Katt, managing director of Venti. Incorporating current, seasonal fashion trends as regards to materials, Venti also offers contemporary patterns and innovative prints on shirts, as well as the latest collar shapes – and all this for a good price-performance ratio. “We offer consistent high quality that is comfortable 8 | Issue 42 | September 2016

to wear in every life situation,” says Katt. What makes Venti’s business shirts so exceptional is that each one is equipped with an individual styling: cuff, collar, buttons and button bar are selected with great attention to detail.“We want to create a harmonious image, but nevertheless, highlights such as a button or contrasting seam of different colour are essential,”Katt adds. To offer a holistic package, Venti also has suitable neckties and bows on offer. For the first time the ‘Venti Smart Casual Dept.’ collection will be available from autumn 2016. These fashionable shirts pose as the perfect, casual companion for leisure time activities. In this collection, the details are even more sophisticated: a soft feel that is achieved through the shirts’ individual washings, small embroidered highlights like the bow as Venti’s trademark, the integrated breast pocket

handkerchief and much, much more make each shirt one’s personal favourite. Whether in the office, during leisure time activities or a night out with friends – with Venti, one is always properly attired so that a public appearance in proper style is guaranteed. Why not convince yourself of the advantages? Simply enter the promotional code DISCOV916 on the following website.

50 shades of blue; the Smart Casual Dept. collection.

Venti | GutenbergstraĂ&#x;e 7 | D-26135 Oldenburg | FON +49 (0) 441 2066-0 |

Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… September has arrived! The summer is almost over, children go back to school and many professionals come back from their summer holidays and get back to business. The routine of our everyday lives is back and, let’s be honest, nobody is really too keen on that. Thankfully, many designers have created some great interior furniture pieces and decorations to spice up working environments. Our picks will make coming into the office every morning exciting. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND | PRESS IMAGES


2 1. Simple, edgy, iconic. This office desk system consists of four design cubes, one table leg and a table top - all designed by monofaktur. It is produced in Northern Germany and creates a stylish but organised working place. £656. 2. A tidy desk will help you to fully concentrate on your projects. This pen tray made out of beech wood is a modern and functional decoration at the same time. £12. 3. The desk lamp Bestlite BL, designed by Robert Dudley Best, lets you shine a light on your work. A ball point at the lamp head makes it rotatable and swivel. The lamp socket and lamp shade are available in different colours. £375.



4. Magazines, books or important files can be stored in this great magazine holder and are always handy. Its white and plain design easily adapts to every interior style. £25. 5. It is good to always keep the time in sight so you do not miss any important meetings or simply count the hours and minutes to the well-deserved after-work drinks. The yellow AWA CLOCK – SOSO by Lemnos is sure to bring a little sunshine into your office. £80.


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Discover Germany | Design | Kleen-Tex Industries

Everyday wellness through anti-fatigue mats Kleen-Tex Industries has been producing matting for all kinds of purposes for almost 50 years. With its ‘Stand-On’ product line, the company’s Home+Living portfolio now includes a health-enhancing specialised mat. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: KLEEN-TEX INDUSTRIES

circulation,” explains product developer Petra Augustin. The positive effects have been thoroughly tested and affirmed by numerous analyses from the German Institute for applied Ergonomics. Much like the mats from Kleen-Tex wash+dry Floor Fashion product line, the ‘Stand-On’ is washable and free of PVC, enabling it to be as hygienic as possible.

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

Originally developed for workplaces where standing for a long time hurts employees’ joints and muscles, the selection for the home market combines ergonomically worthy features with exciting designs. At the moment, the ‘Stand-On’ AntiFatigue mat range consists of three monocoloured and two design mats that are 55x78 centimetres. While the designs are already special, the feel and use are what makes this mat so unique. “All models possess a specifically developed rubber foam core, which has both a shock-absorbing and a muscle activity stimulating effect. On the one hand, the soft foam relieves pressure. On the other hand, the unbalanced standing fosters the calf muscles and blood

“For our Home+Living products, this is particularly important and an essential sales argument,” says Klaus Stöckl, manager of the Home+Living Business Unit. The developers know that it is a challenge to include relaxation and wellbeing in a stressful day. With the ‘StandOn’, they have created a fashionable living accessory that makes an active contribution to your positive sense of life. The Anti-Fatigue mats collection can be found on the following website.

Giant sized and cuddly

“For children only the best is good enough”

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Premium Living

Special Theme

Premium Living

Photo: Koelnmesse, Oliver Wachenfeld Photo: Koelnmesse, Oliver Wachenfeld

Photo: Koelnmesse, Ludolf Damen

Photo: Koelnmesse, Ludolf Damen

Design made in Germany According to the German newspaper Die Welt, no other country spends as much money on furniture, such as beds, armchairs or cupboards, as Germany. However, this does not come as a surprise when you look at the vast diversity of premium, award-winning furniture German designers have brought to life. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Statistics by the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM) reveal that, in 2013, the average German spent around 390 euros on furniture. Second came the Austrians with 360 euros and Sweden followed with 340 euros. Ursula Geismann, trend expert of the VDM explained in the run-up to the international furniture fair imm cologne: “People know that they’re home for 340 days a year and thus, they want to make their homes as comfortable as possible.” Interestingly, the growth of the premium segment already lay significantly above 12 | Issue 42 | September 2016

the furniture sector’s average in 2004. Apparently, factors like brand recognition, emotional associations, the perfection of appearance, aesthetics and, of course, design play crucial roles here. It is apparent that consumers turn away from the accumulation of furniture and turn towards more premium products instead as the design factor has become increasingly important for the majority of people. Therefore, we have collected some of Germany’s great designers and their products to give you inspiration for your own home in this month’s special theme.

How about modern outdoor furniture, modular furniture systems, energyefficient designer lamps, highly innovative room division systems with integrated acoustic solutions, design wallpapers that are sure to turn every wall into something rather special, timeless furniture or functional yet beautiful floor and table coverings? We have got you covered. Photo: Koelnmesse, Oliver Wachenfeld

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Premium Living

Nordic Space chair and sofa.

Private Space wardrobe. Nordic Space bed.

Ten years of Ellenberger German designer Jannis Ellenberger has brought a great deal of joy and excitement to the international furniture landscape during the past decade. His sense of innovation and his creativity have firmly established his label in the world of interior design and there is much more to come this year.

designs give the label Ellenberger its striking appeal. It should come as no surprise that Ellenberger’s fabulous creations have been nominated for the German Design Award 2016 amongst other nominations.


Jannis Ellenberger, who already focused especially on his own concepts during his training as a carpenter, does not waste much time looking back at ten challenging yet very successful years. Instead he dashes forward with new projects: his online store, logo and website are getting a brand-new make over and will be relaunched this month, also in English. “The improved online shop exclusively offers my designs,” Ellenberger explains. “Aside from the furniture of our Private Space collection, there will also be items available which I have designed for other companies. Amongst them are, for example, the wooden tea set and a few lamps as well as the debe.deline furniture series I did for De Breuyn, a children’s furniture manufacturer based in Cologne.” The re-launch of the online store is also the perfect opportunity to introduce his new stunning collection Nordic Space, featuring

his typical timeless yet innovative design using wood as the main material. The bed Drommen, which was initially designed for CB2 and quickly became a bestseller in the US, inspired the Nordic Space collection. Many German fans asked if the bed was also available in Germany and Ellenberger did not hesitate to fulfill their wish. He adjusted the bed slightly to meet European demands and added a comfy chair and couch in the same style to complete the collection and named it Nordic Space. The furniture series will be launched in Germany together with the re-opening of the online shop this month. There are many more exciting new products in the pipeline, which will eventually be available in the online shop. Fair prices, social and ecological awareness, highquality and timeless yet sophisticated

The relationship between designer and customer is highly valued. Ellenberger adds with a warm smile: “Our shop is probably also quite special because customers can get in touch with me, the designer, directly.”

Private Space sideboard and dining table.

Private Space sidetable.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Premium Living

The Nimbus Roxxane Leggera CL reading luminaire.

Cableless is the future of lighting and combines practicality with great design Who has ever struggled with endless cables under the desk? From computers and monitors to desk lamps, every electronic device needs to be plugged in and the cables stored somewhere. So how much more practical is it to reduce the amount of cables through a highly functional wireless desk lamp or a cableless reading light when at home?

build desk, ceiling, wall and reading lamps; not only energy saving and practical, but also well designed. These lightings can be used anywhere without being plugged in and last up to 100 hours without being charged; not only in the office, but also at home, for example as bedside, wall or reading lights.

Even during his time as an architect he often thought that planning light fittings in private residences was more of a compromise than really adapting to present and future needs. “The place sockets or fittings that were installed might prove completely dysfunctional a year later.” Often reading lamps for example are put where a socket is and not where a person really wants them to be, so the light does not follow human needs but the other way around. No matter if it is in one’s own four walls at home or in an office, getting rid of the cables heightens the comfort and creates greater flexibility in space and design.

“The idea of cordless lighting is something that has driven me for many years,” Brennenstuhl recently said in an interview.

At this year’s Light + Building, the world’s leading trade fair for lighting systems, Nimbus presented various new wireless


Wireless lighting is the future, at least that is what Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl is convinced of. Brennenstuhl is the founder and CEO of the Stuttgart-based Nimbus Group. Even ten years ago, when nobody thought this was even possible, Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl had the idea to use electroluminescent diodes for lighting whole buildings and was the first to do so. Now, as a pioneer, he combines energyefficient LED technology with advanced battery technology to design, create and 14 | Issue 42 | September 2016

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Premium Living

luminaires. These new developments are not the first innovations Nimbus has brought on the market. Roxxane – a family of cableless LED luminaires

needs. Colour rendition (the ability of a light source to show true colours) here is Ra > 90 and the Leggera produces 800 Lumens, approximately as much as traditional a 60-watt light bulb, but with far less energy required.

In 2015, Roxxane Fly revolutionised the sector when Nimbus launched the first cableless luminaire. At the end of July this year, a new Roxxane Leggera CL model was rolled out, a succeeding model of the before mentioned Roxxane Fly but with even better technology and more fields of applications. Leggera has a exchangeable battery pack in its lampstand that can be reloaded via USB-C interface. Alternatively, a magnetic loading station with fitting power supply unit can be used to re-power the lighting. It is easy to handle, can be dimmed through touch and small LED lights indicate the battery’s power statues and when to recharge. Like all Roxxane luminaires the Leggera has a flexible head, allowing to adjust the incidence of light according to its user’s

‘No compromise’ is the slogan Nimbus uses when advertising the Roxxane family. Berlin-based designer Rupert Kopp designs all Roxxane lightings together with the Nimbus design team, a cooperation that gained Nimbus luminaires various design prizes. In 2015, for example, the Roxxane Fly was awarded the Focus Open 2015 in Silver, the Baden-Wuerttemberg state award. Only recently, the Nimbus Roxxane Leggera CL was nominated for the German Design Award 2017. It took the Nimbus group and designer Kopp nearly two years to develop the first lighting of this family, two years until everyone involved was happy with the outcome. This alone speaks not only about the outstanding

and puristic design, but more so about the high-class technology that is involved here. Form and technology are in perfect symbiosis. A new model will come out in autumn In autumn, a completely new, cableless wall luminaire will follow with Winglet CL, continuing the tradition of technical innovation and outstanding design. The Stuttgart-based Nimbus group wants to be different, not only when it comes to new developments and a rather successful history since its founding 25 years ago, but also when it comes to attitude. Every morning, for example, the 160 employees meet in the dining hall for a joint breakfast before continuing work. Rank does not play a role and so designers and factory workers share a table with sales staff and specialists for acoustics and interior design - or the managing director Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl himself.

Roxxane Fly, ultraportable luminaire.

Winglet CL, cableless wall luminaire.

Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl, founder and CEO of the Nimbus Group.

Roxxane Leggera CL.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 15

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Premium Living

Shaping your spaces If you think wallpapers are outdated, it is time to reconsider. Over the last 13 years, EXTRATAPETE has revolutionised the concept of wall decoration. Through its own design collection, customised orders and larger scale interior decoration projects, the company has established itself as a creative force when it comes to enhancing your walls. Matthias Gerber, CEO. Photo: © Neumann und Rodtmann


Founded in Berlin, EXTRATAPETE grew out of a specific interest in typography and poster design.“The city was full of creative spaces where unconventional ideas could be nurtured,” explains co-founder, CEO and graphic designer Matthias Gerber. Their own unconventional idea of reviving interest in wallpapers was part of that movement and soon their efforts led to a first collection of designs. Naturally, the developments did not stop there. After finding solid ground in the Berlin design scene, EXTRATAPETE became popular all over Germany and beyond. Apart from their own collection, which is created for home application and

every sector imaginable from retail stores to medical practices.

with a mind-set focused on innovation, contemporary art and the zeitgeist, the designers also began to offer customisable designs. The latter rapidly sparked an interest by companies and the professional world. “More than ever, companies are looking to create working spaces that foster their employees well-being. Therefore, a location’s atmosphere is very important.”In such projects, the company works closely with the client, embracing their ideas while also designing unique solutions if desired. Recently, EXTRATAPETE has produced designs for the Steigenberger Hotel Group. But although hotels are prominent customers, the designers are working in

25hours Hotel Hamburg. Photo: © 25hours Hotel Hamburg

Left: The d-c-fix® wood decors also look good on the stairs: Sanremo Oak sand, Sheffield Oak umber and Sanremo Oak (bottom-up). Right: Sideboard with Sanremo Oak sand, Sanremo Oak and Sheffield Oak umber.

Back to nature The current mega trend is called ‘homing’. This means nothing less than arriving home and using one’s own four walls as a haven of peace and turning it into place of well-being and relaxation. TEXT: KONRAD HORNSCHUCH AG, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: DESIGNBUREAU BECKERANDFRIENDS

To implement this feel-good effect, the home interior has to emit warmth and has to be geared towards relaxing cosiness. Thus, Hornschuch and its brand d-c-fix® offer surfaces that touch. With these, each room can be upgraded and made into a breath-taking refuge. In Weissbach, Hornschuch Design Center’s trend experts have identified two trends that together stand for homes filled with favourite places: ‘Natural Soul’ and ‘Pure Living’. ‘Natural Soul’ reflects nature and its colours, structures and shapes. Here, natural phenomena are the creative powers. The materials appear raw, wild and fantastic, while the colour spectrum covers all earth and mud tones which are accentuated with gold and copper. ‘Pure Living’ uses the sensual diversity of things as a power source. It is the return to simple, clear and reduced shapes. Subtle, pastel colours let nature shine. The essence of things determines the design and caters for a feel-good atmosphere, calmness and relaxation.

A modern mix of these two trends comprises cosy elements such as wood, wool or rattan. Furniture pieces get the special softness through pillows and blankets. However, rather important for the cosiness is also the wood’s warm colour. Here, oak in different variants demonstrates its strengths. In the living room, for example, the d-c-fix® design film Sanremo Oak in sand colour caters for contemporary naturalness. In a few simple steps, this bestseller design is mounted on a wall panel and stands for authentic nativeness with its natural character. The discreetly rustic appearance emits tranquillity and harmony.

with animal prints, the wild and romantic natural setting becomes perfect. Furthermore, three d-c-fix® wood design films turn a simple chest of drawers into a nature experience, as seen in the picture. Sanremo Oak sand, Sanremo Oak and Sheffield Oak umber: this trio ennobles the drawer fronts. Especially the Sanremo Oak with its particularly natural look is everybody’s darling. Special characteristics: subtle planking and a balanced colour play. The harmonic overall picture of the different wood characters caters for a highlight in the room. d-c-fix® can be bought in DIY stores and selected specialist shops. For more information please visit the following website.

Wood also suits the bedroom: varied planks and many typical characteristics form the basic structure of d-c-fix® Santana Oak. The exceptionally natural wood decor of strong character has a calming effect – especially in the whitewashed shade. When the panel, which is embellished with the design film, is further decorated Issue 42 | September 2016 | 17

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Premium Living

Award-winning shelving system Hanibal.

Hanibal shelving system.

Innovative purism Looking to furnish your rooms in elegant purism, but think it is way too expensive? Think again, because Tojo Möbel GmbH proves you wrong. With great passion for design, quality and inventive creative ideas, the company is developing furniture with a special aura, but affordable pricing. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: TOJO MOEBEL GMBH

Founded in 2000, Tojo Möbel is a dynamic company aiming to create furniture with timeless design and a distinguishable functionality, ecology and economy. In the past, this concept has won wide-spread recognition, as Tojo’s pieces have won numerous awards with regard to design and quality. As an underlying idea, all items need to enable the user to reduce them to a functional basic form, which is the rectangle board. From this basic element, all of Tojo’s furniture is developed while sustaining their simple beauty. One such design is the Tojo-Parallel, a hugely variable bed system that adapts to the needs and wishes of its owner. Consisting of only six supports and a flexible number of slats, the Parallel can be put together, expanded or reduced within minutes. In practise, to enlarge it, one can change it from 100x200 centimetres to 200x200 centimetres by simply fitting in 18 | Issue 42 | September 2016

a couple of additional slats. At the Iconic Awards 2016, the design won the Interior Innovation – Best of Best Award. Furthermore, with the Tojo-Hanibal, the innovative designers have created a modular shelving system. The Hanibal is based on H-shaped elements, which are stacked on each other with the help of a sophisticated mechanism with no screws. The Tojo-Hanibal, which won the Interior Innovation Award in 2015 and was nominated for the German Design Award in 2016, is available in four different sizes and juxtaposition allows you to find the right combination for every room. The described inventiveness is prevalent in all pieces from Tojo’s extensive collection. With unique sophistication, CEO Gerald Schatz and his team are able to find furniture solutions that abstain from screws, pinned fitting and bonding as

Parallel bed system.

much as possible. In the end, this affects the pricing of the furniture, making them particularly popular with young people who appreciate both the one-of-a-kind designs, but also the moderate cost and the adaptability and extensibility of them. Tojo-Parallel.

Winning the Best of Best Award, CEO Gerald Schatz on the right.


GEGGUS GmbH Höhefeldstraße 56 – 60 · 76356 Weingarten · Germany Phone +49 (0) 72 44 70 55 - 0 · Fax +49 (0) 72 44 70 55 80 E-mail · Internet

Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Melanie Raabe

Photo: Š Christian Faustus

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Melanie Raabe

Melanie Raabe: The writing machine Before she finished her debut novel, the international publication rights were already sold. By now, her book The Trap has been published in more than 20 countries and Hollywood is working on the film adaptation. Although Melanie Raabe has become one of Germany’s most successful authors of 2015, she is still a down-to-earth young woman who has not changed her habits. Her new novel Die Wahrheit (German for ‘the truth’) has just been released. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

Interviewing Melanie Raabe might seem dangerous if you are familiar with her debut novel The Trap. There, the central character Linda Conrads, who is a famous author as well, tries to trap a journalist because she believes he is her sister’s murderer. But, luckily for me, Raabe is in good spirits when we meet at a café in Cologne. As the 35-year-old author arrives, she smiles friendly and makes a relaxed impression. In this cosy place, she wrote part of her successful thriller The Trap. When she does not work at home, she often goes to the Weltempfänger in the Ehrenfeld district to write and to find inspiration. “There is a quiet corner where I like to write quite often. I can concentrate here very well, while it is also possible to get into conversations with people from all over the world because there is a hostel above the café,” Raabe explains. Her novel turned out to be a major hit worldwide, with international publishing houses scrambled to obtain the rights for the book even before it was released. At last year’s London Book Fair for example, The Trap was one of the most discussed books. Additionally, a famous film production studio acquired film rights to Raabe’s novel and Phyllis Nagy, who worked on Academy Award nominated Carol, will be the screenwriter for the film

adaptation. “I don’t want to be involved in this process, because the novel already perfectly represents how I envisioned the story,” says Raabe. “I have complete confidence in Nagy and look forward to seeing her interpretation.” Although more than a year has passed since the release of her debut, she cannot quite believe her success.“I still feel totally overwhelmed: I never expected to become so successful. Publishing a pocketbook that is available in a couple of small bookshops would have already made me extraordinarily happy, so seeing that people around the world read my novel feels absolutely crazy and surreal,” Raabe says with a bright smile. The love for writing Nevertheless, the journey to her success was longer than one might expect at first. Before The Trap was published, Raabe had already written four other books that were rejected by publishing houses. “I put as much effort, commitment and time into each of these books as in The Trap. After all these rejections there were indeed times when I started to think ‘maybe I am not that talented’ or ‘maybe I’m out of luck’,” she says.“What made me continue was the matter of fact that I simply love to write and that is something I would never Issue 42 | September 2016 | 21

Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Melanie Raabe

“In everyday life, nothing has changed: I still live in the same flat, and of course I have the same friends and the same social circles.” And, as in the past, she spends most of the day writing. “What feels very different though is when I have to go to events such as readings, book fairs or interviews. Suddenly, I am the centre of people’s attention which is something I usually tend to avoid in normal life,” she says smiling. But her past experience as a stage actress helps her to handle such situations in public. “I am still as shy as I used to be as a teenager, but now I am able to turn my excitement into liveliness.” While other authors might feel pressured to measure up to public expectations after such a successful debut, Raabe keeps calm. “Being successful with The Trap has rather motivated me: It was before the book was released that I felt pressure while I was writing all by myself at my kitchen table. At this time, I was afraid that no one wants to read my book in which I invested so much time and effort.” Upcoming readings

Photo: © Tanja Kernweiss

give up.” She might have stopped offering her books to publishers at some point, as she states, but she would have never stopped writing, even if nobody read her work. “The great thing about writing is that you always gain something because you deeply reflect on new subjects – you have to revise the book many times until the plot is coherent and you learn so much during this process.” As soon as Raabe had finished one book, she already started the next one. “I’m simply addicted to writing,” she adds. Her love for literature also shines through and her eyes light up when she talks about her favourite writers such as Jonathan Safran Foer and Saša Staniši.

she grew up in a small village in Thuringia and in a small town in North RhineWestphalia. In Bochum, she did a degree in media studies and literature and moved to Cologne to complete her editorial department traineeship at a city magazine. Back then, it was a tough balancing act to carry out her passion next to her normal job, Raabe remembers. “First I tried to be like all the cool authors who write at night after work. But this did not work out at all,” Raabe says laughing. “I am a morning person and have much more energy early in the morning, before the rest of the day exhausts me. It also gives me a good feeling to know that I already worked on what I enjoy most.”

Before she achieved her breakthrough, she worked as a journalist, blogger and stage actress in Cologne. Born in Jena in 1981,

Two different worlds

22 | Issue 42 | September 2016

Since The Trap was released she has been living in two different worlds, Raabe says.

Before The Trap turned out to be a bestseller, she had already started to write her next book Die Wahrheit, which has been released recently – another psychological thriller that is centred on Sarah, a mother in her late thirties who has an eight-year-old son. Seven years ago, her wealthy husband Philipp disappeared without a trace during a business trip in South America. Then, all of a sudden, Sarah receives a message that Philipp is alive just when she started to accept that he would never return. But only an impostor shows up. He threatens that if she exposed the truth, she would lose everything – her son, her husband, her job. Anyone who would like to experience Raabe live can go to one of her many upcoming readings. A list of dates is on her website: Die Wahrheit by Melanie Raabe, published by btb. 448 pages. 16 euros

Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Melanie Raabe

Photo: Š Tanja Kernweiss

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Luxurious Body Care Products

Special Theme

Luxurious Body Care Products

Eyelash Activating Serum and Mascara.

Innovative beauty products from Cologne revolutionise the beauty sector One might say that eyes are mirrors to our souls and many people are attracted to their beauty. No wonder women put so much emphasis on the right eye care products. Cologne-based M2 BEAUTÉ develops revolutionary products, such as a serum for longer and stronger lashes. While being represented in 30 countries worldwide today, the company focuses on active ingredients and a small range of high-quality products. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: M2 BEAUTÉ

M2 BEAUTÉ started out as a very small company with only four employees. But even today it is quite small with 20 employees. “But we brought a lot of innovation to the beauty sector,” says managing director Alexa Moysies. “Ultimately, we were a few people who 24 | Issue 42 | September 2016

dared to do something new, giving up our existing jobs. I think this is something that already makes us special.” The most famous product M2 BEAUTÉ has developed so far is the Eyelash Activating Serum. It contains a highly

effective ingredient complex, which contains Biotin and Hyaluronic Acid, for example. The combination of the chosen ingredients not only stimulates growth but also creates fuller and stronger lashes. Like all M2 BEAUTÉ products, the serum is dermatologically tested with very good results. The eyelash serum is really easy to use and can be applied like a regular eyeliner directly to the upper lash line – at best in the evening after cleansing the area. The first effects will be visible after six to eight weeks. This simple procedure has made M2 BEAUTÉ famous in the industry and

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Luxurious Body Care Products

with customers.“In developing this serum we have achieved to create a product many others, even huge corporations, were looking for,” says Moysies. In consequence, M2 BEAUTÉ is now known worldwide and even famous luxury beauty brands know them. “That is what people always say: ‘Ah, those are the ones with the eyelash serum’,”says Moysies and in the same breath points to other, revolutionising products. Today M2 BEAUTÉ has widened its spectrum; next to eye care products the company has, for example, developed a facial line. But unlike other cosmetic companies, M2 Beauté indeed does not aim to have a huge number of products. Not mass production but quality is the main theme. “Small in size, but great when it comes to quality,” says managing director Alexa Moysies, speaking about their philosophy.

M2 BEAUTÉ relies on the newest discoveries researchers have made in the fields of chemistry, biology and medicine. They have in recent years found out how specific molecules work in the body and which substances – often produced by the body itself – are responsible for the body’s regeneration. These same substances are now used for advanced cosmetic products; far more effective than regular products simply focusing on superficial care. Everyone can use M2 BEAUTÉ products, says Alexa Moysies, but mostly they attract women who prefer a natural look.

Understatement instead of overdoing the make-up: “I like to think of the typical Parisian chic.” The products are expensive and not comparable with those bought at a chemists – in price but also when it comes to effectiveness and quality. So M2 BEAUTÉ is ideal for women who do not buy massive amounts of make-up, moisturisers or crèmes, but for those who buy consciously and prefer one really great product to many less effective ones. In, 2011 M2 BEAUTÉ received an award for their innovations in the cosmetic sector. Managing director Alexa Moysies.

In September 2016, M2 BEAUTÉ brings its first mascara to the market. Like the Eyelash Activating Serum the mascara is full of active ingredients that nourish the lashes and strengthen them. What is most innovative is the plug-type system of three different brushes as part of the mascara bundle. Every brush has a different effect: The first one, a spiral brush, creates a natural effect, the second one is asymmetric and therefore more precise and can be used for a defined, elegant look. The third one is a volume brush for a thick coat of mascara and dark, luscious lashes, ideal for a glamorous evening make-up. “I think every woman using make-up has a favourite mascara brush and we provide the most important ones in one set.” M2 BEAUTÉ is now a renowned brand within the landscape of luxury cosmetics. “From the very beginning we decided to focus on active cosmetics,” explains Alexa Moysies when asked about the idea behind M2 BEAUTÉ beauty products. Enhancing natural beauty with innovative products is something the company is doing today and intends to do in the future. “We want to grow, but only with products that fulfil their promised effects. Of course this limits our development slightly,” explains Moysies, because developing these products is cost and time-intensive. Issue 42 | September 2016 | 25

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Luxurious Body Care Products

Providing freshness and fragrance for more than 100 years

Left: Mum Unperfumed for women. Middle: MUM Pure. Right: MUM Deo Men Cool.

The world’s very first commercial deodorant MUM is yet again proving its innovative strength and its dominance in the current market.

scent, MUM Unperfumed would be the perfect choice.


Another product for customers with sensitive skin is MUM Pure. It is the first deodorant of the MUM range without aluminium chlorohydrate. Instead, it uses natural components to neutralise unpleasant odours and is therefore especially skin-friendly. The high-quality perfume oil creates a mesmerising fresh and flowery fragrance. With a new packaging design and new formulas that are being supervised scientifically, MUM is proving that it is still ahead of its competitors.

The inspiration originated from a ballpoint pen. In 1952, Helen Diserens adapted the same technique to develop the first roll-on deodorant worldwide. Having originally been developed as a cream by a doctor from Philadelphia in 1888, the antiperspirant was called MUM after the nickname of the inventor’s nurse. She was in charge of distributing the cream. The zinc-based product quickly became a great success with its roll-on version. In 26 | Issue 42 | September 2016

the 1960s, MUM was introduced to the global market and has been distributed worldwide ever since. MUM’s strength lies in its efficiency as well as in its captivating fragrances. Scientific tests have proven that the product’s components ensure lasting protection from odours for up to 48 hours. At the same time, MUM has created a range of special perfumes that give a pleasant fragrance throughout the day. For customers who prefer a neutral



Fünf Morgen / Clayallee No175 / 14195 Berlin-Dahlem / T. 030 845 096 00 / Öffnungszeiten: Montag-Donnerstag 8.00-13.00 / 14.00-18.00 Freitag 8.00-13.00

Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | xxxxxxxx

Top Luxury Hotel Germany

Unforgettable experiences in the heart of Cologne With its elegance and classy design, the five-star luxury Excelsior Hotel Ernst is an exceptional place. Situated directly in the centre of Cologne, opposite the famous Cologne Cathedral, the Grand Hotel poses as the perfect starting point for exploring the city. Furthermore, one can spend some rather enchanting holidays here. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Having been family-owned since 1863, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst combines traditions with modernity. As Cologne’s only member of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ luxury hotel collection, it seems no wonder that the hotel offers luxurious living comfort and the city’s highest service standards in its 140 rooms and luxury suites. The hotel’s exceptional holiday packages and deals further attract many visitors as these turn the famous Cologne Carnival, New Year’s Eve or Christmas into 28 | Issue 42 | September 2016

even more phenomenal experiences than they already are. An enchanting Christmas break Cologne has numerous Christmas markets and thus poses as the perfect city to get into that special Christmas feeling; and a stay at the festively decorated Excelsior Hotel Ernst will also convince the last remaining Christmas grouch that the festive season is not that bad. When visitors book the hotel’s special Christmas package, they

Main image: The Excelsior Hotel Ernst’s façade in Christmas time. Photo: © Excelsior Hotel Ernst Top right: Champagne reception. Photo: © Excelsior Hotel Ernst Right: New Year’s Eve in Cologne. Photo: © Fotolia, John Smith

can look forward to a glass of homemade, hot spiced wine as a welcome treat in the atmospheric hotel lobby with its luminous Christmas tree. In the rooms, a delicious greeting from the hotel’s own patisserie awaits guests and another highlight is the rich Excelsior breakfast. The ballrooms and the restaurants will further cater for exceptional culinary Christmas treats. For example, on 24, 25 and 26 December 2016, the Hanse Stube will serve a special menu with the likes of lobster ravioli with crustacean foam or Christmas goose with raisin-apples. In the taku restaurant, on the other hand, visitors will be able to indulge in Asian Christmas treats, such as wan-tans filled with brown crab. Speaking of culinary treats: do not miss the

Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Top Luxury Hotel Germany

Excelsior Hotel Ernst’s very own, traditional Christmas stollen – a traditional pastry with a secret recipe that has been passed down for generations and is kept in the hotel safe. Every year, hotel owner Charles Roulet personally travels from Switzerland to Cologne to taste the stollen and to announce the start of the production. Head to the Dom Christmas Market to taste this famous delicacy at the hotel’s stand (no. 92), while taking in the smell of spices and Christmas flavours all around.

Listen to lively jazz and swing music from the ‘20s to the ‘60s, as well as modern pop songs by the Marcus Suikiennik trio featuring Daniel Basso and Mirko van Stiphaut – a perfect setting to hit the great ballroom’s dancefloor between the courses.

Celebrating the new year in style

Experience the world-famous carnival

For those who seek to end the year with glitz and glamour, the Grand Hotel also offers a breathtaking NewYear’s Eve dinner package. The unique hotel atmosphere, sparkling champagne, music and dance in the elegant ballrooms will surely perfect the last night of the year. After enjoying a champagne drinks reception with canapés in the magnificent hotel lobby and winter garden, the Hanse Stube and the ballrooms will serve an exclusive sixcourse gourmet menu by head chef Tobias Koch and his attentive service team.

Every year, the entire city of Cologne is in an exceptional state when celebrating the ‘fifth season’. The Carnival Sunday is famous for parades through the streets of Cologne that are organised by local schools and the city’s districts, watched by hundreds of thousands of people. Known for its colourful and imaginative costumes, this parade will make sure every child experiences unforgettable hours. From the Excelsior Hotel Ernst grandstand, the little ones are adequately supplied and can enjoy the best views. Of course, adults can also look forward to unforgettable days. The ‘Rose Monday’ (27 February 2017) with its big, colourful parade is the climax of the carnival. From the Excelsior Hotel Ernst, one can exclusively enjoy the parade from

At the taku restaurant, the Michelinstar awarded head chef Mirko Gaul will prepare an exotic firework of East-Asian cuisine in seven courses.

An overnight stay in one of the elegant rooms and suites will complete the package to ensure a perfect start to the year of 2017 – first-class service, an exclusive brunch on New Year’s Day and late check out included.

the hotel’s grandstand and choose from many great ‘carnival in Cologne’ packages for between 25 February and 1 March 2017. How about combining two overnight stays at the luxurious hotel, while enjoying the breakfast buffet in the morning before heading to the grandstand where drinks, warm blankets, a cake buffet, international delicacies and much more cater for the ultimate carnival experience? The Rose Monday parade can also be watched privately from the hotel’s luxurious view rooms, while three buffets, beer, champagne and wine are offered. This luxurious room with a view costs 900 euros per window. From left: The hotel’s Christmas market stand. Photo: © Excelsior Hotel Ernst The hotel’s carnival hall. Photo: © Excelsior Hotel Ernst Grand Deluxe room. Photo: © Excelsior Hotel Ernst

All packages are valid upon request and availability and include the minibar, use of sauna and fitness area, complimentary internet access through mobile devices, as well as service and VAT. For reservations and more information, please call +49 221/270 -3164 or email

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 29

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Main image: Vechta’s stunning moorlands. Photo: © Willi Rolfes Middle: 36,000 students study in Vechta’s international yet personal environment. Photo: © Universität Vechta-Meckel Right: Electro festival ‘Tante Mia tanzt’ at the Stoppelmarkt in Vechta. Photo: © Tante Mia tanzt


Blending historic and modern charm The city of Vechta in Northern Germany’s Oldenburg Münsterland region offers a unique experience for everyone. It is a place where historical charm – particularly the Museum of Vechta, the unique Stoppelmarkt and family-owned businesses – thrive in a modern environment defined by unique infrastructure, cultural events and superior quality of living. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

The medieval character and unique marsh landscapes have defined Vechta’s charm throughout the centuries. The origins of Vechta presumably date back to the 11th century; the ‘Rheinische Straße’, a trade route leading from Lübeck to the south crossing through Northern Germany’s moorlands, incentivised the construction of a medieval fort. This castle was the only way to cross the moorlands and many 30 | Issue 42 | September 2016

merchants, artisans, and craftspeople settled in the area, marking Vechta’s beginnings. As the district’s municipal centre, Vechta is home to cultural highlights, a beautiful countryside with wooded areas and moorlands, as well as a longstanding tradition of horses and horse breeding. Visitors can explore the region’s peaceful

setting, its distinct moorlands and animal wildlife on a hiking trip, bicycle tour or horseback riding. Dynamic and flourishing region The university town with its 35,000 inhabitants combines the flair of a lovingly renovated city centre dating back to the Middle Ages with the flourishing, modern character of the region’s cultural, educational, and business opportunities. In fact, Vechta has been recognised as a bourgeoning hub for business activities in Germany’s northwest. Even in the 21st century, the city retains its reputation for its exceptional horse culture. The region’s love for equestrian

Discover Germany | Culture | Vechta

sport and horses goes back a long time. Horse riders, breeders, trainers and horse lovers have long come to Vechta to attend the world-renowned auctions; to bid, buy or find accommodations for their animals in one of the private riding stables. The bronze statue ‘Warwick Rex’ at the Europaplatz pays tribute to the importance of Vechta’s unique horse culture. Museum of Vechta and cultural treasures The Museum’s exhibitions and staged scenes of medieval life offer visitors history to get their hands on. “The spectrum of Vechta’s cultural offerings is extremely varied, perhaps even exceptional for a city of this size; it ranges from theatre and comedy performances, to choral, pop, and rock concerts, music recitals, readings and art exhibitions,” explains the city’s mayor Helmut Gels. Vechta’s celebration of the BurgmannenTage (24-25 September 2016) uphold the historic and cultural treasures of the Middle Ages. The yearly Middle Age festival (free of charge) – centred around

the 350-year-old Citadel – showcases a market, artisans, merchants, weapons demonstrations, war games and historic fashion and culinary treats. Another tradition, reaching back to the 13th century, is that each summer (always in August, when the fields have been harvested and only ‘stubble’ remains) Vechta hosts the Stoppelmarkt, a Volksfest in its true sense that attracts close to a million visitors each year. Single travellers, families and groups can explore and experience the unique culture (including the local dialect) that the town’s residents and visitors cherish so much. The pedestrian-friendly old town invites visitors to browse the shops or settle in one of the cafés along the way. The ‘Große Straße’ (main street) has been the city’s commercial artery for centuries; the Propstei Church in the centre and the city wall are breathing history that can be explored on foot.

portunities for local and global companies doing business in the region. Global players as well as traditional, German medium-sized companies call Vechta their home. The University of Vechta also offers its 5,000 students an excellent living and learning environment. The university’s students and researchers contribute to an open, multicultural and engaged society. In the last few years, Vechta has continually attracted new residents and especially families with children, making Vechta one of Germany’s ’youngest’ cities. Low unemployment rates and good educational opportunities contribute to the city’s positive character. Getting there

Living and business advantages

Vechta is located about one hour away from the cities of Bremen, Osnabruck and Oldenburg, and about two hours from the state’s capital, Hannover. The city is conveniently reached by car (via the A1 Autobahn), train and bus service.

Vechta’s outstanding location and infrastructure means a wide range of op-

Right: Vechta’s stunning moorlands. Photo: © Willi Rolfes Below: The Museum of Vechta has changing exhibitions. Photo: © City of Vechta Bottom: During the annual Burgmannen-Tage, the moats offer protection from attackers. Photo: © Kokenge

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Adventure of the Month Germany

Around the world in Bremerhaven Ever dreamed of travelling the world? The Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost will help you do it within hours. As a unique experience, it will take you along the eighth longitude and guide you through the various climates of our world. Comprising five continents and nine places, the adventure will make you sweat, freeze, marvel, laugh and, of course, learn about people and our planet. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

“This journey impressively reveals how human life on our planet is influenced by the climate, while also showing which future changes are in store for us,” explains Arne Dunker, CEO of the Bremerhaven visitor’s attraction. In that regard, one of the fundamental ideas of the exhibition, which stretches over 11,500 square metres, is to provide an orientation and understanding in the matter through a fascinating and enjoyable presentation style. In the Klimahaus trip around the world, visitors follow Axel Werner, who has travelled to all exhibited destinations with a camera crew. During the exhibition, the 32 | Issue 42 | September 2016

footage that was shot enables Klimahaus travellers to dive deep into his encounters with local people. Covering five continents, the voyage starts in the Swiss Isenthal where farmers face a mountain mass and glacier. From Europe, the journey moves to Cameroon and its nightly west African rainforest. In the aquarium worlds of Samoa, visitors are able to get to know the biodiversity of the south pacific including dwarf crocodiles and a dazzling array of fish. Further stops of the trip include the broad expanse of sandy Niger, a cold room in the Antarctica, the diverse people of Alaska, one can explore

insect’s eye views with scorpions, spiders and turtles into the microcosm of Sardinia, the raging North Sea of Holm Langeness in Germany and finally Bremerhaven itself. Apart from the world trip, the exhibition examines additional topics in relation to climate. In the Perspectives section, scientists and their work are shown and an outlook into the climatic world of 2050 is given. Opportunities displays the full range of actions that can be taken with regard to the climate, from small individual steps to global politics. Last but not least, the Weather Studio facilitates first-hand insights into the profession of a meteorologist. Main image: It gets cold in the Antarctica station. Photo: © Klimahaus Bremerhaven Left: Microcosm in the Sardinia station. Photo: © Klimahaus Bremerhaven Middle: Idyllic lagoon at the Samoa station. Photo: © Meyer/Klimahaus Right: Live in the desert shows the Niger station. Photo: © Meyer/Klimahaus

Discover Germany | Culture | Top Outdoor Destination Germany

Main image: Hohenzollern Castle. Photo: Schwäbische Alb Tourismus, Achim Mende, 2007 Top right: Hikers on the Albsteig. Photo: Schwäbische Alb Tourismus, Julia Metzmann Right: The Danube valley. Photo: Alex Schnurer Fotografie

The Swabian Alb

Top Outdoor Destination Germany

An enchanting hiking experience The Swabian Alb in the south-west of Germany with its bizarre rock formations and gentle curves emerged from the Jurassic ocean millions of years ago. Today, it possesses a paradise for outdoor and hiking enthusiasts as its appearance boasts juniper heaths, woods, wide, lush green plateaus, hilltops and enchanting valleys and thus makes it one of Germany’s most impressive and diverse landscapes. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

With a length of around 200 kilometres and a width of approximately 50 kilometres, the Swabian Alb in Baden-Württemberg offers enough space for extensive hiking opportunities. Here, on the many hiking trails, one can not only enjoy the magnificent landscape with its hills, mountain ridges, vast meadows, volcanic lakes, thermal springs, quaint historic towns and panoramic views of the distant Alps and the Black Forest, but can also go on a journey through time as fortresses and castles sit atop the rocks and hill-tops. Furthermore, names like ‘Hohenstaufen’ and ‘Hohenzollern’ remind us that great dynasties came from this part of the world. Furthermore, there are few places in Europe that can boast as many stalactite caves as the Swabian Alb and those who explore the UNESCO Global Geopark Swabian Alb will discover a multitude of geological

facts. The oldest art figures and music instruments ever created by mankind from the Ice Age nearly 40,000 years ago were found in the caves of the Swabian Alb. Hiking of the highest quality is ensured here as a large number of well-signposted premium and quality hiking trails make the Swabian Alb accessible. The Albsteig (HW1), for example, is one of the ‘Top Trails of Germany’ and leads hikers across the 200-kilometre-long scarp on the Swabian Alb’s northern edge. It takes visitors on an impressive route through the Geopark, past the Urach waterfall and further cultural and geological highlights and on to the Lemberg – the Swabian Alb’s highest mountain. Or why not visit one of the five ‘DonauWellen’ premium hiking trails, which lead through the pic-

turesque and hilly Danube landscape? Furthermore, the new GrenzgängerWeg is a 23-kilometre-long circular trail that tells many exciting stories of the life of the past and present at the WürttembergHohenzollern border. Near Meßstetten, the HochAlbPfade reveal spectacular views as well as surprises like the barefoot path; and these examples are only a small number of the region’s many hiking trails. After a day of hiking, around 80 suitable hotels are also at hiking enthusiasts’ disposal as the German Ramblers’ Association developed a quality label to ensure the best offerings for them. Whether long-distance or circular trails, day or half-day tours, the paths in the Swabian Alb are sure to bring visitors pristine nature, unforgettable views and interesting sights. TOURIST BOARD Schwäbische Alb Bismarckstr. 21 D-72574 Bad Urach +49 (0) 71 25 / 93 930 – 0

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Bavarian traditions:

Main image: The Oktoberfest at night. Photo: © Nagy/ Presseamt Muenchen From left: Munich’s mayor doing the ‘Bieranstich’. Photo: © Nagy/ Presseamt Muenchen Kirchweih in Schwabach. Photo: © Wikimedia Commons/ Wolfgang Sauber Children eating cotton candy. Photo: © Leonie Liebich

More than dirndl, lederhosen and beer ‘O’zapft is!’; this exclamation brings certain images to one’s mind: German people drinking a great deal of beer in huge glasses while wearing lederhosen or Dirndl and having – unlike the usual stereotypes – a pretty good time. But did you know that all this fun is a very long tradition and has its roots in a marriage and religious celebration from the Middle Ages? Since the world’s most famous fair, the Oktoberfest in Munich, begins this month, Discover Germany provides you with some cultural background information of southern Germany’s best traditions and customs. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

Our little cultural journey starts in the south-eastern part of Germany, the federal state of Bavaria, more precisely in Munich. The city is home to the original Oktoberfest and hosts the big fair every year at the end of September and beginning of October for two weeks. The very first time 34 | Issue 42 | September 2016

this fair was held was in October 1810. Back then, Bavaria was an independent kingdom trying to find an adequate way to celebrate the wedding of the crown prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The celebrations lasted for five days and ended with a

horserace at the same place where the Oktoberfest takes place until today. The officials decided to organise the festivities as down-to-earth as possible and let the public take part in it to strengthen the people’s identity with the kingdom and the dynasty. Since it was such a big success, the fair was held year after year and kept on growing. More tents, booths and amusement rides joined the fair at the ‘Theresienwiese’, named after the former bride Princess Therese. Today, around six million visitors come to Munich every year and about 7.5 million litres of beer are consumed during the Octoberfest. Although the celebration becomes more and more

Discover Germany | Feature | Bavarian Traditions

international with people coming from all over the world to experience the Bavarian style of celebrating, the organisers have successfully maintained the traditional character. But not only has the big city of Munich got its own big fair, every town or even small village in South Germany will have a week or weekend full of dirndls, music, and beer. ‘Kirchweih’ in Franconia The northern part of Bavaria, also called Franconia, is known for celebrating the ‘Kirchweih’ rather than an Octoberfest. A ‘Kirchweih’ is literally the dedication of a church in the German language and since most of the church dedications took place in the Middle Ages, the celebration of this day is a very long tradition. The festivities are often held on the date of the actual dedication or the anniversary of the church’s patron saint. Usually they last for one weekend from Friday to Monday and include a great deal of customs and traditions performed by the younger generations of the town or

village. Traditionally, only the boys, who already had their confirmation, were allowed to perform these customs until they got married. But nowadays the girls are, of course, welcomed to join them in preserving the traditions. One highlight is the raising of the ‘Kirchweih-tree’, usually a spruce, on Saturday morning. Therefore, the village youth go into the local woods in the very early morning to log the nicest tree – of course with some help of a forester – to bark it and to decorate its crown. Then it is brought into the village and put up on the market place in front of the cheering residents and visitors. The festivities take place in the local inn or in a special tent that is put up for the celebrations. Several bands guarantee a great atmosphere and also play for the traditional dances of the village youth on Sunday. Depending on the size of the town or the village, they might also have a children’s merry-go-round and some fairground stalls for sweets or shooting. The celebration of the ‘Kirchweih’

is always something special during which most of the people who moved away come back to their home town to celebrate with former classmates and neighbours. Every young child looks forward to the time when it will be their turn to preserve all the customs and traditions. A cultural export hit But it is not just Germany where people love to celebrate the Octoberfest or the ‘Kirchweih’. The festivities have become the most successful cultural export hit around the world. Be it in New York City, Sydney or London, there are many adaptions and even more fans of this particular cultural tradition. Women dress up in the most colourful dirndl and men smarten up with lederhosen and a checked shirt. Numerous event organisers offer beer imported from famous breweries in Germany and serve it in the one and only giant beer mug that holds exactly one litre so that everyone around the world can join the most-loved German traditions and customs.

Below: At the Octoberfest. Photo: © Leonie Liebich Bottom: Women in Dirndl. Photo: © Leonie Liebich Right: Old and traditional rollercoaster. Photo: © Nagy/ Presseamt Muenchen

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Accessible Germany

Main image: phaeno Science Centre. Photo: © Klemens Ortmeyer Left: Accessible natural beach on Lake Stechlin. Photo: © Tourismusverband Ruppiner Land e.V. Right: Sailing boat for wheelchair users near Ueckermuende. Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale fuer Tourismus e.V.

Tourism without barriers Barrier-free travelling has become one of the most important tourism topics of the 21st century. That is why the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is trying to shape the country as an attractive holiday destination for people with activity and mobility restrictions. In addition to promoting respective improvements throughout the country, the GNTB has now also launched a new website that provides a guide for accessible tourism activities.

with our partners we have made it our goal to develop and market reliable and quality tested products for the entire travel and service chain,”explains Petra Hedorfer, chairwoman of the GTNB.


Two of the most important partners in this venture are the AG Barrierfree Destinations in Germany and the National Office of Coordination of Tourism for Everyone e.V. (Nationale Koordinationsstelle Tourismus für Alle e.V.). While the former represents a combination of cities and tourism regions that are working on the creation of barrierfree destinations, the latter is actively

Imagine if you will, that the whole population of Germany has a mobility or activity restriction. If you do so, you are looking at almost exactly the number of people living in the European Union who are in need of barrier-free tourism. 80 million people, or roughly 16 per cent of EU citizens, travel with the necessity for 36 | Issue 42 | September 2016

special requirements in terms of general transportation and activities on site. In the coming years, this number is expected to rise. For the GNTB this development is crucial and a further inspiration to make ‘tourism for everybody’ much more than just a slogan. “Together

Collaborating for solutions

Discover Germany | Feature | Accessible Tourism Germany

consulting the tourism sector with its expert knowledge. In developing barrier-free destinations the major task has become a closed service chain. Naturally, the concept only works when all parts of a visitor’s journey are included in it. Therefore, Dr. Carmen Hildebrandt, speaker of the AG, says: “In this matter we need clear, mandatory and followed guidelines. Furthermore, all decision makers need to be made aware of the topic.” This is where the National Office of Coordination of Tourism for Everyone comes in. As a competent contact for the GNTB, the association is continuously convincing tourist companies that barrierfree tourism is not a niche market, but sustainable tourism in the best sense. “To intensify the interconnectedness of all parties in the sector of barrier-free tourism, all possibilities should be used,” says Dr. Rüdiger Leidner, chairman of the association. A guide for accessible tourism Of course the GNTB is not only involved in facilitating barrier-free opportunities. Naturally, it is also interested in providing help to people who want to go on a

journey. For that reason, the organisation has started an online tourism guide, which is solely dedicated to travelling without limits. Under www.germany. travel/barrierfree, tourists are able to get all required and desired information. For example, the section ‘how to book’ informs about the different possibilities of selecting your way of travelling to and through Germany. Here, the GNTB partnerships with the Lufthansa and the Deutsche Bahn come to full fruition. In the section, visitors of the guide get to know all of the services and special features that they are able to enjoy when selecting one of these modes of transportation. Similarly, the guide also includes information on accessible tour operators that guarantee its customers a fully barrier-free visit. Further sections of the guide include general information on airports, public transportation and travelling by car, as well as answers to frequently asked questions and, last but not least, the guide also presents barrier-free places, attractions and activities. What to do and where to go Many places and regions in Germany have already adopted the barrier-free approach.

Cities like Frankfurt am Main, Berlin or Düsseldorf welcome visitors with special guided tours and dedicated websites. The same holds true for certain national states as well. Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony and Lower Saxony and more are presented in detail in the GNTB guide. All over the country visitors can choose from an extensive amount of accessible tourist attractions. Whether you want to visit a football game in the stadium or dine at a beautiful restaurant, the guide has got you covered. And when you want to go for an adventure, Germany will also be your place to be. Jump on a jet ski, try a wheelchair tandem or quad tour, go abseiling, skiing or rafting or visit the phaeno Science Centre. Through all of these efforts and opportunities, Germany has become more and more accessible for everyone - an important development with regard to social equality and one that should be applauded and continued with great passion in the future. Left: Wheelchair travelling via train. Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale fuer Tourismus e.V. Bottom left: Wheelchair user on the coastal mudflats of Borkum. Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale fuer Tourismus e.V. Below: Blind people on a tour in Erfurt. Photo: © Erfurt

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 37

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Special Theme

Finest Art and Culture Switzerland

Main image: Fondation Beyeler. Photo: © Switzerland Tourism/ Stephan Schacher Above: Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern. Photo: © Switzerland Tourism/ Stephan Schacher Left: Heidi-Weber-Haus in Zurich designed by Le Corbusier. Photo: © Switzerland Tourism/ Christof Schuerpf Middle: Sculpture Ouverture Au Monde by Angel Duarte. Photo: © Switzerland Tourism, Christof Schuerpf

Discovering the arts in Switzerland Switzerland has much more to offer than the Alps, cheese and Swiss chocolate icons like Toblerone. It is a paradise for artists as well as art lovers. Paintings, architecture, literature, music or design – the country’s art scene combines different backgrounds and cultural influences. The cities of Switzerland are home to numerous museums, galleries and theatres showcasing fine art and culture.

a large amount of his work and is a must for all art lovers. Furthermore, the Kunsthaus Zurich shows other important collections: old masters, impressionists and expressionists or works of the Dada movement.


The country represents so many different cultures and influences that typical Swiss art does not really exist. Switzerland is characterised by German, French and Italian influences and by the people coming from all over the world who found a home here. This makes it a paradise for art lovers because various personalities and customs come together here, interact and create something new. The Swiss cities are birthplaces and places of activity to numerous artists whose works can still be found here such as Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Le Corbusier, Ferdinand Hodler and Alberto Giacometti. The literature and film scene has become 38 | Issue 42 | September 2016

more and more international and Swiss documentaries are regular contributions at festivals like Cannes and Berlin. That Switzerland is a country of collectors can be seen in the vast amount of museums, galleries, auctions and fairs. There is no other country with as many museums per head of the population as Switzerland. The Zentrum Paul Klee is dedicated to one of the icons of modern European art. Growing up in Switzerland, Paul Klee spent many years in Germany where he lectured at the famous Bauhaus, but came back to Switzerland in the 1930s. The centre, located in Bern, showcases

The Swiss design and architecture scene is also responsible for quite a few world icons. Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris – better known as Le Corbusier – was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss Jura. He is most famous for his functionalist architecture and his contribution to town planning. One of his designs has been restored in his hometown but others are spread around the world. The Tate Modern art gallery in London and the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games were created by the Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron. All of these great creators represent Switzerland’s finest art and culture.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Gundi Dietz (A): Mova, 2008 / Porcelain/ h 32 cm. Photo: Verena Menz

Johannes Nagel (D): exhibition Kaleidoskop, room. Photo: Hanspeter Dähler

Swiss gallery gives attention to ceramics as raw material for outstanding art projects The Swiss art gallery Kunstforum Solothurn specialises in ceramic art. The carefully selected pieces featured in exhibitions are often dedicated to either different aspects of the same idea or certain topics. Gallery owner Hanspeter Dähler has many years of experience and an international reputation as a curator and specialist for ceramic arts. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

Kunstforum Solothurn represents contemporary artists from Switzerland, Germany, England, France, Austria, Spain, Lithuania, Japan and the US who mainly work with porcelain and clay as raw materials. “Parts of the exhibitions also feature works from other materials like bronze, aluminium or wood and also from other artistic genres if they are part of the artist’s oeuvre,” says gallery owner Hanspeter Dähler. “What is most important for me is to show only art that I can full-heartedly support.” Over the years this approach has made Kunstforum Solothurn one of the most successful galleries for ceramic art not only in Switzerland, but also in the international context. When the gallery started out, buyers had mostly been collectors of pottery and ceramics; today they are mainly art collectors attracted by carefully planned and professionally conveyed exhibitions and a committed gallery manager and

owner. “So I am always on the lookout for artists whose work might fit into collections I know,”says Hanspeter Dähler.

the prestigious Museum of Contemporary Art in Baltimore or the Musée Ariana in Geneva. The latter, in cooperation with Kunstforum Solothurn, will show the exhibition Gundi Dietz – Essentielles from October 2016 to February 2017. Living in Solothurn, Dähler’s writings have been featured in numerous publications and exhibition catalogues on contemporary ceramic art.

Dähler has developed expertise and knowledge working as gallery manager for nearly 30 years. “I founded the gallery together with Christoph Abbühl in Bern in 1987, in 1996 we then moved to a larger 170-square-metre studio in Kirchberg,” tells Hanspeter Dähler about the art gallery’s history. “Here we started to realise important and internationally recognised theme-based exhibitions, in addition to the solo shows.” In 2005, the gallery finally moved to its current location in Solothurn. Today, Dähler operates the Kunstforum Solothurn alone while Abbühl has his own gallery in the same building, one level above. Apart from running Kunstforum Solothurn, Hanspeter Dähler has also worked as exhibition curator for the Canton Bern and for various museums, among them

Akio Takamori (USA/J): exhibition Equivalents, detail view. Photo: Hanspeter Dähler

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 39

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Main image: Heidi and Franz J. Leupi. Photo: © AB43 Contemporary Left: The new location. Photo: © AB43 Contemporary Middle: The new gallery space. Photo: © AB43 Contemporary

Across borders Art and cultural exchanges with the Middle East As both an art gallery and networking platform, AB43 Contemporary develops an international stage for artists from the Middle East. Founded by Heidi and Franz J. Leupi, AB43 continuously exhibits exciting voices from this region and in that way promotes the cultural exchange between it and the western world.

to European audiences who were yet unfamiliar with it.”The couple did just that when they created the AB Gallery and its two locations in Lucerne and Zurich.


The abbreviation ‘AB’ stands for the term ‘across borders’, manifesting the core mission of the gallery. ‘43’ is a personal statement by the Leupis and a number they hold dear. Among other things, the number four embodies the four elements, the four geographic directions and the four seasons, while the number three

For almost 20 years, the Leupis have been professionally concerned with the art world. As art lovers they have helped artists around the globe, from Europe, to North and South America and also Asia. But it was in 2003 that they fell in love with 40 | Issue 42 | September 2016

a very specific region in the world and decided to bring it home to Switzerland. “We had been actively observing the growth of the contemporary MiddleEastern arts scene and were convinced it was time to showcase its potential

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

connotes mind, body and soul. In that, both numbers describe aspects that all people have in common. Furthermore, the cross sum of the two numbers is seven, the ultimate number of humanity, characterising seven planets in the solar system and also a seven-year rhythm to life. After those seven years it is time for a new development. In August of 2016, the Leupis followed this idea, as they have made a big change for their gallery, bringing it to a new location in the historic park next to Zurich’s train station Thalwil. Across borders The new location offers AB43 even more possibilities to live their motto and promote the art in question. On the one hand, the old orangery offers light-flooded exhibition rooms and, on the other hand, adjacent buildings make room for an open storage space and an artist’s workshop. For the Leupis it is important to not only move the cultural exchange in focus, but also directly support the artists. That is why the AB43 is working with a successful Artist-in-Residence programme, where artists from the Middle East are invited over to exhibit and also work on their pieces. Like host parents, the couple provide everything that is needed for the

stay and in that way move far beyond the regular concept of a gallery, enabling new artistic voices to strive and get an important springboard for their career. Fereydoun Ave On the occasion of their reopening, AB43 has invited the grandmaster of the contemporary Iranian art scene, Fereydoun Ave, to Zurich. Curated by art historian Peter Fischer, Ave will personally present his newest work cycle Shah Abbas and his Page Boy. In a series paintings, he is dealing with appearance and reality in Iranian society and the gap between public and private life. To connect these two aspects, Ave has physically interwoven them by painting on patchwork blankets. The exhibition will run until 8 October 2016. Challenges and responsibilities “We have a responsibility towards the artists,” explains Franz J. Leupi. Especially in a social environment all over Europe, which is getting more and more tense, AB43 faces the challenge of turning wide-spread negativity into positivity and openness for a culture, which is being scrutinised in the media on a daily basis. But it is not only the preconceptions at home. The Leupis also feel the censoring of

government critical pieces that takes place in some of the artist’s home countries. In that regard, they, together with the artist, have to be aware of the consequences to which an exhibition could lead. In order to foster the artistic growth of the scene even more, Heidi and Franz J. Leupi found the ORYX Foundation in 2011. Based on the guiding principles of openness, curiosity and mutual respect, the non-profit organisation is continuing the work of AB43 by employing concepts for the concrete promotion of artists from the Arab world. “Sometimes it simply needs the bringing together of people from different backgrounds and getting them to know each other in order to destroy bias and allay suspicion.”Through organising talks, lectures and discussions with specialists, the Leupis facilitate this exchange and once more transcend cultural and geographical borders.

Left: Shah Abbas and his Page Boy, Lahaf #3 detail, Fereydoun Ave, mixed media on patchwork of various fabrics. Photo: © Alexandra Wey Bottom left: Artist Fereydoun Ave. Photo: © Malekeh Nayni Right: Shah Abbas and his Page Boy, Lahaf #6 detail, Fereydoun Ave, mixed media on patchwork of various fabrics. Photo: © Alexandra Wey

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 41

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

Main image: The Kunstmusem St. Gallen from the outside. Photo: © Sebastian Stadler From top: Paul McCarthy, White Snow Dwarf (Grumpy) from Ursula Hauser Collection. Photo: © Fredrik Nilsen Albrecht Dürer, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Photo: © Kunstmuseum St. Gallen Damien Deroubaix, The Night. Photo: © Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

A treasure trove for past and present The internationally renowned Kunstmuseum St. Gallen displays a diverse collection of works from various eras. Next to its temporary exhibitions focusing mainly on contemporary and modern art, the Kunstmuseum also features canvases and sculptures from the Late Middle Ages up to the present. These treasures are shown in rotating presentations. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Designed by local born architect Johann Christoph Kunkler, the Kunstmuseum was modelled after the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and its neo-classical style. On 8 October 1877, the museum was first opened for the public. In the following almost hundred years, the Kunstmuseum was able to accumulate an impressive collection. From important graphic reproductions by Dürer, Rembrandt and Callot, artistic heights of Dutch painting and German paintings from the Romanticist to Impressionist movement, the Kunstmuseum includes many valuable pieces. After a closing due to deterioration 42 | Issue 42 | September 2016

in 1970, the museum was extensively restored and finally reopened in 1987. At the moment, the Kunstmuseum shows two special exhibitions. In reference to the famous Pink Floyd song, the exhibition The Dark Side of the Moon delves into the abysmal within art and of course humanity. A centrepiece of the show, which runs until 23 October, are unique sculptures and space filling works of the Swiss artist Martin Disler. Around it, imposing, eerie works from the likes of Damien Deroubaix, Mona Hatoum and more are grouped. Naturally, the exhibition is

broadened by pieces from old masters like the aforementioned Dürer. In conjunction with The Dark Side of the Moon, the museum has launched a smartphone photo challenge. Visitors are invited to take snapshots of or around the exhibition and post them online to win, as a grand prize, a versatile polaroid camera. The second exhibition, running until November, focuses solely on Paul McCarthy and his hugely influential creations. For McCarthy’s work cycle about Snow White, the Kunstmusem has chosen its second venue, the Lokremise. Here the museum will display the complete group of McCarthy’s silicon dwarfs and further selected pieces. Typical for McCarthy, the presented works, deal with both social taboos and stereotypical views of popular culture.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Art arising from the deepest feelings Swiss artist Priska Medam discovered her love for art in her youth. Now she participates in international exhibitions and runs her own gallery GALERIE ZUM HARNISCH, which is located in the Swiss town of Allschwil. TEXT: INA FRANK

Back in 1999, when her daughter was five years old and attended a painting class, Priska Medam developed her fascination for painting and signed up for a complying correspondence course. Ten years later she decided to exhibit her works, although one could already admire them at renowned events like the Artisan Festival New York and the Festival de Cannes. When asked

to describe her work, Priska Medam recounts: “My works relate to the universe of life. As a sensitive observer, I develop new concepts full of passion. Colours and shapes arise from my deepest feelings and visualise daydreams or seeming contradictions.” Since 2012, Priska Medam also organises cultural events. Fellow artists

can exhibit their works in the GALERIE ZUM HARNISCH and thereby benefit from Priska Medam’s experience with exhibitions and her network in the art scene. The artists are presented in relevant art magazines and in a catalogue that is sent out to collectors, gallery owners and museums. Besides this, Priska Medam organises charity events and ART&PARTY exhibitions in clubs, hotels and culture restaurants. All in all, her artistic mantra is: “There is nothing in this world that is as valuable as the peace of heart.”

Left and middle: Rhy Art Fair Basel 2016. Photo: Robert Varadi. Right: Cannes 2014. Photo: Chris Delgado

Mummies – mysteries of time Whether frozen glacier mummies, a mouse that perished in the cellar or an embalmed pharaoh: mummies have always captivated viewers. The Naturhistorisches Museum Basel shows one of the world’s largest mummy exhibitions exclusively in Switzerland from 16 September 2016 until 30 April 2017. TEXT: NATURHISTORISCHES MUSEUM BASEL, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: GREGOR BRÄNDLI

World-renowned human mummies with touching stories, as well as animal mummies from Switzerland, the rest of Europe, Africa and Latin America reveal secrets about life and death. Mummies seem like they were lost in time. Unlike skeletons, they embody the individual more obviously. However, Basel’s mummy exhibition does not flaunt the dead. Rather, it makes the scientific phenomena that preserves dead bodies a subject of discussion. Which processes cause a body or parts of it to outlive time so that they do not decay? Under which conditions do skin and other soft tissues remain unscathed for centuries after death?

Most exhibits were mummified naturally. Visitors impressively learn that mummifying is not solely a funeral rite

from the Pharaonic kingdom. Ice, desert sand or dry basement air also preserve dead bodies. A third of the human mummies were newly examined with scientific methods and the surprising results are now showcased in this special exhibition for the first time. The exhibition is a result of cooperation with the ReissEngelhorn-Museen Mannheim.

Left: Glacier mummy of an ibex, discovered around 1950 on 3,200 metres on the Col de Collon in Wallis, Switzerland; Naturmuseum Wallis. Middle: Mummy group of a woman and two children, Andean coastal region in South America, pre-Columbian 12th – 14th century; Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen Mannheim. Right: Mummified sparrow hawk, Egypt, middle Ptolemaic period, third to second century B.C.; Antikenmuseum Basel and Sammlung Ludwig.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 43

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Art from a different world

Main image: The INUIT gallery. Left: Luke Anowtalik (1932-2006). Middle: Lucy Tasseor (1934-2012). Above: John Kavik (1897-1993). Bottom: Gallery owner Jeannine Bromundt.

The INUIT Gallery Central in Zurich is a truly unconventional art experience. Offering a unique, captivating view into a culture quite unknown to most westerners, the little gallery has become an insiders’ tip among collectors and enthusiasts. In their variety, the exhibits possess a primeval aspect that taps into a part of humanity that can be found in all people.

are approximations as the art stems from a world that would not deal in such words. “The works are extremely reduced, which the artists understand as a valid image of the reality of their lives.”


There are only few remaining survivors of the last Inuit generation, who got to know the traditional Inuit ways that were untouched by western influences. Their knowledge is the last window into a world that is irrecoverable. In the INUIT Gallery in Zurich and through the exhibited art, it is preserved and lives on a little longer.

For gallery owner Jeannine Bromundt, the art of the Inuit strikes a personal chord. Always interested in artistic expression, her interest in the Arctic culture was first sparked by her studies of cultural anthropology and art ethnology. However, it was the meeting of a European who married an Inuit woman that really inspired her. Through him, she had the opportunity to visit the Arctic and get to know and experience the cultural backgrounds, myths and animist thinking of the Inuit first hand. It was not until the early 20th century that the Canadian Inuit had regular contact with white people. At the time their culture was still traditionally focused around 44 | Issue 42 | September 2016

hunters and gatherers and an animistic world view.“Up to that point, the world of the Inuit was occupied by well-meaning and ill-meaning spiritual beings, while an omnipresent energy called Sila kept all of life going,” explains Bromundt. “Early Inuit artworks transport the remains of a traditional world view, which is called animistic and doesn’t hold any separation between reason and soul, culture and nature or humans and their environment.” At the moment, the INUIT Gallery, which presents three thematic exhibitions a year, displays a collection of sculptures with formal peculiarities. With a western lens the work would be described as ‘abstract’ or ‘modern’, but all statements

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

DuflonRacz gallery

The art of being, and staying, yourself DuflonRacz are a gallery focusing on the support of young contemporary art with the financial aspect being of only secondary importance. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI I PHOTOS: RUDOLF STEINER

Leaning towards the tradition of ‘neuve invention’, they are open to those artists that consider themselves at the fringe of the art scene. Consequently, their exhibitions often show artists who provoke the divide between art and the art market. With a busy agenda of showing seven exhibitions per year in various Bern-based venues, the gallery is just about to open an additional space in Brussels. Often, the artists intertwine their work with the respective venue itself, resulting in displays and installations created specifically for the gallery. For Henri Racz, an interaction between space, artist and visitor and a conceptual vision of art as experience is as important as the single artist’s commitment to their own path. Asked about his favorite exhibitions, the gallerist says: “All of them! Important is the artist’s independence from any trend or movement.” This September will show several artists who put a question mark between the

terms ‘art’ and ‘art scene’. Commenting on the divide will be the duo Haus am Gern, formed by Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta, with an interactive installation work as well as the artist Florence Jung. For her upcoming exhibition with the provocative and probing title Florence Jung sells her soul, the artist and art seller Jung plays with the eternal battle between art and commerce.

contemporary art away from the financial ‘brouhaha’ of the scene, DuflonRacz becomes a destination for those searchers looking for the essence in today’s art. Asked about his dream scenario, for Henri Racz to see his artists participating in the next Documenta in Kassel would be simply the “non plus ultra”.

As Alberto Giacometti, one of the most misconceived artists of his time who often lived and worked under hard and meager conditions, was scolded by co-artists for daring to design and sell a lamp, many artists have since struggled with the divide and still do. Calling herself an“unashamed art seller”, Jung states that her exhibition stands “somewhere in the middle”. On 8 September, DuflonRacz will go international with the opening of their new space in Brussels’ Rivoli building, a new hub for unconventional galleries (Chaussée de Waterloo 690 in 1180 Bruxelles). As a venue focusing on young Issue 42 | September 2016 | 45

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Painting with light Swiss photo studio Atelier am Bach teaches how to create mesmerising photographic art by using unusual techniques. Atelier am Bach takes pride in working beyond the standards of professional photography. The photo studio offers workshops for photographers who enjoy working with unusual techniques to create new subjects. It specialises in highspeed photography and explains how to effectively experiment with various lengths of exposure time. Whilst the movements of water drops can only be captured within milliseconds, a dancing scene requires several seconds of exposure time. This technique maintains a scene’s dynamics and makes the picture appear alive. Atelier am Bach is working with a dancer in its workshops, showing its students exactly how to take professional photos during a dance routine. Another workshop is dedicated to water drop photography. It teaches the

technique of how to take the perfect shot of a drop immersing into water. At the studio, the structures needed are already set up and ready to use, so students get the opportunity to study the setups and can then start their practise right away. As varied as Atelier am Bach’s themes are its students. Whereas technophile photographers usually enjoy working with a brief exposure time, students who work


more creatively mostly prefer the effects of a longer exposure time. This summer, Atelier am Bach follows into Picasso’s footsteps. A special workshop teaches how to paint with light, a subject that has also fascinated the Spanish master. Especially designed lamps will show how to plan and combine various light creations into new fascinating arrangements. Mesmerising photographic art, designed by creativity.

Treasures that last an eternity Established in 2014, the Swiss company Bandl’s Zeitoase offers a great range of high-quality art, unique coins and precious metals. When he was a little boy, Georg Bandl discovered his passion for collecting coins. “On every vacation I collected coins that were especially beautiful to me,” Bandl remembers. His fascination with such unique treasures continued into adulthood, so he established an exclusive online shop called Bandl’s Zeitoase, where people who share his passion will not only find an exquisite range of coin collections, but also fine pieces of art. “My intention is to offer an online platform where customers find high-quality pieces that reflect contemporary history as well as art history on the one hand, and reach the observer’s senses on the other hand,”Bandl explains.“Furthermore, our products serve as investment for the future, since they do not lose in value.” Bandl, who studied psychology and also works as a body psychotherapist, continually increases his art selection 46 | Issue 42 | September 2016

by offering paintings, drawings and sculptures. Surreal-looking oil paintings by André Mimor, encaustic paintings containing real gold by Werner Erlacher, and sculptures made of acrylic glass by Heinrich Bobst are just some examples that are available in the gallery. Even limited lithograph prints by Salvador Dalí

Die Verkündigung by Andre Mimor. Photo: Andre Mimor


can be bought at Bandl’s Zeitoase. “All artists can apply here, as long as they are already well noted,” says Bandl. Numismatists also have the chance to extend their collection by choosing from a wide range of coins, such as one remembering the 1847 marksmen’s festival in Glarus, or another coin for the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

Schützentaler Glarus. Photo: Georg Bandl

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art and Culture

Villa Bernasconi.

Some pigeons are more equal than others.

A home for art For the past 20 years, the Villa Bernasconi has provided the perfect space and environment for artists to express their creativity and for visitors to relish from it and explore their own. Enter a world that challenges conventions in beautiful natural surroundings. TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER I PHOTOS: VILLA BERNASCONI

Located at Geneva’s doorstep in the heart of a magnificent park bordering the River Aire, the Villa Bernasconi is worth a detour for all-round art lovers. Built as a summer house for the aristocracy in 1828, it stands out from its surroundings by its red-brick colour, bringing a touch of Tuscan-feel in the Swiss countryside. Before becoming the property of the city of Lancy in the ‘90s, the Villa belonged to Maître Alphonse Bernasconi, who since the ‘60s took great interest in the artistic world and facilitated exhibitions as well as art acquisitions for the city. The Villa became a meeting point that to this day remained a tradition since the centre keeps attracting visitors of all ages and interests: amateurs, collectors, hikers and students. Spread over two floors, six rooms and two wide salons, the Villa nurtures this homely feeling that many of the artists capitalised on by giving their exhibitions inviting names such as Come in!. “This creates a

certain proximity with the artwork and invites for a distinctive tour around the installations,” explains Hélène Mariéthoz, who is mainly responsible for the Villa. “Its architecture and the space itself end up becoming actors in the world of the art they host.”

Objects in the Mirror might be closer than they APPEAR. Complementing each other artistically and built on a solid friendship, this collaboration brings forth an acute observation of nature and humanity and the transformation of one by the other. A must-see on an upcoming visit to Lancy!

The Villa also transforms itself on some occasions, like for Le Trou in 2013 where the main entrance became a cat. Or in 2015 when a temporary wall divided the space in two from one end to the other for Reverse. “In such instances, the Villa becomes an artistic laboratory that gives artists the possibility to elaborate new projects beyond the classical gallery format… and surprise their visitors,” says Mariéthoz. As for the new exhibition opening its doors on 16 September, it consists of a dynamic collaboration between Julius von Bismarck and Julian Charrière entitled

Exhibition Le Trou.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 47

Gallery of the Month Austria

Gallery Walker

Enthusiasm for art and artist Although it started out as a backyard gallery in Hermagor in 1988, the Gallery Walker has since grown into a multilateral setting for exciting art and exhibitions. In their work, gallery founder Judith Walker and her daughter Carolin Walker place a specific emphasis on being a strong partner to the artists whose works they display. Through these efforts, they have supported both international art as well as their local scene, which does not need to fear its international competition. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: GALERIE WALKER

Residing in Ebenau Castle some 17 kilometres from Klagenfurt, the main exhibition space stretches out over more than 800 square metres. After exhibitions in Judith Walker’s family home, the gallery was moved here in 1996. “We have renovated it in small steps,” explains Walker. Nowadays, the castle offers stunning scenery for the presented works and a garden, which becomes an open-air studio for an inspiring dialogue between different artistic point of views.“Especially in the summer we try to attract the culturally aware through special exhibition themes,” says Carolin Walker. 48 | Issue 42 | September 2016

Next to the castle, the Walkers also use a small room in the heart of Klagenfurt. In its simplicity and purity, this second space enables them to curate additional exhibitions that would not work in front of the grandeur of the castle. “Because of its shop-window character, the room is accessible at all times, creating its own unique atmosphere.” The current exhibition in the Ebenau Castle, Cosmos of Animals, is running until mid-September. It will then be replaced by a fascinating display of the Walker’s regulars, such as Bernard Aubertin,

Main image: Ebenau Castle in the rose valley. Top right: Permanent installation at Ebenau castle, Kiki Kogelnik, glass heads. Above: Sculptures by Johann Feilacher in the Ebenau castle garden Bottom: Vernissage with the Italian artist Silvano Rubino, Carolin Walker (left) and Judith Walker (right).

Bruno Gironcoli and Kiki Kogelnik. As a permanent installation, the castle also features Kogelnik’s Venetian Heads, a project that the artist realised with the support of Walker in 1994. Furthermore, from October onwards, works of the Austrian painter Gustav Janus will be shown in the inner-city space. In the summertime, the Ebenau Castle has regular opening hours, whereas in spring, autumn and winter, the Walkers open their gallery at any time on appointment.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Destination Special Austria

Special Theme

Destination Special Austria

Summer in Austria

– a showcase of the season In a country with seven national parks, some 60 protected nature reserves, and where forested land counts for 46 per cent of its total surface, it just seems natural to be outside.

Main image: Walking experience: Kitzbühel’s hiking paradise. © medialounge Top left: Walking in Lech am Arlberg. © Christoph Schoech, Lech Zuers Tourismus Left: Biking at Kitzsteinhorn. © David Schultheiß Bottom right: Cycling in Grein. © WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH-Erber

the cultural views on a leisurely riverside pedal along the Danube, rediscover the simple pleasure of freedom on two wheels on a cycling holiday in Austria.


In a land where, in many parts, the horizon is beautifully framed by mighty mountain ranges, where snow-capped glacial summits play peek-a-boo even in the warmer months, and where a green and natural landscape welcomes guests with fresh air, you will find a snapshot of what might be the perfect walking holiday destination. Widely considered one of Europe’s top walking destinations, Austria ‘on foot’ offers its guests knockout alpine and countryside scenery. A well-marked and maintained trail system covering some 40,000 kilometres across the country awaits visitors, as well as six national

parks, some 60 protected nature preserves, authentic alpine villages connected to the mountains by summer lifts, and an excellent network of hut-to-hut routes where walkers can explore freely without having to carry a heavy load, as their luggage (as well as accommodation and tasty meals) will be waiting at the next hut.

A summer holiday in Austria is fulfilling on many levels. Whether on a roundtrip of specific interests, a ‘let’s-see-whenwe-get-there’ approach, a short break targeting culture or recreation, on two feet or two wheels, Austria offers its visitors a variety of different treasures to discover.

Austria’s network of mountain bike trails and cycling road routes also offer terrific rides for all abilities with great scenery, safe infrastructure, and challenges for those who want to test their mettle. Whether hitching a ride with your bike on a glacial cable car, throwing down a few tricks at a mountain bike park, or taking in Issue 42 | September 2016 | 49

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Austrian Destination Special

Photo: © NÖVOG / Lindmoser

Photo: © NÖVOG / Kolonovits

Photo: © NÖVOG / Leiminger

Photo: © NÖVOG / Weber

A paradise for mountain lovers and sport enthusiasts Austria is famous for its Alpine mountains, for winter sports and scenic hikes. With so many destinations to choose from, it is not easy to find the right one. Gemeindealpe Mitterbach, an Alpine mountain with its peak at 1,626 metres, offers the right adventure for everyone – from outdoor and sports enthusiasts, to those preferring a calm environment to relax. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

After taking the lift up to the top, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach offers visitors a great deal of fun and action in summer and in winter. The mountain lies directly in the famous Mariazell area and, when it comes to the weather, it combines two outstanding features. The weather in summer is often very sunny and in 50 | Issue 42 | September 2016

winter snowfall is guaranteed. From Gemeindealpe Mitterbach’s peak, one has the best view over the surrounding landscape: over the Erlaufsee, a lake at its foot, towards Mariazell, only 5.5 kilometres away, on the one side, on the other from the Alpine foothills towards Schneeberg, Rax and Hochschwab. Even further on the

horizon, visitors can get a glimpse of the Gesäuse National Park with its high-rising mountains. “Gemeindealpe Mitterbach is the ideal destination for those who like active holidays or to spend time in nature,” says Gerhard Stindl, managing director at NÖVOG. The company operates the lifts around Gemeindealpe Mitterbach as well as various trains in Lower Austria. Gemeindealpe Mitterbach has a four-seat chair lift called the Bodenbauer Express that takes guests up to the mid-station at 1,300 metres. To carry on the journey to the peak, from here visitors can take another two-seat

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Destination Special Austria

chair lift. In winter there is also a ski tow in operation leading up from the vale to the mid-station. A smaller one is available near the valley station for those only practising skiing on the beginner’s slope. “During the summer months the Mountaincarts and Monsterroller are quite popular,” says Stindl about activities possible at the Gemeindealpe. “From the mid-station there is a 4.5-kilometre-long gravel road down towards the valley.” Mountaincarts are three-wheeled carts that in a way mimic going downhill on a sledge, but with handle and brakes and of course on wheels. The Monsterroller on the other hand looks like a normal scooter but with large wheels and deep profile tyres. Even looking at the equipment one can imagine that this is a fun sport for those who like speed and action. But Gemeindealpe Mitterbach is also a place for those who prefer calm and relaxing surroundings, untouched nature either in full bloom or covered in thick layers of snow. Not only the 360-degree panoramic view from the peak is breathtaking. The well-marked hiking trails allow people to discover and explore on

their own – everyone to his or her ability. Last summer a new panoramic trail was established that is easy to hike and even suitable for prams, ideal for those without much Alpine experience. “An adventure playground directly at the Terzerhaus completes our family-friendly portfolio,” states Gerhard Stindl. The Terzerhaus is one of the various restaurants and mountain huts offering food and drinks on the Gemeindealpe and in the village – the ideal place for everyone needing a rest. The Terzerhaus lies directly at the mountain’s peak and was completely refurbished in 2014, now combining the newest technology with the typical Alpine ambience. “The panoramic windows offer a fantastic view over the landscape,” says Stindl. In winter, on the other hand, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach becomes a hotspot for ambitious sportspeople and not so much for families: “While many other ski resorts in the region have focused on families, we have established an alternative programme: With the steepest slope in Lower Austria, a high-speed slope with speed measurements, a freeride area

and a marked route for ski touring we have an extensive range for advanced skiers.” The snow park is especially famous with freestylers: With 17 different elements and 550 metres it is suitable for experienced snowboarders and skiers. For those who want to become even better, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach offers a wide range of courses – and, of course, there is the possibility to borrow equipment. Something to enjoy in summer and winter – either when travelling to Mitterbach village or for a daytrip – is the Mariazellerbahn, a railway operating between St. Pölten and Mariazell, Austria’s most famous and important pilgrimage place. The Mitterbach station lies only a few minutes away by foot from the valley station and therefore is the ideal means of transport to get there. For those staying longer than a day, there are various hotels and bed and breakfasts accommodating guests. NÖVOG Infocenter Tel.: +43 2742 360 990-99

Photo: © NÖVOG / Leiminger

Photo: © NÖVOG / Lindmoser

Photo: © NÖVOG / Leiminger

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 51

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Austrian Destination Special

Reminisce at the Remise The Remise Transport Museum in the heart of Austria’s capital of Vienna has made the exciting history of the city’s public transport system come alive. TEXT: SONJA IRANI I PHOTOS: WIENER LINIEN/JOHANNES ZINNER

Located in a former tram depot from 1901, visitors can embark on an interactive journey of Vienna’s transport system through 15 themed exhibits; from the horse-drawn tramway of the imperial age to the opening of the subway system in 1978. “The Remise is a very modern museum aimed at visitors of all ages, but particularly families with kids and those who are interested in the development of public transport in Vienna during the last 150 years,” says Wiener Linien spokesperson Michael Unger about the museum that first opened its doors in September 2014. Basic information is currently available in both English and German, with the museum planning to launch an audio guide in several languages until the end of the

year. There are also 50 historical vehicles on display, among them a horse-drawn carriage from the 1860s, a double-decker bus from the ’60s, a 1940s tramway wagon from New York City or a subway wagon in which kids can be the driver for a day. “The mix of historic vehicles, the vividly displayed history and interactive elements makes the Remise a great attraction for visitors,” says Unger. “With 60,000 visitors so far, we have seen amazing results since our opening two years ago.” Two reasons that could explain this success are the excellent accessibility of the building for buggies and wheelchairs as well as the closeness to the Prater – Vienna’s large public park right in the middle of the city.

The interactive exhibition enables an insight into 150 years of Vienna’s public transport.

Special Theme

Aesthetics & Beauty Special

Dr. Balogh’s surgery.

Univ.-Doz. Dr. Brigitta Balogh.

Univ.-Doz. Dr. Brigitta Balogh

Beautiful treatment for your skin Dr. Brigitta Balogh, a Vienna-based surgeon, is an experienced and recognised specialist for plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.

with wrinkles or decreased volume and even on the head to counter hair loss.


The treatment will leave the skin more elastic, fresh and smooth. The basic idea is to take a sample of your blood, process it into something called ‘platelet-rich plasma’ or PRP, and then inject it into facial wrinkles.

Creating and celebrating a beautiful life. That is the philosophy that best defines Dr. Balogh’s work. Her approach to practising plastic and aesthetic surgery is trying to create a holistic solution for her patients. This means finding the right balance between the appearance and the experience of one’s body. “Coming from the reconstructive sector of plastic surgery, I am acutely aware that the three important things to successful operations are: a good imagination, three-dimensional thinking, and a lot of patience. In my scientific research, I explore pertinent questions and new patterns,” explains Dr. Balogh. More specifically, Dr. Balogh provides breast and hand surgery, aesthetic operations, wrinkle treatments, reconstructive surgery after accidents, tumour removals, and surgery of the peripheral nerves.

She completed her medical studies degree and training at the Medical University of Vienna and Hannover Medical School. In 1993, Dr. Balogh received her specialist diploma; in 2003, she finished her habilitation in plastic surgery. She has worked in several prestigious university clinics and continues to participate in additional training as well as scientific conferences. In recovering patients’ skin and their youthful appearance after a summer of strong sunlight, the Austrian plastic surgeon recommends to do a procedure involving the body’s own material. This PRP lift or ‘Vampire Facelift’ has become very popular. Luckily, the only connection to vampires is the fact that it involves use of a product made from your own blood. It is a three-dimensional procedure that both lifts and reshapes, preperably in the face, and can be used on parts of the body

“I am glad to support patients who simply want to look good and counteract the ageing process. My small team and I work with people who value a skilled, reputable expert to help them make changes to how they look – and feel,” Dr. Balogh says.

Dr. Balogh performing treatment.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 53

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Aesthetics & Beauty Special

Minimally invasive procedures are on the rise.

Dr. Ferenc Kovács

A rejuvenating cure in 20 minutes If one wishes to have a younger appearance without undergoing a painful treatment, one should go to the plastic surgery practice of Dr. Ferenc Kovács in Vienna or in Ágfalva, Hungary. The former orthopaedic surgeon also helps patients who suffer from surgeries that have gone wrong. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: DR. FERENC KOVÁCS

Plastic surgeries are in great demand. But sometimes the result does not turn out the way the patient had planned and the consequences can be devastating. Dr. Ferenc Kovács from Hungary has specialised on helping patients who suffer from cosmetic surgery that has gone wrong. “Many patients who come to me have already had several surgeries and still feel unhappy with the result. Often times they have almost abandoned hope,” Dr. Kovács explains. However, he and his team are able to save the day by eminently improving the patient’s appearance just the way he or she intended. Dr. Kovács also offers traditional aesthetic surgeries such as augmentation mammoplasty and reduction surgery.

While he used to work as an orthopaedic surgeon in the past, Dr. Kovács has been working as a plastic surgeon since 2005, offering traditional aesthetic surgeries such as augmentation mammoplasty, reduction surgery, liposuctions, facelifts as well as tummy, thigh and arm lifts. “What is most important to us is to make each patient content, so we not only ensure an excellent result but we also pay attention that the treatment is as painless as possible,”says Dr. Kovács.“About 90 per cent of our patients come to our practice because we were recommended to them.” Today, Dr. Kovács has patients from Austria, Hungary, and Germany, as well as from Switzerland and England. Lunch break face lifts Minimally invasive procedures are often the method of choice nowadays. For example, thread lift treatments are combined with injecting fat from other parts of your body. “We often choose this kind of treatment for younger patients because it achieves similar skin tightening effects as traditional methods of face lifting without any need for surgical blades,”

54 | Issue 42 | September 2016

Kovács explains. “This ambulant method is also called ‘lunch break face lift’ because it is finished within 20 to 30 minutes and does not leave any external marks such as bruises or swellings.” By injecting fat that contains stem cells into the skin of the cheeks, in wrinkles or the nasolabial folds, Dr. Kovács additionally fills these areas. As a result, the patient’s skin appears more refreshed again.

The practice of Dr. Ferenc Kovács.

Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column


Regular readers of this magazine will by now have seen two columns from me on Brexit – ‘before’ and ‘after’ views. They were looking at the decision to leave the EU from a British perspective. But what does Brexit mean for Europe? Surely if one of the largest and economically most important members of the club decides to quit, that should cause some serious soul-searching in Brussels and in capital cities across the continent? If it has, that soul-searching has passed me by so far. The immediate reaction from Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission) and Martin Schulz (President of the European Parliament) was that the EU needed more integration. That is an odd answer to give and stubbornly ignores that there is a problem. More of the same is clearly not the way forward if, and this was universally accepted even by the Remain campaigners, the EU is fast loosing attraction for citizens across the continent and is in urgent need of reform. It may be tempting to dismiss the outcome of the referendum in Britain as the decision of a somewhat idiosyncratic nation of oddball islanders who never

quite arrived in the EU in the first place. That view would ignore the fact that antiEuropean right of centre movements and political parties are gaining ground at an alarming rate, whether in Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, or Italy, as well as in many central European nations. There were two other, equally odd but quite telling reactions: first, the decision of the Dutch Parliament not to hold a referendum in the Netherlands. Clearly, there must have been concern that Nexit (as it has been dubbed) may find majority support. While simply not asking the question avoids the problem at some level, and puts off the need actually to do something, it represents a rather strange view of the democratic process. Secondly, there was the conclusion apparently reached by other European governments that any temptation on the part of other member states also to head for the door should be stopped in its tracks by making the negotiations with Britain difficult. Why that negativity? The EU has much to be proud of: it has successfully secured peace, stability and prosperity in Europe for many decades; it has successfully brought Central Europe into the European family fold following the fall of the Iron Curtain and has secured the transition of those countries into flourishing democracies (for the most part, at least); it has successfully improved the lives of European citizens everywhere in tangible ways. That positive message must be communicated much more loudly and clearly. At the same time, the fears and concerns of a growing number of people must be taken seriously, whether they are perceived or real. The political chaos of the refugee crisis and concerns about security are often on the top of that list. The decision of Germany and other (mainly

Nordic) countries to show generosity and offer refugees from Syria and other war torn regions a place of safety is historically, morally and politically right: this must be explained. Knowing that “we can do it” is good; but is there a plan? Equally, migrants from across the EU do not take jobs away from local citizens but help to compensate skill shortages. In Britain, nurses from Portugal and Spain keep the NHS going and reduce waiting times, builders from Poland plug a gaping hole in the construction industry and without them major infra-structure projects such as Cross-Rail could not be realised, and seasonal agricultural labourers from Bulgaria put Lincolnshire vegetables on our dinner tables. Nigel Farage is not going to pick them for us. Again, this must be explained. And lastly, the EU and its members must take stock, openly identify and acknowledge the shortcomings and fault lines in aims, institutions and processes, and start reforming them, regardless of how difficult that process will be. An emphasis on more regionality, giving people back the identity that so many believe they have lost, would be a good starting point. It would be utterly depressing if the Brexit campaigners were right after all, and the EU is incapable of change.

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

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 55

Discover Germany | Business | Top Innovative Companies Germany

Top Wealth Management Germany Walter Sommer and Wolfgang Hemker, managing partners at Grossbötzl, Schmitz & Partner Vermögensverwaltersozietät GmbH and Wolfgang Zinn, managing partner at GS&P Institutional Management GmbH (from left to right).

Independent asset management made in Düsseldorf

30 years of Grossbötzl, Schmitz & Partner “I’d like you to work exclusively for me and I’m prepared to pay you fairly for that. What do you think? Are we on the same page?” TEXT: GS&P GROSSBÖTZL, SCHMITZ & PARTNER, TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE PHOTO: GS&P GROSSBÖTZL, SCHMITZ & PARTNER

This conversation, representative of many that followed, formed the basis that led to the launch of Grossbötzl, Schmitz & Partner in 1986. Right from the outset, the partners prided themselves on their extensive experience when it comes to taking care of an individual’s wealth as well as institutional investors. While the idea of specialising in the traditional securities business with a fee-based model, with no conflict of interests, was a purposeful step away from the more common commissionbased business model of many banks, this actually became the hallmark of Grossbötzl, Schmitz & Partner. The only way to guarantee that assets are looked after objectively and wisely is to eliminate any conflicting interests that arise from the requirements and personal expectations of the asset holder. Their perspective “Trust can only be built with continuity, integrity and a high level of reliability. 56 | Issue 42 | September 2016

These are not arbitrary flexible terms; they’re a mandatory perspective that form the basis for the way in which Grossbötzl, Schmitz & Partner works.” A statement that was first expressed 30 years ago by the founding partners, this outlook remains the driving force for the company. Despite vast changes in the current capital market landscape, the firm believes that the responsibilities for a classic asset manager have hardly changed. Every investment decision implemented for their clients comes from the perspective of a businessperson, whether it concerns dealing with pensions or a share portfolio. At the crux is always the clear vision of the classic method of wealth management and the long-standing risks that have always been involved. Consequently they find that the inappropriate ‘scientific’ justification of opaque

products with questionable success is less than helpful or even sensible. One of their key roles for their clients is ensuring that their equity investments are strategically made in major, valuable companies. They begin by appraising the attractiveness of the business model, the competitive strength, the sustainability of earning power and a low level of indebtedness. Aside from this, there is naturally a duty to pay a reasonable price on the market as sometimes even the best firms can be overpriced. Here it is about using the relevant assessment tools to not just accept any price but to plan accordingly in a disciplined manner. The success of this approach can be seen in their OP FOOD and GS&P Fonds Family Business with their long and successful history. What is crucial is that all this takes place in a business culture that recognises wealth management as a specific discipline. This has always been the case and it is a statement that they believe is even more relevant today.

Discover Germany | Business | Top Innovative Companies Germany

Top Innovative Companies Germany

Future from tradition

From left: Torsten Emmel, manager new business development, Oliver Albani, customer service prepress/ printing, project manager digital printing. Photo: © BEUCKE GROUP

Flexible packaging for 260 years The family-owned BEUCKE GROUP has been around for a while. When a company exists for a long time there is an expertise and drive for continuous innovation. For the BEUCKE GROUP, this has manifested in constant collaborations with clients and investments in current technology, such as digital printing. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: BEUCKE GROUP, COMPAMEDIA GMBH

This story starts with Borchers Christian Beucke, who founded a book-binding house in Dissen in 1757. With significant growth in the following century, the company changed into a book and magazine publishing house and at the beginning of the 20th century its services first included the manufacturing of packaging. Over the years these services were expanded, new buildings were moved into, new technology was installed and, in 2009, a new company structure was formed under the BEUCKE GROUP. Currently, the Group comprises the administrative holding BEUCKE & 58 | Issue 42 | September 2016

SÖHNE GmbH & Co. KG and four manufacturing companies. For those companies, BEUCKE & SÖHNE is concerned with central distribution tasks and development of individual customer requirements. BEUCKE OFFSETDRUCK GmbH is the first manufacturing entity and uses the sheet offset process and digital printing. It is especially responsible for all the special items that accompany packaging such as inserts or supplementary materials. BEUCKE TIEFDRUCK GmbH on the other hand is working with the gravure printing process and for the cigarettes, food and beverage industry. Furthermore, BEUCKE FLEXODRUCK

GmbH employs flexographic printing with up to ten colours for foodstuffs and beverage industries and technical products. Finally, CENADRUCK GmbH is the specialist with regard to flexible packaging solutions using the gravure printing process. Digital printing After recent investments in respective technology, one of the goals for the next few years is to establish digital printing as a fully realised printing method. Rather than inventing everything from scratch, this printing method offers customers many new opportunities. In the future, the digital system, whether it is used as a stand-alone or in combination with familiar methods, will enable a new kind of flexibility in the packaging industry. In this respect, digital printing will foster close working relationships with

Discover Germany | Business | Top Innovative Companies Germany

marketing agencies, repro companies and the marketing departments of BEUCKE GROUP’s customers. Thanks to the new technology, ideas are not only processed faster in general, but can also be developed and implemented on a much shorter notice. As a manufacturer, the digital process will further allow the group to adhere even more individually to its customers wishes. In that respect, customisation can happen from one item to the next and clients can individualise images and text on each and every packing. Continuous collaboration The step towards digital technology underlines the BEUCKE GROUP’s dedication to a type of innovation, which includes their customers. As a provider for complex packaging solutions, the group is always working with specific customer wishes. In that regard, the company develops new ideas from the ground up and in teamwork with not only the customer, but other companies in the supply chain such as producers of colour and foil or mechanical engineers.

One example of a product taking an individual shape are cigarette packs. While it may seem simple, there are many aspects of a pack that can be customised. Naturally, the know how to realise specialised ideas extends to all markets that the BEUCKE GROUP serves. Particularly for the food industry, with its great variety of packaging concepts, represented in the images around this article, is very appreciative of the groups flexibility. In this way, collaboration and technological progression come together. Concerning the latter, the BEUCKE GROUP aims to get involved with new possibilities even in the development stages. This early engagement facilitates that customers can not only influence new opportunities themselves, but also benefit from them as soon as possible. Vision 2020 Collaboration is the key for sustainable developments and by embracing it, the BEUCKE GROUP takes a pioneering position in the packaging industry. For the

future, the group has set a clear vision for its growth until 2020. Through investments for innovative improvements at the right time and with the traditional spirit of a family-managed company, the BEUCKE GROUP aims to extend its reach in the sector for high-quality print finishing and processing of flexible packaging all across Europe. While BEUCKE reached an impressive milestone in celebrating its 250-year jubilee in 2007, one can see from the ongoing progression that on a day to day basis the company is fostering the innovative thinking of a company that is still just getting started. From left: TOP 100 Innovator 2014 & 2016: (from left) CEO Lutz Beucke, Ranga Yogeshwar, Björn Pörschke, head of development. Photo: © Compamedia GmbH Example crossover production: KnowHow from cigarette is applied in the food segment. Photo: © BEUCKE GROUP Example for combined printing and individualisation in digital printing. Photo: © BEUCKE GROUP Production BEUCKE TIEFDRUCK GmbH. Photo: © BEUCKE GROUP

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 59

1 BALL , 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 O P PO RT U N I T I E S


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Discover Germany | Business | Top Innovative Companies Germany

Clean energy from your roof German company sonnen GmbH provides storage systems for solar energy. The concept of becoming independent from energy providers by using self-generated energy is not only genius, but also the way forward in a world that is recognising the necessity of sustainable energy.

Above: The Piesker family, who uses the sonnenBatterie, covers 95 per cent of their energy themselves. Top left: sonnenBatterie with display, home office. Left: sonnen production in Wildpoldsried. Bottom: Black sonnenBatterie.

fers a deal that includes a membership of the newly established sonnenCommunity. Members share their generated electricity enabling them to completely detach from energy corporations.


Founded in 2010 by Christoph Ostermann and Torsten Stiefenhofer, sonnen promoted the visionary idea to enable people with solar panels to use for their own energy. Up to this point, their solar energy was entirely fed into the power supply network for a fee. Although there was no demand, Ostermann and Stiefenhofer had great faith in their vision of everyone being able to use their own clean energy. They started what would become an incredibly successful journey. This year sonnen was listed 28th as part of the international Top 50 Smartest Companies, selected by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, merely two places behind corporate giant Microsoft. Prestigious German magazine Focus chose sonnen for their Top Ten Fastest-growing Companies of 2016. Spokesperson Mathias Bloch explains: “The main business is generated by the

smart battery storage sonnenBatterie, which today can be found in over 13,000 households worldwide. Our customers are primarily homeowners, but also small companies, farmers and supermarkets. These days our battery is not only interesting from an environmental point of view, but also for economic reasons.” The solar energy of one household delivered by a photovoltaic system and a sonnenBatterie provides around 80 per cent of its consumption. Hence it saves those households 80 per cent when it comes to electricity bills. Over a year, this amounts to a large saving of between 700 to 1,000 euros for a single-family home, and because the battery lasts for up to 20 years it is easy to understand why this option is lucrative.

Looking at the global change regarding energy and sustainability, it is safe to say that this concept will continue to grow in popularity. Bloch adds: “With our sonnenCommunity we already offer the blue print of tomorrow’s energy generation ahead of its time.” Join the solar revolution, save money, and make the world a better place – it is that simple.

It also means independence from big energy companies and therefore from the increase of electricity prices. Sonnen ofIssue 42 | September 2016 | 61

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

Special Theme

Safety & Security

Photo: © Nick Harris

Photo: © EnergieAgentur NRW

Photo: ©

Photo: © Yuri Samoilov

Photo: © Ervins Strauhmanis

Discovering the digital doorman In broad strokes, everyone will agree that the internet has been the single biggest invention of recent history. It has affected and changed everything and, in a very perceivable sense, it has given all aspects of life more dimensions. That is something that holds true for the modern security and safety sector as well. Not only has it raised the need for online security, it has also allowed for fundamental changes in classic security operations. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Prior to the technological world of the 21st century, there were considerably less ways to secure your home or property. A hundred years ago, to really feel safe you probably would have needed a person standing guard in front of your building. Technology has changed this; first through the development of alarm systems with cameras and presence detectors and lately with the invention of smart home systems that allow you to monitor all security items 62 | Issue 42 | September 2016

of your house with your phone or tablet. Your doorman has now become digital. This is an important aspect of modern security. People want to find individual solutions that cater to their needs and many companies are servicing this demand. In addition, people also like to be the one in charge of their security. Again, the internet provides this and makes a business, of which one could be sceptical,

transparent and trustworthy. It is just human to feel safer, when we ourselves can see and monitor our home or property and not be reliant on other parties. Through all these advances, security has become an integrated system. Of course, a fire blanket will always be a fire blanket and training for security personal will always be needed, but tools like locks or cameras had to be adapted to the internet. In that regard, these tools are now lined with software. However, and here is where it gets tricky, the following question arises: who secures the software? In a world where all aspects get integrated and connected, the answer to this question has opened up a whole new arm of developments and a field of business that is exciting to watch.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

Did you check-in for this flight with your smartphone? Perhaps it went like this; you booked your flight online but checked in, boarded and found your seat via your smartphone. Now you are reading this article while the key to your house door is right there on your phone as well. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: BLUEID

Even if it did not go exactly like this in your case, it surely did for the majority of the passengers around you. According to the statistics, around 50 million Germans have their smartphone at hand which makes it very likely that the majority of your fellow travellers today have one too. Almost 90 per cent of them will have booked their trip with their phone and only 20 per cent of them were checked in by a human being, whereas the rest performed a different kind of self check-in. A clear pattern emerges that does not stop at airports. It puts the mobile device at the forefront of all daily operations when travelling. Some of the people around you will later head to hotels and open rooms with mobile keys. Others will have rented out their own apartment using services like Airbnb. You might open and start a rented

car right from an app. However, how do you make sure that no one else gets access to it? How do you protect yourself?

secures the link between a hardware manufacturer’s device and a service provider’s app. In that, it works with Bluetooth low energy and both, with or without internet access. We would therefore like to rephrase the headline to ‘Did you check-in for this flight with a secured smartphone?’.

In medieval times, all you needed in order to get into a castle was a secret word. But the societies were small and there was no need to list people who knew it. This can be compared to the technology behind current mobile access. Nowadays, however, numbers are higher and the situation is different. Envision today’s scenario at the border control. Your ID is scanned and then you can or cannot enter. In order to make your smartphone access secure, every device needs an individual pass, such as individual ID. BlueID technology facilitates this ID. As a background software, BlueID generates individual certificates. It connects and Issue 42 | September 2016 | 63

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

The best protection against burglars This news is as disturbing as it is shocking: The number of house and flat burglaries has dramatically increased in the last year. While the perpetrators are almost always able to escape unpunished, many people affected are in a state of shock. Finally, there is a security system that routs the burglars before they can cause damage or harm: the SECPLAN Schutz-Haus (safety house). TEXT: SECPLAN TECHNIK GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SECPLAN TECHNIK GMBH

Germany’s fight against burglars has been unsuccessful. Politicians and the police cannot do much to protect citizens. The latest crime statistics reveal how alarming the situation really is: more and more professional gangs of thieves increase the numbers of burglaries. The perpetrators 64 | Issue 42 | September 2016

especially target flats and houses because burglars have especially easy pickings here. A burglary every three minutes Rainer Wendt, chairman of the German Police Union (DPoIG), warns: “Germany is a paradise for burglars!”The risk to become

the victim of a burglary is constantly increasing. In the meantime, a burglary happens every three minutes in Germany. The perpetrators know that the chance of being caught is extremely low. That is why more and more brazen thieves enter flats and houses in broad daylight. Burglary: this is how the victims suffer While burglars almost always escape unpunished, victims suffer. Whether it is money, jewellery, pictures, mobile phones or laptops, the loss of expensive valuables and loved memorabilia hurts. Even worse are the psychological effects

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

of a burglary. The perpetrators steal the affected person’s feeling of security and safety in his or her own four walls. Many burglary victims still suffer from sleeping problems, nightmares, nervousness or anxiety years after the incident. Some victims are so traumatised that their last resort is to look for a new home. No fear of burglars! With the SECPLAN Schutz-Haus, no one needs to be afraid of burglars. The exceptional combination of alarm technology, live video transmission and security control centre offers optimum protection round the clock. As opposed to conventional alarm systems, the SECPLAN Schutz-Haus warns the inhabitants and informs the police before a burglar can become active. Uninvited guests are recognised in a matter of seconds via video surveillance. These pictures then immediately get forwarded to a security control centre that is staffed day and night. In the case of an emergency, the experienced security guards promptly initiate effective protective measures.

Until the police arrive at the property, the burglars are directly addressed via the loudspeakers and are deterred with sirens and spotlights. Therefore, there is no time for criminals to cause damage or harm to the residents. Direct contact with the security control centre via loudspeaker.

If burglars get into the house against expectations, a fog machine caters for protection. In a matter of seconds, the rooms becomes entirely clouded so that the burglars are disoriented until the police arrive. A special shelter room offers a maximum amount of security. Any optional room can be used as a panic room. In this refuge, a special high security door is installed so that inhabitants can get to safety in a case of emergency. A success rate of 98 per cent SECPLAN Schutz-Haus’s success rate speaks for itself: 98 per cent of all breakin attempts were able to be thwarted. The SECPLAN Schutz-Haus ensures that one can again feel safe and secure in one’s own four walls in Germany.

Stop the perpetrator in minutes with fog.

SECPLAN Schutz-Haus With the SECPLAN Schutz-Haus, it is now also possible to stop burglars in the private space before they can cause any damage. Further information about this unique security system can be found at: SECPLAN Technik GmbH Buchenstraße 15 D-64385 Reichelsheim Tel.: 0 61 64 / 64 20-410

The SECPLAN Schutz-Haus in detail.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 65

GIVEAWAY SECURITY Also available w ith

YourLogo Special off er for companies

High effective Anti Fire Spray Made with beautiful design For safer life and workspace


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

Fire protection essentials by Kleiner Brandmeister®. Left: Fire Blanket. Middle top: Fire Retardant Mat. Middle: Smoke Alarm Device. Right: Aerosol Fire Extinguisher.

Beautiful fire protection at home People are increasingly aware of the security of their homes, their families or their business premises. Although fire alarms have become mandatory in Germany and Austria – particularly in bedrooms and corridors – the dangers of fire and especially smoke are still underestimated. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: KLEINER BRANDMEISTER

The brand Kleiner Brandmeister® whose products have been recommended by the Versicherungskammer Bayern, Germany’s biggest mutual insurance group, has specialised in the fire safety needs of private homes and businesses. It offers a wide range of products to protect buildings, homes and humans against the dangers of fire. Kleiner Brandmeister® products come in a sleek, modern design. Their product portfolio consists of the core fire protection goods one should have available at home, such as a fire extinguisher spray, fire blankets, a fire retardant matt and highend smoke detectors. “Our products have been designed with the consumer needs perpetually in mind,” says Hilmar von Tippelskirch, managing director at Kleiner

Brandmeister GmbH. “Their design is attractive, they can easily be integrated into the work or living environment, are intuitive and perform as expected in an emergency.” One of Kleiner Brandmeister’s innovations about to be introduced to the Smart Home market is the Kleiner Brandmeister® iPGateway. This device converts Kleiner Brandmeister® smoke alarms into an independent automatic fire alarm system through a radio link, similar to hotel systems. “If smoke or heat is detected by one fire detector, the temperature of the affected room will be sent to the customer’s smartphone, tablet or personal computer through the brand-new iP-Gateway. Our state-of-the-art technology also includes

a GSM module with a SIM card, for the system to work independently in case of connection loss. It is crucial to detect fire at an early stage, locate it instantly and save vital time that can save lives!” stresses von Tippelskirch. Safety is a welcomed and precious gift, as is proven by Kleiner Brandmeister® products. The fire extinguishing spray, for instance, comes in an aerosol no bigger than hair spray, always at hand and ready to use either at home or in the office. So why not surprise your loved ones or business partners with an exceptional, possibly life-saving gift that tells them that you care for their safety? All Kleiner Brandmeister’s products can be ordered online. Pay their homepage a visit and start making your home an even safer place today. Issue 42 | September 2016 | 67

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

A synonym for innovative security since 1924 ABUS is a leading, German quality manufacturer of highly reliable security technology for private and commercial use. Providing a large product range of innovative security solutions with a long service life for the areas of security at home, mobile security and commercial security, the ABUS group boasts around 3,500 employees worldwide. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ABUS

The number of domestic burglaries has continued to grow for years. In 2014, the highest number of burglaries in nearly 15 years was recorded and in 2015, another ‘record’ was achieved. Furthermore, criminal statistics by the police reveal that in 68 | Issue 42 | September 2016

2015, every federal state in Germany noticed an increased number of burglaries and the daily newspaper Die Welt wrote that the crime statistics of 2015 reveal that the number of burglaries in 2015 has increased by 9.9 per cent to a total of

Main image: The Secvest is very easy to use. From left: How the Secvest operates. ABUS WLAN tilt and swivel camera. ABUS HomeTec Pro.

167,136 recorded cases. Therefore, Germany sees as many burglaries as 23 years ago. However, it needs to be noted that a third of these burglaries are attempted break-ins. The most important reason for this are mechanical safety mechanisms, which provide effective protection against burglars. Besides this protection, it is very likely that the products’ deterrent effects, such as light, make a burglar leave for the next object.“After all, if a burglar isn’t successful after a short period of time, he or she will usually give up,” notes Michael Bräuer, marketing director at ABUS.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

Thus, it can be said that high-quality security technology helps to prevent more and more break-ins. ABUS has a variety of products to cater for burglary protection, such as locking cylinders, alarm systems, video surveillance and access control devices, door and window protection mechanisms, as well as smoke detectors. After all, with targeted actions, houses and apartments can be made much safer. Bräuer explains: “Houses and flats can best be secured with mechanical or mechatronic safety devices. They effectively increase burglary protection as doors and windows can’t easily be levered any longer, for example. Additionally, the deterrent effect means that a burglar will most likely abort the burglary. Thus, investing in good burglary protection is really worth it.” How to protect one’s home Usually, burglars simply need a common screwdriver to open non-secured windows and doors. As a study by the city of Cologne from 2011 suggests, the majority of burglars use levering techniques to get into one’s home, while they usually try to get into a patio door or windows of a single-family home. In multi-family homes, on the other hand, the culprits try to primarily access the object through apartment or balcony doors. However, it

is not that hard to effectively protect one’s home against break-ins. “Investing in security technology can effectively help,” says Bräuer. He adds: “A solid, mechanical basic protection for a normal single-family home can be purchased from 2,000 euros. Over a period of ten years, this means that the investment is around 15 euros per month. An even better protection measure is, however, a combination of mechanical and electronic security technology. Thus, so-called mechatronic security installations form a combination of solid locks and an alarm system. Like this, burglars are stopped by the mechanics, while the alarm is set off at the same time. This puts pressure on the perpetrator.” Free security check Safeguarding one’s home against breakin attempts should always be objectspecifically determined. Therefore, ABUS recommends that one uses advisory services and that one consults experts so that an individual security concept can be developed. For example, head to www. to arrange an on-site security check with a certified specialist dealer. The professional will then determine which individual safety measures are reasonable for this particular case – nonbinding and free.

In addition to the used security technology, one should also consider some behavioural rules: front doors should be locked and windows should be entirely closed. A good protection is also the simulation of presence during holiday times. It should be ensured that the letterbox gets emptied on a daily basis, that newspapers in front of the door get collected and that shutters and blinds are regularly raised and lowered. Furthermore, the use of timers for lighting can also act as a deterrent against potential burglars. In order to make the public aware of the high importance of burglary protection, each year a ‘day of burglary protection’ is held in autumn on the day of changing the clocks. Under the motto of ‘one hour more for security’, the police inform about burglary protection and give many security recommendations on this day. As a premium partner, ABUS supports this campaign, called ‘K-Einbruch’ which has brought this day to life. From left: Door security. ABUS video verification via app. Window security. Door security.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 69

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

Nico Krone, Sabine Habersatter and long-term employee Sylke Koppenhagen (from left to right)

Security reloaded Medium-sized businesses and their owners’ families have specific safety requirements. To be able to fulfil these, understanding and trust are indispensable foundations. That is when the Numbrecht-based H&K Krisenwerkstatt GmbH comes into play - a company specialised in the professional training of bodyguards and in the consultancy of companies and their owner families. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: LEMRICH

When families have to think about security for the first time, great uncertainty often emerges; especially when it includes thinking about their own family’s wellbeing. “One can’t carry out a wellfounded analysis about the risk for one’s property and family on their own, so 70 | Issue 42 | September 2016

the party concerned turns to outsiders. Numerous companies offer their expertise for this and also have security employees and appropriate concepts at hand. Even though this might look like a big advantage, for us it is a disadvantage,” explains Nico Krone, managing partner of H&K

Krisenwerkstatt GmbH. He adds: “How can my client be sure that we can properly identify and assess his or her needs when we make money with security measures? This is the main reason for why we have established independent consultation.” The other reason is that the H&K team knows the perspective of families in need of protection from their very own, personal experience. Sabine Habersatter, who is also a managing partner at H&K, comes from an affected family herself and Nico Krone is an internationally experienced safety expert and family bodyguard. For almost a decade, the two have now intensively dealt

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

with the realities of personal protection for families and have also advised many families concerned. Krone notes: “Each family has an individual risk situation which requires individual measures. We examine the situation and holistically advise them. As a result, the family decides which conclusions can be drawn and which measures should be taken.”

well-founded training in first aid and have a detailed knowledge of the legal situation amongst others. “Finding and training these employees is the second focus of our company. Besides finding a good, independent security consultation, it is a big challenge to find, employ and foster suitable security employees,” says Krone.

Unobtrusive escorts

A majority of people interested in becoming a security agent got their knowledge about this task from the TV and this image barely correlates with the reality of the daily work routine. “Thus, our long-term goal is to shape the security agent’s job description in the industry, as well in the public,” notes Krone. Unfortunately, an organised, specialist training for the profession of a bodyguard does not really exist in Germany yet, so that the prospective security employee has to gain further specialist training in order to get into the field of personal protection. Germany has numerous academies and training institutions that offer this missing standardised training; but as there are many different fields of activity for a bodyguard, it is quite difficult to specifically educate oneself further.

“Most families don’t want the typical body builder with black sunglasses as a bodyguard. Families prefer an employee who doesn’t attract attention and who acts according to the situation. This can mean that the bodyguard accompanies the family as a ‘friend of the family’ on a vacation or helps the client when a drunk colleague exceeds his limits at a company event,” says Krone. The bodyguard also needs to be able to independently decide how to unobtrusively defuse a situation and he or she has many more tasks for the family’s daily security than the obvious ones, such as taking the dog for a walk in the morning. Krone adds: “Often, the security concepts in families aren’t only individual but also distinguish themselves from security concepts at authorities, for example.” Thus, a bodyguard in a family has to gain broad and holistic training in order to be able to cover all areas of the protection mandate. Besides self-evident skills such as self-defence, he or she needs to be able to drive, have soft skills, have a

Wrong conceptions

field of personal security and don’t specialise on the protection of families.” That is why H&K Krisenwerkstatt GmbH believes that they need experts that have theoretical as well as practical experience. Thus, their training courses and individual education offerings train bodyguards and people who want to become bodyguards for the deployment in families at risk. Their training centre enables intensive and targeted education alongside other trainers, specialists and a small, highquality network of companies. Krone adds: “Like this, we do not only ensure that we meet our own quality and qualification requirements, but we also want to adjust our knowledge and teaching activity to the current political and societal situation. And, of course, we do not only want to offer consultation to our clients but we also want to help them in finding the right people and companies which suit their individual situations.”

Krone explains: “Due to this educational issue, people interested in becoming bodyguards rarely receive realistic training, while a majority of educational facilities don’t have experience in the

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 71

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Safety & Security

More than an alarm system: New device helps scare off and track burglars During the holiday season, many people leave their homes unattended while going abroad – often with a very bad feeling. Burglaries are quite common during holidays, but German security expert AMG Sicherheitstechnik provides a new technical solution: Alarmtab. This is the first burglary reconnaissance system that not only sets off a burglary alarm, but tracks the culprits and collects evidence. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: AMG SICHERHEITSTECHNIK

Especially when there are no neighbours or family members looking after the house, many fear burglars might break in while they are away. “I would recommend everyone to install some kind of alarm system,” says Klaus Gehrmann, managing director at AMG Sicherheitstechnik.“It has been proven that breaking and entering happens more often in houses without alarm system, then in houses with one.” But even if someone has installed an alarm system, this does not mean the burglar will indeed be caught. Often enough the alarm goes off, but when the police arrive the burglars are already gone. Furthermore, 72 | Issue 42 | September 2016

identifying the person responsible is often impossible for the police. Alarmtab fills this gap. Looking like a tablet computer, one of the preferred products stolen during burglaries, it is placed somewhere in the house where it can easily be seen. If the owner leaves the house, they activate the alarm that also consists of sensors at windows and doors. If a burglar now enters the house, two things happen at once: a signal is sent to the owner’s phone pointing out someone has entered the house and Alarmtab starts playing a video to draw attention. “When developing the device, we approached

this psychologically, heightening the chances that the culprit indeed steals the device,” explains Klaus Gehrmann. The burglar grabs the Alarmtab, all the while it unnoticeably collects information and sends it to the owner such as pictures of the burglar and audio recordings. Alarmtab also activates a second system in the house, indicating for example that the owner has come back or someone is on the upper floor, to scare the burglar off before they can steal anything else. If they now leave the house, Alarmtab sends a tracking signal, allowing the police to hunt him down easily.“To heighten the chances of a burglar taking the Alarmtab, we will soon also deposit fake smartphones in the house, functioning the same way,” says Gehrmann. If the Alarmtab is stolen – as intended – the owner gets a new one for free.




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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

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The office. Photo: © Scheitlin Syrig

Passing on the flame:

Scheitlin Syfrig Architects and the power of flexibility For the five partners at Scheitlin Syfrig Architects, a solid base of hard-earned experience combined with an open and adaptable mind for development form the essence of the future. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Scheitlin Syfrig Architects are not following a single style but merely execute a flexible approach according to the diversity of tasks they work on. As a result, their portfolio is made of a multifaceted, colourful agenda; an agenda they tackle with curiosity, dedication and enthusiasm. From ice cream parlor to skyscraper, from individual layout to masterplan, Scheitlin 74 | Issue 42 | September 2016

Syfrig provide an all-round service through one hand, be it for the individual needs of a private client or the multifaceted requirements of large companies and the public sector. With a history dating back to 1985 when the original Scheitlin Syfrig office was founded under the meager prospects of the recession-ridden late ’80s, the enterprise

has meanwhile grown to the impressive number of 50 employees. Back in the ’80s, for Andi Scheitlin and Marc Syfrig it was all about adapting to the circumstances while showing resilience in executing their achieved skills within a crumbling economy. This hard-backed flexibility resulted in a philosophy of rising and adapting to a challenge through making the impossible possible, if needs be. Today, Scheitlin Syfrig still build where they find a challenging project, be it small or large scale. Every task has its unique solution and therefore there is no style guide or trend-based copying.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

The Scheitlin Syfrig line is marked not by one single design approach but merely by quality, sustainability and fulfilled requirements. However, all their projects are executed in style, as shown by their Villa ‘Am Vierwaldstättersee’: The word bold comes to mind, but likewise the words light and beauty. A ‘determination not to compromise’, declared by such famous architects like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, was needed to build a house like this. The wish of the builder mirrored that of the architect, namely to create “a piece of stone with two large holes on either side”. The accessible entry side of the house reaches to the ground, while on the side facing picturesque Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee), the

house rests above a modestly retrieving basement level. The outer appearance is dominated by a rough concrete structure, the revealed inner walls are smooth and bare, resulting in a sculpture-like building of minimalist beauty. A villa of a much different era and quality is the ‘Villa im Park’: Dating back to 1782, shortly before the French revolution, the building received a hunting room annex after the First World War. When the plaster came down, the Villa suddenly showed its real and beautiful face. As a result, the owners fell in love with the silver fir walls that were revealed during reconstruction. The strong structure and patina of these stripped and cleaned wooden walls now stand in lively contrast with the new fittings – floors, windows,

Am Vierwaldstättersee villa. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Am Vierwaldstättersee villa. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Villa im Park. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Villa im Park. Photo: © Ben Huggler

doors and furniture made of white oiled Douglas fir. The former hunting room, deemed unsuitable by the new owners, was replaced with a modern addition. This new extension, all in black, visually retreats from and thereby complements the overall appearance of the original building. From private client to the world of business and commerce, an impressive example of Scheitlin Syfrigs’ longstanding cooperation with the La Roche concern is the recently finalised ‘Roche Personalrestaurant’ in the Swiss town of Rotkreuz. The extension of the canteen, also named ‘Quadra’ due to the highly geometrical appearance of the window façade, was finished in 2015 and awarded the Rigips Trophy 2016 special award for

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 75

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

operating buildings. The new building expands the capacity from 420 to 920 seating and stands in line with a tradition of impressive company architecture for the Roche group. The light streaming in through the white grid structure combined with a grounding dark wooden floor creates an almost sacral appearance.

Roche employees’ canteen. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Roche employees’ canteen. Photo: © Ben Huggler

On the path to finding a satisfying solution, it helps to look at a project from a range of different angles. Therefore, the Scheitlin Syfrig team consists not of architects only but also of construction managers, draftsmen and women, engineers, business women, communication designers, financial planners, landscape architects, city planners and visualisers. Creativity and structure exist side by side in the Scheitlin Syfrig office, strategic and creative thinking is supported by concrete figures as practical examples. Scheitlin Syfrig Architects build according to task, not to order, and they dare to question demands and to offer counter proposals if it deems productive. Because sometimes it is necessary to revise a draft or even a layout plan to get an even better result in the end. While smaller, private projects serve the individuality of a single client, the large-scale projects at Scheitlin Syfrig are mostly acquired through partaking in competitions. As architect Mauritius Carlen, new partner at the office as of last year, states: “Competition is good for business.”

Bossard Arena. Photo: © Ben Huggler

76 | Issue 42 | September 2016

Bossard Arena. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Adapting to challenges with an open mind is part of their successful office philosophy as shown by the award-winning ‘Bossard Arena’ in Zug. The outside entry reveals the interior already: visitors can see part of the ice rink, lowered into the ground, before even entering the building. This way, the outside square visually merges with the complex of stadium, ice rink and high rise by giving the impression of flowing into it. This impressive project by Scheitlin Syfrig received a bronze medal award by the IOC/ IAKS, the only international award for sports and multipurpose facilities. As the stadium was built according to minergie standards, the Bossard Arena uses the excess heat of the cooling machines for heating both the stadium and the

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

‘Uptown’ high rise as well as a sports hall and the superstructure named ‘guardian angel’. Customers and audiences enjoy the mellow climate inside and as the first Swiss minergie stadium, the project is serving as a model for future stadium designs in Switzerland. Both the athletes and the public value the new stadium, the flowing connection between the outer and the interior, the easy accessibility for the teams and efficient guiding systems for the crowds have already led to comparisons with the hailed atmosphere created in NHL stadiums, usually twice the size of the Bossard Arena. The right solution lies with finding a common path and requires resilience and trust. Scheitlin Syfrig support their clients and developers in helping to win over both communities and individual neighbours for an interesting project if necessary. They accompany builders through political decision-making processes, by providing informative events and transparent project

Entlebuch plus energy house. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Villa Lettenrain. Photo: © Walter Mair

presentations. They work from first draft through to execution with the help of approachable models and visualisations, often using haptic materials. For this fall, Scheitlin Syfrig look forward to the groundbreaking day for one of their biggest projects. The Mattenhof development in Luzern’s South, a “city within the city”, includes 300 living units, around 20,000 square metres of office and retail space, a Holiday Inn hotel and more, all of which has been in planning since 2008. Scheitlin Syfrig have not only provided the general masterplan for this, they will see the project through as architectural authority and at the same time provide all necessary engineering services through subcontractors. That way the client can rely on getting the whole project delivered through one hand. A smaller project Scheitlin Syfrig look forward to completing soon will be the Ägeribad pool for the Swiss villages of

Dietschibergbahn residential home. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Oberägeri and Unterägeri, a visually enticing retreat, marked by minimalist architecture in connection with a peaceful lakefront setting designed by Appert Zwahlen Partner. Engaging in both small and large-scale projects for the public and private sector while minding the socioeconomic responsibility through a constant adjustment of measurements and standards – this is the work ethos that Scheitlin Syfrig have passed on to the heirs of their evergrowing office. With their successors continuously challenging their own scales of measurement by developing new ideas, it seems that Scheitlin Syfrig have successfully passed on the flame of their combined philosophy of resilience and flexibility. As Mauritius Carlen happily puts it: “We think in different measures, all the time.”

Entlebuch plus energy house. Photo: © Ben Huggler

Pilatus Aircraft assembly hall. Photo: © Walter Mair

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

All above: 5 Star Plus Hotel Atlantis in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo: © Giardino Group

Monoplan starts where others stop The Zurich-based architectural office Monoplan AG has a holistic planning approach that is defined by the clients’ interests. What makes the architectural office stand out is that its team comprises of architects, interior designers, graphic designers, 3D specialists and a vast array of external partners. Thus, Monoplan is able to offer an interdisciplinary range of services in architecture, graphic design and branding. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

“Our buildings and projects aren’t developed one-dimensionally, but rather get planned according to the usage requirements and expectations of future users. Furthermore, we plan from the interior’s quality to the outside and our projects are constantly social, economic and environmentally sustainable,” explains Daniel Schneider, architect and managing partner of Monoplan. Philip Wohlfarth, also architect and managing partner of Monoplan, adds: “At Monoplan, the clients and their assignments stand at the core of our doings. We are inspired by the place, functionality or the client and often, we are 78 | Issue 42 | September 2016

pulse generators to further develop a brand with respect to the design. Additionally, we develop each project on the basis of specific factors and of the specific location.” International orientation The unique combination of architects, interior designers and external partners is met by a multicultural Monoplan team that is made up of 12 nations.“That’s how we are able to offer different languages and viewpoints and thus, we can holistically implement our clients’ projects,” says Schneider. Wohlfarth adds: “Furthermore, our projects combine local particularities with interna-

tional aspirations so that they pose as added values for our regional, as well as our international guests.” Thanks to the large network and partnerships with investors, hotel operators and other experts, clients can benefit from the internal know-how, as well as the expertise of the partners so that they can expect an optimum and professional range of services. With Monoplan’s projects primarily located in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, the architectural office is further striving for expansion into the European environment and beyond. In addition to well-established tasks such as corporate architecture, Monoplan specialises in general planning, interior design and the area of hospitality that includes classic hotel planning and design, as well as serviced apartments, retirement homes, restaurants, spas and more. But why is the Monoplan team so fascinated about hospitality and medical projects? Wohlfarth answers: “These

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

projects are some of the most demanding tasks technically and are also the most exciting ones creatively.” Hospitality experts The expertise in building hotels, as well as planning the respective interior design, can be seen in many great project examples. For the tradition-rich, five-star Hotel Atlantis in Zurich, for example, Monoplan was commissioned with the general planning mandate to carry out the reconstruction of the hotel. The ultimate goal for the architects was to revive the new Hotel Atlantis as a five-star establishment. Thus, all rooms, the complete technical building services and the façade were renovated. A highlight is the new façade where, through a reverse printing technique, it takes on the characteristic of the old aggregate concrete façade. Another one of Monoplan’s portfolio examples is the four-star superior Löwen Hotel in Schruns, Austria. Modern alpine chic and a regional character were the goals of the redesign so that the hotel fits its alpine setting and local scenery. For this purpose, the concept of ‘being hosted by

friends in a Montafon cottage’ was developed and the application of this concept was reflected in the architecture, interior design and branding. Monoplan brought about that the classical façade stands out discreetly from the surrounding buildings with its colour scheme and creates a modern context without disrupting the harmony of the alpine setting. On the hotel’s inside, the design is dominated by traditional patterns and natural regional materials, such as wood, stone and glass which were combined with a warm colour scheme. The rooms play with the contrast between traditional and modern. In the five-star superior Interalpen Hotel Tyrol in Telfs, Austria, Monoplan considered the hotel’s connection to the identity of the Tyrol region. Therefore, all 238 rooms and suites were completely renovated and furnished in traditional Tyrolean luxury, as well as modern alpine lodge style – a tasteful combination. The bathrooms were given new lighting and bathroom technology and were furnished in natural stone. Furthermore, the façades and guest balconies now meet the latest demands in energy saving.

In contrast to these superior hotels stands the Motel One project in Basel’s city centre. For this project, the architectural office was commissioned with the general planning mandate for the budget design hotel with 143 rooms. While a bank used the building before, Monoplan used its expertise in hotel conversions and turned this existing property into a hotel. “Architecture has always been an essential and comprehensive aspect of human life. To contribute to sustainable, successful and attractive living spaces and experiences is as much of a challenge as it is our ultimate goal,”concludes Schneider. So, if you look for efficiency, speed, high adherence to deadlines and costs, as well as for a strong and individual concept or design for your project, you should visit Monoplan in Zurich.

Below left and right: 5 Star Plus Hotel Interalpen.Hotel Tyrol in Telfs, Austria. Photo: © Photo Design Bottom left and right: Four-star Löwen Hotel Montafon in Schruns, Austria. Photo: © Photo Design

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 79

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

Above: Haus zu den zwei Raben 1681, restoration. Right: New central heating plant, Hombrechtikon.

Atmosphere and aura:

Roskothen architecture fosters awareness for the ground we stand on Location, location: Roskothen architects approach unique projects with a refined attitude and respect for the site and task at hand. Be it castle or monastery grounds, guesthouse or living environment, Roskothen give the place to build on a thorough analysis before even thinking about the first draft. The outcome shapes their approach to the project, in close connection to the client’s specific vision and ideas.

project that Frank Roskothen describes as “groundbreaking”. Building on an island, which itself is listed as a place of outstanding beauty and national significance by the federal office of culture, means taking on a huge but welcome responsibility.


With the ‘Haus zu den zwei Raben’ (meaning ’house of the two ravens’), a historical guesthouse on the unique Swiss island of Ufenau, they have now tackled the task of cautiously restoring and restructuring the building, which dates back to the 17th century. As Frank Roskothen states: “Every spot or setting has its unique quality and is therefore, in addition to the building task 80 | Issue 42 | September 2016

at hand and the personality of the client, of major importance for the design.” The island of Ufenau, set in Lake Zurich, is part of the cultural-historic site of Einsiedeln monastery. The ‘Haus zu den zwei Raben’ property buildings are listed as a national treasure and part of a protected villagescape. Roskothen architects have just recently embarked on the challenging task, a

The building itself dates from 1681 with a listed annex built in 1939. While the gastronomic purpose will be upheld with a summer restaurant on the ground floor, the upper part of the building will not be touched in its original construction, apart from installing bathrooms. The stabilisation and reconstruction of the building will be carried out in close collaboration with the historic monuments authority. The house of the two ravens is to be reopened in May 2018.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

Respect for the place and a mindful architectural approach appeal to a range of clients from dentists to artists, a wide pallet of individuals who often collaborate with the office for several projects. Trust is the key word here and is met with the conscientious planning that Roskothen architects provide, from the first draft all the way to handover day. Frank Roskothen started his own office in 2002 in Rapperswil after spending several years as a design and competition architect. Since then, staying open to a complex variety of projects has led him to an equally large range of activity. From designing modern apartment buildings to the restoration of listed properties to creating arts and design projects, a multitude of projects are being realised for both private individuals and the public sector. What combines them is the detailed and task-specific yet innovative attitude.

The architect describes the refined approach in combination with creative curiosity as follows: “Complex preconditions and challenging building tasks stimulate our imagination and drive us to create a valuable addition to our environment.” While functional buildings or a new bungalow with Roskothen will show modern design in the tradition of objectivity, sometimes a clear-cut design has to turn a corner, for example with the spiral staircase for the Villa Martha in Rapperswil. Here, the historic monuments authority set the task to provide outside access to a guest apartment in the upper part of a listed building. A central pillar was out of the question due to accessibility to the parking space and thus the idea for a spiral staircase was born. Due to the respective house wall facing north, the initially envisioned greening was replaced by a truly innovative solution. Cut by laser, the steel banister

now shows a delicate floral pattern, giving it a much lighter appearance with a nod to the historic building design. From detailed and careful renovation and restructuring to streamlined apartment buildings, from innovative installation to mindful awareness of historical sites; Roskothen architects will always make a point of taking a close look at the task at hand before they begin. As the architect himself sums up: “The outcome of [a location’s] analysis leads into respectfully and conscientiously developing a cut-tomeasure concept and is translated into a clear, sustainable architecture.” From left: Castle tower bridge, replacement, Pfäffikon. New entry building, Groz Beckert AG, Lachen. Restructuring and extension, sports hall Halden, Rapperswil. Outside staircase for listed building, Villa Martha, Rapperswil. Water sports centre for canoeing and rowing, Lido Rapperswil.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

Joint venture: KLM architects combine Swiss precision with Californian levity

Main image: Multi-family home Torkelgässli 8, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, exterior view. Top right: Parfanna Mels building project. Above: Riva Fit fitness centre in Walenstadt, exterior view.

The combination of Swiss precision with a joyful approach gives KLM architecture its special knack for clear-shaped, dynamic structures, with creative innovation included. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: RENDERING – KLM ARCHITECTS

The small and diverse team consists of Swiss architects Stephan Klingler and his daughter Lara in collaboration with architects Stephan Mundwiler and his wife Cara Lee, who both received their master’s degrees in the US. For Stephan Mundwiler, the transatlantic organisation means frequent travelling between California and Switzerland; media like email and Skype have proven essential for a lively and frequent exchange between the Swiss base and the LA office. The Walenstadt team’s expertise in detailed construction management is of prominent importance within this fertile connection. KLM architects was founded in 2011 to build and expand synergies concerning experience, know-how and personnel 82 | Issue 42 | September 2016

of the two existing companies Busa + Klingler Architekten, Walenstadt and lee + mundwiler architects, Los Angeles USA. Klingler and Mundwiler had met a few years earlier in Santa Monica and commonalities were soon detected and further established through sharing two projects for Swiss competitions. With winning the tender for the ‘Parfanna’ building project for nine apartment houses containing 74 living units, the common ground for future co-work was paved. Successful examples are the planning and execution of the Riva Fit fitness centre in Walenstadt and the multi-family dwelling ‘Torkelgässli 8’ in Bad Ragaz, currently under construction. Competition work is a main source of acquisition for KLM but, thanks to the successful projects in Eastern

Switzerland, direct commissions are further to become part of their working portfolio. The range of clients mirrors the multifold approach of the KLM team, consisting of communities, private investors as well as individual companies and builders. Private buyers like the families investing in the ‘Torkelgässli 8 in Bad Ragaz’ project enjoy detailed individual fitouts for their chosen apartment. With construction underway until December, two of the 4.5 – 5.5 room apartments in the unique setting of the spa town are still for sale. For 2017, KLM are looking at beginning their Parfanna project in Mels and the initiation of a concept for 70 building units in the picturesque community of Vilters-Wangs. Californian lightness and Swiss precision: Together, the combined forces of KLM architects unbeatably create an innovative, detailed architecture with a sense of ease.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

The redeveloped apartment on Tenerife. Family home in Küsnacht, Zurich. Gabriel Walti and Daniela Niedermann.

The redeveloped apartment on Tenerife.

Family home in Küsnacht, Zurich.

Individual architecture through recognising atmosphere, environment and each client’s singularity Every project is individual and design ideas have to grow over time. For architects Gabriel Walti and Daniela Niedermann this is key, especially to be flexible when it comes to clients’ needs and dreams. Both architects founded their own architectural office in Zurich in 2012. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: NIEDERMANN WALTI ARCHITEKTEN

“We try to find creative and individual solutions for every projects, with an eye for detail and a harmonious overall concept,”says Gabriel Walti, who takes his inspiration from contemporary architects like Paulo Mendes da Rocha or Sanaa. Two projects currently in focus are quite different in kind – especially because they have been developed for two rather distinct regions and for rather different purposes. One is the redevelopment of a holiday apartment on Tenerife, the other a newly built family home in Küsnacht, Zurich. “Of course the specific place plays an important role for the actual design,” says architect Gabriel Walti. “Climatic specifics

directly influence the chosen building envelope or the building services, while the atmospheric and cultural particularities of a location carry some weight when it comes to design ideas.” The redeveloped apartment on Tenerife is quite small, but nonetheless the owner wanted a sense of openness and space. The concept was to turn the room into a floating space, structured through built-in furniture and different zones for different purposes: living, cooking, eating and sleeping. The bed, sofa, sideboards and a bench are – according to local traditions – part of the room structure, so that only table and chairs were necessary additional furniture. “We chose

the materials accordingly to support the impression of a floating space,”says Walti. With the second project – a family home in Zurich – the client had very distinct ideas right from the beginning: a minimalist but elegant concrete building, light flooded and directly connected with the garden. Especially the last aspect became key for the design: Large windows and a patio not only catch the light but also connect all three floors – among them an openplan garden level. “Even though it is a solid build, the house seems transparent,” explains Gabriel Walti. The projects might be different, but the overall idea stays the same: “It is essential for us to develop a feeling for what is important for the builder, how a client wants to live and what kind of building would befit him.”

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

Architecture creates space for people, for communication and social interactions After working on various projects in Switzerland and abroad, in 2014 five young and innovative architects jointly founded their own architectural practice in Zurich: SQUADRAT. The office’s work revolves around the idea of community as its working ethos and when it comes to architecture. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTO: FABIAN WILLI

For SQUADRAT, architecture is always a collaborative project and never a oneman show. “Teamwork and discussions are always the foundation our projects are built on,” explains Andreas Thuy, one of the architects. “Every member of the team has individual talents, interests and abilities that we encourage and use to find the best solution for our clients.” While one has a more theoretical approach, the next focuses on design whereas others are urban planners, draftsmen or construction managers. Together they can rely on experience gained through studying at renowned universities like ETH Zurich or Harvard University and by working on various projects – from local ones in Switzerland to collaborations in Kyoto, Hong Kong and Singapore. Collaborative structures play an important role for how SQUADRAT architects work, but also for their designs and architecture – may it be working spaces, housing or urban planning. One recent project picturing this idea is an office building in Hamburg, where the architects focused on joined spaces and communication. Zones for work meetings, coffee bars, silent corners private areas and even a hidden garden are situated around a large spiral staircase connecting all levels. The established relations and transparencies contribute to an open and communicative working environment.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

Main image and top left: Roetelpark Villas, Zug. Above: Residential and commercial building, Grafenaustrasse Zug. Bottom right: Reconstruction Zurich. Photo: © Margherita Crocco

Adaptable layouts meet sustainable concepts The architects Lea Rickenbacher and Caroline Zimmerli take both the individual and the big picture into account. With them, economical and sustainable ‘minergie’ standards and individual layout wishes are merged into one.

construction management, Rickenbacher and Zimmerli supervise an individual project until moving day.


Next year will mark the start of construction for their Grafenaustrasse apartment and commercial building complex in Zug. In planning since 2014, the project will feature a light sensitive glass fiber concrete façade, an aesthetically high-grade yet economical aspect making this project unique from the beginning. Minergie standards have a high priority with Rickenbacher Zimmerli architects. As Lea Rickenbacher states: “We try to take the individual wishes of our clients into account by striving to find a sustainable, individual solution without forgetting the bigger context.”

“For us, clear lines and a sustainable concept are major components for achieving that,” says Lea Rickenbacher. Interdisciplinary projects are being developed together with specialists. That way flexible concepts are being made possible that might otherwise fall by the wayside, such as adaptable layouts that can be changed according to the growth and needs of a family or an enterprise. Take the four-storey villas in Roetelpark, Zug, for example. Set in a sunny area called the ‘pearl of Zug’, with picturesque views of the lake, each flat features large window fronts, balconies and terraces. The clear-cut layouts provide visual clarity and a calm setting for the stunning views. “To live where others come for holidays”; that famous sentence makes sense in this setting. The open layouts suggest multiple variations for the interior designs, subject

to their respective residents' needs and preferences. Both Lea Rickenbacher and Caroline Zimmerli gathered training and experience abroad before settling down in Switzerland. They got to know each other in Zurich during the course of their studies and, after gaining experience with renowned architects in both London and Switzerland, they settled down and opened their own office in 2010. Focusing mainly on apartment developments as well as concept and feasibility studies, they have accumulated considerable know-how with regards to different scales and fit-out standards over the past years. Their clients are people who like to see building projects tailored to meet their individual needs. From consultation via planning through to implementation and

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

Main image: Main station Vienna. Photo: Roman Bönsch Above: RBS train station Bern: new, subterranean station for Bern Solothurn’s local trains. Photos: Theo Hotz Partner / Nightnurse

Passion for intelligent solutions With a history stretching back almost 70 years, theo hotz partner prides itself on an extensive portfolio of over one hundred building projects and a continuously deepening knowledge base. Its complex construction assignments cover the entire spectrum of architectural services. Through its commitment to quality and creativity, the company has become a renowned partner for clients, building companies and government offices alike. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Founded by Theo Hotz in 1949, the firm quickly acquired national and international recognition thanks to a stripped-down, non-nostalgic approach to industrial architecture and the use of the very latest technology, which has netted it multiple awards over the years. Stefan Adler, Peter Berger and Robert Surbeck had been long-standing partners when Theo Hotz handed over the company in 2011, and continue the firm’s tradition 86 | Issue 42 | September 2016

of combining the office's creative and technical expertise with an emphasis on close interdisciplinary collaboration with clients, experts and the construction industry. “We have always been driven by the notion of working with others to create solutions of lasting value,” explains Peter Berger. The architects uphold this tradition in a modern context. “For us, modern in the sense of ‘contemporary’ means benchmarking ourselves against

time – proactively addressing issues that are relevant here and now.” Core areas of expertise The cornerstone of theo hotz partner’s success is the extensive know-how and firm commitment of its 40 or so employees. With the majority of commissions still resulting from competitions, the firm’s projects span the entire spectrum of architectural challenges. Nevertheless, three core areas of expertise have emerged. In transportation and infrastructure, theo hotz partner is currently working on railway stations in Aarau (central station) and Bern (low-level station to open in 2025), and has recently seen the completion of the impressive Vienna railway station project. Residential and commercial buildings have long featured in the company’s portfolio and still remain on the

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

agenda, with a special focus on sustainability. Its recent SkyKey office building in Zurich is the first Swiss high-rise building to be awarded the LEED platinum certification and also sets new standards for openspace working environments. The third is a more recent development for the company. While the majority of projects still focus on new construction, transformations of existing buildings have started to assume a more significant role, with an increase in conversions, renovations and densification projects. “We are seeing great potential here. This is more than just technical renovation. Clients now want new, future-oriented

concepts and fresh ways to utilise former commercial buildings,” says Berger. One such project is the transformation of ‘Schönburg’, the former Swiss post office headquarters in Bern. Currently in progress, the project’s aim is to reshape and redesign the old structure to create a premium apartment building and hotel. Architecture for generations Reluctant to follow trends, theo hotz partner prefers instead to create contemporary architecture with value that will endure for generations to come. This is not just in terms of aesthetics and functionality but also of sustainability, a word often used in today’s architectural dis-

course but which for theo hotz partner is often too limited in scope. As Berger explains, the discussion often centres on technical sustainability, which is essentially about cutting energy costs in order to lower operating costs. But this misses the big picture. What is often neglected is the aspect of social sustainability. In Berger's own words: “Any project planned and built for generations of users should really be operational for that entire time. Economically seen, that makes for the most sustainable solution of them all.”

All three: Main station Vienna. Photos: Roman Bönsch

All three: Sky Key Zurich: Switzerland’s first high-rise building that has been awarded the LEED Platinum certification. Photos: Radek Brunecky

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 87

Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

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 September. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

Not only the Orchestra Amsterdam will perform at the Lucerne Summer Festival. Photo: Š Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestra Amsterdam.

Issue 42 | September 2016 | 89

Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Mountain Yoga Festival. Photo: © Mountain Yoga Festival St. Anton am Arlberg

Lucerne Summer Festival (12 August – 11 September) Lucerne is a regular host for festivals dedicated to national and international classical music performers. In this year’s summer edition, the theme is ‘PrimaDonna’ and places special emphasis on female artists. Furthermore, 28 symphony concerts will be performed by orchestras from Berlin, Amsterdam, São Paulo and Cleveland among others. Mountain Yoga Festival, St. Anton (1 – 4 September) The Mountain Yoga Festival is held for the very first time this year and promises an extraordinary experience. During the four days of the festival, guests can look forward to a mix of modern 90 | Issue 42 | September 2016

yoga classes, talks, workshops and dances set in an incomparable yoga room: the local natural landscape of the Arlberg Mountains. TourNatur, Dusseldorf (2 – 4 September) The TourNatur in Düsseldorf is Germany’s number one fair for hiking and trekking. More than 275 exhibitors give an overview of the best destinations and offer everything hikers will need for their next adventure. Gourmet-Rallye, Haute-Nendaz (3 September) Discover picturesque Haute-Nendaz during a nice walk, while trying local and regional

specialities and products. The Gourmet-Rallye includes seven stops in different restaurants throughout the village, each of them serving delicious treats before starting the next part of the walk. International Haydn Days, Eisenstadt (8 – 18 September) Celebrating the famous Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, the city of Eisenstadt hosts the International Haydn Days. Most of his works of the Classical period will be performed in different locations. Among them is the Esterházy Palace, where he spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family.

Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar Duerkheimer Sausage Market, Bad Duerkheim (9 – 19 September) Although it has it in its name, the sausage plays a rather minor role at the Duerkheim Market. Furthermore, it is the delicious wine from the Palatine region that has made it the biggest wine festival of the world. More than 300 different varieties can be tasted and several bands and music groups guarantee a great atmosphere. duerkheimer-wurstmarkt Night of delights, Murten (15 September) ‘See – Feel – Hear – Enjoy’: Under this slogan the old town of Murten in the Swiss canton of Fribourg is the setting for a unique experience

full of delights. Visitors get to enjoy the variety of new local products and specialities. Why not stroll through the vivid city in the evening and let out your inner gourmet? Green Days Thuringia, Erfurt (16 – 18 September) The agricultural fair trade exhibition Green Days Thuringia does not only attract professional visitors but also interested consumers. Part of the programme will include presentations and interesting booths, which will deal with renewable resources, organic nutrition or nature parks. Show cooking events, as well as exhibitions for all kinds of farm animals, round off the programme.

Oktoberfest, Munich (17 September – 3 October) An event that has fans and imitators around the world: the famous Oktoberfest. But only in Munich you will get the original. Since 1810, the Theresienwiese transforms into the world’s biggest and most-loved fair for two weeks. 14 big tents and numerous smaller ones are ready to supply millions of visitors with good German beer. 43rd Berlin Marathon (20 – 25 September) Almost 60,000 athletes from 127 countries took part in last year’s Berlin marathon. Wheelchair users as well as hand bikers can join the

Berlin Marathon, 2015. Photo: © SCC EVENTS/Camera4

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42-kilometre-long run this year and there will also be a special in-line skating marathon. Take part in the run or cheer for the participants along the route. Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg (21 – 24 September) Reeperbahn’s nightlife always guarantees fun, but during four days in September Hamburg’s most famous neighbourhood is the place to be for all music lovers. Focussing on newcomers the festival entertains with more than 700 events in more than 70 venues. No wonder it has become Germany’s largest club festival. Zurich Film Festival (22 September – 2 October) The Zurich Film Festival is an annual festival held to present and promote the talents of new directors - especially from the Germanspeaking world. There are three competition categories, which will be awarded by the main festival award the Golden Eye. Hintertuxer Oktoberfest (23 – 24 September) The Highlight of the Oktoberfest in Hintertux is Tyrol’s most beautiful cattle drive from Bichlalm 92 | Issue 42 | September 2016

pasture and the decorated cattle return into the valley after the summer. Live music, a farmer’s market and a performance of a ‘Schuhplattler’ dance group provide entertainment for everybody. Top left: Reeperbahn Festival. Photo: © Heiko Sehrsam Top right: Oktoberfest. Photo: © Presse- und Informationsamt LH München Right: The TourNatur fair. Photo: © Messe Duesseldorf, C. Tillmann Bottom: Decorated cows for the cattle drive. Photo: © Tourismusverband Tux-Finkenberg

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

German-style ‘backwards emancipation’ TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Do you know what ‘backwards emancipation’ is? No? Neither did I, until recently when I read this curious little story from Germany about a man who took on a very German and traditionally very female job and called it ‘Emanzipation rückwärts’, because “men can do women stuff, too”. Here’s what it is about. As you know, we did away with royalty quite some time ago in Germany. However, we still delight in crowning queens up and down the country every year. These queens are special because they represent one of the country’s oldest traditions, namely winemaking. Each of the country’s wine regions appoint a wine queen who represents this particular wine-growing area, usually for a year. It’s not enough to look pretty for this job; you need to know about wine, be able to talk knowledgeably about it and often these ladies are the offspring of a family of winemakers who have grown up with wine and the art of producing it. Apart from wine queens for regions, individual small wine villages also elect their very own queens, which is where our story starts. In August, in the small village of Kesten on the Moselle, a certain Sven Finke took on the wine queen job because there were simply no women up to the age of 25 available. Kesten has a population of 340 and theoretically about 170 should be female. However, there are less and less young women living in the village and if so, they are busy with other things such as studying and spending time abroad. The job of a wine queen means you need to be 94 | Issue 42 | September 2016

available throughout the year for all kinds of representational duties. Many are not willing anymore to spend their free time with such voluntary work because being a wine queen doesn’t pay you any money. So, it’s Sven now who stepped in but he’s, of course, not a wine queen or a wine king, but he was elevated to the status of the god of wine and winemaking from Greek myth Dionysus who is known under his Roman name Bacchus in Germany. As such, he wears a toga-like costume and laurel wreath when on duty, as the male equivalent of the traditional crown and dirndl combo of wine queens. Sven, a.k.a. Bacchus, who is otherwise a law student, will now represent Kesten’s winemaking tradition for two years despite not knowing that much about wine. He has only lived in Kesten for a few years, however there are enough vintners in the neighbourhood who are happy to provide a bit of training. Plus, he attended a preparatory seminar for wine queens where the other queens were, as he said, delighted about having a Bacchus in their midst now. Sven clearly has some ambitions. He only agreed to take on the role if he was allowed to contribute his own ideas. “I want to show that men can be good in areas that are traditionally dominated by women”, calling this endeavour in an interview with a regional TV station ‘Emanzipation Rückwärts’ (meaning ‘backwards emancipation’). Kesten’s Bacchus has his own Facebook page and

the media interest in the village’s male wine queen is quite clearly something that Sven intends to use for Kesten’s fame – and probably also a bit for his own. He also intends to take part in the election for the wine queen for the entire Moselle region and should anyone want to prevent this and have problems with a male wine queen, Sven’s already made it clear that he would not shy away from filing a law suit, citing article 3 of the German constitution according to which men and women have equal rights. He’s a law student, after all … Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

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April 2016 – Feuerring TULIP by Feuerring® is one of this year’s outstanding products: The Red Dot jury was enthused, and awarded Feuerring TULIP a Red Dot: Best of the Best. Statement by the Jury: «The design of the TULIP Feuerring takes up the symbolism of archaic fireplaces in a fascinating manner. It impresses with a compact and purist design idiom matched with a high degree of user-friendlyness. The TULIP Feuerring is functional, durable and lends itself ideally for use as a grill. It conveys a sense of homely cosiness and possesses a high aesthetic quality that underlines the appeal of its beautiful surfaces.»


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