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Issue 43 | October 2016

SEBASTIAN

KOCH A C T I N G O N H I S O W N A P P R OA C H

PLUS

SWISS DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS WEDDING SPECIAL BEST OF VALAIS WORLD ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL TOP INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

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


9 5 8 c a z a l

THERE IS JUST ONE TRUE STYLE. MINE.


Discover Germany | Contents

Contents OCTOBER 2016

38 Photo: © Koch Films

53 Photo: © Valais Tourisme

COVER FEATURE 38 Sebastian Koch Sebastian Koch has been on national and international cinema and television screens for 30 years and has established himself as a versatile performer in every genre. Ahead of the release of two new films, Discover Germany spoke to Koch about his life in acting, freedom in the arts and much more.

SPECIAL THEMES 20 Swiss Design Highlights Swiss design has a long tradition and the country continuously brings forth awardwinning designers. We have put together a great variety of Swiss products and innovative ideas to get you inspired. 30 Wedding Special Are you invited to a wedding or are you currently planning your own? Our wedding special has got you covered with tips and ideas to make the special day even more special. 52 Best of Valais Breathtaking, snow-covered mountain peaks, the picturesque scenery and charming traditional villages – that is Switzerland’s Canton of Valais. 62 Top International Schools A great alternative to normal schools, Germany’s international schools and their approach to turn children into world citizens are thriving. 86 World Architecture Festival Great architecture can be found all over Germany – we found some inspiring architects to introduce their impressive buildings in our special architecture theme.

FEATURES 8

Love at First Touch Find out how Allude Cashmere founder Andrea Karg managed to turn an initial idea into an internationally successful high-fashion brand.

12 Product of the Month With Christmas time around the corner, we found a gorgeous item to embellish your home and turn it into a festive haven - Wendt & Kuehn’s ‘White Timbre’ edition. 44 Hotel of the Month As one of Austria’s best wellness hotels, Hotel Cervosa is a centre of attraction for people that seek relaxation, magnificent surroundings and much more. 46 Attractions of the Month We selected a new exhibition on the human skin at the museum Sinclair Haus in Germany, the Biennale de l’image en Mouvement hosted by the Centre d’Art Contemporain of Geneva in Switzerland and Austria’s Vereinigte Bühnen Wien with the musicals Evita and Schikaneder as our attractions of the month. 50 Typically German Who are Germans really? What makes people German? How can the identity best be described? Our writer Thomas Schoers explores what ‘being German’ actually means.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10 Dedicated to Design This month’s design section boasts stylish looks, as well as interior design ideas for autumn and much more.

106 Photo: © Palladium Photodesign

49 Culture This month’s culture section is filled with great things to see and do in the DACH region, as well as a film column by blogger and journalist Sonja Irani who likes to discover the film locations and settings of great films. 75 Business Great corporate design, the international electronica trade fair, top architects from Germany and Austria, as well as an interesting column by Gregor Kleinknecht on digital nomads fill our business section this month. 119 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in October. 122 Barbara Geier This month, our columnist Barbara Geier explains why German architecture has far more to offer than half-timbered houses.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 3


Dear Reader,

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Gregor Kleinknecht Ina Frank Jessica Holzhausen Marilena Stracke Monique Amend Nadine Carstens Sonja Irani Stian Sangvig

Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Cover Photo © Gabo / Agentur Focus

Executive Editor Thomas Winther

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

Discover Germany Issue 43, October 2016 Published 10.2016 ISSN 2051-7718

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff

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

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For further information please visit www.discovergermany.com

October is a big month in German history. On 3 October, people come together all over Germany, where the former German Wall once stood, to celebrate the Day of German Unity that made Brandenburg, MecklenburgVorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, as well as Berlin as a whole, the new federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Big festivals and parties with music, food and much more annually attract many visitors. But why isn’t the day celebrated on 9 November – on the day when the Berlin Wall actually fell in 1989? Well, the answer is simple. Due to the fact that 9 November is commonly associated with the ‘Reichspogromnacht’ in 1938, when the Nazis exercised violence against Jews and burned down numerous houses, this date obviously wasn’t used. The week from 7 to 18 November 1938 marked the transition from the discrimination against Jews to the systematic persecution of Jews. Thus, East and West Germany signed a unification treaty on August 31, 1990 and announced that the 3 October would from now on be a public holiday in Germany to celebrate the German unification. So, be sure to join one of the big celebrations this year and listen to the many great stories people from the former East and West have to tell about that special day. To celebrate the unification, our writer Thomas Schroers asks what makes Germans German today in his special feature. We also have a special focus on German films this month. For example, our columnist Sonja Irani takes us to the German film locations of the new movie Frantz and our cover star is nobody less than international actor Sebastian Koch. In our interview, he talks about Hollywood, his two new films, freedom in the arts and much more. For more inspiration about what to do and see in the DACH region this month, we filled this issue with a Valais special, great exhibitions, nice hotels, top international schools, inspiring architects or wedding ideas amongst others. If you seek to redecorate your home for the darker season, be sure to read our design specials. Thanks for reading,

© 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 43 | October 2016

Nane Steinhoff


«ALL THE MAGIC OF THE UPPER ENGADINE AT YOUR DOORSTEP» There is nowhere like Suvretta House for experiencing the sparkling mountain lakes and snow-capped peaks of the Upper Engadine from close up. Enjoy the ambience of five-star luxury in an elegant resort hotel in magnificent natural parkland. The Suvretta Sports and Pleasure Club awaits you, as well as ski and snowboard pistes, cross-country ski trails and toboggan runs – all within easy reach. The hotel’s own ski lift brings you directly to the valley station of the chair lift, giving access to the extensive Corviglia skiing area.   For more information: Tel. +41 (0)81 836 36 36 info@suvrettahouse.ch www.suvrettahouse.ch


Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Summer is officially over but that does not mean that all is lost fashion-wise. Autumn has much to offer when it comes to clothes and, let’s be honest, we somehow started to miss our warm jackets and boots. Thus, we had a look at some of the autumn and winter collections of the DACH region’s designers to find out what we should wear this season. EDITOR’S PICKS I PRESS IMAGES

Yet another perfect combination by Gerry Weber’s TAIFUN – perfect for the office or a shopping trip. Right: coat £210, dress £90. Left: blazer £145, blouse £40, trousers £90. www.gerryweber.com/en/collections/taifun

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

TAIFUN by German brand Gerry Weber represents individuality with innovative, eye-catching and modern combinations. With this elegant dress, combined with a coat, you are sure to keep warm. Dress £125, coat £255. www.gerryweber.com/en/ collections/taifun

These comfy gloves by German brand Marc Cain will keep your hands warm, while also looking super stylish and adding that extra something to every outfit. www.marc-cain.com

Designed in Berlin. Made in Germany. This cool watch by Lilienthal Berlin is a declaration of love to the city of Berlin with its minimalist design. £173. www.lilienthal.berlin

This poncho with a loose cut and fringes at the bottom by Bogner will not only keep you warm in autumn, but will also spice up every outfit. £205. www.bogner.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Interview

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Interview

Andrea Karg

Love at first touch The German founder of Allude Cashmere, which offers authentic and luxurious cashmere knitwear, talks to Discover Germany about how she managed to turn an initial idea into an internationally successful high-fashion brand. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTO: MATTHIAS ZIEGLER

Luxurious and surprising – Allude is coined by Andrea Karg’s love to experiment. The designer was the first one to incorporate intarsia, Swarovski crystals or pearls into cashmere and today offers various shapes, colours and patterns. With a high degree of craftsmanship, technical expertise, the highest quality and modern design, Andrea Karg was able to establish Allude as the first label exclusively specialised in this special material. Why did you decide to end your law studies to pursue a career in fashion? A. Karg: “The passion for cashmere started when I first felt how soft this wonderful material is – it was love at first touch. From this fascination derived the idea of an own cashmere collection. I didn’t want to do anything else.” You travelled to China on your own to search for the best raw materials. Which idea and philosophy stood behind founding Allude? A. Karg: “When I was looking for the perfect cashmere pullover more than 20 years ago, I didn’t find one so I thought that many other people probably can’t either. Thus, I wanted to redefine cashmere and process the soft wool into fashionable pullovers and cardigans to create feminine and unconventional collections. This is still our core competence today. Allude stands for cashmere design, quality and luxury.”

Was it hard to establish the brand at the start? A. Karg: “Maybe it sounds a bit naïve as I didn’t design anything before but I knew exactly what I wanted. So I sat down, wrote a to-do list and taught myself a great deal about different topics – how do I get the material, where and how does it get processed, how do I organise the distribution? I had a clear vision and didn’t give up. My first piece, a waisted v-neck pullover in 15 different colours, made it into leading German fashion shops right from the start. This pullover is still Allude’s top-selling model today.” Your brand has successfully existed in the luxury segment for over 20 years. How do you explain this long-term success? A. Karg: “I’ve always had a sense for needs, I never stand still and absorb inspiration everywhere. Alongside my team, I constantly work towards expanding the brand experience for our clients. Therefore, we opened the first Allude Cashmere Clinic in Munich last autumn. I don’t see our primary mission in constantly creating new collections as I want our clients to enjoy their products for a long time. Thus, we help all cashmere patients in the Cashmere Clinic – even if it isn’t an Allude item. Last but not least, healthy economic growth is surely another secret of success.”

How would you describe Allude Cashmere in only a few words? A. Karg: “Luxurious, surprising, desirable and confident – sensual cashmere knit wear that combines technical know-how, modern design and craftsmanship.” Do you have tips for young designers that want to start their own label? A. Karg: “It’s vital to know exactly what one wants to achieve and to intensively grapple with all relating topics. A great deal of passion and commitment is important too.” What are your goals and projects for the upcoming months? A. Karg: “In 2016, the collaboration with Net-a-Porter is a huge milestone. Since September, our products are sold in this large, exclusive online retailer. Another one is our own online shop – after all, one of my most important goals is to further internationalise the brand. In November, we will open the first Allude Store in Kitzbuehel and more are planned for 2017. Despite being sold in over 37 countries, our cashmere story is far from over. I want to keep captivating and surprising my customers with my collections.” - 1993: Andrea Karg founds Allude Cashmere. - Since 2012: Allude has been the only German fashion brand that shows its collection during the official calendar of Paris Fashion Week. - The company is based in Munich. - More than 700 international retailers carry the brand, including Le Bon Marché in Paris, Harrods in London or Barneys in New York.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 9


Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… Brown leaves, lower temperatures, shorter days and more rain. Make no mistake. Autumn is arriving and the so-called ‘darker’ time of the year has begun. But do not worry about getting through it, because we have found five exquisite items that will delight your autumnal days. Get to know our ideas for a cosy day at home. BY: THOMAS SCHROERS

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2 1.The right lamp is one of the most important design decisions for autumn. We especially like the warm, comfortable glow of this telescope floor lamp. While its foot, which is made out of wood, is an attractive eyecatcher, the shade completes its elegant feel. £320. www.suppanundsuppan.at 2. Did we mention that the temperatures are falling? Anyway, do not worry because we have got you covered. Literally, one might say. Here is the perfect blanket. With a comfortable surface feel and a fashionable deer motif, this is a luxurious design for you to feel good in. £65. www.tom-tailor.com 3. If you did not like the first one, you might love this incredible tripod for your clamp-on lamp. The tripod, which is suitable for any type of clamp-on lamp, is manufactured out of oiled oak. That is why it is able to adapt to most surroundings and gives a room a modern feel. From £70. www.renna-deluxe.de 4. You are sitting on the sofa, reading a thrilling book and of course you want something to nibble at. This nutcracker enables just that. Easy to use and classy in its design, the winner of the reddot design award is made out of robust aluminium and steel. £43. www.take2-design.de

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5. Naturally you also need a pillow. Why not choose one that is decorative and comfortable at the same time. This washable pillow features a charming image in line with the season. £25. www.hellosunday.de

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ef fe c t- e n e r g y | w w w.ef fe c t- e n e r g y.c o m


Discover Germany | Design | Product of the Month

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

‘White Timbre’ Edition

– Tradition meets modernity The product line ‘White Timbre’ edition from Wendt & Kuehn is puristic and of simple elegance. The avant-garde composition impresses with contrasts in shape and colour and lets the musicians shine as solitary artworks in timeless beauty. TEXT: WENDT & KUEHN KG, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

The association ‘Deutsche Manufakturen e.V.’ has already recognised that this implementation is successful – with the special award in the category ‘design’ and winning third place in the overall ranking for the award competition ‘manufactory product of the year 2016’. Manual perfection and impeccable aesthetics create excellence. A pure, brilliant white accentuates the distinctive design vocabulary of Wendt & Kuehn’s angels and emphasises their trademark – the green wings with 11 white dots. On a black podium of contrasting colour to the figurines arises the special. Sparingly 12 | Issue 43 | October 2016

used gold stages the instruments as beautiful decoration pieces; a homage to a modern designer of her epoch, to company founder Grete Wendt (1887 – 1979). With this special edition her heritage becomes a living legacy. Even during her lifetime her modern and lively designed figurines were celebrated as reinterpretations of traditional woodworks from the Ore Mountains and as successful examples of modern folk art. Up until today company founder Grete Wendt’s and designer Olly Wendt’s (1896 – 1991) handed down figurine designs and drawings form the product range’s,

Main image: The ‘White Timbre’ edition has enriched the manufacture’s portfolio since 2015. The violinist, the saxophonist and the angel with the gong are part of the trio. Photo: © Marcus Heilscher Top: The Wendt & Kuehn World of Figures in Seiffen – excursion destination for inspiring and creative experiences for each generation. Photo: © TMGS. Above: A ‘Grünhainichener Engel®‘ gets its 11 famous, white dots on its wings. Photo: © Sabrina Rothe

the brand’s and the success’s foundation. The sample treasure that Wendt & Kuehn draws from is classified as a unique characteristic and makes the products unmistakable. For 100 years, each figurine has had a soul and values that result from the unique, artistic ambition from the designers. While carefully further developing their product range, new paths are sometimes pursued that have not been explored yet – impressively implemented with the ‘White Timbre’ edition. The traditional manufactory Founded in 1915, Wendt & Kuehn is one of the most-renowned German manufactories and is the most wellknown manufacturer of fine craftsmanship from the Ore Mountains. Besides the famous ‘Grünhainichener Engel®’ with the 11 white wing dots, which served as inspiration for the ‘White Timbre’ edition,


Discover Germany | Design | Product of the Month

the colourful Blossom Kinder and music boxes especially account for the traditional brand’s worldwide success. This success was established in Paris, 1937. The figurine ensemble Angel Mountain with Madonna won a gold medal and the ‘Grand Prix’ at the World’s Fair. Until today, Wendt & Kuehn stands for unique products and compositions for elegant decorating and tasteful gift giving – for collectors and lovers of exclusive, timeless, beautiful and valuable pieces. The current collection comprises of more than 400 different products. Every year rekindled figurines from the more than 2,500 past models comprising treasure trove enrich the product range. At the same time, some products return for at least five years to the historic Grand Sample Cabinet. Today, just like 100 years ago, the figurines are manufactured with meticulous craftsmanship from highly educated experts (195 employees). Many work steps are needed so that delicate figurines and artful decorative items result from the planks in the wood storage of the manufactory in Grünhainichen. Not

only skilled craftsmanship but also an experienced eye and patience are needed. For example, the gentle drying of the carefully selected woods takes a good two years before the first wooden strips or round bars can be made. After that, the wood gets processed with different irons on the lathe. Through trained hands the first physical contours and rotationsymmetric small parts emerge that then have to be cut, milled and slurred. Further hours of diligent manual work are needed until the figural basic forms turn into the final compositions in the gluing station. Before the wooden figurines are artfully painted, they get an even prime coat that lets the later paint application shine. They are dipped into a mostly white-coloured bath for three times and, after that, the drying process takes at least ten days. Only then, the masterly painting process with fine brushes can begin. Delicate lines, patterns and ornaments, all details, as well as the faces get painted onto the figurines with a high degree of finesse. Like this, each one of the small artworks comes to life and emits what

people yearn for: happiness and childlike carefreeness – just like the handed-down patterns that still pose as the painters’ templates today. Only the production according to these patterns satisfies the requirements on authenticity, highest quality and manual mastery and allows Wendt & Kuehn a positioning as a strong brand for high-end specialist shops. Around 750 authorised specialist shops in Germany offer the product range. The strongest export markets are the USA, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands, as well as Canada. The myth of Wendt & Kuehn is perceptible through encountering preserved values and traditional mastery. Visitors can, for example, marvel at the legendary sample cabinet behind the sandstone walls in Grünhainichen up until today. Furthermore, the sales gallery in Seiffen promises unforgettable experiences during all seasons and fascinates with diverse gift giving and decorating ideas. www.wendt-kuehn.de

Above left: The elegant packaging – lined elegant black velvet and equipped with an introductory text on the interior – offers a safe place for the angels. Photo: © Marcus Heilscher. Above right: The angel with the bass trumpet has joined the former trio of trumpet, gong and violin since May 2016. Photo: © Marcus Heilscher

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 13


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Light & Design

Photo: © Flickr.com; Colure Caulfield

SPECIAL THEME: IDEAS TO LIGHTEN UP YOUR HOME

Current light and design trends Lamps and artificial lights exude a cosy ambiance and that special feeling of cosiness like no other design item can. With the start of the darker season, Discover Germany has a look at some great lamps that are sure to brighten up your interior. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Lighting is a key architectural and design element in homes all over the world and, just like in the fashion industry, trends regularly change. So, what is hot this year? Well, the first one is definitely ‘upgraded industrial’. These warehouse-inspired looks are absolutely stylish and feature unusual metals and tones. Another trend to look out for is lighting “infused with allusions of nature: in organic forms, in the spectrum of natural colours and the world of bud, leaf and plant motifs”, according to the Trend Forum of Messe Frankfurt’s Light+Building show. Last but not least, be sure to check out geometric lamps – minimalist aesthetics are super hot right now. In our special theme, we have collected some interesting ideas for you to embellish your own four walls with lamps. Whether 14 | Issue 43 | October 2016

you are searching for intriguing LED lamps with that certain something, artistic eyecatchers or extraordinary design lamps, we have got you covered on the following pages.

Photo: © Flickr.com; Jonas Loenborg

Photo: © Flickr.com; Will Hastings


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Light & Design

Brighten up the room

– with extraordinary lights by SEGULA Based in Horb in the Black Forest, SEGULA stands for high-quality, innovative light objects. Both its CLASSIC LINE and its VINTAGE LINE continue the history of the incandescent bulb in times of LED technology. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: SEGULA GMBH

SEGULA distinguished itself with a sophisticated technology by 2009. The company had developed the first LED retrofit lamp in the shape of an original incandescent bulb, using proven, pure materials like glass and metal and without any sacrifice regarding design and the characteristics of light distribution. The bulbs also come with an elaborate thermal management. Therefore, SEGULA can dispense disturbing cooling elements and plastic parts, which leads to the extremely low weight of the lamps. SEGULA’s VINTAGE LINE combines the traditional design and the unparalleled atmosphere of historic carbon filament lamps and classic bulbs with highly efficient,

fully dimmable LED technology. From mini lamps to colour bulbs, everyone can find one’s favourite design. The CLASSIC LINE offers a perfect, energy-efficient replacement for traditional incandescent bulbs. Anon, SEGULA will release the LED CURVED EDISON STYLE. With its exceptional design, the new product line makes one revive the times when the incandescent bulb was invented. Beauty, functionality, light colour and efficiency – this combination makes SEGULA’s lights particular, and with the variety of shapes everyone can find the perfect lighting concept for one’s space. www.segula-lighting.de Issue 43 | October 2016 | 15


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Light & Design

SlimSophie. Photo: www.25hours-hotels.com, Frankfurt, Photographer: stephanlemke.com

ThinLissie.

Pascha in red.

Everything but boring – colourful contemporary lightings from Germany People might refrain from painting their home’s walls in bright red or pale blue, but setting a colourful accent can be quite inspiring. FRAUMAIER, a German lighting design company based in Esslingen near Stuttgart, creates colourful lamps with a contemporary approach to iconic shapes. Classic lighting combined with modern technology. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: FRAUMAIER

FRAUMAIER is a young and aspiring German design label that got its name and logo from a lady dog. The lamps themselves have nothing to do with the dog, but everything with owner and chief designer Felix Severin Mack and his ideas. “It is my intention to create as timeless pieces as possible,” says founder and designer Felix Severin Mack. “This means combining something people are familiar with and something completely new.” 16 | Issue 43 | October 2016

His approach has most certainly become characteristic for the brand, making it distinctive by looking respectfully at modern design while at the same time avoiding ubiquitous trends like the simple re-launch of old designs. “I always try to detect peoples’ needs and comply with them. Of course I wish people would know what they are looking for, before they actually see it, so they

could tell me. Unfortunately, design does not work this way,” says designer Mack. That FRAUMAIER lamps are “better and cheaper than most of their counterparts is nothing but a nice side-effect – this is my apology for adding more products to a world that maybe needs less”. Without joking Mack adds: “The only ideological anchorage I have is a European-based production. China is out of the question.” Sustainability is one of the reasons. Besides ecological factors, Mack claims, there is an entrepreneurial obligation to support diverse production within Europe. In his eyes, sustainability does not stop with replaceable components, a reasonable use of material or with production conditions. It is more like a social contract.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Light & Design

“We are and intentionally stay a smaller business than it would be possible,” says Mack. His idea of finding a place for his brand on the market differs in some ways from others. Instead of producing many new products each year, he prefers to modify and update the existing ones to changed needs. He also restricts his creative output to one or two products each year – not without removing at least an older one from the production.“I allow myself the luxury of not participating in the race to unlimited growth. Of course we do need a small increase of turnover and money, but simply to achieve more freedom – freedom to create more complex products in the future, the freedom to say no if necessary and the freedom of never being afraid of market decline.” Nevertheless, today FRAUMAIER has expanded to the international market: “We are now able to implement large-scale projects like the Sainsbury’s headquarters in the UK, the King Abdulaziz Center of Cultural Heritage in Saudi Arabia or recently the Musée d’Orsay in Paris where we have installed our lightings. And we are currently expanding to the US market with a new partner.” When asked how to find the right lamp shape, the right colour and design, Felix Severin Mack explains: “Trying to find the one, perfect lamp is the wrong approach. Always think in a plural: hanging a lamp at

a ceiling’s central outlet and thinking this is enough, is like ordering a side salad in a restaurant without the steak. The more lights are used, the better the atmosphere. Take for example the four corners of your room; they should always be illuminated. Additionally, set some spots to illuminate your child´s version of Picasso´s rose period and put a wall lamp at the point where you like to sit and read. But always stay away from lamps that create too much light at once. You want to cause a nice atmosphere and not skin cancer.” But this also means choosing the right kind of light source. “We use dimmers that can dim LED retrofit or ordinary old light bulbs alike. People in northern Europe prefer warm luminous colours and therefore should choose 2,700 Kelvin when switching to modern LEDs, people in southern Europe on the other hand will most certainly prefer 3,000 to 4,000 Kelvin. The times when LED lamps gave people’s skin the look of dead fish are luckily enough over.”

BigAndy.

Naomi.

But why buy FRAUMAIER products at all? “Because of the dog,” says Mack with a slight wink. “We live in the time of animal videos. We trust their innocence. And if people are honest: Has a dog ever sold anyone an overpriced used car? See! That is the wonder of empirical studies.” www.fraumaier.com SlimSophie.

frauMaier and owner and chief designer Felix Severin Mack. Photo: peterschumacher.com

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 17


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Light & Design

Subject lamp ‘Safari‘. Photo: © Art-n-Photo, Amelie Jehmlich

Subject lamp ‘Maritime’. Photo: © Art-n-Photo, Amelie Jehmlich

Light up your life Whether you are looking for modern shapes or historical motif lights – lighting manufacturer weigla from the heart of Germany’s Ore Mountains region has something in store for every taste. Always on the agenda is combining traditional beauty with modern practicability and future sustainability. TEXT: SONJA IRANI

In 2002, owner and founder Günter Gläser had the idea to re-create the wooden candle arches traditionally handcrafted in the German Ore Mountains and give them a modern twist. “This business was, however, limited to the Christmas season,” says Jane Kaden, head of marketing and sales. Thus, Mr. Gläser and son-in-law Mr. Weinhold developed a completely new lighting product, which could be used throughout the year. In 2013, the so-called ‘weigla’ lights were launched with the brand name being a combination of the names Weinhold ‘Wei’ and Gläser ‘gla’. “What made these lights so special was the combination of fluorescent Perspex and wood, which nobody had even tried before,” explains Kaden. “Ensuring maximum sustainability was very important to us: Fluorescent Perspex is a special kind of acrylic glass that is free from hazardous substances such as 18 | Issue 43 | October 2016

heavy metals, asbestos or formaldehyde. Furthermore, Perspex offers a range of other popular benefits such as excellent light transparency, half the weight of traditional glass, a breaking resistance that is 11 times higher than glass and a 100 per cent ability to recycle its components.” The combination of fluorescent Perspex and wood remains the company’s trademark. “We launch about five new product ideas per year,” continues Kaden. “Our LED motif lights and LED candle arches are real eye catchers, whether they decorate your private home, the office or an exhibition room. Moreover, we also handcraft individual and unique pieces, for example for B2B customers or companies that are looking for a special promotional gift.” Still an integral part of the business, the seasonal Christmas candle arches have not been forgotten. Thanks to a modern

makeover, they now shine brighter than ever. Moreover, weigla currently delivers to distributors and consumers across Europe, but worldwide distribution and an online shop in English are in the making. “Our English website will be launched in 2017 at the latest,” concludes Kaden. www.weigla.com

The company. Photo: © Oestreich, Lengefeld

LED light arch ‘Santa Claus’. Photo: © Art-n-Photo, Amelie Jehmlich


BRING WORK TO LIFE. Noble design, highend technology made in Germany and the sun’s biologically effective light directly at your desk - at any time! Perfect your work-light balance with the office floor light PRANA+ for more vitality, motivation and an improved well-being in the office as well as a healthy sleep at night.

Get to know more about it at http://prana.lighting ESYLUX – OFFICIAL PARTNER OF THE DAYLIGHT.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

designmesse in Zurich. Photo: Pascal Meier, pascalmeier.net, 2016

SPECIAL THEME: SWISS DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS

More than the army knife The Hermes Baby typewriter, the potato peeler or the Swiss station clock – Swiss design has a long tradition and good design simply belongs to the Swiss lifestyle. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

It seems no wonder that the country continuously brings forth award-winning designers to an audience who love their pioneering work. We take a quick look at the most influential Swiss designers who inspire people even today, to find the root of Switzerland’s enthusiasm for great design. Max Bill, for example, was an architect, painter, sculptor and graphic designer and one of his most famous works was the Ulm stool, which can be used as a tray, a stool or as part of a cupboard. Today, it is still manufactured according to Max Bill’s design. Bill also influenced the Swiss typographers that brought about their own ‘Swiss Style’ in the 1950s. An outstanding example is the font Helvetica, which Max Miedinger 20 | Issue 43 | October 2016

and Eduard Hoffmann developed near Basel in 1957. Further well-known typographers are Adrian Frutiger and Josef Müller-Brockmann, for example. Other famous Swiss designers include Hannes Wettstein, who created the first lamp on a wire rope as well as the stacking chair ‘Juliette’. Design classics such as Kurt Thut’s folding cabinet or Markus and Daniel Freitag’s messenger bag are only a few of Switzerland’s many design hits. This exceptional legacy still influences Swiss designers today. Therefore, in our special theme, we showcase everything from design carpets to exclusive furniture, interior design, lamps, home accessories and much, much more to embellish your home with the finest Swiss products.

Photo: Flickr.com, Boris Bauer


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Conference table for WALO. Raised KIM table.

Individual steel furniture for offices

Unique, special and honouring a century of design history Clear, straight and simple forms are the characteristics of KIM Stahlmöbel. The furniture company, based in Dübendorf near Zurich, specialises in building steel furniture especially for offices and other professional use. Custom-made and adjustable chairs, tables and accessories are key to a healthy and flexible modern work environment. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: HAUSER & PARTNER AG

What makes KIM Stahlmöbel so interesting especially for office furnishing is the fact that the company has its own manufactory and therefore can fulfil the client’s every demand when it comes to shapes, colour or materials, according to KIM Stahlmöbel owner André Hauser. One example he gives is KIM’s work for the Walo Bertschinger AG: “Here the cooperation started on project basis in the field of interior design. We have been responsible for the complete office planning at the company’s headquarters.” Hauser also works as interior architect and was therefore able to develop an overall concept for the client, relying on the precise forms of KIM furniture. Custom-made furniture instead of mass produced might on the first glance be

more expensive, but the quality is actually a purchasing argument: “An employer should always keep in mind that employees are his company’s most important assets. Therefore, work spaces that are adaptable to current work situations are very important,” says André Hauser. KIM’s long-lasting steel furniture is ideal for workspaces: height adjustable office and conference tables, chairs, coat racks, lounge furniture – everything can be made exactly as needed and with the overall design and function in mind. The company’s style and design are the result of a century-long expertise as furniture designers. Founded in 1900, the company focused on furniture made of metal early on. In the 1950s for example they worked

together with renowned designers like Hans Coray or Robert Haussmann. Looking back on more than 100 years of design history, there are some distinctions one can observe: “Many early designers originally came from architecture – with knowledge about space and the idea to structure a room with furniture,” says Hauser. Today, on the other hand, no longer do architects in need of befitting furniture for their creations design the furniture, but experienced furniture designers. They foremost take consumer demands into consideration, which have changed vastly in our fast-paced times. www.kim.ch

KIM office table.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 21


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Top: Piuric stands for modern and timeless elegance. Left: All furniture is manufactured with the highest precision. Right: Pure, functional, clear designs all around. Bottom: The production process is marked by attention to detail.

PIURIC pure furniture - pure handmade - pure Swiss made Timeless, modern, purist. These are the elements that characterise the Swiss label Piuric’s handcrafted furniture. All products embody a unique clarity in design and thought. Their elegant, functional and modern aesthetics create an environment that promotes the harmony of living well. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE I PHOTOS: HERVÉ LE CUNFF AND PIURIC

The Swiss label epitomises the design and realisation of rooms and furniture with unique character. All Piuric furniture are just that – pure, clear, and timelessly functional. Located in Zurich, Switzerland’s cosmopolitan centre, the label’s store is only minutes away from the central train station. The label’s philosophy, ‘Good design is conspicuously unobtrusive’, characterises the beautiful forms and colours of the handmade products. Reductionist design and durable quality “For us, design and development means simplifying, reducing to the essential without affecting function. We strive for pure and simple shapes with the aim to create timeless and durable rooms and furniture,” explains Piuric’s director Jürg Ammann. “We attach great value to quality, high-grade materials and perfect 22 | Issue 43 | October 2016

workmanship to the finest detail. We don’t do mass production. All furniture is handmade in our ateliers in Zurich, produced in small series or tailor-made. This enables us to respond to individual customer needs and create distinctive furniture with a personal touch.“ The furniture and interior textiles, individually manufactured by hand in Switzerland, are produced with the highest European quality materials like woods, textiles and leathers. The label only produces furniture collections in small series or customised furniture for their individual customer’s needs. For instance, their furniture can be personalised in a number of ways; perfecting the seating comfort, upholstery, or height to match the client’s needs. The label also offers personal design consultations to work with both

private clients or planners and architects who are creating public or corporate spaces. Manufactured with love Simplicity, timelessness and pure forms are the pillars that best describe Piuric’s products and design solutions. In addition to handcrafted furniture (sofas, chairs, chaises, beds, closets, sideboards and tables) Piuric’s collection includes interior textiles, upholstery, curtains, indoor shadings, and textile wall coverings.Throughout the whole process – from the initial conceptualisation, to designing the shapes and form, planning and to the realisation, Jürg Ammann and his skilled team manufacture each product with love, guaranteeing the purest, most beautiful furniture. www.piuric.ch mail@piuric.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Flexible wood for a better sound Natural material combined with modern aesthetics: dukta is a unique type of incision process that makes wood flexible. “With our new method, wood, a material that is usually known for being very stiff, becomes soft and flexible,” says Swiss designer Serge Lunin. It is a process that he and his former student Christian Kuhn invented at the Zurich University of the Arts in 2007. As Lunin describes, the material gains textile-like properties and a significantly wider range of application because of the fine incisions. After receiving various design awards, Lunin and Kuhn found the company dukta GmbH in order to bring their products to the market. “Our internationally patented method opens up completely new possibilities for interior fittings and furniture design,” Lunin explains. As industrial designer he is working on new applications and products. One field where dukta can be applied are acoustically sensitive rooms such as concert halls. Due to

their corrugated shape and certain back fillings, dukta acoustic walls and ceilings achieve high sound absorption across all frequencies.“The sound will diffuse in the whole room, yet the echo, that sometimes distracts the musicians while playing, will be minimised,” Lunin says. Conference rooms, restaurants and nursing homes are further examples where these innovative

dukta can be applied to acoustically sensitive rooms, such as concert halls.

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: DUKTA GMBH

acoustic systems are useful. As a smaller version, dukta offers acoustic panels that one can hang on the wall. With its modern aesthetics and flexible shape, the perforated wooden material is also perfect for constructing unique packaging, round-shaped furniture and lighting units. Through their partial transparency, these lamps create a beautiful interplay of light and shadow. www.dukta.com

dukta acoustic walls and ceilings achieve high sound absorption.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Baneh Kilim.

Gabbeh: Graffiti 1.

Spinning wool.

Carpets and culture With its unique carpet designs and weaving culture, Zollanvari continues to sustain and further the extraordinary art form and traditions of Persian carpets, celebrated around the world for more than 2,000 years. Zollanvari’s understanding of the captivating aesthetic, splendour and profusion of Persian creativity has empowered the company to produce the highest quality carpets for over half a century. Today, the manufacturer has established itself as global leader in creating carpet art.

These new Gabbehs, produced within exacting standards, proved an immediate success, exploding onto the world stage and satisfying the demands of Western markets. Zollanvari became a market leader and the brand’s name and its innovative spirit became a synonym for Gabbeh itself.

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: ZOLLANVARI INTERNATIONAL

Gholamreza Zollanvari, the current patriarch dubbed ‘The Father of the Gabbeh’, could not have dreamt of a worldwide carpet business when he began working in his father’s carpet firm in 1947. But this legacy had already been engraved in the family history since the business was handed down the generations from his great grandfather. With the passing of time, this is also what Gholamreza would do. Initially he focused on the traditional products of the nomads of South Persia and Gabbehs. With the rising appreciation and demand for these, he worked with the nomads to start weaving new Gabbehs with more 24 | Issue 43 | October 2016

contemporary designs, whilst at the same time his son Reza brought his father’s company and name to Europe. Zollanvari in Zurich It was 1985 when Reza Zollanvari established the company’s base in Zurich, enabling the business to directly access the European market. Four years later, Zollanvari expanded further and enlarged their portfolio by weaving larger and room-sized Gabbehs. For its production the company decided to only use handspun and naturally dyed wool, pioneering a radical step towards added quality and excellence.

Since then, the company has experienced steady growth. While Reza has been engaged in developing the Western markets, his brother Hamid has led the business’s dyeing and warehousing back home in Iran and expanded the home and Eastern markets. At present, Zollanvari’s outreach boasts the sixth generation of family members active globally, from Hamburg to Cape Town and China to the USA. Relating past and present Every aspect of each carpet produced adheres to explicit quality standards. Zollanvari is unique in its sourcing of material and designs, which are both


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

rooted in a traditional and conscientious approach. Zollanvari’s portfolio focuses on five main product lines, interpreting old designs and motifs that also have historical significance. First, there are Gabbehs, which follow a wealth of designs from geometric and abstract to landscapes. Then there are transitional tribal carpets, combining kilim, soumak and pile techniques, creating a multi-textured surface, and the transitional formal weavings updating classical carpet designs. Flatweaves, tribal and contemporary, are a further line - they are colourful weavings, featuring bold geometric and minimalist designs. Next, the Kundan Silk Collections are a new product line woven in India. Their designs combine classical textile motifs adapted for modern interior design sensibilities. Finally there is the Designer line, which includes the Isfahan Collection. Created in collaboration with the designers SoFar SoNear, the collection transports traditional subjects into the contemporary design world. Quality from tradition In terms of the quality of material used for its Iranian production, Zollanvari is unique. The wool comes from the Zagros Mountains and is hand-spun. Each product carries a label and warranty guaranteeing not only the hand-made aspect, but also that environmentally friendly vegetable dyes are used, that the carpets are woven by fairly paid nomadic women and not children, and that each carpet is unique because each weaver has developed their own inimitable style.

With stands in prime locations, the company presents its latest creations. They have also won numerous awards including a nomination for the second year running for the German Design Awards 2017. But with Zollanvari it is never only about the carpets. It is about being sensitive to history and culture, supporting local production and society, making a difference in people’s lives by financing infra-structure from water pipes to hospitals, and offering people opportunities to grow and make a life for themselves. All of these facets are represented in a Zollanvari carpet. This is how it always was and always will be. www.zollanvari.com

Woodland at sunset.

Dyeing wool.

Gabbeh: Mirrage 4.

Four Seasons Gabbeh in front of a nomad’s tent.

Although these standards and the thinking behind them are deep rooted in tradition, they are conceptually very modern: resource-efficient and sustainable. They are also extremely valuable culturally since Zollanvari is reviving old weaving techniques and developing new ones. Social ideology as an economic backbone Zollanvari participate in major fairs such as Maison & Objet in Paris (September and January) and in Miami (May) and DOMOTEX Hannover (January). Issue 43 | October 2016 | 25


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Towels.

Pure elegance and Swiss quality at home The Swiss linen label, secrets of living, knows how important comfort is, especially when we want to rest. Fine linen and simple yet timeless designs provide everything you need for a good night’s sleep. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: SECRETS OF LIVING

There is nothing better in the world than nestling into a freshly made bed with duvet covers straight out of the tumble dryer. We all know that feeling of warmth and comfort when we can pull crisp fresh duvets over our heads and forget our daily stress for a little while. It makes going to bed just that extra bit satisfying. Jasmin Wullschleger, founder and mastermind of secrets of living, knows exactly how to provide this comfort and goes far beyond providing regular duvet covers. She explains how she founded her own label for linen: “There was already a wide range of bedding available, but I did not like any of it. So it has been my dream for many years to found a small yet fine label for linen. I wanted something with a casual touch that emphasises simplicity. 26 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Duvet covers that are timeless in regards to colour schemes and which are made of materials of the highest quality.” Wullschleger followed her calling and opened secrets of living, a label that offers duvet and pillow covers as well as a variety of towels and table textiles in tasteful colours. The quality of Wullschleger’s products is what lets them stand out amongst their competitors. The wonderful linen is produced in Germany and further processed in Italy. It is dyed in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. As opposed to many other manufacturers, secrets of living generally does not use stone washing as it weakens the material

unnecessarily and is also tremendously detrimental to the environment. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it bears the prestigious seal of quality ‘Master of Linen’, which is only awarded to the finest linen in Europe. The seal proves that the label follows strict rules regarding production and sourcing. A low carbon footprint is as much a measure for receiving the seal as service, excellence and innovation. Wullschleger just added a new collection made of Egyptian cotton, which has a softness that is truly outstanding. Egyptian cotton is handpicked and hence very pure and unaltered, which fits perfectly into the label’s concept. “The secret of both quality materials lies in the special treatment. It makes them incredibly smooth and soft,” adds Wullschleger. “All it needs during use at home is washing and tumble drying. No more ironing is required.”


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

The fluffy terry textiles are true Swiss products, which are entirely produced in Switzerland and later finished with fine linen borders and beautiful embroideries by secrets of living. Wullschleger says: “The majority of our collection is made in Switzerland, right by the scenic Lake Zurich. I wanted to support Switzerland as a manufacturing country and also create jobs in my own country. Our warehouse is fully stocked so we can ensure short and environmentally friendly transport routes.” Wullschleger’s admirable efficiency allows for quite short periods of delivery between two and three weeks, even for custom-made bed and table linen. ‘Anything is possible’ is Wullschleger’s personal credo and she has turned it into the corporate philosophy of her company. Customers are encouraged to voice their

specific requirements and can be rest assured that the team behind secrets of living will go the extra mile to meet them. They recently launched a brand new website with an integrated online shop and are aiming to extend their Swiss and European market further. The quality speaks for itself and word about it will certainly spread across borders. When asked what her own personal favourite piece is, Wullschleger smiles: “That is a difficult question. I designed a collection where I genuinely love every item. We named all our linen and terry cloth after different spices to arouse certain emotions and associations. One of my favourites is the fine linen bedding SALT and CORIANDER.”

terry, table and bed linen. Also generally the miraculously soft terry cloth with its good grip.” Wullschleger laughs: “As you can see it is quite difficult for me to pick a favourite.” It is truly inspiring to see a designer in love with her creations. A great deal of passion and thought has gone into all the products, something you can see and feel. Maybe it is this ingredient that makes her pieces so comfortable and comforting. www.secretsofliving.ch

She hesitates for a moment before adding: “And of course our new embroidery ORNAMENTS, which we can apply to

Founder Jasmin Wullschleger.

Table linen.

Embroidery.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 27


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Copper bowl KYA, limited edition. Photo: Daniela Kienzler

Aspire First Class Lounge, Zurich Airport. Photo: Martin Jakl

Cathay Lounge, Zurich Airport. Photo: Daniela Kienzler

Creativity has no limits Swiss architecture firm Raum B is firmly established within the airport sector, but the team around founder Daniela Saxer also designs furniture and even porcelain. Their holistic approach is not only unique but also allows for a coherent design language throughout a project.

A bold yet successful decision, Saxer remembers:“The very first job happened by chance and we found ourselves designing for Zurich airport. Since then our team has designed many first and business class lounges for different airlines at Zurich airport and recently at Geneva airport.” Step by step, Saxer and her team started to venture out into furniture and porcelain design. Understanding that small details can have a huge impact helped Raum B to 28 | Issue 43 | October 2016

KYA porcelain series. Photo: Daniela Kienzler

centre of their work is always the dialogue between client and architect.

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

Daniela Saxer has always been ambitious. Not only did she study architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) but also at the school of architecture in Ahmedabad, India. Straight after her graduation in 2005, she founded Raum B (Room B), her very own architectural office.

Daniela Saxer. Photo: Daniela Kienzler

work in a comprehensive manner, setting them apart from traditional architectural offices. “We love to shift between scales,” explains Saxer passionately.“We design architectural concepts for airports, but at the end our furniture and porcelain will also be part of it. It is a wonderful feeling, which also keeps forcing us to change perspective.” She thinks for a moment and adds: “We discovered something significant during the last years. The larger scale does not always influence the smaller one, it can also work the other way around. Small things can have an astonishing effect.” Aside from their expertise of airport lounges, Raum B also designs for other companies and private clients. At the

Raum B has received many awards and nominations for their concepts and furniture, such as the Good Design award 2014 given by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for their sofa ‘Sofie’. One of their recent projects is the prestigious Aspire Lounge at the Zurich airport and the office expansion for Intep at a former industrial quarter, where the material’s sustainability plays a prominent role. Evidently, Raum B thrives on challenges and knows how to think outside the box. This approach will certainly continue to lead them to international success. www.raumb.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Design Highlights

Perforated CELLON façade and Caribbeanthemed balcony elements at Marriott Hotel Haiti. Photo: Sean Murray, Dublin

Perforated wall covering including sound insulation at Templeman Library Kent. Photo: Tim Crocker, London

Perforated CELLON façade for living space and business Messer Solothurn. Photo: Alexander Gempeler, Bern

Bruag AG

Functional wall and space aesthetics The Swiss firm Bruag AG is pioneering an open, modern, functional wall design that promotes infusion of light, fresh air, visibility, and overcomes the heaviness or staleness of most building materials. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

These walls are more than beautiful, they also perform a function. Their goal is to create sophisticated atmospheres both inside and outside – that represent a building’s or construction’s identity and adds an innovate touch to spaces. In the last few years, the Swiss company has completed prestigious projects – in corporate business, university centres, diplomacy, social and living spaces – in Europe and abroad. Their vast portfolio includes back-ventilated façades, balcony claddings, room acoustics, wall claddings and partition walls. “Our innovations are inspired by our clients,” explains Nina Brühwiler, the firm´s spokesperson and international marketing liaison. “We always try to respond to the ideas of architects and planners. If the new ideas have not yet

been implemented, we will actively seek out a personalised solution.” For architects and urban planners, but also for private clients, the elements that define working with Bruag are: a high amount of individuality and custom solutions, the use of state-of-the-art technology, innovation in both materials and application, as well as reliability and professionalism. “Our business philosophy is our extreme flexibility. It really sets us apart from our competitors. We can create individual designs for wall applications in balustrades, façades or wall and ceiling coverings,”says Brühwiler The advanced laser-cutting technology allows for completely custom designs at no additional cost. For instance, the architect

can draw a perforation, making it fit perfectly into the context of the building, and then have a balustrade manufactured by Bruag. The Marriott Hotel in Haiti, for example, was designed to resemble Caribbean influences of seagrass. In addition to the indefinite customised solutions, the firm also has 60 to 70 ornaments from which clients can chose if they do not have an individualised design in mind. www.bruag.ch

Semi-transparent balcony balustrade MFH Sonnenberg Abtwil. Photo: Sabrina Schena, Heerbrugg

Innovative space dividers for large offices, Kanton Thurgau. Photo: Bruag AG

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 29


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

Photo: © Flickr.com, Maman Voyage

Photo: © Flickr.com, Matthias Rhomberg

SPECIAL THEME: PLANNING YOUR PERFECT WEDDING 2017

Sawing tree trunks and crushing dishes Cutting a wedding cake and the obligatory first dance are wedding customs that people from the entire world know and cherish. However, did you know that German couples have many other exciting traditions for their big day? TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: © Flickr.com, Stuart Crawford

30 | Issue 43 | October 2016


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

Photo: © Flickr.com, Paval Hadzinski

One of these customs, for example, is the wedding-eve party where family members, friends and neighbours are invited on the evening before the church wedding. Porcelain and pieces of ceramics are smashed on the floor to wish the couple luck for their marriage. After that, the couple has to sweep up all the shards to show that they can survive hard times as a team. Another tradition is the veil dance from Central and North Germany. There are several interpretations of this, but all female wedding guests dance around the bride and try to tear off a part of the veil after the music stops. The one that catches the first or the biggest piece is said to be the next bride. In the Muensterland and the Emsland, the newly-wed couple would go for a small walk the day after the wedding. Friends and family members would then bring along a living rooster, which then was eaten after the walk. Today, people rather take a wooden rooster along and

then everyone eats the wedding meal’s leftovers together. In Bavaria, inhabitants of a town would try to get the wedding party to pay ‘customs’. For this, cars are stopped and entire streets are temporarily blocked until the party guests would pay with alcohol or money. In our special theme, we give you some more great ideas to celebrate your special day. Whether you are still looking for a beautiful dress or need help with planning it all, be sure to read the following pages. GETTING MARRIED IN GERMANY

Photo: © Flickr.com, Jonas Tana

Photo: © Flickr.com, Joe Chahwan

- Everybody getting married in Germany must first appear physically at a Standesamt for a civil ceremony. The cost of the Standesamt wedding ranges from 30 to 75 euros. - A more traditional wedding must take place after the civil ceremony. - Of course, Germany has many magnificent cathedrals, palaces and castles that offer wedding arrangements.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 31


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

Wedding at Villa Rusconi. Photo: © Seraina Erb

Wedding at Zeus Beach. Photo: © Renato Capece

Wedding at Zeus Beach. Photo: © Renato Capece

Sit back, relax and get married in Italy Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular and affordable. However, organising a wedding in a different and beautiful country such as Italy is still a big logistical challenge. The solution to this problem is wedding planner Lucia Lazzaro and her Swiss company Wedding Harmony. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

Lucia Lazzaro, who is originally from Italy but now lives in Switzerland, always dreamed about being a wedding planner. After completing a course run by the Organisation of Swiss Wedding Planners, Lazzaro was ready to found her own wedding agency called Wedding Harmony. “Wedding Harmony embodies my lifestyle, my perspective, my warmth and my perfectionism. I put my heart and soul into the organisation of each wedding,” says Lazzaro. Specialising in weddings held in her home country Italy made a great deal of sense. Lazzaro adds: “One can honestly say that if you invest in a wedding in Italy, your festivities will be of another level. So far all the weddings I have organised there were absolutely fantastic and unique. The last wedding in Apulia really touched my heart. The marriage ceremony was held on one of Apulia’s most treasured beaches. 32 | Issue 43 | October 2016

The bride and groom were so happy. It was the perfect wedding.” Over the past years, Lazzaro has organised a range of different weddings in Switzerland and Italy. Although she has recently planned more high-budget weddings, Lazzaro sees every wedding as a welcomed challenge to create an unforgettable event. Be it a wedding in Tuscany, Rome or Sicily, or in a romantic Swiss mountain chapel, Lazzaro’s diverse network ensures a flawless event.

wedding themselves. But she points out that her clients benefit the most when they can relax and enjoy their special day knowing they do not have to worry about anything, because Lazzaro is there all the way and will not rest until the perfect wedding has become an unforgettable memory. www.weddingharmony.ch Destination wedding at Isole Brissago. Photo: © Seraina Erb

Her advice for engaged couples is to start thinking about their wedding as early as possible: “I recommend taking the time to look at wedding magazines or visit wedding fairs to get an idea of what you like and what you want to avoid at all costs.” She smiles:“And then you should contact us.” Lazzaro can also be booked as a consultant to advise couples who are organising their

Wedding planner Lucia Lazzaro.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

Exclusive bridal wear from Berlin We all know that the wedding day is a rather special occasion in the life of a person. Each bride dreams of her perfect wedding gown. If you are currently looking for the perfect wedding dress, then you should probably head to Berlinbased Silk & Lace, which stands for elegance with a taste of chic. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SILK & LACE

“Silk & Lace is an exclusive distribution partner of the brand LILUROSE and since 2013, we have finally offered these gorgeous wedding dresses in Germany,” smiles Oliver Wegerhoff, managing director of Silk & Lace. Known internationally for wedding gowns with dreamlike elegance and a classical cut, the brand LILUROSE additionally impresses with romantic and individual styles – simply a gorgeous combination. “Each year, our designer creates a new collection that sets new trends in the world of bridal wear, while offering a great range of variety,” adds Wegerhoff. For the newest LILUROSE collection, the best

materials, such as fine lace, chiffon, crepe and soft tulle were used. The materials’ soft, delicate and flattering structures

play with the shape of the body, gently hint at curves and put the focus on the female figure. Thereby, the designs remain elegant and simple, while impressing with a striking ease. “We’ll be happy to provide consulting to incorporate your individual wishes,” smiles Wegerhoff. www.silkandlace.de

Your individual bridal fashion If you are looking for the perfect dress for your special day, look no further because Bella Brautstudio in Unna has exactly what your heart desires. With an individual, customer-oriented approach and a distinctive eye for details, the team at the studio will find the dress that will make your wedding unforgettable. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: BELLA BRAUTSTUDIO

You need to be passionate to be successful in bridal fashion. For businesswoman Anabela Ribeiro, this passion and dedication is second nature to her. That is why she decided to launch her own special and unique place for wedding dresses in Unna and Bella Brautstudio has since established itself as a leading studio for bridal fashion.

Coming here is not a shopping trip – it is an experience. You will be greeted by attentive and welcoming staff who provide one-to-one advice to brides looking for their dream dress. The team, led by CEO Anabela Ribeiro and head of sales Sarah Drasen, seek to establish a personal connection with each client,

because the right dress is not just about looks, but about complementing your personality. In doing so, Bella Brautstudio relies on an array of well-known brands like White One, Agnes, Olvi’s and Pure and, as of this year, also features the extravagant collection of Pronovias Atelier. The studio has dedicated opening hours, but appointments can also be made outside these times. After all, we are talking about nothing less than creating once-in-alifetime moments and memories. www.bella-brautstudio.de

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 33


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

Ibiza wedding. Wedding planner Duska Krolo.

Wedding at Schliersee island.

The Haute Couture of weddings At German wedding agency Das Hochzeitswerk, individuality is everything. Whether you desire the most luxurious wedding of all time, or an intimate romantic event between just the two of you, Duska Krolo knows how to organise the perfect wedding down to the smallest detail. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: DAS HOCHZEITSWERK

It is the most beautiful thing when two people confirm their love for each other. Celebrating that bond means a lot to most of us, and we want to make sure we do it justice. However, often the couple themselves are too stressed to enjoy their special day, which leaves one wondering what the day is all about. The bride and groom should be able to focus on each other instead of worrying about the logistics of their wedding. Thanks to wedding planner Duska Krolo and her team at Das Hochzeitswerk, this is possible. 34 | Issue 43 | October 2016

“Our most important goal is to plan the individual dream wedding of each of our clients, and make sure the event reflects their own personal lifestyle in every detail,” says founder Krolo. She herself became a wedding planner fairly late after organising her own. Krolo experienced first-hand how stressful the planning of a wedding is, especially whilst having a demanding career. When Krolo planned her own wedding, she had years of event management under her belt so it only seemed natural to follow the path of becoming a wedding planner.

Today her company Das Hochzeitswerk, based in Munich, has firmly established itself as a sophisticated solution when it comes to wedding planning. Anything becomes possible with Krolo and her team. She wants the bridal couple to be able to relax and be the guests of honour at their wedding, the way it should be. Krolo adds: “A wedding is the most beautiful day in one’s life and it has been like that for generations. Today in our fast-moving age, where we are constantly rushing from A to B and are jetting around the world, celebrating a union now has even more value.” There are so many different aspects one has to consider when planning a wedding. From the invitations, to the colour scheme, the location and catering, down to the table decorations and seating arrangements to


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

name but a few. Not to mention the things that usually go wrong that require quick problem solving on the day. Krolo organises weddings in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Croatia, and is as experienced in planning beach weddings as well as weddings in beautiful churches. Whatever the heart’s desire of the client is, Krolo will go out of her way to make it happen. “My favourite moment is after each wedding when the newlyweds are still completely enchanted by the experience,” Krolo smiles. Bringing friends and family together to celebrate one’s love and remembering what life is actually about has indeed remained a meaningful occasion in our society. Hence why Krolo understands how precious this special day is and tailors her concepts entirely to her clients’ wishes. “We want our clients to experience their dream wedding with magical moments

at spectacular locations,” explains Krolo. “We can arrange weddings in the lush gardens of a luxury hotel with breathtaking views of the ocean, or on a pool terrace with saxophone players in the background. We can also do a wedding amongst palm trees, where guests can feel the warm sandy beach under their feet, listen to the waves of the sea and drink the island’s best exotic cocktails. Or our client’s can even get married in romantic baroque castles or surrounded by tranquil vineyards.” Krolo’s creativity knows no limits and it is her mission to design an all-around special event, which can also include a get-together in a villa before the big day or a relaxed beach picnic the day after. Das Hochzeitswerk has specialised in high-quality weddings and maintains a flawless network to ensure quality on all levels. Krolo offers a free initial consultation to get to know her clients’

vision for their dream wedding. She then offers her concept and ideas to turn their vision into reality. Clients can also gather inspiration from Krolo’s extensive portfolio. “Exclusivity, perfection and passion build the foundation of our work together and make it possible to design the dream wedding. One of my personal favourites was a recent small wedding in Ibiza with just 35 guests. The festivities were very sophisticated yet it remained intimate, family-driven and filled with joy,” says Krolo. All the stressful things of organising a wedding, both big and small, will float away and evaporate in the experienced and capable hands of Duska Krolo and her team. Get in touch now and start your journey to creating your dream day. www.dashochzeitswerk.de

Wedding by the sea.

Ibiza wedding.

Ibiza wedding.

Ibiza wedding.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 35


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

Making a wedding in a breathtaking landscape even more special

Left: Photo: © Ana Lui Photography Middle: Photo: © Jennifer März Fotografie Top: Claudia Easton (left) and Marlene Haberer (right). Photo: © Mara Truog Below: Photo: © Ana Lui Photography

– with professional advice Switzerland might be small, but it has the greatest variety of fantastic wedding locations. Claudia Easton and Marlene Haberer have turned their passion for weddings into a profession, when they founded Zurich-based cm weddings. As experts they are convinced that individuality and creativity are key ingredients for a special wedding.

For the decoration, vibrant colours and gemstones are key.” Others like it a bit more sparkly and choose gold, silver or copper as main colours featured in their glittering wedding theme.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

“Of course one can take inspiration from that, but when we know in which direction we are heading, it is important not to make a simple copy but let something individual arise,” says Marlene Haberer.“Authenticity is key to success.” And having the right wedding planner not only helps creating the perfect surroundings and decoration, it also makes planning far less stressful for the couple who can simply enjoy the result. Wedding planners like Claudia Easton and Marlene Haberer have a better overview of the market and costs – they can save couples a great deal of money and trouble, working together with trustworthy service providers.

Cities like Bern or Zurich with their cultural life, small villages high up in the mountains, snow-covered peaks and green meadows, glistening blue lakes and sharp rocks, highclass luxury hotels and rustic lodges are all great locations, but what does the perfect Swiss wedding really look like? “Since every couple is special, it is important for us to mirror the couple and their personality,” says Claudia Easton. No matter if it is an outdoor wedding in a majestic park or a rustic party in an Alpine hut. Claudia Easton and Marlene Haberer are very passionate about their job. “Working as wedding planners gives us the 36 | Issue 43 | October 2016

opportunity to make two people’s special day even more beautiful,” says Claudia Easton. And Marlene Haberer adds: “It allows us to put our creativity to practical use and at the same time make people smile. It is our greatest reward when the newlyweds say goodbye with shining eyes and happy faces.” Of course there are always wedding trends. “Boho weddings for example,” says Marlene Haberer. “When the weather is right the celebrations take place outside and dinner is set at a long wooden table. Food is local and organic and if possible served from a food truck.

www.cmweddings.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wedding Special

What is your idea of a perfect and unforgettable wedding? Maria Stiletto is the creative head behind the Cologne-based Wedding Planning agency Stiletto Weddings. She assists couples in making their personal wedding dreams come true and creates everlasting memories for the bride and groom and their guests. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD I PHOTOS: FOTOGRAFIE DOREEN KÜHR

She organises, plans and coordinates every detail from the background, so that the couple can relax and look forward to their big day. Like most Italians, she is a family person and it is her true passion to help couples celebrate their love for one another surrounded by friends and family.“The people I am working

with and their characters turn a wedding into a special event. Each couple is unique and so is their wedding.” She helps every couple to realise their personal dream, whether it is a Caribbeanthemed wedding or a stylish wedding celebration in a barn. She is always full of

creativity:“I fell in love with an old secluded monastery in a Sicilian mountain range. You have a fantastic view of the sea. I would very much enjoy planning a wedding celebration up there.”The moment when a groom sees his bride for the very first time is one of the most significant parts of the entire day. It is called the ‘First Look’. More and more couples decide to be alone in that very special moment and can rely on Maria making sure it will be nothing short of a perfect memory. www.stiletto-weddings.de

Caribbean-themed wedding.

Maria Stiletto.

Finding romance with a scenic and unique Swiss wedding Few destinations are more romantic than the shore of a clear blue lake, high above in the Swiss Alps or a green meadow surrounded by flowers. The wedding planners at Cake & Confetti have specialised on an international clientele looking for the perfect wedding in Switzerland – with a bohemian flair and a scenic view. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

Weddings can be as different as the Swiss landscape. While one couple might choose to marry on a clear summer day, the bride with flowers in her hair, another one prefers a snowy winter morning high up in the mountains. Making wedding dreams come true therefore is never easy. Wedding planners Julia and Tiziana love the challenge of creating unique weddings and making sure couples have a relaxed time before their big day. Because their clients come from all over the world, speaking five different languages is a necessity. “The first contact most times is established by mail,” says Tiziana. A Skype call follows. “We think it is important that the couples see us and trust us. During the

preparation process we will be the bride’s and groom’s best friends – answering questions around the clock and satisfying

Photo: Monica Tarocco Photography

every wish.” When the wedding planners know what to expect, the real work starts. Organising the necessary papers and looking for the perfect location, decoration and flowers. “Bohemian-style outdoor weddings are currently in trend.” While being playful they particularly draw from the Swiss mountains’ natural beauty. www.cakeandconfetti-weddings.com

Photo: QUEM CASA QUER FOTOS

Julia and Tiziana. Photo: www.jonnytakespictures.com

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 37


Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Sebastian Koch

Photo: Š Laszlo Emmer

38 | Issue 43 | October 2016


Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Sebastian Koch

Sebastian Koch Acting on his own approach Sebastian Koch has been on our cinema and television screens for 30 years. He has flexed his acting muscles in big budget Hollywood movies, as well as tiny independent productions and, through his unconventional choice of roles, has established himself as a versatile performer in every genre. Ahead of the release of two new films, Au nom de ma fille and Fog in August, Discover Germany spoke to Koch about his life in acting, freedom in the arts and of course his hometown of 27 years, Berlin. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

When the movie The Lives of Others won the Oscar for best Foreign Language Film, Sebastian Koch was right there in the auditorium. “It was a terrific moment. We were seeing a retrospective clip, looking back at past winners and all of a sudden there we were, a part of film history.”Even ten years later, the regularity with which people talk about the movie and specific scenes in it, reminds Koch about the unique emotional impact that a well-told story can have on individuals and on the general public. Growing up, he was not necessarily aware of such an impact. Born in 1962, he was raised by his single mother in Stuttgart. She was working at a children’s home and for six years the two of them lived at her workplace. “In the other children I found both playmates and a family,” says Koch. When his mother stopped working at the home and they moved, this family went away. Though, in his early teens, he developed a serious interest in becoming a professional musician, this path was not meant to stick. In fact, it was vaporised by

the fundamental experience that was his discovery of theatre. Transformed by plays Koch was around 16 years old when he sat in the audience of the theatre in Stuttgart and his life changed. The theatre was led by director Claus Peymann and the energy and content that was put on stage, made a huge impression on the young visitor. “I couldn’t believe it. I felt like these plays were speaking directly to myself. Suddenly, in Shakespeare and many others, I found inspiration for my life.” Next to the content, it was the artificial nature of the theatre world and the artistic group in it that transformed him. Immediately Koch’s perception of himself changed and it was clear to him that he wanted to be a part of it. His decision was completely free of doubt.“I never thought about it as a career or in monetary terms. I knew, that I could always earn a living somehow, but I fell in love with the independence of acting and the freedom it gave me.”

In order to pursue it, Koch went on to train at a drama school in Munich. “School gives you a technique and craft. The second part is learning by doing. Back then we were doing 26 performances a month, which was incredible.” Between 1986 and 1993, Koch first acted on stage in Darmstadt and later in Berlin. He was part of productions of Schnitzler, Buchner, Ibsen, Schiller and Goethe and through those plays he grew not only as an actor, but as a collaborator. “Theatre and the acting companies became kind of my substitute family.” Freedom and choice In making decisions, Koch follows a clear approach. “The most important aspect is to make free decisions, which might be unpopular but are the right choice for me as a person.” In that regard, Koch values his freedom more than everything else, which is why he consciously chose to leave the stage in the mid-’90s even though theatre was his great passion. “It is crucial with whom you work that you keep your freedom. Theatre was changing and I felt that leaving was the right choice to preserve my freedom. Also, to say no to something means to say yes to something else.” The latter was the world of moving pictures, of cameras and screens. A different world, but though the medium changed, Koch still consulted his intuitive sense of right and wrong when it came to Issue 43 | October 2016 | 39


Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Sebastian Koch

Photo: © Koch Films

choosing a project. “Can I do that? Does it fit me? Is it innovative? Is it different from what I’ve done before? You have to risk something and also be ready to fail. Especially in Germany, people like to pigeonhole you. I have no interest in playing the same part over and over again,” explains Koch. Au nom de ma fille and Fog in August In October, audiences have the chance to see Koch in two new movies. Au nom de ma fille is a French production starring Daniel Auteuil with whom Koch “wanted to work with for a while”. Based on a true story, the film tells the story of Andre Bamberski (Auteuil), who, for 27 years, investigated the disturbing circumstances of his daughter’s death in order to find justice and peace. Fog in August also deals with a true account, as the story follows Ernst Lossa, who was regarded as a difficult child and put in a mental institution (Koch plays its head Dr. Veithausen) in 1940s Germany. The subject matter is intense, 40 | Issue 43 | October 2016

portraying the gruesome reality of the Nazi euthanasia programme. While he plays the antagonist in both movies, the two roles could not be more different. Both are very intriguing, because “bad people don’t think that they are doing something evil. Also, at the time where the stories take place, no one understood them.” How does Sebastian Koch understand them? “You have to acquire their pattern of thought, make their thoughts tangible and find a translation for the patterns. For that reason, you first gather information and arrange it like a collage. Then the collage has to be sorted and understood.” Artistic freedom in Berlin Since The Lives of Others, Koch has been working much more internationally. He likes the challenge of acting in a different language and the transformation attached to it. He loved working with Steven Spielberg on Bridge of Spies, because “despite such a big production, he created a wonderful intimate atmosphere

which allows to forge new paths together. Although there is scope for individual ideas, of course there must be a unity in the approach”. In 2015, he was also part of the ensemble for the television series Homeland, which shot most of its fifth season in and around Berlin. Koch has been living in the city for 27 years and observed its developments closely. “It always was a particular city, but in my opinion it really changed when Christo and his wife wrapped the Reichstag. That was a turning point and made a palpable difference in opening the city up to the world.” The artistry involved in Christo’s project defines aspects, which cut to the heart of Koch’s own understanding of art. “Art is free and therefore it has strength. Everything is important. The big must be in the small and vice versa.” Maybe that is why we can relate to Koch and the characters he plays. As he portrays them, we can see them in a specific and a broader context and we can find them on the screen and in ourselves, as well.


Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Sebastian Koch

Nebel im August. Photo: Š Bernd Spauke Studiocanal GmbH

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 41


Discover Germany | xxxxx | xxxx

Left: Master blender Gilberto Briceño. Middle: Master blender Tito Cordero. Top right: The ‘green hill’ production site. Bottom right: The award-winning Reserva Exclusiva.

Ron Botucal

The world needs more diplomats The history of this premium Venezuelan rum – internationally known as Ron Diplomático – is shaped by the people who produce it. Passion, craftsmanship and enjoyment drove the spirits collector and founder of the brand over 200 years ago and live on today in the current cooperation with an artisan from Düsseldorf.

audacity. That is what connects him with the Venezuelan rum – and that is what makes the rum what it is.

TEXT & PHOTOS: SIERRA MADRE

The history of the company has its roots at the end of the 18th century in one man's fascination. Don Juancho Meléndez's burning passion for the production of traditional drinks from a variety of cultures paved the way for Ron Botucal. During his travels through Central and South America, he researched the processes and sources responsible for the liquors' taste. The‘Spirits Ambassador’ was especially interested in the artisanal production methods. He was particularly fascinated by the methods in the Caribbean and the complexity of environmental factors that considerably influenced production processes. Over time, his enthusiasm for collecting and his thirst for knowledge led to an impressive assortment of bottles that soon gained

What do a Venezuelan rum and a Düsseldorf barber have in common? Both professions are distinguished by a long tradition and the devotion to enjoyment. In Germany, Botucal has partnered with the barber Shamsedin Rada, also known as Hagi or the ‘Godfather of Barbering’, for the international campaign ‘The World Needs More Diplomats’. Hagi represents a new era of ambassadors. He pursues his life calling with boundless passion and has brought his message to the world with beards and sheers for 26 years now. He has no formal education in these trades – his motto has always been "learning by doing". The barber profession honours nearly 42 | Issue 43 | October 2016

forgotten methods for beard and hair care with precise movements, sharp blades and a great deal of trust in the shaving master's steady hand. Some of his clients travel great distances to be pampered by this expert of the barber's craft. "It's more than just a trim of the beard. It's an expression of personality! I don't go home until every client leaves the salon with a satisfied smile," Hagi explains about his pampering routine. As a German testimonial, he embodies passion, the desire for self-fulfilment, a long path to perfection and plenty of

The ‘Spirits Ambassador’


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Sierra Madre

their own fame and were served on special occasions. Among his friends, they were known as the ‘ambassador's reserves’. The master blender from the ‘green hill’ Meléndez owed his success to more than just the artisanal techniques of rum production. His home country of Venezuela offers the best possible climatic conditions for the production of sugar cane liquors: fertile soil, frequent downpours, tropical daytime temperatures and cool nights are ideal growing conditions for the excellent sugar cane that is used to make the rum. The impressive distillery settled away in the midst of large sugar cane plantations is also the rum’s namesake – Botucal roughly translates to ‘the green hill’. This is where Botucal – depending on the bottle – is distilled from sugar cane juice or molasses under the watchful eyes of master blenders Tito Cordero and Gilberto Briceño and stored for at least two years in barrels formally used for bourbon. Cordero is all too happy to reveal the rum's secret:

"The people who work here make Botucal everything it is". The work of Tito Cordero and Gilberto Briceño incorporates craftsmanship, tradition and technology into the production process in order to attain the highly prized quality of the rum. With their keen noses and refined senses of taste, they guide the rum's production from start to finish. This allows them to create a drink that develops its own personality with beautifully balanced aromas and flavours. They marry – or blend – different varieties of rum. The use of a variety of barrels for storing the rum, ranging from bourbon cask to grain and malt whiskey and including sherry and Pedro Ximénez barrels, significantly expands their range. As the connoisseurs of the taste of rum at Botucal, they are responsible for a wide range of varieties: The ‘traditional range' consists of the up to six-year-old Blanco Reserva, the up to eight-year-old Reserva

and the award-winning Reserva Exclusiva. The last of which is dedicated to Don Juancho Meléndez and wears its pride in the medals of so many awards. This blend is made of rums that are up to 12 years old and offers a full-bodied taste of chocolate, caramel and tropical fruits – with a dark chocolate and orange finish. But how should they be enjoyed as a beverage? "According to the Maestros Roneros, mixing rum is considered a ‘sacrílego’. If you appreciate rum, then you should drink it straight. If, however, the aroma and taste still come through in a cocktail, then that's okay, too. I, for one, like an Old Fashioned with rum instead of bourbon or a Daiquiri. That works quite well,” according to Cordero. www.facebook.com/botucal www.sierra-madre.de/hersteller/rum-botucal Right: The barber Shamsedin Rada, also known as Hagi. Top right: Botucal Daiquiri. Bottom right: Botucal barrels.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 43


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Hotel of the Month

Hotel Cervosa. Wellness.

Junior Suite.

HOTEL OF THE MONTH, AUSTRIA

Welcome to Hotel Cervosa’s winter season For champions of good living, the Hotel Cervosa, located above Tyrol’s Serfaus, is the perfect destination. Especially during the winter time, the award-winning five-star Gourmet & Spa will give you endless possibilities in and around the location. While the alps give the luxury hotel its impressive surroundings, family Westreicher, who is managing the hotel, gives it its endearing charm. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: HOTEL CERVOSA

The origins of the Hotel Cervosa date back to the year 1959. Receiving warm feedback from guests throughout the years, the relaxation haven has been steadily growing since then. Due to the increasing popularity, the Westreicher family grew with it and today the Gourmet & Spa Hotel Cervosa is an 44 | Issue 43 | October 2016

expansive luxury resort with a preserved family charm. “We as a family personally take care of our guests. The hotel has grown over 55 years, which makes the place very exciting, not only from an architectural point of view,” explains Hugo Westreicher, who runs the resort in the second generation.

In its style the Cervosa combines Alpine tradition with contemporary notions, forming a uniquely balanced luxurious ambiance. Both corporate and private guests like the state-of-the-art conference rooms, the award-winning gourmet restaurant and the sprawling 3,000-square-metre-large Cervosa Spa. However, it is not really the facilities that typical guests like the high performers, who visit alone with partners or with their whole family, cherish the most. “The daily challenge to serve our guests on the highest level is what drives us. Changing small details every single day and the inspiration we gain from


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Hotel of the Month

personal conversations with our guests is what really matters.” An active and comfortable winter Winter season is a special time for the Hotel Cervosa. In fact, the dreamlike qualities of the Alpine location necessitate an equally fabulous atmosphere inside the resort. In order to make sure of this, the Westreichers are introducing various specials and improvements. One example is the redone entrance area, where guests are welcomed by attractive interiors and accommodations. Due to innovative restructuring, guests can be sure to arrive in as much comfort as possible, as the area includes an information and reading section, a playing ground for the youth and a billiard room for the parents. In addition, the Cervosa offers special winter rates throughout the season. Starting in mid-December, guests can book all kinds of thematic specials. For example, the relaxation days, which last

Sauna with a view.

until Christmas and include not only daily use of the Spa but also a wellness massage and a mystic serail bath. Of course there is also the Cervosa Mountain Christmas, including a Christmas celebration with family Westreicher and a ski pass. As the winter season extends until Easter, there is time for thematic specials for anyone’s taste, some of which even feature an exclusive fit and fun programme with Nordic Walking, relaxation training, stretching and much more. HUGO’S the fine selection One particular highlight of the Westreichers’ Cervosa hotel is the HUGO’S. For more than five years, the Westreichers thought about an inspired redevelopment of their basement facilities. Many plans were made and discarded, until new ideas from architect Ghetta Stefan shaped the final concept. This concept was the creation of HUGO’S, a classy, elegant location of exclusive cuisine and finest spirits.

Suite.

Designed with wooden and concrete elements and precise, warm lighting, the HUGO’S represents the perfect framing for passionate enjoyment. Of course, the location is also open to your special reception, event or celebration. Much consideration has been put into the philosophy of the new gourmet world. At HUGO’S, distinguished spirits, whiskey, rum, gin and vodka are served pure in order to highlight their individual, distinctive taste. Additionally, the fine selection includes 250 national and international wines and a diverse array of craft beers from Austria, Germany, Belgium and England. All of these delicacies are prepared by a knowledgeable, expert team and with the same cautious care, which guests have come to appreciate from the singular experience, that is the Gourmet & Spa Hotel Cervosa. www.cervosa.com

Wellness.

Restaurant 'Bauernstuebchen'.

Indoor pool.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 45


Discover Germany | Culture | Attraction of the Month Germany

AT T R A C T I O N O F T H E M O N T H , G E R M A N Y

Left: Cooper & Gorfer, Girls Sewn to Trees, 2014. Loan from the artists. Middle: Cooper & Gorfer, Ena Holds the Sea, 2014. Loan from the artists. Right: Deborah Sengl, Killed to Be Dressed, 2010, wax preparation. Private loan.

Exploring humans’ ‘second skin’ in art and fashion The human skin is a wondrous thing; it protects the body, keeps it warm and safe from injuries, cold and wetness. But for many it is also a special feature signalising beauty and attractiveness. So it is no wonder that artists and designers speak of the second skin when talking about clothes and fashion, something a new exhibition at the museum Sinclair Haus focuses on. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

No matter how protective clothes are, they are always ways to express our identity, our personality and how we want others to see ourselves. This is why it is no longer only in focus of fashion designers, but also in that of contemporary artists, many of whom now focus on natural materials as part of their working process. “The longing civilised people have to immediately experience nature seems to be bigger than ever before. But what kind of bodily experience of nature can we still have today?” asks the museum’s director Dr. Johannes Janssen about artists’ fascination with natural materials – even crawling insects and bugs. 46 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Experiencing nature today is a strange mixture between setting boundaries and allowing permeability, between fear and desire. “It is noticeable how many artists in recent years have explored the human’s relationship with nature and creature.” The skin here is the visible barrier. A barrier many artists are playing with when using nature’s own creations as clothes. The arc of suspense created through poetic positions on the one hand and strange expressions on the other can for example be seen in Sarah Cooper’s and Nina Gorfer’s photographs or Deborah Sengl’s plastics. “Sengl reverses the existing circumstances

in a polemic way, when she lets minks wear handbags, hats and scarves made of human skin,” says Dr. Johannes Janssen. Other artists’ photographs show people wearing animals – living birds for example – as clothes, a woman has antlers growing out of her head while she walks in a long period dress through the landscape, another wears twigs as hat. Exhibitions at Sinclair Haus develop around the overall, guiding concept of ‘nature in contemporary art’, distinguished from white cube exhibitions but with a very focused presentation where every piece can make an impact. Every exhibition is accompanied by concerts, book readings or discussions. Museum Sinclair Haus in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe is part of the Altana foundation, established by entrepreneur Susanne Klatten in 2007. www.altana-kulturstiftung.de/museumsinclair-haus/ausstellungen


Discover Germany | Culture | Attraction of the Month Switzerland

AT T R A C T I O N O F T H E M O N T H , S W I T Z E R L A N D

Art, cinema, action! A hybrid between a cinema festival and a contemporary art exhibition, the Biennale de l’image en Mouvement hosted by the Centre d’Art Contemporain of Geneva is the unmissable attraction of the month for visitors and cinema enthusiasts passing through beautiful Switzerland. TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER

Exploring young artists’ depiction of today’s major life topics, the Biennale celebrates the strong engagement and rising awareness of this generation of creative minds. The originality of this event resides in the fact that it consists exclusively of works commissioned and produced for the occasion, with no specific curatorial theme to stick to. Accessible to tourists, art aficionados and cinema lovers, the Biennale follows a long-established tradition dating back to 1985 and revisited in 2014 making it an event that focuses on creating a dialogue around the world we live in from a young generation’s point of view. Under the artistic direction of Andrea Bellini, Cecilia Alemani, Caroline Bourgeois and Elvira Dyangani Ose, this 15th edition will feature a majority of female artists, thus

giving a particularly feminine perspective on the topics touching us all. What truly makes this event stand out is the fact that the Biennale does not only travel around the world taking different formats, but the Centre d’Art Contemporain of Geneva is one of the few institutions worldwide to organise an international art exhibition of this immense scale. Additionally, thanks to the support provided by the Biennale, young artists who would otherwise not have had the necessary funds and opportunities can now showcase their cinematographic work in a unique setting.

Right: Yuri Ancarani, The Challenge, 2016. Film still of the project presented during the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2016. Photo: © Yuri Ancarani Top left: Alexandra Bachzetsis, From A to B via C, 2014. Presented in premiere at the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2014. Concept photography by Alexandra Bachzetsis in collaboration with Julia Born and Gina Folly Bottom left: Wu Tsang, Duilian, 2016. Film still of the project presented during the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2016. Photo: © Wu Tsang

to compete in the prestigious Venice Film Festival and the Locarno Film Festival. The two works will be presented in world premiere at those festivals and discovered in Geneva in the presence of their directors during the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement. With the inauguration taking place around a series of events and workshops in Geneva from the 9-13 November, the Biennale will officially open its doors on 9 November and remain at the Centre d’Art Contemporain until 29 January 2017 before continuing on to prestigious locations around the world in countries such as the United States, Canada, Argentina and Italy. www.centre.ch

Some highlights of this particular edition are Spira Mirabilis by directors Massimo D’Anolfi and Martina Parenti as well as The Challenge by Yuri Ancarani, both chosen Issue 43 | October 2016 | 47


Discover Germany | Culture | Attraction of the Month Austria

AT T R A C T I O N O F T H E M O N T H , A U S T R I A

Vienna’s musical identity By playing three venues in the Austrian capital city, the VEREINIGTE BÜHNEN WIEN (VBW) have established themselves as a renowned musical company both in Austria and abroad. While its productions are diverse, there is one common conviction: musical theatre must be an enriching experience for the audience, regional business and the cultural identity of Vienna. In autumn the company returns with the musicals Evita and Schikaneder.

Main image: Evita ensemble. Photo: © VBW Deen van Meer Top right: A scene from Schikaneder. Photo: © VBW Rafaela Pröll Above: A scene from Evita. Photo: © VBW Deen van Meer Bottom: The cast for Evita. From left: Marjan Shaki, Katharine Mehrlin, Bettina Moench. Photo: © VBW Herwig Prammer

from 1934 to 1952. When it premiered in March, Mehrling gave her debut in Vienna, explaining: “I’m very excited to go on this artistic journey, especially with a complex and multi-layered character like Eva Perón.”

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

The VBW was founded in 1987. Until 2005, the THEATER AN DER WIEN was dedicated exclusively to musicals. In 2006 it returned to its originally intended purpose as an opera house. In parallel with this, the venerable RAIMUND THEATER and the RONACHER offer glamorous settings for musicals. At the moment, the RAIMUND THEATER has opened its doors for the world premiere and run of Schikaneder. Highlighted by its subtitle “the turbulent love story behind the magic flute”, the production deals with the life of the famous 18th century Viennese theatre personality, Emanuel Schikaneder and his wife Eleonore. Written by award-winning lyricist and composer Stephan Schwartz and VBW 48 | Issue 43 | October 2016

artistic director Christian Struppeck and directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, the Austrian story is told by an international creative team. Public darling Mark Seibert will take on the lead role of Schikaneder, while Milica Jovanovic will portray his wife. Additionally, 15 September marked the return of the musical Evita in the RONACHER theatre. The world famous success by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice will run until the end of the year, featuring the multi-talented Katharine Mehrling, as well as Marjan Shaki and Bettina Mönch in the leading role. Directed by Hollywood director and choreographer Vincent Paterson, Evita tells the biographical story of Eva Perón and her societal and political ascent in Argentinia

More information and tickets can be found on the following websites: www.vbw.at www.musicalvienna.at www.facebook.com/musicalvienna


Discover Germany | Culture | Film Column

Film review: Frantz Normally, I am not a big fan of black and white movies. But the fact that Frantz was made by acclaimed French director François Ozon still made me want to see it. After all, I loved his previous 'character studies' in Swimming Pool (2003), Young & Beautiful (2013) or In the House (2012). Here is why the story about an unlikely French-German friendship just after World War I didn’t disappoint either...

Left: Breite Straße / Café Roland in Quedlinburg. Photo: © Jürgen Meusel Right: Anna and Adrien. Photo: © X Verleih

September, 6 October and 21 October 2016 respectively. www.visit-goerlitz.com www.wernigerode-tourismus.com www.quedlinburg.de

TEXT: SONJA IRANI

The story: War, peace and love It’s the year 1919 somewhere in a small town in Germany: A young woman called Anna (Paula Beer) is grieving the death of her fiancé Frantz (Anton von Lucke). One day, a mysterious Frenchman called Adrien (Pierre Niney) appears in the village. He tells Anna and Frantz's parents that he had befriended Frantz before the war in Paris. Thus, Adrien slowly gains everyone’s trust. But the young man seems troubled. Is he hiding something? The location: Görliwood Calling François Ozon chose the world UNESCO World Heritage town of Quedlinburg as well as Wernigerode and Görlitz in East Germany to recreate the 1919 set for Frantz. "In contrast to West Germany, most towns in the former GDR are perfectly preserved from the pre-war period,” he says. Görlitz, also known as ’Görliwood’, has recently served as the backdrop

for numerous historical Hollywood productions including The Monuments Men (2014), Inglourious Basterds (2009) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).

Sonja Irani.

The final verdict: A true Ozon in every aspect Even though I initially found that the film lacked a bit of pace, I was soon hooked. For example, by Ozon’s subtle use of coloured scenes for happier times. Also worthwhile mentioning is the spot-on performances by rising talents Paula Beer and Pierre Niney. Overall, this was a truly mesmerising drama with an unexpected twist after the first half! **** 4 out of 5 stars The UK premiere of Frantz will take place on 7 October at the London Film Festival 2016. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the release dates are 29

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Irani is a marketing translator, travel journalist and ex London expat now living back in Germany. Her second home is the cinema. If you don't find her there she is probably travelling the world in order to trace her favourite film settings while trying to stay on a budget. On her blog www.filmfantravel.com, she combines these two passions to share her best tips for film-inspired budget travel.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 49


Discover Germany | Culture Feature | Typically German

Germans do like their Currywurst. Photo: © David Schiersner

Zeitgeist, sausages and the odd weekly carwash What is German? Who are we as Germans? The response to these questions naturally changes. It was different 50 years ago, ten years ago and it will be different ten years from now. Answering the question of our identity is always bound to the times that we live in. It is a time capsule providing us with an understanding of the present. Therefore, let us explore the present and try to find out who we are in 2016. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but if there is one aspect about German culture, that has an international impact, it is our language. Ever heard of the term ‘Zeitgeist’? This is one of the many expressions or idioms that we have sneaked into your language over the years. Other examples include ‘Fingerspitzengefuehl’ used by Chinese, Russian and Swedish people, ‘Rollmops’ (France), ‘Kuchen’ (Chile), ‘Schadenfreude’ 50 | Issue 43 | October 2016

(English) and many more. In fact, even in Nigeria people are asking ‘Is das so?’. It seems that we are very particular in our choice of words. So particular that there is no way around you adapting our phrases. Maybe this is no coincidence. Maybe this is why Germany is called the country of poets and thinkers. We seem to have an ear for language and an acute sense for describing a unique emotional state with

a word like ‘Fingerspitzengefuehl’. No one else would think of that. Germans do and we also still love our poets and word acrobats. When asked about people who represent their country, 49 per cent of the German respondents chose famous writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In the ranking this makes him the individual with the most votes and the one person who, in our opinion, fits our country the best. A testament to our dedication to language. A Germans’ favourite child However, while Goethe is high in the ranking, there is only one top spot. All over the world people say that the Germans love their cars more than their kids and, by voting Volkswagen as the best representation of our country, we have proved the world right.


Discover Germany | Culture Feature | Typically German

Maybe you have seen the following before: it is Saturday in the summer and you are visiting a German village or suburban area. There are houses, lawns and driveways and on the driveways there are cars. But the cars are not just sitting there, there are also people. Out in the sun, they are cleaning their precious automobiles, often by hand and definitely with special care. The Germans and their love for cars is an old story, but one that is still true. We do not even know why, but while the French have their food and fashion, we meet each other and ask “What do you drive?”. This question to us is equal to “How do you live?”. Dislikes and insecurities You only really know someone when you know their deepest fears. Opening up to another person might make you vulnerable, but it will also strengthen your relationship. Here are things that we, as Germans, dislike and fear. Eight per cent of us have no interest in ever getting in touch with Roquefort cheese. 23 per cent are afraid of spiders, 29 per cent find dog faeces disgusting and for 48 per cent this holds true of human excrements. But the top spot is taken by maggots and the

gruesome notion that they could be in your meat. When it comes to insecurities we get very self-conscious. A public fart tops our list of embarrassments, but we also do not want to send an email to the wrong person or be wrong about something we supported with great confidence. Finally, 18 per cent of us find the discovery that we have put on two different socks very frightening. A matter of sympathy What do we find appealing about our country? Well, it turns out, Germans are pretty proud people. When you ask them which national state the most sympathetic folks live, everybody names their own national state first. As a second choice many resort to Bavaria, but a clear winner in this matter cannot be found. That is probably a good thing, as in reverse it means that the Germans as a whole are pretty sympathetic. Also, do not be confused about the car situation. We might love our cars, but we love children more. Top right: The Volkswagen beetle. Photo: © Alan Levine Middle right: Sometimes you need Fingerspitzengefuehl. Photo: © Maik Meid Bottom right: Goethe & Schiller. Photo: © Helena Bottom left: A German’s favourite child. Photo: © Bark

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

A snow-covered village, Crans-Montana. Photo: François Perraudin

S P E C I A L T H E M E : T O P T H I N G S T O D O A N D S E E I N T H E C A N T O N O F VA L A I S

Switzerland’s canton of contrasts It is not only the breathtaking, snow-covered mountain peaks, the picturesque scenery and the charming traditional villages that make Switzerland’s Canton of Valais so worth a visit. With its diverse cultural offerings, numerous great hotels, wellness opportunities and many activities all year round, the canton becomes more and more popular every year. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

The Glacier Express. Photo: Valais Tourisme

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

Snowboarding on the Aletsch Glacier. Photo: Valais Tourisme

One of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, Valais is situated in the southwestern part of the country. Home to the pyramidshaped Matterhorn mountain, upscale Alpine resorts, vineyards, numerous ski slopes and hiking routes, as well as the starting point for the scenic Glacier

Express train and the huge Aletsch Glacier, the canton really has something to offer for every taste. While the summer offerings in Valais are rather enchanting, in winter the canton shows its true beauty. If you love winter, we

are sure you will love Valais. The majestic mountains not only create an impressive panorama, but they also provide a unique setting for enchanting winter holidays. On over 2,400 kilometres of pistes – snow guaranteed - visitors can indulge in winter activities of all sorts, such as winter

EVENTS IN VALAIS IN OCTOBER Foire du Valais (until 9 October): Annually attracting 200,000 visitors and having been held for more than 50 years, this important all-round trade fair in Martigny, Western Switzerland is not to be missed. Feodalia, Sound and Light Show (until 8 October): Visitors that head to Sion during this time can expect stunning light shows on the Valère and Tourbillon castles, accompanied by haunting music. Jeizibärg Mountain Race (16 October): This annual mountain race takes place at the base station of Gampel-Jeizinen’s cable car and the finish line can be found at a height of 1,520 metres in Jeizinen. International Rallye of Valais (20 – 22 October): Organised every year, this special car race leads through the Canton of Valais. An exciting few days await drivers and spectators alike in the canton’s unique landscape.

A platter lift in the ski resort Portes du Soleil. Photo: François Perraudin

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

Wellness. Photo: Valais Tourisme

hiking, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, glacier skiing, dog sledding, ice skating and much more. For adrenaline junkies, there are many more thrilling ways to discover the surroundings. How about kitting up with a kite and flying over the snow on skis or a snowboard? After an action-filled day, one can relax in the numerous resorts and spas on site and indulge in the one thing that should not be missed on a vacation to Switzerland – a traditional fondue. The thought of dipping bread into melted cheese makes us want to pack our bags already. For our special theme, we have selected some exclusive hotels, exciting things to do and great destinations to get the most out of your next trip to the Canton of Valais. 54 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Photo: Valais Tourisme


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

Enjoy the charm of a grand hotel Since 1907, the four-star Parkhotel Beau Zermatt is known for its heartfelt hospitality and its fantastic view of the Matterhorn. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: PARKHOTEL BEAU SITE ZERMATT

With its pyramid-shaped peak the majestic Matterhorn is one the most famous mountains of the Alps. People from all over the world travel to Zermatt in the southwest of Switzerland to see the 4,478-metre-high mountain and the rest of the breathtaking Alpine scenery. A trip to the historic municipality becomes even more delightful if you stay at a hotel with a generous atmosphere as in the Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt. From here, guests have a stunning, free view of the Matterhorn. Established in 1907, it was the first hotel that was built on the right side of the Vispa river.“In our corridors, there are interesting documentations which provide information about the history of the hotel built in the golden age of Alpinism,” says Franz Schwegler-Dossetto, host and general manager of the Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt. “In our spa, that was completely refurbished last June, guests can literally feel the past: Surrounded by the original

walling from 1907, our guests can enjoy a sauna and simply relax.” As it has been tradition for over 100 years, hospitality can be sensed in every corner of the establishment. The grand hotel also gains more and more regular guests who appreciate the loving attention to detail and the charming mixture between modern and classic style. “We have known our regular guests for many years now. They are the greatest asset and the highest honour of our hotel,” Schwegler-Dossetto states. The great number of excellent reviews in the internet prove that everyone who has stayed at the Parkhotel wants to come back again.

fondue, to a six-course gala dinner and a diverse dessert buffet, to a barbecue with a great selection of meat and fish, there are delicious meals for every taste. In the future, the Beau Site team wants to build a new annexe. Schwegler-Dossetto says: “There, our guests will not only have their own fitness centre, as well as a yoga room, but also separate conference rooms.” www.parkhotel-beausite.ch

Main picture: Guests of the Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt have a fantastic view of the Matterhorn. Top left: Matterhorn Double Room. Bottom left: Surrounded by the original walling from 1907, guests can enjoy a sauna and simply relax. Below: The Parkhotel Beau Site restaurant.

A must for every gourmet is the Beau Site restaurant, which not only offers a daily four-course menu with a selection for vegetarians, but also an international à la carte menu. Themed nights with special culinary delights are part of the programme as well. From a Swiss evening with raclette and Issue 43 | October 2016 | 55


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

A cosy stay for nature lovers and gourmets of wine Situated in the heart of Valais, there is the small but pretty Bed and Breakfast Varen run by Heidi Kuonen-Goetz. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: BNB VAREN

If you plan a trip to the nature park Pfyn-Finges or to the great wine region Salgesch-Varen, the Bed and Breakfast (BnB) Varen is the perfect place to stay. Since 2009, Heidi Kuonen-Goetz and her family have been running the accommodation with loving attention to detail.“Before I established the B&B there was no place where guests, who wanted to visit this wine region, could stay overnight,” the host explains.“I wanted to change this. And as it turned out, not only gourmets of wine like to come, but also nature lovers who for example go hiking in the nature park Pfyn-Finges.” As the four-bedroom B&B is situated in the heart of Valais, it is only 20 minutes to the thermal baths and ski slopes in Leukerbad, and 40 minutes to the famous

golf course and slopes of Crans-Montana. “This sunny region is also known for having a great range of butterflies, birds and dragonflies,” Kuonen-Goetz says. “Some time ago, I even had guests from the USA who just came to take pictures of butterflies.” Those who want to get to know the stunning region, should also participate in a guided tour through the village. Kuonen-Goetz then provides information about the history of the farming village and the adjacent nature park. Guests can also enjoy a delicious breakfast every morning. Regional products like grapeseed-bread, seasonal fruits as well as homemade jam are a real treat. www.bnbvaren.ch

Hotel Les Etagnes

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Since 2009, Heidi Kuonen-Goetz welcomes guests in her BnB Varen.

TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE I PHOTOS: ANNEMIEKE VAN BOXTEL

Switzerland has its fair share of secrets. Take Nendaz, an idyllic town on the lush mountain slopes of the Valais, where Annemieke and Onno van Boxtel run the town’s most charming hotel and restaurant, Les Etagnes, as well as its popular après-ski bar Cheers and four generously sized holiday apartments. Being competitive is vital if you are hoping to compete in Switzerland’s packed ski market, and it certainly applies to this small Dutch-run hotel, now in its tenth year. After spending two seasons as ski instructors in Nendaz – a spot they immediately fell in love with – the easygoing duo seized the opportunity to take ownership of a recently renovated hotel. After further revamping the historical site, the couple pride themselves on offering a ‘one-stop shop’ where skiing and socialising meet. Providing the ultimate ski-in, ski-out luxury, Onno explains with a wry smile that “many people don’t realise that Verbier is connected by gondola; we’re part of Switzerland’s biggest ski area with 412 kilometres of pistes direct from the

The BnB Varen offers two double rooms and two single rooms.

door. Once the car is parked, there’ll be no need to touch it.” Alongside breakfast and lunch, the hotel serves a daily threecourse meal in their chic wood-panelled restaurant, while also catering to a lively après-ski scene. With nine handsomely decorated guestrooms and four smart Alpine

apartments, Hotel Les Etagnes is a discerning getaway for those eager to avoid the crowds – and inflated prices – of the more hyped neighbouring ski resorts. If winter sports are not your thing, Nendaz is a veritable mountain paradise with equal charm outside of the ski season for unspoilt nature, hiking and trail running. www.lesetagnes.com Below left: Hotel Les Etagnes. Below right: The hotel runs a popular restaurant and lively après-ski scene.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

Nendaz

Switzerland’s skiing jewel The Swiss resort of Nendaz lies on a sunny terrace above the Rhone Valley near Sion, the capital of the stunning Valais. Being at the heart of the 4 Vallées ski region, it has everything a winter sports enthusiast could want.

Main picture: Atop the majestic Mont-Fort. © Sarah Bourne, Top left: Woodpark. © Florian Bouvet Below left: Free tracks. © www.arolle.com Below right: Dent de Nendaz panorama. © Florian Bouvet

preparation, making it the only one of its kind. Additional highlights are the seven marked and secured freetracks as well as moonlight skiing.

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

Unique panorama and location Nendaz offers an exceptional skiing area in a high mountain setting of great beauty. Scenically located in the broad 4 Vallées ski region (Verbier, Veysonnaz, Nendaz, La Tzoumaz and Thyon), with more than 80 transport facilities and over 400 kilometres of pistes (including seven free tracks), it is one of Europe’s largest skiing areas. The best access to the railways is from Siviez. There are also off-piste activities with nine kilometres of cross-country ski trails, more than 100 kilometres of winter hiking trails and snowshoe tracks. Skiers and snowboarders – from beginners to experts – can find the perfect environment to unwind and enjoy nature. From downhill skiing and snowboarding to off-piste, ski touring, cross-country and even just

taking the gondola up to the mountains – everything is possible. Nendaz also has excellent credentials as a family-oriented region and deserves its official status as a family destination resort (labelled by the Swiss Tourism Federation). It has excellent facilities including a toy library and ice rink. Magical Mont-Fort The Mont-Fort is an extremely popular excursion destination all year round and everyone can effortlessly climb the summit (3,328 metres) onboard the lift system. From this incredible viewpoint, visitors can see the most beautiful alpine mountains, including the Matterhorn and the MontBlanc. This mountain also boasts terrain that steep-seekers crave: the Mont-Fort slope is too steep to allow for mechanical

The region’s breathtaking alpine panorama and natural sights are worth a visit during every time of the year. In fact, Nandaz retains an unspoiled charm with an atmosphere that is genuinely warm and welcoming. There is a good choice of shops, cafés, bars, clubs and restaurants clustered around the cable car station. The natural beauty and unique setting of the town, combined with the offerings and activities, make it an ideal destination for a weekend trip, short vacation or extended holiday. The Nendaz skiing season runs from the beginning of December 2016 (depending on snow conditions) through to 30 April 2017. www.nendaz.ch Issue 43 | October 2016 | 57


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

Grächen

The perfect winter getaway in Switzerland Skiing, sledging, winter hikes, snowshoe trekking or just relaxing – no matter what one prefers during a winter holiday, in the Swiss Alps, near the Matterhorn, it can be enjoyed to the fullest. TEXT: INA FRANK I PHOTOS: GRÄCHEN TOURISMUS

The region of Grächen is located on a sunny alpine plateau right in the highest mountains of Switzerland. With its 42 runway kilometres, a great view over the vast snowy winter paradise and many more activities, it attracts visitors young and old alike. Families in particular are comfortable in the region of Grächen. “The parents can relax while their children are pampered like princes and princesses,” says Beatrice Meichtry, marketing director of Grächen Tourismus. Most areas are kept car-free, so kids can bustle in the streets without their parents being distressed. A special highlight is the ‘fairy tale cable car’. According to the motto ‘Grächen ein Märchen’ (‘Grächen is a fairy tale’), guests can listen to audio plays of fairy tales while going up. The outside of 58 | Issue 43 | October 2016

each car corresponds to the fairy tale played inside. Even a laid-back dinner in the cable car is possible. On an evening tour, one can enjoy a typical Swiss cheese fondue and the amazing view of the Matterhorn and its surroundings. Families also love the Family Funslope, where different hurdles invite one to try some tricks, and the Skimovie slope that makes one feel like a ski racer. The run is filmed and the video can be downloaded at home. “Grächen has often been acclaimed for being the best holiday destination for families in Switzerland,” Meichtry adds. This winter, Grächen distinguishes itself again by the particular initiative ‘Grächen Euro 1.30’. There will be varied offers at a fixed exchange rate at 1.30 francs a euro.

The initiative has already run for some time and so far Beatrice Meichtry has drawn a positive conclusion: “The demand for holidays at a fixed euro exchange rate is high and we are happy to have been selling this product successfully for four years already.” The initiative runs from 7 to 27 January and from 11 March to 17 April 2017 and includes lodgings, ski passes, the ‘fairy tale cable car’, restaurants and offers by sports shops, skiing schools and souvenir shops. Yet there is even more to come this winter season. “Guests can enjoy the healthy alpine air during a hot-air balloon ride or drive a snow groomer and feel its powerful horsepower,”Meichtry reveals. www.graechen.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

A real holiday gemstone Nestled into the pristine mountain and glacial world of Saas-Fee, one can find a quiet and familial hotel that poses as the perfect place for relaxation after an exciting day exploring the surrounding nature. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: HOTEL KRISTALL-SAPHIR

Situated in the authentic, idyllic mountain village of Saas-Almagell, the KristallSaphir Superior Hotel has everything one might desire - from personal dealings, a generous wellness oasis, a flower garden with a trout lake and a large lounge terrace, to comfortable, modern rooms, Wi-Fi in the entire hotel and excellent cuisine with typical Swiss specialities and regional products. Impressing with its quiet, peaceful location, the hotel also offers an unobstructed view of Saas-Fee’s mountain world and, in close proximity, one can find untouched nature. In winter, a snow certainty of 100 per cent attracts many winter sport enthusiasts. 160 kilometres of ski slopes for all levels, 60 kilometres of winter

hiking trails, signposted snowshoe trails, three toboggan runs or 26 kilometres of cross-country ski runs are reachable in a few minutes. Or how about some ice stock sport or ski tours? The Hotel Kristall-Saphir helps with planning activities and offers line dance holidays, all-inclusive offers or guided

snowshoe tours and hikes with the hosts. In summer, the use of all eight mountain railways and postbuses are even included in the room price. Last but not least, the village offers perfect infrastructure with great connections to neighbouring towns and the bus stop and parking spots lie directly in front of the hotel. www.kristall.ch From left: Hotel Kristall-Saphir, Saas-Almagell near Saas-Fee. Enjoy winter sport activities in unspoilt nature. Ski paradise Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund (snow certainty of 100 per cent).

Holidays at Hotel & Solebad Arca

– Where adventure meets relaxation Centrally located in Zermatt, the Hotel & Solebad Arca offers short distances to various holiday activities and a great deal of room for relaxation. TEXT: INA FRANK I PHOTOS: HOTEL & SOLEBAD ARCA

The Hotel & Solebad Arca is the ideal starting point for holiday activities of different kinds. The skiing area Zermatt/ Cervinia is virtually on their doorstep, as well as many hiking trails for both summer and winter. The nearby shops invite you to stroll around. “After a strenuous hiking tour or a wonderful day of skiing, our guests can relax in the salt water pool and indulge in a pleasant massage,” the hotelowning family Aufdenblatten says. The 34 degrees Celsius pool with its bubble loungers is unique in Zermatt. Besides, salt water has a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system. A sauna, steam bath and Kneipp basin round off the newly refurbished wellness area.

Staying at the hotel leaves nothing to be desired. All of the rooms or apartments offer a view on the Matterhorn or the Mischabel mountain range and a comfortable, traditional atmosphere. With a kitchenette available in each accommodation, guests can decide whether they would like to go

Hotel Arca with Matterhorn view.

out or to make their own meals. However, a homemade breakfast is included, which is often commended by visitors. “If food is prepared and served with love, you can taste that!” the owners add. The locally sourced products in particular are well appreciated. In summary, the Hotel & Solebad Arca is perfect for peace seekers and night owls likewise. www.arca-zermatt.ch

Brine pool.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

Connecting the individual with the spirit of the environment The four-star hotel Matterhorn-FOCUS in Zermatt provides unique hospitality combined with a high lifestyle quality right at the foot of the Matterhorn. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI I PHOTOS: HOTEL MATTERHORN-FOCUS

Marked by an extraordinary design, the transparent threefold structure offers expansive views, with all apartments featuring large window fronts. Planned and executed by artist and designer Heinz Julen, this extraordinary construction interacts with its natural surroundings, mirroring the expressionist cubic forms of the mountain massif itself. Christian Noti opened his one-of-a-kind hotel in 2008 and has since offered a conscientious and mindful service with the help of his longstanding team. A philosophy of honest hospitality draws in all kinds of individual travellers, families and couples who enjoy a diverse yet harmonious ambiance. Many guests return after their first visit. Being of modern and timeless quality alike, the hotel provides comfort through60 | Issue 43 | October 2016

out a varying range of double bedrooms as well as large suites, all furbished with an eye for detail and a sensitivity in design. The 30 rooms of varying sizes spread across two houses and a chalet. Every room features specially designed lamps, sofas and beds by architect Heinz Julen, who descends from a family of mountaineers and leads his successful studio in Zermatt. After indulging in a gourmet breakfast, the surroundings invite to a healthy hike or a day of skiing after which the luxurious SPA area offers a few hours of deep relaxation. But the homely atmosphere also allows for a relaxed time indoors, reading by the fireplace, a cup of afternoon tea or aperitif in hand. Even four-legged hiking partners are allowed in one of the houses, the ‘Haus C’ chalet.

With the hotel set right by the Matterhorn Express valley station, the village is a short ten-minute walk away. Old or young, couples, families or individuals are welcome in this unique place that combines lifestyle with a competent and committed hospitality, creating a family atmosphere. Needless to say, Matterhorn-FOCUS offers all amenities of modern hospitality with free internet access, a sauna area, a heated indoor pool and even an outdoor Jacuzzi. Above all reigns the beautiful prospect and majestic view of the Matterhorn itself. The biggest compliment for the hosts Christian Noti and Patrizia Gasser? All those who return year after year to spend their holidays here. www.matterhorn-focus.ch Main piture: The hotel at night. Middle: Outdoor pool area. Left: Garden with a view. Top right: Fireplace lounge. Bottom right: Relaxing atmosphere.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Valais

Main picture:The view of the Matterhorn. Top left: The restaurant. Bottom left: A cosy room.

A holiday retreat with a breath-taking view

Where sport, action and relaxation meet The family hotel Antares is one of the few hotels directly in Zermatt, in walking distance to ropeway Klein Matterhorn, ski slopes and various hiking trails. With the Matterhorn close by, it is an ideal destination for all those who enjoy mountain and outdoor sports. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: HOTEL ANTARES

The Hotel Antares was one of the first hotels founded in Zermatt, a famous Swiss tourist destination and today an ideal spot for sports of every kind. From November to April snow is guaranteed here, and during the summer months there are opportunities for hiking, downhill races, summer ski or paragliding. What impresses many hotel guests – mostly sport enthusiasts and families – is the great view they have from their rooms towards the Matterhorn, the mountain many call the most photographed one in the world. The rooms are furnished in a classic style: “The cherrywood furniture ensures a cosy but elegant atmosphere,”

says assistant manager Samuel Schweiger, also responsible for marketing. The hotel also runs a few apartments in the centre of Zermatt. Even the journey to Zermatt is an impressive one when taking the Glacier Express that runs between Zermatt and Davos or St. Moritz. The trip takes seven hours, leading through the most spectacular, untouched nature, along deep gorges and through soft meadows, 91 tunnels and 291 bridges have to be crossed. Of course one can also have it faster and drive by car to Täsch, a Zermatt suburb, from where a train or taxi can take visitors into the centre. Zermatt itself is a car-free zone.

Hotel Antares lies in a quiet area of the village. “But guests who search for some evening entertainment can reach Zermatt’s centre in a short, five to ten-minute evening stroll,” says Schweiger. On the other hand, the hotel itself scores points with its outstanding service including the hotel’s own bar and restaurant. The latter combines unique and exquisite creations with traditional Italian food, served not only at the gourmet restaurant but also in the summer on the sunny terrace with Matterhorn views. Only recently has the spa and wellness area opened its doors to guests. Nothing feels better after a long day of hiking in summer or skiing in winter than to relax in a hot tub, sauna or steam bath. When booked in advance, massages are also possible. www.hotel-antares.ch Issue 43 | October 2016 | 61


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Photo: Š Flickr.com, Zhu

S P E C I A L T H E M E : T O P I N T E R N AT I O N A L S C H O O L S I N G E R M A N Y

Turning children into world citizens International schools can be found all over Germany by now. Here, English is often the main language between students and teachers. Parents like the idea of letting their children learn in an international environment. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: Š Flickr.com, USF SLE

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Photo: © Flickr.com, Oscar Rethwill

What exactly are the advantages to normal schools? First of all, the classes are usually smaller so intensive supervision can be guaranteed. A variety of clubs, workgroups, sport classes and extracurricular activities further enhance the individual strengths and interests of students. Since the student body tends to be quite international, the schools usually also expose the young people to a variety of cultures so that they get an open worldview from an early age.

of subjects and activities offered. Thus, it poses as a great school-leaving qualification for students who might want to leave Germany after finishing school or to give their professional path an international orientation from very early on. In our special theme on the following pages, we take a closer look at some of the great international schools and what Germany has to offer.

Photo: © Flickr.com, Markus Spiske

Due to the higher school fees, one can also expect quite modern and comfortable facilities with the newest equipment. An important reason why parents might choose an international school for their children is, however, that the curricula amongst the schools is uniform and thus allows ease of transfer. The International Baccalaureate (IB) is normally offered, but the American high school diploma, British A Levels or the German ‘Abitur’ might also be options. Advantages of the International Baccalaureate include the possibility to easily get into English-speaking universities all over the world, as well as the vast range

Photo: © Flickr.com, luckyno3

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 63


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Main picture: Castle. Top right: Graduation 2016. Top right: Playground. Top right: The fields with the Alps in the end.

Munich International School: Nuture – Challenge – Inspire

Pioneering international education since 1966 Munich International School (MIS) nurtures, challenges and inspires students in an extraordinary environment to become academically successful, life-long learners, creative and innovative thinkers, ethical, globally minded contributors and healthy, well-balanced individuals who will thrive and make a positive impact in a complex and changing world. TEXT & PHOTOS: MUNICH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Munich International School is not just another international school. Visitors see it immediately when they step onto the beautiful parkland campus. Students feel it every day through their inspiring interactions with the world-class faculty. Munich International School leverages unparalleled expertise in delivering renowned international curricula within a caring, innovative and healthy environment. The school is proud of 50 years of success at cultivating academic achievement, physical and emotional well-being and the ethical and social competencies necessary for students’ 64 | Issue 43 | October 2016

success and happiness in a rapidly changing world. Pioneering international education in Munich Munich International School was the first international school to be established in Munich and, at that time, one of only a handful of international schools to be found throughout Europe. MIS came into existence in 1966 in response to meeting the needs of a rapidly growing international community in Munich. Initially, the School was accredited in the United States and was designed to

prepare students for US college entrance or for the British G.C.E. examinations. Today, Munich International School is an independent, non-profit International Baccalaureate (IB) World School that has been authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) since 1980. “We continue to pioneer new curricula, including as a leading MYP e-assessment school for the IBO,” notes Lydia Tukarski, communications coordinator at MIS. MIS is also officially recognised by the Bavarian ministry of education and fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Easily accessible from Munich, the School takes full advantage of its 26acre campus in an idyllic nature preserve near Starnberg to provide students with


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

high-quality educational experiences both within well-equipped classrooms, laboratories and performing arts spaces as well as their exceptional outdoor facilities. MIS is a community school where 1,200 plus students from more than 60 countries learn together on a single, purpose-built campus. Munich International School recruits the most caring, competent and committed teachers and staff from more than two dozen countries. These educators create a vibrant, diverse, student-centred programme of learning, supported by superior facilities and resources, such as the performing arts centre, the new design and technology suite, the one-to-one laptop programme (Apple MacBooks), an Olympic-sized eight-lane track-andfield complex, a triple gymnasium with adjacent dance and fitness studios, two student libraries (primary and secondary), a new modern languages complex and differentiated outdoor play spaces for early childhood and primary years. Munich International Sohool operates as a ‘Ganztagsschule’ and offers a wide range of After School Activities and sports as well as a comprehensive competitive athletics programme. Students at Munich

International School routinely gain admission to the world’s elite universities.

special anniversary celebration for the whole community.

Celebrating 50 years of motivating and inspiring students

Welcoming prospective families to campus

This year Munich International School celebrates 50 years of motivating and inspiring students and a future full of exciting potential through a series of events and celebrations. The School began festivities on 26 February 2016, marking 50 years since the signing of the School’s Articles of Association in 1966.

It is a joy to introduce new students and families to the outstanding community that is Munich International School. The Admissions and Communications Office is the first point of contact for prospective students and parents and can be reached at +49 (0) 8151 366 120/121 or admissions@mis-munich.de

The School was delighted to welcome back more than 400 alumni and friends from around the world and thousands of other guests including current families, staff, faculty and local community members from the greater Munich area for MIS’ 50th Anniversary Frühlingsfest weekend on 20-22 May 2016.

We warmly invite you to visit us and experience first-hand how Munich International School is different.

On 19 September 2016, the 50th anniversary of the first day of school at MIS was marked with special events for current students, including the sealing of a time capsule. A ‘Winter Gala’ to be held at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich on 26 November 2016 and the School’s annual Winterfest on 11 December 2016 will be an additional

www.mis-munich.de

FACTS AND DATA Munich International School will host three Open Days in 2016/17 for which you are welcome to register via www.mis-munich.de/openday Upcoming Open Days at MIS: Tuesday 22 November 2016 Tuesday 24 January 2017 Tuesday 14 February 2017 Middle: Classroom. Bottom: Aerial view of MIS.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Berlin Brandenburg International School

A gem in international schooling Hidden in the lush forests of Lake Machnow and located just a few kilometres south of Germany’s capital of Berlin, lies BBIS (Berlin Brandenburg International School). This institution is a real gem for parents who are looking for a school focussing on internationality as well as on a holistic approach towards the academic and personal education of its students.

academic surrounding and combine it with the space needed for a variety of encouraging non-academic activities.

after the boarders’ academic as well as pastoral wellbeing are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are aware of these students’ particular situation away from home and their families and live in closeness to their protégés in apartments adjacent to the boarders’ quarters. A cosy dining room and a recreation area for the boarders only give the students the reassuring feeling of being at a ‘home away from home’.

True international flair BBIS’ boarding house completes the school’s wide-ranging offers. Students in grades nine to 12 (minimum age for admission is 14) live in the recently refurbished double rooms, each with their own bathroom. Mentors who are looking

Currently students from over 65 countries attend Berlin Brandenburg International School, giving the school a truly international flair. Next to a small percentage of locals from the capital’s area who are keen on an excellent international education, the students’ mothers and

TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: BBIS

When an area next to Lake Machnow and the Hakeburg, a castle dating back to the 14th century, with grounds of 400,000 square metres went for sale in 2005, the board of BBIS realised the advantages of this beautiful location. While BBIS had already been one of the leading international schools in the Berlin region for many years, this new location offered a whole new range of possibilities: here, the school would be able to offer an inspiring 66 | Issue 43 | October 2016


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

fathers are diplomats or high-ranking managers who need to change their country of residence for professional reasons on a regular basis. These families in particular choose BBIS for its unique approach as well as for the compatibility of curricula within the international school system, which grants a certain degree of consistency in the education of their child. An atmosphere of mutual respect and empathy BBIS promotes the holistic education of its students. The academic curriculum is balanced, with stimulating mandatory courses like design, drama, music, sports, or art. Sport activities take place in the newly built sports hall with its own climbing wall or in the equally newly built sports field, which offers seats for more than 800 spectators. The arts are represented in the ‘Heizhaus’, which regularly houses exhibitions of the students’ own art projects or studentstaged drama performances. Everyone at BBIS believes in the uniqueness of each human being with equally exceptional and individual strengths and needs. “Intercultural understanding and to respect human rights are fundamental to BBIS’ concept,” stresses Peter Kotrc, director of BBIS since 2012. A body of 100 highly motivated teaching staff from over 25 different countries ensures the compliance to these values. By creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and

empathy, they help the students to fulfil and even exceed their true academic and personal potential. On an academic level, BBIS is the only school in the Berlin region that is able to offer all four International Baccalaureate programmes to its students. Particularly the highly challenging IB Diploma programme provides the students with access to top universities in the United States and Europe. Kotrc points out that over the last couple of years the BBIS’ average exam grades have always exceeded the worldwide average – proof that BBIS’s concept of caring for its students on an academic as well as on a personal level works very well and brings out the best in each of its students.

instruction is English). Further assistance is offered to those who need help in particular subjects or in reaching their full potential. The spirit of community does not end at the school’s gate or at the end of each school day. Weekend sports tournaments, outdoor team-building projects at the beginning of each new school year, skiing holidays or a students’ exchange with a Chinese school are but a small selection of BBIS’ challenging and mind-broadening projects. For those looking for a school that combines internationality with care for the individual, BBIS is certainly a great choice. www.bbis.de

The spirit of community does not end at the school’s gate A typical day at BBIS starts at 8am, when approximately 700 students from the Berlin and Potsdam area arrive on BBIS’ own school busses, and ends at 3pm. About half of the students participate in after-school activities until 4:30pm. Classrooms are bright and spacious and the class sizes are kept small: there are less than 18 students in nearly all of BBIS’ classes. The belief that no one should be left alone is palpable: provision of help to improve is important at BBIS. Special support is given to those whose mother tongue is not English (BBIS’ language of

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Plus est en vous

Main image: Boarding school Schloss Salem. Photo: Ilja Mess Top right: Classroom at Schloss Salem. Photo: Schule Schloss Salem Bottom right: Swimming pool at Schloss Salem. Photo: Schule Schloss Salem

There is more in you than you think Boarding school Schloss Salem values the individuality of its pupils as much as their skills and talents. With students from over 40 countries, Schloss Salem is not an average German school, but a political microcosm of its own. Its diversity and the understanding that education requires a broad perspective to be successful beyond grades, makes Schloss Salem an outstanding choice for young people with an open mind. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

Our children are tomorrow’s future. They will have to navigate through a world that is increasingly technology-driven, politically unstable and personally challenging. Therefore, a modern education that goes beyond achieving good grades and looks at each student’s individual interests is vital.

Taking responsibility is a huge part of a student’s life at Schloss Salem. “Our students have a cosmopolitan mindset and are particularly curious. Every student, no matter what year, assumes ageappropriate responsibility,” headmaster Bernd Westermeyer explains.

Boarding school Schloss Salem has made it their mission to help every pupil unfold their full potential and find their place in our fast-paced world. Aside from studying to graduate successfully with the German Abitur or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the approximately 600 pupils, from years five to 12, are offered a vast range of activities outside the classroom.

“Firstly for themselves, of course, but secondly also by either taking over certain functions at school as a leader of the fire department or other emergency services or working with the social service. Great emphasis is put on the idea of involving students in decision-making processes and the school parliament for example is indispensable for Salem’s community.”

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Encouraging young people to help society’s less fortunate and privileged, and to experience the joy that comes from selflessly giving to others, is a truly remarkable addition to a child’s education. It is an insight often mentioned by the school’s alumni as one of the most beneficial and unique parts of their time at Salem. More than 160 partner schools, sprinkled across all five continents, strengthen the school’s cosmopolitan community character and offer many opportunities for exciting exchanges across the globe. Following founder and educationalist Kurt Hahn’s motto ‘Plus est en vous!’, boarding school Schloss Salem is not some form of a service provider, but offers a thoughtful educational environment to nurture every student, and help them achieve top grades while carefully supporting their overall personal development. www.schule-schloss-salem.de


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Main: ISA Learners: engaged and principled. Top right: ISA graduation ceremony 2016. Middle right: The ISA education share – investing in education. Bottom right: ISA learners are caring.

Offering children a caring and challenging education International School Augsburg (ISA), on Munich’s threshold, is located just outside of the picturesque and vibrant historic city of Augsburg. The school provides a fully accredited, varied and balanced programme for students from pre-school to secondary school. TEXT & PHOTOS: ISA

ISA provides students with many opportunities to discover and develop their talents; the majority of students are actively involved in a range of sports and arts activities. Community service is central to life at the school and allows students to develop compassion and leadership skills. Experienced and caring teachers ensure that students quickly feel at home at ISA.“It is crucial that young people feel safe to take risks and make the mistakes that lead to learning,”says headmistress Cathie Mullen. The teaching team is highly professional and equally friendly. Teachers work collaboratively so that they can give students the best possible education and model effective teamwork. ISA is an authorised IB World School, running the International Baccalaureate® (IB) PYP and IB Diploma Programmes. “We

have a responsibility to provide young people with the skills and attitudes they will need to be successful in a rapidly changing world,” says Mullen. Above all, critical and creative thinking will be essential. The school offers an excellent education in computer science and mathematics. The visual and performing arts are also an integral part of learning for all students. Daily interaction with children and adults from more than 30 countries gives children the chance to develop their curiosity about the world and promotes open-minded and respectful attitudes to the perspectives of others. Although students and staff come from many countries, the school maintains strong ties with educational, cultural and business institutions in the local region.

last three years, 100 per cent of students have been awarded an IB Diploma. IB Diploma scores are consistently above the world average and many students achieve exceptional results. ISA alumni are successfully pursuing their studies and careers at universities and other institutions all over the world. Last year, the school became a non-profit publicly owned company. It has pledged to make every graduate a shareholder. Over time, International School Augsburg will become a school owned by its own alumni. This initiative illustrates the innovative vision that drives the school’s development from a pedagogical as well as a community perspective. www.isa-augsburg.com LSA learners: inquirers and thinkers.

International School Augsburg has an excellent academic track record. For the Issue 43 | October 2016 | 69


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Grades 1 and 2 presenting Jack and the beanstalk play. Ukulele Club after school activity.

English class reading time grade 3.

Global thinking and local action from the International School Mainfranken School director Brandie Smith explains to readers of Discover Germany how the International Baccalaureate (IB) works and why she believes her school stands out from the crowd. TEXT: STIAN SANGVIG I PHOTOS: CLAUDIA SCHWEIGER

Beautifully situated between Würzburg and Nuremberg amongst the hilly forests and the wine-growing regions of Franconia, Northern Bavaria, one can find the International School Mainfranken. Home to a team of multilingual teachers and staff from five continents, the learning community aims to teach its 110 students, who themselves are from 26 different countries, the essential skills of life and the modern world from an international 70 | Issue 43 | October 2016

perspective. “Our goal is to prepare each student to think globally and act locally whilst teaching maths, languages, sciences and the other essential subjects,” head of school and Canadian national Brandie Smith explains. The school’s curriculum is based on the globally recognised International Baccalaureate (IB). Discover Germany is keen to understand the difference

between this approach and the local state systems, most of which in Europe are known for their high standards. “The IB stands out through its education philosophy,” Smith says. “With the students at the centre, our methodology ensures they can move on to the next level by focussing more on the development of their intellectual and personal skills,” she elaborates. Rather than taking what the teachers tell them at face value, students are encouraged to question their teachers to get to the heart of the matter in a way that encourages positive and constructive debate. “Students learn that different is different and not wrong,” Smith continues.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

At the International School Mainfranken, and across IB communities around the world, they argue that children tend to lose their natural curiosity from childhood and move into comfort zones, unless they are at schools seeking to enhance and develop this trait. “As the children are taught to step out of their comfort zones by constantly questioning what they think, see, hear and learn, our experience tells us they are then encouraged to think globally and act locally,” Smith says. Moving on from the IB in general to the International School Mainfranken, Smith argues that the school’s relatively small size and family feel is a selling point. Parents, students and teachers come into regular contact with each other and can build a trusting and supportive relationship focussed on the needs of the students. “Our size enables our students to work more closely together across year groups and learn from each other, not just in extra-curricular activities, such as school

Science class during experiment.

Grade 1 door.

bands, plays or sports, but through their school work,” Smith argues. The children at the school come from a variety of backgrounds, be they allGerman families, mixed nationality parents or expats. Their motives for choosing the ISM vary too, but are usually centred around the opportunity that the school provides to open a wider range of doors both at national and international level in later life. “On that basis it is usually easy to motivate children and parents to step out of their comfort zones, be that German children approaching all their learning in another language, or overseas students immersing themselves in German language and culture,” Smith continues. The official school language is English and all subjects are taught in English. “As a world language the solid foundation in English that we can provide allows our students to feel at home all over the world,” elaborates Smith. That said, English and German are both taught as a mother tongue language and

Winter concert performance.

a second language. Students also learn Spanish from sixth grade and the school is building support for a range of mother tongue languages from around the world. Whilst the IB has existed since 1968, the effect of rapid globalisation, travelling at the speed of a mouse click across social media, on computers, and in people’s homes and offices, is arguably making the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s approach to teaching and learning more relevant now than at the time of its formation during the Cold War. With access to instant news feeds from all corners of globe, the ability to question and really understand what we read and hear is more important than ever, and it is these skills that students at the ISM learn to develop from first grade. By choosing to send their children to an IB school adults can help to ensure that their children remain inquisitive and combine global thinking with local action at home, with their friends and throughout their lives. www.the-ism.de

PE Class.

During break.

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Main picture: Early years students. © Ralf Schultheiß Left: Primary years class situation. © Ralf Schultheiß Middle: IB students. © Debora Berge Right: Secondary years students. © Ralf Schultheiß

A warm welcome to The International School Ruhr Situated in Essen, in the centre of the industrially important Ruhr area, The International School Ruhr offers the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum for children from the age of three to 18. This allows the students to receive The International Baccalaureate Diploma, which enables young people to study at the top universities all over the world. TEXT: INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL RUHR I PHOTOS: RALF SCHULTHEI / DEBORA BERGE

It is only natural that you want the very best for your child. This includes the best possible education as well as a safe environment with teachers, staff and mentors who look after your child in a responsible way. If it is important to you that your child receives an international education that is geared toward the 72 | Issue 43 | October 2016

future and towards global living, The International School Ruhr offers the best possible concept in the region. Equipped with its internationally recognised qualifications, your child will have the opportunity to study at universities or work for companies all over the world.

The school believes that an international school education as well as the development of the potential of each and every child is the result of learning partners (students), learning facilitators (teachers) and parents working together hand in hand. At IS Ruhr, learning takes place in a warm and cooperative learning environment that gives children the freedom to discover and develop their creative talents and hidden skills through the IB PYP, IGCSE and IB Diploma Programmes, offering consistency in teaching methodology and content that will enable your child to be a future problem solver and communicator in a changing world.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools

Above left: Project presentations. © Debora Berge Above right: Celebrations for a cause. © Debora Berge Middle left: Daniela Rose, Admissions. © Ralf Schultheiß Bottom left: Jacques Marais, Head of School. © Ralf Schultheiß Bottom right: IB students in laboratory. © Debora Berge

FACTS AND DATA - A kindergarten for three to six-yearolds; a primary school offering five years of schooling and a secondary school leading up to the International Baccalaureate after year 12 – all under one roof. - Accredited as an independent private school (‘Ergänzungsschule’) by the Ministry for Schools and Further Education of the Federal State of NorthRhine Westphalia. - Lessons based on the curricula of internationally accredited programmes: - International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) for the first three kindergarten years and the subsequent five primary school years.

“At IS Ruhr we are convinced that students are curious by nature and have an interest in the ever changing world that they live in. We want to boost the natural curiosity of our students by offering them a demanding, attractive and, at the same time, childfriendly curriculum,” says Jacques Marais, Head of International School Ruhr. The school is under the ownership of the SBW Haus des Lernens, a well-known education provider based in Switzerland. Since 1980 the SBW has worked in this field and currently heads 15 private schools in Germany and Switzerland – three of them international schools.

Classrooms at SBW International School Ruhr are unique spaces to connect, learn and create. “Our mission is to create a dynamic space where each child’s potential can optimally develop – from both an academic as well as personal perspective,” explains Reto Amman, CEO of SBW Haus des Lernens. “We nurture core values like trust, mutual respect, personal growth, self-esteem, resilience, skills, confidence, willpower and a passion for learning and success. This strong foundation ideally prepares children for the challenges of the fast-paced, ever-changing 21st century.”

- Cambridge University Programme for years six to ten leading to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). - Two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) for grades 11 and 12. - English-speaking all-day school with intensive German classes from grade one and Spanish classes from grade six. - English Language support for students from grade one to grade five for nonnative speakers. - Lessons take place from 8.15am until 3.30pm (until 1.00pm on Wednesdays); childcare facilities are available from 7.30am until 5.00pm if required.

www.is-ruhr.de Issue 43 | October 2016 | 73


Discover Germany Discover Frankfurt International School One of the world’s leading international schools • Highest average IB scores in Europe for two consecutive years • Charter Member of the IB Organization and Diploma Programme • • • • • •

Exceptional college placements Highly-qualified faculty and cutting-edge facilities Technology focus with a 1 to 1 laptop program Extensive programs in athletics and the arts Leadership and service learning programs Kindergarten through Grade 12

www.fis.edu


SPECIAL THEME: ELECTRONICA 2016

The future begins now From autonomous driving and networked industrial processes, to getting health checkups via a fitness armband, electronics have a greater influence on our lives than ever before. From 8–11 November 2016, exhibitors at electronica in Munich will demonstrate yet again what awaits us in the future. TEXT & PHOTOS: MESSE MUENCHEN

Under the motto “Connected worlds— Safe and secure!”, electronica 2016 will shed light on what will move society in the future. The fair will examine technical innovations that will make our lives easier in the future thanks to electronics. More than 2,800 exhibitors from more than 50 countries will present solutions for meeting the challenges of our time at the fair. How will we achieve the energy transition? How will we deal with demographic change? Whether it comes to the smart grid or the smart home, the foundations for future technologies will be laid at electronica. The fair showcases the entire range of electronics—from semiconductors and sensor technology to passive components, PCBs and system components. With its sights firmly set on trends, this year’s electronica revolves around topics such as embedded systems, wearables and

healthcare, sensor technology in medical electronics, solid-state lighting, cyber security and the industrial Internet of Things. Find concentrated knowledge where the future begins Besides 13 halls full of innovations, an extensive supporting programme with four conferences and five forums awaits visitors. Among other things, Infineon CEO Dr. Reinhard Ploss will give a presentation at the electronica Automotive Conference on 7 November titled Semiconductors as a key enabler for the transition of the automotive industry. Steve Nadig from Daimler Trucks North America will give a presentation titled Autonomous Trucks—A Global Perspective. A total of 130 lectures await visitors in the forums alone. Topics on the agenda include cyber security, the industrial Internet of Things and wearables in medical electronics.

Platform for young talents Talented young people and a pioneering spirit are in great demand in companies. The ‘Talent Meets Industry’ platform is electronica’s way of bringing talented people who are enthusiastic about electronics together with companies in the industry. Whether it comes to highschool or college students, specialists, start-ups, established companies or investors—electronica brings them all together. This initiative networks entrylevel employees and professionals with leading employers and generates plenty of attention for innovative start-ups. The latter can present their ideas and projects as part of electronica Fast Forward, and experts will be available to lend their support.

Get your electronic ticket now!

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | electronica

Semiconductors connecting car systems at high-speed level Cars today are high-tech wonders – and that is not only in the luxury segment. What drivers expect is a display monitoring speed, fuel level or tyre pressure, a system alerting to potential problems. All these connections need the right semiconductor. Munich-based company Inova Semiconductors GmbH is market leader in this field. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: INOVA SEMICONDUCTORS GMBH

APIX, the Automotive PIXel Link Inova Semiconductors GmbH has developed, is a rather small, nearly imperceptible piece, but an important one. First implemented by the German manufacturer BMW, today it is also built into cars manufactured by Mini, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini or Bentley. APIX is a bus system that allows the transportation of large amounts of data at high speed, for example video or audio content. Inova 76 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Semiconductors GmbH was founded in 1999 and since then it has specialised in developing state-of-the-art products for high-speed serial data communication – especially for the automotive sector for which the technology that interconnects graphic sources and displays was originally developed. APIX allows data transfer at GBit rate and since it uses rather ordinary cables

and does not compress the data, it is less expensive, the picture quality is higher and data is transferred in real time. This realtime capability is essential for safe driving. Imagine, for example, a digital display with a speedometer that looks like an analogue one – with a needle showing the current speed. Of course this has to be depicted in real time or a driver might go too fast and will – at one point most possibly – pay a fine for speeding. Data transfer of up to 12 GBit/s with the newest APIX series Inova started developing the first APIX in 2004, but it needed one and a half years until the product was finished and a further 30 months until automotive companies and suppliers had implemented it. Currently,


Discover Germany | Special Theme | electronica

the second APIX generation is in series production and the company is starting to bring the third one to market. While the first had a capability of one GBit/s, the second managed three GBit/s and the third will have up to 12 GBit/s. “We work closely together with car manufacturers to know what they need. This helps us to understand their demands and to react accordingly with new products,” says Thomas Rothhaupt, Inova director for sales and marketing. Inova’s APIX products are sold through a world-wide distribution network in Europe, Japan, China, Korea and America – the big centres of automobile production. About 90 per cent of Inova’s exports are in this sector and in these regions. Licensing makes APIX technology attractive and flexible in use Companies like Toshiba, Fujitsu, Analog Devices and Cypress for example have bought a licence and have developed their own products based on APIX technologies. About 30 to 40 components are now on the market, so today about 50 million components in total are installed in cars

driving on our roads. “And every year there are more,” says Rothhaupt. “We are a small company but fastly growing. Even now our product has de facto become an industry standard.” Having a joined technology standard is an important factor for automotive companies and ancillary industries, because the fact that not only Inova itself but other companies produce the high-tech component as well, makes the technology available from several sources. Take for example Volkswagen, who recently after quarrelling with a supplier had to stop its production at its main production line in Wolfsburg. This proves how vulnerable a company becomes when relying on only one component manufacturer and how important industry standards are, since they allow different companies in different regions to make the same or similar components needed by the automotive industry.

of more than 12 million euros and over 30 employees and looks into a future of new technological developments. APIX in itself has already not only attracted the automotive sector but also other market segments like infotainment in trains and medical technologies. The newest Inova innovations aim at cars’ interior lighting. “LED technology has opened up many great new possibilities we are currently exploring,” says Thomas Rothhaupt. Together with other companies Inova Semiconductors GmbH is not only drafting new lighting concepts but also develops the necessary underlying technology. www.inova-semiconductors.de

The future lies in light technology Starting out with only four employees, Inova Semiconductors GmbH developed rapidly. Today the company has revenues The headquarters of Inova Semiconductors GmbH.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | electronica

Left: ChipOverBoard Above: Serial nvSRAM.

Above left: Managing director Andreas Scade. Above Middle: Managing director Dr. Stefan Guenther. Above left: ANVO-Systems’ headquarters in Dresden.

Safe and cost-effective storage solutions from ANVO-Systems Dresden ANVO-Systems was formed in 2009 as a fabless semiconductor company based in Dresden, in the heart of the so-called Silicon Saxony known for its dynamic environment for high-tech expertise, both with technology companies and local universities. TEXT: STIAN SANGVIG I PHOTOS: ANVO-SYSTEMS

“We were a group of specialists employed by different companies in the area at the time and, motivated by our own dedication to data storage and security, we decided to join forces and form ANVO-Systems,”marketing director Bernd Dahlheimer explains. Today the company has more than 20 employees and has expanded into a company offering a broad range of fast, non-volatile and monolithic data storage solutions for the industrial and communication environments. Examples include industrial automation, smart meters, medical electronics, building automation and Internet of Things. “We are already selling our solutions all over Europe, and we are currently expand78 | Issue 43 | October 2016

ing into the United States and Asia,” Dahlheimer continues. Having grown significantly over a short period of time ANVO-Systems’ solutions offer a number of advantages over those of their competitors.“In addition to the lower power consumption and higher speed our solutions are very safe and will save all system relevant data in any unexpected event such as power failure,” Dahlheimer argues. In addition, ANVO-Systems´ solutions offer the unique ’secure write’ feature, which makes sure that data and addresses that have been corrupted due to noise, voltage spikes or other negative influences on the system´s database will not be stored in the device. This feature saves software develop-

ment time and cost for ANVO´s customers. The solutions by ANVO-Systems will safely store and secure system critical data much faster than conventional solutions while making sure that only correct data will be stored, thus helping to enhance the security and reliability of customers’ systems. In order to offer their customers a ’onestop shop’ and secure complimentary skills for complete solutions ANVO-Systems have formed strategic alliances with X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries AG and Melexis N.V. for production and development. ANVO-Systems is enjoying success for its young age and is already present in three continents. ”Our goal is to grow at least 30 per cent per year,” Dahlheimer concludes. In a world in which the combination of safe storage with fast access at low energy consumption is key it is hard to see where ANVO-Systems can go wrong. www.anvo-systems-dresden.com


Discover Germany | Special Theme | electronica

Radar technology for everyday application Based in Frankfurt (Oder), the innovative Silicon Radar GmbH has been developing chip solutions for various radar market segments since 2006. Although currently most of the company’s applications are located in the industrial sector, their innovations make low-cost everyday applications a reality, presenting a clear path for the future.

innovative potential first hand, as Silicon Radar will present its fully functional radar in action. www.siliconradar.de

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: SILICON RADAR GMBH

A flagship innovation is the company’s first radar frontend, featuring a 120-gigahertz chip with impressive possibilities. With a size of only eight by eight millimetres, including chip and antennas, the frontend is one of the smallest on the market, while being precise, fast, light and not at all expensive. These features enable it to make a difference in business segments. Drones, robotics and, in the future, gesture recognition for small displays are only three fields where Silicon Radar’s product can push progress considerably. At first only a two-man operation, Silicon Radar has experienced significant

growth in the last ten years. Currently, the company employs 20 people from seven countries, forming a diverse team, which is bound to innovate. Starting out as a service provider in the high frequency and radar sector, the company created individual chip solutions for client projects. However, next to the main business, it began the design of their own chips. After thorough development, Silicon Radar launched its first products to series in 2013. In that way, an ongoing process was started that aims to move the company from being a service provider to becoming a product provider. At the electronica fair, visitors can experience the company’s

The European solution for electronic cooling systems With more than 25 years of experience, family business SEPA EUROPE has established itself firmly as an expert, providing smart solutions and high-end products in the electronic cooling sector. Over the past decades, founder Heinrich Cap has turned SEPA EUROPE into an internationally successful business with its headquarters in Freiburg. In 2004, Cap teamed up with his son Robert and today their client base spreads across the globe in a range of fields such as industry electronics, automation technology, telecommunication, industrial computing and aviation. SEPA EUROPE not only sells common products such as fans, fan grilles, power leads, temperature controls and cooling elements, it also provides custom-made, connection-ready units. Robert Cap explains: “Ideally the customer contacts us in the early stages of a problem. Together we develop an allround solution. This can involve basic passive options such as heat sinks with-

out a fan, or more sophisticated active cooling solutions including custom-made heat sinks with a connected power lead and the required interface material.” SEPA EUROPE’s neat HY-radial fans, which are part of the eco fan series, ensure precise speed controls thanks to their extremely thin radial fans that draw in air from both sides. The virtually linear curve enables usage in a wide range of applications. Hence SEPA EUROPE offers a highly demanded, compact cooling solution for many different problems. SEPA EUROPE operates a technical lab for extensive research and tests that are necessary to produce custom-made cooling solutions and ensure equal quality of bought-in components. www.sepa-europe.com

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: SEPA EUROPE

SEPA fan.

SEPA EUROPE building.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | electronica Swiss Design Highlights

SYS TEC electronic’s headquarters.

Developing and building the heart that makes machines work SYS TEC electronic GmbH develops and implements customised hardware and software solutions for industrial control and communication, tailored to clients’ requirements. No matter if railway technology or machine tools, the company designs control solutions that make a machine function – as a partner from concept to series production. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: SYS TEC ELECTRONIC GMBH

SYS TEC electronic customers are always looking for very specific control solutions, something not yet on the market or at least not with the functions their machine has to fulfil. At SYS TEC, electronic engineers accompany the process right from the very first draft to a full requirement profile, from prototype to series production. In short, from the first idea until the control is built into the machine. Executive manager Armin von Collrepp emphasises how important it is to be agile when tackling new developments. “During the project phase there are often changes and the solution in the end often does not look like it was thought out in the beginning.” Being able to implement new ideas 80 | Issue 43 | October 2016

is what makes SYS TEC electronic so successful. “Our team is very creative and works on very different industrial applications,” says Von Collrepp. Being able to adapt to different tasks has allowed the team to build up a large fundus of ideas and technical innovations to work with when developing new control modules. Founded in 1990, the German-based company now has over 25 years’ experience in developing microcontroller systems and industrial communication. Among their 90 employees, 30 are engineers, which is a very high proportion. Engineers are not only involved in the de-

veloping phase but also throughout testing and production. This is the only way to guarantee the high quality customers need. Especially in the fields SYS TEC electronic is working in.“We have a strong expertise in developing machine tool control units and electronic components for use in railways,” says Von Collrepp. The latter is an especially sensitive field that has to take vibration, shock and electromagnetic radiation into consideration. This is why SYS TEC has own testing facilities in-house. SYS TEC electronic supplies a package that includes not only hardware and software solutions but also the necessary applications. In short, clients can deploy the component into their machine and start working. But what might be even more important is the long-term co-operation with SYS TEC electronic. Components can be delivered in addition five, ten or 15 years after the first implementation. In short, over a machine’s whole life cycle. www.systec-electronic.com


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Electronica

S P E C I A L T H E M E : G E R M A N C O R P O R AT E D E S I G N E X P E R T S

Corporate… what? Our products are generally okay, the services are good enough and function well, the customer’s order, the bank’s finance, one remembers us – or maybe only individual components of our operational universe? One question remains: do they really know us? Are we recognised? Do we make everything visible, perceptible, noticeable? It is all free from contradictions, does it support our credibility? Do they really like us? Do they know who and what we really are – and most of all: how we are? Does it stay like this? TEXT: AWARDSUNLIMITED, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ODO BINGEL

Corporate design that is consequently well made might give answers to these questions and make visible what turns us into a company with character; into a brand, whether service provider or organisation, industrial company, crafts business or authority. It probably was Peter Behrens who developed a uniform company appearance for the first time and incorporated it into an industrial company as AEG’s artistic director. What he started almost 100 years ago has been updated over the past decades and has been adapted to the changed requirements and expectations. What applies for Behrens and AEG, still does for many successful companies and organisations.

The award, a steel sculpture.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Corporate Design

of regular reality stocktakings with which corporate design’s status gets documented and ascertained in the German-speaking DACH region. The yearbooks show the developments, expose the brave, as well as the grown through continuity, be that as a launch of a corporate design, a relaunch or as a targeted further development of individual communication elements.

design, when used temporarily at events or trade fairs, needs to reflect the specific and distinctive brand atmosphere. Last but not least, the assessment includes the valuation of packaging concepts and sales presentations, as well as its close connection to corporate design. The specific design for digital media and platforms can no longer be done without too.

The assessment deals as much with corporate trademark, as it deals with corporate typography. Coherent image concepts and authentic picture worlds are also important selection criteria. Intelligent and compelling design solutions sustainably ensure a brand’s visual identity and give it the envisaged profile. Scenographic

Therefore, it is not enough to shine with a few quick detail measures. Intelligent and stringent corporate design only captivates through the depth and breadth of design measures, through professionalism in implementation. Excellent design skills, creative ideas and innovative concepts are needed to be successful in the market, as

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well as at the creativity concept of the best, the Corporate Design Award. www.corporate-design-preis.eu Top: The Chinese artist Ren Rong designed and signed the steel sculpture ‘Wind’. Right: The yearbook. Middle: The yearbook. Left: The jury discusses awarding the Corporate Design Award.

Corporate Design Award Winners 2016: Boldly Go Industries GmbH 2015: Montblanc International GmbH 2014: Ensemble Musikfabrik 2013: TRO GmbH


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Corporate Design

Jan Kruse, creative director and manager of LIGALUX.

Tradition and modernity We asked design expert Jan Kruse about the challenges on globalised competition and to explain how medium-sized companies can combine their traditional values with a modernisation of their own appearance. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTO: ANATOL KOTTE

“We create cross-medial visualisations in all design facets. Through our agency network we are able to advise our clients in an interdisciplinary way,” notes Jan Kruse, creative director and manager of LIGALUX. When asked about the current challenges for medium-sized businesses, he answers: “Especially medium-sized companies need to effectively stand out in times of globalisation. Product innovations are a great way to foster this but as a branding agency, we notice an increasingly high gap between innovative strength and the modernity of many companies and their appearance. The topics of brand and corporate design still don’t have the significance in Germany that they have internationally.” We also wanted to know why German businesses find this respective topic so difficult. Kruse says: “Tradition, authenticity and attachment are important values for medium-sized companies. These values also have

a large differentiation potential and many medium-sized enterprises have recognised this and successfully use it in their communication strategies.” Kruse explains that, regarding the design of a brand, we often experience uncertainty on how to combine the mentioned values with a modernisation of their own appearance. “Over and over again, clients ask whether these traditions and values get lost during a relaunch. Especially owner-managed, mediumsized com-panies hesitate to ‘touch’ the logo that was designed by their own fathers or grandfathers – for some descendants, this feels like a betrayal of the brand.” Kruse adds: “At the same time, all companies that we speak to stand under the pressure of globalised competition and notice that other brands’ appearances are significantly more modern and striking – even though many ‘hidden champions’ stem from the German mid-sized sector.”

So, how can companies master this challenge? “Without a doubt one needs courage to modernise a brand’s appearance through a relaunch. But this courage gets rewarded – the outer mirror of the lived, existing innovative strength on the inside, combined with the company’s tradition strengthens the connection to existing clients, targets new groups and opens up new chances in a global market. To successfully go this way, you’ll need a careful analysis, solid, strategical advice, realistic and feasible ideas and a creative agency that knows what it’s doing,” concludes Kruse. www.ligalux.de

LIGALUX is the design agency of fischerAppelt whose task it is to find creative and interesting design solutions. fischerAppelt is a creative content group where outstanding conversation topics are produced. Today, 400 employees in seven locations share the passion for content and digital marketing. www.fischerappelt.de

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The best is yet to come jäger&jäger is a specialist for brand design. The European Design Agency of the year 2013 only recently gained two prizes at the Corporate Design Award. Yet their main goal is to always find the best communication solution for the respective client. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTO: JÄGER&JÄGER

“Our work processes are explicitly and flexibly planned for each project and are not standardised,”says Olaf Jäger. Regina Jäger adds: “Within the task we develop parallel work modules that are independent but at the same time connected. We always have multi-track design strategies, therefore they can easily adapt to processes and the market. It allows our clients to react flexibly to changes even in complex communication systems.” jäger&jäger have recently “finished some great projects, for example for the Hoerbiger Holding”, an international market leader in the fields of compression, drive and hydraulic technology. jäger&jäger completed two books that 84 | Issue 43 | October 2016

accompany the relocation of Hoerbiger Ventilwerke in Vienna, both were developed analogue to the annual report. It may not sound that way but this has a great deal to do with brand design: “Many employees had a chance to give their personal accounts,” says Regina Jäger. “It has to do with visions, values and challenges – simply everything that gives life to a company or a brand.” “The best is yet to come” is jäger&jäger’s claim, which means “our most favourite projects are always current and future ones”. This speaks of the enthusiasm the agency has for its work. jäger&jäger is situated in Überlingen at Lake Constance’s shore, maybe an unusual location for a

leading design agency. “We were told Überlingen will be the design metropolis of the 21st century, but the information was clearly wrong,” says Olaf Jäger, “but to be earnest: We are travelling around a lot due to our diverse customers. The more we like to work in an environment where fog in the morning alternates with a mountain view.” Authenticity, sustainability and compliance today are household terms in brand design. “But the main question is to what extent a company truly wants to change,”the brand experts say. Even though many companies still lag behind their possibilities, more and more have realised how important it is to communicate their values. “Brands have to be agile. This needs a highly motivated discussion of possibilities and the willingness to understand brand leadership as a constantly changing challenge.” www.jaegerundjaeger.de


www.jaegerundjaeger.com


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Photo: © World Architecture Festival

Photo: © World Architecture Festival

S P E C I A L T H E M E : W O R L D A R C H I T E C T U R E F E S T I VA L

Awarding excellence in architecture Since 2008, the world’s largest architectural stage has been the World Architecture Festival (WAF). In its programming, the festival focuses both on the presentation of the international architecture scene, as well as a competition aimed at awarding and celebrating excellent works. While the main prize goes to the World Building of the Year, there are various additional categories in which the judges select their favourites. In the following article we explore not only the awards, but the many different events and facets of the WAF. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Neuer Zollhof, Dusseldorf. Photo: © Shepard4711

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Rheinauhafen. Photo: © Robert Brands

Ahead of the 2016 edition of the WAF in Berlin, its programme director Paul Finch has been writing a series of Letter from London throughout the year. The opinion pieces, which can be found on the festival’s homepage, comment on the latest news in the architectural world and narrate the always changing and progressing storyline that is modern architecture. Of course, the WAF is part of that story and Finch’s writing is in line with the festival’s motivation to once a year take measure on what has

happened in the last 12 months, discuss it, learn from it and be inspired by it. A communal experience The WAF, which will take place from the 16 to 18 November, offers a programme that is as diverse as the architectural world. Nevertheless, when exploring the events, a common aspect arises in the fact that the WAF focuses on a communal experience within the festival and also beyond it.

Thus, the theme of the seminar programme on the main stage in Arena Berlin is ‘Housing for Everyone’. From Wednesday morning onwards, when the festival starts, some 15 events will take place and explore the theme from all angles. Right at the beginning of the day, housing will be put in a global perspective by Dick van Gamere, the editor of DASH – Delft Architectural Studies on Housing. Later on the agenda is ‘Temporary housing – refugee response’

Photo: © World Architecture Festival

Photo: © World Architecture Festival

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Frankfurt. Photo: © Axel Schwenke

and the consideration of what needs architects must address when designing for refugees. On the following day, further topics include ‘Housing, energy and construction, housing and density’ and the question of ‘How we live now, how will we live tomorrow?’ Live presentations What would an architecture festival be without sharing actual projects and works from the field? It would be unimaginable. Due to the fact that the WAF is also a competition, visitors have the unique chance to explore all works that have been selected for the competition shortlist in intimate and insightful presentations held by the architects themselves. The truly fascinating idea behind the concept is that presentations are not only 88 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Photo: © World Architecture Festival


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

held live, but also discussed and critiqued live by an international judging panel. Up to 12 presentations will be running at the same time throughout the three days, but an elegant schedule enables the audience to see as many as possible. Each presenter has ten minutes to give the listeners all the insights into the story of his building or landscape and for an additional eight minutes the juries will ask questions and discuss the project in the room. This is also the part where the competitive nature of the WAF comes in, as the presentations are not only informative for the visitors, but the discussions lead to a first stage of judging with regard to categories. At the end of the first two days category winners of the day will be announced, who will then have the opportunity to present on the third day and hence compete for the main awards.

The 2016 awards There are many reasons to compete in the WAF awards, which is why the number of entries has been steadily growing since 2008. For this year’s competition, the judges will evaluate over 350 finalists. In total, the festival will bring together more than 100 international judges to do so.

Photo: © World Architecture Festival

For the participants, the competition has lucrative side effects. First and foremost, the WAF enables them to raise their profile in a surrounding that is as big as it gets. But the rather intangible benefits are in the connections, which are made at the festival. One of Paul Finch’s Letter from London is titled Buildings have a memory – because of their users. It is a title that cuts into the heart of the WAF, because here is a platform where projects are shared and memories are made.

Hamburg Speicherstadt. Photo: © Marnie Pix

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Sense and structure:

Above: The Kreissparkasse bank in Biberach. Right, all three: Flugfeld Böblingen ZeroPlus-complex and inner courtyard. Photos: © Daniel Stauch Bottom: EMAG Salach. Photo: © Zooey Braun

Neugebauer+Roesch architects By combining a rational and functional approach to structures with an inherent sensuality for the choice of material, Sonja Neugebauer and Robert Roesch have found their own creative language for designing both residential and industrial projects. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

The first stroke of the architects' duo, dating back 25 years ago, became an immediate success due to total trust on the side of the client (as Roesch describes it). A big project with 20,000 square metres of floor space was, as he states, “a big deal for the young architects” to be trusted in this way, and the faith put in their first endeavor paid off on both 90 | Issue 43 | October 2016

sides. The task at hand was to build new headquarters for the Kreissparkasse bank in Biberach. On a relatively small plot on the fringe of the old city centre, the architects designed a structure that integrates solutions for all the complex and manifold tasks a bank building needs to provide. The concept of

a decentralised structure enables natural airing and lighting of all spaces, including the open plan offices. The human being, in this case meaning both the employee and the customer, was put at the centre of the design. Transparent aesthetics symbolise the bank's open and honest policy and the layout allows customers to easily find their way through the various areas of the building. Through sensitive differentiation, appropriate discretion was also provided for. The multi-layered influences of each and every detail of the design were conscientiously coordinated and melted


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

into a functioning whole. Intensive cooperation with all parties involved enabled meeting complex demands within a relatively short planning phase of two years, finding the best solution for each task respectively. The costs turned out substantially lower than previously calculated and board members were so pleased with the outcome that one of them subsequently engaged the architects in building his private home. Since then, the partners have split their main strands of work between the two of them: Sonja Neugebauer nowadays is responsible for residential building design while Robert Roesch engages in creating industrial buildings. They take a close look at each project individually, with

the result of a large variety of designs. What combines them is a conscientious approach to form and function, thus merging functionality with sensitivity. For the expanding EMAG special engineering firm, Neugebauer+Roesch architects have created a masterplan featuring an overall identificational design that allows individual changes according to need. For the growing EMAG headquarters in Salach near Göppingen, they found an innovative way of implementing the new design language into the existing structures. New spaces were needed for interdisciplinary team meetings of engineers and workers. The first construction phase has resulted in a new office building that attaches

itself to the assembly building like a new shelf, creating a lively surrounding for both internal and external working tasks. Transparent inner walls, wood panelling and a thermoactive component system help with creating a pleasant atmosphere. Regarding the field of modern housing, the Böblingen Flugfeld area, situated 20 kilometres southwest of Stuttgart forms an ambitious enterprise for Neugebauer+Roesch architects. Situated right in the middle of the new urban area, their ‘ZeroPlus’ development features more than 100 living units, with “zero” energy waste and a“plus”in living quality, united by an architectural language of clear lines and generous layouts. Windows reach from floor to ceiling in

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Above: EMAG Salach, customer office. Photo: © Zooey Braun Right: EMAG assembly hall. Photo: © Zooey Braun

every single room, even kitchen and bathrooms, and the choice of material for the highly insulated outer walls is the so-called “expanded clay”, a material that guarantees a highly comfortable and healthy living climate. Enhanced living quality is also mirrored in the design of the outer facilities: a thoughtfully created courtyard featuring warm stone flooring, slender trees, water displays and seating areas encourages neighbourly communication. A vast green field to the south bears enough space for playing grounds, while spaces for individual terraces and gardens are also provided for. While meeting all requirements of modern urban development, the ZeroPlus-complex primarily aims at a higher living quality for the inhabitants by creating space for the individual. Inspired functionality also marks the GETRAG innovation centre near Heilbronn. Neugebauer+Roesch architects won the competition for the transmission systems supplier with a design forming a cut-to-measure symbiosis between form and function. The call for high functionality, representational quality as well as sustainable economy was 92 | Issue 43 | October 2016

met by the architects with aesthetics as innovative as practical. With the building complex set on 400 pillars due to high ground water levels in the area, the technical centres were put on the roof. A central ‘market’ hall at the heart of the complex serves as entrée, foyer and communication centre alike. Open stairs connect the hall with all functional areas. The clear formal yet expressive design language is enhanced by the choice of materials: concrete, wood, glass and steel form an aesthetic and functional whole. The transparent outlook of the four-storey entrance hall exudes an atmosphere of serenity that is underlined by its unobtrusive choice of colours and a bamboo grove. The manufacturing hall, spanning across 37 metres, is free of supporting pillars and thereby flexible with regards to future conversion concepts. Function and production processes interact like gearwheels in this industrial building through its architecture focusing on systematical functionality. This year has brought Neugebauer+ Roesch architects two large-scale, rewarding projects, one for each section of expertise.

For an international player in healthcare, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Neugebauer + Roesch architects won the competition for building a dialysis filter factory as part of a new competence centre in Wilsdruff, near Dresden. The concern is planning to build Europe's most advanced dialyser manufacturing facilities. The task set for the competition was that of visually embedding a filter factory into the surroundings while meeting its specific technological requirements and at the same time forming the vision of a ten-year masterplan for the project as a whole. The building of the filter factory forms the first construction phase and is expected to be finished already by July 2017. A new urban quarter featuring residential and commercial buildings is planned for Stuttgart's West on the grounds of a former children's hospital (Olga-Hospital). Neugebauer & Roesch architects won the competition for the fourth construction field through finding a design language mirroring the specific atmosphere of the area as well as using an innovative layout that saves valuable square metres in circulation space. Visually leaning on the existing architecture of the city's West, the


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

melting of a lively variety of facades form the new quarter, with both living and commercial spaces united under one roof. Architect Robert Roesch states: “We deal with a variety of clients whom we often only get to know way into the process, for example after a competition is won.Yet what makes our work special may be the fact that we try to understand and implement the needs of each individual upfront.” Neugebauer & Roesch architects' motto of “the best solution always being the other one” pays off with resulting in flexible and innovative designs. Thus, a multi-layered design language is created, united by a sense for both functional structures and sensual spaces. www.neugebauer-roesch.de Right: GETRAG entrance hall detail and facade detail. Photo: © Zooey Braun Bottom: Flugfeld Böblingen aerial view. Photo: © Daniel Stauch

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HanseMerkur. Photos: Dominik Reipka

Thinking outside the box:

Querkopf-Architekten “To think differently is our award” is their motto and Querkopf-Architekten have demonstrated this with an impressive track record during the five busy years since opening their Hamburg office, right after graduating from university. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

They have just celebrated the handover of an iconic project for a Hamburg-based insurance company that is likely to draw international attention. A transparent construction with large glass walls and a roof resembling the paper wings of Origami birds, the entry hall and forecourt for the HanseMerkur headquarters is set in a central spot of the city between 94 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Dammtor and Kennedybrücke. The company’s building complex shows influences from various centuries, united by their functional purpose only. The new entry hall and the area in front of the headquarters is to become a flagship project for the company site, demanding immediate attention and focus, as well as providing a unifying effect for the

ensemble. For both roof and facade, the use of the innovative solid surface LGHIGH MACS mineral material ensures robust durability. A timeless sculpture of a hall, its iconic form adds to the urban landscape while at the same time expressing a warm embrace towards both employees and customers. The two partners Wasfy Taha and Fionn Mögel opened their office in 2011 while working on a grand project, the dormant Vattenfall powerhouse ‘Bullerdeich’ in Hamburg. Due to their close connection to construction and a high aspiration for


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

detail as well as a sensitivity for form and design, they have subsequently engaged in a multitude of projects. Their crossthinking philosophy and the combination of outstanding aesthetics with highquality standards provide their clients with a sense of being in the right hands while guaranteeing added value above the average. With them, a fair partnership between builder and executive companies is a given.

The architects are currently tackling the difficult task of applying modern additions to old structures with their challenging penthouse project at Zeughausmarkt in Hamburg. The structure, dating back to 1920 and only six metres in width, will be subjected to partial demolition and an extension towards the back, adding 25 square metres to each storey. Querkopf-Architekten are responsible for a penthouse addition that contrasts

with the existing building through a lightflooded, transparent structure spanning across three levels and counting 240 square metres of floor space. The ‘folded’ forms of the structure remind of cubist-expressionist design translated into lofty, translucent spaces that indeed carry the inhabitant into a minimalist and at the same time luxurious world of its own. With its 3.5 storeys, this innovative penthouse is a complex endeavour; the first of its kind in Hamburg.

Above and right: Zeughausmarkt 3, three-level penthouse.

Noho Club Hamburg. © Frank Löschke

Fionn Mögel (left) and Wasfy Taha (right).

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Above, top right, bottom right: Gaga Club Hamburg. © Frank Löschke

As architect Fionn Mögel says: “It is a fact that we plunge into each project with such passion as if we ourselves would want to inhabit it. We are not planners in the conventional sense but rather a cross-thinking young team with visions, never shying away from being honest.” Querkopf-Architekten indulge in finding solutions outside of the box and always enjoy tackling new challenges. Just recently opened, the Gaga-Club on the notoriously famous Hamburg Reeperbahn is demonstrating their expertise with club design. This one is held in fine golden brown hues, harmonising with the light blue material of the couches. Classy design details suggest a stylish and cosy ambiance. A lofty construction of slim steel elements is holding various chandeliers, creating golden reflections all around. Architect Wasfy Taha states: “Just like an exceptional meal or the painting of a genius, evoking emotions or memories should be the signature of good architecture.” Their clients are those who value that special kind of quality, even if perceived on a merely subliminal level. 96 | Issue 43 | October 2016

The two partners were only in their early thirties when insurance giant HanseMerkur approached them to design their entry hall. A great passion for identity-creating landmark architecture with a knack for the exceptional is drawing in customers who are looking for exactly a unique mixture that is sure to stand out in the common architectural landscape. More manufacturer than factory, the Querkopf-Architekten office provides a design marked by a sustainable, innovative quality that goes surprisingly well along with economic planning. The architects met during their university days, on their very first day to be exact. As Fionn Mögel recalls: “I had just returned from Cairo where I had completed my civilian service and met Wasfy whose parents stem from Palestine. He happened to need a staircase – which we built together, the same as each project ever since.” With their talents complementing each other in the fields of both design and execution, the result is sure to turn out “just right”. During their studies they worked together on projects in Dubai and Zurich and the Querkopf-Architekten

office was founded on the very day of their graduation.“From the beginning onwards, we’ve been following our heartfelt intuition rather than the prospect of success. Fame and fortune are no measure; our mere reward lies in the satisfying results and being proud of what we achieve.” From open minds to masterminds, the impressive track record of the past five years has yielded its crop in the shape of a thriving agenda for the two architects. For the moment, Querkopf-Architekten have 140 living units in the making and are likely to plunge into hotel design next. Two penthouse additions will follow on the Zeughausmarkt project. However, the most exciting challenge is just about to begin. Querkopf-Architekten are looking at the task of the general planning for a large villa set right within the woods. Enthusiasm and a passion for courageous and extraordinary design have led the builder to their door and they have just agreed to this extraordinary venture. A structure of exposed concrete spanning across 500 square metres of floor space is to be sunk into the ground of a forest


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

plot – a setting straight out of the film Ex Machina. The plot lies within a sloping terrain and is part of a small settlement of just a few houses. With the forest as the predominating element, the property is enclosed by nature on all sides. The draft subsequently shows a two-storey villa situated on a natural stone base, with a strong focus on the forest as its primary point of reference. The street-facing side, exposed concrete spanning over its entire width, presents the entrance as the only gap in the closed surface. On this side, three overlapping building volumes cut into each other, thereby virtually molding

the entrance area. The villa’s building’s cubatur is based on an L-shape, which closes the property off towards the slope side while at the same time creating a protected enclosure for the opening of the terrace. The basement, though completely shut towards the street, “disintegrates” towards the wood and terrace facing side, creating an intensive connection of the living area with the surrounding nature. The design of the upper storey, containing the bedrooms, forms a visual contrast to the ground level. Above the levity of glass and steel hovers an imposingly twisted concrete element. Though this area seems private, the bedroom windows, spanning

from floor to ceiling, allow views of and into the deep forest. Large steel laminae span across the structure, uniting the two floors along with the air space. The forest villa design is marked by a high level of individuality, which is transported further through its interior. Flowing transitions between the inner and the outer as well as between the various living zones form a contrast to the natural surroundings while harmonising the property as a whole. Construction is set to begin by next spring. www.querkopf-architekten.de

Main picture, top left, top right: Villa im Wald.

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The attraction of profitable architecture TEK TO NIK Architects from Frankfurt pursue the notion that architecture may very well be aesthetically pleasing as well as financially rewarding. Managing Director Manfred Wenzel has groomed his architectural practice as one of Germany’s stylistically most pronounced. Its recent success and their visually distinctive buildings speak for themselves. TEXT: CHRISTIAN BRENSING

Frankfurt – the German genius loci of architecture Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s historical banking capital and the German city with the most stunning skyline, has been an architectural hub for over a century. Progressive architecture originated from Frankfurt at all times. The post-war German economic miracle set the scene for ‘Mainhattan’ as the city of Frankfurt has been appropriately nicknamed. Nowadays professional investors from all over the world have designated the city on the river Main as their destination. 98 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Banks, insurance companies, lawyers and the entourage of international capital have all set up their continental European headquarters in Frankfurt. As a matter of fact, architecture keeps on playing a prominent role in the city’s development. Helmut Jahn, KPF, Norman Foster, just to name a few of the world’s architectural household names, have all left their footprint. On the other hand, a lot of companies, institutions and project developers are continuously looking for new investment

Above main: Frankfurt office building. Photo: Andreas Stimpert Above right: Facade of office building. Photo: Andreas Stimpert Top right: Redesign of hair salon. Photo: Andreas Stimpert Bottom right: Residential and commercial building. Visualisation: Michael Behrendt Far right: Escalator of residential and commercial building Visualisation: Michael Behrendt

opportunities. This is where TEK TO NIK Architects (the name originates from the Latin tectonicus, meaning the control and structure of buildings) step in. For more than a decade TEK TO NIK have been cultivating their own distinctive architectural style in Frankfurt FortySeven & Co. In 2015 a 52.442 square feet newly built office building at Mainzer Landstrasse 47, a stone’s throw a away from the twin towers of Deutsche Bank, caught everybody’s attention. To be precise, it was the 6,250-square-foot-large facade executed in solid natural stone that caused the stir. The novelty lies in the facade’s design and technical execution. Instead of using, for example, standard prefabricated concrete elements Manfred Wenzel opted for the warm colouring and texture of a Portuguese limestone.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Each of the 50 three-dimensional natural stone elements span about three metres and weigh approximately 800 kilograms. Dimensions and weights like this have not been tackled in Germany since the construction of the Gothic cathedrals or in late 19th century buildings, like the Berlin Reichstag. The Frankfurt-based project developer Max Baum Immobilien took the risk and commissioned Manfred Wenzel with this technically challenging facade solution. In close cooperation with the natural stone manufacturer Hofmann Naturstein TEK TO NIK designed the pattern of an undulating facade that protrudes up to 44 centimetres. 64 windows – arranged like a chessboard – are framed by stones that were milled by automated three-dimensional stone processing facilities, exact to the millimetre. This computerised process opens up unlimited architectural possibilities when it comes to implementing special

design ideas. Together with Hofmann Naturstein and the help of structural engineers TEK TO NIK developed cubist facade elements made of massive natural stone blocks. The result is a thermally highly insulated curtain wall facade that had never before been realized in Germany. In other words, the facade of ‘FortySeven & Co.’ is a 100 per cent design innovation. Architectural design and advanced technology For Manfred Wenzel good contemporary architecture constitutes itself from a successful combination of proven architectural and urban principles in combination with up to date production facilities and technology. Central European towns and cities have strong historical roots that are much appreciated by its citizens. Therefore contemporary architecture must not simply design new buildings out of this traditional context. A culture clash

would be inevitable. Hence TEK TO NIK has developed an approach that mingles aesthetic sensitivity, with regard to architectural form and materials, and the clients’ and users’ expectations in terms of functionality as well as economy and sustainability. The latest example for such a project is‘Zeil 111’ which is currently under construction at Frankfurt’s busiest shopping street Die Zeil. The narrow building is characterised by a wide gateway that will draw the shoppers deep into the building. During construction the anchor tenant, the over 550-year-old chemist ‘Hirsch-Apotheke’, remains on site. Yet again the facade will consist out of a combination of natural stone and this time special prism-shaped bay windows. Thus ‘Zeil 111’ will gain a distinctly modern look whilst the facade material will radiate the solidity of traditional buildings. www.tektonik.net

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

‘Haus F’.

Lars Puff.

‘Haus F’.

Constant reinvention on firm ground:

HPA+ Architektur

Lars Puff, architect and founder of HPA+ Architektur leads a team of six coworkers. After restructuring the office in 2008, he started a concept that he calls a permanent reinvention. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWKI I PHOTOS: DETLEF PODEHL

Due to the variety of clients as well as the continuous growth of a young office, HPA+ Architektur shows flexibility while keeping to its own path. The essence of HPA+ Architektur is informed by their design language, namely clear lines and a knack for choosing materials that complement its understated yet uplifting expression. This essence is then applied to a multitude of tasks, from family home to corporate design. For their clients, HPA+ Architektur provide the whole spectrum from evaluation 100 | Issue 43 | October 2016

to building application, from design to tendering through to construction management. Design and its execution coming from a single source of expertise has proven an essential high-quality component of HPA+ Architektur. Therefore, their services include the commissioning and coordination of all necessary engineering and specialist tasks through a high-performing, flexible network of experts. Manifold experience with both conversion projects and new buildings as well as the effective combination of design and construction management ensure robust and

reliable assessments for future projects. By taking on the role of principal, HPA+ Architektur supervise the whole building process including decision preparation and control of deadlines and cost levels. Thus, frequent status reports and meetings form a continuous flow of first-hand information for the client. Architect Lars Puff started out with a bricklayer apprenticeship before he began architectural studies in Cologne. After a stint in San Diego with Studio E architects, he worked with various Cologne-based architects before opening his own office as a result of the direct realisation of the ‘Haus F’ project, which he had designed together with Dorothee Vicario in 2007. The ‘Haus F’ family home stands at the rim of a quiet and exclusive residential area.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

The entrance side has a protective, closed look while the building completely opens up to the back, both visually and physically. The upper floor hovers freely suspended above the garage which, set slightly apart, seems to be partially “inserted” into the main building. The layout of the ground floor is open with a core kitchen unit, bathroom and utility space shaping the expanse of the living area. The upper floor was divided into a group of individual spaces and is connected to the ground floor through a space opening up from below, providing air and light. Generous openings in the garden-facing walls allow expansive views of the green surroundings and direct access to nature. HPA+ Architektur attract clients who are curious about individual architecture such as young families and commercial builders. Many clients show a longstanding loyalty to the office over a span of several projects. Builders who got curious after reading publications are

rounding up the variety of people who become HPA+ Architektur fans. Another example for HPA+ Architektur’s inventive qualities is the conversion of an apartment house into a home for one single family in Cologne (Haus T15). The design offers three levels of living spaces, an overall generous layout and various exclusively equipped bathrooms. The facades of the townhouse were completely redesigned, both in form and proportion. Just recently finished, a multi-family dwelling project (MFH F) in Bergisch Gladbach already counts its first inhabitants. Warm, sun-reflecting bricks mark the outer look of the dwelling and individual cutouts in the design give the various units their individual appearance. By developing the exterior swiftly after handover day, the development was almost immediately ready to move in. This year marks the tenth anniversary of HPA+ Architektur. Continuously

‘MFH F’.

‘Haus H26’.

‘Haus T15’.

reinventing their concept, the office of six around Lars Puff will proudly look at the finishing touches for a nationwide project: For the Hilti-group (Hilti Deutschland AG), which manufactures and sells products for the construction and building industries, HPA+ Architektur have developed a new corporate design, affording the group a streamlined common new look for all of their German-based centres. Constantly searching to reinvent themselves, the invariables of HPA+ Architektur can always be detected in their clear design language going along with their respective understated choice of material. However, passion for architecture is a key word and shows itself in the wide range of expression, a close connection with the client and the execution of a project from design to construction management, all of which are within the economic framework set by the builder. www.hpa.de

Hilti-group project.

‘MFH FMS 19’.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Main image: The children’s and youth hospital of the University Clinic Freiburg. Below right: Peter M. H. Damm. Bottom right: ‘Das Neue Hauner’.

Leaders in health and science

- based on more than 65 years of experience

Since 1950, the Hattingen/Ruhr-based RDS Partner architectural society has been striving to become a leading expert in the field of medical and scientific buildings. The unparalleled expertise is not only limited to these sectors and has gained the Hattingen-based company with its three subsidiaries countless industry awards and an outstanding reputation. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS + VISUALISATIONS: ARCHITEKTEN BDA RDS PARTNER

Today, 59 employees realise buildings in numerous project areas under the leadership of the executive shareholder Dipl. – Ing. Architekt BDA/AKG Peter M. H. Damm. These projects include buildings for health, research, administration, industry, environment, education, judiciary and culture sectors. Buildings for seniors, residential constructions, as well as preservations of historical monuments are further specialisations. However, the special focus of RDS Partner’s work lies in the planning, realisation and restructuring of buildings for the health, research and education sector. “65 years of gaining complex specialist knowledge in these respective fields poses as a unique selling point for our architectural society and significantly shapes the quality of our company,” notes Damm. In the past ten years, RDS Partner especially developed outstanding expertise in the area of scientific buildings. For example, they planned and realised one 102 | Issue 43 | October 2016

of the most modern infectious disease research institutes worldwide alongside Swiss colleagues and the FriedrichLoeffler-Institute for animal health (FLI). The new building enables scientific research up until the highest international biosafety level of four - only two more research institutes have these possibilities. It seems no wonder that RDS Partner was awarded the 2016 building award for MecklenburgVorpommern in June 2016 for this project. Focussing on humans “We support our clients as an experienced and innovative team. Thereby, the human always stands at the core of our doings,” explains Damm. Individual, functional and precise architecture is as part of RDS Partner’s guiding principles as the economic, sustainable and high-quality implementation. “Furthermore, our clients appreciate our society’s continuity. The third generation is already integrated as Arne Thorben Damm is the youngest

appointed member of the Association of German Architects (BDA), as well as of the AKG (Architects for hospital constructions and the healthcare sector). Today, he is a partner in our company,”smiles Damm. An example of RDS Partner’s impressive portfolio is the new construction for the university hospital Freiburg’s children’s and youth clinic. At the end of 2015, the RDS team won the architecture competition for this 120-million-euro project, beating 20 renowned architectural societies from all over Europe. The visualisation of the patient room shows RDS Partner’s contribution to creating a ‘visionary’ children’s’ and women’s’ clinic for the ‘Das Neue Hauner’ competition of LMU Munich’s clinic. A light colour scheme creates a friendly and cheerful atmosphere, which fosters the recovery process and improves the quality


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

of work. All in all, the idea of a transparent and light-flooded hospital coins the new building. RDS Partner also planned and realised the new laboratory building for the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) on the University of Saarland’s campus in Saarbruecken. It offers 4,600 square metres of floor space that includes laboratories with S1 and S2 standards for HIPS’ six research teams. White glass facade elements, horizontal window hinges, a base level made out of exposed concrete parts, light floorwings and a large atrium that brings daylight and natural air into the building creates an open and communicative atmosphere. Furthermore, University Tuebingen’s research centre for plant molecular biology is a prime example for outstanding collaboration between free architects and public authorities. Here, the architectural services were first supplied by Tuebingen/ Baden-Wuerttemberg and during the realisation phase, RDS came into play. In a second construction phase, RDS has realised the Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry (IFIB) since 2016.

functional divisions of radiology (MRT and CT), as well as physically therapeutic offers are planned. Two four and fivestory buildings arise that are connected with glazed connection bridges via an entrance hall in the urban main axis, the Lindenallee. The architecture creates an identity: here, a place for spiritual health, as well as for high functional and human quality arises. The clear architecture emits a high significance but also inserts itself into the LVR clinic’s building ensemble. Transparency and retreat areas, wood and accent colours produce a safe, warm and harmonic ambiance. www.rdspartner.com Below: RDS Partner team: Rémi Bonnefous, Volker Brachvogel, Roland Ladusch, Andreas Koch, Arne Thorben Damm, Michael Holewik, Peter M. H. Damm, Arnd Krug, Mirwaiss Mussa (from left to right). Top right: Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. Second right: University Tuebingen – new construction of centre for plant molecular biology (ZMBP). Third right: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Riems near Greifswald. Fourth right: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Riems near Greifswald. Bottom left: LVR clinic Dusseldorf. Bottom right: LVR clinic Dusseldorf.

The architects BDA RDS Partner also realise one of the currently largest and most demanding psychiatry constructions in Germany for the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR). With a total construction volume of 65 million euros for the first building phase, the diagnostics, therapy and research centre as the new centre of the LVR clinic Dusseldorf emerges. The first building phase includes nursing wards with 287 beds, eight-day clinic places, examination and treatments offers for general and gerontological psychiatry, as well as for neurology and a stroke unit. Besides three laboratories, diagnostic

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Main: Hanseplatz 1, Korbach. Photo: Cornelia Suhan Bottom left: Hanseplatz 1, Korbach. Photo: Cornelia Suhan Bottom middle: Am Hauptbahnhof 10A. Photo: Christoph Hesse Top right: Hanseplatz 1, Korbach. Photo: Christoph Hesse Bottom right: Lebenshilfe. Photo: Christoph Hesse

ChristophHesseArchitects create sculptural yet earthbound constructions For ChristophHesseArchitects, the truth lies in the ground. Their architecture is marked by an intrinsic knowledge of the connection between nature and human living surroundings, resulting in a profound sense for the inner quality of a space, the ‘genius loci’. Their design, equally dynamic and organic, makes for awardwinning architecture. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

A piece of memory – an intuitive feeling for a place, certain wishes or a personal longing, of such nature are important aspects that for ChristophHesseArchitects come to life in pre-planning talks with builders and investors. They then become the initial spark, influencing the design as a whole and forming a line through the entire process, right up to handover. As rational as construction itself can and has to be, that initial spark is being kept and honored and in the end results in sculptural, earthbound forms and outlines, looking both dynamic and organic at the same time. 104 | Issue 43 | October 2016

A feeling of attachment to his rural home has always been of importance for Christoph Hesse. Though he did not shy away from taking a couple of years away from Europe, he eventually returned to his very own corner of the world in North Hesse where he opened his own office in 2008 in the town of Korbach. This “corner of the world” was recently labelled one of the most innovative parts of Europe. Apart from his studies at the Zurich-based ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he went to Harvard School of Design for postgraduate studies and subsequent-

ly taught summer school courses there as well. Hesse describes the architecture and design department at Harvard as a multinational place with a great deal of European influence and professors of European descent, including Rem Koolhaas and Jacques Herzog. Here, he deepened his interest in urban planning and design. With the ‘Neues Museum’ project in Berlin, led by David Chipperfield’s office, the architect has also gathered experience in working within a huge team on a unique task in a place ripe with historical reference. Christoph Hesse frequently lectures on the topic of sustainable urban design. He also teaches at TU Darmstadt on international urban design for the Mundus Urbano Master of Science programme. The Cairo university press will publish his new handbook on “green urban design” at the beginning of next year, a follow-up on his “green housing” handbook.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

ChristophHesseArchitects nowadays work in a compact team of ten – a number which, as Hesse puts it, allows close contact and a reliable connection with each client and project. His engaging approach is also mirrored in the choice of material and a matter-of-fact approach to sustainability and responsibility for future generations. Their ‘Hanseplatz 1’, a residential and office building, has won both the Iconic Award 2016 and the German Design Award Special 2017. Spanning over an impressive length of 120 metres, the brick façade is dominated by a warm, lively mix of hues, with the brighter side of the bricks facing outward while the joints show dark and light colouring in turn. Brick counts as a traditional material in the region and the building itself draws its design from an adjacent freight depot. The friendly outlook is complemented by a highly functional inner life – a mix of living and commercial

areas that include shops, gastronomy and barrier-free apartments. Other awards include the German Façade Award 2016 for ‘Am Hauptbahnhof 10A’; an office building featuring a sculptural façade with highly expressive gaps and notches. Here, the interactive play of light, form and shadow finds its most expressive shape. To yield power from the ground and from the nature surrounding us for Christoph Hesse is of more importance than outward sustainability measures. Rather, they are inbuilt as a matter of course. To provide for the next generation, to find solutions for a fruitful work and life balance, these are aspects that ultimately lead to projects such as the one planned for 2017 for a recreational area in North Hesse. Together with his colleague Neeraj Bhatia, a California-based architect, Christoph

Hesse plans on designing a development on a lake peninsula that will count no less than 20 differently shaped houses, designed by different architects from all over the world. As the best ideas are found in relaxed surroundings with a connection to nature, the divide between holiday and work is to be bridged with this ambitious project. As the architect says, he will set out on the journey of designing a retreat that guarantees recreation but at the same time provides for the quiet and refuge that creative work can thrive in. ‘Re-creation’, in the true sense of the word. www.christophhesse.eu www.facebook.com/christophhesse.eu

Top left: Christoph Hesse, ‘back to the soil’. Top right: Architecture awards. Bottom left: Korbach residential and commercial building. Photo: Christoph Hesse. Middle right: Sauerland Villa. Photo: Guido Erbring Bottom Right: Villa Benner. Photo: Christoph Hesse

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Top left: The reception building of the national horticultural show in Trier. Photo: Palladium Photodesign Top right: The hotel expansion with 12 suites for the Hotel Ruland. Photo: Dominik Ketz Bottom left: The wine-growing estate Stodden in Rech. Photo: Palladium Photodesign Bottom right: The residential estate ‘Ahrarkade’. Photo: Palladium Photodesign

‘Being home (+) on the road’ The Bad Neuenahr-based architectural office Hans Jürgen Mertens likes to use this formula for staying in hotels. While being at home means security and a sense of well-being, one also wants this in a hotel where the guest is also on the road. While the guest is en route to new goals and new impressions, their hotel should also reflect this. TEXT: ARCHITEKTURBUERO MERTENS; TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

The architectural office Mertens from Bad Neuenahr always factors these two above-mentioned aspects into its planning processes. For example, the office managed to work for the renowned chef Hans Stefan Steinheuer in Heppingen who was already awarded with two Michelin stars. The result was the ‘Landhaus’ with six suites. Here, the restaurant was converted and, in another part of the 106 | Issue 43 | October 2016

building, the bowling alley was made into a lounge with a large opening to the terrace and a view on to the local mountain of Landskrone. Another impressive project of the architectural office’s portfolio is the conversion for the wine-growing estate Stodden in Rech, which was awarded a prize for the Architecture Award Wine

in 2010. At the moment, an expansion of the wine-growing estate Stodden is being completed which, once again, creates sensational interior design. A new nomination for the Architecture Award Wine, which will be awarded in Stuttgart in autumn, is also currently in the pipeline. For the jury, the conversion of the winery Neus in Ingelheim, for which Mertens’ architects designed an elegant interior, is worthy of the award. In Altenahr, on the other hand, a hotel expansion with 12 suites for the Hotel Ruland was completed in 2014. The 45-square-metre-large units orientate their sleeping and living areas, as well as their balconies towards the river and the


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Ahr Hills. The higher the position, the more spectacular the view. High-quality materials on the inside, such as Jura marble in the bathroom, oak flooring, individually designed furniture and leather wall panelling with integrated light complement the building’s ambitious exterior. What all building projects have in common is that the architectural office Mertens designs the structural engineering as well as the interior design – always alongside the respective owner who knows his or her clients best: “You are allowed to do everything Hans Jürgen, but don’t frighten off my guests”, the building owner Hans Stefan Steinheuer once said. The buildings for the hotel and gastronomy industry are an important pillar of Mertens’ portfolio, another one is residential constructions. Giving humans a roof over their head remains one of the most appealing tasks for an architect. The housing and living types are just as different as the buildings for residential purposes. In Bonn, for example, after a victo-

ry at a competition, a residential complex was built that accommodates 100 apartments in three rows. The special thing is two of the lines offer council flats and the third line that borders the villa district has freehold apartments on offer. The lines are connected through single-storey connecting structures in which local supply stores and rooms for children are located.

Exclusive interior design was also the architectural office’s main task in the penthouse flat in Bad Honnef. A nine-metrelong built-in furniture item with a glossy lacquer surface forms the main element in the flat. It can be accessed from all sides and includes a wardrobe, a bench, a room for art, as well as a part of the kitchen equipment.

The residential estate ‘Ahrarkade’ offers 50 flats in a former office building. The exclusive location near River Ahr made the conversion of the working space into a high-quality residential building rather attractive. The project was complemented with a new building which lies parallel to the river. Through the use of architectural steps, many residential units enjoy the magnificent view on to the river.

Last but not least, the team around the architectural office’s owner, Dipl. Ing. Hans Jürgen Mertens, also designs spectacular buildings such as the reception building of the national horticultural show in Trier (2004), which seems to defy statics. Here, as well as during all other projects, architect Mertens wants to offer the most adequate interior design as well as structural engineering solutions.

‘Villare’, a residential complex with 23 flats, is also situated on the river and close to the park. Besides the elegant flats, the design impresses with a soft swing in the façade, a cladding made out of high-quality sandstone and a spacious entrance hall.

www.mertens-architekt.de Top left: Winery Neus. Photo: Alexander Sell Top right: ‘Landhaus’. Photo: Axel Hausberg Bottom left: 100 apartments Bonn. Photo: Axel Hausberg Top middle: ’Villare’. Photo: Palladium Photodesign Bottom right: Penthouse Bad Honnef. Photo: Palladium Photodesign

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Above: The Gerling high-rise building: aluminium windows and new loggias. Top right: One of the few new buildings in the Quartier. Right: The master plan of the Gerling Quartier is from ksg. © kister scheithauer gross architekten und stadtplaner (ksg)

Redeveloping post-war architecture with an understanding for its value and heritage The Gerling Quarter in Cologne is a unique landmark, a complex essential for the city’s post-war history and architecture. It was particularly complicated for the architects at ksg when they were commissioned to redevelop the quarter – creating a completely new use for the buildings, but also honouring history and architectural traditions. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: MARCUS SCHWIER, DUESSELDORF

“What is so special about this project is that the building’s function has changed completely from singularly housing offices to various uses: offices, shops, restaurants and flats,” says lead architect and master planner Professor Johannes Kister, shareholder at kister scheithauer gross (ksg) architects and urban planners. Many buildings in the 4.6-hectare complex were listed for their architectural value. Hans Gerling, owner of a large insurance company, initiated the building project shortly after the Second World War. After 108 | Issue 43 | October 2016

taking over the business from his father in 1949 he not only brought it to the international market, but from the early 1950s onwards expanded the existing headquarter situated in a historic building and started establishing what is today known as Gerling Quartier. The architects Hentrich and Heuser were responsible for the first extension. Helmut Hentrich became famous for his high-rise buildings in the 1960s and 1970s. The Gerling highrise, in whose creation the sculpture Arno Breker was also involved, was finished in January 1953, a building that created a new

accent in Cologne’s skyline. The Gerling head office would be constantly growing over the next 30 to 40 years. Gerling himself, who led the company until his death in 1991, had clear ideas how the buildings should look, says architect Prof Johannes Kister. “He for example – with one exemption – only built up to the fourth floor, so that the Cologne Cathedral could still be seen. That is essential for people in Cologne,” says Kister with a wink. For him the Gerling Quartier is a signal for every modern architect that architecture should and could live longer than the building’s original use, that even after so many years a city profits from the investment in architecture. After the Talanx group had taken over Gerling’s operating business in 2005, they sold the Gerling buildings. The new owner, the Frankonia Eurobau AG and later the Immofinanz Group, decided to


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

turn the former offices into a high-class residential area. Research for the redevelopment project was unique, because Hans Gerling himself had kept diaries and sketchbooks illustrating his ideas. “Gerling was really good in sketching,” says Kister and had a clear understanding of forms and functions. The central place for example in its design and layout orientates on the famous Roman Piazza Navona, something that can be seen in the fountain. After the buildings were sold in recent years, client and architects recognised the square’s potential and its dormant urban quality. They made it a focal point of the new quarter and opened it to the public in establishing shops and restaurants. The Gerling quarter is no longer a closed-off area, but since 2007 has been redeveloped as an inner-city residential and commercial quarter with 130,000 square metres in total.

The majority of the Gerling area is listed and one demand laid out in the development plan was to preserve the existing architecture. New annexes and added levels respectively needed to consider this. During the competition that also involved the city administration, it became clear that modest densification was feasible as long as the architectural spirit of the Gerling buildings would be preserved. Consequently, the urban planners responsible for the master plan had multiple responsibilities: keeping function and technology in mind, searching a dialogue with the city, coordinating with other architects involved, but most importantly reconciling the transformation with the quarter’s original identity. Right from the beginning the master plan defined the most important architectural feature: a calm and consistent overall structure. The existing materials also de-

termined the planning, as did standards set by the original architects like building colours or window profiles. This played an important role for the new building insulations complying with modern energy-saving standards. To upgrade the new apartments’ interior, the window parapets in the listed façades were lowered with great finesse and loggias for the new occupants were integrated. The transformation of the Gerling highrise gained ksg architects the federal government’s special prize for sustainable steel architecture in 2016. Although during the refurbishing phase the architects had stripped down the tower to its steel skeleton, they afterwards reconstructed the building’s original, external appearance. Now it looks as it has done before, but meets modern demands, including fire and safety regulations. ksg have only recently started working on another iconic post-war building, the headquarters of mail-order firm Quelle in Nuremberg. Built between 1955 and 1967 after the plans of famous architect Ernst Neufert, it became Germany’s secondlargest building. Like the Gerling Quartier it will be redeveloped in the coming years. www.ksg-architekten.de www.gerling-quartier.com

Top left: The steel skeleton in the Gerling high-rise. Middle left: In the former Friedrich-Wilhelm building, 60 flats currently get developed. Bottom left: ksg’s executive board: Reinhard Scheithauer, Prof. Johannes Kister, Prof. Susanne Gross und Eric Mertens (from left to right). Middle: View from the former Gerling management board office onto the high-rise building and the piazza. Above: The new ‘Piazza Navona’ in Cologne’s Gerling Quartier is the heart of the ensemble as the central, public space.

With the friendly support of FSB.

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 109


We have a weakness for early metals: Bronze Age at FSB. Whilst engrossing ourselves in our three initials, we rediscovered the beauty of noble bronze, a material that lent its name to an entire epoch. We have since developed a comprehensive range of timeless door and window fittings in this material – complemented by exceedingly beautiful door pulls and accessories for main entrance doors. Bronze is an alloy with a very special aesthetic appeal, viz. the patina it acquires in the course of time and use. Thus every handle is unique in that it bears your own distinctive hallmark. Discover the New Age of bronze on the web at www.fsb.de/bronze


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

When buildings become events Based in Munich with offices in New York and Berlin, YES ARCHITECTURE* work on the premise that buildings offer more than just space. Harnessing natural light, YES create unique spaces and forward-thinking concepts, allowing users to perceive spaces independently. With their multi-disciplinary approach, YES translate a building’s usability and livability into what they dub ‘event spaces’. Since its launch in 2002, Ruth Berktold’s firm now take on more ambitious design challenges and participate in important competitions, including Munich’s main train station, Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art, and most notably the widely acclaimed extension to the former Bundestag, now the World Conference Center Bonn**. But despite their growing worldwide presence, Berktold is quick to confirm that the fluid team of architects, interior designers, web and product designers are still keen to apply their ingenuity to smaller projects: “I am often much happier about those smaller projects where we can control every detail, such as bars where there’s always going to be a lot of traffic.”

Whatever the scope of the project, the firm resolutely focuses on sustainable designs, employing aesthetic materials with a minimal carbon footprint, as well as satisfying local energy requirements. Tuned into society’s needs, YES have recently designed modular residences for World Conference Center Bonn.

TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: YES ARCHITECTURE

refugees, incorporating educational centres, multi-purpose spaces, sports facilities and urban gardening in the form of roof terraces and open spaces to enhance the sense of community. Each property boasts its own address to create a sense of individual identity for each resident. Currently the studio is juggling 15 projects, including hotels, shopping malls and a host of small-scale to luxury residential projects. www.yes-architecture.com Offices in Mainz: Hafenspitze.

* YES Architecture is an office run by Prof. Ruth Berktold in Munich, Berlin and New York. This office is not to be confused with the office Yes-Wicher in Graz. ** World Conference Center Bonn: YES Architecture, Prof. Ruth Berktold with Marion Wicher.

Honouring a building’s tradition and history while shaping it for the future

PHOTOS: CONNÉ VAN D’GRACHTEN

Every place and building is different and it is an architect’s responsibility to discover the particularities and special characteristics. This is the firm belief of Westphal architects, based in Bremen, who turn old industrial buildings into modern living and work spaces. Led by architects Birgit and Jost Westphal and Klaas Dambeck, the architectural office analyses existing structures and surroundings before working on the actual design. Light, nature, density of existing building stock or traffic play a role in the understanding of what makes a place special and what a building will have to look like. Combining functionality with aesthetics and the client’s vision results in a new overall design. Especially when working in historic buildings, intensive research is necessary. “Only when I understand a building and its history can I uphold the tradition and know how to use existing structures,”says architect Jost Westphal. Westphal archi-

tects themselves work in a loft situated in a Gründerzeit building, combining the best of old and new. Another example for this way of working is Schuppen Eins in Bremen’s Überseestadt, an old harbour building that was erected after World War II when the German economy and industrial areas destroyed during the war recovered. Keeping this in mind, it was key to preserve the original character and adjust it to modern times. While the upper floors now harbour lofts, the nine-metre-high ground floor creates a stunning ambience that will house vintage cars in the future. www.westphalarchitekten.de Issue 43 | October 2016 | 111


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

From top left: LIBERTINE LINDENBERG. Photo: © Dieter Schwer Kleine Rittergasse 11. Photo: Eibe Sönnecken, © Franken Architekten U-Silk City Hanoi. Photo: © Franken Architekten Prof. Bernhard Franken, Frank Brammer, Nicole Franken. Photo: Oliver Tamagnini, Copyright: Franken Architekten Bubble. Photo: Friedrich Busam, Copyright: Franken Architekten

Start making sense: Form follows narrative with Franken Architekten Franken Architekten draw a line from the history of a space straight to the person who is to inhabit it: SPACE, STORY, SENSE – SUSTAINABILITY. They create stories that can be told by spatial means, ultimately resulting in added value for the user. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Franken Architekten started out during the late ‘90s with their much regarded ‘Bubble’, one of the first ‘Blobmaster’ buildings ever. The completely digitally developed and executed pop-up design resembling two drops was created for IAA. Parametric design, often linking the contextual with the metaphorical, is a transparent and formal approach to the creation of their narrative architecture. Today, the Frankfurt-based trio of Prof. Bernhard Franken, Nicole Franken, Frank Brammer and their team of 25 merge architecture with brandspace design and concept development. They dived into urban design as well, from residential projects in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main area all the way up to large-scale developments like their U-Silk City development in Hanoi, Vietnam. 112 | Issue 43 | October 2016

For the innovative Lindenberg hospitality spaces based in Frankfurt, the ‘Libertine Lindenberg’ guest community was just nominated for the German design award, which for Franken Architekten could become one of more than 60 awards in the field of architecture and design. The narrative for this project is spun around the fictive personality of Libertine Lindenberg, who has opened her townhouse for guests with her liberal spirit visibly nesting in all nooks and corners. The delicate and pastel playfulness of the house was created with a pituresque native orchard in mind. A break with this lovely scenery takes place with the so-called ‘Black Holes‘ – deep, dark areas that lie consistently across all elements of the design. Craftiness meets clearness. The unique aspect of narrative architecture can also be unifying. The ongoing recon-

struction debate around Frankfurt’s old town was picked up by Franken Architekten with a stroke of genius. For a mix-use project in Alt-Sachsenhausen’s Rittergasse, an unsalvageable property was replaced with a new building. The architects linked the property’s past with the present by creating the ghost-like impression of a timber frame structure on the new façade. The pattern for this ‘afterimage’ was based on scanned drawings of the original building. For the world architecture festival WAF 2016 in Berlin, Bernhard Franken will join the podium discussion on the subject of ‘housing for everyone’, a topic inspired by the refugee crisis, which Franken have already tackled with their Biennale participation. Franken Architekten stand for spectacular space sculptures and dramatic narrative designs, providing a full range of services from concept development and implementation planning to site supervision. www.franken-architekten.de


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Amprion in Dortmund Duesseldorf government district.

Vaillant in Remscheid.

Muelheim Lindgens.

Architectural trademarks In the last 60 years, Nattler Architekten from Essen has established itself as a full service architectural force. Building its operations around four main business competences, the office is able to realise the most diverse and challenging projects. Due to a precise focus on the customer and his wishes, Nattler Architekten are able to create architectural reference points for both organisations, regions or businesses. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: NATTLER ARCHITEKTEN

Based in tradition, there are many aspects to Nattler Architekten’s way of working that have stood the test of time. These operational building blocks include consistency in approach and vision, flexibility and clear internal and external communication. Naturally, the long company history enables the team to profit from the accumulated generational experience.“We live this way of working internally and externally with our clients, within the development teams and with our development partners,” explains Thomas Höxtermann, who leads the company together with Heinz Nattler and Heinz-Georg Guth.

“In my opinion the architect is always also a generalist, the first analogue step and in the future he will be supported with digital Building Information Modelling (BIM) development,” says Höxtermann. Nattler Architekten is structured precisely to fit this generalist approach. In collaboration with experts, the office engages four business segments. In the planning of cities, the architects create new living spaces. With regard to project and building management, the office accompanies its projects from concepts to finished construction. Furthermore, Nattler Architekten are using their own

experience for consulting others and are developing interior design concepts. Among the current projects is a restructuring proposal for the government district in Dusseldorf, which would lead to increased synergies among the ministries. In their hometown of Essen, the architects are realising projects like the Cranachhöfe residential building in Bredeney and the biomass power plant Grugapark, which generates sustainable energy for the whole park. Also, in 2015, Nattler Architekten’s design for a residential project in Bochum has won the exemplary building award in North Rhine-Westphalia. All projects are unified by themes of health, living together, communication and freedom. “As architects we can give these topics the necessary framework and room, by creating healthy, sustainable buildings.” www.nattlerarchitekten.de Issue 43 | October 2016 | 113


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Top Architects Architecture Germany Festival

Image: Lepel & Lepel

Photo: Thomas Riese

Image: Lepel & Lepel

Image: Lepel & Lepel

Combining architecture with interior design for flexible work and living environments What makes LEPEL & LEPEL so special is the fusion of architecture and interior design. The two founders are Monika and Reinhard Lepel – she an interior designer, he an architect. Therefore, the company’s motto ‘building relationships’ not only applies to their projects but also to the company itself.

houses create the perfect environment for offices that leave space for creativity,” says Reinhard Lepel. Combining these competences results in joint efforts subsumed under the title ‘work@loft’.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

“Of course we both, Monika and I, work on our individual projects, but in the best case we generate synergies,” says Reinhard Lepel. “Especially for one of our main focuses ‘work@loft’,” adds Monika Lepel. The concept brings architecture and interior design together to make ‘agile working’ work. In general, our way of working has changed rapidly in recent years, since computers have made processes more efficient and people more mobile. This is why architecture and interior design are so important; not only do they create workspaces, they anchor people, create strong connections and emotions. Modern offices need shared lounges or meeting rooms, where people 114 | Issue 43 | October 2016

can work together on joint projects, discuss ideas and be creative. To fulfil modern requirements, these spaces have to be flexible so that they can be adjusted according to current needs. They have to be as agile as the people who work in them. In the end this is what architects and interior designers always have to keep in mind. The interior architects at Lepel & Lepel have rather successfully introduced agile working ideas for renowned clients, such as REWE Digital, Google or Ernst & Young, for example. “Our architects, on the other hand, have great experience in working on building redevelopments. Especially old, extensive industrial ware-

Two examples for ‘work@loft’ are currently under construction in Cologne. The first is ‘Lofthaus’ in ‘Belgisches Viertel’, one of Cologne’s most lively city quarters. The other, ‘Clouth 104’, can be found at the entrance to a 15-hectare area of the same name, which – once home to a rubber factory – is currently redeveloped into a new urban district. The building itself will offer studios, offices and flats. An industrial look and bare brickwork are main design characteristics honouring the building’s industrial origin, while creating a modern environment for working and living, offering the appropriate space agile minds need. www.lepel-lepel.de


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

Tieckstraße apartments, Berlin.

Tieckstraße apartments, Berlin. Pappelallee apartments, Berlin.

A thoughtful brand of building In an increasingly mobile and fast-paced world, a thoughtful brand of building is emerging that exemplifies longevity in modern cities. For Hamburg-based h-k-t architects, this approach sees them design buildings in the belief that they will outlive their residents and users. Although, they would argue they are not purely designing buildings, but spaces where people feel good. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE I PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN GAHL (ARCHITEKTUR-FOTOGRAF) AND PETER DROLL

With projects ranging from much-admired residential buildings in trendy districts of Berlin to expansive hotel complexes on the Baltic Coast, the clarity and simplicity with which hackel-kaape-trimonis approach their work has become their calling card since the pair set up the studio in 1990. Based in Hamburg and Hannover, the five-strong core team value open dialogue with clients. “We always keep a certain flexibility when designing; architecture should suit the users and their life – not the other way round,” explains the studio’s Tobias Wulff. “Today we often forget

homes frequently outlive their owners. So it’s a warming thought when you giving people a house, and play a part in their life,” he adds with a smile: “albeit a small role.” It is this attitude that resonates with clients across Germany and further afield as the studio continues to gain acclaim. In Berlin alone–a city h-k-t affectionately describes as “constantly in motion”–they are behind a number of sought-after residential projects where “investment bankers live alongside philosophy students”. Marking a shift away from designing purely for shelter, h-k-t are having a

viable impact on the DNA of Berlin, where they cherish its best asset: space. “What other cities have such potential for development and wildly different neighbourhoods?” Employing individual design features, high ceilings and sizeable windows, the firm believes that Berlin’s urban renewal has to accommodate affordable housing too, and therefore ensure that their projects come with an array of options. Right now the studio is juggling two developments in Berlin Mitte and Berlin Charlottenburg alongside a handful of others. Next year will see them tackle their most challenging project to date: “It’s a huge hotel complex with adjoining apartments on the Baltic Coast; the sheer size of the project should be a great challenge for us to keep us busy.” www.h-k-t-hamburg.de Issue 43 | October 2016 | 115


Discover Germany | Special Theme | World Architecture Festival

ARCHITECT OF THE MONTH, AUSTRIA

Main image: Northern view. Photo: Wolf Leeb Left: Elegant, modern kitchen design. Photo: Wolf Leeb Right: Southern view. Photo: Wolf Leeb

Honest, functional, confident architecture

PLOV Architekten ZT GmbH In everything they do, PLOV Architects are looking for simplicity. Their philosophy is based on the creado: “simplicity is not always the best - but the best is always simple” (Heinrich Tessenow). TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

“PLOV is a project laboratory. Our work depends on numerous factors and we work goal and solution-oriented. We think outside the box. We combine and contrast design solutions until a house, an apartment, or a school arises from this thought process. In all of our designs, we include sustainable approaches and creative models of energy efficiency,” explains Marion Gruber, one of the firm’s partners. Together, Marion Gruber and her partner Christoph Leitner direct the Vienna-based bureau. The two architects have known each other and worked together since 116 | Issue 43 | October 2016

the time of their studies at the Technical University in Vienna. Upon graduation, they both worked in different functions and projects until starting their own firm in 2009. Diversity in thought and projects Their architectural approach is marked by clarity, functionality, confidence and a multitude of influences. In fact, the name PLOV comes from Tashkent, the capital of Usbekistan, and its meaning inspires the philosophy of how these two architects work. Plov is a potpourri of spices and condiments and cooked differently every time. Still, it is always delicious.

This cultural diversity and intellectual richness is also evident in the type of projects the firm works on. Their expertise and interest encompasses a wide spectrum. From private clients and building their individual dream house or spaces, to international companies like IKEA, and to public projects such as schools, the Austrian firm is competent in all areas. All of PLOV Architect’s work is unique and draws on a number of influences and disciplines of thought. Honest, functional, confident design Building on the philosophy that architectural forms and matter of things aim to give meaning to what surrounds us, the firm builds their projects in a way that resonates with the values of simplicity, honesty and sustainability. PLOV Architects believes that the form and matter of spaces reflect a purpose that


Discover Germany | Business | Architect of the Month Austria

only well-built, intelligent, aesthetic and sustainable concepts can communicate. In fact, they closely communicate with colleagues of the Austrian design and planning community and exchange views on certain projects. Another way that PLOV Architects keeps finding new inspirations is through travelling and helps them to rethink traditional patterns. Clear and simple spaces “A project should be honest, functional and self-confident, and above all clear and simple in the spatial implementation. Our concern is to build spaces that are clear and easy to understand. Attaining this goal is usually a complex process,”explains Christoph Leitner. The firm emphasises the use of honest and authentic building materials such as untreated woods on a façade or sealed concrete, and natural stone in their projects.

This approach has been recognised as successful and leading in the way that modern architecture should integrate public and private spaces.The firm has been participating in a number of competitions and has been awarded several projects. Their expertise and interest encompasses a wide spectrum of services and skills.

Examining different ideas and solutions “We understand architecture as research; examining ideas, concepts and solutions as to how to live best. In our profession we need to think outside the box and to link, reflect on and realise the various ideas and thoughts that influence our environment,” states Marion Gruber.

The most important aspect, however, is the individual character of every project. From initial analysis to the design work, and trying to realise each client’s own vision and dreams, the firm tailors all work towards creating timeless, functional design. The wide diversity of their work shows. From public and privately commissioned design projects, to various building sizes and residential spaces, PLOV Architects has been able to create clear and meaningful surroundings in different environments and conditions.

Having worked in many segments and successfully mastered diverse projects, PLOV Architects is confident and excited to help shape a new future of urban development, interdisciplinary architecture and international projects for both residential dreamers or companies looking for a new image and an innovative, inspired work environment. www.plov.at

Top left: Master bathroom. Photo: Wolf Leeb Top right: Reception of bikram yoga studio Schönbrunn. Photo: Christian Stemper Bottom left: Apartments at Vienna’s Helmut Zilk park. Photo: © Visualisation PLOV Bottom right: Campus Austria, OvalOffice. Photo: © Visualisation PLOV

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 117


Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

Free-range working TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

achievements open to every European citizen. Independence and flexibility, and seeing a new place every few months, sounds great in theory but the further afield the digital nomad strays, the more complex the legal and practical issues will become. The internet may have no borders but the law of the land (wherever that may be, and often enough even the laws of several countries) will still apply. Here are some of the issues that our nomad should think about before buying the one-way ticket to Shangri-La. The answers to these questions very much depend on each individual case, so the best we can do for now is to provide the makings of a check list.

If, like me, you have only just learned who Super Mario is, the concept of a digital nomad at first glance probably sounds as new age as it appears radical. However, combining global entrepreneurship with financial and lifestyle independence using modern IT and telecommunications technology is something many of us will actually have done, even if it takes rather more than just having your laptop with you on holiday. When I set up my own law firm, a lot of the initial work was done from the South of France and it made no difference to anybody whether my e-mail was sent from a desk in London or from on board a boat some 900 miles away provided the work got done. Within the European Union, freedom of movement is one of the corner stone 118 | Issue 43 | October 2016

Sensibly, most digital nomads provide their client services through a corporate structure, such as a private limited company, in order to protect themselves against personal liability to the extent possible. What does this mean in terms of taxes, both with regard to corporate and personal income tax liability? Does tax become payable in the country of residence as well as in the home country? What about national insurance or social security contributions? Does the nomad continue to accrue a pension for the days to come when there is no place like home, after all? What about entitlement to healthcare? Many countries require foreigners to obtain work permits, or the correct form of Visa, and it is easy enough to commit a criminal offence by disregarding the laws of a host country. Some countries, such as Thailand, have started to crack down on foreigners working illegally in the country. Many professions (such

as lawyers, accountants and doctors) are subject to regulation, licensing and oversight by professional bodies. The digital nomad and his client will enter into a contract for the supply of services (whether that service is a travel blog, a new widget design, or a legal opinion): what law governs that contract? Many systems of law recognise some degree of freedom of choice of law, but are there any mandatory rules of law applicable at the place where the service is provided that override any agreement to the contrary? Even the UK has, for example, consumer protection and e-commerce laws that take precedence over the choice by the parties to a contract of the law of any other country. What about data protection and data privacy rules? How are disputes resolved, if clients are unhappy or do not pay? Next, where and how is payment for the services processed? Is there a liability for VAT, or is the payment perhaps subject to foreign exchange regulations? None of these hurdles are insurmountable, but preparation is key. It is quite instructive how organised the non-conformist has to be to make lifestyle freedom work.

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: gjk@hunters-solicitors.co.uk www.hunters-solicitors.co.uk


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 sporting events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in October. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

Surf World Cup Sylt. © 9pm media/ “Hoch Zwei”

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 119


Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Vienna Wiesn (22 September – 9 October) Being Austria’s biggest funfair, the Vienna Wiesn celebrates everything the Austrian culture stands for: tradition, craftsmanship and savoury treats. Local folk musicians will perform during the day in three different tents and in the evening live concerts will guarantee a fun party atmosphere for everybody. www.wienerwiesnfest.at Surf World Cup Sylt, Westerland (30 September – 9 October) Exciting competitions during the day and cool parties at night – this is what the Mercedes Surf World Cup Sylt promises its visitors. Different additional side events let you virtually dive through a colourful coral reef, for example. www.worldcupsylt.de ORF Long Night of Museums, throughout Austria (1 October) All over Austria participating museums and galleries are open for night owls with an interest 120 | Issue 43 | October 2016

in culture from 6pm to 1am. With only one ticket you will get access to a wide variety of exhibitions and exciting events. www.langenacht.at/en Swiss Cheese Market, Huttwil (1 – 2 October) The event for all cheese lovers: the Swiss Cheese Market in Huttwil. It is a presentation platform for the wide range of the traditional art of cheese making and local producers. Join the popular event with live music performances and find your favourite cheese. www.regio-huttwil.ch eat&STYLE, Dusseldorf (1 – 3 October) The eat&STYLE is Germany’s biggest food festival and offers various workshops to join and special themed areas like the ‘walk of coffee’ or the ‘market square of delights’. Professionals, hobby chefs, experts and exhibitors demonstrate the current and future food and cuisine trends. www.eat-and-style.de

Freimarkt, Bremen (14 – 30 October) The 981-year-old Freimarkt is Germany’s oldest fun fair and proves that the people of Bremen know how to party. The fairground features over 320 attractions with modern spins and rides as well as nostalgic stalls trading tasty fried pastries, roasted almonds, aromatic liquorice sweets and much more. www.freimarkt.de The Triesenberger Weeks, Triesenberg (14 October – 20 November) Is there any better way to learn about a culture and a region than enjoying their food? The picturesque village of Triesenberg in Liechtenstein celebrates its culinary delights during its Triesenberger Weeks festival and serves traditional dishes like the pasta-like ‘Chäschnöpfli’ or the sweet ‘Öpfelchüachli’ that people have loved for centuries. www.tourismus.li Left: Party atmosphere at Vienna Wiesn. © Harald Klemm Top right: The eat&STYLE. © FLEET FOOD Events Middle right: Swiss Cheese Market. © Pro Regio Huttwil Bottom right: Long Night of Museums. © ORF/ Hans Leitner


Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar Jazz & The City, Salzburg (19 – 23 October) Five days, more than 60 concerts on 30 stages – all that for free! The historic city centre of Salzburg will host the international festival for jazz, world and electronic music for the 17th time this year. Artists from around the world will perform in unique venues such as the Mozarteum or the city’s baroque churches. www.salzburgjazz.com Book Fair 2016, Frankfurt (19 – 23 October) The Frankfurt Book Fair is an important marketplace for books, media, rights and licenses worldwide where you will have more access to current trends than anywhere else. The fair focuses on children, education, selfpublishing, art and design and much more. Furthermore, you get to buy books for the retail price and can have your copy signed by the author. www.buchmesse.de/en Langenthal Carnival Market (22 October) Three weeks before the official kick off of the Carnival season, Langenthal hosts its themed market that will make carnival fans hearts leap for joy. Over 160 stands offer everything from instruments and costumes to accessories so that you are prepared for the crazy fifth season of the year. www.fasnachtsmarkt.ch

Consumenta, Nuremberg (23 October – 1 November) Various themes, an informative programme and a great range of products make the Consumenta a special and unique shopping experience. The consumer fair offers product demonstrations and goods of around 1,000 exhibitors, which you can touch and check out on-site. www.consumenta.de Truffle Market, Bonvillars (29 October) Dedicated to Swiss truffles, this market brings together truffle growers, chefs, dog handlers and luxury food lovers. Visitors can learn more about this special product, taste and buy it. Furthermore, handlers demonstrate the talents of their truffle-hunting dogs. www.marche-truffes-bonvillars.ch Pumpkin Festival, Obermarkersdorf (29 – 30 October) Every October the people from the Retz area celebrate the traditional pumpkin festival. All kinds of pumpkin delights will be served – from goulash and risotto to pancakes. Additionally, there will be a big procession, many music performances and, of course, more pumpkins lined along the streets and lanes. www.retzer-land.at Top left: Jazz & The City. © Wildbild Bottom left: Consumenta Nuremberg. © AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH Below: Book Fair Frankfurt. © Frankfurt Book Fair

Issue 43 | October 2016 | 121


Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

More than timber-framed houses TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Romantic, quaint, timber-framed all round – international visitors to Germany appreciate this aspect of the country’s architecture. But while I fully see the attraction of these lovely historic structures and very much like them myself, it also bugs me a bit when Germany is – from a touristic point of view – so often reduced to timber-framed houses and pretty villages. Why? It’s the stereotypes thing again. Yes, there’s always some truth in them but at the same time they always only present one side of the coin. Many people think Germany is a rather conventional and traditional nation, which might well be true in some respect. However, when it comes to architecture, the country is very open to the visions of design pioneers. Take the late Zaha Hadid, for example. Despite being based in London, it took her a long time to build anything in the UK (or anywhere else for that matter), but Germany offered her a platform for her work early on. In 1993, the Vitra Fire Station in Weil-am-Rhein, commissioned by Vitra chairman Rolf Fehlbaum, became her breakthrough moment because until then none of her designs had actually been built. Too futuristic, too cutting-edge, too bold, too radical, too weird? Well, not for Germany, apparently. There’s more of Hadid in Germany such as the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg 122 | Issue 43 | October 2016

or the BMW Central Building in Leipzig. She was not the only contemporary architect to find very fertile grounds on German soil. The country is a bit of a playground for the world’s best architects, in particular when it comes to museums. Which pays in the end, because many of the buildings drawn up by the likes of Frank Gehry or Daniel Libeskind have become as much of an attraction as the content displayed in them. Clever, isn’t it? In particular, since some of them are in towns that are among the country’s lesser known destinations. A few years back, a Museum and Architecture Route was established that takes design buffs on a road trip past six museums, in Osnabrück (ever heard of this city?), Bielefeld (best known for an iconic conspiracy theory claiming that the city doesn’t really exist), Herford (another question mark, probably), Berlin (okay, had to be on the list), and Wolfsburg (hooray, we know that one, home of Volkswagen). In this line-up, the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus (Daniel Libeskind), Kunsthalle Bielefeld (Philip Johnson), MARTa Herford (Frank Gehry), Jewish Museum Berlin (Daniel Libeskind), the annex to the Historical Museum Berlin (I. M. Pei) and Phaeno Science Centre are all spectacular eye-catchers, one way or the other and like it or not. Be it the spacecraft look of the Phaeno building or the contemporary

art museum MARTa, which also looks like something dropped from outer space, should you be keen on seeing some architecture that is as far away from timber frames as you could possibly imagine, you’ll know where to go now.

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


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Discover Germany, Issue 43, October 2016  

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

Discover Germany, Issue 43, October 2016  

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