Discover Germany, Issue 50, May 2017

Page 1

Issue 50 | May 2017












Your Shortcut to Germany Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg bo org g


G enburg Goth

Aarh A rhu us us

Billund Manchester

London City








Me al s

Dr inks

Pap ers



Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents MAY 2017

18 Photo: © Anne Wilk

COVER FEATURE 18 Karoline Herfurth The name Karoline Herfurth is known all over Germany and beyond. The charismatic, versatile German actress talks to Discover Germany about her latest projects, her love for Berlin and more.

SPECIAL THEMES 11 Design of Switzerland In our special theme on Swiss design highlights, find out what the country of Switzerland has to offer in this area. 26 Austrian Wine Special 2017 Austrian wines are best known for their quality and innovative features around the world and in 2016, Austria’s wine exports climbed to a new record level of around 148 million euros. Let us find out what the hype is all about. 50 Museums of Switzerland Did you know that Switzerland comprises of an abundance of great museum experiences besides its most famous museums, such as the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern? If not, be sure to read our special theme. 68 Construction, Building and Modernised Living Ever wondered where to find innovative sound insulation or who produces highquality sliding doors? Whatever you need for equipping your new home or office building, you can find in this special theme. 76 German Architecture Special 2017 It is not only the country of poets and thinkers. Germany is also the country of a diverse and exciting architectural culture. With our special theme, we are taking a look at some of Germany’s most inspiring, current architectural creators.

90 Photo: © pfp architekten bda


FEATURES 24 Restaurant of the Month, Switzerland In Zurich’s GAUCHO restaurant, visitors can look forward to the unbeatably amazing taste of Argentinian beef in an unprecedented ambiance. 49 Film Review: You Are Wanted This month, journalist Sonja Irani reviews Germany’s first original Amazon series You Are Wanted, starring Matthias Schweighöfer amongst other big names. Find out what she thought. 54 Star Interview: Simon Böer German-born Simon Böer is best known for his leading role in Herzensbrecher, but also for several TV movies, numerous action series and thrillers. Discover Germany speaks to him about his career and much more. 56 Destination of the Month, Germany Regensburg is a sensation for many reasons and that is why it became our destination of the month. The UNESCO world heritage city is full of history, garnished with an Italian flair and has many great sights on offer. 60 Hotel of the Month, Germany Searching for a great place to stay in Cologne? Why not choose the Excelsior Hotel Ernst? The five-star grand hotel combines special treats and modern amenities with a traditional ambiance. 64 Ready, set, go! Germany’s DTM Cars are a German’s best friend. That is why our writer Thomas Schroers takes a closer look at the popular Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM – German Touring Car Masters), a championship series from the 1980s that will kick off its new season on 5 May.

Photo: © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Zajc


Dedicated to Design Whether you searching for a new, stylish spring outfit or great design ideas from the DACH region, be sure to have a look at our design section.

24 Wine & Dine This month, our wine & dine section has all eyes on great wines from Austria and Switzerland. 49 Culture An inspiring interview with actor Simon Böer, enchanting Swiss museums and a film column await you in the culture section. 56 Travel Whether you search for an adventurous destination, a city trip with diverse cultural offerings or simply want to head to an exciting event this month, we have got you covered. 66 Business Our business section is filled with innovative companies and ideas from the DACH region this month. Our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht’s takes on innovative architecture to round up our business offering. 115 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in May. 118 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier talks about the exceptional relationship between Germans and their much-loved asparagus season. Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  3

Dear Reader, Listen up, everybody! This month marks our 50th anniversary – the issue you hold in your hands right now is the 50th of Discover Germany, Austria & Switzerland. Great news, right? For 50 months we have focused on all things German, Austrian and Swiss, from inspiring people and innovative companies to enchanting places that we all should travel to at least once in our lives.

Published 05.2017 ISSN 2051-7718

Jessica Holzhausen Marilena Stracke Nadine Carstens Silke Henkele Sonja Irani

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Cover Photo © Anne Wilk

Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Marcel Schuppert

Thus, for this month, we simply had to go a step further topicwise. For example, we’re really proud that we are able to feature the wonderful Karoline Herfurth on our special anniversary cover. I talked to the charismatic German actress about her latest project, her beginnings as an actress, her special love for Berlin and much more. Other interesting topics covered in our anniversary issue are Germany’s DTM (German Touring Car Masters), enchanting German architecture, Swiss museums and innovative design ideas.

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

Furthermore, as the spring is in full bloom, we have put a special focus on Austrian wines this month so you can find your next favourite drink for the upcoming summer months. Small, yet beautiful best describes the Austrian wine landscape, but in 2016 Austria’s wine exports climbed to a new record level of around 148 million euros. Find out what that hype is all about in this month’s issue.

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

But, of course, the above topics are not everything that can be found in this issue. Have a read and explore what else should be tried, tested, seen, tasted or visited in Germany, Switzerland or Austria this month.

For further information please visit

Sit back, relax and thanks for reading.

Discover Germany Issue 50, May 2017

Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Feature Writer Thomas Schroers Contributors Barbara Geier Cornelia Brelowski Elisabeth Doehne Gregor Kleinknecht Ina Frank Jaime Schwartz

© 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 50  |  May 2017

Nane Steinhoff, Editor

the place to be for business.

Berlin: High in Demand.

Accelerate your growth – in Berlin. Germany’s capital has got it all: the most influential political and economic decision makers, innovative companies and an unrivaled concentration of science and research. Berlin has great potential at its fingertips: Specialists and executives who are excellently trained and thrilled by the high quality of Berlin’s urban life. If you consider relocating your business you’re very welcome in Berlin! Accelerate your company’s growth – with customized solutions powered by Berlin Partner for Business and Technology.

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… This month, we are not only dedicated to design, but also dedicated to children. We want to make our children’s world an exciting and emotional place, so why not do it with interesting designs and items that transport a multitude of feelings? We have found five wonderful pieces from the world of design that your children will surely love. BY: THOMAS SCHROERS


1. This all-terrain buggy is guaranteed fun for your children while keeping them safe. It is available in different designs and you can customise everything from the colour of the chassis to seat covers and wheels. Manufactured in Switzerland and Germany, the buggy has room for up to two children aged 12 months and over. From £430. 2. Introducing: Elly. This dreamy elephant with butterfly ears is the perfect snuggle pillow. Why butterfly ears? Well, Elly believes in flying elephants and you are invited to dream too. Designed by German brand DogsLoveCats, Elly is one of various snuggle pillows made from 100 per cent cotton. £34. 3. Terrylove’s stylish swaddle clutch is the perfect accessory for modern mothers. Designed by mothers for mothers, this one-of-a kind bag is the perfect companion for a stroll in the city. With a cosy swaddle boaster and two zip compartments for backup diapers and co, this will enable you to care for your child while looking fashionable and staying independent. £150. 4. If you want to show your children the possibilities of modern technology, but do it in a responsible way, Hörbert should be your choice. With a robust mp3 radio with nine playlists to programme individually and a streamlined, simple design, Hörbert can be a source of entertainment and education. £207.



5. Cleaning your little ones after a meal can be full-time job. This is where the LaLatz saves the day. Securing the favourite food crash site between table and child, the LaLatz comes with a antiskid bottom, an easy-to-use magnetic clasp and is washable with up to 40 degrees, while guaranteeing perfect mobility for your child. £26.

5 4 6  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

REAL-TIME RESEARCH MADE EASY! Newsrooms and brand marketers can do more and publish faster with up-to-date content at their fingertips. With cloud-based technology – and running on Microsoft Azure –™ can be used everywhere – on any connected device: PC, laptop, tablet or mobile.


Connect with™ on




w w w. x - n e ws . e u

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds In May, spring is most likely in full swing already and more and more people flock outside to gaze at the fresh flowers or to enjoy the great outdoors. Going for long walks, playing in the woods with the children or sitting in a beer garden just makes more fun in the sun. If you also want to look absolutely stylish outside, then get inspired below. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES This combination from German fashion label Bogner will make you look stylish, while keeping you comfortable – perfect for a day outside. Coat ‘LETITIA’ £860, pants ‘JANA’ £240, sneakers ‘NEW SALZBURG’ £345.

You probably already heard of Liebeskind as their great bag designs are famous all over the world. To fit in all of the things needed for a day out in the sun, this backpack comes in handy. £243.

For the warm spring days this month, why not slip into something more airy like these gorgeous flats by Marc O’Polo? £87.

8  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

All eyes on denim: the German fashion label Bogner puts a special focus on this timeless material this season, while combining it with gorgeous, bohemian-style patterns. Denim shirt ‘BIELLA’ £690, jeans ‘LUCIA’ £260, denim dress ‘CLEO’ £775.

This gorgeous poncho by Bogner will not only keep you warm but it is also absolutely stylish for cooler spring days. £240.

xxxxxx xxxxxxxx Looking for a new pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes this spring? How about this stylish pair from Marc O’Polo? £121.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  9

B e a u t y S e c re t s % e 15 e v a S cod h * t i w R15 E V O DISC




Everyone loves beauty tricks that help defy the laws of nature. Discover the latest Beauty Secrets on as seen in

*Enter DISCOVER15 on at checkout into the discount code box to receive 15 % off your total order. Valid until 31.07.2017. Code can only be used once.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

Sideboard. Photo: © AGOindesign


Swiss design highlights In our special theme on Swiss design highlights, find out what the country of Switzerland has to offer in this area. Whether you are searching for chic designer tables, great jewellery, innovative industrial design or more, be sure to have a look at the following pages.

Photo: © Artmodul

Photo: © Profim sp. z.o.o.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  11

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

ITO team members are discussing technical features on a prototype part.

The Fern task chair for Haworth offers new levels of back comfort and flexibility. Photo: © HAWORTH, INC

Industrial design with purpose The offices of industrial design studio ITO Design are filled with prototypes and models exploring everything from ergonomics to material flexibility, proportions and form. “We always start a project by identifying an original purpose for our design - a unique function or a useful feature - that will drive the project in later stages of the development process,” says Mugi Yamamoto, industrial designer at ITO. “Models are a way for us to test these new ideas quickly.”

ITO Design will celebrate its 30th anniversary this autumn. To date, they have registered over 100 patents for design and technical innovation. The studio’s long-lasting existence and impressive portfolio is a testament to the hard work and innovative thinking of its designers.

TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  |  PHOTOS: ITO DESIGN GMBH When ITO Design was founded by Armin Sander nearly three decades ago, he wanted to create a holistic product design service. For him, this meant working across marketing, design and engineering to provide a complete understanding of the product development process to his clients. ITO Design retains this purpose today, with a tight-knit, multinational team and offices in Nuremberg in Germany and Cham in Switzerland.“We have assembled a diverse team of designers where experience and skills complement each other and ideas are questioned critically,” explains Yamamoto about the company’s approach. “This way, we are able to present our customers with concepts that not only look good, but are convincing in their feasibility. We can also provide expert support in engineering questions right up to toolmaking.” 12  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

This practical approach is what holds particular appeal for many of ITO Design’s clients. The studio has worked internationally with a wide range of companies including ITOKI (Japan), Forma 5 (Spain), Profim (Poland) and König + Neurath (Germany). Since the late ‘90s, ITO Design has maintained an ongoing collaboration with Haworth (USA) on high-profile projects such as the Zody Task Chair, the first chair to be endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association.“Our core competency is the design and technical development of furniture products; however, we also make good use of this knowledge in other sectors,” says Yamamoto. This is the case with Treo, a camping chair designed for Thermarest that becomes its own packaging by being folded into its own tripod base.

The Treo camping chair packs into its own base for portability and convenience.

The TeamUP design study for BASF introduces new ideas for individual and collaborative work.

F O T O G R A F I E : S Y LV A N M Ü L L E R


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

Beautiful simplicity


Swiss company AGOindesign specialises in interior design and handmade furniture. Their style can be described as linear and timeless with enchanting hidden details. Taking a closer look is certainly worthwhile. CEO and founder Nusmir Agovic always knew he wanted to have his own business one day. Many years ago, during his carpenter apprenticeship, he discovered his fascination for unique and quality furniture. After studying interior design with a specialisation in woodworks, it was time for Agovic to make his dream come true. He merged his talents and founded AGOindesign. Agovic designs concepts for restaurants, stores and public objects, but also works within the private sector. A previous highlight has been planning the bar and gastronomy area of the world’s first FIFA museum in Zurich. From concept and planning to construction management, AGOindesign offers interior design services from start to finish.“My goal is to

design something special and unique for every project and I love to be challenged,” says Agovic. “Often my ideas are inspired by small things or a little detail.” The small yet exquisite collection of handmade furniture by AGOindesign stands out with its straightforward unpretentious style combined with elaborate, almost hidden details. “My furniture aims to fascinate customers. There are so many unique details that cannot be spotted at first glance. They amaze people and often the question arises how a piece of furniture has been constructed as it is not immediately obvious,”Agovic explains with a smile. Go and see for yourself at the following website.

Under the sea…

14  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017


Coffee table.


Treasures can not only be found at the bottom of the sea: Swiss titanium jewellery label DiverDesign creates stunning unique pieces inspired by the ocean. But that is not all - you can also design your very own jewellery. Diving mates Alberto Hafner and Luigi A. Fischer merged their extensive technical know-how of titanium castings with their passion for the sea. DiverDesign was born. Creating such detailed titanium castings is a challenging process but DiverDesign has truly mastered this art. Hafner says: “Titanium is completely allergy-free, and a large number of unique optical effects can be achieved through


different surface treatments. Regardless of its light weight, titanium is very robust and adds a special high-tech touch to our jewellery. Our pieces can be worn virtually anywhere, even while diving.” Sophisticated handmade creations from rings and bracelets to necklaces and earrings feature different sea creatures such as the mystical whale shark and the beautiful manta ray. For every piece sold,

DiverDesign donates a percentage to environmental organisations Sharkproject and Turtle Foundation. DiverDesign also creates custom-made jewellery. The two experts turn customers’ personal ideas into truly unique jewellery. All it takes is your imagination. There is no better way to express personality and embrace individuality. Regardless of whether you love the sea or not, DiverDesign is the place to turn to for high-end titanium jewellery.




Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

A system for the individualist The Swiss furniture manufacturer Artmodul stands for high-quality office and home design. It views modern furnishings as more than purely functional, and more than design. TEXT & PHOTOS: ARTMODUL

Furniture design at the touch of a button: the online design tool provides a system for individuality. Aficionados of high-quality designer furniture can use it to realise their visions of customised interiors on the internet. “With the online design tool, we open completely new channels for our customers to depict and execute the furniture configuration of their dreams. Its easy operation and intuitive user navigation bring the virtual creative experience to life,” says Markus Biland, CEO of Artmodul AG. “Thanks to this new tool, the everyday home office is transformed into a professional design shop.” With more than 900 different Artmodul components, customers have an almost infinite range of configuration options at their fingertips. Colours, materials, handles and sizes can be varied, enlarged and combined at the user’s discretion - and right from the home office PC. No special software is required. Quick and easy access to dream furniture Furthermore, the company’s system solutions allow basic components and 16  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

elements to be combined into expressive and individualised solutions. Long trips to the store or the designer’s office are things of the past, thanks to the new tool. From now on, customers can explore Artmodul’s products and options without having to locate a speciality store beforehand. “It was important for us to create a tool that gives the customer free reign to realise even the most unconventional desire, independently,” explains Markus Biland. This is why the online planning tool is configured so that extensive modifications can be made at each stage of the design process. The concept convinced the jurors of the Best of Swiss Awards. In 2007, Artmodul won the prize in the Business Efficiency category. Once the dream furniture is drafted, the design tool makes it possible to obtain a tailor-made offer from dealers online. Of course, those who would rather not forego the personal touch can continue to seek professional consultation from the speciality store. Extraordinary special requests that the Configurator cannot

calculate are therefore not a problem. Artmodul’s experts consider these to be challenges that they are glad to tackle. At Artmodul itself, complex requests become an aesthetic reality. The new technology, though, has changed nothing about one point: each unique design continues to be executed with world-renowned Swiss precision. All Artmodul furniture is manufactured and assembled exclusively in Switzerland. The experience of well-seasoned employees combined with the use of the latest cutting-edge technology in the production process guarantee Swiss quality at the highest level.

Von Hand gearbeiteter Luxus für jeden Tag: TREIBGUT precious pieces stehen für entspannte Lässigkeit und unbedingte Exklusivität. Jedes Werkstück ist ein Unikat mit einem ganz besonderen ideellen Wert.

Armbänder Ketten & Colliers Gürtel Keyholder Taschen Add Ons & Edelsteine Hundeaccessoires

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Karoline Herfurth

Karoline Herfurth

Acting her heart out The name ‘Karoline Herfurth’ is known all over Germany and beyond. The charismatic, versatile German actress is one of the most outstanding talents of her generation. She played the Plum Girl in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, played leading roles in various German box office hits such as Fack Ju Göhte or Vincent Wants to Sea and recently celebrated her film director debut. Discover Germany speaks to Karoline about her latest projects, her love for Berlin and more. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: ANNE WILK

At the young age of 15, Karoline was discovered by a casting director at her school – becoming an actor was thus more of a lucky coincidence. She decided to go to the casting and, in the end, got a small role in the teen movie Crazy. Other roles in Mädchen, Mädchen, Big Girls Don’t Cry and several TV productions and independent German films followed. After working with Karoline, Dennis Gansel, the director of Mädchen, Mädchen, said she was a huge talent with big prospects for the future – and how right he was. The actress soon played leading roles in hit movies like Berlin ‘36, Vincent Wants to Sea, Fack Ju Göhte, the international blockbuster Perfume: The Story of a Murderer alongside Alan Rickman and Dustin Hoffman, and the Academy Award Best Picture nominee The Reader in which she co-starred with Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. Humbleness and independence When asked about her beginnings, Karoline remembers: “It was not clear at 18  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

all for me [that I wanted to become an actress] at first. To be honest, I wanted to become everything you can think of, from a ballet dancer (even though I have never really danced) to a paediatrician. Only in drama school, I have inwardly opted for acting.” Speaking of drama school, it should be noted that Karoline decided to attend Berlin’s prestigious Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts. So, does she think it is essential for a great actor to attend drama school? “Not at all. Some actors are wonderful without ever having studied acting. But I would always recommend it as it definitely extended my spectre. And especially the language training was crucially important for me. But one doesn’t essentially need to go to drama school for this,” Karoline explains. Despite her huge success, the actress, who turns 33 this year, remains humble: “I have watched the entire process about what has happened with amazed eyes. I have rather thought that everything

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Karoline Herfurth

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  19

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Karoline Herfurth

being on screen and behind the screen]. When I’m not able to act for a long time, I get an aching longing for it. And being a director fulfils me in every single cell. I have never been as satisfactorily busy as during my directing debut. I wouldn’t want to give away any of the two.” Furthermore, You Are Wanted, the first German original series on Amazon Prime aired on 17 March 2017. Alongside Matthias Schweighöfer and Alexandra Maria Lara, Karoline was seen in the sixpart thriller series about data security and espionage. As the example of Amazon Prime shows, more and more streaming services are becoming increasingly popular. We wanted to know from an actress like Karoline how she feels about this and whether they change the classical TV format or the film industry? “It certainly extends the offering. Maybe there is simply less of a large, uniform audience and much more special, particular groups,” she explains. ‘I don’t really have a favourite role’

would be over again tomorrow and I still keep this mindset today. This humbleness and independence is essential and I don’t ever want to lose it.” Thus, it seems no wonder that Karoline also studies politics besides her acting jobs. She says: “To be honest, at times, it isn’t even possible [to study at the same time as doing acting jobs]. However, I love the subjects of politics and sociology. The course has strongly changed my world view and I really hope that I will be able to finish my degree.” A real Berliner Born in Berlin in the former East Germany to a psychologist mother and a geriatric nurse practitioner father, Karoline is a real Berliner. Therefore, it does not come as a huge surprise that she still resides in the city today. She cannot really imagine moving anywhere else. “Honestly, I can hardly imagine. Maybe for a certain period of time I’d like to at some point. But 20  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

in the long term, I’m simply too deeply rooted in this city. I love its mentality, its diversity and its tolerance. I always have the feeling that everyone finds their place in Berlin,” Karoline smiles. We wanted to know whether that is the reason for her to reject some offers from Hollywood too? “Well, I was and still am very happy here at home. Also with the possibilities and opportunities I have here. But generally, I don’t exclude anything – it is all a question of timing in the end,” she explains. We are quite glad she has not left the country yet, as her recent national projects are really worth a watch. For example, there is SMS für Dich, a romance that was released in September 2016. While playing a leading role alongside Nora Tschirner, Karoline also celebrated her directing debut with this film. However, we do not need to worry that she will disappear behind the screen for good any time soon. “I hope that I never have to decide [between

As one of Germany’s most versatile actresses, Karoline Herfurth was seen acting in pretty much every genre from exciting thriller to teen movie, drama or comedy. She says: “I’m interested in everything that kind of heads into the fantastical direction - films like the creations of Baz Luhrmann or Tim Burton. But I would also love to play my heart out again in a small arthouse film. I don’t really have a favourite role. From each role, I was able to learn something important.” But what can we look forward to from Karoline in the near future? Well, some exciting projects are planned. For instance, she will play the lead role in the children’s movie Die kleine Hexe, which will be coming to German cinemas in January 2018. Apart from that, she reveals that she will take a small break so that she can prepare for her next few projects in peace. After having achieved so much already in her life, what are Karoline’s dreams and wishes for the future? She smiles: “At the moment, I want to take a break. I want to travel. And then I want to be able to direct again. And to be able to act my heart out. Then I’m happy.”

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Karoline Herfurth

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  21

Discover Germany  |  Interview  |  xxxxx

Connecting European and Asian Partners:

Berlin as centre point for digital business The Berlin Asia-Pacific Weeks (APW) have become Europe’s most important dialogue forum for discussing questions of our economic and political future, especially with partners from the Asian continent. Founded 20 years ago with the intention to establish relationships between inexperienced Berlin companies and the Asian market, today the main focus is on extending co-operations and supporting start-ups. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  |  PHOTOS: APW

In comparison to many other events focussing on Asia, the single meetings and activities at APW are organised by different participants and partners.“Celebrating our 20th anniversary this year we put the focus on digitalisation,” says Dr. Rainer Seider, head of Unit European and International Co-operation at the Berlin senate and project director APW. Of course, when it comes to digitalisation every Asian country is different – as are the European. 22  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

None the less there are certain trends to be observed: “To put it really simply, digitalisation in Asia, especially in China, is thought from a customer’s point of view, while in Germany companies mostly put a focus on digitalising their own production line and only in the course of that connect with suppliers and customers.” When it comes to business 4.0, German companies are therefore more digitalised than their Chinese counterparts. On the other hand,

says Dr. Seider, is the use of digital devices like smartphones far more widespread in Asian cities than in German ones.“In China, you can pay nearly everywhere without cash using AliPay or WeChat online or in the supermarket,” explains Dr. Seider. “Customers in Asia are far more open towards digital payment solutions or digital communication. Japan already speaks of Society 5.0 instead of Industry 4.0.” Digitalisation: A stronger focus on people Societies have come far more into focus instead of simply concentrating on business alone. So, when speaking of digitalisation in Europe and Asia, two very different cultures meet and that is something the APW tries to teach on both sides. This becomes even more important when

Discover Germany  |  Interview  |  APW Berlin

recognising the great potential digitalisation is offering emerging nations like Indonesia or the Philippines who can skip one step on the development ladder in turning directly towards a digital business system. Of course, this also contains risks discussed at the Asia-Pacific Weeks. For example:“Will India be able to integrate its fast-growing young population in a highly qualified, digital labour market?” The Asia-Pacific Weeks will show clearly which different perspectives Asian and German partners have and where they can work together – for example the next generation of mobile phones. Both sides are able to learn from each other. When, for example, discussing the future of digital payment methods, a view towards China might help to understand where the German market is heading. Robotics, virtual and augmented reality, games, cyber security, e-mobility and e-health are among the most current trends that need to be discussed.

Dr. Rainer Seider, head of Unit European and International Co-operation at the Berlin senate and project director APW. Photo: © Dr. Rainer Seider

Berlin as hotspot for international entrepreneurs The APW is a typically Berlin event: “Berlin’s reputation as very interesting city and start-up centre has now reached Asia,”says APW project director Dr. Seider. When additionally considering the insecure British market after Brexit and the negative impact growing racism has on the US market, Berlin becomes a true alternative for Asian companies searching for new ventures and partners. “We want to develop Berlin further as a free and cosmopolitan city,” says Dr. Seider, who also works for the regional Berlin government. “It is especially this openness and freedom to think, talk and work creatively that distinguishes Berlin from other metropolises.” Low living costs and an attractive cultural programme are among the other positive factors. “And, of course, you can establish a business in Berlin and live here even when only speaking English – something many people from India, China or the Philippines are not even aware of,” says Dr. Seider.

APW – A success story The APW allows establishing successful business connections – for example at the start-up conference following the main programme. In 2016, here the Chinese Angel Investors invested one million euros in the Berlin-based HitFox Group opening up the Chinese market for HitFox’s 15 joint companies. Not for nothing were and are young entrepreneurs and start-ups in the centre of the Asia-Pacific Weeks 2016 and 2017. Young companies are often very international with English as the main language – and Berlin attracts employees from all over the world. But none the less the Asian market often seems terrifying to young German companies: a different culture, geography, politics and societies. The Berlin AsiaPacific Weeks are trying to tear down these mental barriers and help to build connections: From Europe to Asia. And from Asia to Europe. This year’s Asia-Pacific Weeks in Berlin are running from 15 to 28 May, 2017.

Photo: © briti bay

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  23

Photo: © Myron Bingham

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

The taste of modern Argentina As an aficionado of high-quality food, you are certainly familiar with the undisputed amazing taste of Argentinian beef. A visit to restaurant GAUCHO in Zurich gives you a glimpse into the modern and authentic presentation of well-prepared, highquality Argentinian beef that will transport you right into the centre of Palermo Viejo, the trendy culinary centre of Buenos Aires.

catering service,” says Myron Bingham, founder and co-owner of GAUCHO restaurant and catering business, reminiscing about the beginnings of his enterprises.


Once the catering business had taken off and a growing number of customers became convinced by the quality and taste of Argentinian food (the offer had gradually been expanded to comprise Argentinian wine, beer and self-made Argentinian barbecue sauce), Bingham moved to bigger premises that also housed the expanded GAUCHO shop, which sold all products available online on-site. “Through the GAUCHO shop, the direct contact to my customers naturally became closer. I was able to directly educate them about the proper storage and handling of our

Founded in 2013, Zurich-based restaurant GAUCHO is the latest addition to Myron Bingham’s culinary voyage. “When we opened GAUCHO Restaurant in 2013, I had already gained a lot of experience with the import, trade and handling of Argentinian high-quality beef. Owing to various business projects and extended travels through Argentina, I have developed a high affinity not only for the Argentinian mentality but also for authentic Argentinian food and wine. In 2004, I thus started 24  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

to import high-quality beef from Argentina. The Football World Cup in 2006 gave my business an additional twist when we decided to organise Asados, the traditional Argentinian barbecue, in a beer garden in Zurich. These were a huge success and became an insiders’ tip. Overwhelmed by this huge interest in high-quality Argentinian beef, I decided to take my business to a higher level and, in addition to the import and distribution of well-seasoned high-quality beef, established GAUCHO

An idea takes form

Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Restaurant of the Month, Switzerland

beef - an experience that gradually led to the idea of opening a restaurant,”Bingham elucidates. Bingham still hesitated to venture the big step into gastronomy, but in 2013 had finally found the perfect host for GAUCHO restaurant: friend Toni Berisha, who had been active in the gastronomy for over 20 years. GAUCHO Restaurant and ‘la familia‘ – the concept of conviviality While GAUCHO restaurant’s core of course remains GAUCHO Argentinian high-quality beef, the menu has been expanded to include a daily changing choice of delicious, freshly prepared antipasti like fried courgettes, grilled pulpo or tortino parmigiano. The restaurant’s overall concept of hospitality is that of ‘la familia’, the family. “As chef at GAUCHO restaurant, I am responsible for the atmosphere and in that I feel positively obliged to the Argentinian sense of hospitality,” says Toni Berisha, chef, figurehead and co-owner of GAUCHO restaurant.“With 45 seats, GAUCHO restaurant

is small and thus generates a cosy closeness for all our guests - a cosiness myself and my team want to maintain. Our guests particularly appreciate the familiar atmosphere that engulfs them on our premises. I consider myself their personal host who greets his returning guests by name. The very particular familiar atmosphere of GAUCHO restaurant often facilitates our guests to start talking with other groups of guests or to move their tables so they can sit together. Just like that, strangers may become friends and a regular evening may become a happy party,” says Berisha, explaining GAUCHO restaurant’s positive feel. In the upcoming summer 2017, the chances to pass many a happy hour on the premises of GAUCHO restaurant in Kreis 4, the hip quarter in the heart of Zurich, will be enhanced by an inner courtyard adjacent to the restaurant that has been converted to a garden that can house up to 30 additional guests to enjoy that warm Swiss summer sun. “We are very much looking

forward to this addition to our restaurant’s premises,” enthuses Berisha. “It will give our guests and ourselves the chance to enjoy the GAUCHO restaurant’s hospitality and the extraordinary quality of its food on an even grander scale.” GAUCHO - an idea becomes a brand While Bingham was initially sneered at for his endeavours to become a considerable player on the Swiss meat market, his success proves him right. “Today I can say that we are on our way to firmly establish GAUCHO as a valued brand on the Swiss meat market - a brand of which the consumer can expect a high and consistent quality,” summarises Bingham. True to this statement and regardless whether it is enjoyed in your own home or in the homely atmosphere of GAUCHO restaurant, GAUCHO quality beef is certain to spoil your tastebuds with that particular Argentinian taste. (for online orders)

Photo: © Myron Bingham

Toni Berisha. Photo: © Myron Bingham

Photo: © Martina Meier

Myron Bingham. Photo: © Daniel Comte

Photo: © Myron Bingham

Photo: © Martina Meier

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  25

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

Photo: © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Zajc


Austria’s vibrant wine scene Austrian wines are best known around the world for their quality and innovative features. It thus seems no wonder that in 2016, Austria’s wine exports climbed to a new record level of around 148 million euros. Let’s find out what the hype is all about. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: © Österreich Werbung / Homberger

26  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

Photo: © Österreich Werbung / Peter Burgstaller

‘Small is beautiful’ – this motto best describes Austrian wine if you look at it from an international perspective. After all, the small Alpine country produces rare and interesting wines that are sure to please any demanding palate. Austrian wines can be found on every great wine list right now and more and more wine experts appreciate them. So, what makes Austrian wines so special? First and foremost, the country’s long tradition in winemaking surely plays a big factor as grapevines have been cultivated here in the same matter for thousands of years. Ideal geological and climatic elements further offer the best conditions for making distinctive, tasty and authentic wines with character and personality. It also needs to be noted that Austrian vintners seem to have understood what makes wines great today: combining traditional viticulture with modern processes. The outcomes are diverse, high-quality wines without compromise. Wine connoisseurs can find everything that their heart desires in Aus-

tria: from lively, light-bodied wines to opulent white wines, fruity or full-bodied red wines, as well as elegant sweet wines. So, on your next trip to Austria, why not head to a wine-tasting session, plan a nice dinner that is complemented with region-

al wines or a visit to one of Austria’s traditional wine estates? Any of these activities will make a trip to the Alpine country a special treat. To get you inspired, we have handpicked some of Austria’s most innovative vintners and wine estates on the following pages.

Photo: © Österreich Werbung / Nina Baumgartner

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  27

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

The vineyards of family Müller.

Quality from tradition and sustainability The origin of quality wine is located in the vineyard. In order to harvest perfectly ripe and healthy grapes and to produce the best quality wine out of it, Austrian vintner family Müller follows this principle. A major goal is to preserve their source of success, the vineyards around the Göttweiger Mountain in the southern Kremstal. Family Müller has been cultivating vines there since 1936, now in the third generation. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS, DIANA MÜLLER  I  PHOTOS: WEINGUT MÜLLER

At the winery Müller, one has the unique opportunity to see and feel the origin of one glass of wine while tasting it. When enjoying the view of the tasting room on top of the cellar building, visitors are overlooking the single vineyards around the monastery Göttweig and along the Danube river. The winery Müller is strongly linked to the monastery Göttweig. Since 1270, the yard of the Müllers is listed in the archive of the monastery as a harvest court. From there on, the cultivators knew to appreciate the 28  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

tradition and the rich and diverse soils of the Göttweiger Mountain. Bedrocks out of weathered slate are joined by chalky gravel, clay and loess. Warm winds clash with the cold influence of the Dunkelsteiner forest and the humidity of the Danube area. Together the natural diversity makes perfect conditions for both, fine white wines and full-flavoured red wines. Sustainability – a key to success When Leopold Müller started the family business in 1936 with an area of 0.7-hectare

vineyards, he not only laid the groundwork for the viticulture as such, but also to a specific way of working in harmony with nature. It is a way of working that has prevailed through the generations and been adopted by his son Leopold and nowadays is practiced by his grandchildren Leopold and Stefan. Supported by their whole family, Stefan is the expert manager of the vineyards, while Leopold is looking after the wine making and sales management. Together they are united by their attention to nature and the basic philosophy instituted by their father and grandfather.“Our philosophy is to work in harmony with nature and use the diverse opportunities of the Göttweiger Mountain consciously, to make the best of every grape.” After years of development and testing different options for a more sustainable viticultural process and a considerate

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

cultivation, winery Müller is one of the first in all of Austria that is producing wines that are certified with the sustainability seal. “For many years, we have put greenery in our vineyards. In every other row, we are planting clover, which binds nitrogen in the soil and we change the planted rows from year to year,” explains Stefan Müller. “We like a lively soil,” adds his brother Leopold Müller. In their own vine nursery, the Müllers also make sure, that only the most decent grapevines are grafted. Helped by the climate, the process enables the growth of high-quality grapes. Next to the vineyard, sustainable ideas also dictate work in the cellar. Using the natural circumstances, including gravity and temperature regulation of the earth and producing energy with their own photovoltaic system, the Müller’s are embracing a fully sustainable economic system. With its commitment to innovation the winery can continuously produce high-quality wines.

Stefan and Leopold Müller sorting through the grapes.

Award-winning diversity Next to the 100 hectares in the southern Kremstal, the Müllers are also cultivating ten hectares in the Wachau. Their vineyards in the Wachau originate from Bavarian duke Tassilo III. Since 2009, they have been cultivated by the Müller family. Year after year, wines from both wine-growing regions can achieve high international and national ratings. Falstaff, Austrian Wine Challenge, A la Carte, Mundus Vini and many more have rated the exceptional quality of Müller wines.

Leopold and Stefan Müller.

It is proof of the diligence of the Müllers that they can generate such a quality across the board of their various wines. The array includes an assortment of Grüner Veltliners, several Rieslings, Gelber Muskateller and Chardonnay. In terms of red wine, there is a selection of Zweigelt and of course there are sparkling wines and sweet wines as well. It is a unique range. One, that is based on the dedication and accumulated knowledge of the family. Furthermore, it is also a deeply personal collection, achieved with great effort and leading to a pleasure for every lover of wine.

An assortment of Müller wines.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  29

A new player in the world of Austrian high-quality wines At the beginning, there was an idea: butcher Hans Schwarz decided to use grapes growing on vineyards owned by the family for generations to create his first homemade wine and start a winemaking business. With the help of two famous vintners, the family established a vineyard that today creates awardwinning red wines. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  |  PHOTOS: SCHWARZ VINEYARD

The Schwarz vineyard in Andau lies only a stone’s throw away from the Hungarian border. Andau is not only a village full of history, but also the warmest spot in all of Austria. The gravel soil stores the heat during the day and releases it during the night, keeping the vines warm and comfortable. This combination of weather and soil makes the grapes cultivated and harvested here so special and full of taste. It 30  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

is well-suited for high-quality grapes like the Zweigelt, an Austrian grape variety first cultivated in the 1920s. “Our philosophy is to put only 100 per cent-quality grapes into the bottles,” says vineyard owner Hans Schwarz. Hans Schwarz family has owned vineyards for generations but never actually made their own wine and instead delivered

the grapes to a local wine cooperative. Schwarz worked in a completely different food sector before founding a professional vineyard: he was and is a butcher. But having worked in the food business – even if it was such a different produce like meat – today helps Hans Schwarz to make great wines. “The raw products no matter if meat or grapes have very much in common, because raw produce relies on the pH-level and other important factors like temperature, hygiene and taste.” Wine enriches the taste of food and vice versa – that is commonly known. “No matter if meat or other dishes, there is always a wine that tastes great with it. In my opinion, food and wine belong together,” says Schwarz.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

“Our vineyards have very dry soil and we control an optimised nutrient supply in adding specifically the right amount of water at the right time,” says Schwarz about his philosophy.“But I also like to emphasise that we do not grow every possible kind of grape variety, but only those that get along well with our soil and climate.” The Zweigelt red wines are the best example. A Zweigelt red wine with special character Schwarz Rot for example is a strong Zweigelt, a red wine matured in barrique barrels. It is the result of an extreme selection of the best grapes found on Schwarz’s oldest vines, a wine that beats many others at blind tastings and today has some kind of a cult status among wine enthusi-

asts. Schwarz Rot was the first wine Hans Schwarz produced: in cooling the grapes directly after they had been picked in the vineyards gave this first batch a structure and denseness never experienced before. In 2004, the 2002 Schwarz Rot was named winner in the Austrian Falstaff wine guide. In the following years, the wine could always be found among the top ten. A great success for such a young business. Of course, vineyard Schwarz also make exceptional white wines – including exclusive elegant sweet wines. With a little help from friends Even though Hans Schwarz has established his vineyard only in the last few years, working in the vineyard was not completely

new to Hans Schwarz and his family. “Our wine gardens have always been in the family and in 1992 we produced our first house wine ‘Giovanni’, but still sold most of our grapes,”tells Hans Schwarz about the family’s wine-making tradition that turned from a hobby to a profession. “It is nice to have such a family tradition, but the most important thing in wine-making is that everyone has a love and passion for it. Otherwise it would make no sense to simply hand over vineyards from one generation to the next, while the end product cannot keep up the quality.” To make their own wines professionally was the idea of a family friend, the famous sweet-wine specialist Alois Kracher, who in

Hans Schwarz.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  31

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

1999 suggested using the best grapes from the top locations to create a wine that embodies climate, soil and the producers’ own philosophy. Hans Schwarz had been one of Kracher’s grape suppliers and Kracher detected the outstanding quality of the grapes. So, in 1999 Schwarz produced his first own wine – with a little help not only from Alois Kracher but also Manfred Krankl, one of the best southern Californian vintners, who actually has Austrian origins. The first reaction to Schwarz’s new product was surprise, because he not only made a Zweigelt, but a special one that was simply different to what most people were used to. “Some said that what we created had nothing to do with a traditional Zweigelt at all. But what does tradition even mean? If you have eaten burned Schnitzel all your life and suddenly someone serves you one that is perfectly baked: that also breaks the tradition.” Bringing in the next generation Today Hans Schwarz works together with his son Michael who has studied food technology – with a focus on the meat industry – in Hollabrunn, while at the same time studying oenology and viticulture at the Vienna’s University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences. To gain more experience he also worked as an apprentice in wineries. It is the idea that one day he will take over the family business. Hans Schwarz and his son have a great passion for wine making and do not want to bring any wine to the market that has not the right quality yet. “For me, wine is a precious drink and should always be a pleasure to drink,” says Hans Schwarz. In 2012, the decision was finally made to build the Schwarz vineyard in three phases and on a larger scale. Today the vineyard is in its first phase and Hans Schwarz and his son have great plans for the future: “One of my goals is to keep our existing wines – Schwarz Rot, Schwarz Weiss, Schwarz Gold and Schwarz Schwarz – the way our customers are used to. But of course we have an open ear for better suggestions,” says Hans Schwarz. It is not like Hans Schwarz has one special wine he likes best. “My favourite wines are beautiful ripe wines that already have a body and 32  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

a long aftertaste. And I like red wines that echo the soil and the mineral taste it has gained under the influence of the vintner.” The second idea for the future is to make wines from grapes growing in the Leithagebirge, a mountain range that marks the border between Lower Austria and Burgenland. “The soil and the varieties there are very different and have a great potential.” Schwarz also puts a great focus on producing wines for gastronomy that can be served per glass and not only per bottle. In 2004, he produced the first A Lita white and red wine, both bottled in one-litre bottles for use in restaurants and bars. Not only did Schwarz want to make wines that go well with food, but also make the one-litre format popular again. It is a concept he wants to continue in future.

Michael Schwarz.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  33

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

A glass of Austrian wine history Vineyard K+K Kirnbauer beguiles with rich, fruity premium wines featuring expressive characters, typical for their grape variety. The absolute highlight is their famous red wine ‘Das Phantom’. Produced in the lush homelands of the Blaufränkisch, located in the heart of the Burgenland, Kirnbauer wines truly live up to their excellent reputation. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: K+K KIRNBAUER

Vineyard K+K Kirnbauer is a family business where the passion for wine has been passed on from generation to generation. Overlooking the beautiful landscape of the Burgenland on the eastern border of Austria, it feels like the love for winemaking even lingers in the crisp air. The unique microclimate, the heavy soils and 300 days of sunshine every year, create the perfect environment for viticulture. For centuries, this fertile land has brought prosperity to its people and to ensure that it stays that way, the Kirnbauer family works hand in hand with nature. “Our success is due to following a clear philosophy: We aim to handle the grape as little as possible during its journey from 34  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

the vine into the bottle in order to really bring out the full potential of the terroir,” says vintner Markus Kirnbauer. “We use a processing system that operates on three levels. This enables the must to naturally flow into the fermentation tanks and later on for the new wine to get from there into the barrel cellar.” The process is temperature-controlled, which enables the vintner to produce dense yet elegant and delicate wines. But it is not just modern technology that helps produce these liquid treats.“We also believe in special vibrations,” Kirnbauer smiles. “That is why a few times a day we play some carefully selected relaxing music in the barrel cellar so the wine is ageing with a Pannonian soundscape.”

Merging state-of-the-art technology with traditional methods is a key factor at K+K Kirnbauer. Every grape is handpicked and more than 20 people work in the vineyard during harvest time. Additionally, Kirnbauer uses a visual grape-sorting system: “The machine takes a picture of every single grape and compares it with a setpoint fixed. If a grape does not fit the requirements it is discarded via air jet. That way we have more people to handpick the grapes in the vineyard.” Although the most commonly produced wine of the Burgenland region is the Blaufränkisch, also known as Lemberger, at vineyard Kirnbauer everything revolves around the cuvée wines. Above all stands their prestigious red wine Das Phantom, which has become one of the most famous red wines of Austria. Its success story started in 1987 and marked the beginning of the Austrian cuvée wine culture. Over the past years, it gained a real cult following and today it is safe to say that Das Phantom has written wine history.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

It is a full-bodied, deep garnet red marriage of Lemberger, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The nose features a cranberry aroma and fine roasting flavours of the barrel with a delicate blackcurrant touch on the palate and a long finish.

wine tastings.” The Forever is a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc that received its name due to its length and excellent ageing potential.

To give Das Phantom the media attention it deserves, each new vintage is presented with a story that is told and captured in an elaborately designed photo campaign. This highlights the almost mysterious character of the wine and adds a very personal touch to it.

It should come as no surprise that many wines produced by the Kirnbauer family have received well-known awards and prestigious mentions. For example, their Blaufränkisch Goldberg climbed to the top spot in the first-class mono-varietal red wine category of the famous Decanter magazine.

“We also created a little phantom with our K+K Cuvée from big barrels,” Kirnbauer adds. “However, the cuvée wine Forever is our most precious gem. It always guarantees top marks at international premium

To ensure that the vineyard will flourish for many years and new generations of vintners to come, sustainability is everything for Kirnbauer. “Our concept goes far beyond just being organic,” says Kirnbauer.

Markus Kirnbauer.

“We did not just stop using herbicides and insecticides, but we also make sure we use our tractors as little as possible to reduce the CO2 emissions. We invest in modern technology to save energy and fuel. Our electricity comes from our own photovoltaic facility and from renewable hydropower.” The vineyard is officially certified as sustainable and all wines are vegan. When the whole Kirnbauer family pitches in during grape harvest and readily helps to make these wines of international acclaim, the vineyard is buzzing with a traditional family flair. The passion for creating pure joy in a bottle never ceases here and maybe it is simply in their genes – to the great delight of all wine connoisseurs.

Irmgard and Walter.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  35

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

The European Winery of the Year Pfaffl is the first Austrian winery to receive this prestigious award. Anyone who has a bottle with the white rhombus-shaped label in their shopping bag knows that they can expect something special. Pfaffl wines have brought people pleasure for generations – and not just Pfaffl aficionados, but the vintners themselves. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  |  PHOTOS: WEINGUT R&A PFAFFL

According to their own declaration, the Pfaffls thoroughly enjoy what they do. If you have the chance to feel their energy and see everything that they have accomplished, you certainly believe it. We speak in the plural because, as is so often the case, the Pfaffls’ success has many faces. Their story is about family unity – a family that really gets along, and not just at Christmas dinner. Everyone takes on a specific role and enjoys fulfilling it. Roman Josef Pfaffl 36  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

is responsible for the wines and has the final word in the cellar, his father Roman Pfaffl applies his experience and intuition in the vineyard, sister Heidemarie Fischer takes charge of marketing and sales and mother Adelheid Pfaffl makes the winery a cheerful home and looks after the next family generation. There is certainly plenty for everyone to do. The family enterprise has grown to

encompass 110 vineyard hectares and distributes wine to 30 countries around the world. “This is only possible, because we have such a fantastic team,” says Roman Josef and is pleased that many of his employees have worked at the winery for decades. Cumulative know-how is essential; the Pfaffl vineyards are scattered in ten different wine villages in the southern Weinviertel and a few vineyards are even in neighbouring Vienna. Many different soils and different microclimates mean that there is also great diversity in the grape varieties.“We all love this diversity. It makes our work even more interesting. We aim to show the influence the individual vineyards have on our wines,” explains Roman and by the happy gleam

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

in his eyes, you can tell just how much he truly enjoys it. Grüner Veltliner alone comes in five different single-vineyard variations. Each is a precisely chiselled expression of its origin, ranging from crisp and spicy to powerful and complex. Despite this, Grüner Veltliner is not the only variety with the Pfaffl logo. Among the most highly acclaimed Pfaffl wines are also Riesling, Chardonnay, Zweigelt, St. Laurent and the powerful red wine blends ‘Excellent Reserve’ and ‘Heidrom Grand Reserve’. Their versatility and great dedication to Grüner Veltliner have brought the Pfaffls the incredible title European Winery of the Year 2016 at the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards. “This is the Oscars of the wine business,” exclaims Philippe Carrie from Palm Bay International wine importers. Indeed, the gala that took place on 30 January 2017 in the glamorous Nobu Eden Roc Hotel certainly lived up to those standards. The renowned Wine Enthusiast

magazine hosted the Wine Star Awards where Hollywood’s top stars like to go on vacation. The great names of the American wine branch appeared in evening gowns and tuxedos. 15 Wine Star Awards were given; among the categories were Importer of the Year, Sommelier of the Year, New World Winery of the Year, and American Winery of the Year. For the first time in its 17-year history, an award went to Austria. Roman Josef Pfaffl and his sister Heidemarie Fischer were honoured to accept the European Winery of the Year award. Sybil Strum, CEO of Wine Enthusiast, highlighted Weingut Pfaffl’s accomplishments for Grüner Veltliner and for the Weinviertel region during her speech as she gave the prestigious trophy. Decisive for the accolade was the outstanding performance of the Pfaffl wines at tastings over numerous years, the wide availability of the wines, the pioneering work for Grüner Veltliner, and the fact that a broad assortment spectrum, from elite wines to fruity everyday wines, are offered.“We are thrilled to wave our country’s flag high,” states the vintner.

Pfaffl wines can be found in several Heinemann Airport Shops as well as good wine shops in many countries of the world.

Weingut R&A Pfaffl Schulgasse 21. A-2100 Stetten Phone: +43-2262-673423 Fax: +43-2262-673423-21 Mail: Web:

Photo: © Mark Tomaras Photography

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  37

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017 Doris and Leopold Sutter with grapes.

Panorama of Sutter vineyard.

Sutter vineyard.

Balancing tradition and sophistication The work and success of Doris and Leopold Sutter is closely related to the natural management of their vineyards and the wines’ careful maturing process. Their wine is characterised by careful pruning, controlled foliage, preservation of the vines, water-saving soil treatment and gentle manual work.

Portugieser, Blauer Burgunder, Blauburger and Blauer Zweigelt. The business exports its wines to Thailand and has many partners in Austria (HoReCa area, wine shops and private end customers).


The assortment of Doris and Leopold Sutter is characterised above all by their Veltliner variety: Grüner Veltliner, Roter Veltliner and Frühroter Veltliner. All Veltliner grapes are grown and harvested from lime-rich soils, making the wines rich in minerals and its taste mature. The traditional Roter Veltliner with its fine spicy bouquet is rare in Austria, and the Sutter vineyard plays an important role in cultivating it. The Frühroter Veltliner is recognisable by its young, vibrant aroma, which is reminiscent of subtle honey and flowers. The classic Grüner Veltliner is available in five different styles

warm days and cool nights - and the resourceful lime soils, are conditions that allow for great grapes to grow.

Perfect natural environment

Regional and worldwide focus

The Sutter’s vineyard produces more than 200,000 bottles per year. Located in Hohenwarth, the gateway to Austria’s wine region, the winery is about one hour northwest of Vienna. The special climate,

Their red and white wines are offered in three categories: Estate wines (uncomplicated and fresh), village wines (classic and puristic) and single wineyard wines. Other grape varieties are Riesling, Rivaner, Blauer

38  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

In their wine cellar, the Sutters interfere as little as possible in the winemaking process. Their philosophy is that each wine should develop individually, transport its origin and thus have an individual character. Stored in either steel tanks or wooden barrels, the naturally tempered cellar is between eight and ten degrees in both the summer and winter, providing the ideal environment for the wines to rest and mature in the bottle.

“This year, we are participating in the Sommelier EM as a partner-winery and we are particularly pleased to present our wines. Much like our 2015 wines, the 2016 vintage is again top quality and we are very grateful for this true gift of nature,” states Doris Sutter. Doris and Leopold Sutter.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

Klein, Marchesani and Körner from vineyard Dürnberg.

Three friends, one vineyard Nestled in the famous wine region of Falkenstein, vineyard Dürnberg is the proud home to one of Austrian’s favourite: the fresh and spicy white wine Grüner Veltliner. With a passion for superb wines, childhood friends Christoph Körner, Matthias Marchesani and Georg Klein know how to nurture and unfold the true potential of their grapes. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: DÜRNBERG

The foundations for the 60-hectare vineyard Dürnberg were laid in 1988, when Christoph Körner’s grandmother gave him her own wine garden and cellar as a present. Having grown up in the heart of a wine region and getting to know his grandparent’s winery as a child, Körner has always been fascinated by winemaking. Although it did start out as a hobby, it soon became obvious that Körner`s vocation was indeed to be a vintner. His old friends Matthias Marchesani and Georg Klein were part of Körner’s adventure right from the start and it was only a matter of time until they properly came on board to take over marketing, design and admin. This allowed Körner to fully focus on producing premium wines and, with this powerhouse team, Dürnberg quickly gained a

great international reputation. “Today our vineyard is one of the biggest of its region and our wines can be found on the menus of top restaurants in over 20 countries,” Körner says with a warm smile. The regional classic Grüner Veltliner, with its stimulating character, plays the lead role at Dürnberg. Körner adds: “Aside from Grüner Veltliner, we have always endeavoured to keep other traditional grape varieties alive at Dürnberg, such as the Burgundy grapes.”Riesling and the autochthonous red wines Zweigelt and St. Laurent are also part of Dürnberg’s range.

Sustainable management of the vineyard is of upmost importance for Körner. From reducing CO2 emissions to using renewable energies, Dürnberg is a frontrunner for going green. “Together with some colleagues, we convinced every vintner in our valley to contractually give up using any insecticides,”Körner explains. Vineyard Dürnberg welcomes guests for wine tastings served with a variety of delicious culinary delights from cheese to chocolate. Opening times, how to book events and where to purchase the wines can be found on their website. There are many factors that contribute to producing outstanding wines, such as the vintner’s skills, the chalky soil and right climate. But what makes Dürnberg truly special is an extra ingredient called friendship.

The wine region of Falkenstein.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  39

Wine family Malat.

Weingut Malat:

Europe’s best Riesling The Malat family wine estate looks back at almost 300 years of fine winemaking and ten generations of vintners. Weingut Malat received the prestigious award Best European Riesling 2016 for their Riesling Silberbichl 2010, a fitting testimony for centuries of quality winemaking.

“As a vintner you are a farmer, a geologist, an oenologist, the cellar master, a businessman, a manager and a salesperson all at once,” he explains enthusiastically.


For him, it is a privilege to combine so many roles: “It is pretty cool to stand in front of a crowd of sommeliers in Tokyo who cannot wait to hear more about my wines. We taste them together and I explain every step of the winemaking process from planting the vine right up to the current tasting. And in every one of those steps it is possible to express your own philosophy. I find that very inspiring.”

The Malat wine estate sits in the valley of Kremstal in Lower Austria, just an hour outside of Vienna. The area features ideal conditions for viticulture due to the mild climate and the Danube flowing through, providing a cooling effect in summer and a warming effect in winter. The remarkably different soil properties such as loess, gravel and primary rock allow for a large diversity of varieties to grow extremely well here.

hand. Michael Malat is its current vintner and he has never had any doubts about following in his father’s footsteps.

The viticultural heritage is visible throughout this lush green region, but you will find it particularly apparent at the Malat wine estate. Founded in 1722, the winery has been family-run for ten generations and the whole family still works hand in

That it also requires a great deal of commitment and ambition to successfully compete in the international market goes without saying. Time to put his feet up is sparse for Malat as his vintner duties involve a variety of different tasks.

40  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

“Of course, there is a certain kind of pressure when the line of succession spans over centuries,” says Malat. “But I always knew I wanted to take over. I think the determination and passion are essential in order to make premium wines.”

The grape varieties typical of the region are Riesling and Green Veltliner. They are also Malat’s main players in his 50-hectare vineyards in Kremstal and the Wachau valley. He explains that both varieties have fundamentally different needs, yet they equally thrive in the versatile terroir of the Danube area.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

All of the Malat wines are exclusively made from his grapes, which are all grown in the specific single vineyard layers such as Höhlgraben, Gottschelle, Steinbühel or Silberbichl to name but a few. “I want to transfer the typical characteristics of the terroir into the wine as much as possible,” says Malat.“There is no room for compromise in the vineyards or in the wine cellar.” In order to avoid any distortion of the typical features of the terroir, Malat refrains from watering the vineyards and only processes healthy grapes without botrytis. Instead of using cultivated pure yeast, he counts on spontaneous fermentation with the natural yeast of the grapes. Quality over quantity is the true motto here. With just 250,000 bottles a year, Malat keeps each vintage deliberately small to ensure world-class wines that

are elegant, crisp and delicate with a fine structure; never opulent or overpowering. His 2010 Riesling Ried Silberbichl 1ÖTW Erste Lage Kremstal Reserve received the award for Best European Riesling 2016 at the biggest international Riesling contest. A panel of 100 experts selected Malat’s liquid treasure from around 2,600 wines, which were submitted from 14 countries and three different continents; an impressive achievement.“2010 was one of my favourite vintages right from the beginning,” Malat smiles. He probably learned a thing or two from his father Gerald, who was the first Austrian vintner to start pressing vintner’s sparkling wine in 1976. The Malat Brut and Malat Rosé are traditionally made using bottle fermentation and they are carefully shaken by hand. Aside from the

famous stars, Riesling and Green Veltliner, the winery also produces outstanding burgundy varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc und Pinot Noir. It is a joy to hear Malat talk about his wines with such genuine dedication. Not only does it make you very thirsty, but it also evokes a longing to go visit this special place. Luckily, the Malat family has recently opened an exquisite boutique hotel at the estate. Guests can wake up to a wonderful view of the majestic Benedictine monastery ‘Stift Göttweig’ and take a deep breath of the aromatic air lingering over the soft green hills. What could be better than enjoying this beautiful scenery with a glass of Malat wine? Have you packed your bags yet?




Vintner Michael Malat.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  41

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

Barrique cellar.

Passion for cultivating time The winery of Heribert Bayer, In Signo Leonis, has been producing top-quality wines for over 20 years. Located in Austria’s charming Central Burgenland, the climate and region’s soil are perfect for cultivating Blaufränkisch grapes, which are at the heart of the family business’ excellent wines. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE  I  PHOTOS: HERIBERT BAYER

The natural and balanced environment, deep clay soils, Pannonian climate, and the Burgenland’s hilly landscape are the perfect backdrop for growing rich, aromatic and complex white and red wines. A region that is famous with culinary tourists and connoisseurs is home to some of the best and most traditional wineries in the country. The state-of-the-art winery of Heribert Bayer is characterised by his family’s love for unique wines and their dedication to resourceful growing and ageing methods. Giving wines time “At a time when life is very fast-paced, and products are made for quick consumption, we are eager to give our wines time. Time to grow, to mature and to age. All of our house wines age for at least 12 42  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

months in small, French oak barrels, and after this time the wine is bottled and may age even further,” explains Patrick Bayer, second-generation winemaker. The result of this time and labour are harmonious and complex white and red wines, which not only impress with an attractive primary fruit, but also with versatile secondary aromatics. The top wines of the house, which are named in Latin according to the family’s star signs, are well-known for unfolding their greatest pleasure in drinking after a few years of bottle ageing. Excellence since 1997 For more than two decades, the Austrian winery has been pursuing excellence in taste and quality of production. Their busi-

ness philosophy has been a success. What started out as Heribert Bayer’s small enterprise and his self-taught expertise, has grown into an expansive and acclaimed winery. Each year, since 1997, the Cuvée In Signo Leonis, has been among the top wines in Austria and beyond. Today, the Bayer’s family business produces white and red wines that have repeatedly won critical appraise among experts and customers. Heribert and Patrick Bayer share the vision for their winery and their passion to guarantee the quality, integrity and full character of their wines. Distinct Blaufränkisch grapes The Bayer’s crops are located in the picturesque village of Neckenmarkt. The rich soil and amiable climate of the valley help to grow grapes of character and distinction. The climate is also perfect for Blaufränkisch and its pronounced fruity, spicy and mature flavour. At least 300 sunshine days and only 600 millimetres of rainfall per year guarantee outstanding grape and wine quality.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

Wonderful examples of this mature and rich taste are the Bayer winery’s pure Blaufränkisch In Signo Sagittarii and the Blaufränkisch dominated cuvée in In Signo Leonis. Combined with their distinct ageing method, the resulting wine is full of taste. Naturally, the winery offers a wide variety of seasons to help customers shorten the waiting time for the perfect drop. Wide range of top wines In addition to the top wines In Signo Leonis, In Signo Sagittarii and In Signo Tauri, the wide range of wines caters to all tastes. If

you prefer a youthful and harmonious fruit, you will find the wine of your choice with the timeless series. The EX · QUI · SIT range, which is represented in the white wines Chardonnay and Weißburgunder, and the typical taste of red wines are characterised by Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Looking to the future, Patrick Bayer is very optimistic: “Only in the best years when both humidity and sunshine are in perfect harmony –are we blessed by nature with the basic prerequisites to create

Albatros, a superb Chardonnay. We have been successful with the 2015 vintage and are proudly looking forward to this wines’ great future. Unfortunately, the number of bottles is limited to about 1,000, and these bottles are probably sold fast. I recommend to make quick reservations!” Their very own online shop and distribution website lists detailed information and guidance on wine types, special seasons and all products.

Patrick Bayer, winemaker in second generation.

In Signo Leonis, Exquisite Albatros wine and Red Wine In Signo Sagittarii.

Neckenmarkter Hochberg.

Winery Heribert Bayer.


Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  43

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

Jacqueline Klein.

Made by a woman’s hand Business power, love, and passion for delicate wines describe the work of this Austrian female winemaker. Jacqueline Klein believes in what she does, and is the sole owner and woman behind her label. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE  I  PHOTOS: WINERY JACQUELINE KLEIN

The winery is located in Andau, the ‘hot pocket’ of Austria, less than a mile from Austria’s border with Hungary. In this region, growing and making excellent wines is as natural as the sunny climate and dry soils. Winegrowers have used the amiable climate for centuries, and winegrowing is a firm part of the local culture. New generation of female winemakers Klein explains that her choice of profession came to her naturally. “It has always been my dream to produce my own vision of wine. My parents cultivated 26 hectares of vineyards and produced wine. I was firmly determined to create my own product, and in 2010 I entered the winemaker scene,” states Klein. “My work highlights the nature-oriented care and processing of the vineyards according to the philosophy of the integrated 44  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

production, permanent quality management, control, gentle processing and vinification. Ultimately, my goal is to produce compact, expressive wines with a distinctive varietal character!” Excellent red and white wines The range of wines include predominantly red grapes (75 per cent): Zweigelt, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as white grapes (25 per cent): Welschriesling, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc und Chardonnay. The aromas and labels of the wines are diverse and colourful. Klein says that she loves the strong, deep aromatic taste of red wines matured in barrique barrels and takes pride in the fact that her products are characterised by this personal, hand-made approach and care. Her business philosophy is impressive: “I really think that quality wines are being

created in the vineyards. Every wine year is a challenge and at the same time a tremendous motivation to achieve my goals. To me, clean, precise and controlled working processes in the cellar are enormously important. My goal is that the typical character of the wines should be clearly recognisable and that all wines bear my handwriting: ‘made by a woman’s hand’,”states Klein. The winery works closely with partners in Austrian stores, gastronomy and private customers. The product range of both red and white wines, as well as arrangements for tasting tours (individual or groups) can be made via the website.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Wine Special 2017

Permanence and consistency Home of the winery Paul Lehrner is the well-known wine-growing town of Horitschon in the heart of the Blaufränkischland. TEXT & PHOTOS: WINERY PAUL LEHRNER E.U., TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

Having been a family business for generations, the winery is currently managed by Paul and Getrude Lehrner. They pursue the exact tradition that Paul Senior already lived: combining regionality and variety speciality with the highest quality. The wines reflect permanence and consistency and the considerably perceptible terroir distinguish them significantly. The vineyards around Horitschon com-

prise of around 27 hectares. Here, Paul Lehrner dedicates his primary attention to the Blaufränkisch grape variety as well as the almost solely native, local red wine varieties, which stand on the heavy, nutrient-rich clay soils. Paul Lehrner explains: “For us, perfect drinking pleasure means clean aromas and harmony on the one hand and on the other, it means character that finds

its expression through varietal-, vintageand territorial typicity, as well as through our personal signature and touch. We try to give exactly these characteristics to our wines in the best possible way to create a unique, matchless product.” Weingut Paul Lehrner e.U. Hauptstraße 56. A-7312 Horitschon T +43/664/4556999 F +43/2610/42171-24

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Experience Swiss Wines

Photo: © Switzerland Tourism; Siffert

Photo: © Switzerland Tourism; ST/


Unique characteristics and lovely tastes Switzerland’s wines are famous all over the world – not least due to their unique characteristics and great tastes. The country’s warm climate and perfect terrains have attracted wine-growing estates for hundreds of years. Find out where to go and what to try on your next trip to Switzerland on the following pages.

Photo: © Switzerland Tourism; Gerth

46  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Experience Swiss Wines

Walter Schär.

Rolf Eichenberger.

Personal and special

– wines in Bremgarten near Bern Small but fine – that is the wine store Ländli in Bremgarten near Bern. Here, the customer is truly king. Consultation, prices and quality are simply in tune and special delicacies from Mallorca are offered. The doors are also wide open for private tasting sessions. TEXT & PHOTOS: LÄNDLI WEINE, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

Wines from Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Austria and Argentina line the shelves of the beautifully furnished and decorated wine store in Bremgarten. The atmosphere is open and uncomplicated and the prices range from around eight to 50 francs per bottle. “Fair prices, great quality – that’s my motto,” says owner Walter Schär. Wines from Mallorca count towards the shop’s special delicacies: “In

this field, we probably offer the largest range in the greater area of Bern.” Walter Schär, trained at the Swiss Académie des Vins (Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits), knows what he is talking about. Rolf Eichenberger, another expert on the subject, is often present in the shop in Bremgarten. He has worked in the wine trade for around 40 years.“Most of our cus-

tomers come from Bern and its surrounding areas – private clients, as well as companies from the gastronomy industry,” explains Rolf Eichenberger. However, names from Geneva or Eastern Switzerland can also be found on the shop’s customer files as wine store Ländli’s delicacies can, of course, also be ordered via phone or the online shop. Those who seek to spend a couple of relaxing hours with friends and a glass of fine wine, will find open doors at the wine store Ländli. Private aperitifs, tasting sessions or other occasions – almost everything is possible. Walter Schär and Rolf Eichenberger constantly help their customers in word and deed. When and where Wine store Ländli at the Seftaustrasse 37 in Bremgarten near Bern is open: Tuesday to Friday: 2.30pm – 6.30pm Saturday: 10am – 2pm For more information or orders: Phone: 031 301 25 68 / Fax: 031 301 81 18

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  47

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Experience Swiss Wines

Exploring European wines in Basel’s historic centre With salami and cheese specialties combined with the taste of fantastic wines in the stunning historic ambience of an old shop, the Consum wine bar in the centre of Basel is the ideal place to meet with friends, chat and relax; just as people have done when the bar first opened – then as the first ever Konsum supermarket. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: CONSUM BASEL

Large windows, pillars and colourful old tiles on the floor still remind of the bar’s history and add to the great atmosphere. The bar’s cellars feature more than 100 different wines from all over Europe, with a changing assortment so that there is always a new taste to explore. Drinking more than

48  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

300 millilitres? The wine bar opens every bottle. Since there are often some half-full bottles left, guests also have the chance to taste something rare or exotic by the glass. Consum serves plates with salami and cheese specialities matching the wines. Accompanied by bread and baby potatoes,

the plates are very popular in the evenings. Especially for lunch people often enjoy a homemade sandwich or soup. Certain specialties guests can enjoy during dinner or lunch can be bought directly at the bar. During the summer months, the bar in the centre of Kleinbasel – the city’s part on the right bank of the Rhine – opens a summer terrace where people meet after work and tourists can take a short break while exploring the city. Consum is also the boutique hotel Krafft Basel’s hotel bar.

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Film Review


You Are Wanted Germany’s king of comedy films, Matthias Schweighöfer, has ventured out into a totally different direction and made an extremely dark thriller TV show about the dangers of our hyperconnected world. As leading actor, director and producer of Germany’s first original Amazon series You Are Wanted, Matthias lives through everyone’s worst nightmare – getting hacked. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  |  PHOTOS: AMAZON STUDIOS 2017, PANTALEON FILMS, WARNER BROS., STEPHAN RABOLD

Although I prefer to see Matthias Schweighöfer in uplifting comedies, this suspense-packed thriller series gets better and better with every episode. And with a second season confirmed, we can look forward to even more crime prime time made in Germany!

The story

**** 4 out of 5 stars

Berlin-based ‘ordinary guy’ Lukas Franke (Matthias Schweighöfer) leads the perfect life: he has a successful career as a hotel manager, a loving wife (Alexandra Maria Lara) and an adorable little son. But this all changes when Lukas downloads the attachment of a seemingly harmless email. As hackers now steal and very professionally manipulate his data, the police sternly believes that Lukas Franke is planning a terror attack. Moreover, even Lukas’ family and closest friends start to doubt his innocence. But instead of giving in to his fate, Lukas decides to fight back. Now, he pulls all the strings he can to find out who exactly is ruining his life. The location Just as Who am I: No system is safe (2014), another brilliantly made German hacker

movie, You Are Wanted is set in Germany’s capital Berlin. From 1961 to 1989, Berlin was a divided city. Only one half of Berlin’s population lived in the free West, while the other half was completely and utterly unfree. Today, it is the internet that can make people unfree, even ruin their lives. And, as You Are Wanted points out, this can happen to anyone.

You Are Wanted is now available for instant streaming on and!

The final verdict I must admit that the first two episodes didn’t exactly blow me away… But at the end of episode two, things suddenly got much more exciting. ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

This is when Lukas Franke decides to fight back and not let himself be the victim any longer. Moreover, the characters are becoming incredibly dynamic. The ones you thought were definitely the bad guys in the beginning may not be the bad guys after all... and vice versa.

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. On her blog she shares her best tips for film-inspired travel on a budget.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  49

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Museums of Switzerland

The Zentrum Paul Klee. Photo: © Flickr, Martin Frey


Cultural heritage and diversity all around Switzerland may be best known for its famous museums, such as the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. However, the country has far more to offer in this respect. From art or history museums to handicraft or transport exhibitions and much more, visitors can expect an abundance of museum experiences in Switzerland. Find out more on the following pages.

Photo: © Museum Für Musikautomaten

50  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Photo: © Amelie Blanc, MBAL

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Museums of Switzerland

From straw to gold A digital sample book, an interactive globe, and straw trimmings that are elegantly presented in drawers. The Strohmuseum im Park, located in Wohlen, tells the story of the Freiamt hat and plaiting industry with the means of a modern museum: versatile and interactive. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

No other region in the world produced such fine decorative hat trimmings during the 19th century as the Freiamt of Aargau. What started as a modest cottage industry at the end of the 18th century, developed over time into an export-orientated industry aimed at an international fashion market. Wohlen became a fashionable ‘Little Paris’. The Strohmuseum im Park exhibits a unique collection of straw trimmings, straw hats, tools and machines. The exhibition is presented in a villa that previously belonged to a factory owner, embedded in a park with spectacular trees. “Our visitors are impressed and fascinated by the creativity and spirit of our ancestors,” states curator Anna Hegi. The

museum can be visited individually or with a guide. Guided tours are also offered in English, French and Italian. To make your visit complete, take a leisurely stroll around the park and then enter the cafeteria where hot and cold beverages can be bought. During the summer months, homemade ice-cream is available from a local farm. Take your time to look around the museum shop which offers original gifts.

Hat model. Photo: Archiv Strohmuseum im Park Hours: Wed-Sat 2-5pm, Sun 12-5pm Strohmuseum im Park, Bünzstrasse 5, 5610 Wohlen AG, Switzerland

Hat with embellishments made out of small straw strings. Photo: Felix Wey

A time travel to the historic Langnau Situated in an exceptionally well-preserved house built in 1526, the regional museum Chüechlihus in Langnau is a must-see for anyone who heads to the Swiss valley of Emmental.

chase the new standard reference work Ceramics from Langnau, published by the Bernische Historische Museum.


As one of Switzerland’s largest existing museums with local history collections, the house offers unique exhibitions about past everyday life, the local trade history, regional personalities, and the crafts of the Emmental region.“We own one of the biggest and most significant collections of Langnau’s ceramics of the 18th and 19th century,” says Madeleine Ryser, museum director. “Throughout Switzerland, there are no other farmer’s ceramics of the same high quality crafted at this time.” In over 25 rooms, visitors can explore further exhibits on more than 20 topics. In 1930, the museum was established when a teacher decided to donate his collections of local history to the municipal-

ity of Langnau, an economic and cultural centre of the upper Emmental. “Since the collections continued to grow, the whole house was officially turned into a regional museum,” Ryser explains. Today, visitors from Switzerland, but also from all over the world, come to see the exhibits. In addition, the museum presents a temporary special exhibition each year. “In 2017, Langnau celebrates the right to hold markets, which was introduced 550 years ago, therefore we now have an exhibition featuring Emmental’s important trade goods,” Ryser notes. Due to this anniversary, there will also be a historic funfair with many attractions on the 20-21 September. There, visitors can also pur-

The Chüechlihus from 1526.

Langnau ceramics.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  51

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Museums of Switzerland

The museum’s foyer.

The Museum of Music Automatons.

The Britannic’s organ.

An extraordinary showcase of music history Nowadays, we are used to streaming music online, but some nostalgics might still buy vinyls. But how did people in the 18th century, for instance, listen to music? The Museum of Music Automatons in Switzerland takes one on a journey through an important part of music’s history. TEXT: INA FRANK  |  PHOTOS: MUSEUM FÜR MUSIKAUTOMATEN

After the museum’s founder Heinrich Weiss repaired a watch for the first time, he soon also developed an interest in music automatons and, by 1979, he had gathered up a large collection which was then opened to the public. Now the Museum of Music Automatons is a federal museum located in Seewen in the Canton of Solothurn. The museum offers one of the world’s largest collections of Swiss music boxes, disc music boxes, watches, clocks and jewellery, as well as other music automatons. Besides, the Museum of Music Automatons is one of the most popular getaway destinations in North-West Switzerland and in the Schwarzbubenland, as it also offers, next to the exhibitions, a varied annual programme with many cultural highlights. When asked about the relevance of music automatons in music’s history, Christoph Hänggi, the museum’s director, 52  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

explains: “In the early days, music automatons were the only possibility to listen to music if you were not a musician yourself.” The permanent exhibition can only be visited through a guided tour, which takes place from Tuesday to Sunday at 12.20pm, 2pm and 4pm During the one-hour walk, entitled ’Switzerland – the sound pioneers’ country’, music automatons are played and explained in detail. Different rooms can be discovered during the tour. In the foyer, one can marvel at three different organs, which play alternately every half hour. The Werkstattsaal (workshop hall) offers a glimpse behind the scenes of music automatons. In the Salon Bleu (blue lounge), enjoying the musical impressions is paramount as different music boxes are played to the guests. Finally, in the Tanzsaal (dancing hall), one can get to know music boxes that seem to have small, whole orchestras inside them.

Above that, the museum is proud to possess the organ of the Britannic. The Britannic – a sister ship of the Titanic – also sank and its organ was listed missing for a long time. A special guided tour lets one learn more about the history of this extraordinary instrument, which is then played for the visitors. Until the 1 October also runs the special exhibition Stella, Gloria und Edelweiss about sheet music from Switzerland. Find out more on the following website that is also available in English.

The Salon Bleu.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Museums of Switzerland

Pictures of an exhibition The Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Arts) in Le Locle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been an institution for art lovers since the late 19th century. Changing temporary high-profiled exhibitions and attractive programmes for children still make the museum an exceptionally inspirational place to visit today. “Our Musée des Beaux-Arts opened its doors to its first visitors in 1864 and in the beginning focused primarily on the display of artists from Neuchâtel and its surrounding regions. This focus widened in the 20th century and our visitors today have the chance to see 20th century and contemporary works such as photographs, prints, and art installations by grand international artists,“ says Nathalie Herschdorfer, director at Musée des Beaux-Arts. The painting The Reader by famous Swiss artist Albert Anker, for instance, is just one of the museum’s highlights (though not on display regularly). “Our exhibitions and displays speak to art lovers and art novices alike and, in order to broaden and challenge our visitors’ minds and senses, we often jointly exhibit and thus juxtapose art projects by inter-

national and Swiss or by established and emerging artists,”says Herschdorfer. Current exhibitions include display artists such as Sol LeWitt, Anni Albers, or Walls: Photographs by Ljubodrag Andric on display at MBAL. Photo: © Lucas Olivet, MBAL


Ljubodrag Andric. With upcoming exhibitions dedicated to photography in summer as well as a survey show of the print work by Georg Baselitz in fall, a visit to the Canton of Neuchâtel and the Musée des Beaux-Arts within the next months is particularly enticing. Ljubodrag Andric show at MBAL, China 9. Photo: © Amelie Blanc, MBAL

Noir Absolu: Engravings by Wolfgang Zät on display at MBAL. Photo: © Lucas Olivet, MBAL

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  53

Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Simon Böer

54  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Simon Böer

Simon Böer

Being a nomad German-born Simon Böer is best known for his leading role in Herzensbrecher, but also for several TV movies, Polizeiruf 110, Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, as well as numerous action series and thrillers. Discover Germany speaks to him about his career, why he calls himself a nomad and much more. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTO: URBAN RUTHS

Actor – is that your dream job or did other career aspirations exist? S. Böer: I’m really happy that I can make a living with acting. That’s definitely a lived dream. However, I wasn’t sure for a long time about what to become and saw the audition at the drama school more as an adventure. Only when I actually got accepted in Babelsberg, I started to really deal with acting. Of course, other dream jobs existed: rock star, king of Germany, astronaut and so on. I have always reached for the stars. But seriously, I would have probably landed at the police’s criminal investigation department – also a profession that would really appeal to me. What are the dark sides of acting, if there are any? S. Böer: Where there is light, there is also darkness. Not all actors work constantly and many have to fight hard to financially get by. Often, acting is also psychologically and physically tough work. After all, one is their own instrument and the symphony is never perfect. If you take it seriously, the aspiration for perfectionism might be nerve-racking at times. Furthermore, I don’t like to be separated from my wife and children. But this is the case in many other professions too. All in all, this is moaning at the highest level. Cologne, Bonn, Berlin. Where do you live and which city is your favourite? S. Böer: Good questions. We’re nomads. At the moment, we live in the region of

my hometown of Bonn - a family decision that came about through commuting between Berlin and Cologne where I lived for four years. Furthermore, the Rhineland is really beautiful and of course, I have a special connection with Bonn. Berlin, on the other hand, has its very own, enchanting appeal. We have lived there for many years and at the moment, I’m also shooting there. It’s not impossible that we will end up there again sometime. We don’t have one favourite place – rather several. At the moment, we enjoy the contrasting programme to the lively city life: complete deceleration in Bonn’s relaxing surroundings. You are primarily known as a heartbreaker on screen, but have also played in erotic thrillers such as Devotion, Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, action series and numerous thrillers. Which genre do you like the most? S. Böer: I don’t really have any preference. The great thing about acting is also that you’re able to slip into different roles, figures and situations. Which other profession offers that? What really matters for me, however, are good books, a visionary direction and a great team. Whether that is comedy, crime, drama or whatever is only significant for me in implementation. You are involved with the KINDERNOTHILFE.EV and the DKMS. Which topics are especially important to you?

S. Böer: I find it really important to campaign for others – especially when one is in such a lucky situation and is healthy. When a certain prominence in public also gets added, one should definitely use this. Children are our future and it’s a special honour for me to be able to call attention to the needs and worries of our youngest fellow human beings as an ambassador of the Kindernothilfe. Most important for me is also to support the DMKS and its fight against blood cancer. What else is planned for this year? What can we look forward to? S. Böer: At the moment, I am shooting a Christmas fairy tale series that will be broadcasted at the start of December this year. As the story primarily caters for children, it’s really much fun. I can’t speak about two other projects that will be implemented in the upcoming months yet, but they will be totally different. I also really appreciated the offer to record an audio book – a new area that I have always wanted to try. Finally, another series and a cinema film lie at my desk so it won’t get boring for me anytime soon. Finally, what wishes and dreams does Simon Böer still have? S. Böer: Of course, the most important thing is that my family stays healthy and happy. And I don’t even need to mention world peace. Career-wise, I would like to continue to meet great people with great projects without being pinpointed to a certain role type. Of course, further international production are a dream for every actor. Privately, I would love to go on a trip through the USA and experience my very own road movie, so to speak. Across the Route 66, potentially with a Harley, maybe with an Airstream. As said before – nomad. Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  55

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

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

A view of the city with St. Peter to the left.

Regensburg UNESCO world heritage in the centre of Europe Is there a place quite like Regensburg? Of course not. Regensburg is a sensation. It is young, but full of history, garnished with an Italian flavour and placed right in the centre of Europe. Then there are the sights, such as the wellknown cathedral St. Peter, the stony bridge. Nowadays, Regensburg is far from being an insider’s tip, as it was named an UNESCO world heritage city in 2006. But secrets are lurking everywhere, are whispering in the alleys and revealing their magic to each new visitor. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: REGENSBURG TOURISMUS GMBH / AGENTUR FOUAD VOLLMER

Granted, when you look at Germany as a whole, Regensburg may not be located at the heart of it. However, taking a European perspective, one quickly realises that visiting Regensburg comes naturally when crossing Europe. Munich, Frankfurt and Prague form a web around the lively city and even long-distance bicycle riders 56  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

will roll through it, as it is a junction for the EuroVelo6 (Nantes, France to Constanta, Romania), the Donau bicycle path (Donaueschingen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary) and many more. It is not only the bicycle routes that herald Regensburg’s international appeal. There

is a distinct Italian feel to the city’s architecture, as well as its way of life. Citizens of Regensburg are embracing summer full on. Life on the streets is vibrant and resembles the active southern European metropolises. Street festivals are ubiquitous in everybody’s calendars and the opportunities for them are diverse. Jazz, jubilees and traditions make for a full plate of attractive activities. Modern life meets historic backdrop If you would like to experience Regensburg’s unique sense of life forthrightly, there is no better starting point than the Tourist Information in the old town hall. Here you begin with a guided city tour, which will take you around what is called the

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

‘medieval wonder of Germany’. With your guide, you will peek behind the curtain of the city and get to know its many hidden treasures, from picturesque old buildings and alleys, to oblique backyards and historical tales that are at times moving, at times funny. A one-and-a-half-hour-long tour is the perfect entry to a dynamic city and the origins of its modern feel. The tour is also useful in getting an overview of the enormous culinary diversity that the city offers. As locals like to go out and enjoy nice company, a pronounced restaurant scene has flourished. In Regensburg, everybody will get one’s taste served. There are breweries and beer gardens, historic music bars, cafés and renowned restaurants for international specialities. Naturally, the local cuisine does not fall short. Visitors should find the time to taste ‘Sechs auf Kraut’ (six bratwursts on

Interior of cathedral St Peter.

Relaxing at the Donau.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  57

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

kraut) and ‘Waller vom Rost’ (Waller from the grill) accompanied by a wonderful glass of Regensburg wine. A city for city lovers

Regensburg is known for its culinary delights.

A boys’ choir: Regensburg cathedral sparrows.

Panorama view of Donau and city.

City lovers adore the diversity of a modern metropolis, but they also like the intimacy that a place like Regensburg can provide. In Regensburg, they fall in love; in love with the oldtown, the contorted streets and the ancient monuments originating from the Romans and medieval times. One of these is the 308-metre-wide landmark stone bridge, the oldest German brick built bridge. It was built in 1135 and with its age is a perfect symbol for the city at large. Further historic landmarks include the cathedral St. Peter. Built in the tradition of the French gothic art of construction it is the only example of such a building east of the Rhine. In the Regensburg old town, one will find some 1,000 heritage buildings, making for a density and wealth that exceeds any other city in Northern Europe. Nowadays, many of the old buildings are inhibited by modern business and in that way are sustainably preserved for the future, while expressing an exciting cultural dynamic and lifestyle. As a city lover, one is also interested in a story. Stories of the city as a whole and the little stories and tales that have had an impact on the town. Regensburg holds a special place in many historic developments. In 2017, the city is celebrating 500 years of reformation. An early adopter of Martin Luther’s theses, much of Regensburg’s past has been influenced by the decision to profess to the reformatory ideas. Throughout the year, many events remind of this decision. Exhibitions and concerts bring various cultural institutions together and make for an extensive programming, including the main exhibition Michael Ostendorfer and the Reformation in Regensburg. Culture is the key Culturally, Regensburg aims to play itself into your heart. Events are diverse, omnipresent throughout the year and exhilarated by the city’s unique atmosphere and feel. Musically, the city is known for the Bavarian Jazz weekend, the days of old music and the cathedral organ concerts.

58  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

It is also home of the oldest boys’ choir in the world, the Regensburg cathedral sparrows, who can look back on a 1,000-year tradition. Drama and humour are guaranteed when it comes to the Thurn and Taxis castle festival, a great highlight under the patronage of princess Gloria von Thurn and Taxis. For 2018, the culture calendar will be expanded with a new venue, the Museum of Bavarian History. Needless to say, the new museum, that is opened in conjunction with the 200-year anniversary of the Bavarian constitution will be in great company. Look no further than the stage driver museum to experience culture and tradition in its purest form. Dedicated to brand Bavaria, the forthcoming new exhibition will dive deep into what Bavaria means today and has entailed over the years. In part, it is a time travel voyage back to the Roman roots of the state, from which the exhibition, based on Regensburg monuments, moves along into the present.

Defining moments are presented with state-of-the-art technology, like 3D panoramic and extensive stage productions. In total, the Museum of Bavarian History and its online portal, the Bavariathek, are about the comprehensive presentation of history, both regarding the larger political contexts and the smaller parts of everyday life at the time.

history and culture. In that, the UNESCO world heritage city is revealing many of its secrets. But be sure of one thing: to unlock all the mysteries it bears, all the little whispers and stories, you must go and stop by yourself.

Beyond the city lines

Exclusive trip arrangement (two nights)

After spending your time in the city, visiting the sights, experiencing the Regensburg life, you may also want to go beyond the city lines. The city is surrounded by nature, waiting to be explored. Test your fitness in activities like mountain biking, climbing, rowing or hiking. Take a trip with your bicycle and explore the incredibly panoramic Donau bicycle path and the streams Naab or Laaber. Visiting Regensburg is far from a one-dimensional trip. Continuously evolving, Regensburg constantly manages to surprise and extrapolate new dimensions from its steep

Get to know the UNESCO world heritage Regensburg with the following highlights: - Two overnight stays with breakfast - Guided city tour - Voucher for a bratwurst in the historic Wurstkuchl - Two-course menu at the Regensburger Weißbräuhaus - Voucher for a surprise present at the Tourist Information - Voucher for a real Händlmaier mustard Price: 229 euros per person in a double room

The Ratskeller near the city hall square.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  59

Excelsior Suite 205, living room.


Treats and tradition Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne combines special treats and modern amenities with traditional ambiance. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: EXCELSIOR HOTEL ERNST

The privately owned, five-star grand hotel of the highest standards opened its doors for the first time more than 150 years ago. Ever since, it has blossomed as a much sought-after attraction within the industry. Set right in the city centre of Cologne, it is situated opposite the world heritage site of the imposing Cologne Cathedral, the most-visited building in Germany. The Excelsior Hotel Ernst is the only Cologne hotel carrying the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ title. With 195 staff for 137 rooms and suites, the highest service standards are guaranteed. 60  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

The hotel offers 12 individual event rooms, the ‘taku’ Michelin-star restaurant with modern East Asian cuisine, as well as the classic ‘Hanse Stube’ restaurant and, last but not least, the much regarded afternoon tea service, unmatched in Germany and inspired by star pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Despite its traditional background, you will experience modern service features at Excelsior Hotel Ernst, like for example the ‘SuitePad’, a digital concierge service with free internet access for all rooms and suites.

The Excelsior Hotel Ernst opened its doors on 16 May 1863 through Royal Court Restaurateur Carl Ernst, both builder and owner until he sold the then called Hotel Ernst eight years later. It was purchased in 1871 by Friedrich Kracht who had just fled from wartime Belgium. After his death, his wife and son Carl took over the hotel management only four years later. In 1890, one year after his marriage, his mother passed the sole management on to him and his sister Hermine Brinkhaus. However, Hermine Brinkhaus left the jointly founded GmbH (sales company) shortly afterwards and Carl Kracht remained as sole proprietor of the enterprise. To guarantee the utmost comfort to its guests from politics, royalty and industry, the ‘Hotel Ernst’ was sub-

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany

stantially enlarged in 1908 and reopened in 1910 as the five-star hotel ‘Excelsior Hotel Ernst’. The Latin word ‘excelsior’ in this case stands for both sublime and exclusive, two attributes still valid today, just like the traditional name. Having seen two re-openings with substantial restoration efforts after the Second World War, the house reached its former grandeur again in post-war times. During the ’80s, a new wing with additional 29 rooms was constructed and, in 1991, Charles Roulet, great grandson to Carl Kracht, became head of the hotel management board. Following the motto of ‘tradition and innovation’, the hotel subsequently underwent a thorough modernisation. Since 2012, Henning Matthiesen has continued on the same course as managing director. With a tradition of imposing names on their guest lists like German Emperor William I and, in post-war times, famous artists like Andy Warhol, the Excelsior


Hotel Ernst nowadays continues to accommodate illustrious international guests from the worlds of art, culture and politics, as well as business and leisure travellers. The hotel’s exclusive afternoon tea service springs from the cooperation with renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé, who claims:“Macarons only weigh a few grams, but that is enough to make your senses tremble with joy”. The afternoon tea at Excelsior Hotel Ernst has quickly become a sought-after treat, unmatched throughout Germany and bookable two days in advance. The picturesque atmosphere of the wintergarten puts guests in the right mood to indulging in the world famous macarons, a treat pleasing both eye and palate. An additional choice of sweet and savory classics includes scones with clotted cream and marmalade, sandwiches with smoked ham, salmon or cucumber, English tea cakes, mini brownies and, last but not least, a glass of champagne. As of spring this year, guests can also enjoy spe-

‘taku’ restaurant.

cial talks on European royal houses with their afternoon tea, an exclusive offer on selective dates, provided by royal expert Michael Begasse. A special asset of the Excelsior Hotel Ernst is the colourful programme for the little ones.“The well-being of our little guests is a subject close to our hearts”is a statement the hotel follows up on daily and no wishes are left unfulfilled when unique luxury meets fun and games. Kids stay for free up to the age of 12 in their parents’ room and enjoy special offers at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst such as a fun cooking class and many other playful approaches to the inner workings of a grand hotel. With its mix of tradition and charm and its manifold special highlights, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst provides just the right ambiance for a luxurious stay in the heart of Cologne, where every single guest can feel at home.

A house of tradition.

Double room Grand Deluxe 105.

Afternoon tea.

The wintergarten.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  61

H O L I D AY E X P E R I E N C E O F T H E M O N T H , G E R M A N Y

Experience more holidays Tropical temperatures, turquoise water, pure Caribbean flair on 365 days a year – the adventure and leisure paradise of the BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD in Titisee is known far beyond the Black Forest’s borders. With more than 700,000 annual guests, it has become a famous visitor magnet in the Upper Black Forest. In 2016, it even was voted Germany’s best water park by Parkscout’s audience award. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD

The GALAXY SCHWARZWALD promises free fall and pure action for the entire family. The indoor slide complex is one of a kind in Europe: more than 22 indoor and outdoor slides, including the world’s largest stainless steel halfpipe, as well as a spectacular wave pool, a sports pool, diving platforms and much more cater for unique swimming and sliding pleasure. For those who seek something a bit quieter and calm, the palm oasis and the wellness 62  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

oasis with saunas offer room for relaxation and can be accessed by everyone 16 years old and above. Here, one can experience special moments and pure indulgence in a Caribbean ambiance. With 180 real palm trees and a pool bar, the unique palm tree oasis promises a pure holiday feeling and offers visitors calmness and relaxation with 33-degree-warm water. In the exclusive sauna area, four themed saunas make guests sweat and regular, special infusions pamper the senses.

In order to also be able to offer visitors unforgettable holiday experiences in the future, the BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD is currently seeing comprehensive extension works. In the GALAXY SCHWARZWALD, a beautiful outside area, the GALAXY GARDEN with its exceptional, terraced beds for the entire family

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Holiday Experience of the Month, Germany

already emerged alongside the GALAXY RELAX family relaxation area. Furthermore, in 2017, Germany’s longest quadruple mat-sliding facility (GALAXY RACER) will get a roof and the PALAIS VITAL, an over 5,000-square-metre-large spa and vitality world will open. PALAIS VITAL – A wellness paradise of the superlative From the end of 2017 onwards, visitors can look forward to vitality and relaxation of the highest level in BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD’s new PALAIS VITAL. Discover Germany spoke to the new marketing director Christina Freund to find out more about what exactly the new spa world has to offer. She explains: “On over 4,000 square metres, an exclusive oasis of beauty, relaxation, health and calm currently emerges. The textile-free wellness area stretches across three levels in which guests will be able to experience relaxation and indulgence of the highest level in the

near future. More than seven themed event saunas, a steam bath, springs of health, a generous vitality pool, a restaurant with regional delicacies, as well as two pool bars with panoramic views invite for a top-class sauna experience. This exceptional atmosphere of well-being is topped with a view of the beautiful Black Forest and a pleasant massage.”

Christina Freund.

Freund adds: “Absolute highlights are the vitamin showers, a world innovation that has been developed by Josef Wund, architect, investor and owner of BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD, himself. During this exclusive beauty treatment, different vitamins get sprayed onto the skin in high concentration through extremely thin nozzles. With this world debut, the BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD offers an unprecedented beauty and health treatment which we are especially proud of.”

VISITORS CAN EXPECT: - Over 4,000 square metres of an exclusive feel-good atmosphere. - World innovation: the vitamin showers ‘springs of health’ offer a completely new experience in the field of beauty and health treatments. - Over 400 square metres of panoramic lagoons with a water temperature of 33 °C. - A number of exclusive vitality pools, as well as a champagne pool. - At least seven themed event saunas and a soothing steam bath. - Unique in the region: an exclusive LADIES ONLY area. - A heavenly oasis of relaxation with a tropical air temperature of 34 °C. - A vital, gastronomic offer. - Extensive panoramic lagoons with dreamlike indoor and outdoor pool bar. - Exclusive wellness zone with permanent massage offers. - Beautiful panoramic rooftop garden with a breath-taking view across the Black Forest. - Unique holiday atmosphere with real palm trees from the South Seas. - Large panoramic roof that can be opened during nice weather.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  63

Photo: © DarkReptile

Ready. Set. Go! Cars are a German’s best friend. You see them being washed in driveways on Saturdays and you see many classics out and about in the summer. Naturally, Germans are also interested in car racing. While the Formula 1 constantly features some big-name German drivers, we take a look at the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM - German Touring Car Masters), a championship series that originated in the 1980s and will kick off its new season on 5 May.

to the German Touring Car Championship (1984 – 1995) and to the short-lived International Touring Car Championship (1995 – 1996). After the latter, the brands looked for other opportunities. Some raced in European competitions, others in smaller scale German races.


Organised by the German association Internationale Tourenwagen Rennen (ITR), the DTM is a very specific racing series. It is a competition between so-called factory teams, meaning that the teams have their origins in the motor racing branches of brands. For the DTM, this structure currently translates into three brands, Audi, BMW and Mercedes, which are represented in the driver field. Of course, the driven cars can hardly be recognised as their street version counterparts. All the cars are prototypes, designed and built for the race 64  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

track and in compliance to the rules set by the ITR association. Starting-up When reading up on the history of the DTM, one actually has to start with its previous iteration, the German Racing Championship, which took place from 1972 to 1985. While fans were interested at the time, it was a bumpy road for the teams, as the expenses grew so strongly that the races were not feasible anymore. The same phenomenon happened

It was not until the late 1990s that manufacturers started building new prototypes for a racing series. During that period, behind the scenes, organisers were already in discussion about rules and regulations for a new championship. Finally, and in contrast to the previous versions, it was decided, that the new races should be driven with silhouette cars, racing car prototypes, which feature a touring car chassis. Furthermore, the designers were regulated to use standard parts for transmission, brakes and tyres to keep the cost low. From these changes, the current

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Ready. Set. Go! Germany’s DTM

DTM was born and in 2000 it was first raced. Bernd Schneider and Mercedes-Benz You cannot talk about the DTM without mentioning his name: Bernd Schneider. Those who are familiar with him worship his triumphs and those who are not should become aware of the man who went through the championship changes right there on the track. Schneider first won the championship in 1995 and, after the restart, four more wins would follow until 2006. He has won the most championship trophies and has, with 43, won more individual races than anybody else, has had more pole positions and more fastest laps than anybody and holds the second-most championship scores in DTM history. All of this he accomplished driving various Mercedes-Benz cars. No wonder Mercedes-Benz is leading the statistics with regard to brands. More Bernd Schneider in a classic car. Photo: © Cord Rodefeld

wins, more poles and more fast laps. Since the beginning, the manufacturer had great success in the series. However, it is important to note that Mercedes has participated in the DTM far more often than other brands. Audi and BMW, for example, have not been as omnipresent until recent years. The DTM in 2017 In 2017, 18 drivers from the three main brands will compete for the championship. It is an eclectic field, as this year’s pilots have won a combined 113 DTM races. Leading the pack are former champions Matthias Ekström and Marco Wittmann, who have both won the DTM twice, Wittman even last year. In 2017, the DTM comprises nine racing weekends. Yes, one has to call those weekends, because one course does not equal one race. Over the course of two

days, each track will be raced twice and each race precedes a qualifying. As tradition dictates, the season starts and finishes at the Hockenheim race track in Baden-Wurttemberg. From here, the DTM caravan moves to the Lausitzring near Berlin, before racing internationally in Budapest, back in Germany at the Norisring near Nuremberg, back abroad at the Moscow Raceway, in the Dutch Zandvoort, at the Nürburgring and at the Spielberg in Germany. Just mentioning this programme shows what the DTM has become during the last 17 years. It is an international racing circus where the races themselves are front and centre, but are accompanied by exciting supporting programmes. Concerts, parties, stunt shows and classic cars, a racing weekend organised by the DTM is so much more than just cars going around in circles.

Photo: © Russell Trow

Photo: © Frank Weber

Photo: © Frank Weber

Photo: © Supermac1961

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  65

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Design Offices GmbH

The event space.

The office area.

The co-working area.

The pioneers of ‘new work’ The world of working has been changing more rapidly now than ever before. ‘New work’ is the keyword, and the German company Design Offices is at the forefront of facilitating the work environment of tomorrow. Founded in 2008 by CEO Michael O. Schmutzer, the company is pioneering in the topic and has become the leading provider of innovative office solutions in Germany.

conversations, Design Offices emphasises communal experiences. Working at one of the locations is always an opportunity to network, exchange ideas and find new impulses for one’s own project.


The Design Offices’ offering includes a full first-rate service. From receptionists greeting your guests, to a postal service and a well-equipped office kitchen, the service leaves nothing to be desired and helps create the perfect environment for successful work.

Various components make up the modern office; people want to feel comfortable in it and they want to create and think in stimulating environments. Old concepts of working, old-fashioned offices and cubicles are not up to date anymore. Every job is more fun when you are working in motivating surroundings. Also, project work and flexibility become more and more important. Design Offices has observed these trends and, in conjunction with scientific investigations, has developed its concept of inspirational work environments. With 13 locations in Germany’s largest cities, Design Offices is one of the biggest serviced offices provider. Its locations are based on modern work and on principals

of focus, education, collaboration and socialising. You will find office spaces for concentrated working, co-working areas for a more communal experience, conference rooms for inspirational presentations, workshops and impressive event spaces for an exclusive dinner, a first-class event or a sunset at the bar. Design and functionality are the key factors in all spaces. With exclusive design equipment, defined concepts for light and acoustics, state-ofthe-art technology, air systems and surrounding infrastructure, Design Offices are the perfect places for modern work. But it is even more than that. Design Offices enable and inspire people by delivering flexibility. As ideas often originate in

The Design Offices conference room.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  67

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Construction, Building & Modernised Living

Photo: TIGER


The experts behind innovative buildings Ever wondered where to find effective sound insulation or who produces high-quality sliding doors? Whatever you need for equipping your new home or improving an existing office building, you can find on the following pages.

Photo: HAHN Lamellenfester

68  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Photo: Wolf Bavaria GmbH

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Construction, Building & Modernised Living

Building ventilation made easy Ventilation is much more than opening a window when air is subjectively experienced as bad. With ventilation, smells, warmth, CO2 and humidity are meant to be removed to foster one’s wellbeing. As soon as the development of the interior space is addressed, planners put much time and effort into the elaboration of an individual ventilation concept for their project. However, at this stage it is too late. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: HAHN LAMELLENFENSTER

Building ventilation already begins during the façade construction period – to be concise, while choosing suitable windows. With the use of louvre windows, planners regulate sophisticated building ventilation in the early design phase. The Stockstadt am Main-based company HAHN Lamellenfenster GmbH has played a pioneering role in this respective field since the 1950s. With such longstanding experience in innovative, natural ventilation systems, they are the right contact to tell us about the many advantages of louvre windows. “For example, louvre windows can help to reduce a building’s energy consumption. With the corresponding night-time cooling control, even air conditioning can become redundant,” explains Jennifer Neumann, managing director of HAHN Lamellenfenster GmbH. Additional advantages are safety, as louvre windows are integrated into burglary protection

on the inside; they can be easily cleaned and they combine natural ventilation with smoke extraction. Through connecting the windows to a building’s control system, the smoke detector opens the windows. Neumann adds: “It should also be noted that studies confirm that louvre windows realise an air exchange of almost 82 per cent in only a short period of time.”

Main image: Lufthansa Aviation Center, Frankfurt. Photo: WKM Weber Top left: Polipol, Diepenau. Photo: Cecilia Epkenhans-Hauer Left: Stiebel Eltron, Holzminden. Photo: Andreas Krukemeyer Bottom: Messe Düsseldorf (trade fair).

head to HAHN Lamellenfenster GmbH in Stockstadt am Main. Since the development of the world’s first double-glazed louvre window, the products of the ingenious family business have stood for innovation and quality for architects, building owners and window manufacturers alike. Today, they can be found in various buildings from glass structures and industrial buildings to kindergartens. HAHN Lamellen constantly develops new, future-oriented window variations, whether they are vertical, horizontal or slanting. “The customer need is our challenge as individual solutions are our daily ambition,”concludes Neumann.

Furthermore, due to their innovative design, louvre windows prevent accidents as window blades do not reach inside the room. It almost seems as if they were invisibly integrated into the façade as they allow an ideal use of space and are individually adaptable with their many window variations. Last but not least, natural ventilation does not need any energy use. “Louvre windows are thus smart and ecologically sensible,” smiles Neumann. So, if you want to bring your building up to date with natural ventilation systems, Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  69

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Construction, Building & Modernized Living

Ulrike and Jens-Christian Haake (with co-worker and engineer Martin Och).

A passion for innovation TIGER slide door systems stand for quality made in Germany. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: TIGER

Sliding doors have recently made quite a revival for modern living design. A German family business with a passion for innovation for four generations combines know-how with tradition in a way that has long gained international recognition. Ever evolving and with an eye on the latest in tech and design innovations, the company is not only well established but also a trendsetter, continuously setting new quality and comfort standards in their field of expertise for more than a hundred years. “What makes us special is the combination of longstanding tradition with the innovative power of a modern development en70  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

terprise,” says manager Ulrike Haake who represents the fourth Francksen generation. It all began with a little hardware store in Bremen back at the turn of the century, when the two business partners Hermann Francksen and Partner Hermann Kröger decided to found the Kröger & Francksentrading company. In 1908, the first patented slide door fittings were on the market. Renamed Hermann Francksen Baubeschläge in 1915, the company eventually began with the inhouse production of fittings under the brand name ‘Fortuna’. In 1928, the quickly growing company resettled in a different part of town where

it remains until today. A visit to the 1929 Leipzig sample fair followed. In 1936, Hermann Francksen retired, passing on the management to his daughter Erna and her husband, the chemist Dr. Hugo Schramm. With the prospering ‘Wirtschaftswunder’ years of the post-war period, a newly invented, continuous or ‘endless’ sliding door system was soon patented by Francksen under the brand name TIGER. During the ‘60s, another new invention, the ceiling-fixed sliding system for hospitals became another bestseller for the firm. Yet a new chapter began in 1964, with the takeover of the third generation, namely engineer Hartmut Schramm. A systematic modernisation of the production process coincided with new inventions for slide

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Construction, Building & Modernised Living

door and gate fittings as well as multitrack rails, popular even today for the use in production plants. Together with his wife Ursel Schramm, the engineer safely led the company through to the ‘80s when slide door fittings experienced a first big revival. The ‘ALU 80’ model (also called ‘the awesome roll’) stood for a design revolution. With its unmatched easy operation, it catapulted the company to the top of the market. The self-cleaning merits of the innovative design with angled sliding surfaces are used until today. The ‘ALU 80’ thus literally became the ‘mother model of inventions’ for Francksen. Continuously enhanced through more inventions as for example deep groove ball

bearings and electrically powered operation, the quality of TIGER products has long gained international recognition and stands as a globally recognised synonym for ‘quality made in Germany’. Current manager Ulrike Haake (neé Schramm) represents the fourth generation of the business and runs the company together with her husband, economist Jens-Christian Haake. Under their management, recent extensions of the production facilities have created even more space for invention and international recognition. “Today we are better than ever,” says Ulrike Haake. “And our clients can be rest assured of the fact that we will continuously further develop our products with our eyes and ears open for their needs.”


ALU 100 Glass Synchrone.

Ulrike Haake points out that the firm’s policy of individual customer support is being applied on both a national and international level. Client-specific solutions are as important at TIGER as the implementation of special and tailored fittings and a high flexibility in meeting follow-up requests. “TIGER draws customers from all over the world.” she says. “The range includes builders, carpenters as well as do-it-yourself enthusiasts through to retail and wholesale clients.” The TIGER product range consists of multifunctional aluminium and stainless steel fittings for both glass and wooden slide doors. If standard or deluxe version, synchronous or multi-telescope design, elecT-357 fused.

2x Telescope system.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  71

3x Telescope ALU.

tronically operated system or softclose option, TIGER stands for both innovation and quality. Heavy steel and stainless steel gate fittings carrying up to 1,000 kilogrammes of weight are also available with TIGER. To ensure the constantly high product standards, frequent production control is a given with the Francksen company, as well as meeting the international quality management systems requirements (ISO 9001:2008). Inhouse test series apply significantly higher standards than standard market requirements. All components are being thoroughly examined through staff members with a critical eye before going into sale. The self-imposed demands at the company are high, which also applies to the aesthetics. From exclusive minimalist metal designs to coated and anodised colour options, the range meets all current demands of the interiors market. 72  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017


The lately invented ‘Retro’ system, inspired by the very first TIGER fitting, unites charming barn door aesthetics with high technology. The burnished steel sliding hardware contains heavy load bearings and a pull-in mechanism. The doors can be fitted to the wall at variable distances between five and 20 millimetres. ‘Retro’ strikes the current nerve for a rustic industrial look combined with top modern technology and has raised much attention on the 2017 BAU fair in Munich. ‘Evolution 3’ is an aesthetic design solution for individual fittings. The recently launched model features a slimmed down version of its predecessors, with hidden joints. The damper can be positioned individually. The system carries door weights up to 80 kilogrammes and the slim rail is made of anodised aluminium with either

a silver or stainless steel surface. With the whole sliding technology hidden within the door, mounting is made easy. Following the motto of “All you need to do is walk through”, the ‘ALU NEO PRO ET3’ is an electrically powered TIGER model. The modernised version of the ‘ALU 100’ with a special low-energy and tear-free operating system moves the door almost noiselessly. Featuring obstacle detection and easily combined with motion sensors or hand-held radio transmitters, the comprehensive solution system also fits regulations for barrier-free construction. The company is especially proud of their ‘T-guide’ two-track ground rail innovation, making fittings and adjustments far easier, especially for doors in wall pockets. An identical base plate solution for both glass

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Construction, Building & Modernised Living

and wooden doors allow for maximum variability. Of significant advantage is also the ‘T365’ combi-profile with integrated wall bracket. Easy to mount, it guarantees protection against bending caused by uneven wall surfaces. Height adjustment of the designed fittings and the invention of a sliding damper/stopper combination for post-installing into wall pockets form the latest challenges for the company. The Francksen, aka TIGER, company continuously develops and constructs modern sliding doors for the upper market segment. Applying high demands to the whole production process, the firm only works with high-quality components and materials, resulting in the production of quality products of highest technical and aesthetic standards. “Not without pride,” states Ulrike Haake.“We guarantee robust, long-lasting and flexible products that slide easily and quietly – just like a tiger!”

Cart with gate fittings.

ALU 80 Synchron.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  73

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Construction, Building & Modernised Living

Michael Wolf.

Insulating buildings using sustainable materials The atmosphere and comfort of living spaces has a great deal to do with how soundproof and well-insulated a house or flat is. The Heilsbronn-based company Wolf Bavaria GmbH is a specialist for sustainable insulations using cardboard and natural wood fibres. It is no coincidence that the company’s logo is made up of two wolves; led by son and father, the company has changed from a regional specialist to a global player. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: WOLF BAVARIA GMBH

“According to the WHO [World Health Organisation], noise is the second-largest source of environmental pollution and this is why sound insulation is one of the most important factors in private homes, hospitals and hotels,” says Michael Wolf, who owns Wolf Bavaria GmbH together with his father. “Many people think that, as the offspring, I have taken over the company from my father, but actually it is the other way around.” It was a joint cooperation father and son started in 2004.“I have established the operative business until 2010, when my father joined the company’s management where he works until today,” 74  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Wolf tells about the company’s unique history. “In general, one can say we changed from managing a farm to becoming an international manufacturer for sustainable building materials with eight production sites worldwide.” Reducing noise – reducing stress Noise – or the protection against it – is an important health factor: “Our sense of hearing never lies dormant,” explains Michael Wolf.“We hear every single sound even when we are asleep and this can make us ill.” A heart attack is one of the most severe consequences.

“People should pay attention if and how clearly they, for example, hear the toilet flush or the radio and television through their walls. If sounds from the neighbours can be heard clearly it becomes apparent that the sound insulation is not sufficient,” explains Michael Wolf. Wolf Bavaria products tackle this problem: “Our product PhoneStar was developed especially for sound insolation in buildings and can be used for floor, ceiling and walls.” The PhoneStar panels for interior use are made from natural materials like sand and wood and a 15-millimetre-thick panel will gain up to 36 decibels airborne sound insulation. It is very easy to use and a perfect fit for existing buildings and constructions. It is also compatible with the PowerFloor underfloor heating system, a very slim, efficient and ultra-light technology with a height of only 20 to 30 millimetres. The PowerFloor underfloor heating system consists of dry construction elements and exclusive aluminium

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Construction, Building & Modernised Living

A better alternative to conventional soundproofing

structions are very thick. PhoneStar is different: “What we do instead is to use specific cardboard panels with a honeycomb structure that is filled with sand. Due to the heterogenic structure and the heavy yet loose filling with quartz sand we reach a very good airborne and footfall sound insulation.”

Systems like Wolf’s PhoneStar are a far better alternative to conventional building materials: “Normally very complex plasterboard constructions are put in front of walls,” says Michael Wolf about conventional methods the company has abandoned for newer and more innovative ways of creating sound and thermal insulation. The problem with these plasterboard constructions is that they only work to a certain amount – which means not very well – and people lose a great deal of space because plasterboard con-

Wolf Bavaria products have been used in private residential buildings but also for example for recording studios – proving their great quality when it comes to reducing disturbing sounds. PhoneStar has for instance been used in very different type of buildings: an atelier space on the top floor of a historic castle in North RhineWestphalia, for an apartment building in the city of Leipzig, for offices in Moscow or a school in Ansbach, Bavaria. The system for floor and walls has also been used

heat conduction plates that allow a very fast and very homogenous heat distribution, up to 150 times faster than cement coating. This not only heightens the overall comfort, but also reduces energy costs.

in eco building projects. Sustainability and natural materials play an important role when developing new ideas for sound and heat insulation. What is new for Wolf Bavaria GmbH is that they have also started to construct and produce surface heating systems from cardboard and soft wood fibre panels. “Consequently, we have become system manufacturer for floors i.e. screed subsidies, with a main focus on sustainable building from wood and sand,” says Michael Wolf about the newest developments and the company’s philosophy. Focusing on natural materials, Wolf Bavaria GmbH has great potential for the future – especially in the growing sector of sustainable and eco housing.

Wolf Bavaria’s building.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  75

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

The Gehry Buildings are named after their architect, world-famous Frank Gehry. Photo: © Shepard4711


From past to present to the future of German architecture It is not only the country of poets and thinkers; Germany is also the country of diverse and exciting architectural culture. As the art of building is always connected to the time it originates from, architecture in Germany can be seen as a marker of historic developments. In our special theme, we are taking a look at some of Germany’s most inspiring, current architectural creators. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

In Regensburg, history lives on through architecture. Photo: © Mariano Mantel

76  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

A leftover from the Romans, the Porta Nigra in Trier. Photo: © Daniel Mennerich

Like many other European countries, Germany’s outward appearance was first shaped by the Roman empire. All around the country one can find historic monuments that continuously spark interest. After the Roman Empire collapsed and the Roman people withdrew from Germania, architectural innovation came to a halt until Karl the Great built his cathedral in Aachen. Sacral buildings such as cathedrals and churches from medieval times, are still a common sight in German villages, towns and cities, many of which were initially created around these centrepieces and make for beautiful city centres. History and architectural history is, of course, defined by the different streams of thought and style - from Antiquity to the Gothic style, from Renaissance to Baroque, from Classicism to Modernism. German landscapes incorporate all of these styles.

Naturally, political history also leaves a mark, especially in recent memory of the 20th century such as the world wars, the splitting of post-war Germany and its reunification. Everything leaves a mark and everything transitions from present to past.

Unique architecture in Hamburg: the Elbphilharmonie. Photo: © Maxim Schulz

With the transformations of globalisation, architecture in itself has changed as well. Unimaginable international architectural careers have grown from the respective social changes. Important themes nowadays include deconstructivism, minimalism and functionalism. In context to the latter, sustainability has become a major factor for all new designs, showing that architecture is always in a dialogue with society at large. It is a dialogue worth having, as its themes resonate throughout our homes, work and public places and throughout our overall lives. Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  77

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

The ‘Oskar Residence’.

Devoted to urban living Regarding both form and content, the reference framework of Stefan Forster Architekten is the ever-evolving urban landscape of the European city. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: LISA FARKAS

Founded in Darmstadt in 1989, the office has been situated in the city of Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s financial capital, since 1995. With a thriving team counting more than 50 co-workers “with a burning passion for architecture”, the office has long established its focus on urban residential construction for major cities. Architect Stefan Forster states: “Architecture can only be sustainable by providing a contribution to the surroundings. Here, residential housing acts as the key element and concerns all social layers.” Beginning with the analysis of a site and 78  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

its history, Stefan Forster Architekten seek user-friendly solutions, while constantly revaluing the boundaries between individual, house community and urban society. Flexible layouts, view-protected outdoor spaces and the creation of spacious vestibules mark the unique quality of Stefan Forster Architekten as well as the usage of robust materials and state-of-the-art construction and house technology. Promoting communication between inhabitants while ensuring enough private space, the team believes in creating “individual yet connected housing within the urban context”.

Stefan Forster Architekten consistently pursue their goal of further evolving the cityscape through an interplay between research and applied theory. For the ‘Oskar Residence’, situated by the banks of the river Main, a variety of quality criteria was met by the office, resulting in winning both first price and a contract. The new residential complex connects with Germany’s urban building traditions of the ‘20s, bowing to the permanent further development of residential housing typology. A mix of private investors and developers, housing companies and cooperatives form the financing clientele. The spectrum therefore ranges from high-end apartments to subsidised rental flats. The Stefan Forster plan won the competition for the ‘Oskar Residence’ due to its

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

high-quality design of the site’s corner situation, set between Oskar-von-MillerStraße and Flößerbrücke. The jury especially honored the high-value, structured façade solution as well as the overall layout concept of two connected building sections. Fitting aesthetically into the context of the borough, the design shows an eight-storey residential block along the road with space for 30 condominiums connected to a ten-storey boarding house towards the crossing point. The latter, a prominent ‘tower’ building is 32 metres in height and houses 60 apartments. It marks the corner situation and as such stresses the important bridgehead. All condominiums and apartments are provided with individual loggias and both building sections feature a brick shell, in two different shades respectively. The darker shade of the boarding house façade was chosen as a counterpoint to the neighbouring residential building to the south. “The dark brick shell of the tower provides it with a prominent role,” says Stefan Forster, “Together with the revitalising building of the

The ‘Oskar Residence’.

The ‘Oskar Residence’.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  79

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

The new city block bordering Adickesallee.

The new city block bordering Adickesallee.

former employment agency vis-à-vis, it marks the entrance to the east section like a gate and complements the broad layout of the Saatchi&Saatchi building as well as the twin towers of the European Central Bank in an almost baroque urban development triad.”

scape. The street facing, red-brick façade reminds of large-scale industrial buildings rather than traditional apartment houses. A broad central avant-corps underlines the construction symmetry while the back shows an alternating array of balconies as a playful contrast to the imposing front.

Another recently completed Stefan Forster project, a new student housing complex in Frankfurt’s Nordend area has already garnered much attention. Set on a plot of the combined size of three soccer fields in close vicinity to the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, a students’ home with 332 apartments was created complete with communal rooms, shop and an underground car park. The design of the U-shaped building is oriented on the surrounding structures. Forming a new city block bordering Adickesallee, the side sections are suitable for future annexes while the varying height of the corners, the highest being the east corner with nine floors, “react” visually to the surrounding urban

The Frankfurt Eulengasse residential buildings look like a merger between modernist and traditional German construction, showing a combination of white façades and pointed roofs. Again, loggias provide for privacy, a recurring theme with Stefan Forster Architekten. Feeling at home with guaranteed privacy is a key aspect for the architect who left his own provincial home at an early age and studied architecture in ‘80s Berlin where he quickly connected to the charm of classic urban block construction with its roots in the Wilhelminian ‘Gründerzeit’, as well as its modernist Bauhaus-related typology. The latter was underlined by a visit to Tel Aviv’s White City and in consequence,

80  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

both modernist bright façades as well as a generous application of high-value brick stone have found their way into Stefan Forster designs. The latest example of this dynamic yet grounded mix in style is the complex in Frankfurt’s Windeckstraße. In the prospering Frankfurt neighborhood around the European Central Bank tower, Stefan Forster architekten have recently realised a new residential building. The up-and-coming former working class area is situated close to the harbour and the Martin Elsaesser market hall from 1928. Set into this thriving borough, the new L-shaped building consists of 48 living units with a narrow line of front gardens. The balconies, strong reminders of Bauhaus aesthetics, add a streamlined yet organic outlook to the bright brick façade which features friendly wooden window profiles. The slightly recessing entrance area is both protected and enhanced by the dynamic design of the balconies. Despite its modernist appearance,

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

the building effortlessly harmonises with the surrounding ‘Gründerzeit’ architecture. Here, Stefan Forster Architekten again implement the aforementioned, bridging combination of aesthetics that marks their architectural language. Apart from constant award-winning recognition in Germany, Stefan Forster Architekten have won numerous awards on a national and international level, such as the Best Architects award, the European Urban Development Prize as well as the Sir Robert Matthew prize for residential building by the International Union of Architects (UIA). For 2017, Stefan Forster Architekten, at present counting 50 co-workers, will further expand. As the architect states: “Housing shortage is still a key challenge in prospering major cities and a central point of the debate around growth and affordable residential space. As a leading office of residential construction specialists in Germany, our work is more in demand than ever.”

Complex in Frankfurt’s Windeckstraße.

Eulengasse residential buildings.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  81

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Allude store in Kitzbühel. Photo: © Kilian Bishop

Inspiring architecture between user-friendliness and fairy tale The Düsseldorf-based architect Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven has a special approach to design. Influenced by nature and living environments, she creates spaces where people can feel at home, relaxed and safe. Since founding her own office for architecture and design in 1992 Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven has become an award-winning architect.

be formed for me to feel comfortable, in a good mood and inspired, an environment where I feel protected and secure.”


Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven has, for example, worked on various projects for Swarovski. With‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ for example, she created a 300-metrelong and ten-metre-high veil that stands like a modern, fairy tale-inspired hedge of roses in front of Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria. It turns the Swarovskistraße, the street named after the manufacturer, into a magic boulevard with changing colours, a playful display of light and shadows. During the day, the sunlight reflects on the veil’s surface, changes it when clouds are passing by, constantly glittering and glimmering. Seen from a different perspective the veil seems

“Ingenious is something that embodies the Zeitgeist and also has depth,” says Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven, the founder of the architectural office.“It is our philosophy to create spaces that function as energy sources, have sensuality and create a state of wellbeing. I think that places of beauty make people happy and have healing properties,”emphasises DahmenIngenhoven. A soulful architecture can have great impact on peoples’ wellbeing, helps to release emotions. That is the architect’s firm opinion. “My perception of architecture is what we in Germany call 82  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, an overall art form, where every aspect – components, colours, materials, light and design vocabulary – is put into a greater context,” she says. “The contrary to form follows function”, so to speak. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven’s main source of inspiration is the beauty of nature, as well as the constant dispute with modernity: “The built environment, that in many parts is far too unemotional, too mundane for my liking. And then I start thinking, how the environment should

Dreamlike architecture for public spaces

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

to vanish entirely. The role the sun plays during the day is taken over by artificial lights once the sun has set. Harmonic and relaxing – not overwhelmingly powerful – they also create a special atmosphere relating to the company’s headquarters. A second project done for Swarovski has a completely different function. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven was also responsible for the design of Swarovski’s crèche. The ‘Kristallmäuse’ design is inspired by snowflakes – every piece a bit different, just like children. Therefore, the 600 square metres offer different rooms with different functions, an open space with areas to play, sit and sleep. An outdoor garden and a playground join with the indoor areas, creating a seamless and harmonic space for children to explore. Creating public spaces – especially for children – is always difficult. “In our projects, we always develop a completely new cosmos that picks up people in their normal, everyday environment

and beams them into new surroundings that exceed simple functionality,” says Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven. “Form follows fun,” she says is a leitmotif for public buildings. Or: “Make people feel good.” That makes her approach so special compared to other architects working in this field. “Life should be fun – it should be joyful and colourful.”This idea is reflected in the Swarovski crèche.“We have orchestrated different colour worlds, because every shade has a certain kind of energy. Green for example acts harmonising, yellow activates and cheers up, orange is vitalising.” This is why in play areas yellow and orange dominate, while the lounge and sleeping areas are styled in soft blue and subtle grey. Architecture as storytelling “All my projects have a name ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ for the Swarovski veil, ‘Jesus meets Showgirls’ for a pharmacy in Munich or ‘Living on the Inside’ for the Lanserhof in Lans,” says Regina DahmenIngenhoven. “All my projects inspire the

imagination and charm like a fairy tale.” Architecture for her is always storytelling. The most recent project – and the last to mention here – Regina DahmenIngenhoven has finished is the Allude store in Kitzbühel. For Regina DahmenIngenhoven every project is special, but none the less she mentions this one among those that have recently left an impact. Like the Swarovski crèche, it is very user centric. Light as a feather and transparent – that is the overall design language used here. It reflects the products Allude is selling: soft and light cashmere clothing. The architectural office reginadahmeningenhoven in January received an award for the Swarovski nursery as best public building. Not the first award, for her work Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven was named female designer of the year in 2016 by the British journal BUILD, something Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven is very proud of. The award honours visionary architects.

Swarovski’s crèche. Photo: © Holger Knauf

The Swarovski veil that stands in front of Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria. Photo: Holger Knauf Swarovski’s crèche. Photo: © Holger Knauf

Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven. Photo: © Anne-Marie von Sarosdy

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  83

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Photo: © Jens Weber/München

Sculptural dialectic and representational value Titus-Bernhard-Architekten create architecturally innovative living spaces while exercising a holistic approach to project development. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

From conceptional architecture complete with interior fittings and outdoor areas through to furniture design and lighting concept, Titus-Bernhard-Architekten provide a comprehensive architectural package. Projects like their much-recognised private homes ‘Haus M’, ‘Haus K’ and ‘Haus 11×11’, as well as a recent recognition for their ‘Haus am See’ during the International Craft Fair in Munich show that their concept pays off. The office repeatedly won the prestigious Best Architects award and was just voted one of the 84  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

top 270 builders for single-family homes by Germany’s renowned FOCUS magazine. “We are a ‘young’ office,” says architect and founder Titus Bernhard of his team of 22 employees, “we can flexibly adjust to new situations.” A streamlined, nonbureaucratic office management with an interdisciplinary team of architects, artists and engineers work together with a self-motivated attitude, applying helpful tools like computer animation, new media and graphic design on a daily basis.

Based in the Bavarian city of Augsburg, Titus-Bernhard-Architekten work together with competent partners and specialised engineers. For major projects, going into partnership with leading structural consultants such as Werner Sobek architects & engineers as well as consulting firms for technical issues is mandatory. In cooperation with agencies, the office also manages a client’s marketing or brand advertising, either in part or in full, according to the builder’s wishes. Together with an understanding of the economic and business-enhancing aspects of contemporary architecture, a multilingual, international atmosphere marks the work environment at Titus-Bernhard-Architekten: “We

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

understand good architecture as a cultural contribution as well as a potentially important representational instrument, with the building itself as advertising medium.” With its roots in classical modernism, their architecture strives to meet phenomenological questions as well as tackling tasks within the social context. On a strung-out dream plot, sloping gently towards picturesque Lake Starnberg (Starnberger See), Titus-BernhardArchitekten recently realised their concept of a “convertible, multigenerational home” with their ‘Haus am See’. Two separate building parts stand slightly offset to each other, connected through a middle part. Sculptural windows and loggias are positioned in a way that beautiful views can be captured, while the closed sections shield off the lesser attractive parts of the neighbourhood. Slanting cuts, sgraffito details on the walls and the incorporation of an original ‘stueva’ (sitting room) from the 17th century func-

tion as aesthetic reminders of the Lower Engadine, where parts of the family have their roots. The setup of the north wing’s parental dwellings at the top and living area at the bottom, vs the south wing’s ground level working space and upstairs guest area are interchangeable, according to living situation. Old and new elegantly meet in this flexible and comforting layout “with a view”. The site for ‘Haus M’ in Bavarian Grünwald, a stylish suburb of Munich, features a north-facing slope, which was tackled with a two-storey solution, reaching the almost even plane of the garden. The result is a house “climbing” the slope, with a dialectic theme of weight and levity through a natural stone façade contrasted by ultra filigrane window panes. Despite the complex geometrical look, the house is divided into visually clear zones, based on additive basic square modules (7.8 metres x 7.8 metres). Lighting direction plays a major role at ‘Haus M’, with light coming from both the south and west as well as

Photo: © Jens Weber/München

Photo: © Jens Weber/München

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  85

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Photo: © Jens Weber/München

through skylights on the north and east sides, creating an effective play of shadows and diffused light. The natural stone of the façade finds its visual counterparts in the interior design. The continuance of both form and material language breaches the borders between the inside and the outside, between private and open space. ‘Haus M’ won the Best Architects award in 2010. Set within the heterogeneous mix of villas in Munich’s south, with the respective gross floor space restrictions, ‘Haus H’ makes ultimate use of all parameters while still emitting a friendly vibe. The L-shaped layout frames the structure to the northeast and opens up to plot and garden. It follows the guiding theme of “split cubes”, jura marble clad at base level and brightly plastered for the slightly shifted upper level units. Dialectic principles were used throughout the design, such as “structure vs surface”, “nature vs artifact”, “light vs heavyweight”, as well as scarce openings towards the north side vs generous glazing to the west and south. A path along 86  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

a narrow water basin elegantly forms the access to the house. Design elements become functional, as for example the vast overhang of the sleeping wing naturally forming the entrance roof. Slanting cuts and reveals super-elevate the sculptural building structure and simultaneously form sun-protected areas. The reduced design is mirrored by the interior, which is marked by a minimalist choice of materials. Bronze-finished metal for gates and doors meet natural stone and plaster in a value-oriented interplay. ‘Haus 11x11’ is based on the idea of a compact appearance using homogeneous materials, with a small enveloping surface and the largest possible usable area. It serves a family as “inhabitable sculpture”, with its exterior reflecting the inner organisation. Architecturally innovative and highly symbolical, ‘Haus 11x11’ has become an icon for its inhabitants, a couple in the communication industry. The outer walls, made of ferro-concrete and wood, and the wooden roof are coated with several layers of a black waterproof finish. A

vertical, wooden-slat façade merges with ridge beams on the roof. The graphical character is reinforced by the varied density and precise positioning of the lamellae which ensures that rain and snow can run off unhindered. This way, both roof and façade form a kind of large “umbrella”, while the wooden windows are integrated with precision into the enchanting lamella geometry. ‘Haus 11x11’ won the Iconic Award 2013. Parallel to his expertise with iconic and minimalist private homes design, architect Titus Bernhard, who cites his work with New York-based Richard Meier & Partners as influential, stresses the importance to serve all social layers of society. “For some time now, we have started working on subsidised housing projects as well as average-budget projects, applying the same high architectural standards that we use on our award-winning private homes. Architecture is of public relevance. We form our immediate living surroundings and this service should not be exclusive for just the wealthy among

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

us. Anyone is welcome to work with us who sees architecture as a value-adding art. As an office, we are an interdisciplinary dream factory of lateral thinkers and networkers, just like our clients.” This year, through the help of TitusBernhard-Architekten and their partnering office Bernhard & Kögl Planungsgesellschaft, a long-cherished, major project will see the light of day. The WWK ARENA, home of the FC Augsburg soccer team, will finally get its illuminated façade. Opened in 2009, the stadium had to wait for its spectacular outer shell until this year, for economic reasons. The newly modernised LED concept, blessed with an excellent price/performance ratio, will soon become reality. As Titus Bernhard puts it: “The new façade will become a lighthouse for both the FC Augsburg soccer club and the city of Augsburg itself, as well as the whole region.”

Titus Bernhard, architect and founder. Photo: © Christina Dragoi/Stuttgart

Photo: © Jens Weber/München

Photo: © Jens Weber/München

Visualisation WWK Arena. Photo: © B&K, Augsburg

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  87

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Judiciary Centre Bochum. Photo: © Bau und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW

‘Demenzgarten’ in Alzenau.

‘Einstein Gymnasium’ school in Potsdam.

‘Sugar cubes’

Concrete artefact at ‘Park am Löbauer Wasser’.

Inspired by the past, designed for the future For the award-winning landscape architects at hutterreimann, a site’s history is the best source of inspiration. Their concepts not only take a site’s old character into account, but also incorporate it into a new identity. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  |  PHOTOS: CHRISTO LIBUDA

Every city or town has abandoned relicts of the past, neglected dull sites nobody is proud of. The art of turning old into new, yet keeping parts of the past alive, is hutterreimann’s expertise. The talented landscapers understand a space’s character and explore the hidden potential of what is already there. Whether it is industrial wasteland, a special stock of trees or military remainders, hutterreimannarchitects are inspired by it and thrive on the challenge. “Through dealing creatively with what we find on site, we build dynamic characteristic landscapes with new identities,” says managing director Stefan Reimann. “It is very gratifying to present traces of the past in a completely new context. An example is the car-sized piece of concrete foundation, we found on site of the ‘Park am Löbauer Wasser’ during the demolition of the old sugar factory. It is an artefact that now func88  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

tions as an impressive remnant of the past right at the centre of the park,”he adds. Naturally the social and ecological context, sustainability, feasibility and innovative materials also play major roles during the planning phase. As a result, the finished projects are multi-layered, timeless, and full of character and flair. The upcoming garden show Natur in Pfaffenhofen 2017 marks a milestone for hutterreimann. From May onwards, Pfaffenhofen will benefit from a completely transformed green city centre, which integrates its little river Ilm properly into the cityscape. Previously hidden and made inaccessible by industrial buildings, the river is going to be the heart of Pfaffenhofen and will bring a new quality of life to the citizens. It is difficult to pick a favourite from the many amazing projects hutterreimannlandscape-architects have accomplished.

An overgrown former water playground near lake Tegel became an exciting adventure island called ‘Robinson Crusoe’. Another is themed around a space journey to Jupiter, reflecting upon the surrounding’s previous use as an airfield. From open spaces for schools such as the Einstein-gymnasium in Potsdam, to transforming the outdoor areas of government buildings like the judiciary centre in Bochum, hutterreimann’s track record truly speaks for itself. Wherever hutterreimannlandscape-architects go, they transform the past into a better place for the future. Check out their inspiring portfolio at the following website: Visualisation of ‘Belvedere’ in Würzburg. Photo: © hutterreimann

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Hafencity Kita, cloakroom.

Hafencity Kita, bathing area.

Joy meets function at baukind day care centres baukind believes in creating a unique space for children with a minimalist yet exquisite design that sets their imagination free. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: ANNE DEPPE

With baukind projects, enough space is created for each child to be able to form a personal connection to its surroundings. The high measure of curiosity and a child’s almost constant need for play and physical exercise is met by a variation of motivating surroundings and playscapes. Abstract play equipment and activity elements offer multiple ways of usage, thereby encouraging imagination and creativity. baukind loves the idea that a well-designed room can make toys superfluous and create a sense of calm and orientation, colour is applied with a minimalist yet considerate attitude. The baukind team’s main goal is for children to experience their immediate surroundings with joy and autonomy. Architect and baukind co-founder Nathalie Dziobek-Bepler states: “Our unique designs are based on an imaginative functionality, which makes kids happy, in combination with an aesthetic sensitivity

that adults appreciate.” The Berlin-based baukind team of architects and product designers started off seven years ago with building a kindergarten for their own children. To build exclusively for children then quickly turned into their very own call. baukind day cares for kids always entail something special. The children’s day care ‘Hafencity Kita’ (harbour city day care) in Hamburg for example features a spacious bathing area, complete with water games and several pools. The maritime feel is transported all the way through to the cloakroom by the use of a special colour scheme that reminds of shipping containers in a harbour. The ‘kids’ restaurant’, an open plan design, is the biggest space of the ‘Hafencity Kita’ and can also be used for sport activities and events. baukind clients bring enthusiasm for both kids and architecture. Builders ap-

preciate baukind’s expertise with the highly complex field of day care centres; a special field full of regulations that need to be considered with each project. This year, baukind has several attractive projects on their agenda. Top of their list is their aim to help children in need, for example by designing special kindergarten tents for refugee camps. The architects are also looking forward to answering some interesting project requests from China. Last but not least, baukind is planning to finally implement a long cherished dream this year: a combined senior residence and kindergarten facility.

Space for imagination.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  89

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Living hybrid Hamburg, Baakenhafen. Photo: © pfp architekten bda

Changing history by building a lasting future The offices of pfp architekten bda bring years of experience and dedication to a range of architectural projects. Whether working on theatres, social housing projects or renovating pre-standing buildings, pfp architekten bda meet each creation with a sensitivity that puts the people who will engage with the site in the centre of focus. Their humanistic approach to architecture captures the contemporary spirit and produces timeless results. TEXT: JAIME HEATHER SCHWARTZ

After working in world-class cities such as Berlin, Cologne, and Venice, Professor Jörg Friedrich established pfp architekten bda in 1986. Along with its Hamburg headquarters, the firm has an office in Frankfurt and two in Italy: one in Genoa and one in Rome. The firm is always busy but, regardless of the project, handling the relationship between site and who it serves is always met with the same consideration. “To us, architecture is the art of simplicity,” Professor Friedrich explains. “We want to 90  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

design simple spatial structures that can provide an architectural beauty and dignity to the people who will use it and which give them the necessary space for their own development.” ‘The Immediate Theatre’ is an urban public space The concept of viewing Theatre as part of the public arena is a perspective that sees the theatre as a space that combines, as Professor Friedrich references, “the rough

and the holy” (Peter Brook: The Empty Space; London, 2008). It is an architectonical container bringing illumination of human truth and experience to an audience in an immediate, visceral, sometimes sub-conscious but always revelatory way. Professor Jörg Friedrich explores the techniques of theatre practitioners of all disciplines; audience, creators, actors, directors and critics to ensure his creation is one that is both architectonically and societally relevant in the context of the European city. The urban projects for the ‘Staatstheater Karlsruhe’ and the ‘Congress and Theatre Center Padova’ are demonstrative of this special approach. Anticipating the future while acknowledging the past Part of the approach to working with the challenging and highly specialised ar-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

chitectural division of theatre design is to anticipate what is next for the cultural landscape. The Kraftwerk Mitte building in Dresden is one of these projects where the past and present were pulled together to create a vision for the future. The ‘Kraftwerk Mitte project’ transformed an almost 100-year-old former thermal power plant into a modern cultural centre. Instead of

erasing the building’s history, strategic traces of its original use remain visible. Industrial elements, such as the foundations of the plant’s giant generators, lend the building a contemporary, urban flair that reflects the population posed to use this mixed space. “We love these very delicate, complex architectural tasks which require a great deal of historical knowledge,” says

Arrival Islands. Photo: © pfp architekten bda

Kraftwerk Mitte opera house, Dresden, transformation of historical area. Photo: © pfp architekten bda

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  91

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Opera house Erfurt, theatre hall. Photo: © Ralf Buscher

Professor Friedrich. “Combining old and new into a new entity is one of our most beautiful architectural challenges and one which make the design and building even more interesting.” The cheapest concert hall on earth: Less is better Another successful repurposing is seen in the Resonanzraum, or room for resonance, in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district. Coming in first for the ‘Publikums Architektur Preis 2016’ and second for the ‘BDA Hamburg Architekturpreis 2016’, this project turned what was once an air-raid bunker into an incredible rehearsal and experimental concert space for the Ensemble Resonanz. Professor Jörg Friedrich, with input from the ensemble, came up with a design that elevates the connection between musicians and audience. In order to hit right in the heart of this human dynamic Professor Friedrich and his team kept the themes of “authenticity, minimalism and reduction” at the core of their work. The history of the bunker is evidenced in its bare concrete 92  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

walls and blend well with its new wooden floors and innovative design elements such as the large, revolving iron doors that control the room’s acoustics and allow a flexible configuration of the space. Combining the structural origins with new ideas resulted in the creation of an intimate and exciting space perfectly placed right in the creative centre of the city. The future of living: creating the social city A second pillar of the architectural work of pfp architekten bda is the theme of future of living, meaning working towards creating new architecture that better reflects the social fabric of the city. Professor Friedrich is interested in the development and realisation of architectural projects that address issues, such as affordable housing, which will only become more pressing for cities. “The future of housing can no longer be thought about without using the impulse of migration to think about the concept of a cooperative city. We need to see current migration trends

as a factor of enrichment,” tells Professor Friedrich. “In Hamburg or Hannover, in Lampedusa or in the Mediterranean, no matter where we are working we have tried to develop concepts for new architectures of participation. Especially the participation of the many, and varied, social stratifications and age groups.” Just last year, Professor Friedrich won the ‘2016 Immobilien-Kopf Prize’ for the publication Refugees Welcome - concepts for embodied architecture (Refugees WelcomeKonzepte für eine menschenwürdige Architektur; Berlin, 2015), an ambitious project he undertook with architects and his students. This led to the initiation of a project in Germany where refugees were active participants, learning useful skills while building housing prototypes. The chance to incorporate the people into the work to create a social as well as physical infrastructure was a main concern. The project also focused on the use of materials and structures, which could eventually be integrated into other buildings and inspired

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

a subsequent book: Future:Housing - Migration as an impetus for the cooperative city (Zukunft: Wohnen- Migration als Impuls für die kooperative Stadt; Berlin, 2017). Our Architecture: The focus of our interest is the human being (Jörg Friedrich; Rome, 2007) No matter who is working on an architectural project, they will always be met with the challenge of balancing aesthetics and use, excitement of space and purpose. A building is dependent on those whose bodies move in and out of the space, and thus the human factor cannot be ignored. The ultimate success of an architectural site should not merely be measured by the merits of its physical presence. For a site must not only create a structure with a good foundation, but be in of itself a good foundation for the human infrastructure for which it will support. The talents of Professor Jörg Friedrich and his team at pfp architekten bda are clearly well-suited to the task with their ability to unify the different ways architecture touches our

Professor Jörg Friedrich. Photo: © Julian Martitz

lives. Taking from history and the human experience they translate architectural forms into a universal language, and one which will be spoken for years to come.

Opera house Erfurt, foyer staircase. Photo: © Ralf Buscher, Hamburg

Emergency Islands. Photo: © pfp architekten bda

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  93

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Designing landscapes and open spaces with passion Established in 1962, the firm BHF Landscape Architects, based in northern Germany, has had a long history of designing landscapes and public spaces. Throughout this time, the team has left its signature on a great range of projects including concepts for port promenades, recreational spaces, and new city quarters. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: BHF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS

“Our goal is to design landscapes that are appealing to many people,” says Jens Bendfeldt, who manages the firm with Uwe Herrmann and Ulrich Franke – therefore the abbreviation BHF stands for today’s three partners. “When doing so, we trust in classic design principles such as clarity, proportion, rhythm, symmetry,

94  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

and the way different parts correlate with each other to form a unit.” Furthermore, the BHF team aims to create public spaces that perfectly blend into the local environment. Offering aesthetic and environmental solutions is as important to the experts as considering the needs of residents and the environment as a whole.

Top: Moderating information meetings is one of the services of BHF Landscape Architects. Illustration: © Below: From left to right: Jens Bendfeldt, Uwe Herrmann, Ulrich Franke. Photo: © Bottom: The whole team of BHF Landscape Architects. Photo: ©

55 years ago, Klaus-Dieter Bendfeldt, the father of Jens, launched the landscape architecture firm. Back then, some of his first projects were planning the surrounding landscape of the airport in Hamburg-Kaltenkirchen, creating public sports

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

facilities, as well as the structure and development of the island of Sylt. Since then, the two founders and their successors have realised more than 1,200 projects. With 40 employees and two offices in Kiel and in Schwerin today, BHF Landscape Architects have focused on projects in the north of Germany. Public clients, as for example towns and municipalities, construction groups, project developers, and companies in the energy industry are among the clients who regularly work with BHF Landscape Architects. Prestigious projects One of the landscape architects’ most recent projects was to design the outdoor facilities of the new Telekom building in Hamburg business park City Nord. When it is finished, about 1,500 employees are going to work in the modern office complex of the telecommunications company. Currently, the three landscape architects are also responsible for various energy transition projects. The most prominent one is probably the electricity highway ‘Ostküstenleitung’ in SchleswigHolstein, which will have a total length of about 120 kilometres. The pilot project was included in the German Energy Act (EnWG), whose purpose is to secure an environmentally sound energy supply for society as a whole, based increasingly on renewable sources. Therefore, it has been allowed to use cables as an operating medium under certain conditions. “In this project, we have accompanied the difficult process of finding power lines and defining cable sections by offering environmental advice and encouraging a dialogue between the public and authorities,” Herrmann explains. “Furthermore, we developed the necessary environmental contributions that are required for the approval of the procedure.” Nevertheless, moderating information meetings is one of BHF Landscape Architects’ services. “At public participation procedures, we explain all of our planning steps to the residents who are affected by the plans,” Herrmann states. “This way, we want to help them understand these complex interactions.” Residents, therefore, have the chance to ask

questions about a certain project and to express their concern or criticism as well, while the authorities ensure more transparency.

A promenade designed by BHF Landscape Architects at the Baltic seaside.

Planning eco-friendly landscapes “Due to a functioning communication between us and our clients, we significantly contribute to a successful realisation of large-scale projects,” Herrmann continues. This also applies to environmental planning tasks, which are part of BHF’s major services, too. “We create spacious landscapes which achieve acknowledged solutions in well-established planning processes.” According to Franke, planning landscapes as a precaution for nature conservation continuously requires new approaches. These, in turn, have to be verified by the landscape architects to ensure that they conform to the nature conservation law. “For this reason, we now focus on solutions which include energy landscapes such as wind turbines, power lines and biogas plants, as well as solar plants,” says Franke. Some of the experts’ environmental planning projects last year include extending a federal motorway in Neumünster, and developing a landscape plan for Heligoland, which is Germany’s only deep-sea island. Furthermore, they counselled the municipality of Bad Bramstedt about establishing new residential areas that ensure a co-existence with nature. The expertise of the BHF Landscape Architects is in high demand, as publications in magazines for the landscape architecture profession and requests for teaching activities show – no matter whether clients require assistance in urban landuse planning or in transport tasks. BHF Landscape Architects are also known for being a reliable partner because they have a forward-looking schedule. Hence, they are able to guarantee that projects will be finished in time.

A port promenade next to Ziegelinnensee/ Schwerin in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The outside facilities of the Columbia Twins/ Hamburg on the banks of the Elbe river were also created by BHF Landscape Architects.

The Rungeplatz in Wolgast.

Bendfeldt, Herrmann and Franke hope that their success story will continue in future. “We would like to further expand our firm,” says Bendfeldt. If you want to learn more about their work, just visit their website. Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  95

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

The philosophy of holistic simplicity Our conditions of living and the houses we live in are manifold. Today, we are not content with merely being sheltered from the elements, but very consciously make our decisions on where and, even more importantly, how we want to live. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: UNTERLANDSTÄTTNER ARCHITEKTEN

Founded in 1999, Munich-based architecture office Unterlandstättner Architekten’s primary goal is to build homes that their clients can truly call their home. “From very early in my education as an architect, I was fascinated by the holistic and versatile process of designing architecture. Architecture, in my understanding, constitutes a very important factor in society and social spaces alike, and I want our designs to be a meaningful part of these social lives,” says Thomas Unterlandstättner, founder and owner of Unterlandstättner Architekten. “Here, one of our guiding principles is ‘simplicity’,“ Unterlandstättner further explains. “Nothing beats the simplicity of forms or material. The simple and unobtrusive speaks for itself and therefore, nat96  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

urally, does not need explaining; and that is how we want our design to function. We want it to be understood right away,” Unterlandstättner succinctly sums up his and his team’s mission. Keeping it simple, holistic, and unique Unterlandstättner Architekten consciously opts for visual as well as material reduction in their design, . “Through experiences gained in many projects, I have found that the discreet is not only selfexplaining, but also, thanks to its neutralness, offers remarkable leeway for individuality,” enthuses Unterlandstättner. But Unterlandstättner Architekten is not on the lookout for simple and quick

solutions. “While our design is dedicated to simplicity, the planning process is the exact opposite,” says Unterlandstättner. “From the very beginning we actively involve our clients in the design process. We want them to be open for and enthusiastic about the possibility to actively implement ideas and ideals of space and material. We discuss their wishes and requirements and also the feasibility of both. This intense dialogue creates an incredibly artistic atmosphere that actively facilitates a productive planning process from which originates a powerful and at the same time uniquely original output,” says Unterlandstättner, further explaining the advantages of an approach that holistically takes into account the clients as well as the location of the project at an early stage. In keeping up this holistic approach, Unterlandstättner Architekten is fully dedicated to design and the search for the best solution. “Compromises are not an

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

option,” stresses Unterlandstättner. “Our projects are always the cross sum of various demands, which, at the beginning of each design phase, may look incompatible. While technical and legal specifications, of course, constitute the framework for each project, the space within this framework is a blank sheet, which is gradually filled by the outcome of intense dialogues between Unterlandstättner Architekten and the client. Our end products, the finished buildings and rooms, will never breathe even an inch of dissonance, but instead represent a highly intense symbiosis built in stone. Our designs are timeless and smooth originals as original and unique as their inhabitants,” says Unterlandstättner, describing the distinctive marks of his office’s designs. Prize-winning architecture Unterlandstättner Architekten’s services are not limited to the planning phase of a design project. “We are a team of eight

to ten architects and designers who are prepared to support our clients in all phases of a building project if the client so wishes. We offer to oversee the planning, building as well as interior design phases of a multitude of projects of differing sizes, while at the same time keeping up with our premise to never lose sight of the individual, namely the inhabitant,” says Unterlandstättner, explaining the scope of the office’s services. In taking on various types of projects ranging from restoration and reconstruction to interior fitting of single or multi-family homes as well as commercial properties, Unterlandstättner Architekten is keeping up with a multitude of differing requirements of its clients. The success of these designs has been honoured by innumerable awards, prizes, and recognitions; one of the latest being the prize for winning a competition for the design of residential house

building, awarded by LBBW Immobilien. The planning for this project, a sevenstorey residence tower in Bogenhausen, one of Munich’s most-distinguished districts, has just begun. “We are very much looking forward to the realisation of this interesting and, above all, very demanding project. Our design will perfectly blend in with the listed buildings from the 1960s and will become a valuable addition to Parkstadt Bogenhausen’s distinctive silhouette,” says Unterlandstättner, explaining his office’s latest design project. There is no denying that we shape buildings in the same way as they shape us - a statement that certainly matches Unterlandstättner Architekten’s approach as for them the individual and its demands are the benchmark for the memorable projects they design.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  97

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Creating spaces by using potentials Founded in 1999, OLIV architects based in Munich are an independent, interdisciplinary team of architects, interior architects and building engineers. In the last 20 years, the office has been working in the planning of buildings for business ventures, in the gastronomy sector and for office buildings. During that period, OLIV architects have become particularly interested and accomplished in revitalisation projects. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS   |  PHOTOS: OLIV ARCHITEKTEN

One current project, during which OLIV is applying its experience, is located at Fürstenrieder Straße 21 in the company’s hometown Munich. For 25 years, the 8000-square-meter shopping mall Beck in Laim stood empty, but in 2015 a two-year development process began and finally led to an issuance of a building permit in March 2017. In a revitalisation project like this, there are numerous challenges along the way. Constantly, new aspects come to light and have to be considered. At the Fürstenrieder Straße, OLIV was initially dealing with nothing but a gutted ruin of a building. It was important to establish a new vision for the building 98  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

and its implementation. In collaboration with the builder and the authorities, OLIV designed an appearance for the building, that follows a light, white architecture with shimmering metal accents. The new architecture makes room for retail space on the ground floor, while opening up into a large office building above it. Finishing touches for the new design include greened roofs and an atmospheric atrium. Revitalisation provider As a provider, who stewards the client through the different stages of a project, OLIV’s workflow starts with a holistic consideration of all relevant factors, influ-

encing a project internally and from the outside. Founded and lead by architect and CEO Thomas Sutor, the office employs 26 architects and graduate engineers and two office managers. Functionally, but flexibly structured, communicative and representative, OLIV is designed to accept and manage the performance phases of an architectural project efficiently and economically. With this structure as a backbone, the project teams can start the design phase creatively and rethink utilization concepts and architecture itself. In that, the approach is both open, but conceptual and aimed at finding new perspec-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

tives and visionary solutions. Regularly, OLIV is surprising clients with convincing unique concepts for modern urbanity. Over the years, the office has accumulated substantial knowledge and experience in innovative projects, enabling the project teams to think even more laterally. As mentioned before, revitalisation has become a prominent topic for OLIV. In fact, revitalising and repositioning of existing real estate was ingrained in the company’s DNA from the beginning, as its home location Munich is a city where new space is scarce and expensive. Also, financially, a revitalisation often offers clients new possibilities. Furthermore, considering sustainability and resource protection, reshaping an existing structure is the better way to go. Naturally, working with something that already exists is a special challenge. One, which OLIV is always ready to take, as the team’s expertise is able to transform problem areas into new highlights and thus define a new urbanity.

Preserving & reimagining One example for such a transformation will be found at the Streitfeldstraße in Munich, where, until 2020, an old production facility will be redeveloped into the New Eastside Munich. It is a project, that will influence not only the building itself, but the adjacent area. Ambitiously, the architects have found a way to open up the 7903-square-metre property and change the building itself with new additions. The new office building is seen as a living mini city with a core and multifunctional, innovative segments. It will be a diverse building, too, as material includes brick, glass, steel and wood and the design highlights a connection to nature. In that way, OLIV is reinterpreting the former industrial designs of the property, while reimagining them for a modern environment. Multidimensional architecture One project which has already gone through the various stages of development and building is the Business Campus Neue Balan. The new design stands as a

testament to the culture of revitalisation. One of the main goals, next to improving the substance of the 10000-square-metre building, was to update it to the latest building technology. At the time, the office space could only be used by one main tenant and not, as it is preferable in today’s business climate, by a flexible number of tenants. Furthermore, the structure of the offices did not align with requirements of current interested parties. Nowadays, room feeling and atmosphere play a much greater role when deciding to move into a new space and OLIV needed to take these intangible factors into consideration. In the end, the changes for the new office building were categorised in the sanitation of building and frontage, updating of technology and energy, restructuring of the floor plan and the implementation of a new fire protection concept. It shows, that revitalising a building is never a onedimensional affair. It rather is multidimensional work, in which OLIV specialises. Main image: Façade of the Fürstenrieder Straße 21 in Munich. Bottom left: Entrance at the Fürstenrieder Straße 21 in Munich. This page Left: New Eastside Munich Façade at the Neumarkter Straße. Bottom left: Factory Lofts at the New Eastside Munich. Below: Façade of the Business Campus Neue Balan in Munich. Photo: © Edzard Probst Bottom right: Foyer at the Business Campus Neue Balan in Munich. Photo: © Edzard Probst

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  99

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

3D planning and visualisation of the entrance hall. Photo: © DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN AG

Why do we need architects? A variation of this question could also be: Is architecture a luxury? While some people may argue that it is, the DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN AG stands as a testament to the necessity of intelligent architecture in our modern world. For the team of 60 architects and engineers working at the Regensburg office, architecture is indeed far more than a luxurious extravagance. It is rather an essential means to stimulating every human’s innate desire for beauty and aesthetic feeling.

a turn to increased quality. Work and quality of life are evermore fusing. Architectural quality The quality of architecture has nothing to do with individual taste, but is managed by


The DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN believe that every human being has a longing for beauty and a conscious or unconscious aesthetic feeling, and that spaces or urban spaces as well as landscapes with high aesthetic quality have a positive influence on human perception and the development of their own aesthetic standards. Nowadays, people spend most of their time in constructed spaces. That is why these living spaces are worth the architect’s topmost attention. Our working environment, especially in office buildings, is experiencing 100  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Executive board from the left: Eric Frisch, Robert Fischer, Thomas Eckert. Photo: © Florian Hammerich

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

examining certain criteria. The atmosphere of interiors, the material quality and proportions, the integration in its urban surroundings and the identity of a building, all define its value and quality. Naturally, ticking off all the criteria during a project requires a thorough analysis of a buildings place and surroundings, its history and its potential future use. This process guarantees a tailored solution. Cost and time Next to the difficult measurements of architectural quality, the inherent project quality is always looked at with the same clear factors, namely cost and time. As clear guidelines, these two variables are touchstones of success. But these two aspects are not enough to complete a project successfully.

Office floor with ‘Future Office’. Photo: © DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN AG

Functionality The third and integral ingredient for success is the functionality of the building. Here, the architect can display great skill in navigating the, often abstract, requirements of builder and user and developing his concept accordingly. In this phase, the architect can be seen as a critical consultant, who is able to listen, but also insert his own experience and skill while working together with the different parties. These parties include not only the core planning team, but also the many craftsman, who without their craft no innovative and sustainable building would be possible. Only in the interaction of all is an innovative and value-based architecture developed.

Western façade with exterior surroundings. Photo: © DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN AG

Inner yard with restaurant terrace. Photo: © DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN AG

Innovating without recklessness In their work, the architects at the DÖMGES AG are very aware of their responsibility towards builder, environment and society. Always searching for the exceptional and the added benefits of a solution, DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN are collaborating closely with their clients, thus making the project process intimate and efficient. For more than 70 years, the architectural office has continuously taken up new challenges and a large variety of projects. Currently, the 60 New build eight-storey office building (net 40 million euros certified LEED Gold). The whole building was assembled as a 3D BIM model, to determine mass and cost, while also integrating the specialist engineers in the process.


Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  101

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Lighted galleries of the inner city, competition winning residential quartier IQ.Photo: © Erich Spahn

employees fulfil a performance spectrum ranging from architecture and urban planning to general planning and competitions.

euro project with this digital process, which the builder will later incorporate in his facility management.


Building for the good of citizens

Currently a new challenge is Building Information Modelling (BIM). The architects plan the entire building threedimensionally, thus creating a 3D model. Into that model, the various planning sections, including technology, statics, landscaping and more are integrated by the technical planners. At the moment, the DÖMGES AG is developing a 50-million-

One of the fields in which the DÖMGES AG specialises is building for the public sector. More than 85 per cent of the company’s projects are taking place in the public sector realm and are most often a result of successful participations in competitions. For the builders, competitions are a way of finding out whether the potential architects possess the necessary special knowledge to

Photo: © Martin Duckek

102  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

lead a project to success. In the public sector, such special abilities must include legal certainty, coordination and presentation with and for political councils and the secure handling of the building site. Being aware of one’s responsibility is the key here. In the end, the planning team is using finances that have their origins in the citiNew built correctional facility with coloured guidance system and a comfortable atmosphere, especially for the employees, who will spend their whole working life here.

Photo: © Martin Duckek

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Main entrance of the school. Photo: © Erich Spahn

Energy efficient sanitation of the Jean-Paul School, built in around 1920, with gym and swimming bath, both built in the 1960 and 1970 years.

Backside of the school and photovoltaic façade of the gym. Photo: © Erich Spahn

zen’s daily work to create buildings, which will give back to these citizens. Schools, kindergartens or public administration offices are all part of this equation. Therefore, DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN aim to be a strong partner for the building authorities. Of course, public sector architecture is under much more scrutiny than a private sector venture. The stakes are higher and the involvement of press and public opinion is not to be underestimated. During the projects, transparency is highly important and the architect himself is an integral part in the communication of building progress, cost and design.

New build factory and office facility. Photo: © Oliver Heissner

Qualitative architecture Finding new paths without being reckless, meeting the requirements of the builder and working responsibly in relation to the environment and the society at large. These are the core themes, which the DÖMGES ARCHITEKTEN AG is constantly keeping in view. Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  103

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Laboratory construction made in Germany How can research be designed? How can one give a face to a technological building? The architectural office kister scheithauer gross (ksg) from Cologne and Leipzig has dealt with these questions for years. Respective answers were successfully implemented in a new construction for the Fraunhofer Society in Bayreuth. TEXT: KSG, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

The architects designed a ceramic façade derived from traditional glazing techniques for the Fraunhofer Centre for High Temperature Materials and Design in Bayreuth. With this, the architectural office depicts the institutes’ research topics on the exterior.“At the judging panel, I was already convinced that ksg’s design satisfies our wish of a functional, yet expressive, research building,” remembers Dr. Friedrich Räther, director of the Fraunhofer Centre HTL, the project’s initial stage: a nationwide competition. Three years later, the building was handed over to the user. On 5,800 square metres of gross floor space, 2,600 square metres of usable space for laboratory rooms, workshops, kiln halls, areas for product development and chemical storage, evaluation, as well as office and meeting rooms emerged in Bayreuth. This Fraunhofer Centre’s research focus is the improvement of quality, material and energy efficiency of industrial thermal processes. 104  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

The new building is divided into a quadratic, single-storey technology and laboratory area and a narrow two to three-storey office block. This stringent division of use can be noticed on the inside, as well as on the building’s exterior. The interior design is – like the entire buidling – restrained and surprising at the same time. While the workshops are mainly used for functional work, in the office wing – in addition to concrete – warm materials such as wood and carpet flooring as well as fresh colours were used. On the two office floors the architects decided in favour of Eco Syn flooring by Carpet Concept. The façade design is derived from the traditional Craquelé glazing technique and evolves in the building envelope as a recurring reticulated pattern. Thus, the new construction with its concise ceramic façade shows HTL’s research focus. “To us, designing research is a topic that offers great flexibility,” explains office partner Professor Johannes Kister. “Glazed

ceramic gets fired at high temperatures, is often exposed to wide temperature fluctuations and can form fine, irregular cracks on its surface. We pick up this socalled Craquelé formation for the façade planning and put it across the entire façade as a regular, reticulated pattern,” explains Kister the basic concept. Thus, the material of ceramic succeeds in creating a spectacular, as well as a disciplined, appearance for the institute. ksgs’ architects currently realise further laboratory buildings, such as the Max-Planck-Institute for ethnological research in Halle, the Chemical Institutes in Heidelberg, the Alfred-Wegener-Institute in Bremerhaven, a new biology building for the University of Bremen and the state laboratory Berlin-Brandenburg.

Main image: The façade design is derived from the traditional Craquelé glazing technique and evolves in the building envelope as a recurring reticulated pattern. Photo: © Michael Moser Top right: The carpet’s wavelike structure (Eco Syn flooring by Carpet Concept) is restrained and surprising at the same time – just like the entire building. Photo: © Yohan Zerdoun Bottom right: Trapezoidal ceramic plates coin the façade’s appearance. Photo: © Yohan Zerdoun Next page: Spatial ease coins the all-glass lobby on the office wing’s ground floor. Photo: © Marc Lins

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Neue Rezepte für eine optimale Arbeitsatmosphäre: Edler Zwirn für den Boden.

Eco Iqu – gewebt mit

Sander Hofrichter Architects (a|sh)

Humane structures and medical expertise a|sh combining medical competence with humane architecture. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: A|SH ARCHITEKTEN

“As specialists for buildings within the health care sector we prove with every new project, that economic efficiency, innovation and architectural aesthetics are combinable”, says co-managing director, Professor Linus Hofrichter. Working from eight locations within Germany and with their own unique know-how within the field of health care, a|sh are able to realize a multitude of projects of all ranges and sizes all over the country, providing both architectural and planning services from one source.

of their planning lies in the importance of creating a safe environment where children can lose their fears, focus on play and thus recover. It was Maria Montessori who said,“It is not the child that needs to adapt to its environment, but rather we must change the environment to meet the needs of the child.” Using this progressive Montessori guide line as the foundation for their planning, a|sh entered and won fourth place in a competition to build a clinic for children and adolescents for the University of Freiburg.

The planning of healthcare facilities for children and adolescents is a topic that a|sh feel very strongly about. A focal point

Taking inspiration from Freiburg’s wooded surroundings, the architects “invited” the animals to come out of the woods and

106  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

into the hospital. Tracks, trails and silhouettes of deer, hare and fox can be found on the walls thus helping with orientation by giving each unit and floor its own identity through animal form and colour. Orientation means security and safety for children. A further aspect of the competition design included the use of multifunctional niches annexed to each children’s room. These can be used for play but also serve as parental overnight sleeping units thus providing a form of comfort and helping a child feel more at home. For the planning of the Psychiatric Clinic for Children and Adolescents (St. Anna Foundation) in Ludwigshafen, the architects chose to use pastel shades. Soothing yet uplifting colours such as olive green, pigeon blue and orange hues provide for comfort as well as orientation.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

a|sh Architects have been building healthcare facilities for decades and are proud of their own in-house Laboratory and Medical Technology Team. This is a unique asset within the world of architecture. The resident Medical Planning Team support the planning process from beginning to end thus providing an optimized high level of technical quality, including detail planning and supervision of works. This form of medical building expertise was applied whilst planning and constructing the central pharmacy of the Malteser Logistic Centre in Kerpen near Cologne. This high-tech pharmacy was built in a large storage depot providing services for the surrounding hospitals. Cleanrooms, laboratories, commissioning and storage units alike were installed following a ‘space within a space’ concept, by setting up cubes with technically specified equipment. A coloured floor guiding system provides orientation throughout the central pharmacy. A variety of graphical structures help to distinguish between routes for forklift trucks and pathways. Orientation is further enhanced through the use of large lettering and pictograms.

An interesting example of highly aesthetic modern healthcare facility construction can be found in the Mannheim-based ‘Project Business Development Center’ (BDC) of Medical Technology, for which a|sh Architects won the first prize and were subsequently contracted. This facility will offer room for a variety of businesses connected to medical technology. The planning includes the development of module systems providing a high level of flexibility. Installation systems can be modified according to use and the building complex will be able to allow for swift conversion whilst remaining in operation. An office can be quickly converted, for example, into a laboratory with a clean booth by docking onto the existing ventilation system.

room. A representative spiral staircase unites all levels and is the heart of the structure. Bright ceramic tiles will cover the façade, drawing reference to the brick structure of the surrounding historical buildings. The surface material interlinks the building with its immediate surroundings through subtle reflection. The project is planned for completion in 2020. With their eight offices within Germany and a total of 190 co-workers, the overall aim at a|sh Architects is not only to build efficiently within the health care sector but, more importantly, “to build spaces for human beings”; no more and no less.

The elegant layout of the BDC will feature a clear visual axis towards the university clinics and a spacious open stairway with greenery, visually melting into the surrounding campus. The clean-cut structure supports the buildings high functionality and flexibility. Communication zones on the upper floors unite all communal functions, including a kitchen and conference

Main image: Freiburg University clinic for children and adolescents. Portraits: Partners Prof. Linus Hofrichter, Torsten Petroschka, Martin Rieger, Nadine Schirmer, Peter Kuhl, Thorsten König. Below, left and middle: Ludwigshafen psychiatric clinics for children and youth. Below, right: Visualization of BDC Mannheim. Bottom: Freiburg University clinic for children and adolescents.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  107

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

Heppenheim Bergstraße project, exterior view.

Saving spaces through transformation Berlin forms the transient backdrop for raumwandler architects, who specialise in breathing new life into cherished structures. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: RAUMWANDLER

raumwandler are a compact team of ten co-workers from six different countries, including architects, engineers and one art historian around architect and founder Uwe Licht. Based in the transient, everevolving cityscape of Berlin, raumwandler (the term translates as ‘space transformers’) have chosen the reconstruction of historical monuments, their conversion and reutilisation as their special field of expertise. As founder Uwe Licht states: “For me, the reconstruction of listed buildings means working with both a piece of culture and a chapter of social history.”

ing. Additional training as a fire safety expert and yearlong experience with fire protection concepts allow including this tricky safety feature into each planned project upfront.

Uwe Licht studied architecture in Mainz and scenography in Munich and Rosenheim after completing his carpenter train-

The latest major project is just about to come to a close. The former Heppenheim clinical centre from 1866 is set near Hep-

108  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Single buildings as well as whole quarters are being re-utilised through raumwandler’s planning and reconstruction expertise. They mostly are transformed into new residential areas with a high living quality, such as the former US headquarters in Dahlem, renamed as ‘Metropolitan Gardens’.

penheim, the southernmost county town of Hesse. The partially listed buildings of the area include the former women’s and men’s quarters respectively, a number of utility and administration buildings as well as gatehouse, great hall and chapel. Over the past three years, the former facility has been successfully converted into 180 living units of various sizes. The main building material of the former psychiatric clinic is the typical yellow and red sandstone stemming from the region. Mostly consisting of three-storey buildings, the solid walls vary in thickness between 1.5 metres in the cellars and 50 centimetres on the second floor. The three main, listed buildings as well as the surrounding smaller structures have been transformed into living units and offices of various sizes, many of which now include balconies. All floors are accessible through newly installed lifts. The former attic sections have been remodelled as inhabitable top floor units due to

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  German Architecture 2017

a replacement of the entire roof structure, offering a great view to the vineyards and the valley of the ‘Bergstraße’. For Uwe Licht, the advantages for investors and builders in engaging an architectural team in the reconstruction of listed buildings are obvious, as long as the team also has a sound financial planning system at hand.“An architect is guaranteeing a better end product as well as functioning as the builder’s trustee. The financial framework can be staked out well in advance, given the expertise that our office has with these matters. In addition, we have developed our own system enabling us to evaluate a project’s economic efficiency at an early planning stage.” raumwandler have recently tackled another major project, which is planned to be finished in 2019. The former children’s hospital of the ‘Lindenhof’ (lime

tree court) in Berlin’s east was built in the late 19th century as an institution for problem children from the surrounding area of Lichtenberg, and became a children’s hospital after the Second World War. A listed ensemble since 1995, the buildings’ richly ornamented yellow brick façades with varying designs are of an impressive visual quality. A healthy stock of old lime trees, merging into an avenue to the south east, enhance the charm of the site. The entire listed ensemble will be reconstructed, redeveloped, converted and expanded by raumwandler. On its war-damaged west side, the main building will be enlarged by a 70-metre-long extension. All in all, 95 apartments of various sizes and layouts between 45 and 170 square metres will be created in the listed buildings. Surrounding the listed ensemble, a number of new buildings with 580 rental apartments are currently being built by the offices Max Dudler and

KSP Architekten. The combination makes the Lindenhof one of the biggest residential building projects currently under construction in Berlin. For most investors, the depreciation aspect coming with a listed building or complex forms the economic appeal of tackling a sensitive structure. With the help of a specialised architect, the manifold challenges can be braved more easily and that way, precious listed structures can be reintegrated and filled with new life. With a tonne of research on each project, the team at raumwandler relish in the adventure of reconstructing historical buildings and gently introduce them to a new purpose. For the new inhabitants, this means living in the surroundings of witnessed and cherished cultural history, in safe buildings with modern comfort levels.

Lindenhof apartment.

Heppenheim Bergstraße project, apartment.

Lindenhof historical brick façade.

Heppenheim Bergstraße project, apartment.

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  109

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column

The architect as the artist TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

You will read a fair bit about architects and architecture in this issue of Discover Germany magazine. I have always loved working with architects; not those that litter the landscape with identikit housing developments that provide profits for developers and corporate house builders instead of affordable housing (HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchy of Cornwall show us how housing development can be done better). Rather, I am thinking of those architects who innovate and shape the way we live, work and use space in future in innovative and sustainable ways; who take architectural design forward to new frontiers and whose cutting-edge work we will still admire a century from now. English copyright law actually considers architectural drawings to be artistic works and protects them as such, provided that they contain some original artistic element. Purely functional or common features, or simple buildings, do not benefit from copyright protection. Two-dimensional architectural plans are of course only a means to an end, namely, that of the threedimensional building constructed on the basis of those plans, and the latter likewise benefits from legal protection. The good thing about copyright protection is that it arises automatically upon the creation of a design and (at least pursuant to English law) does not require registration. It will therefore be key for copyright to be asserted later that the architect signs and dates all plans and drawings at the time when the design is created and uses the © symbol. Clients sometimes get confused about the difference between architectural plans 110  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

and the copyright in the plans and the building created from them. The hardcopy architectural plans generally become the property of the commissioning client for whom they were created, normally accompanied by an implied, if not express, licence to use the plans for a specific project or purpose, such as to create a building to those designs. However, this does not grant copyright ownership to the client unless copyright is specifically assigned. The precise scope of the licence granted by the architect to the client is a matter of contract – and this is where the lawyer comes in. Both from the architect’s and from the client’s point of view, a written contract which determines the scope of the architect’s brief and obligations (and therefore of his liability) is essential. Institutions such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) offer standard form contract templates but sometimes more is required. Copyright law also draws a distinction between the economic and moral rights of the copyright owner: the economic right is basically the architect’s right to derive income from the protected work by licensing the plans to a client. The moral rights include, in particular, the paternity right, i.e., the right to be acknowledged as the author of the plans. Even where copyright is transferred to the client, such an assignment will not include the architect’s moral rights. The architect’s brief can of course extend well beyond the design phase of a project but this is normally the bit that all architects whom I have advised loved most: it is the creative part of their work.

This is, by the way, the 50th legal column for the 50th edition of this magazine. So congratulations to the Discover Germany team and, whether you are architects or magazine publishers, go on guys, sharpen your pencils and carry on the good 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:

Photo: Bruno Klomfar, © pichler.Architekt[en]


The DACH region’s innovators On the following pages, find out what Austria and Switzerland have to offer on the business front.

Photo: © Univ.-Doz. Dr. Brigitta Balogh

Photo: © Atelier Schmidt

Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  111

Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Dr. Brigitta Balogh

Dr. Balogh’s surgery.

lems in the breast area, shoulders, neck and back,” says Dr. Brigitta Balogh. Tension and headaches are among the minor problems; the weight of large breasts can also damage the overall posture – not to speak of psychological aspects. The procedure to create smaller breasts can be done at every age, but body growth should be completed and the breast fully developed. During the procedure, skin, breast tissue and – if necessary – fatty tissue in the lower part of the breast are removed and the surgeon forms a new, smaller breast with the remaining tissue. Frequently this is combined with a breast lift. Nerves, nipples and blood vessels are relocated so that the breasts feel completely natural afterwards and, in many cases, women can even still breastfeed – but they should be aware this is not guaranteed before deciding on a procedure. Dr. Balogh puts great emphasis on how important her field of expertise is for those suffering due to accidents or health issues – like large breasts – and not only for those seeking beauty.

Univ.-Doz. Dr. Brigitta Balogh.

When large breasts become a negative health factor Women choose plastic surgery not only for beauty reasons, but because their own body is troubling them – mentally and physically. A breast reduction is one of these cases. Dr. Brigitta Balogh, based in Vienna, is an expert for plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery and can help when breasts become too heavy to bear. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: UNIV.-DOZ. DR. BRIGITTA BALOGH

Often enough, large and full breasts are seen as a kind of beauty ideal, as frequently portrayed by today’s celebrity culture. But while full breasts are an ideal 112  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

of beauty, for people living with naturally large breasts everyday life can become quite painful and a health issue. “Often enough, women then experience prob-

Of course, the breast will never stay exactly the same in the years to come as people grow older, gain or lose weight. But the risks and complications are comparably few when a breast reduction is done by a professional like Dr. Brigitta Balogh. Swellings and bruises will heal in a few days. Nevertheless, risk factors like diabetes or smoking must be checked out in advance. Dr. Brigitta Balogh takes a great deal of time for consultation to make sure to envision the right results while taking the body structure and form into consideration. “The most important thing,” says Dr. Balogh, “is that patients feel comfortable and content afterwards.”

Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Atelier Schmidt

VonRoll pavilion. Photo: Lucia Degonda


VonRoll pavilion. Photo: Lucia Degonda

Eco-friendly straw bale architecture with contemporary design Atelier Schmidt, based in Trun, Switzerland, designs and constructs sustainable houses using straw as its main building and insulation material. Eco-friendly, available in abundance and inexpensive, are only three of the advantages straw has to offer as a building material. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: ATELIER SCHMIDT

“We want to realise sensual buildings that are independent, fair to the next generation and are built, operated and demolished with the smallest ecological footprint possible,” says architect and founder Werner Schmidt. Trying to avoid pollutants in buildings is one of the main factors. As is to make builder-owners as independent as possible when it comes to overheads like heating, electricity, water supply or sewages.“Thanks to the deliberately chosen natural materials, we create private wellness oases for body, soul and spirit.”Werner Schmidt’s inspiration is nature, “but also my former professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna, Hans Hollein”. Ecology, craft and invention are at the centre of Schmidt’s career: over the years he has built and developed more than 30 straw bale houses. Straw bale houses might remind people of The Three Little Piglets where the wolf

simply blows away a house built of straw, but indeed the construction is very durable; people are still living comfortably in straw bale houses built in the early 20th century. Considering three main ecologically relevant factors in housing – the construction itself, the energy needed to live in a building and the deconstruction – the advantages of straw spring to mind: “To fulfil the aim of sustainability, an insulation material is needed that is eco-friendly and biologically healthy, that needs as few grey energy as possible, and is available in sufficient amounts and is non-hazardous after deconstruction: straw fulfils all these criteria like no other building material,” explains Werner Schmidt. A thick layer of straw insulation keeps a house comfortably warm – without needing a great deal of heating. “The quality of life is so much better in straw bale houses compared to conventional ones,” says Werner Schmidt. “People liv-

ing in them believe that they will live ten years longer.” Straw can be used for new family homes or holiday residences, as shown at the Esserhof ( or industrial buildings like the vonRoll pavilion. For the Complemedis, a company growing Chinese medical herbs, Atelier Schmidt developed a new insulation concept for an existing building using straw for insulation and bamboo for shade. Esserhof.


Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  113

Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  pichler.architekt[en]

‘Passive house with wetsuit’, Vienna 2009.

‘Summer house with veranda’, Vienna 2012.

Black is the new green in sustainable architecture For pichler.architekt[en], black is beautiful. Their innovative and modern wooden structures stand for progressive architecture based on a holistic viewpoint. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: BRUNO KLOMFAR, COPYRIGHT: PICHLER.ARCHITEKT[EN]

Building in black is not only a question of minimalist design. In addition to producing a visually strong contrast of the inner and the outer, as proven with one of the pichler. architekt[en] pet projects ‘the little black’, using the colour black (or more precisely, the sum of all colours) in construction also has significant energy-saving aspects. As a ‘passive house’ uses as much self-generated energy as possible, the usage of black for the outer shielding means that the house basically becomes one gigantic, passive collector of sun energy. pichler.architekt[en] produce innovative, high-quality buildings through the synthesis of research and sustainable design. Teaching at the technical university in Vienna (TU Wien) in combination with continuous research on the design process encourages innovation and constantly infuses their work with new ideas. Due to the growing importance of sustainability, pichler.architekt[en] also strive to integrate new technologies on a regular basis, as well 114  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

as introducing new materials and digital tools to both the design and building process. They combine their love for technical innovation with the use of wooden materials to award-winning effect. Finnish plywood for example was used for the dark shielding of the ’summer house with veranda’, and white fir, a much-discussed material for interior construction, has been used for the interior fittings of ‘the little black’. Combining significant economic benefits with a pleasant biological living environment, white fir floors have a carpet-like soft feel to them and, most importantly, the wood is fast growing, not listed and available in large amounts in the region. pichler.architekt[en] believe that the most sustainable way to build is through well-made structures that are beautiful, well-functioning and easy to maintain. Thus, their buildings are marked by a natural beauty as well as longevity and value. Architect and founder Günter Pichler has grown an architectural sense of space

already during childhood, growing up among the stunning buildings and natural surroundings of Admont Abbey, where he spent his formative years. Putting his efforts into creating sustainable buildings that mirror a sense of responsibility for their immediate natural and social surroundings, an open-minded view of both architect and builder is of significant importance to him. He states: “Architecture means work – and requires input from both the architect and the builder.”

‘The little black’, Vienna 2013.

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Design Month Graz. Photo: © ciscommunity/ Alexander Rauch Photography

Culture Calendar Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in May. Design Month, Graz (Until 28 May) In May, the city of Graz invites visitors to a month of investigation into the world of design. An extensive programme explores the various creative disciplines, while offering opportunities to get in contact with creators. This year’s focus is put on digital networking and the different tools of digital changes. Events include exhibitions, workshops and presentations.

Peter Herrmann Exhibition, Berlin (Until 3 June) The Berlin Gallery Poll is putting on an exhibition of German painter Peter Herrmann’s work that will run all throughout May. Born in the GDR, Herrmann has been living in Berlin since 1986. Herrmann turned 80 this year, but is still productive and paints imagery that speaks to current visual habits.


Gourmet Festival Schaffhausen (1 - 31 May) All around Schaffhausen, the Gourmet Festival will take place in the 22 finest restaurants of the region. Fans of the region’s Blauburgunder wine will get their money’s worth and the cuisine will match that pleasure with exquisite menus. The delicious menus can be seen online.

World Tourism Forum, Lucerne (4 - 5 May) The motto of the fifth World Tourism Forum in Lucerne is ‘stay relevant in uncertain times!’. This year, the forum has attracted various top decision makers as speakers. Speakers come Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  115

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar from the industry sector, government, academia and finance and collaborate on the challenges of the future.

agra 2017, Leipzig (4 - 7 May) More than 100 exhibitors and around 120,000 square metres of exhibition space. The agra 2017 is the largest fair for agriculture, forestry and food science in Central Germany. Visitors will get to know the latest technology and machinery, but also find deep insights into important subjects like resource protection, environmental protection and the future of agriculture.

Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, Hockenheim (5 - 7 May) One of the most popular touring car series in the world, the DTM starts its new season at the beginning of May. The first racing weekend takes place at the famous Hockenheimring and promises to be an action-packed event. The entire season of the DTM will last until October 2017.

Harbour Birthday, Hamburg (5 - 7 May) Every year, Hamburg celebrates one of its most prominent features: its harbour. A threeday spectacle, the celebration takes place with various attractions on the water. A parade of tall ships, the tugboat ballet, the dragon boat race and much more. Cultural and culinary, Hamburg is spoiling visitors with the best it has to offer.

firework celebration. The first event of the year in Bonn is submerging the romantic landscape around between Bonn and Linz in an exciting orchestration of colour and music, while a fleet of illuminated ships sails on the river. There are additional ‘on land’ events around the Bonn-Rheinaue region.

International Jazz Festival, Bern (Until 20 May) Theatre Meeting, Berlin 2017 (6 - 21 May) An exhibition for the German theatre scene, the annual meeting in Berlin brings together ten theatre productions from the current season. Those ten, chosen by a jury from around 400 productions, will be shown at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele throughout May. It is a treat for all festival lovers who are interested in what the German scene has to offer.

The city of Bern will transform into a swinging Jazz metropolis. 200 concerts will take place with international Jazz musicians such as Chucho Valdés, who will open the festival, Toronzo Cannon and the Chris Potter Quartet. More than 20,000 jazz enthusiasts will make the trip to Bern to celebrate and enjoy their favourite sounds.

Sister Act, Munich (From 19 May) Rhine in Flames, Bonn (6 May) Rhine in Flames is an event series that highlights the beauty of the river through a colourful

Internationally celebrated, Sister Act is the musical version of the film starring Whoopi Goldberg. In the musical, the main character Deloris van Cartier is played by Dutch actress Aisata Japan Day. Photo: © Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH

116  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

World Tourism Forum Lucerne. Photo: © Dennis Jarvis

Blackman. Energetic direction, exciting scenery, wonderful voices and the amazing songs all make for a musical evening at the German theatre Munich that is bound to be great fun.

Valdes Chucho will perform at Bern’s International Jazz Festival. Photo: © Internationales Jazz Festival Bern

Japan Day, Düsseldorf (20 May) With over 6,500 Japanese inhabitants, Düsseldorf’s Japanese community is one of the largest in Europe. In May, the community is celebrating its annual Japan Day and will transform the city into a place for dialogue with the culture and people of Japan for thousands of excited fans. The programme gives insights into music, dance, sport, food and much more.

24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring, Nürburg (25 - 28 May) The legendary North Loop. Spectacular race cars and 24 hours of high entertainment. The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is a race of superlatives. In 2017, around 200 cars will participate and floor the accelerator. Issue 50  |  May 2017  |  117

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Barbara Geier Column

Germans eat their greens TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Can you be in love with a vegetable? Well, Germans can. The country’s love for the noble asparagus is a deeply felt and very affectionate one. If your line of food clichés has so far been the French and their baguette, the Dutch and their cheese, the Italians and their pasta and the Germans and their sausage, then change it, please. Pronto. Because if there’s one thing that Germans have a particular love affair with it’s the long and white (German) asparagus type that is mainly grown in certain regions in the south-west, north and east of the country but eaten everywhere. We even have a special season – ‘Spargelsaison’ – which lasts roughly from April to June, and boy do I miss that every year. Each and every restaurant has a special asparagus menu to choose from; there are soups and salads and lots of meat dishes that feature asparagus as a side dish. However, in truth, the little mountain of asparagus next to your piece of veal, for example, is always the star of the plate. Recipes can be very simple, such as just asparagus with some boiled egg sprinkled on top, or the more unusual combinations such as asparagus and strawberry salad. Many people also enjoy the ‘queen of vegetables’, as it’s known in Germany, with pancakes and, my personal favourite, with hollandaise sauce. And there are many more variations… 118  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Whichever way they might be prepared, asparagus are eaten in large quantities during the relatively short season. According to statistics, each German eats on average 1.5 kilos of the white sticks per year. Asparagus is the vegetable with the largest cultivated area in Germany (27,000 hectares in 2016) and demand still overtakes supply. There are special ‘asparagus routes’ that you can travel along in different parts of the countries and, of course, local festivals with their very own asparagus queens. But why are Germans so madly in love with this vegetable? In particular, since it’s a relatively expensive vegetable and Germans do generally spend less on food than, for example, their European neighbours in France, Italy and Spain. Well, I don’t know, to be honest. I just know that asparagus is as German as Jack Wolfskin-clad husband and wife combos. Apparently, the white asparagus variety (the green variety isn’t popular over here) was practically invented and developed in Germany. So, we basically have to love the stuff! Families have their own special asparagus recipes that are treasured and handed down through the generations. People have their own favourite asparagus suppliers, their favourite white wines to pair them with and, in a way, it’s also a status symbol

to eat asparagus. As mentioned before, it’s the queen of all vegetables and all I can do now is heartily suggest to you to join the natives and eat Spargel should you be in Germany now or in the coming weeks. Eat as many as you can. Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.




co n co



Suit up your business with high-class cases from Faisst

Alu Style series

More information please find at: Faisst GmbH Carl-Benz-Str. 14-16 75217 Birkenfeld/Pforzheim Germany Tel. +49 (0)7231 428089 0 Fax: +49 (0)7231 428089 67