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Issue 52 | July 2017

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

A DECADE ON THE BIG SCREEN

PLUS

MADE IN GERMANY CONSULTING EXPERTS & BUSINESS COACHES SWISS ARCHITECTS TRAVEL, DESIGN & MORE

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


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Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents JULY 2017

22

58 Photo: © Misfortune Cookies

Photo: © digitalSTROM

COVER FEATURE 28 Michael Fassbender In this interview, A-lister Michael Fassbender talks through some of his most famous roles, discusses how he gets into character, his journey to stardom, the people who helped him along the way and much more.

SPECIAL THEMES 16 Made in Germany The ‘Made in Germany’ label is well known all over the world. Thus, in this special theme, we wanted to find out what great products and innovative ideas Germany has brought forward lately. 56 Smart Business The term ‘smart home’ has become more and more omnipresent. It is no wonder, as smart home products offer great living comfort in many ways. 68 Germany’s Business Coaches Business coaching can greatly improve one’s skills and chance of success, whether you are an employee, a CEO, a manager or looking for a new job. Find out what Germany’s business coaches have to offer in this special theme. 74 Germany’s Consulting Experts The German consulting industry is booming. Thus, we have handpicked some of the country’s industry leaders in this theme. 103 Switzerland’s Successful Start-Ups In this special theme, we take a closer look at Switzerland’s creative minds and their innovative ideas. Discover the inspiration behind the latest start-up ventures and more. 108 Swiss Architects 2017 Switzerland’s architectural heritage is as diverse as it is impressive and goes far be-

yond geographical borders. Find out more about great Swiss architects, their work and their process in this special theme.

FEATURES 32 Restaurant of the Month, Austria The Al Borgo in Vienna is a place where you can feel at home while discovering the manifold layers of Italian regional cuisine. It has certainly become an insider tip for celebrities. 38 Star-Interview: Josephin Busch Best known as playing the female lead role in Udo Lindenberg’s musical Hinterm Horizont (Beyond the Horizon), German actress Josephin Busch talks to Discover Germany about playing in the theatre, her love for Berlin and more. 40 Museum of the Month, Austria The Museum der Moderne Salzburg is our museum of the month. Enchanting culture enthusiasts with outstanding exhibitions and memorable sites, it is definitely worth a visit. 42 Destination of the Month, Germany On around 204 square kilometres, Wolfsburg – North Germany’s underrated gem – presents itself as a young, modern city. Unlike any other city of its size, Wolfsburg offers numerous leisure activities for city travellers. 46 Hotel of the Month, Germany The Kameha Grand Bonn is our German hotel of the month. Here, on the banks of the Rhine river, green technology meets a powerfully designed environment for business and events. 48 Hotel of the Month, Austria With its luxuriously designed rooms, a chic atmosphere and a rooftop terrace offering a spectacular view, the extravagant hotel

LAMÉE in the heart of Vienna is one of the city’s top addresses. 54 A piece of German ‘Gemütlichkeit’ In Germany, the beach chair has for generations been an integral part of the country’s seaside culture. From spring to autumn, on Germany’s shores, the motto prevails ‘My Strandkorb is my castle’. Our writer Wibke Carter finds out more.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10 Dedicated to Design Whether you are searching for a new, stylish summer outfit or innovative design ideas from the DACH region, be sure to take a look at our design section. 32 Wine & Dine This month, our wine & dine section has all eyes on great wines, luxury hotels and numerous excellent restaurants. 42 Travel Whether you are searching for a great hotel, your next holiday experience or even a dream property abroad, we have got you covered in the travel section. 56 Business Our business section is filled with innovative companies, coaches, consultants, start-ups, architects, legal experts as well as a beauty expert. Our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht’s further takes on the interesting topic of starting up in Brexit Britain. 128 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in July. 132 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier explores why more and more Germans decide to stay at home during summer holidays. Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  3


Dear Reader,

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Ina Frank Jaime Heather Schwartz Jane Frahm Jessica Holzhausen Marilena Stracke Nadine Carstens Silke Henkele Wibke Carter

Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Cover Photo © Shutterstock

Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Catriona Noble

Discover Germany Issue 52, July 2017 Published 07.2017 ISSN 2051-7718

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

Publisher: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421   Email: info@discovergermany.com For further information please visit www.discovergermany.com

As our columnist Barbara Geier found out this month, more and more Germans trade in their summer holidays abroad with staying at home. In fact, according to statistics by the German Tourist Board, more than a third of Germans love to explore their own country during summer. No wonder, because Germany has a great deal to offer – from enchanting forests to impressive mountains and beautiful beaches. Impressive mountains and forests can, of course, also be found in Austria and Switzerland – both also well worth a visit. To cater for your lastminute summer plans, we have thus handpicked luxurious hotels, interesting destinations and great experiences to not miss in the DACH region. If you plan on visiting Germany’s beautiful beaches this summer, you will most likely come across the famous ‘Strandkorb’ that literally translates as ‘beach basket’. An integral part of the country’s seaside culture, our writer Wibke Carter wanted to found out more about this exceptional item in her special feature about the ‘Strandkorb’. You might have already noticed, but on our cover this month is none other than A-lister Michael Fassbender. It has been ten years since he shot to fame and now the German-born actor, who grew up in Ireland, is a two-time Academy Award nominee and a British Independent Film Award winner amongst many others. In our cover interview, he talks through some of his most famous roles over the past ten years, discusses how he gets into character, his journey to stardom and the people who helped him along the way. If you’re not yet saturated with great celebrity stories, be sure to also take a look at our interview with actress Josephin Busch. Best known as playing the female lead role in Udo Lindenberg’s musical Hinterm Horizont (Beyond the Horizon), she has recently released her first EP. In our interview, she talks about what it is like to be Udo Lindenberg’s all-purpose weapon, her time at the theatre and her love for Berlin. Other inspiring topics in our July issue are great design items ‘Made in Germany’, innovative start-up companies, Swiss architects, interesting consultants and coaches, restaurant and hotel tips, tasty wines and much more. Sit back, relax and thanks for reading.

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

4  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Nane Steinhoff, Editor


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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds This month, from 4 to 7 July, Berlin will turn into an innovative melting pot for models, designers, visitors, buyers, fashion bloggers, journalists and fashion industry professionals. We take a sneak peek at some of this year’s Berlin Fashion Week designers who will showcase their products in the German capital. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES

The label Mariana Jungmann puts special emphasis on sustainability, Renaissance lace and intricate details, while mixing craftsmanship and technology – something that should be seen with one’s own eyes at this year’s Berlin Fashion Week. Dress £POA. www.marianajungmann.com

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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Another great look by Mariana Jungmann is this blue jumpsuit with lace details on the shoulders. The label’s looks are powerful and bold but still very delicate. Jumpsuit £600. www.marianajungmann.com

The Munich-based label holyGhost seeks to create unconventional, yet contemporary, pieces that highlight the strong and self-confident side of a woman. This gorgeous kimono is made out of 100 per cent velvet. Approx. £331. www.holyghost-fashion.com

The German eyewear label MYKITA will also be showcasing their exceptional sunglasses at Berlin Fashion Week. This eyecatcher is sure to grab everyone’s attention. Model ‘AMBUSH VERBAL’ £439. www.mykita.com

Another fashion label from Munich is Antonia Zander. The cashmere label produces the finest clothes for modern nomads and sophisticated bohemians. Spice up any outfit with this unconventional skirt. Approx. £828. www.antoniazander.de

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  7


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Waidzeit

The perfect combination - Waidblick sunglasses, Wildfang jewellery and Waidzeit wooden watch. Photo: © Lukas Bezila

Watch ‘Sissy & Max’ by Waidzeit. Photo: © Christian Biemann

The timeless beauty of sustainable watches and jewellery When you think of watches or jewellery, you will probably think of precious metal or sparkling diamonds. Think again as Austrian-based design company Waidzeit is about to revolutionise the market for traditional watches and jewellery. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE

When Elisabeth Hutegger sold the first wooden watches in 2014 at a Christmas market, she was overwhelmed by the positive reactions of her customers. “We were wholeheartedly convinced of the quality and the design of our wooden watches; and yet were entirely unprepared for the huge amount of praise our watches received. It encouraged us to take our business further and to engage full-time in the design and manufacture of wooden high-quality watches,” recounts Elisabeth, who founded the company together with her husband Christoph. Waidzeit grew fast and today employs up to six people.“As a trained wood engineer, I have an in-depth knowledge of wood. The decision to process solely Austrian, sustainably grown wood was thus made consciously: I do think that Austrian wood gives Waidzeit’s products the traditional and timeless look of a masterpiece we want our products to emanate; moreover, 8  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

by only using sustainably grown lumber and woven fabric made in Austria for our bracelets, we can also support our environment,” explains Christoph Hutegger. Waidzeit’s business partners are equally consciously chosen. “Our sales channels clearly focus on retailers in Austria and Germany. Even retailers in Switzerland, country of watchmakers par excellence, are convinced of the quality of our watches with Swiss movements and stock Waidzeit’s products,” boasts Hutegger. The plans to bring his family-run design business forward are promising.“The positive feedback over the last three years has encouraged us greatly. It helped us to grow and to believe in our products. It also encouraged us to expand our product range, which now also includes matching jewellery and cool wooden glasses,” Hutegger praises the latest additions to Waidzeit’s collection, and adds: “Valuable additions,

which we are sure to attract new retail partners like high-end fashion boutiques.” People wearing products by Waidzeit feel a close bond with nature. They like to wear eye-catchers and they like the traditional and timeless design of Waidzeit’s products. Are you one of them? Take a look at their produce online or in a shop and decide for yourself. It is definitely worth a peek! www.waidzeit.eu (also for online orders) info@waidzeit.at (for interested retailers)

Waidzeit - high-precision watches made from domestic Austrian wood. Photo: © Christian Biemann


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Jeanslife

Jeanslife – Quality Clothing ‘We love denim and blue hands’ Enter the world of natural, genuine material and quality, breathe the smell of tanned leather and untreated denim and listen to the music that transfers you back to a time when jeans were predominately worn by blue-collar workers. At ‘Jeanslife – Quality Clothing` you will only find the products of carefully selected manufactures from all over the world that live up to the high standards of its owner, Roger Schmuki. TEXT: JANE FRAHM  I  PHOTOS: STEFAN SCHAUFELBERGER

“We recommend everyone to dial down their consumerism and to concentrate on small and sustainable manufacturers, of which you know where and how the production takes place,” says Schmuki, who has created a unique selection of denims, jackets, shoes and shirts, all following his philosophy of sustainability and authenticity. Not only does the cosy shop radiate the atmosphere of someone’s home, the customer service is also hearty and informal. “When they can take their time and are offered a coffee or a beer, even men

enjoy shopping,” says Schmuki, with a smile on his face. Jeanslife’s staff offers a professional and individual assistance for all its clients and the shop even has an in-house tailor, who customises the new garments to perfection. The shop is open from Monday to Saturday and customers are welcome to simply come by or to make an appointment, if desired. For further information and directions, check out their website. www.jeanslife.ch

This shop, located in Winterthur, transfers you back in time.

Men’s department: the variety of denims and other goods.

GE N LE UIN AT HE E R

A L L O W YO U R S E L F SOME LUXURY W W W . M AT T I O L I - B A G S . D E


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… Summer is here and we want you to go outside. Seriously, take a walk in the park, get to the beach, go on holiday. But of course, you want to do it in style without missing out on the essentials. That is where we come in. We have found five wonderful gadgets that will enable your perfect summer from a technological point of view. BY: THOMAS SCHROERS

1. Talking about going to the beach. Kreafunk’s aGLOW speaker will provide rich audio on warm summer evenings. Smartphones can be plugged in via Bluetooth or cable. The battery lasts up to 20 hours and the design is one of a kind, as the aGLOW is not only a speaker but also a dimmable LED light. £112.  www.einrichten-design.de

1

2. A spontaneous evening of movies and music? Here is a mini LED projector that will fit into your backpack. Just set it up, plug in whatever device is available and start screening your files in your friend’s living rooms or your own backyard. £70. www.monsterzeug.de 3. We all know it, battery life is short these days. That is why veho designed an exceptional mobile powerbank, which will take care of all your devices. The best thing? The Veho Pebble Aria is not only a charger, but also a speaker able to play all of your music. £43.  www.radbag.de 4. To avoid the mobile charger, you should also be prepared at home. For example, with the Konstantin  Slawinski cable box, which secures and hides all your cables while your devices sit safely and visibly on its elegant tray. £70. www.design-3000.de 5. Just a watch you might think, but Biegert & Funk have created something more. A simple push illuminates the words which show the time in the language of your choice. It is a must-have for fans of unusual watches and a clever design and for those not wanting to lose track of time when outside. £605.  www.einrichten-design.de

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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Ideal Standard

Above: Beauty and strength: Ideal Standard’s new ‘Ipalyss’ vessel range.

When lightness designs space – the ‘Connect Air’ collection.

The perfect combination of style, quality and functionality We use them daily and probably never give them second thought - bathroom products. It comes in different forms, sizes and colours. Bonn-based company Ideal Standard has brought the art of bathroom products to perfection. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: IDEAL STANDARD

Ideal Standard is a modern company, but deeply rooted within its over 115-year-old history. Traditionally, the brand is first and foremost associated with high-quality and innovative design, technology and service. Ideal Standard’s collaborations with famous international top designers as well as the employment of the latest technologies allows the company to focus on innovative solutions for modern bathrooms such as high-end ceramics, fittings, taps, bath and shower tubs as well as bathroom furniture and accessories. Ideal Standard is widely known for the singular quality and winning design of its products. “Our aim is the design of timeless products – products that still look stylish and modern in 20 years’ time. Ideal Standard’s very precise and highclass workmanship guarantees the durability of our products and increases

our customers well-being – any day and every day,” elucidates Robin Levien, award-winning British product designer who is regularly teaming up with Ideal Standard. Series like ‘Connect Air’, ‘Tonic II’ or ‘DEA’ are proof of this timeless design. They also show that modern design, style and functionality can be a very charming combination indeed. Always eager to embrace the new, Ideal Standard’s most recent design coup ‘Ipalyss’, which will be introduced to the market this summer, is the result of Levien’s latest collaboration with Ideal Standard. ‘Ipalyss’’ novel design elegantly combines clean aesthetics and longevity and is thus a perfect fit for those with sophisticated taste. The ultra-thin material Diamatec is extremely durable – a fact which enabled the designers at Ideal Standard to make the impossible possible:

to craft extremely robust and sturdy tub walls that are still ultra-thin and thus emanate effortless elegance. Available in three variants and in five pastel colours and in white, Ideal Standard’s latest design give every bathroom a timeless, sophisticated and, above all, aesthetic look. Ideal Standard’s designs and products have convinced buyers for a long time. With new designs like the most recent ‘Ipalyss’ series, Ideal Standard is certain to retain its position as one of the top players on the international market for bathroom accessories for a long time to come indeed. www.idealstandard.de

‘Ipalyss’ combines ultra-thin, high-end design aesthetics with extreme durability.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  11


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  xxx

‘Ovum‘ gets rolled to its place.

Passion and authenticity Steel sculptor and designer Andreas Reichlin is the inventor of the original Feuerring that opens up new and stylish possibilities for barbecuing. Discover Germany spoke to him, the Swiss architect Ivan Marty and photographer Sylvan Müller to find out more about their 2017 Feuerring campaign ‘Form in Space’.

Andreas, ‘Reduction to the Essentials’ is a principle that can be perceived in your work. What is the importance of the reduction theme when you think of the Feuerring?

TEXT: FEUERRING GMBH, NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: DANIELA KIENZLER

Always looking for the perfect stage for the Feuerring, Andreas Reichlin collaborated with photographer Sylvan Müller at the plants of the Küssnacht-based Isenschmid AG. Here, Reichlin and Müller used the large production hall to move around the heavy Feuerrings with cranes. With the Feuerring’s base material, they created steel spaces that show the Feuerring from new perspectives. The result are beautifully reduced, wonderfully aesthetic and creatively significant photographs that accompany the Feuerring in 2017 throughout its ‘Form in Space’ campaign. 12  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Your style is ‘infinitely reduced‘, Sylvan. In our world, we are often faced with ‘abundance’. How do you reduce ‘abundance’ to get to the essentials? Müller: By leaving out. I like to leave things out, as I can concentrate better when I’m not surrounded by things. The decision on what to leave out is intuitive. You can achieve reduction by not decorating; consciously not embellishing, to give the subject the necessary weight and not distract from it.

Reichlin: The simpler a form, the better it ‘functions’ in various contexts. The Feuerring fits into historical space just as well as into modern architecture. That’s the result of reduction. It prevents categorisation into a particular era. The Feuerring would have functioned 300 years ago and will still do so in 300 years’ time. Ivan, which projects of yours display a very reduced style? Marty: Reduction is a central theme, along with the materials used. Good architecture functions from the point of view of material


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Feuerring

authenticity and reduction to the essentials. I can only counter our cluttered-up region by reducing and restricting. The Feuerring team perceives itself as experts in scene-setting. Is there such a thing as the perfect ‘form-space solution’? Marty: When I am in conversation with customers, they often have a fixed idea. I always take them back to the question of wellbeing. My classic question: when you enter a restaurant, where do you choose to sit? In the middle of the room, or with your back to the wall? This makes it clear to the customer what is ‘right’ for him.

we get from the Feuerring. The great thing is that the sculptural aspect is appreciated although you can live and work with it on an everyday basis. Our product keeps its promises and I find that wonderful. Marty: The first piece of artwork in my garden, and it means a lot to me. Particularly as I was able to accompany you, Andreas, in your development. A Feuerring is incorporated into the planning of all my house designs. The Feuerring works as a sculpture, but offers a whole lot more. I

would not part with it; it belongs in our everyday life. Müller: That is the difference; to me the Feuerring is still more an art object and, through my work, has really become a sculpture. I am fascinated by the fact that, in addition to the sculptural power, there is evidently a whole lot more besides. Of course I have already considered where the Feuerring could go beside the vineyard… www.feuerring.ch

Reichlin: There are situations that are simply right, where a sculpture has its true position.You could put is somewhere else, but it would speak a different language. I also believe that there are arrangements of which one could globally say, they are ‘right’. Müller: I prefer the word ‘harmonious’. I believe that there are harmonious arrangements. The question is: what mood do I want to generate? That’s why I am fascinated by the dramatic composition, the story I want to tell.

Andreas Reichlin (left) with lithographer Georg Sidler (middle) and Sylvan Müller (right).

Production hall of Isenschmid AG.

Sylvan Müller at work.

Attention to detail: one of Reichlin’s hallmarks.

Ivan Marty.

Andreas Reichlin (left), Sylvan Müller (right).

What is it that people perceive when they look at your rooms, your forms, your pictures? Reichlin: To me, it is important to not only see the work itself, but also the entire development behind it. In the last work, you just find the essence. Marty: There are projects where everything comes together like in a funnel. I believe you feel it when you enter; you see how I work. Müller: My hope is that the story reaches the viewer, without my presence being felt. Of course I want people to feel my passion for the topic. That also applies to photography. What is Feuerring for you? Reichlin: We founded the company because we wanted to pass on the pleasure

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  13


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  estragon

Handle for the Alpa TC 12.

estragon designs for VONSCHLOO.

estragon

Design versatility made in Switzerland For any company, product design is one of the most important aspects of their value chain. Especially in modern, crowded marketplaces, the right design makes for a sharp, recognisable image that transcends the multitude of products. It is also the key element for communicating a coherent sales story. Since its foundation, Swiss company estragon specialises in the collaborative development of specific, sustainable product design. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  |  PHOTOS: ESTRAGON GMBH

“Design to us is a reduction to the essentials, the omission of redundant aspects. Because omitting something and focussing on a clear message takes courage, a courage, that enables one to take a step into the unknown.” When Dirk Fleischhut and André Lüthy met during their studies at the Art Centre Europe, they did not know that some years later they would take such a step themselves. After gaining experience in various design sectors, they reunited and combined their new insights with their basic creative disposition to form estragon. Over the years, the name estragon, which served as an abstract image for taste and sense, has been filled with a diverse, exciting array of projects. Versatility and diversity have been an initial goal for Fleischhut and Lüthy, who are working with brands such as ASICS, Tissot, ALPA, 14  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

SIGG, SCOTT, Thule or VONSCHLOO. For SWIZA the two created a concept for a new Swiss Knife, which possesses a modern self-sufficient design, while also portraying the longstanding history of the brand. “Daily we experience the different ways how our customers approach design and that there are various approaches to solving similar problems,” explains Lüthy. “At estragon, we are always confronted with new questions and challenges, but that is where our creativity comes from.” Creativity, which also enabled the estragon team to develop a design DNA and concept, both artistically and technically, for an all new line of urban packs for the brand Jack Wolfskin. In the past 15 years, the design process has not changed as much as the tools have. Photo-realistic imaging, rapid prototyp-

ing, digitalisation of models and further methods influence the daily work. For Fleischhut and Lüthy, new tools are valuable when applied properly. “At the core of our work is always the creative vision and the formal expression. In the end, it is the quality and thorough execution that counts and is needed to give the design and product the necessary sustainability and longevity.” www.estragon.ch

SWIZA’s Swiss Knife.


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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Photo: © Cosima Hanebeck, Bremen

SPECIAL THEME: MADE IN GERMANY

The history of ‘Made in Germany’ Despite widespread belief, the ‘Made in Germany’ label is not a German invention. Instead, it was an idea of Great Britain. Find out why on the next page and in the following special theme, we have also handpicked some great products and innovative ideas Germany has brought forward recently.

Photo: Ute Thoma, FR, © Keller Bürsten GmbH

16  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Photo: © Bandelin, Berlin


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Photo: © Weingut Emrich-Schönleber

Did you know that the ‘Made in Germany’ label is over 129 years old and that it was an invention of Great Britain? To be precise, Great Britain introduced the label in 1887 when it passed a law to force foreign companies to make the origins of their products clear. Apparently, several German companies had copied British products and Great Britain wanted to keep German products from gaining popularity in their country by labelling exactly where they come from.

companies and their products sank to an all-time low. Today, the reputation for Germany’s well-made products has recovered and, especially in recent decades, companies take advantage of this. For example, Volkswagen shows its roots with the slogan ’Das Auto’ and Audi has Photo: © Sennheiser

‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ in their international advertising campaigns. In the following special theme, find out what other great products and innovative ideas Germany has brought forward lately. Photo: © Misfortune Cookies

However, this clearly backfired as the ‘Made in Germany’ trademark is now probably the most famous and appreciated one all over the world. This came about as German products vastly improved by the end of the 19th century. They grew in popularity due to their meticulous attention to detail and high-quality workmanship. During the First and Second World War, Germany’s economy was obviously devastated and the reputation of German Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  17


xxxxxxin Germany Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made

The PXC 550 Wireless headphones.

Speak without interruption, listen without interference Sometimes you just need to get away from the hustle, bustle and stress of the world for a little while. The latest generation of travel headphones helps to do just that with active noise cancellation that fades out the noisiness of airports, trains and fellow passengers. Now it is time for an upgrade. Manufactured by German audio specialist Sennheiser, the PXC 550 Wireless offers high-performance ANC and up to 30 hours of battery life, while delivering the high-quality sound that the company has become renowned for over the past seven decades. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTOS: SENNHEISER

After its modest beginnings in a farmhouse in Wedemark near Hannover, Germany, in 1945, Sennheiser set out to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. The family-owned company is driven by the vision to shape the future of audio. Numerous patents and awards – including an Emmy, a Grammy, a Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Engineering Emmy‘s® Philo T. Farnsworth Award – bear witness 18  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

to Sennheiser’s innovative drive. This is embodied by four research and development centres worldwide as well as by the Innovation Campus at the headquarters in Wedemark. Opened in 2015, the facility is the audio industry’s largest and most modern centre for innovation. In the same year, Sennheiser launched what is now considered to be the best headphones in the world – the HE 1. Hand-crafted in Wedemark, the HE 1 delivers exceptional spaciousness and a frequency range that extends far beyond human hearing.

With the PXC 550 Wireless headphones, the audio specialist translated its innate spirit of innovation to the travel segment, demonstrating Sennheiser’s expertise in the field of noise-cancelling headsets. The headphones are a particularly fitting solution for discerning business travellers who need their headphones to provide both an oasis of calm, which allows perfect focus in a busy environment, and a working tool that allows travellers to stay connected on the move. Just like the best business travel experience, Sennheiser’s PXC 550 Wireless headphones anticipate the user’s every need, letting them travel in supreme wireless comfort and free from distractions. The PXC 550 Wireless is built to meet the demands of the frequent traveller with long-haul battery performance of up to 30 hours. Even with Sennheiser’s NoiseGard™ hybrid adaptive noise cancellation


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

engaged, the PXC 550 Wireless can span the world on a single charge. A smart travel companion Sennheiser’s PXC 550 Wireless offers a smart travel experience that combines supreme ease of use with features that discretely anticipate the needs of the user. The intuitive, earcup-mounted touch control panel and voice prompt system allows for a convenient selection of settings, while the PXC 550 Wireless can automatically pause music and calls when the headphones are taken off.

calls ensured by a beamforming array with three microphones. No matter how noisy the environment, the PXC 550 Wireless offers crystal-clear speech and gives travellers an ideal private space for relaxing or staying focused on work. Sennheiser’s NoiseGard™ hybrid adaptive noise can-

cellation ensures uninterrupted listening by seamlessly monitoring and adapting to ambient noise levels to provide the exact level of suppression needed – whether on a plane, train or a noisy street. www.sennheiser.com

The enhanced user experience starts with effortless NFC pairing for high-quality Bluetooth audio transmission for pristine sound, which can be tailored precisely according to preference. A personalised listening experience with CapTune™ The PXC 550 Wireless features four presets for adjusting sound and one customisable Director mode that can be tailored with ease using Sennheiser’s companion app, CapTune™. The audio specialist’s first sound personalisation app has been developed with the discerning headphone user in mind. Free to download for Android and iOS smartphones, CapTune™ is both a premium quality music player and a powerful sound tuning app that gives users greater sonic control. Permitting precise adjustments with the equaliser and featuring the unique SoundCheck, with which users can tune their music’s sound by A/Btesting different set-ups, CapTune™ allows for a personalised listening experience.

The PXC 550 Wireless headphones.

The Innovation Campus at the headquarters in Wedemark.

The farmhouse in Wedemark near Hannover, Germany, where Sennheiser was founded in 1945.

Sennheiser quality for assured comfort Class-leading ergonomics, lightweight design and high-quality materials make the sleek PXC 550 Wireless extremely comfortable even for the longest of listening sessions. Its earpads have been designed in accordance with Sennheiser’s dedicated research into ear shape ergonomics for supreme comfort. Speak without interruption, listen without interference Staying connected on the move is easy with the PXC 550 Wireless, with unrivalled speech clarity for business and personal Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  19


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Keller Bürsten GmbH

Main image: Bürstenfabrik Keller GmbH is one of the leading European manufacturers of fine brushes. Photo: © Olaf Herzog, Waldkirch Top right: Men ‘gentleline’ gift set. Photo: © Jasmin Keller, TO Right: The right brush for any type of hair and any purpose. Photo: © Ute Thoma, FR

Beautiful brushes with many purposes One of the leading European manufacturers of fine brushes, Bürstenfabrik Keller GmbH offers its customers first-rate products for hair and body care, selected household brushes and complete ranges of pet and animal brushes – quality made in Germany. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE  I  PHOTO COPYRIGHT: KELLER BÜRSTEN GMBH

striking design. Each grooming set consists of two different hairbrushes, a face brush, a handwashing brush and a beard brush. With these brushes you can perfectly implement any styling and have a natural and well-groomed look.

Who said that brushes have only one purpose? Who said they only consist of one material? Surely, a bristle brush is a great staple for almost any kind of hair. The natural boar bristles are excellent at distributing your scalp’s natural oils down the hair shaft, and are so flexible that they will not break your hair. But vegan brushes are also ideal for naturally caring for any type of hair. Body brushes help exfoliate and

Another innovative approach to making brushes is the use of organic, vegan materials. Vegan brushes with cellulose-based bristles, the Vegafibre, are made of unique, natural and re-newable resources. All components (wood, wax and bristle covering) are of natural origin and without animal components. The antistatic vegan bristle cover is made of innovative filaments and is produced in

20  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

massage your skin, adding to the general well being and body care. Gentlemen and vegan brushes This modern understanding of using natural brushes for a variety of purposes is characterised by Keller’s series: ‘gentleline’ - an elegant, timeless and classic design made of pear wood, and ‘roughline’ made of sturdy walnut and with a


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

an exceptional cellulosic manufacturing process. Algae essence has also been incorporated into the wellness brush. Committed to tradition The company’s dedication and expertise spans almost 150 years. In 1869, the Bürstenfabrik Keller GmbH was established by Johann Baptist Keller and initially specialised in the production of brushwoods. Around 1920, the company additionally began to manufacture functional brushes, selling them throughout Germany and beyond. Today, the company continues to cover the entire depth of production in order to operate flexibly, sustainably, and to maintain its focus on customer service. This means that all manufacturing steps – from the processing of the raw wood to the completed and printed brush – are done in-house. To this day, the company has remained at its historical site in Todtnau in the Black Forest. Jasmin and Andreas Keller own and operate the family business in the fifth generation. Craftsmanship and care “In addition to our modern production facilities, we also cultivate traditional

craftsmanship. To give an example, individual pieces are manufactured using the traditional hand-drawn method,” explains owner Jasmin Keller. “Only a very small number of experts still master the technique of hand drawing brushes, the socalled ‘Stirneinzugsbürsten’. Made purely by hand, the holes are bored and thick wild boar bristles are drawn into the precious wood body bundle after bundle. These exclusive and rare brush exemplars are created with expertise and passion.” Creative, flexible production The company only uses select highquality raw materials in making a wide variety of brushes. In fact, creativity and flexibility are today required more than ever. This is true, not only when it comes to fulfilling market and customer wishes, but also on the production side. Shorter product life cycles mean that models need to be developed ever faster, new material deployed and new production techniques mastered. Ecological and social responsibility The firm’s understanding of working responsibly strikes a balance between quality production and the preservation

of natural resources and life. “Protection of natural habitats, commitment to our region and the highest quality are the premises that form the basis of how we manufacture our products,” describes Jasmin Keller. “The responsible handling of natural resources for us as manufacturers of natural products forms an important part of our corporate philosophy and company policies.” The company has followed sustainable principles for many years. “We consider ourselves to have a permanent ecological, economic and social responsibility to our customers, suppliers, our staff and our region. As an FSC® certified firm, we support the environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable use of the world’s forests.” www.keller-buersten.de info@keller-buersten.de From top left: The Vegafibre brush is one example of Keller’s products using high-quality raw materials. Photo: © Jasmin Keller, TO The history of Bürstenfabrik Keller GmbH spans almost 150 years. Photo: © Archivfoto Hair and body care brushes. Beautiful brushes for any type of hair.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  21


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

‘Bad luck is your new stalker’

Misfortune in a cookie, or how to enjoy Schadenfreude Teasingly evil quotes hidden in a biscuit as black as the night: Misfortune Cookies are the mischievous and high-quality equivalent to the well-known fortune cookies. As a fun game during a party, a present or simply as highlight after a miserable day, Misfortune Cookies show once more how much fun dark humour can be. But that a German of all people has invented them might come a surprise.

that someone else probably had the same a long time before me.” It was therefore a surprise when he realised that something like Misfortune Cookies actually did not exist.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: MISFORTUNE COOKIES

With a professional approach right from the beginning, Pechkeks is a success story that searches comparison. Not only did customers like the new Misfortune Cookies, the media also got wind of it. In 2013, many German news outlets published a story about Andreas Pohl’s idea. The question of who invented the Misfortune Cookies was even asked in one of Germany’s most popular TV quiz shows. Today, the ‘Pechkeks’ brand still sells 60 per cent of its products to the German market, but also expanded and successfully sells as far as Australia. More than 1,800 shops – from trendy gift shops to delis and supermarkets – currently have Pechkeks products on offer, among them household names like Harrods and Selfridges in the UK.

Germans are well known for craftsmanship, their inventions and accuracy – but normally not so much for their wicked sense of humour. That black humour indeed runs deep in some German innovators might therefore come as a surprise. With their Misfortune Cookies, called ‘Pechkeks’ in German, Pechkeks’ inventor Andreas Pohl and his team have brought gift items to the market that will leave people reeling with laughter. This is simply so, because the darker and far better designed version of the well-known Chinese fortune cookies are wicked, naughty, a little bit evil and very funny. There is no better word to describe it than the German word ‘Schadenfreude’: to laugh be22  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

cause some small evil has befallen someone who actually deserves it. Quotes like these speak of the underlying mind-set of ‘Schadenfreude’: “Things will get better. Sometime. Maybe.” Or “The stars are in your favour – Two light years away”. Or “Your dreams will come true – the weird ones where you’re naked and everyone is laughing”. And “You will grow old, wise… and have to wear nappies”. Andreas Pohl first had the idea for Misfortune Cookies at a dinner party when he realised how boring normal fortune cookies could be even when read out loud. “I had this idea but was convinced


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Starting out with cookies, Pechkeks has widened its portfolio, selling various gifts all with the same wicked sense of humour as the original product. The most surprising part is that they address people from completely different backgrounds, from housewife to manager, from teenager to elderly couple, from suburbia to the dark alternative scene. “We are the headquarters of black humour,” says inventor Andreas Pohl about the company’s success. That the quotes are not only dark, but also intelligent, is a key success factor. Most products – like the cookies – are produced in Germany. Among them are travel mugs telling coffee drinkers “Do everyone a favour and go back to bed” and “You bring others happiness… when you leave”. Anti-greeting cards, snot rags

(“Just cry!”) and hair combs (“Your hairs are numbered”) are among the products sold internationally. The range is wider on the German market and expands constantly. Every year, between five to ten new products are brought to market maturity.“When compared with other products in the gift sector, we are completely different when it comes to style and quality,” explains Pohl. “Every product is made with a lot of love and is something we would buy ourselves.” Today, more than 1,000 quotes already exist for the cookies and Andreas Pohl and his team work with professional text experts to write new ones constantly. “But we also think about new ideas ourselves – when having a glass of wine or a beer and even under the shower,” says

Pohl. The quotes are all, in a way, more than just teasing and are often a tiny bit cruel and simply not “nice”. Nice is boring. People want authenticity, says Pohl, and not only good luck charms or colourful teddy bears with “I love you” hearts. “But there is a certain mark we do not overstep,” adds Andreas Pohl. “We have moral compass when it comes to how far we can go.” It should sting a bit, but not severely hurt anyone’s feelings. So, what makes Misfortune Cookies so popular and outstanding? They are everything but definitely not mainstream. “And that is something customers have realised,” says Andreas Pohl. Now, instead of continuing reading: “Give up. At least for today.” www.pech-keks.de/en

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  23


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Take a bow:

Stange bow ties let you show your personal style Family-owned Stange Berlin is the only self-manufacturer of bow ties in Germany and was originally founded in 1934. From the colourful to the classic, Stange Berlin offers a wealth of choice and a bow tie for every occasion.

pre-bound and simply adjusted. The company will gladly take on special requests for custom-made products as well.

TEXT: JAIME HEATHER SCHWARTZ  I  PHOTOS: BANDELIN, BERLIN

Although holding on to their traditions, Stange Berlin has still moved into the modern age. Besides visiting them at their Berlin location, customers can browse through their collection and purchase their wares through their online shop. Speaking on how the bow tie has maintained its allure over time, Jürgen Stange says: “The world is changing. Often, it’s the small things that have the biggest effect, and that extends to very personal matters as well.” For those ready to set themselves apart from the crowd, an elegant and eye-catching bow tie makes a bold statement.

Providing some insight into what has kept the business going, Jürgen Stange, secondgeneration leader of Stange Berlin says: “Our product is an accessory for individualists and we have created a niche that stands out from what is nowadays mass produced in Asia.” Speaking about what he likes best about the work, he says: “I particularly enjoy our cooperation with the Italian silk weavers, and knowing we produce products that fulfil not only our high-quality expectations, but those of our customers as well.” 24  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

For the Stange family, bow ties are a symbol of individuality and self-esteem and they allow the wearer to express these sentiments in their own personal way. “The bow tie can be viewed as the crown of every outfit,” explains Jürgen Stange. “It sets the tone and feel of any look, either through its harmony with the rest of the outfit or through its contrast.” The two most popular Stange bow ties are the ‘profi’ and the ‘easy’, both available in six different forms. The former is manufactured in one piece according to specific collar widths and tied by the wearer, while the latter is

www.stange.berlin


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Knitwear to love Soft, comfortable and long-lasting: with Leuchtfeuer’s high-quality knitwear made in Germany, one can feel the difference. The products of the long-established family business are made of high-quality wool and wool blends – representative for the company’s commitment to care and well-being. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE & NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTOS: COSIMA HANEBECK, BREMEN

In our fast-paced world, where the slogan ‘quantity over quality’ is omnipresent, high-quality materials like wool increasingly fall into oblivion. But the Lilienthalbased family business Leuchtfeuer seeks to fundamentally change this. After all, wool is a natural fibre that provides unique properties that no synthetic fibre could ever provide. For example, wool offers ideal temperature regulation during all activities, even when wet, and allows the wearer to move around comfortably. Wool absorbs up to 30 per cent of its own weight in moisture, such as sweat, without actually feeling wet and still keeping warm. It also does not start to smell. Furthermore, wool is waterrepellent and possesses impressive

moisture management. It is also known for its mechanical self-cleaning ability and thus does not get dirty as quickly. Further advantages of wool are that the fibre rarely creases, that it is of low flammability and that it is, of course, very comfortable to wear as the extremely fine fibres adapt to the skin. Therefore, it seems no wonder that wool is the material of choice for Leuchtfeuer’s exceptional outdoor clothing – perfect for work, exercise, relaxation and outdoor activities. Influenced by North Germany’s maritime heritage and tough climate, the firm’s products are made to last. Its product portfolio, which includes contemporary styles and timeless classics, ranges from high-quality Troyer sweaters and

hats to socks, scarves and knitwear for men and women. A history of success Leuchtfeuer Strickwaren, as an authentic family business, has supplied knitwear to customers, specialist retailers and textile industry partners for over half a century. Founded by Adolf Grohmann in North Germany in 1956 and now run in the third generation, the company balances tradition and future goals. A strong entrepreneurial spirit is combined with extensive experience, quality craftsmanship and innovative industrial processes and technologies. “From the yarn to the end product, the quality of goods is constantly monitored and brought to the market with a clear conscience. The yarns are subject to permanent quality control. We have always had a strong focus on using and sourcing excellent sustainable materials and wools,” explains CEO Olaf Grohmann. www.leuchtfeuer-strickwaren.de Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  25


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Made in Germany

Frank Schönleber.

Sustainable winegrowing with a centuries-old tradition The first indication to viticulture in Monzingen can be dated back to the year 778. The forefathers of winegrowers Schönleber have held onto their winegrowing traditions since the middle of the 18th century. TEXT: INA FRANK  |  PHOTOS: WEINGUT EMRICH-SCHÖNLEBER

The viticulture at VDP-Weingut EmrichSchönleber is based on three principles: their wine offers true drinking pleasure; it is authentic, showing unflatteringly its origin; and it has a distinctive character; wines that are ‘only’ good are not enough. These principles have been natural long before they were actually formulated and set out in writing, as Frank Schönleber, holder and winemaker of the estate, explains. “Our principles are based on our own experiences in drinking wine. Of course, we try many different wines, but we always realise that we only empty the bottle if one can assume that that the principles were fulfilled for that specific wine. That’s why it has been always our aim to produce these kind of wines.” The Emrich-Schönleber estate is located in Monzingen, in the region of Nahe. The grapes grow very closely to the winery, 26  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

within a radius of only three kilometres. In total, Emrich-Schönleber’s vineyard area has a size of 19 hectares. Riesling is their favourite variety and makes up more than 85 per cent of the cultivation, along with Grauburgunder, Weißburgunder and Müller-Thurgau. In the past 25 years, recultivation has been an important issue to Emrich-Schönleber’s vineyards. “Some of the best sites in Monzingen were not used for decades and then overgrew,” Schönleber tells. “We have been recultivating about five hectares of these areas since the beginning of the 1990s.” In 2007, the steepest part of the Halenberg vineyard was cleared and the soil was loosened for the future young grapevines. On the steep slope, the vines had to be planted by hand. The hard work paid off – particularly in 2007, there were optimal conditions for the quick growing

of the vines, it was not too hot and there were quite a few extensive rainfalls. Today, ten years later, the wines from this site are already of great quality. Yet, it will take some more years before they show enough depth to carry the name of the famous VDP.GROSSE LAGE® (grand cru) Halenberg on the label. These wines from Monzingen have been awarded with the rating ‘world class’ in the relevant wine guides in Germany. So, what is the wine expert’s insider tip? “My favourite Riesling is the Mineral,” Schönleber reveals.“It has a strong, special character and one can always discover new exciting aspects of it.” www.emrich-schoenleber.de Wine cellar.


hgschmitz.de Interface design: schmitz Visuelle Kommunikation

Gira X1 – smart home mastered.

Award interface design: German Design Award 2017, winner in the Excellent Product Design Building category Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2014, Best of Best for highest design quality For more information: www.gira.com


Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Michael Fassbender

28  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017


Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender

A decade on the big screen In this interview, Michael Fassbender talks through some of his most famous roles over the past ten years, discusses how he gets into character, his journey to stardom, the people who helped him along the way and more. TEXT: JASON ADAMS/HOT FEATURES

It has been ten years since Michael Fassbender shot to fame on the big screen in Hunger. The German-born actor, who grew up in Killarney, Ireland, was 30 when he got his big break in Steve McQueen’s biopic of Irish republican hunger-striker Bobby Sands. Now, at 40, he is a two-time Academy Award nominee (12 Years a Slave, Steve Jobs), a SAG and Critics Choice Award winner (Inglourious Basterds) and a British Independent Film Award winner (Shame, Hunger) – to name some of his many accolades.

Macbeth. Photo: © DVD/Blu-ray Macbeth, STUDIOCANAL

He has also done his turn as a superhero playing Magneto in Marvel’s X-Men movies and starred as Macbeth in Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Other films of note include playing Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method and donning a papier-mâché head to play a character inspired by comedy musician Frank Sidebottom in Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank. In his latest project, Sir Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, the

sequel to the legendary director’s Alien prequel Prometheus, he is seen reprising his character of sentient android David. So Michael, you shot to fame with Hunger, which you made ten years ago, and you’ve now made three movies with Steve McQueen. How did you find each other? Michael Fassbender: Well, really I have to thank a casting director called Gary Davy. He called me in to meet Steve initially. I’d got the script for Hunger and I was very sensitive to the material. My mum comes from the north and I just wanted to make sure that if we were making a film about this topic that it was handled with the utmost respect. Had you heard of Steve or did you know his work before getting the script? Michael Fassbender: No I didn’t. I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to art, I have to Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  29


Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Michael Fassbender

say. Embarrassingly so. So Gary was like, ‘you’ve got to come in and meet this guy’. It wasn’t like my door was getting knocked down with offers or anything [laughs] so I went in to meet Steve and I immediately knew that I had to work with him, that he was special. What was it? Michael Fassbender: It was just the way he answered my questions. […] Just the way he talked about people… Steve has got such an empathy for humanity. He loves people in all their greatness and in their flaws. It was palpable sitting there with him. So, I left the room thinking ‘that was a good meeting’. I was pretty happy.

Steve Jobs. Photo: © DVD/Blu-ray Steve Jobs, Universal Pictures

And then I later found out he hated me [laughs]. Really? Why did he hate you? Michael Fassbender: I don’t know. I think he said I was arrogant [laughs]. But I don’t understand. I guess I was maybe a little defensive. I hadn’t been working a lot and I don’t know how I came across in the room. I thought I came across well but that just goes to show how much I know. But Gary again said to Steve, ‘you need to get him back in and let him read and do the scene, this is the guy for the part’. So I came in and I did a section of the scene between Bobby and the priest and then they offered it to me after that.

What is the difference between making a big Hollywood sci-fi film with someone like Sir Ridley Scott, or an X-Men film, compared to the work you’ve done with Steve McQueen? Michael Fassbender: Patience [laughs]. It’s a slow process. With Steve it’s fast. Like Steve shot... I can’t remember what Hunger was because there was the break in between and I went off for ten weeks to lose the weight and then we came back and shot the last ten days. But Shame was shot in 25 days, that was tight but it’s not unreasonable to think. But he shot 12 Years a Slave in 35 days with one camera, which is nuts. So, we work fast. Whereas on the big productions you work slowly.

Macbeth. Photo: © DVD/Blu-ray Macbeth, STUDIOCANAL, Jonathan Olley/See-Saw Films

Song to Song: Faye (Rooney Mara), Cook (Michael Fassbender) and BV (Ryan Gosling). Photo: © STUDIOCANAL, 2016 Broad Green Pictures

Kate Winslet and Michael Fassbender at Steve Jobs closing night premiere, London Film Festival. Photo: © UPIMedia, 2015 Getty Images

30  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017


Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Michael Fassbender

Steve Jobs. Photo: © DVD/Blu-ray Steve Jobs, Universal Pictures

There are some funny scenes in your movies like Frank. We don’t see you do comedy enough. Do you like comedy? Michael Fassbender: I do. I try and sort of bring it in wherever I can. Like David (Prometheus, Alien: Covenant) as well, there are some fun moments there. It’s something that I have to do more of. Would you ever do a full-on comedy? Michael Fassbender: Absolutely yeah. Maybe people don’t think of me [laughs]. I spoke to Seth Rogen about it. We’d met before, I was a fan of his work. I think I threw a blueberry at him actually, it was at one of these dinners and he was at the table across the way and so that was our introduction and then I got talking to him. So, when we were on Jobs he said, ‘I thought we’d work together at some point but I thought it would be in one of my movies’. So yeah, maybe at some point.

been perhaps in an area where I thought, ‘jeez, am I going to be able to pull it off?’ or ‘what sort of scope are these characters in and is it something that I can find or reach?’ There was a lot of emotion between you and Alicia Vikander in The Light Between Two Oceans. How do you get to that place when you’re shooting an emotional scene? Michael Fassbender: It can be various different ways. Sometimes you try and remember something that was sad or traumatic or a time that really affected you emotionally and try and sort of relive that. That’s one way of doing it. But as the years go on I find that just by relaxing, I try to get to a place where I’m physically and mentally very relaxed and focussed. And then it’s kind of strange because you sort of exercise that muscle over many years and go into that sort of state, it becomes a trigger.

You choose characters that push boundaries and sometimes you have to do extreme things for your roles. Is that the kind of thing you seek out?

Finally, what was your most personal experience with a character and most difficult time as a character?

Michael Fassbender: It appears so sometimes [laughs]. I don’t know. I guess I’ve always wanted to learn as much as I can in the time that’s been afforded to me. And the roles that have really attracted me have

Michael Fassbender: Personal, I suppose would be Hunger, just because I was so hungry [laughs] in more ways than one. I just wanted to get an opportunity to ‘act’. I wanted to really have the opportunity to

do this for a living. I was 30 and I got this opportunity to play a lead role in a film and I really wanted to make sure I grabbed that opportunity with both hands. And then I also spent ten weeks by myself losing the weight and it was a very solitary experience and a very profound one. So that whole story was very personal to me as well. The fact that it was part of my history that’s got to be the most personal. The toughest one was Jobs. Because of Aaron Sorkin [laughs]? Michael Fassbender: [laughs] He wrote all that stuff! No, it was just so dense and it was such a mountain. Like I said earlier, I’m a slow learner. When the script arrived for me and the opportunity to play the part I really thought, ‘this is not me, this should be somebody else. It’s a miscast scenario’. Then I spoke to my agent and my dad and they were like, ‘you’ve got to go for it’. So, I was like, ‘okay, I’ll go for it’. But at the beginning in rehearsals I was trying to find a way to get out of the job. I remember telling my driver, ‘if I put my arm in the door and you slam it, it should cause a break and should get me out of this gig’. But I thankfully didn’t and I just went back to my room and continued learning the lines. But there were some daunting moments in that process. Thank you. Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  31


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Restaurant of the Month, Austria Carlo Borelli, founder and manager.

Stylish interior.

Al Borgo team.

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

Italian hospitality and regional delights The Al Borgo in Vienna is a place where you can feel at home while discovering the manifold layers of Italian regional cuisine. With its stylish interior dominated by hues between dark brown and cream, the combination of cuisine and style has long become an insider tip for celebrities. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: ADIN KRAJISNIK,© AL BORGO

As founder and manager Carlo Borelli states, the main objective behind the Al Borgo was to create a restaurant where high-level culinary standards are met with an ambiance of harmony, reflecting the Italian focus on family and warmhearted hospitality. At the Al Borgo, both business guests and friends enjoy the same welcoming atmosphere. After having assembled expertise and skills at world-renowned hotel chains and Viennese restaurants, Carlo Borelli brought the Al Borgo into being through his “sheer love for the hospitality sector”, as he likes to say. The well-hidden insider tip opened its doors in September 2010, located between the Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s cathedral) and the city park, in one of the most popular districts of Vienna. Chef Francesco and his team create daily palatal 32  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

delights of the Italian cuisine with passion and craftsmanship. The fresh preparation of food for them is a matter of course, as well as a changing menu. Whether in the evening by candlelight or during the day, the Al Borgo team around Carlo Borelli pay attention to their guests’ culinary wishes six days a week. The special atmosphere of the Al Borgo is marked by its trademark mix of comfort and modern design. All friends of Italian cuisine receive a hearty welcome at the restaurant, amongst which are many celebrities from TV and sports. Actor and frequent guest Alfons Haider is even known for occasionally jumping in as “waiter” or “sous chef”, for extra entertainment. Apart from organising regular live music concerts through to roaring New Year’s

Eve events, Carlo Borelli and his chef Francesco co-create a constantly changing, season-oriented menu. They introduce regional delicacies at the weekly ‘Settimanas’ and offer an impressive selection of more than 100 wines, delicious Grappas and, of course, their Limoncello. “Borgo means a small spot of Italy,”the padrone states, “a place where people meet and the clocks are going a little slower.” Being at Al Borgo therefore simply means being at home. www.alborgo.at

Open-air ambiance.


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  FRANK’S, MERCADO and YOHM FRANK’S. Photo: © Leonardo Ramirez Photography

MERCADO. Photo: © C.U.G. Gastronomie BetriebsgmbH

YOHM. Photo: © E.A.G. GastronomiebetriebsgmbH

YOHM. Photo: © E.A.G. GastronomiebetriebsgmbH

FRANK’S. Photo: © Leonardo Ramirez Photography

20 years of culinary pleasures in Vienna The world of international cuisine has become big indeed; various types of European, Asian, American or countless other types of food are omnipresent. Three exceptional restaurants in Vienna are exemplary for this trend.

and then cooked to perfection in a pizza oven fired with beech wood,” says Piber, explaining the uniqueness of restaurants FRANK’S, MERCADO and YOHM.

TEXT: SILKE HENKELE

Inspired by extensive travels to many parts of the world and discontented with the somewhat bleak scarceness of menus listing fresh ingredients in Vienna, Klaus Piber, owner of a variety of restaurants, established FRANK’S American Bar & Restaurant & Music in Vienna’s first district more than 20 years ago. “Back then, McDonald’s or Pizza Hut were representative of American food in Vienna. Fascinated by the immense variety of American cuisine, I wanted to change this very limited and somewhat biased perception here at home. FRANK’S, the result of my considerations, definitely hit a mark and developed into what you may call a hotspot for dry-aged Austrian and wet-aged American steaks, popular with both locals and visitors,” says Piber, recall-

ing the beginnings and the ensuing success of his first restaurant. Other restaurants followed. The menu at YOHM, for example, lists dishes that reinterpret Asian cuisine, while at restaurant MERCADO guests are offered Latin-American-inspired dishes with a light and aromatic twist. “The concepts of these three restaurants cut their very own paths. We do not intend to present our guests with authentic international cuisine but with an attractive approach that reinterprets and underlines the multitude of flavours of the Asian and Latin-American cuisine. At FRANK’S, we also focus on the manner of preparation. We are the only restaurant who dry-ages steaks in an ageing chamber on location. Our meat is seared on a lava stone grill

While all three restaurants focus on different cuisines, their food shares an undisputedly outstanding and uncompromising quality that has been a convincing argument for gourmets and epicures alike for more than 20 years. “My team and I, we have always set out to delight our guests with an ever-changing offer of delicious and exceptional flavours in a professional yet personal atmosphere. So we are particularly proud that even after 20 years we are still able to surprise our guests’ taste buds with fresh sensations,” exults Piber. A visit to either FRANK’S, YOHM or MERCADO is certain to convince you and your palate - the choice is all yours! www.franks.at www.mercado.at www.yohm.at Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  33


TOP LUXURY HOTEL

Golfers in front of Schlosshotel Kronberg.

Very British

– Schlosshotel Kronberg Built in 1889 by Victoria Empress Frederick in English Tudor style, the castle ‘Schloss Friedrichshof’ became a castle hotel of the first order in 1954 and has impressed with its tradition, imperial atmosphere and special British flair since. Today, the breathtaking five-star superior hotel, owned by the family foundation of the Landgrave and Princess of Hesse, is an established name in the high-end international hotel scene and poses as a cosmopolitan place where tradition meets modernity.

design. Beds of the highest quality, marble bathrooms and luxurious care products round off the hotel’s luxurious offerings. Additionally, numerous antiques and artworks of Empress Victoria Friedrich can be found in the salons and suites. Emperor Wilhelm II’s desk, for example, still stands in the royal suite.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTOS: SCHLOSSHOTEL KRONBERG

In the car, the romantic castle hotel can be reached in only a few minutes from Frankfurt’s city centre or the international airport. Idyllically situated in a listed park on the outskirts of Kronberg in the Taunus mountains, the hotel poses as the perfect place for private vacations and business trips alike. Live like an empress The Schlosshotel Kronberg counts towards Germany’s most exceptional castle hotels – not least because of its 62 magnificent rooms and suites. Each one of the eight luxurious single rooms, 42 fantastic double rooms, 11 exclusive suites and the 34  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

unique, historic royal suite are individually furnished and fulfil the guests’ premium demands. Canopy beds, Toile-de-Jouy wallpapers, open fireplaces or precious furniture bestow an imperial ambiance upon each room. In recent years, extensive reconstruction and modernisation measures were conducted to implement the highest technical, design and comfort standards. Princess Floria of Hesse and the British interior designer Nina Campbell were responsible for the magnificent interior design. Exclusive fabrics, cushions and carpets, as well as holistic colour, pattern and room concepts define the interior

Furthermore, the hotel’s highest levels impress with great views of Frankfurt’s skyline and guests that book a balcony room can not only enjoy a panoramic view of


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Top Luxury Hotel

Kronberg castle, but can also look over the hotel’s extensive castle gardens. Speaking of castle gardens: designed as an English landscape garden and equipped with a historical rose field, it poses as the perfect backdrop for relaxation. Why not stroll down to the Empress’ grotto, an idyllic place in the castle gardens where Victoria Empress Frederick used to have her afternoon tea? Exclusive pleasures Also embedded into the 58-hectare-large, listed park complex of Schlosshotel Kronberg is one of Europe’s most beautiful 18-hole golf courses. The holes with steep slopes, undulating fairways, small creeks and doglegs even challenge golfers with low handicaps. No wonder the golf course is a chosen venue for many notable tournaments and golf events. After an eventful game of golf, one should not miss Schlosshotel Kronberg’s culinary highlights. The culinary team cooks a French-inspired cuisine, while putting special emphasis on seasonal products from the region. Besides serving tasty classical dishes in the menus, guests can

also look forward to new, modern creations, a vast variety of fine international wines, as well as own wines from Prince of Hesse’s winery that are served on the castle terrace in summer. Here, one can enjoy a magnificent view of the park. However, eating inside in one of Hesse’s most beautiful saloons is a pleasure itself. At the time of Victoria Empress Frederick, royal personalities already dined here and today, small details like the Prussian emblem on the mantel or the Gothic ceiling’s English rose remind guests of the hall’s impressive past. Furthermore, the Victoria Lounge on the castle terrace invites guests for extensive relaxation in summer, whether for lunch, for small delicacies during sunset or simply for a refreshing drink in between. In Jimmy’s Bar, on the other hand, heavy leather armchairs, wood-panelled walls and piano live music give guests the feeling of a classic British bar. Here, one can indulge in creative cocktail creations like the ‘Kaiser Friedrich Cocktail’ with homemade thyme vodka, a wide range of whiskeys and gins, an exquisite selection

of cigars and a tasty menu with small dishes. Globally distinguished tradition and comfort From generation to generation, the family of Hesse succeeded in modernising the castle without losing its classical flair and tradition. This commitment paid off: since 2009, the five-star superior hotel has been member of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World™’ and was awarded the ‘World Travel Award’ as Germany’s best resort hotel for the fourth time in 2015. In 2016, the Schlosshotel Kronberg was named Germany’s ‘Luxury Cultural Retreat’ at the ‘World Luxury Hotel Awards’ and it was honoured as the ‘Hotel of the Year 2017’ by the Schlemmer Atlas. www.schlosshotel-kronberg.com Dream weddings and business meetings The magnificent castle hotel also poses as the perfect backdrop for a variety of events, weddings, private parties or business meetings. For the latter, eight modern conference rooms for up to 350 people can be found in the historical castle building.

‘Blauer Salon’.

Golfing at Schlosshotel Kronberg.

Summer terrace.

Wedding in the ‘Grüner Salon’

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  35


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Bataillard

Successful marketing for wine brands The wine market is characterised by an abundance of many different wines. Swiss-based wine merchant and marketer specialist Bataillard offers an inspiring concept for the sales and distribution of high-quality wine that makes the company a trustworthy partner for wine shops, retailers, gastronomy and end consumers alike. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: BATAILLARD

Wine merchant Bataillard can look back on a long and colourful history. What started as an importer and exporter for wheat back in the 16th century, has today become a successful wine merchant of Swiss and 36  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

international exquisite wine brands. “Our history is a notable one indeed. It is marked by determination, innovation, and quality orientation and constitutes the fundament of what Bataillard represents today,” says

Stefan Keller, CEO of Bataillard AG, proudly explaining Bataillard’s beginnings. More than a wine merchant To call Bataillard a wine merchant is an understatement and describes only one aspect of its business. “Bataillard is much more than a wine merchant. While we focus on the import and distribution of high-quality wine brands mainly from Switzerland (Provins, Delea), Italy (Senza Parole, Villa Sandi), Spain (Mariposa, Contino), France (Guigal, Jacquart), Chile


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Bataillard

(Montes) and Argentina (Kaiken) and many other countries, our standards and visions are more complex and go beyond this focus. We market international wine brands as well as our own brands through our B2B business partners. One of the big differences though is the fact that we are actively involved in the marketing of these brands,” says Keller, outlining Bataillard’s concept. Bataillard, the marketing expert “Bataillard is people-centred and familyowned and both transcends into the company’s atmosphere; our decisions are marked by long-term vision rather than short-sighted profit making, which gives our business a very strong fundament. We are very lucky to have a team that shares and supports this vision. It is thus 100 per cent committed to its work and the particular familial atmosphere we strongly encourage here at Bataillard,” Keller elaborates. “Ultimately Baillard’s focus is always on the end consumer, and the close cooperation with our B2B partners serves to that end.

gies ranging from the taste of a product, its label, marketing campaigns and similar,” Keller further elucidates. Bataillard, the innovator Its future and people-oriented concept as well as its highly dedicated, serviceoriented staff has made Bataillard one of the most important wine merchants in Switzerland. Both factors have also made sure that while the overall consumption of wine in Switzerland has recently dropped by two litres per person, Bataillard has still managed to grow by an impressive three per cent. This figure clearly supports Bataillard’s approach, which is based on experience, innovation and a close connection with its business partners. “While we are aware that the concept of a densely supported partnership network is a novelty on the wine market, Bataillard does not grow tired of looking for (and finding) other areas to introduce valuable

innovations. We have, for example, noticed that there are certain areas of public life that seem inaccessible for the consumption of wine. This is particularly true for business areas that for, a multitude of reasons, are sensitive to weight, handling, or security, as for example in-flight catering.” They have therefore launched a set of PETpackaged wine (filled on-site in Bataillard’s own state-of-the-art bottling facility), which is successfully being tested by a number of airlines. “As a service to our customers, we have also initiated the improvement of the digitalisation of our offers and services, which will be online soon,” says Keller. Merchants are only very rarely actively involved in the marketing of their products, and Bataillard is a very good example of how this type of marketing can be lifted to a higher level. www.bataillard.ch

While it may be unusual to discuss and draft marketing concepts with one’s customers, Bataillard sees itself in the role of a service provider. “We consider our wines to be marketable brands and our business partners to be a valuable link to the end-consumer: We have 110 people working at Bataillard, and 45 of them are employed in marketing/sales-related positions. So, nearly half of our staff are involved in the marketing of our brands and the support of our partners – a number that clearly shows our firm belief in the importance of a consumeroriented cooperation with our business allies,” says Keller and adds, “a cooperation, by the way, which we are currently looking to expand to an international level.” In order to have a well-grounded knowledge of the end-consumer’s demands, Bataillard has initiated a close cooperation with trend agencies that regularly supply Bataillard with up-to-date trend studies. “Thanks to these studies, we are in a position to evaluate current and future trends and thus in corporation with our business partners develop holistic marketing strateIssue 52  |  July 2017  |  37


38  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017


Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Josephin Busch

Josephin Busch

Udo Lindenberg’s all-purpose weapon Best known as playing the female lead role in Udo Lindenberg’s musical Hinterm Horizont (Beyond the Horizon), German actress Josephin Busch has just released her first EP. She talks to Discover Germany about playing in the theatre, her music, the love for Berlin and much more.

You were born in Berlin and still live in the city today. Why do you love Berlin so much? Could you ever imagine moving away?

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTO: ALEXANDER HÖRBE

J. Busch: I have my surroundings here, my roots. I can hardly imagine giving all this up. I like everything that this city breathes. There ought to happen something rather extreme to entice me away from Berlin.

You are especially known as Udo Lindenberg’s all-purpose weapon as you do concerts with him, while also playing the lead role in his musical Hinterm Horizont. What is it like to work with a star like him? J. Busch: It’s incredible to work with Udo because he meets each person eye-to-eye and gives one every trust in the world so that you can thrive and go openly and courageously on stage alongside him. In April, you released your first EP Jetzt (Now). What is the song about? J. Busch: The song is about the fact that many of life’s beautiful moments often just flash by. I sometimes have the feeling that I quickly want to turn on the slow-motion apparatus to point out to myself that the moment that happens now will be gone again soon. You can’t hold onto anything in life, you can just enjoy the moment. That’s what the song is about. What time is it? It doesn’t matter. There’s no yesterday, no tomorrow, only now! What is the greatest thing about German music and German lyrics?

J. Busch: German music simply touches me much more directly because I feel each word, each pun and each emotion directly as a story and because I understand everything without the need for translation. It’s very personal to write in German. You have to watch out that the texts are very direct as they don’t forgive any carelessness. When artists like Udo or Marteria, who I’m a big fan of, achieve this, then this is simply the coolest. At the moment, one can also see you as detective superintendent Lucy Elbe in the sixth season of Letzte Spur Berlin. What is exciting about this role? J. Busch: I like how Lucy grows in herself and more and more finds into her job, while always keeping true to herself. She comes from humble conditions, is a true Berliner and always gives her best in her job, as well as in life. If you had to decide between singing or acting? What would you prefer? J. Busch: I can’t decide. Decision-making is not one of my strengths. For me, making this decision would be the same as abandoning one of my senses or one of my legs.

What else is planned for this year? What can we look forward to? J. Busch: This year will already be quite taken up by Letzte Spur Berlin and my music. At Udo’s tour in May, I supported him as a guest here and there. I want to play my own songs live this year and, since June, we also shoot the seventh season of Letzte Spur Berlin. Let’s see – if a great project comes up, I will be somehow able to do it as well [smiles]. Is there an absolute dream role that you would love to get? What other dreams and wishes does Josephin Busch have? J. Busch: I am still keen on many exciting roles that are yet to come. I obviously still don’t know them as they still get developed, but I would love to try everything out. I love love stories, dramas or historical movies, but a comedy would also really interest me. And I also want to stick with the theatre... yes, yes… turn on the slow-motion apparatus! Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  39


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Museum of the Month, Austria

Left: Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Mönchsberg. Photo: © Marc Haader

MUSEUM OF THE MONTH, AUSTRIA

Centre: Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Rupertinum. Photo: © Marc Haader

The Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Right: Sabine Breitwieser, director of Museum der Moderne Salzburg.  Photo: © Maria Ziegelböck

Outstanding exhibitions and memorable sites Salzburg, famous for wunderkind Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Salzburg Festival, has so much more to offer. Museums come to mind – in particular the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  |  PHOTOS: MUSEUM DER MODERNE SALZBURG

The museum, housed in a newly built structure right on top of Salzburg’s Mönchsberg and in the Rupertinum in the centre of Salzburg’s quaint old town, is widely celebrated for its striking premises. In recent years, it has held impressive solo exhibitions by female artists in particular and groundbreaking exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in general. Some of the most distinguished works on view are part of the General Foundation Collection, which agreed to permanently loan its top-class collection of contemporary art to the museum. This marks an important collaboration initiated by Sabine Breitwieser who, when she became director of the museum, strongly felt that with an on-going, everdeveloping artistic scene, the museum’s focus on classic media like prints, photo40  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

graphy, paintings as well as sculptures, needed to be widened to also include architecture, dance and performance art and, in particular, cross-border art forms. This programme was enthusiastically welcomed by the public and put the Museum der Moderne Salzburg on the international map of highly acclaimed museums. The museum’s concept embraces a multitude of national and international artists and likewise maintains collaborations with Austrian as well as overseas institutions; a characteristic that makes the Museum der Moderne Salzburg one of the most singular in Austria. One of the museum’s upcoming exhibitions is a novel cooperation with the Salzburger Festspiele(Salzburg Festival). In summer, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg is going to host an exhibition of works by

Bottom: William Kentridge More Sweetly Play the Dance, 2015, exhibit at the EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, 2015.  Photo: © Studio Hans Wilschut Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery

South African artist William Kentridge, which comprises of immersive multimedia installations on view on the premises on the Mönchsberg as well as an overview of his work for the theatre and opera stage in the Rupertinum. The latter is especially exciting because it shows the artist’s developing work of his production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, an opera that is going to be performed at this year’s Salzburger Festspiele – an event that is certain to underline the museum’s status as a major venue and an innovative hotspot for contemporary art. www.museumdermoderne.at/en


Bye-bye Grossstadtdschungel. Rein in die Natur. Ein wilder Natur- und Tierpark für Entdecker. Nur 40 Minuten von Zürich entfernt und täglich für Sie geöffnet.


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

The Autostadt’s summer festival ‘Cirque Nouveau’: Urbanatix on the harbour stage. Photo: © Matthias Leitzke

Wolfsburg

North Germany’s underrated gem On around 204 square kilometres, Wolfsburg presents itself as a young, modern city. Unlike any other city of its size, Wolfsburg offers numerous great leisure activities for city travellers who want to spend a couple of days here.

with around 10,000 employees, the company’s research and development department is Europe’s largest extramural innovation centre.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Nestled between the Harz Mountains in the south and the Lüneburg Heath in the north-west, Wolfsburg has a great deal to offer. Whether you want to spend a relaxing day in nature, visit historic alleys, go on a shopping spree, see state-of-theart museums or indulge in great culinary treats, Lower Saxony’s fifth-largest city has it all – and most attractions can be reached by foot from the city centre’s main station. Known internationally for its Volkswagen factory that became the world’s largest industrial enterprise and automotive plant under one roof, Wolfsburg’s visitors can also look forward to an exciting insight into the world of automobile production. 42  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Of course, with the rise of the Volkswagen production plant, Wolfsburg’s population also grew. While 22,000 people called Wolfsburg their home in 1948, today, around 125,400 people live in Wolfsburg. With the increase of inhabitants, the number of tourists has also steadily grown. At just over 70 years old, it impresses with numerous attractions that are unique in Germany. Cars and currywurst First of all, when we talk about Wolfsburg, we have to talk about Europe’s largest automotive group, Volkswagen. Here, in one of the world’s largest plants, more than 70,000 people are employed. Furthermore,

One great experience for the entire family is a visit to Volkswagen’s production facilities during the week. Or why not head to the architecturally impressive, 28-hectare-large park and laguna landscape, the Autostadt, where Volkswagen’s brands architecturally and artistically stage their respective brand philosophy in several pavilions? Furthermore, with the multi-brand car museum ZeitHaus, many seasonal shows, interesting themebased exhibitions and numerous adventure attractions, the Autostadt offers many highlights throughout the year. For example, from 12 July to 20 August 2017, the CIRQUE NOUVEAU, the Autostadt’s summer festival, will attract many culture enthusiasts. The six-week festival


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

programme will feature more than 300 breathtaking shows with artists and performers from around the world. Children, teenagers and adults alike can look forward to introductory courses, workshops, as well as a hands-on circus. Additionally, the Park World and the Water World will invite visitors to discover, take part and enjoy. After an eventful day at this exciting theme park, one should not miss one of Volkswagen’s most popular originals: the currywurst. Together with the company’s own curry ketchup, it is a favourite meal in the plant and the city centre alike. In 2015, Volkswagen produced 7.2 million sausages in its in-house abattoir – thus selling even more sausages than Volkswagen cars. . Enchanting history meets innovation Futuristic high-tech architecture and light-flooded building structures or old churches and historic buildings: you can find all of this in Wolfsburg. While the modern city centre offers an abundance of great shopping opportunities and impressive,

Summer in the Autostadt, Cool Summer Island. Photo: © Waldemar Salesski

Wolfsburg Castle and the Wake Park for water skiing. Photo: © WMG Wolfsburg

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  43


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

View from THE VIEW skybar onto the Volkswagen factory and the Autostadt. Photo: © Janina Snatzke

contemporary architecture, history enthusiasts will also find their fair share of treats as small towns that are over 1,000 years old are as part of Wolfsburg as modern, architectural masterpieces. The moated castle in Neuhaus, the artisan street in Vorsfelde or Fallersleben’s old town will take visitors back to long-gone periods. Fallersleben, for example, is the birth place of Hoffmann von Fallersleben, the writer of the German national anthem. The town itself impresses with a beautiful old town with numerous half-timbered houses and a castle from the 16th century in which a museum can be found. After an interesting day trip, one can relax in the ‘Altes Brauhaus’ (old brewery) where beer is still brewed to this day.

tion. Until 3 September 2017, Hans op de Beeck’s Out of the Ordinary exhibition can be admired here. In the phaeno, on the other hand, children and adults can learn about the world of natural sciences. At over 350 experimentation stations, in visitor laboratories, the idea forum or the science theatre, one can vividly experience astounding facts from the world of science and technology. A current exhibition, called Manometer! Die unglaubliche Ausstellung über deinen Körper will run until 11 February 2018 and explores the human body. The phaeno was designed by the Pritzker award-winning architect Zaha Hadid and, according to experts, counts toward the world’s 12 most important, modern buildings.

Another great way to spend a day in Wolfsburg is to explore the many interesting museums. Art enthusiasts should definitely not miss Wolfsburg’s art museum. The large exhibition hall gets an architectural overhaul from project to project and serves as the perfect shell for showcasing international contemporary art, thematic exhibitions or elaborate artist projects. Visitors can expect four changing exhibitions per year that also integrate works of the museum’s own extensive collec-

Buildings that are just as impressive: the ‘Kulturhaus’, the Stephanus Church’s community centre and the Heilig-Geist Church. They were all designed by the world-famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and they describe Aalto’s most important projects outside of his home country of Finland. Another architectural sight that should not be missed is famous architect Hans Scharoun’s theatre – the only theatre that this important representative of modern architecture ever built.

44  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Delicacies and designer fashion Of course, visitors can also look forward to an abundance of great restaurants, cute cafés, relaxing bars or convivial beer gardens in Wolfsburg. Those that want to try a first-class menu should head to Aqua restaurant where Sven Elverfeld (three Michelin stars) cooks on the highest level. After strengthening oneself with great food and tasty drinks, one should visit the designer outlets Wolfsburg – Germany’s first inner-city outlet centre. Here, visitors can find over 70 international brands at significantly reduced prices. On 4 August, visitors can look forward to late-night shopping until 10pm and on 15 and 18 August, live music will enlighten one’s shopping trip from 7pm onwards. If this shopping experience is not yet enough, one can conveniently walk towards the Porsche Street in the heart of Wolfsburg from here, where boutiques, numerous shops and the ‘CityGalerie’ mall with over 100 shops can be found. Get active Sport enthusiasts, on the other hand, should visit the Volkswagen Arena – VfL Wolfsburg’s home ground. The team has been in the Bundesliga for 20 years and its women’s team is also very successful.


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

With the Grizzlys, who are at home at the Eis Arena, Wolfsburg also has an ice hockey team in Germany’s highest ice hockey division (DEL). Another fun-packed activity for the entire family can be found at Wolfsburg’s Allersee: the high rope course ‘monkeyman’. Here, one can push one’s boundaries on an obstacle course that comprises numerous exciting stations that must be overcome in heights between four and 13 metres.

The designer outlets Wolfsburg. Photo: © designer outlets Wolfsburg

Let’s talk business With Volkswagen’s headquarters based in Wolfsburg, it seems no wonder that the city counts towards Germany’s five most promising business locations according to the Handelsblatt and Prognos AG’s Zukunftsatlas 2016. But the city will not rest on its laurels. Together with Volkswagen, the city of Wolfsburg seeks to develop into a model city for digitalisation to further foster the attractiveness of Wolfsburg as a business and living standard location. The city also offers excellent conditions for companies that seek to hold or attend a conference or congress. Around 5,000 hotel beds (primarily in the four-star category) and exciting locations offer the perfect setting for events in Wolfsburg. The great transport links and the convenient location are great conditions for events with participants from all over Germany. A train from Berlin to Wolfsburg only takes 60 minutes and the nearest international airport is Hannover (HAJ), only 90 kilometres away. From here, a shuttle brings visitors to Wolfsburg in 60 minutes. Of course, the various leisure activities offer unusual possibilities for the framework programme.

DFB-Cup winner 2017. Photo: © VfL Wolfsburg

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. Photo: © Marek Kruszewski

www.wmg-wolfsburg.de/travelinfo Travel offer: - Two nights in a double room with breakfast in a hotel of one’s choice on the weekend. - Day ticket for ‘Autostadt’. - Food and beverages in the ‘Autostadt’ for ten euros per person. - Day ticket for ‘phaeno’. - ‘Brauhausteller’ dish in the ‘Altes Brauhaus zu Fallersleben’. Price per person in double room: 164,00 euros (including 19 per cent VAT)

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  45


Kameha Grand Bonn.

Infinity Pool.

Beethoven Suite.

HOTEL OF THE MONTH, GERMANY

Resourceful entertainment giant Green technology meets a powerfully designed environment for business and events in the giant wave-shaped Kameha Grand Bonn hotel, situated on the banks of the Rhine river. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: SAEED ALAMI, COPYRIGHT: KAMEHA GRAND BONN

The word ‘Kameha’ stems from the Hawaiian language and stands for ‘the unique one’. The Kameha Grand Bonn presents itself as a total artwork package, mutually created by the Bonn-based architect KarlHeinz Schommer and internationally acclaimed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, co-founder of the Moooi brand. With its neo-baroque, detail-oriented interior, it offers a potential favourite space for each individual guest. Marcel Wanders stresses that the unique project has created“a space both cool and sexy”. Guest rooms that feel 46  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

open and generous are fitted with luxurious furnishings and cutting-edge technology. Apart from offering a one-of-a-kind place for a stayover, the Kameha Grand also hosts events like car and product presentations and is conveniently located and easily accessible. In the evening, enchanted guests enjoy the “only Alpine chalet set by the Rhine river” and come next morning, due to the unique location, one can board a boat trip to Linz starting directly from the hotel grounds.

The Kameha Grand Bonn opened its doors in 2009 and quickly became the event hotel of the region. A favourite of both users and experts within the gastronomy sector, the ecological lifestyle hotel has since won numerous prizes. The imposing elliptical structure is situated at the Bonner Bogen, a newly developed area on the banks of the Rhine river. Quickly reached from the Bonn city centre, the site features a picturesque view of the Siebengebirge mountain range. The architect fondly links the hotel to “the spirit of generosity of the English glass domes and the passages that were built in European cities in the 19th century”. Generosity is also a main aspect of the service and one of the prize-winning features


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany

of the Kameha Grand Bonn. In their own words: “Our service is marked by ease, exclusivity and individual solutions. From shopping to event ticket to restaurant visit, our guest service team often use their own contacts to suggest insider tips, making your stay a unique experience.” Green technology is a given with the Kameha Grand Bonn. Up to five floors high, with a gross floor area of 31,100 square metres (a third of which is underground), the giant structure features an inhouse geothermal power station, connected to one of Europe’s biggest geothermal plants and saving a whopping 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, compared to a conventional energy supply system. Apart from investing in its state-of-theart technology, the hotel sets a primary accent on entertainment and the event

management sector. “A hotel should entertain, inspire and stimulate. That way it needs a design supporting those qualities,” says interior designer Marcel Wanders. “We want to give the guests an absolute life & style ambiance by creating a space full of beauty and surprises.” Guests are invited to explore themed suites such as the ‘Fair Play Suite’, complete with punching ball, soccer table and Wii console; the ‘Beethoven Suite’ featuring its own piano and the extended ‘Hero Suite’, with a spacious terrace and space for up to eight guests. For Wellness points, the Kameha SPA and Fitness Power House offers a heated rooftop pool, sauna and steam bath as well as massages and beauty treatments. The ‘Infinity Pool’ especially draws weekend spa guests, who enjoy the special ambiance and the close vicinity to the Rhine river and its picturesque natural panoramas.

As for gastronomic delights, the restaurant brasserie Next Level serves breakfast buffet in the morning, lunch and dinner, with local specialties prepared and served at the table. The ‘Riverside Terrace’ invites for relaxing meals overlooking the Rhine and children playground. There is the Michelin-star Japanese restaurant ‘Yunico’, the Stage Bar & Lounge for exotic teas and coffees and last not least the ‘Zino Platinum Cigar Lounge’ for the cigar connoisseur. Kamehameha was the first Hawaiian ruler who managed to unite the various Hawaiian Islands to one single state. The Kameha Grand Bonn may not be an island per se, but it certainly has the appearance of a kingdom, where everyone finds all forms of shared entertainment, as well as their very own exclusive retreat. www.kamehabonn.de

King’s Bed.

Atrium.

Queen Suite.

Dome.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  47


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Austria

HOTEL OF THE MONTH, AUSTRIA

Residing at the top of Vienna With its luxuriously designed rooms, a chic atmosphere and a rooftop terrace offering a spectacular view, the extravagant hotel LAMÉE in the heart of Vienna is one of the city’s top addresses. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: MARKUS THUMS 2016

By combining a 1930s-style Viennese charm with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, Hotel LAMÉE makes guests feel like movie stars, enjoying life to the fullest. Located in the centre of the city, distances to museums, exclusive shopping spots, the Chamber Opera and other sights are very short. The most direct neighbour of the design hotel is St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which is just a stone’s throw away and can be perfectly seen from some of the facility’s rooms. Nevertheless, those who prefer to sleep in do not need to worry about waking up when St. Stephen’s 22 bells start tolling since all the windows are sound-proof. Guests can stay at one of the boutique hotel’s 32 rooms that are all decorated with a loving attention to detail. Whether they choose a Superior room, for example, 48  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

with a king-size bed and a rain shower or a Prestige room featuring Macassar wood and a free-standing bathtub – everyone who has spent a night at the hotel probably does not want to leave anymore. That is also because a team of 50 hotel employees takes care of every guest’s wishes. “If you want to find sports programmes offered nearby or would like to have another pillow or a vegan meal, our reception team is looking forward to helping all guests to make their stay as comfortable as possible,” says Isabella Wexberg, hotel manager of LENIKUS Hotels that runs the establishment. “We are also very proud of our LAMÉE ROOFTOP terrace, which is the most spectacular one in Vienna.”On this terrace, which was redesigned just recently by the interior designer Gabriele Lenikus, guests

Left: The LAMÉE Rooftop terrace. Photo: © Katharina Gossow (katharinagossow.com) Right: Hotel LAMÉE is very close to St. Stephen’s Cathedral Middle: The Café Bar BLOOM. Bottom: The Prestige rooms have a free-standing bathtub.

can enjoy a particularly stunning view of the city centre, while drinking a glass of wine or a cocktail.“In summer, we want to offer several extraordinary, creative events, for example club events such as a silent disco or an open-air cinema,” Wexberg states. “Another highlight is our Café Bar BLOOM situated on the ground floor, where a great range of culinary delights are being served.” Viennese citizens, as well as hotel guests, come to this place to quickly get an espresso or to enjoy lunch or dinner with cocktails. The BLOOM sandwich with grilled beef, bacon, eggs and potato wedges is just one example for various delicious meals. www.hotellamee.com www.lenikushotels.com Air passengers who directly book their stay at Hotel LAMÉE on www.hotellamee.com can profit from an exclusive offer by using the promotion code ‘LAMEE2017’. The offer is valid until the end of August 2017.


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Top Conference Hotel

Top left: Enjoy a relaxing drink at Sky Lounge.

TOP CONFERENCE HOTEL

Left: Boost your energies with an invigorating breakfast in the bright breakfast room. Right: Sweet dreams in a green superior double room with Regensburg-themed photographs. Bottom: Atrium im Park Hotel in Regensburg – a distinct place to stay.

Particularly distinct

– the Atrium im Park Hotel in Regensburg UNESCO World Heritage Site Regensburg in South Germany is a gem you may have missed. This may change as Atrium im Park Hotel provides the perfect place to stay during your visit to this inspiring city right on the shores of the Danube. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  |  PHOTOS: DUSCHNER – FOTO & DESIGN

Regensburg holds a whole set of alluring attractions. Visitors may find romantic places in Regensburg’s old town as well as by the river; age-old buildings like the Golden Tower, a house tower from the 13th century, may propel you right back into ages long gone. “Regensburg and its surroundings have a lot to offer and myself and the team at Atrium im Park Hotel want our guests to make the most of their stay in our beautiful city. We see our hotel as a convenient and welcoming base from which our guests may explore the magic sites of Regensburg and as a reliable partner for business or conference guests,”says Ralf Leidner, director at Atrium im Park Hotel. As part of the Libertas Hotel Group, the Atrium im Park Hotel boasts an appealing

mix of individuality, regional charm, a high level of service standard and comfort as well as a pronounced level of hospitality. “Our hotel is easy to reach. Located in a business park, Atrium im Park Hotel is surrounded by lots of green, which gives the hotel that very particular ‘natural feeling’. Restaurants and other amenities are nearby and parking spaces are free. The picturesque centre of Regensburg is only a 15-minute bus ride away. Our 96 spacious rooms are family friendly and have been styled in a welcoming manner that immediately connects the guests to Regensburg. A daily bottle of fresh water is complimentary in all rooms and dogs are welcome and well catered for on our premises,” Leidner lists just some of the many advantages and characteristics of the Atrium im Park Hotel.

The newly formed service team enhances the experience of a stay at Atrium im Park Hotel. “Our team is an integral part of our hotel’s success and its popularity with our guests. So, no matter whether you organise a conference or whether you are staying with your family, you will always find a friendly, helpful and forthcoming support in each of our team members,” Leidner concludes. Atrium im Park Hotel Regensburg – a singular hotel in a singular spot. www.atrium-regensburg.de

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  49


Group of visitors in the Fuggerei. Photo: Friedrich Stettmayer

St. Anne’s Church. Photo: Friedrich Stettmayer

City hall with Perlach tower and Augustus fountain. Photo: Friedrich Stettmayer

The city hall, the Perlach tower and the St. Ulrich church. Photo: Friedrich Stettmayer

G E R M A N H O L I D AY E X P E R I E N C E

Augsburg

Experience ‘Italy’s most northern city’ Founded between the Lech and Wertach rivers over 2,000 years ago by Roman troops, Augsburg is the second-oldest city in Germany. Today, one will find several signs of ancient Rome in the city and can also feel a flair from the south. Augsburg rightly calls itself ‘the most northern city of Italy’. TEXT: AUGSBURG TOURISM  I  PHOTO COPYRIGHT: REGIO AUGSBURG TOURISMUS GMBH

A popular destination for city and culture tourists alike, many visitors flock to Augsburg to gaze at exciting exhibitions, to visit great conventions or to discover the innovative university. In this city, a varied architecture that includes medieval guild houses or Renaissance buildings is combined with top-class shopping opportuni50  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

ties, cute cafés and much more. No wonder, Augsburg is a favourite for tourists all year around. Today, the Renaissance city hall with the Golden Hall and the splendid fountains and the palaces situated along the historical Maximilianstraße are still impres-

The Golden Hall in Augsburg’s city hall. Photo: Siegfried Kerpf, City of Augsburg


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  German Holiday Experience

sive reminders of this ‘golden Augsburg of the Renaissance’. Along Augsburg’s ‘Kaisermeile’, one can relax in the many sidewalk cafés on warm summer days, while enjoying a view of the Augustus fountain, the city hall, the Perlach tower, the Mercury and Hercules fountains, the St. Ulrich churches or the residential palace and savour the unique Mediterranean charm of the city. Another brilliant aspect is the story of the wealthy Fuggers who left behind the world’s oldest social settlement in Augsburg. The Fuggerei annually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.You will find Jakob Fugger ‘the Rich’, the Augsburg merchant and banker who financed emperors, kings and popes and baffled imperial leaders with his financial power in the Altdeutschen Galerie in the Schaezler palace. Here his portrait hangs, painted by Albrecht Dürer. Jakob’s nephew (who

was most likely the richest man in the world up until today) reconstructed the Fugger buildings into a splendid city palace. Karl V lived here, Luther and Titian were guests. The story of the Fuggers´ rise to Europe’s most important trading house in only three generations is told in the Fugger and Welser Museum. But you will find even more great names in Augsburg: Leopold Mozart, the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was also a citizen of Augsburg, as well as Bert Brecht (the poet and author whose works are performed on stage worldwide only second to William Shakespeare). The birthplaces of both can be found while strolling through the city of Augsburg.

town, in the ancient Dom (cathedral), on a walk through the silent bulwarks and in the award-winning parks of this city. The city of Augsburg is also entering the competition for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The topic ‘Historical water management and water art in Augsburg’ has now been nominated for an entry in the UNESCO list of cultural and natural heritage at the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. A decision is expected for 2019.

For further information please contact: Regio Augsburg Tourismus GmbH Tourist-Information Rathausplatz 1, D - 86150 Augsburg

But these delights are only a few excerpts, and Augsburg has so many faces. Some are easy to find, others must be sought out, in idyllic, narrow lanes in the old part of

Tel: ++49 821/50207-0 www.augsburg-tourismus.de tourismus@regio-augsburg.de

Water towers at ‘Rotes Tor’, left: St. Ulrich church. Photo: Reinhard Paland

The Fugger and Welser Museum. Photo: Rudolf Morbitzer

The historical Maximilianstraße at night. Photo: Reinhard Paland

The Brecht House’s exterior with illumination. Photo: Norbert Liesz, Wolfgang F. Lightmaster

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  51


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  German Holiday Experience

With the virtual reality camera, clients can ‘visit’ a property when visiting Victor Investment’s exhibition stand.

Find a home away from home and develop it professionally Behind a dream property – at home or abroad – always hides a property specialist who found or developed it in the first place. Most people prefer to buy such a property in a discreet way. This is something Victor Investment GmbH can guarantee. With its head office in Berlin, the company has a wide portfolio of properties in Germany and abroad. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  |  PHOTOS: VICTOR INVESTMENT GMBH

Victor Investment GmbH procures and sells upper-class properties in Berlin and other parts of Germany – here lies the company’s main focus. On the other hand, Victor Investment also facilitates holiday homes and larger plots of land for hotels and commercial property developments. Especially in the latter area, confidentiality is key. “If it is our client’s wish, we work with all the necessary caution when searching for potential buyers,” says CEO Markus Nonnenmacher. “In great secrecy, we recently for example mediated the 52  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

sale of a large hotel with joint golf course in Northern Germany.” This only became public knowledge – even among people working there – when the client decided to make it so. The client could thus determine when it was the right time to go public and no one let anything slip in advance. “We put great emphasis on implementing our clients’ wishes when marketing properties.” Last year, Victor Investment GmbH opened a pop-up store in a prime location at the Berlin Kurfürstendamm for special

promotions. In June 2017, the company finally opened its new retail shop in Grunewald, one of the best living quarters in Berlin, where Victor Investment GmbH now offers high-class flats for national and international clients. “In our view, this offers our clients an additional service. For our clients, we want to be as close as possible to our properties,” says Sven Johns, CEL at Victor Investment GmbH. Clients and their needs are always in the centre no matter where they are looking for a property. To, for example, visualise properties for clients, Victor Investment GmbH works with the newest technology. “Visualisation is very important especially for holiday properties, so that clients get a feeling for a property’s surroundings,” says Nonnenmacher.“We are using 360-degree visualisations, virtual reality lenses and


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Victor Investment GmbH

video footage shot with a drone, 3D floor plans and more.” Indeed, this is an effort not many property investment companies are making for their clients. “But we think that we should always offer our clients the newest technology.” Victor Investment’s thesis is that owning property follows upon great holidays. Whoever has been to a holiday destination more than once might think about buying a property there; they might have felt at home in a foreign city, liked a certain region, the landscape or the people they have met. But since buying a property is far more permanent than renting a hotel room or an apartment, getting professional advice in this case is always a good idea. Expert advice secures making the right decision about a property so that people will feel happy about their choice for many years. The company not only works for private clients looking for themselves, but

also with property developers planning new investments in foreign countries.

company also has properties ready for development in its current portfolio.

“Choosing the right property is one thing, but afterwards navigating through the legal jungle can become quite complicated – especially in an international context,” says Sven Johns, lawyer and CEL at Victor Investment GmbH. “We prepare and present all the necessary information clients will need. For Croatia, we for example have even created an e-book that tackles the most important legal questions concerning real estate acquisition in that country.”

Legal questions also play an important role when buying property in Germany – especially if you are from a foreign country and struggle with the German legal system. Here, Victor Investment GmbH’s legal department also offers the necessary support. “When for example a declaration of division for a residential complex has to be made,” says Johns. In Germany, the company focuses on three separate areas and markets: hotels, new buildings and project development. At the moment, Victor Investment GmbH has a golf hotel in the Frankfurt area and newly built flats in an excellent location in Berlin Grunewald on offer, but also works intensively to develop a project with 300 newly built flats in Leipzig.

Croatia is among the top five locations for buyers from the DACH region. The number of overnight stays is constantly growing, so it has become a hotspot for investments in holiday resorts and apartments. Victor Investment GmbH advises investors when it comes to choosing the right spot and planning the layout. The

www.victor-investment.de

Top left: Mediterranean coast in Croatia, one of the hotspots for vacations and vacation properties in summer 2017 in Europe. Top centre Clever floor plans, balconies, completely furnished kitchen, pool, renting service for renting out to holiday guests – these are clients’ most important parameters for holiday properties. Top right: Victor Investment pop-up store for second home properties, Kurfürstendamm 29 in Berlin. Above: Victor Investment’s office, Kurfürstendamm 29 in Berlin. Right: The Berlin Marathon directly passes by Victor Investment’s office in Berlin.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  53


Discover Germany  |  Special Feature  |  German Holiday Experience

Ahlbeck Pier, Usedom. Photo: © J. Triepke

The German ‘Strandkorb’ – A piece of German ‘Gemütlichkeit’ The German Strandkorb, literally meaning ‘beach basket’, is a beach chair that has for generations been an integral part of the country’s seaside culture. From spring to autumn, on Germany’s shores, the motto prevails ‘My Strandkorb is my castle’. TEXT: WIBKE CARTER

If there is one thing that distinguishes German beaches from any other ones in the world, it has to be the presence of beach chairs. Adorning the beaches of seaside resorts on both the North Sea and Baltic Sea, the sight of hundreds of beach chairs might be a bit strange for foreign first-time visitors, but renting a Strandkorb on holiday is something quintessentially German and not to be missed. The beach chair as we know it today was invented in 1882 when Elfriede von Maltzahn was on holiday at the imperial seaside resort of Warnemünde, a part of the Baltic Sea often battered by strong and chilly winds. Doctors advised that the sea air was good for her rheumatoid arthritis, 54  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

while sitting on the sand was certainly not. Unwilling to forgo her annual visits, Von Maltzahn commissioned Wilhelm Bartelmann, a chief basket maker who resided in nearby Rostock, to weave a windbreak for her. The first ever beach chair, looking something like a large armchair and likened at the time to an “upright washing basket”, was first used on 15 June 1882. The new invention not only gave shelter from the wind, rain, sand and sun, but the occupant was also hidden from view, affording some privacy. Von Maltzahn’s beach chair became so popular that Bartelmann began production at once. The following season, in 1883, he designed a two-seater while his business-savvy wife

Elisabeth opened the world’s first Strandkorb rental service. Literature Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann recorded in a letter: “For writing I must have a roof over my head, and since I enjoy working by the sea better than anywhere else, I need a tent or a wicker beach chair.” Since about 1910, a typical Strandkorb seats two people. Its roof can be tilted backwards and the back reclines into a comfortable sunbathing position. The armrests have foldable trays for mealtimes and drawers at the base transform into leg rests when pulled out, providing storage space for books, unneeded garments and snacks. Newer add-ons include seat heating and/ or rainproof covers so it is possible to sit through violent storms without becoming damp. There are also models for children and three-seaters for even more space. PVC strips have replaced wicker as the main material, but construction is still a


Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  A Piece of German ‘Gemütlichkeit’

joint project needing the skills of a carpenter, basket maker, seamstress and upholsterer, with each Strandkorb taking two days to produce and the finished product usually costing several hundred euros. There are two main designs: the round rolling Baltic Sea version and the straight angular North Sea shape.

Beach volleyball North Sea. Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

Seagull. Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

Even though German beach chairs are sold in countries as far as Brazil, South Africa, the USA and Japan, they still enjoy their greatest popularity in Germany. It is estimated that there are over 70,000 of them along Germany’s coastline. It has also become fashionable to furnish living rooms, patios, balconies or gardens with beach chairs. Occasionally, they also decorate hotels, restaurants in southern Germany, soccer arenas or ski lodges in the Alps. In 2007, the beach chair was catapulted into the international spotlight when the G8 Summit was held in MecklenburgVorpommern. A ‘Super Strandkorb’, which is two metres high and almost six metres long in the shape of a half hexagon, was specially made. The official ‘family photo’ of the eight world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Presidents Bush and Putin, shows them all sitting together in a blue and white upholstered beach chair in Heiligendamm. The beach chair is considered a cult object of German Gemütlichkeit, which has survived two world wars, social and industrial revolutions and the East-West divide of Germany. Many Germans book their beach chairs together with their accommodation, some as early as Christmas, and a good number of vacationers become quite attached to their canopied wicker baskets. Regular guests ask for the same beach chair every year such as “beach front row, but not next to Mr X and Mrs Y”. In a labour of love, often renters then build low sand walls around ‘their’ Strandkorb and decorate it with stones and shells. With its gate safely put in place whenever they are not there, it becomes their holiday ‘home from home’. As Mann wrote fittingly: “A beloved, incomparably satisfying and befitting situation indeed, which my life prescribes with strict regularity!”

Juist Island - beach chairs in the twilight. Photo: © Kurverwaltung Juist

Baltic resort of Warnemünde - organ grinders and sailor. Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

Baltic Sea - seaside resort Heringsdorf. Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

Beach chair in Cuxhaven. © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

Girl playing in the sand.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  55


Photo: © GROHE AG

SPECIAL THEME: SMART BUSINESS

Make your life smarter The term ‘smart home’ has become more and more omnipresent. It is no wonder, as smart home products offer greater living comfort in many ways.

Photo: © digitalSTROM

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

Photo: © GROHE AG

Simply imagine that after a long day at work, the house has already heated itself up to your preferred temperature. What might have sounded like a sci-fi dream only a couple of years ago, is now easily attainable for one’s house, flat, garden and more.

Photo: © Ulrich Beuttenmüller

on ‘smart home’. Their latest intelligent smart home solutions monitor room temperature and humidity, detect frost risk and shut off the water supply when

a major leak is detected – a revolutionary water security system for your home. Intrigued? Find out more on the following pages.

In the following special theme, we take a closer look at some of Germany’s smartest businesses that could improve your home and your life. For example, the German company digitalSTROM AG offers an innovative smart home technology for each home with digitalSTROM – this technology communicates across existing power lines and interlinks several electronic devices, as well as broadband devices. Another great company that we showcase in this special theme is the Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG, a leading full-service provider of intelligent system solutions for electrical or interconnected digital building control. In this issue, we explore how intelligent building technology can provide greater living comfort in one’s own four walls. Last but not least, we spoke to the GROHE AG to find out about their take

Photo: © digitalSTROM

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  57


By connecting the lamps in an intelligent way, it is possible to provide individual moods in all rooms of the penthouse at the Hard Turm Park tower.

digitalSTROM

– Smart home and digital assistant in one digitalSTROM is a smart home system that makes living easier, more comfortable, secure, and energy efficient. It connects all electronic devices with each other and to the internet.

an intelligent way, it is possible to provide individual moods in all rooms that are tailored to the residents’ needs.

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS, DIGITALSTROM  |  PHOTOS: DIGITALSTROM

Comfort and security

When you wake up in a digitalSTROM house, the day starts differently for you: the light is dimmed, so your eyes can adjust to your surroundings and you wake up well rested. The bathroom welcomes you with your favourite music and everything is ready for you: the shower has exactly the temperature you prefer and the light mood slowly changes to daylight – you feel vitalised and ready for your day. You slowly start your day by looking at a mirror that also displays the current weather and your appointments. Therefore, you know what to wear and expect in the following hours. While you are still in your bathroom and getting dressed, water is being preheated 58  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

for your special type of tea, providing time you never had before. You can enjoy your breakfast without feeling rushed. With digitalSTROM you can have a perfect day – because your digital assistant prepares what you need. The penthouse at the Hard Turm Park tower in Zurich is proof of how perfectly this kind of intelligent interconnection and contemporary design can interact. While the interior was designed by the artist collective Dyer-Smith Frey, the builders chose digitalSTROM as a smart home platform to orchestrate the entire light control of the penthouse. By connecting the lamps in

With a simple “I’m leaving” to the voice control of the apartment or a conventional pushbutton, which was defined as “leave home”, you can pursue your plans without bothering about your home. A signal is sent to all devices, which then react individually depending on their type. The lights go out, heating turns off, shutters close and the flat iron is switched off. If a window is open, digitalSTROM sends a notification. With only one command, the house takes care of everything. digitalSTROM even ensures that the house is secure even if nobody is at home: presence simulation turns on the audio system as well as lights and moves the shut-


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

ters accordingly to daytime, so it looks as if someone is at home. If digitalSTROM is connected with an alarm system and someone breaks into the house, the devices raise individual alarms, for example the audio system starts a siren or dog barking and the lights turn on. If a fire alarm is integrated and there is a fire, digitalSTROM clears escape routes and illuminates them. At the same time, it informs family and neighbours. In comparison to other smart home systems, digitalSTROM has several advantages. Firstly, each device can be made intel-

ligent by connecting it to a small terminal block. This way, it can interact with all other devices or household appliances. Secondly, communication takes place via the existing power line so that no additional wiring is necessary and even old buildings can be equipped. A third advantage is that the system can be upgraded at any time. As a result, customers have the chance to extend their smart home step by step. Another advantage is that digitalSTROM orchestrates all devices, which means they work in the manner people living there expect them to, therefore no configuration is necessary. A real plug & play. Finally, digitalSTROM is an

open platform, so the customer can choose any manufacturer, whether it is lights, push buttons, shades and so on. Home appliances can be integrated as long as they have publicly documented interfaces. To get an idea of the perfect interplay between the different digitalSTROM products, you can visit one of the company’s showrooms in Schlieren or Cologne. There, you can experience how a bathroom can be turned into a spa at the touch of a button, how a kitchen follows a short command, and how a living room reacts to simple gestures. Since operating on an international Sven Oswald, TV host from Berlin and digitalSTROM customer.

The showroom in Hong Kong is designed and equipped together with partner V-ZUG.

With digitalSTROM you can control your home using mobile devices, voice control or a conventional pushbutton.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  59


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

Church Berghusen’s pastor Baltzer - the historic church was equipped with a state-of-the-art lighting system thanks to digitalSTROM.

Together with partner Smartbox, digitalSTROM has a showroom in Singapore.

Angelika Heier-Zimmer, electrical engineer and digitalSTROM customer.

Showroom Singapore shows how smart home technology and contemporary design fit together.

level is important to digitalSTROM, it has also opened showrooms in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore in cooperation with partner companies such as Sauter China, V-ZUG and Smartbox. Those who have already installed the digitalSTROM system include Sven Oswald,TV host from Berlin, who has 60  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

connected almost all his devices, from roller shutters to lighting and to his stereo.“I and my family have been convinced of all the practical advantages offered by the digitalSTROM system,” Oswald states. For Jonas Hiller, an ice hockey goalie from Switzerland, ‘Arrive’ and ‘Leave’ are the most practical functions:“When I leave the house, I just push the ‘Leave’ button and

the house takes care of the rest.” Angelika Heier-Zimmer, electrical engineer, also decided to set up this smart home system at her guesthouse on the island of Föhr. “Right from the beginning, it was my wish to offer a smart home in a comfortable, traditional setting to my guests. Besides, in the living area of my guesthouse there are many windows and lamps – the idea


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

of an intelligent, comfortable light control according to different activities such as reading, watching TV, or cooking seemed to suggest itself.” New possibilities for people of all ages In times of digitalisation, digitalSTROM heralds a new smart home era, offering new ways of interaction, intelligent appliances and almost endless connectivity. “The ability to understand speech and contexts, as well as recognising certain processes by means of sensors or images allows a whole new way of interacting with your house,” explains Martin Vesper, CEO of digitalSTROM AG. In the face of demographic change, this development offers new possibilities for people of all ages, independent from their affinity with technology.“We want to focus on our customers, therefore using our products has to be very simple.” Chancellor Angela Merkel and Martin Vesper, CEO of digitalSTROM, at the Girls’ Day.

Even Chancellor Angela Merkel was impressed. On this year’s Girls’ Day, an annual event that encourages girls and young women to learn more about technology and science, digitalSTROM visited the Federal Chancellor’s Office. The company presented Merkel and a group of girls how exciting programming can be by letting the girls program a humanoid robot that interacted with the digitalSTROM system. What is a smart home? A smart home is a house where all devices are digital and connected, meaning everything is controlled by software. It is also connected to the web, so that services can be added and every device has access to the best algorithm in the world. Once a home is fully digital and connected, a feature like voice control is easily done just by adding the device and log-in. The marginal cost of new functions is close to zero in a smart home and because of regular updates, it continually becomes better.

Each device can be made intelligent by connecting it to a small terminal block.

Company data digitalSTROM AG represents a coherent interconnection concept and a more digital way of life. While the company’s headquarters are in Zurich-Schlieren, it sells digitalSTROM products in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and in various other countries worldwide. digitalSTROM works in cooperation with companies such as Sonos, Microsoft, Amazon, V-ZUG, and Dornbracht. By now, the company has also been awarded various prizes, for example by Juniper Research and Focus Money. www.digitalstrom.com

Focus Money announced digitalSTROM the most popular app in the ‘Smart Home’ category.

Juniper Research’s Future Digital Award for digitalSTROM as the best consumer product in the ‘Smart Home’ category.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  61


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

How smart is your home? Smart homes are on everyone’s lips, yet few have become familiar with them. Do we need all those extra apps and features around us, or will they complicate our lives even more? Gira, a leading brand for building systems technology, will help us get a better idea. TEXT: GERSCHAU.KROTH.WERBEAGENTUR GMBH  |  PHOTOS: © ULRICH BEUTTENMÜLLER

In our cars, we have long become used to it: doors open without a touch and the lights go on. At the touch of a button, the seat and steering wheel move into our memorised position of convenience. Doors automatically lock when we start driving. The sound system plays our favourite music, and turns off when the phone rings. In modern vehicles, many smart, networked functions are pre-programmed for extra convenience, safety and energy efficiency, and can be individually adapted to the driver. Now why should this level of convenience end in our garage? Once we enter our home, rather than us having to adapt to our technology, would it not be nice if our technology would rather adapt to us, individually, without us giving it a second thought? 62  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

This has been the approach of Gira, located in Radevormwald in the Bergisches Land region. For more than 100 years, this family-owned company has been developing and manufacturing systems to provide more convenience and safety in buildings through electrical engineering. It all began with simple light switches and socket outlets – today, full control systems are able to interlink a wide variety of functions and devices in a home network. Modern design, the art of engineering, and quality ‘Made in Germany’ – this is what the brand has been representing for many decades. So, what happens when you enter a home that is equipped like that? First of all, your

home already knows that you will soon arrive. You have announced your arrival by smartphone. The heating adjusts to your desired temperature. The door opens by fingerprint, and your preferred light ambiance and music are provided for a welcome. At the touch of a button, your living room converts into a cinema. You can see on your television screen when dinner is ready, or who is ringing your doorbell. When you wish to relax in the privacy of the spa area under the massage shower, your home will keep you perfectly shielded from the world outside. Your home is secured at any time, even when you leave again the following morning, or if the children are ever alone at home. Connected Comfort and Gira eNet: space becomes an experience A vision of the future? Not at all. In a loft near Munich, several leading premium brands in building technology demonstrate how the different convenience and safety functions can be networked together.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

Miele, Vaillant, Loewe, Warema, Brumberg, Revox, Viega, Dornbracht – all these brands are focusing on the smart interlinking of their products. The heart of the entire system is the Gira Home Server. It ensures at the same time that the home can easily be controlled by smartphone, tablet, or simply by a switch on the wall. Together, these brands are thus defining an equipment standard for new residence buildings, designed to cover all rooms, brands and building trades, and making it so much easier to achieve convenient and safe living. This standard is called Connected Comfort (www.connected-comfort.de) and its agenda is in the name. Markus Fromm-Wittenberg, one of the minds behind Connected Comfort, puts it succinctly: “If you erect a new building today without a network, you will have an old building from day one.” Connected Comfort is only one of the platforms where Gira is active in the smart home market. Of course, smart technology should not be limited to new buildings. Existing structures should equally

benefit from the extra convenience and safety. That is why a wireless system has been developed for retrofitting without any major renovation work. This system is called eNet SMART HOME, and equally offers a wide range of functions to take your living experience to a new level. The eNet SMART HOME also covers an entire range of brands for smart networking. The entire world of networked living The idea behind the Gira platforms is clear: No single brand on its own can offer all the devices needed for turning a home into a smart one. Markus Fromm-Wittenberg: “Only if a system is used by many brands and partners can it develop its full potential.” That is why cooperation is so important to the company. It allows each brand to contribute its own competence without abandoning the common basis. The result is that the home owner benefits from the security of an established, future-proof Smart Home standard, and can still access the entire world of smart networked functions. As part of this

arrangement, local skilled craftsmen who are qualified service partners provide consultation and the installation and programming of the systems. Anybody who has ever attempted to install complex devices in his home will welcome this kind of assistance. Especially with regard to sensitive security functions, the flawless operation of the new systems must be ensured. There are many aspects to security in this context. For example, when it comes to confidentiality of personal data, many home owners will prick up their ears. At an early stage, Gira has understood that digitally networked living also involves security at the data and IT level. Therefore, they offer a very high encryption standard with their systems. Data is only stored on servers within Germany. In fact, most of the data never even leaves your home. Thus, you can enjoy smart home living free from worries. www.gira.de

Gira eNet Mobile Gate App. Photo: © Gira

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

CargoBeamer Gates are compact, scalable and fit everywhere.

Revolutionising smart home:

GROHE Sense and Sense Guard GROHE Sense and GROHE Sense Guard are GROHE’s latest intelligent solutions for the smart home. The GROHE Sense smart water sensor monitors room temperature and humidity, detects frost risk and gives warning if the levels become too high or too low. GROHE Sense Guard is installed in the main water pipe and can stop water flow automatically in case of, for example, a major leak. Both use ground-breaking smart technology, allowing them to be monitored and controlled using the GROHE ONDUS App. GROHE Sense and GROHE Sense Guard combined, constitute a revolutionary water security system for your home. TEXT: EDELMANERGO  |  PHOTOS: GROHE AG

Innovative products for a smarter future: GROHE Sense is a smart water sensor. Easily placed on the floor, it detects wa64  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

ter in the home. When water touches the sensor’s base due to for example a leak or flooding, GROHE Sense gives an alert.

Moreover, the sensor tracks room temperature and humidity. Multiple devices across different rooms or at critical locations can facilitate detection of leaks. This makes it possible for the home owner to react quickly and prevent further damage. Being installed in the central water pipe of the house by a professional installer, GROHE Sense Guard serves as a smart water controller which detects frost risk or cracks in the downstream piping system and shuts off water supply automatically. A micro leak test is conducted once


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

every 24 hours by which even the smallest leaks in the cold-water pipes can be detected. Even leaving a tap open will not remain unnoticed anymore! GROHE Sense Guard tracks water consumption and continually monitors water flow, pressure and temperature. Users can always check their individual water consumption at any time.

Your personal water profile The innovative GROHE Sense system is based on industry standard wireless LAN technology, controlled through the GROHE ONDUS App – the centerpiece of the GROHE Sense system. It offers the highest level of water safety, allowing to continually monitor and control GROHE Sense

and GROHE Sense Guard – whenever and wherever. The users receive alerts on the smartphone connected to the internet when there is a water issue at home. The water supply can be shut off with the app to prevent major damage. Additionally, the app has a feature that allows users to track their domestic water consumption.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  65


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

Water damage – an underestimated risk GROHE Sense and Sense Guard have been developed to address the issue of water damage in households as an underestimated risk as a survey shows: in January 2017, GROHE conducted its own Water Security Survey in ten European countries, focusing on water-related damages caused by burst pipes, rooftop leaks, pipe leaks or defective household appliances. The survey revealed a considerable gap between people’s perception of water damage and the actual problems it

66  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

can cause. Participants estimated that only 37 per cent of European households have suffered from water damage while actually 54 per cent of European households experienced one – this is much more than participants suspected. Water damage – an expensive risk If water damage occurs, the cost of repair can add up fast. However, insurance may not cover the total sum. On average in Europe, water damage costs – including detection, repair and replacement of dam-

aged goods – can add up to around 2,300 euros while 39 per cent of total costs are not reimbursed by insurance companies. Water damage – a preventable risk With a growing number of people using smart home devices, there are new intelligent solutions for water security. GROHE`s Water Security Survey shows that 67 per cent of people would consider buying an early detection system for their homes, but currently only one in four are aware that water damage warning systems exist.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Smart Business

Only three per cent own such a product. As GROHE always wants to ensure that customers can enjoy their water experience, developing intelligent devices to monitor and prevent water damage incidents has been a natural next step in product innovation.

cases in 2015, while 50 per cent of the total residential damage is due to mains related water damages. The GDV report has also shown that 93 per cent of the cases could have been prevented. These figures show that water damage is indeed a big issue and an underestimated risk.

Statistics provided by the German Insurance Association (GDV) offer further supporting evidence. Water was an issue in 56 per cent of residential home insurance

Enjoy peace of mind “Our aim is to be a source of enjoyment. Mains-related water damage is the most frequent damage in the house. When

water damage occurs, you want things fixed right away, but it can take weeks if not months before everything is repaired. Therefore, prevention is the best remedy. That is why we developed the GROHE water security system: enjoy the day – enjoy peace of mind, while GROHE Sense and Sense Guard take care of your home”, says Michael Rauterkus, CEO GROHE AG. www.grohe.de Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  67


Photo: © https://perzonseo.com

SPECIAL THEME: GERMANY’S BUSINESS COACHES

The leadership experts Business coaching can greatly improve one’s skills and chance of success, whether you are an employee, a CEO, a manager or looking for a new job. Find out what Germany’s business coaches have to offer on the following pages.

Photo: © https://perzonseowebbyra.se

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Business Coaches

Left: Cover of Simone Stölzel’s Unendliche Weiten. Photo: © Verlagsgruppe Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Middle: German terms for self-reflection, self-determination and self-responsibility.   Photo: © Metaloge. Right: Cover of Thomas Stölzel’s Staunen, Humor, Mut und Skepsis. Photo: © Verlagsgruppe Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

A different approach to coaching When a dialogue is led by Thomas and Simone Stölzel it becomes more than a conversation, it transforms into a metalogue. With a diverse background in literature, culture and philosophy, the two founders of the Metaloge Berlin GbR have developed their own ideas about coaching. Through their consulting firm, they apply their unique, goal-oriented, often humoristic, line of thinking when supporting individuals and businesses in finding different points of view or sustainable quality. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

“We want to show that there is a different way of talking about topics. That people are storytelling beings, whose lives are dependent on the stories they tell themselves and others.” Like any human beings, the Stölzels themselves are made up of a variety of stories. Some are about experiences in literature, philosophy, history of arts and culture. Others dive into the fields of therapy, consulting and coaching. All come to play in the process of a Metaloge project, where both use their experiences to offer a constructive companionship for all kinds of professional and personal topics. A metalogue is a special form of a dialogue, enabling the participants to view a topic or problem from a diverse array of perspectives. During a metalogue, one is not only talking about the matter at hand

but also about the way we communicate with each other. Through this differentiation, the metalogue generates a new level of knowledge. One subject that has become very important for the Stölzels is sustainability in management. “For us, this is about a resource-efficient development for making a company socially and economically sustainable regarding not only environment, but also the resource of employees and management.” Correlating with sustainability is the subject of nurturing quality throughout a company’s value chain. “We have developed methods for supporting individuals and institutions at preserving their qualitative level through renewal.”

ing as a way of discovering new thoughts about topics. Hence, Staunen, Humor, Mut und Skepsis examines the advantages of philosophic competences in professional circumstances, while Unendliche Weiten presents the original Star Trek as an example for solving problems by developing particular psychological skills. Through these books, the two are able to make their discoveries available to others. All Metaloge consultations, coaching or workshops are held in the German language. www.metaloge.de Simone and Thomas Stölzel. Photo: © Metaloge

Keen on improving their methods, Thomas and Simone have chosen writIssue 52  |  July 2017  |  69


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Business Coaches

Jasper Dehner (left) and Ulrich Dehner (right) in a meeting.

A holistically developed personality as the basis for success We are living in times where the value of each individual employee, their potential as well as the need for professional advancement are acknowledged and actively promoted. Employers and employees alike are aware that personal development is key to a fulfilled and above all successful working life. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: ANJA REITH

When certified psychologist Ulrich Dehner established Konstanz and Berlinbased dehner academy in 2014, he had already been working as a coach for almost 30 years. Together with his children, trainers and coaches Jasper and Alice, he decided to take their ideas that one significant step further.“The three of us had already worked as coaches in the ‘Konstanzer Seminare’, a collection of seminars for managers, sales people and human resources,” says Alice Dehner, co-founder and one of the three CEOs at dehner academy, remembering the academy’s outsets. “dehner academy’s message has always been clear: the personality of an individual is his or her most valuable asset. It was this belief in particular we wanted to pass on to a German as well as an international clientele.” Current demands on managers are varied and they thus need to be equipped with 70  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

a multitude of tools that enable them to interact with their team members on many different levels. “Today’s managers need to be multi-functional: they need to be able to coach individual employees as well as whole teams. They need to stimulate their employees’ personal development and, if possible, retain the employee. They also need to be able to moderate conflicts in a way that leaves neither ‘winners‘ nor ‘losers’,” Dehner explains. “Putting the individual’s personality in the focus of our seminars, we want to equip managers, sales personnel and human resources alike with the above described tools. Moreover, dehner academy has developed IntrovisionCoaching, a tool that is based on transactional analysis, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Introvision. IntrovisionCoaching is highly efficient in pointing out and in permanently overcoming a client’s mental blocks in a

very short time,”says Dehner, introducing this singular tool. dehner academy’s coaches have a sound understanding of psychology as well as an in-depth knowledge of the various types of a company’s operational departments. They have a well-grounded understanding of systemic connectivities within companies; this holistic knowledge as well as dehner academy’s personality-centred approach helps managers to develop their personality in a way that benefits themselves and their employer. www.dehner.academy

Alice Dehner in a coaching situation.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Business Coaches

Finding inspiration in nature Executive coach Gudrun Happich helps business leaders to improve their management style.

www.galileo-institut.de www.leistungstraeger-blog.de

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  |  PHOTOS: BIRGITTA PETERSHAGEN FOTOGRAFIE

Nature can be a helpful guide for companies. Similar to biological systems, companies also have to adapt to their environment and to changing circumstances. Gudrun Happich came to this conclusion when working as an executive – a job she did for 12 years.“I was expected to manage the companies in a way that did not suit me. I had to act like a different person and realised that this management style was ineffective,” Happich explains. Therefore, she was looking for alternative models. Since she studied biology, she found inspiration in nature and developed the ‘bioSystemik® management approach’: “I was looking for consistent solutions,” Happich explains.“So I derived this management style based on principles such as self-organisation, 2_0_subscribe_DG:Layout 1 self-responsibil22/3/16 14:06

and shouldn’t hesitate to include their employees’ ideas as well.”

ity, and transparency from natural forms of organisation.” Her strategy not only turned out to be very successful, she also enjoyed being an executive again. To share her experience with others, she has been working as a freelance executive business coach since 1994 and established ‘Galileo . Institut für Human Excellence’ in Cologne. With her expertise as a biologist and former executive, she creates individual solutions by combining these disciplines. “The key to being a successful executive is staying true to yourself,” says Happich. “Many of my clients think that they have to orientate themselves towards other companies or that they have to stick to certain behavioural patterns. Instead, they should find Pageout 1 what is important to them

Executive coach Gudrun Happich.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Business Coaches

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Know yourself and become who you are ‘423 BT Beratung und Training für die Wirtschaft’ offers seminars in many specialist areas: development of personality and managers, coaching, mediation and supervision. All classes are custom-made to the clients’ personalities. TEXT: INA FRANK

423 was founded in 1996 and has pursued its mission ever since: supporting managers in becoming empathetic leadership personalities through coaching, trainings and seminars. The idea behind their concept is that companies can implement their vision and fulfil their mission if all managers and employees take full advantage of their potential. Leadership is also an issue of one’s personal development. One can only motivate others to do their best for their company, if he or she permanently reflects his or her thinking and acting towards others. The coaches at 423 believe that if a leadership personality knows how to motivate the 72  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

employees using convictions, attitudes and a clear stance, the business management will be excellent. It has to be emphasised that working only with demands and instructions does not work – a real leadership personality takes any specific situation and the individual employee into consideration. But how does becoming a good leadership personality actually work? According to 423, it can be compared to boxing: a leadership personality needs a ‘sparring partner’ who offers constructive feedback and helps to develop leadership competences. 423 with its directors Dr. Bernd M. Wittschier, Christian Polz and Gerda-Marie Wittschier is that strategic partner you need.

The competence of 423 is expanding and enhancing the leadership qualities. What exactly distinguishes leadership personalities? They have a wide range of possibilities and instruments to guide their employees. Leadership personalities can take many roles: from role models to companions, from motivator to problem solver, from supporter to advisor. Another important issue to the coaches at 423 is the ‘learning company’. Leadership personalities know how to get rid of old, inefficient leadership and how to develop innovative options for action. 423 counsels, trains and accompanies businesses in becoming ‘learning companies’. The coaches help leadership personalities to build up a respectful and wary communication culture which prioritises the clients’ needs and expectations. www.423gmbh.de


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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Photo: © Flickr.com, perzon seo

S P E C I A L T H E M E : G E R M A N Y ’ S C O N S U LT I N G E X P E R T S

A fast-growing industry According to a study by the Federal association of German management consulting (Bundesverband Deutscher Unternehmensberater), the German consultant industry’s turnover increased by over seven per cent to 29 billion euros in 2016. Additionally, 5,000 new consulting jobs were created. The industry is booming.

Photo: © Flickr.com, Flazingo Photos

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Photo: © Copyright: Flickr.com, Lucas

In 2016, around 115,000 business consultants worked in Germany and, all in all, 140,000 employees were employed in the consulting industry. This clearly shows a booming industry, but why exactly is that? Companies, organisations and administrations are subject to a profound, digital transformation. Thereby, they increasingly look for support through management consultants in order to continue to be successful with the needed strategy, process and IT adaptations. Not least because of this factor, the consulting industry’s turnover has increased by 7.4 per cent to 29 billion euros in 2016. At the same time, the job market is booming: an additional 6,000 jobs were created in 2016 in consulting companies – 5,000 of these on consultant level. For 2017, consultants remain optimistic. They expect an increase in turnover of 8.3

per cent according to a market study by the Bundesverband Deutscher Unternehmensberater (BDU). Another forecast predicted by the study is the targeted expansion of companies’ digital consulting portfolio, as well as their own business models. BDU president Ralf Strehlau says: “The consumers’ information and purchase decision-making process severely changes through digitalisation. Through this, classic consulting and IT topics, as well as communicative tasks, have to interact more closely. Management consultants react to this development with the targeted acquisition of tech companies, as well as digital and advertising agencies or the intensive cooperation with suitable partners.”

Photo: © Flickr.com, Michael Porter

In order for you to find out what Germany has to offer on the consulting front, we handpicked some of the country’s industry leaders on the following pages.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Hidden champions of Automated Disposition

Masters of the global flow of goods To ensure that goods always arrive where they are needed, complex processes must be regulated and new decisions must be continually made. In today’s world, that means automated disposition is necessary to optimally control the stream of goods. Abels & Kemmner Group just happen to be the hidden champions of the trend towards the digitalisation of disposition. TEXT: JAIME HEATHER SCHWARTZ

The digitalisation of the world is progressing ever more quickly. Behind the development, which reaches the end user in the form of intelligent search engines, social networks or simplified ordering processes on the internet, is the automation of complex sequences and decisions. The digitalisation of supply chains and industrial production, often referred to as Industry 4.0, is the new economic megatrend. Machines collaborate in so-called cyber-physical systems and thus are increasingly able to produce goods more efficiently. Automated moving conveyors and seeing robots 76  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

are just some aspects of these connected networks. But how do systems know where things should be delivered and what should be done when production capacity is limited? Or what has priority? How does one reach a high delivery capacity with a small amount of inventory and within reasonable costs? How does a company find the optimal balance? Typically, these sorts of high-level decisions are the responsibility of a company’s disposition manager. However, as supply chains become more complex, fragmented

and global, the only way to efficiently control the flow of goods is by relying on an automatised planning schedule and corresponding ordering process. As in many sectors, the emerging automated disposition market has its own ‘Hidden Champions’. That is to say, the medium-sized companies who are the technology and / or market leaders of the niche. In Germany, that would be the corporate A & K Group, comprised of the consulting firm Abels & Kemmner, the software company SCT and the training and seminar provider AWF. The latter recently developed an accredited course of study for disposition managers, the first of its kind to ever exist. Together, the A & K Group can provide all the necessary services for companies to optimise their supply chains in a sustainable manner. Despite the fact the A & K Group is not


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

as well-known as they perhaps should be, many consumers have already indirectly benefited from the group’s achievements; especially when it comes to the capability to deliver goods. In the past, the ability to deliver goods was often ensured by maintaining a large inventory. That meant any manufacturer or distributor with a large warehouse could create a successful supply chain. However, keeping a high amount of stock on hand these days is not profitable enough to justify, especially as the demand for goods, and the kinds of goods, changes too fast. Today the amount of inventory business customers are willing to keep is too low to bridge a supplier’s delays in delivery, as this has often been the fact in the past. How then, can dispatchers establish a supply chain with a high delivery capacity while keeping inventories as low as possible? Strong solutions instead of instinct Many companies are failing today because of the above dilemma. “No wonder,” says Professor Dr. Götz-Andreas Kemmner, managing partner of the A & K Group. “Keeping delivery capacity high with a low supply of inventory for thousands of Stock Keeping Units is a statistical challenge, and one that cannot be solved with good instincts.” The economy has been struggling for many years now with this exact problem that, in moments of doubt,

those responsible will default to making decisions based on their personal experience. Ultimately, this means important decisions are made according to someone’s ‘gut-feeling’. Even if this intuitive process has proved some level of success it keeps the potential optimisation only between 20 to 30 per cent. “Even if companies use specialised addon systems,” says Dr. Kemmner’s partner Dr. Bernd Reineke. “Delivery capacity is still heavily reliant on instinct. Although IT systems can bring transparency and make it possible to visualise decision-making situations, these systems often make order proposals that a dispatcher considers implausible; so again going with a feeling is what wins out.” Many companies are confronted with another challenge: business is growing, but finding sufficiently qualified dispatchers is becoming more difficult. There are many reasons, therefore, to work towards automated disposition solutions and to optimise them by generally accepted rules so users can obtain the overall optimum. For this reason, the Aachen consultants from Abels & Kemmner, together with the software house SCT, are continuously developing a disposition methodology and have implemented a special simulation system that makes it possible to develop a company-specific set of best prac-

tice planning algorithms, which require none, or very little, additional oversight by dispatchers. Appropriate staff training is offered by AWF and its application can produce savings as well as higher optimisation potential for industry and trade. www.ak-online.biz www.diskover.eu First page, left: ‘When users no longer need to intervene, the delivery process can be highly automated. Delivery capacity can be enhanced with the same personnel, or this work force gains time to focus on areas that require critical attention.’ Professor Dr. Götz-Andreas Kemmner, managing partner of the A & K Group. Photo: © Abels & Kemmner Business Consultants Ltd. First page, right: ‘By using the A&K Group’s Dispo 4.0 DISKOVER tool, we currently have about 250 warehouses which are operating almost fully automated, and were able to increase delivery capability even with reduced inventories.’ Christian-Hans Bültemeier, CFO at the Bremen Hydraulic Expert HANSA-FLEX AG. Photo: © HANSA-FLEX AG Bottom left: ‘We consolidated disposition for more than 140 locations with three different ERP systems with the A & K Group Dispo 4.0 DISKOVER tool and enabled a broad automated disposition. With DISKOVER we also have an excellent reporting tool that, even with more than ten million Stock Keeping Units, makes a drill down from KPI to individual item levels possible. This is extremely efficient.’ Dr. Reiner Schmitz, head of central disposition / director corporate replenishment at TROST, which belongs to the Wessels & Müller Group. Photo: © TROST Fahrzeugteile Bottom middle: ‘We call our simulation system for the automatised flow of goods ‘Disposition 4.0’, since it represents the complete automation of the disposition procedure, as with Industry 4.0.’ Dr. Bernd Reineke, managing partner of the A & K Group. Photo: © Abels & Kemmner Business Consultants Ltd. Bottom right: ‘Working with A & K Group’s Dispo 4.0 System DISKOVER is an important component for us to further develop several Industry 4.0 projects.’ Andreas Bergen, coordinator for procurement processes at Nolte Küchen. Photo: © Nolte Küchen

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Processline change management. Photo: © Tom Merton, Avenue Images

Management change done differently Business consultancy processline helps medium-sized companies to unfold their full potential and keep up with the change of time. Thinking outside the box and ensuring an overall holistic and individual support are just some of processline’s many secrets to success.

make a difficult decision between soft skills or hard facts. We present the symbiosis of both in connecting the classic process and project management skills with a systematic consulting approach.”

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  |  PHOTOS: PROCESSLINE

During the past decade, our world has changed like never before. With the rise of the internet, social media and environmental consciousness, we all must think a little differently. That is exactly the same for businesses, but often on a much bigger scale. Even well-established companies have to ask one critical question: Does our business model stand the test of time? Adjusting to changes that occur outside a company inevitably means embedding some internal changes as well. That is where processline comes in. The essential knowledge of what aspects need to be 78  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

improved is often already on the company’s leaders’ minds. But in order for it to be recognised as such, it requires an expert outsider to point it out. CEO Jennifer Reckow, who founded processline in 2002 during the stock market crash, remembers how it all started: “I recognised the necessity for companies to incorporate more organisational flexibility and hence to be able to manage new challenges with optimised structures and motivated loyal employees.” “I clearly hit a nerve,” Reckow continues. “Previously, companies were forced to

Over the years processline has specialised in complex projects in the field of change management and is a trusted partner for upper medium-sized enterprises. Today, processline’s impressive portfolio includes over 200 projects focusing on change management in about 100 companies. It should come as no surprise that Reckow and her team of 20 consultants were recently awarded the prestigious seal of quality as Best Consultant 2017 in change management, transformation and reconstruction. “We are very proud to be amongst the top consultant agencies in Germany,”enthus-


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

es Reckow. “Processline is a small giant. I am particularly happy about reaching outstanding marks in the category of client evaluation. We work hard to be amongst the best of the best and our clients recognise that.” Processline promotes custom-made solutions that are developed together with a company’s management and staff. This can be seen as one of processline’s pillars of success. For the team of experts at processline, it is absolutely crucial to properly include all employees and make use of their know-how. An open and regular information policy strengthens everyone’s trust in the project and the management alike and is also a vital part of processline’s strategy. This overall approach ensures that a new structure is not only filled with life right from the start, but also - and more importantly - it means that it is sustainable in the future. Vertical integration is at the heart of processline’s philosophy and is fairly unusual within their industry. Their services span across management, organisation and

process consulting to project and change management, but also include drafting concrete work instructions or job descriptions. Looking at all aspects of a business as a whole right from the start is certainly a criterion that sets processline apart from its competitors. The holistic approach and the understanding that change management only succeeds if structure and culture work hand in hand has resulted in the company’s excellent reputation. Their clients range from municipal utilities, energy service providers and cable network operators to telecommunication companies, plant engineering and automotive suppliers. There are also clients from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. “We are currently receiving a lot of requests from the health and finance sectors,” Reckow adds.“Both industries need some re-thinking during the next years in order to meet the challenges the shifts in our society and the global political landscape present.”

With her extensive experience, Reckow is also part of the board of the Federal Association of German Management Consultants (Bundesverbands Deutscher Unternehmensberater BDU e.V.). The association’s purpose is the mutual exchange about industry trends and quality assurance in the field of change management consultancy. Reckow concludes: “Here at processline we understand the needs of mediumsized companies and help our clients giving birth to something new. We take responsibility for them and the achievement of their goals. Looking beyond the surface and thinking of changes that are sustainable is part of our work.” To ensure that Reckow and her team are able to provide top services at all times, it goes without saying that she does not shy away from analysing her own business: “For a consultancy and service company, which supervises businesses when they undergo changes, it is only natural to frequently put ourselves to the test so that we continue to grow with our clients.” www.processline.de

CEO Jennifer Reckow.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

CEO Michael Bitzer.

Lumics is a joint venture between McKinsey and Lufthansa Technik.

Lumics Consulting

Bottom-up change Innovate – simplify – engage. These attributes are at the core of Lumics’ business philosophy and consulting services. Through their highly specialised expertise, the firm helps clients achieve the highest levels of productivity and quality in all of their maintenance, repair and overhaul activities as well as associated processes. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE  I  PHOTOS: LUMICS GMBH & CO. KG

“Our consulting follows more a ‘bottomup’ rather than a ‘top-down’ approach. We work closely with our clients, enabling them to make changes. All communication is open, direct, clear and authentic. This philosophy also means that Lumics does not only help the company’s top management, but we ensure that the working environment is improved for all employees – from the board room to the shopfloor,” explains managing director Dirk Mulzer. Founded in 2013, Lumics is a 50/50 joint venture of Lufthansa Technik AG with the management consulting company McKinsey & Company. Lumics has office locations in Hamburg and Frankfurt and their client base is truly diverse. Lumics’ background is maintenance, repair and overhaul processes with a clear focus on 80  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

aviation, but their vast portfolio also includes clients from heavy and chemical industries as well as defense and pharmaceutical companies. Currently, Lumics supports the Lufthansa Group during the implementation of process orientation structures in many areas. Sustainable change Lumics supports the implementation of sustainable change through conceptualisation of business processes and the on-site implementation of their lean management philosophy. Their industrial background means experience in complex production processes with the highest security requirements. Another asset is that all of the firm’s 60 employees have a vast set of skills, educa-

CEO Dirk Mulzer.

tional and professional backgrounds. “We are a young team of highly experienced practitioners and experienced consultants in a company with flat hierarchies and open doors. Every Lumics employee has access to the management and can and should help shape our company with new ideas and their know-how,” says managing director Michael Bitzer. Looking forward, he believes that Lumics will grow continuously, recruiting top talents and practitioners. End-to-end partnerships “We are convinced that good advice not only helps the company but also increases the motivation and satisfaction of employees. We take the time to understand where the real problems lie, and we’ll tackle them. Part of the Lumics’ claim is to be seeing eye to eye with blue and white collar workers. We consider our job done when we are truly convinced that our clients can continually improve,” states managing director Dirk Mulzer. www.lumics-consulting.de


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

GEOS Germany A business enabler and partner for security worldwide Almost every enterprise is aligned globally nowadays – whether with the distribution of its products and services, procurement of raw materials in other countries, or with assigning their staff to other countries for industrial projects. At the same time, a rise of threats and all kind of risks is omnipresent: political ones, organised or violent crimes, corruption, natural disasters and many more. TEXT: GEOS GERMANY  |  PHOTOS: FOTOLIA

For company owners and management in charge of human resources, this means recognising the obligation to care for, as well as protect, employees and preventing any organisational failure. At the same time, company values need to stay protected. GEOS Germany, as part of the Group GEOS, supports clients in developing an awareness for travel security as part of company security. “We provide special resources and know-how to support your corporate security department and to build up a crisis management organisation. Our experts will advise your employees in specifically designed security trainings as well as intercultural training programmes and – if the worse comes to worse – support your crisis management teams in resolving even a heavy crisis such as kidnapping or extortion,” explains Jens Washausen, managing director of GEOS Germany.

ment and serves its clients worldwide, or if you want to export your produced food products all over the world – GEOS Germany offers preventive support in building up a proper security setup, including crisis and emergency management procedures. “We also support you in your operations of infrastructural projects in critical regions worldwide. And, in case of an incident, you can always fall back on our emergency hotline where our consultants advise you immediately,” notes Washausen.

With the services of GEOS Germany, you receive a complete security package: continuous risk consulting and advice, qualified risk assessments and integration in existing protection strategies along with a global operative support. “The tried-and-trusted management experience of our staff at small, medium and large-scale enterprises provides the footing for our strategic expertise. Contact us today for an informal first meeting and find out how to improve your security organisation,” concludes Washausen. GEOS Germany is at your side so you can take better care of your daily business. www.geos-germany.com www.groupegeos.com

It is of no importance if you are a global player who acts in an industrial environIssue 52  |  July 2017  |  81


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Richard Hilton, managing director EMEA, Miller Heiman Group.

Analysis and transformation Customer’s focus or customer-focus? Miller Heiman Group frontline research puts customer experience right at the centre of all sales. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: 2017 MILLER HEIMAN GROUP

The customer as a person is a unique partner for any interaction related to sales. Ideally, the experience, or ‘customer journey’, spans from a successful marketing strategy via the actual contact/service to the final conclusion/purchase. The latest research has shown that longterm oriented values in customer service eventually lead to greater revenue and sustainable company growth. The new comprehensive approach of the Miller Heiman Group supports clients from organisation to talent assessment and management through to process consulting, by using the latest in digital training methods. The firm offers solutions 82  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

for any challenges an enterprise might face within the sales and service division. For each phase of the selling process, the Miller Heiman Group portfolio of sales training programmes offer just the right practice-oriented training. With more than 60 branches worldwide and training in 20 languages, the group is one of few consulting companies offering consistent staff training on an international level. Their programmes are setting international standards and count as the most attended ones within the sales and service sector, with more than 1.5 million alumni worldwide. The independent CSO insights research company, part of the Miller Heiman

Group, serves as a basis for Miller Heiman Group’s own product innovations. They deliver the data and benchmarks that allow Miller Heiman Group to support companies with developing successful and professional strategies. The Miller Heiman Group is the merger of five leading providers for sales and service training within the USA. The roots of Miller Heiman, Achieve Global, Channel Enablers, Huthwaite and Impact Learning Systems reach back to the ‘70s. The 2014 merger therefore did not only pool the competencies and product portfolios of five enterprises; the newly formed organisation also profits from the mutual sum of 150 years of experience in consultation and staff training of customer organisations. Miller Heiman Group clients are individuals like sales managers, striving to im-


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

prove their team’s performance, as well as service managers who realise the growing potential that customer service entails by turning employees into brand ambassadors. Another big part of Miller Heiman Group clients are leaders who want to support their staff in meeting future market challenges regarding both service and sales and who regard training as an effective investment into the future sustainability of their company.

potential future regular user of a company’s products and services. Thus, not only do the staff members become brand ambassadors, but the customers as well. Miller Heiman Group have come to the conclusion that including customer journey analysis into any sales strategy will lead to higher quota achievement and increased revenue. Therefore, Sales Ena-

blement, Sales Transformation and Customer Experience are at the focus of Miller Heiman Group research and product development. They pass on their classified knowledge with products like their Be Ready Solutions, both through their online webinars and platform tools and faceto-face consulting. www.millerheimangroup.co.uk

For 2017, the Miller Heiman Group will strengthen their position as an international market leader. New and innovative products and methods meet the growing challenges that customer organisations face at present. By developing, for example, the Learner-Ready-Platform, faceto-face training is being effectively combined with the digital teaching of course contents; an extension that is especially useful for globally oriented teaching initiatives. The Miller Heiman Group will also continue to fulfil their pioneering role regarding trends within the sales and service sector, for example through boosting the Sales Enablement function. Related research lately has shown the effectiveness of including service and marketing into the sales strategy. Sales Transformation is the resulting, important initiative. Instead of focusing on one-off sales, the ‘customer journey’ is put at the centre of a long-term strategy. It reaches from brand awareness, created through marketing, to sales and after-sales support and allows a deeper customer analysis, eventually leading to better sales results. For example, Miller Heiman Group believe in the customer’s own initiative as a driving force for sales. They advise you to build your enablement strategy around letting the customer drive the conversation, while the sales professional guides it down the right path to the envisioned solution and outcome. They also suggest to constantly analyse customer behaviours that enable a sales team to be responsive and “nimble to make on-thefly adjustments”. In short, it helps to take the customer seriously, both as a person who expects a certain experience and as a

Sales System.

Be Ready Solutions™.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  83


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

HPP Consulting

The management team from the left: Dr. Thorsten Liebehenschel, André Köhler, Uwe Harnischfeger, Robin Desens and Roland Pietsch.

German marketing and strategy specialist for the digital revolution Founded in 1996, the Frankfurt-based consultancy HPP Consulting, which focuses on marketing and strategy optimisation, supports their clients’ growth through discovering new market possibilities. While the origins of the consultancy are in the automotive sector, their portfolio has continuously widened. Nowadays, HPP Consulting has, next to projects in various technology and service industries, established a second core focus in the telecommunication sector. Currently, all these sectors are facing the challenges of digital transformation. Challenges that the consultants at HPP are more than willing to address. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTO: HPP CONSULTING

Initially, HPP was a business segment for the Daimler daughter debis Marketing Services. Integrated in the company, the segment became a success and consequently an independent business. A thor84  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

ough restructuring gave the new company its strategic foundation and new name, the HPP Harnischfeger, Pietsch & Partner Straegie- und Marketingberatung GmbH. Since 2016, five partners, who were all

trained in the company, own HPP as major shareholders, employing a staff of 60 highly qualified people. In its 20 years of doing business, the consultancy has emancipated itself from its former parent company Daimler, but is still uniquely tied to the automotive sector. It has also developed extensive expertise within the telecommunication sector. “We have always chosen a path of qualitative growth,” explains Uwe Harnischfeger, founder and managing partner. It has been the choice for this path that enabled HPP to establish itself in the fast-changing environments of their core markets and with


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

regard to modern topics like digitalisation. Currently, it is the latter that continues to transform business and social life at large and initiate exciting projects for HPP.

for the customer. When this value is not obvious, something is preventing developments,” explains HPP Partner Dr. Thorsten Liebehenschel.

Challenges of digitalisation

Digitalisation expertise

In the automotive sector, digitalisation has become an item of daily news. Catchphrases are connected cars, e-mobility, online sales and digital sales tools. Not only is the car itself revolutionised by technological advancements, the facilitating business structures around it are as well. For the automotive sector, the main challenges arise when it comes to the sales and service process. The processes have to be translated into the digital environment and they have to be implemented into retail organisation. Nowadays, digitalisation is an integral component of each automotive project that HPP does. “Next to the development of digital products, business models and processes, early attention should be directed to brand integration, clear positioning and customer communication. And not only in terms of functionality, but in relation to the added value

Due to constant training and education activities, HPP Consulting has accumulated experience and expertise in digital transformation. In the value chain of digital transformation, the customer journey is identified as a core item for change. When developing this customer journey, HPP follows a holistic approach that reviews all influencing factors. Starting with the definition of a target picture, this process follows a constant reviewing of the status quo in relation to the target state. In order to truly make the change to a successful, digitalised customer journey, HPP’s consulting is further addressing internal and external challenges in adaptation. Various instruments are used for different market, customer and competition analysis, all of which become a part of the main process of identifying and solving these adaptation challenges.

‘Know-how’ and ‘do how’ HPP Partner André Köhler explains that the company’s strength lies in being aware of the know-how, knowing what should be done, and the ‘do how’, knowing how this can be done. Because of this line of thinking, a topic like digitalisation is not just abstract and theoretical for the consultants, but a lived and applied practice. For HPP, combining both the know-how and do how has been the key to an international customer base and projects for markets including Japan, China and the US. It has also led to acknowledgements by publications like the German business magazine brand eins, which rated HPP Consulting among the best German marketing, brand and pricing consultancies in 2016. As the rating took the reputation within the consulting industry, as well as client satisfaction into account, HPP’s management team is proud of their achievement. Acknowledgments like this reassure the qualitative path HPP has followed for 20 years and continues to follow as the digital revolution plays out. www.hpp-consulting.de Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  85


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Jochen Schmid, SCM interim manager.

A holistic approach to company optimisation When consultant Jochen Schmid tackles a project, everybody is included, from top management throughout the complete hierarchy down to the basis. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: PROMAPROD

Following on the motto of breaking down layers and talking to people, not only to receive relevant information but also to implement change at both management and base levels, Jochen Schmid’s handson mentality helps with losing fear and realising the advantages and added value coming with change. Tackling problems together with an onsite team, the consultant believes in the principle of the sum of little steps, eventually leading to a lasting result. A strong implementation expert and emphatic problem solver, Jochen Schmid acts goal and decision-oriented, while providing both support and challenge for the team. With 25 years of professional experience under his belt in total, the engineer looks back on a decade of consulting and 15 successful mandates as interim manager. Methodical Supply Chain Management (SCM) knowledge to a ‘Lean Six Sigma Black Belt’ level, profound SAP expertise as well as years of leadership experience within the producing industry make 86  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Jochen Schmid the go-to address when it comes to efficient company optimisation. With a focus on SCM, he acts on a cross-sector level in the producing industries, from the engineering and automobile sector to pharmaceutical and chemical companies, through to sanitary and energy systems providers. As a mechanical engineer with a profound business management background, he provides his expertise for top leading and project management positions. Apart from analysis and consulting, Jochen Schmid also takes on the actual implementation process, from planning to realisation. With the ultimate goal of fostering financial and production efficiency, Jochen Schmid also provides insights into further important topics, making SCM a central and strategically important field of enterprise policy. Beginning with the overall project to subsection through to specific measure, Jochen Schmid acts strategically as well as

tactically and operationally. Through long years of experience, he also has an eye for synergies of SCM with other divisions within a company. In fact, Jochen Schmid looks at himself as an SCM “generalist”. He constantly keeps both goals and results of a project in mind, while analysing and optimising both structures and processes from an integral point of view. His clients, mostly entrepreneurs and owners of medium-sized companies within the producing industries, enjoy services from project planning and management, sales order processing and purchasing optimisation, through to intralogistics and cross-sectoral processes. “My mandates, first and foremost, deal with optimising organisational structures and processes.” Simple as it sounds, profound expertise and know-how, as well as a sound knowledge of team leadership, are actually needed to effectively implement change. With a palette of optimising methods at the ready, his excellent SAP know-how and a high personal flexibility, Jochen Schmid sees a project through while also allowing the overall process to become transparent, much to his clients’ benefit. www.schmid-scm.de


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

TurnFriendly CEO Marco Rothberg.

Customer Experience Management with TurnFriendly.

The smart way to Customer Experience Management From start-up to hidden champion, TurnFriendly, founded by Marco Rothberg in 2001, has developed from a simple idea to a comprehensive Customer Experience Management System. Working as an IT consultant, Rothberg saw that customers were seldom asked about their opinion or input for a solution. From this insight, development on TurnFriendly, a software assisting customer experience management in all kinds of environments, began. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: TURNFRIENDLY

In 2000, during one of Rothberg’s early projects in the banking sector, it became necessary to ask customers about their opinion regarding real-time stock quotations. To do so, a first version of a webbased questionnaire was created over the course of nine months. The questionnaire was tested and quickly a difficulty arose: What happens when the customer is not satisfied?

ly to a comprehensive Customer Experience Management System and turned Rothberg’s company into a hidden champion with deep knowledge in the banking and tourism sector. “Regarding tourism, I have to thank Willi Verhuven of Alltours. When Alltours asked if TurnFriendly could be applied to manage complaints in tourism, it opened up whole new avenues for us.”

“It was obvious that we needed to start a dialogue with the customer and that companies need to understand complaints and professionally process them,”explains Rothberg. A whole new development cycle began, one that expanded TurnFriend-

Not only is the software web-based and easy to use, it can also be used companywide without limits of multi-client capabilities. Through automatic allocation of cases, TurnFriendly saves the customer experience managers time, while

its many features can be customised for the requirements of currently more than 10,000 individual users worldwide. In TurnFriendly, all factors that shape the customer experience come together. Starting with requests, the software is integrating sales, different web portals, analysis and reporting, gained knowledge and feedback. Through the feedback gained by their customers and consequent application to TurnFriendly, Rothberg and his team have become experts in Customer Experience Management. Therefore, clients such as the Deutsche Bank not only profit from the software solution, they also learn from the deep insights and sector-related knowledge of the company. In the future, the independent hidden champion will continuously refine its own product, thus following its ambition to grow and Rothberg’s motto: “Only who really knows his customer’s needs, will make fans out of clients.” www.turnfriendly.com Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  87


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

WARGITSCH & COMP. AG´s headquarters in Bavaria.

Responsiveness is key for adapting to an ever-changing business world WARGITSCH & COMP. AG is an agency that dedicates its work to all aspects of transformation processes. With many years of experience, the agency, based in Bavaria, advises its clients but also provides concrete tools and training that enable clients to help themselves in future. Service, tools and training are the three pillars that guarantee a successful business transformation. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  |  PHOTOS: WARGITSCH & COMP. AG

But why is transformation so important for companies at all?“When companies do not adjust regularly to a changing environment, the risk heightens that they will not survive in the long term,” says CEO Dr. Christoph Wargitsch. “Adaptation at best happens as conscious and actively led, structured transformation process that brings a company from state A to an envisioned state B.” WARGITSCH & COMP. AG mainly works for internationally operating companies, often in the automotive sector. In their approach, the consultants follow the logic of Charles Darwin and the idea that responsiveness is key to survival or, as Darwin has put it: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The same applies to companies: responsiveness means the ability to transform and adapt to a dynamic market. 88  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

WARGITSCH & COMP. AG has developed a framework for helping companies with transformation processes that can be summed up with four easy words: Think. Design. Plan. Do.“What is most important is not to take over the transformation completely, because this means that changes and protagonists are seen as a foreign

Dr. Christoph Wargitsch, CEO.

bodies and are therefore refused,” says Dr. Christoph Wargitsch. Often enough, transformation processes fail – not because of how they are implemented, but because mistakes had already been made in the design. This is why WARGITSCH & COMP. AG not only offers traditional consultancy work, but tangible tools that help companies to work out their transformation process on their own. When Dr. Wargitsch still worked as a young project manager and moderator, he often wished for tools that could help him moderate the wild discussions and stressful workshops. What already existed were un-

Monika Lamby, CFO.

Dr. Christina Weigert, head of marketing and product development.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

structured whiteboards or white flipcharts on the one hand, and structured software tools on the other. But here only one person could work on a project at a time. How do you bring both together? With “analogue transformation tools” that are not only effective but also fun to work with and address certain management groups or processes directly. WARGITSCH & COMP. AG developed paper-based tools as well as magnetic ones to be used on a whiteboard. The Scrum & Kanban Toolkit for example supports collaborative project management in providing different categories that differentiate the status of actions to be taken. A similar kit exists for example for value chains; it is designed to ideally depict and visualise sequential connections and the different processes that form a value chain, using different shapes and colours. The same idea shaped all the other tools available, allowing for example to easily create a business model. All tools can be bought directly online (www.analog-transformation.tools).

Next to these analogue tools, WARGITSCH & COMP. AG also provides software solutions. Even though they are not software developer themselves, the transformation agency has partners in the IT sector that can develop the necessary software solutions. Additionally, to analogue and virtual tools the company also offers high-class training programmes to prepare management and staff for transformation processes and give them the necessary knowledge at hand. What most clients appreciate is the consultants’ ability to function as connector between business and IT, which is even more important for processes that connect and intertwine both. One challenge currently in many companies’ focus is the so-called digital transformation – the embodiment of new technology into business. One can currently observe a hype around this special form of transformation. “That IT allows new business models and process changes is indeed nothing new, but the amount of possibilities has rapidly grown through the dynamic

Process Modeling Toolkit.

of today’s interconnectivity,” explains Dr. Wargitsch. But even here transformation includes more than reforming IT structures or going mobile, it always also includes the consolidation of legacy IT and existing processes. Indeed – even though at the heart of digitalisation – Digi-Labs and internet start-ups are heavy users of post-it notes and flipcharts – simply because they are so practical and their haptic inspires the creative process. WARGITSCH & COMP. AG’s transformation tool kits address exactly that. Compared to simply scribbling on paper they also have the advantage that they can be re-shuffled and re-written without making a complete mess of the chart. Overall, having the right approach to transformations and the right tools and training is the basis for a successful process of change in a company – no matter if the transformation is analogue or digital. www.wargitsch.com

Value Chain Toolkit.

Scrum & Kanban Toolkit.

All tools available at www.analog-tranformation.tools

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  89


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

COMATCH founders Dr. Christoph Hardt (left) and Dr. Jan Schächtele (right), two former McKinsey consultants.

Mind the gap Bring your project to completion with the help of a COMATCH, a digital marketplace filling in resource and knowledge gaps for international projects with top-calibre independent consultants. With their quick-acting algorithm, they can match any project to a talented pool of specialised experts. TEXT: JAIME HEATHER SCHWARTZ  |  PHOTOS: PHIL DERA

“We created a digital model that works with independent consultants and introduces quality criteria to a market that for too long was not transparent,” says Dr. Christoph Hardt, COMATCH co-founder and managing partner. “And this has worked. In the last two years alone we have realised over 450 projects with com90  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

panies of all sizes, including seven from the DAX30.” COMATCH was founded by Dr. Jan Schächtele and Dr. Christoph Hardt, both former consultants themselves, and is currently active worldwide. Their freelance consultants are especially engaged with projects in the DACH countries, France, Benelux, the Nordics and the Middle East.

Those interested in finding a consultant can start the process at any time online by filling out a project briefing form, or via a phone conversation with a COMATCH account manager. Either way, it will only take about ten minutes before your request is ready to be run through the matching algorithm. “One of the things our customers really value is how fast we can connect them with a qualified consultant,” says Dr. Hardt. “Within just 48 hours our clients are given three to five matching consultant profiles to look through and in urgent cases we can make that happen even faster.”


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Based on the project briefing, the COMATCH algorithm is able to identify suitable consultants for the project. The selection is then narrowed down through a second individual screening process before the best options are presented. The client can review potential candidates’ CVs as well as set up interviews with potential consultants in order to make the final decision. “This is again where our digital platform really demonstrates its advantages,” says Dr. Hardt. “A client can really set up projects and finish tasks 24/7. That means even on a Sunday evening a client can be making feedback requests or reviewing candidates.” Matching great minds with great projects COMATCH is proud of providing a marketplace of highly qualified independent consultants with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. They have gathered an international pool of around 2,500 independent consultants who are native speakers from over 50 countries. In general, their candidates are about half management consultants, almost the majority of whom have professional experience working at top consulting firms like BCG, McKinsey

The COMATCH consultant network. © COMATCH

or Roland Berger. The other half is generally, but not limited to, finance and industry experts, who have often spent time at top firms. Through their careful two-tiered selection process, COMATCH can gather an exemplary roster of consulting experts, which in turn creates a mutually beneficial situation. Clients get to choose from top-level candidates, and COMATCH is able to provide talented consultants with a way for them to do their best work. As independent contractors, consultants are more motivated for each project they take on, coming in with a fresh perspective and innovative approach. Continually working on new projects also keeps them abreast of the latest trends and allows them to continually hone their expertise and skills. Successes are celebrated together COMATCH itself is a diverse team of 40 who hail from ten different countries, and everyone on board is well-versed in the consulting field. The marketplace that they have created goes beyond the old model of consulting firms and really reaches the needs of the contemporary,

digital workplace.“ We operate almost more on a startup-like mentality that allows us to be more hands-on and dynamic,” Dr. Hardt explains. “Our clients appreciate this working style, it’s fast, still very personal and flexible, and we can meet their demands with confidence instead of tight control.” Another element that contributes to the success of COMATCH is their close attention to both sides of the experience. Client feedback is important to COMATCH as it allows the platform to continually improve. Through honest reviews COMATCH can offer more transparency to clients and maintain the high calibre of their pool of consultants. “We are proud to say that we have received 9.2 of ten possible points in evaluations by our clients and we know their satisfaction to be true as many have returned to us and used our services for further projects,” says Dr. Hardt. The approach has clearly been a success as COMATCH is currently the largest European player in the field of marketplaces and platforms for independent consultants. www.comatch.com

COMATCH finds the perfect consultant for your project. © COMATCH

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Strategic succession planning ensures a smooth transition InterSearch Executive Consultants GmbH & Co. KG is a HR consulting firm and recently determined in a study how to ensure the best outcome when handling a succession. It states that every second company only thinks about filling agerelated vacancies when they finally arise and do not plan accordingly. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  |  PHOTO: RYANKING999, DREAMSTIME.COM

Management has become strategically more relevant and personnel planning more complicated. Every second company names the grown requirements – for example the digital transformation or the dynamic of markets – as one of the main obstacles. But less than one in three companies has a proactive approach to deal with the challenges of arising vacancies through age or other reasons. Strategic succession planning is very rare – and the implementation incomplete. With that, companies risk the loss of know-how. While 40 per cent at least consider succession planning for the first and second management level, most do not include the third or other important key positions. Above that only half of the companies

coordinate strategic succession planning with their overall strategy. Often enough, key talents and leadership potentials remain undetected, the study claims based on data collected in ear-

ly 2016 through an online survey with more than 200 participants. InterSearch focused on the first and second management level of companies from trade, industry and service sectors with more than 250 employees. InterSearch Executive Consultants has German offices in Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich and belongs to a worldwide network of HR consulting firms with more than 100 offices in 50 countries. www.intersearch-executive.de


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Streamlined for success

Left: Optimisation of candidate management workshop. Right: Andrea Kaden as office raider.

Zeitgewinn gives you back your time and a better work-life balance It is becoming increasingly apparent that when it comes to creating success in the business world, less is more. However, knowing when, where and how to streamline your office or personal work activities is not necessarily easy on your own.

adapt in a timely manner; whether in regards to how the workplace is organised or how to communicate with customers.

TEXT: JAIME HEATHER SCHWARTZ  I  PHOTOS: RALF WESTPHAL

“I teach clients how to hone in on what is important,” says Kaden. “When there is too little structure there is no time for strategic thinking. We only react instead of having time to reflect as well, and this can hold us back from achieving all that is possible.”An optimised, efficient structure is better equipped to keep things moving forward and recognise when something is not working. Of course, changes do not have to happen immediately or be adopted in a radical fashion. Sharing her experience, Kaden says: “I find that continuous small steps towards improvement are what really end up creating lasting, and larger, changes.”

“Many of my clients are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and feel like they are lacking structure,” says Zeitgewinn director Andrea Kaden. “I help them find their way back to a place where they can start working smarter not harder, which gives them a chance to rediscover their creativity and make room for new ideas.” One of the main goals of Zeitgewinn is creating a paperless office. Kaden shows clients how they can lose the paper trail and gain more mobility and flexibility. Instead of folders and storage boxes, she demonstrates how a digital office can save on costs and actually provide easier access to archived information. Kaden says: “Part of what I love about my

work most is when I motivate my clients so much that they start to come up with their own ideas about how they can improve.” Inspired by the likes of the Kaizen principle and other lean methods, Ms. Kaden has her own system: the ‘Lean Digital Office’. Besides process optimisations and digitalising, she offers clients an individualised approach rooted in fulfilling the needs of the business end and the customer side as well. Her tips and tools are complementary to the New Work concept that is becoming a global trend. From new technologies to changing demands, businesses need to respond and

www.zeitgewinn-hamburg.de www.mrs-paperless.com Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  93


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

CEO Dr. Inacker and his team.

Communication is the key The WMP Eurocom AG, an independent communications agency based in Berlin and with offices in Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg, is very aware of the necessity for communication in today’s business climate. Whoever does not communicate properly will soon be out-communicated by competitors. Since its foundation in 1998, WMP has worked with its diverse clients to establish sustainable communication strategies regarding all relevant topics.

serves as CEO of the WMP Eurocom AG. He has extensive experience in the media world, for example as a managing editor of the WELT am Sonntag, as well as in leading corporate functions at Daimler AG and Metro AG.

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  |  PHOTOS: WMP EUROCOM AG

360-degree consultations

In its almost 20 years in the field, WMP has been shaped by various influences. Of course, there are developments with regard to the market and clients, but more than anything else it has been the different notable personalities, from the founders to current managers, who made the agency what it is today. While the founders were entrepreneur Roland Berger, long-time German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Ulf and Ernst-Wilhelm Rittinghaus, as well as Ludger Staby, former managing editor of the Bild newspaper Hans-Hermann Tiedje has led the company for the longest time. Starting as 94  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

a board member in 2000, he went on to become chairman and is currently head of the board of directors. Over the years, many more personalities have worked with WMP and made their projects success stories. Among them are Bernd Schiphorst, head of the board of directors at Hertha BSC, political consultant Klaus-Peter Schmidt-Deguelle, former business secretary Günter Rexrodt and former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and former Mercedes and Metro CEO Eckhard Cordes. At the moment, Dr. Michael J Inacker

Based on their values of trust, discretion, dependability and open-mindedness, the consultants at WMP approach each project with complete transparency towards their clients and an ethical code of conduct. With an extensive network in the German economy, media and politics, the agency is able to offer services that include all fields of communication. Among them are public relations, financial communication, crisis communication, healthcare, litigation PR and digital communication. Speaking the journalism language is one of the most important aspects of the consultancy work. With longstanding experi-


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

ence talking this language and invaluable contacts to relevant decision makers in media, business and politics, WMP is able to support its customers at all times with the necessary penetration power. Holistic communication One example for illustrating WMP’s unique market position and abilities can be found in financial communication. As for any topic, WMP takes a holistic approach. Rather than just communicating numbers, the agency is interested in formulating messages of social and political relevance. Looking beyond the pages of the business section, it can present information and react to situations in whole different ways. Be it in a crisis or normal situation, it is valuable to notice in advance whether communication is needed. For both types of situations, WMP develops the right narrative and point of view with thoughtful sensibility and diligence.

Digital Communication is a key at WMP.

Networking across borders In the future, WMP aims to continue its growth process. Currently, the agency is developing international partnerships that will enable a client base from all kinds of geographical backgrounds. Taking this stance and following this potential is needed, as Germany’s international importance continues to grow. WMP Eurocom anticipates a further trend: as the country’s importance rises, there will be other states and governments that aim to be represented properly in the German public. For these parties, WMP has adapted one of their core competences, Nation Branding, and will continue to invest in the matter.

Head of the board of directors Hans-Hermann Tiedje.

Many CEOs may be reserved when it comes to the media landscape including digital platforms. Especially in relation to sensible sectors and complex situations it is difficult to find the proper way of communicating. For many businesses, this is a challenge. For WMP Eurocom, it is a challenge worth taking. Mastering it enables real growth and a sustainable market presence. To achieve this, WMP is a strong partner, lending support at all times and constantly communicating your message. www.wmp-ag.de

Working at WMP.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  95


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Shaping the future together Management consultancy PROTEMA helps companies recognise and unfold their full potential. With headquarters in Stuttgart and a branch in Detroit, PROTEMA understands the international playing field and works hand in hand with their clients to boost growth rates efficiently and sustainably. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  |  PHOTOS: PROTEMA

A successful company will never rest on its laurels, but instead it will continuously look at how to improve performance and customer satisfaction. There is always a way to grow as a business, but even within top companies it is often difficult to really pinpoint problem areas and find 96  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

long-term solutions. Just like for all of us, sometimes it is hard to see the wood for the trees. Like a good friend who sits down with us, listens and talks a problem through, consultancy PROTEMA supports companies

across the globe in the areas of strategy and process consulting, plant and logistic engineering and simulation as well as transformation in the meaning of change management, organisation development and personnel development. Working hand in hand with their clients is an integral part of their corporate philosophy and has been a bulletproof success recipe for over two decades. “PROTEMA represents the PROcess-oriented connection between TEchnology and huMAn resources in a performance-oriented or-


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

PROTEMA has an impressive international track record and the team of 60 consultants has the capability to take on a large number of projects. “We introduce process-oriented organisation and business process management with multiple organisations in order for the company to independently maintain and expand the addressed areas after our work is done,” Mezger adds.

It should come as no surprise that PROTEMA has been announced TOP CONSULTANT by compamedia eight times in a row already and four times in a row by Brand eins and Statistik as well as many other awards and excellent customer evaluations such as the benchpark rating. Placing great importance on their employees and relationships, they have also been awarded best employer.

He continues: “Our services are relevant for medium-sized companies. We usually work with the owner family or the managing director in that sector and we speak the client´s language, emphasising practical solutions that are feasible.“

Just like their client companies are always growing and expanding, PROTEMA is looking to develop and strengthen various new parts of their own service in the future. “We want to master the challenge, which the digitalisation of business models in the consultancy industry represents. The goal is to become an equally well-known consultant when it comes to agility and digitalisation,” appeases Dr. Jörg Pirron, also one of four management partners.

Larger corporations demand a different approach and PROTEMA works directly with the management to complement ambitious complex goals with concrete measures and hence realise the objectives accordingly. Previous clients include a variety of well-known brands such as Daimler, Bosch, Birkenstock, Porsche, Festo, Trumpf, BMW, BBraun and Airbus to name but a few.

Executive management of PROTEMA Group.

“At the moment, we focus on the automotive and supplier industry, mechanical and plant engineering, consumer goods sector and retail. We can offer in-depth specialist expertise in the fields of automotive aftermarket as well as spare parts management, after sales and services for capital goods.”

Companies often consult with PROTEMA when they are facing the question of whether they are able to grow further at their current location, or if a move to green field sites is necessary.

There is no ‘one-solution-fits-all’ approach and at PROTEMA it is understood that people, not principles, move times forward. Following that philosophy, PROTEMA employs a diverse team of high-profile consultants, planners, experts, coaches and trainers who not only bring their outstanding expertise to the table, but also their individual personality.

Mezger explains: “If the decision has been taken in favour of green field sites, we help to find the ideal location and achieve the move through different expansion stages and in line with the business´ development. If it makes more sense for the company to remain at its original location, we evaluate and develop other options for expanding and realising change on site.”

Aside from senior consultants with proven success rates, recent graduates are also part of the team as they bring fresh perspectives and creative solutions. That mix of different personalities who are all highly empathetic and determined, and the skill to match the right consultant with the right company or project, gives PROTEMA a clear advantage over their competition.

ganisation,” says Michael Mezger, one of four management partners.

“Transformation within companies with European footprints in all countries is another big subject we would like to expand as it demands keeping cultural and country-specific aspects in mind,” Dr. Pirron concludes. “Lastly, we want to keep living up to our reputation of providing holistic consultancy under one roof.” Living for their clients’ success, the team at PROTEMA welcome new challenges and are ready to ignite your journey into the future. www.protema.de

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  97


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

The path towards total interconnectivity

– challenges and chances for SMEs Every manufacturing company has probably already dealt with ‘Industry 4.0’. Unquestionably, ‘Industry 4.0’ or ‘IoT’ (Internet of Things) offers incredible potential and numerous possibilities for improvement, such as process improvement or the fostering of new business models. The latter are the result of data that emerges through new technical possibilities - either on site or at the client. TEXT: JENS HORSTMANN, BOARD OF TREVISTO AG; TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTOS: TREVISTO

However, total interconnectivity also holds challenges. Industrial companies from the DACH region – especially SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) – usually face one or more of these. Heterogeneous machine parks Usually companies comprise heterogeneous machine parks that further complicate uniform digitalisation. Machines from different generations and with different control systems exist. The machine manufacturers’ analytical systems often only take machines of one generation into account and ignore machines of other manufacturers or generations. The quickest 98  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

way towards complete digitalisation thus falls short due to practical and technical conditions. To use each manufacturer’s respective analytical system will bring about information about one specific machine – but a comprehensive overview is simply not possible. Additionally, the transfer of gained knowledge from one machine to another, and thus the implementation of uniform results into uniform reactions, seems impossible. Incomplete process digitalisation Often individual subdivisions, such as the process from a commission to the machine and to the manufacturing feedback, are

depicted as a digital process. However, the process’s complete digitalisation – from the commission or ideally from the order initiation to the provision of raw materials, surveillance and control of production, to automated shipping and delivery, invoicing and accounting – is not consistently implemented. Manual steps or analogue aids are commonplace. These situations not only hold optimisation possibilities through analytics but also solid saving potential through process improvement, inventory reduction and more. Grown IT infrastructure At its core, the central company IT consists of an ERP system, which is often based on outdated technology. Built from demands of different times, the systems were further fortified with the expectation to exchange them soon. Many time periods later, they hardly offer any expansion potential and a changeover to digital processes and their connection to interfaces represent


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. As a first task, the change of the central IT would be listed on the digitalisation list. An aggravating factor is the purchase of different IT systems during company acquisitions. These might be sufficient for the current tasks at individual branches, but they cause major problems while depicting comprehensive, generalised processes. Often, isolated, rural company locations are simply the obstacle to a central network due to a weak digital connection. Fearing change Employees from all levels fear new processes, production methods and findings that can be derived from new data. They see it as threats to their jobs or they fear that the loss of expertise that seemingly goes hand in hand with it reduces their value in the company. These fears are a bar to change and pose a threat to successful project implementation. Without the support of know-how carriers, projects with such high change potential can hardly be sensibly realised. Further developing IT For the central IT department, an inevitable development is imminent: from a ‘bothersome’ cost centre to a fixed part of the value chain. It needs to participate in developing new business models and in contributing to value creation. The IT departments’ human resources are, however, usually not geared towards supporting

such complex processes. There is a lack of experts that are qualified to meet the contentual and technical challenges of digitalisation and that comprise economic and technical know-how to enhance old business models or to develop entirely new ones. In summary, it can be said that comprehensive in-house changes, as well as additional know-how, is needed for such projects. At the same time, a competent change management is needed to involve employees in the change and thus, to secure their motivation and commitment. The solution? First of all, a clear strategy with a big picture is needed. A comprehensive solution with a focus on holistic digitalisation seems inappropriate due to the mentioned obstacles. But, even with step-bystep procedure, vision and strategy for digitalisation are indispensable. The second decisive factor is workforce training and the expansion of project teams through experienced advisors. Many tasks need know-how in areas in which little or no expert knowledge is found within a company. Workforce strengthening, know-how development and partial consultation of experienced specialists thus seem sensible. The third factor is the identification of lighthouse projects that convince sceptics

within a company and that keep stakeholders happy. The measure that brings about the largest possible benefit and has the best chance of success needs to be identified. When one starts with such projects, one achieves the stakeholders’ acceptance of the strategy. This simplifies change management and secures financing and continuation. The fourth factor is project division into individual projects, so-called loops. Controlling and measuring these is easier and thus, secures the overall project’s success. Mistakes become ‘lessons learned’ and improve the follow-up project as well as market changes can be considered. Conclusion The challenges are diverse and complex. Grown company structures and systems are often difficult to transform into a digital process. The enormous complexity of a ‘large digitalisation project’ often leads into dead ends, success often comes later and the risk of stakeholders dropping out early is great. Creating a clear digitalisation strategy, identifying exemplary projects, dividing projects into learning loops and strengthening internal and external know-how not only make digitalisation manageable – it turns into a future opportunity for companies. The first step? Starting! www.trevisto.de

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  99


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Mobile devices. Photo: © Fotolia

Embracing the future through a successful digital transformation SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG, based in Cologne, is specialised in digitalising business models. No matter if an international corporation or a small-scale business: everyone needs mobile devices and solutions to accelerate processes, to gain and process data in real-time, close gaps in communication and, in the end, save money. SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG develops successful mobility strategies for various business sectors. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

To be competitive in a changing market and business world digitalisation is a key factor. “The digital transformation and the optimisation of business processes associated with it are the drivers of mobile innovation,” says SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG’s CEO Joseph Kronfli. Processes, applications and users have become more and more complicated and demand more from companies than this has been the case only a few years ago. “To stay competitive, the digitalisation of core processes is mostly inevitable. The basis for this is created through an innovative IT architecture.” But how to tackle 100  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

this is often a riddle for companies. SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG, in short 7P, has a comprehensive performance spectrum that tackles the complete value chain. 7P consults companies on how to enhance their processes or create the right architecture and develop the necessary software tools. SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG has many years of experience in different business sectors and with various digitalisation projects. The company’s name originates in the seven principles that form the core of their approach:

1. A pioneering spirit allows keeping up with the newest trends and developments. 2. Participation in success means that employees benefit from the company’s success as well. 3. Performance: SEVEN PRINCIPLES supports clients by creating perfectly fitting services and solutions. 4. Perfection, because quality is at the centre point. 5. Professionalism, which means the company only works with the best in their field. 6. Personality is as important as individuality. 7. Partnership builds the fundament for each co-operation. “Our promise of performance is based on these seven principles. The client is always in our focus and we act as an innovative and strategic partner throughout,” says


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Joseph Kronfli, explaining the company’s philosophy and approach. What differentiates SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG from other companies working in the same field is not only the vast experience and that it implements the same principles in its own company, 7P tackles every aspect of digitalisation – internal and external processes – so that clients get everything out of one hand. “We consequently expand the three main topics of digitalisation: big data, security and agile software development,” says Kronfli.

devices like tablets and smartphones and can thus safely store sensitive company data. Today, the app has optimised the complete sales process – not only by reducing the timespan needed for delivery, but also by reducing the work effort. The sales team for example no longer needs

to worry about reworking incorrect orders or reporting mistakes made in the system. Digitalisation has made the process smooth, cost-effective and fast and therefore is an ideal example of why digitalisation makes companies more competitive and is the future of business. www.7p-group.com

The first step when tackling digitalisation is the analysis of existing processes, to work out how they can best be digitalised. “Most times we first initiate a workshop with the company’s top management, in which the actual goal is worked out,” says Kronfli. “A holistic enterprise mobility solution optimises business models and achieves the highest possible efficiency – in regard to sales increase as well as in reducing costs. But, of course, it is also possible to digitalise only certain areas or processes.” To give a more tangible example, one only needs to look at mobile distribution solutions. SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG has optimised the sales process for a well-known German direct selling company through implementing a mobile solution. “Among others, this halved the timespan between orders and delivery to end users,” says Joseph Kronfli about 7P’s success. Through daily sales figures, the company gained new possibilities in sales management and for optimising sales campaigns. 7P developed a concept for a middleware based on Microsoft Share Point and a native Apple iOS App for on-premise use on an iPad. Design and functionality have been tested in advance using a laboratory environment to measure its operability. In the end, all functions are integrated seamlessly: the transmission of customer data, delivery, invoice and direct payment of provisions to the consultant who ensured the sale. The app cannot be downloaded over the normal app store, but is delivered through the 7P Mobile Device Management-System, a safe platform 7P uses when cooperating with companies. Clients gain access through mobile

The seven principles. Photo: © SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG

Consultation. Photo: © Fotolia

SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG’s CEO Joseph Kronfli. Photo: © SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG

Development. Photo: © Fotolia

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  101


Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Austria’s Consulting Expert

Dr. Karin Schreiner. Photo: © Felicitas Matern

A U S T R I A’ S C O N S U LT I N G E X P E R T

Dr. Karin Schreiner’s book.

A bridge between cultures Dr. Karin Schreiner is an author and consultant for intercultural competence. Based in Vienna, Schreiner shows how to work successfully within an international context. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

Today, most companies maintain relations abroad. Although the world is getting smaller, cultural differences can still be a challenge when it comes to negotiating deals or establishing work-flows. A diverse playground is beautiful, but in order to benefit it is vital to understand different cultural values, attitudes and expectations. Dr. Karin Schreiner, an expat in Asian and European countries for many years, knows first-hand that mentalities are different across the globe. As a cross-cultural facilitator, she has witnessed many business challenges that could have been mastered better if cultural differences had been addressed. “Our day-to-day work is a constant setting for intercultural encounters because cultural diversity is part of our society,” 102  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Dr. Schreiner explains. “Managers lead by example and are responsible for showing how openness and respect can be embedded in business.” Whether you do business in Austria where Dr. Schreiner is based, or if you are looking to expand from Europe, it is the same principle. You need to understand the culture that is new to you. Dr. Schreiner says: “One of the biggest problems I address is that managers often don’t know how to communicate effectively within a different cultural context. Interacting with employees the right way can make everything a lot easier. If, for example, I start to work in India and my professional demeanor is not overly confident in terms of demonstrating leadership, I’ve immediately lost. But if I appear authoritarian

in European countries such as the UK or Austria, it will not be well received at all.” It can be a fine line and hence it is important to consult with experts like Dr. Schreiner who can navigate through intercultural differences. Schreiner covers India, China, France, Belgium, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. She explains that understanding what is considered polite is not just helpful, but crucial when it comes to negotiating deals. Her third book, published in May 2017, gives practical guidance for managers who work within intercultural context and includes new sectors such as health care and education. With her warm attitude, Dr. Schreiner’s advice is an invaluable asset for anyone who is interacting with different cultures. In the wonderfully diverse world we live in, that includes almost all of us. www.iknet.at


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Photo: © Flickr.com, christcovenantchurch

Photo: © https://homethods.com

S P E C I A L T H E M E : S W I T Z E R L A N D ’ S S U C C E S S F U L S TA R T- U P S

Switzerland’s creative minds In this special theme, we take a closer look at Switzerland’s creative minds and their innovative ideas. Discover the inspiration behind the latest start-up ventures and much more on the following pages.

Photo: © Flickr.com, perzon seo

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  103


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Start-Ups

Latest fashion only one click away Have you ever seen a must-have fashion item online without any info on where to buy it? Yes, we have all been there. Luckily Swiss B2B tech start-up Fashwell holds the key to our shopping desires and bridges the gap between content and eCommerce by making every image shoppable. In times where social media has become our steady companion, a large part of our communication happens visually. Especially with platforms like Pinterest or Instagram, where 140 million pictures are uploaded daily, photos inspire us to buy certain outfits. Fashwell co-founder Matthias Dantone explains: “I am a big fan of sneakers. But I always got frustrated when I saw a cool pair on Instagram and didn’t know where to buy it. That is why Lukas Bossard, Michael Emmersberger and I developed Fashwell. So that everyone can finally find exactly what they are looking for.” Fashwell’s technology recognises garments in photos. It then compares it to items in a large data bank from certain online stores and offers either the exact item to buy or a similar one. Customers can also

search for a particular item through using photos, rather than having to struggle with describing an item accurately. Marketing manager Sophia Cosby says: “On the one hand, our technology helps buyers to find the desired product quicker, but on the other hand it also helps

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  |  PHOTOS: FASHWELL

to increase the sales of a fashion brand or retailer. The future of online shopping is based on searching visually and pictures that are shoppable. Fashwell makes that possible.” https://tech.fashwell.com Left: During the picture analysis a box appears around every fashion item and it is then matched with fitting products in the online shops. Right: Fashwell founders Matthias Dantone, Lukas Bossard and Michael Emmersberger (from left to right).


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Successful Start-Ups

Tennis elbow on PRS.

The PRS in a plane. Photo: © Singapore Airlines

Neurological protocols: gateway to higher quality of life A.R.P. Concept (Europe) SA is a Swiss start-up with its head office in Wollerau. In 2016, they were invited to the prestigious scientific event, The Brain Forum, and reached the semi-finals of this very competitive Innovation Startup Competition. The MyARP Concept was recognised as a highly effective opportunity and tool to address the challenges in rehabilitation, performance and lifestyle management.

one can deliver desired results through maximised performance potential, mitigate any type of injury risk, recover faster from fatigue, stress, muscle soreness or injury and, finally, sleep better and lead a painfree life.

TEXT & PHOTOS: MYARP

The MyARP Concept provides the professional support for the proper use and application of the innovative ARPwave electrostimulation technologies and patented neurological protocols. The key outcome: a more effective communication between the central nervous system and our musculoskeletal function leading to extraordinary results whether in the area of rehabilitation (50 – 80 per cent faster and more efficient than with traditional treatments), performance management (better, quicker and stronger with reduced injury risk) or lifestyle management (live more actively pain free).

fect tool for all those who are, or would like, to be active without the pains and aches, as well as recover faster from work and activity. In short, to lead a higher quality life without pain. Too good to be true? Try it!

Travel – stress or opportunity to recover?

The PRS is especially beneficial to those who are exposed to repetitive and strenuous tasks (sitting or standing jobs, presenters, surgeons etc.), those who work in stress-related environments (fatigue, burnout) and travel (avoid jet lag), those who practise recreational sports (golf, tennis, running, yoga etc.) with the aim to avoid injuries, muscle soreness and recover faster, as well as those who want to benefit from an independent mobile aid for preparation and recovery on the go.

Your opportunity as a busy business executive and traveller is: the MyARP Personal Recovery System (PRS). The PRS is the per-

The key benefits of this are: one can live, work, train and compete restriction free,

The PRS.

Contact details: info@myarp.ch +41 43 888 92 37 www.myarp.ch

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  105


Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column

Starting-up in Brexit Britain TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

Setting up a new business is as exciting a project as it is a challenging one (I know, I have done it), regardless of whether you are a dot.com kid fresh out of university and about to rock the gig economy, or an old hand at business and seasoned serial entrepreneur. Britain has always been a welcoming environment for start-ups and the statistics suggest that this continues to be the case. According to the start-up tracker at startupbritain.org, some 2,465 new companies were registered today alone (over 300,000 this year to date). Now, some of these new companies will simply sit on the shelf, some will never take off as an actual business and, even if they do, famously, four out of ten new businesses will not be around to see their fifth anniversary. Thankfully, the impending economic gloom, which some predicted in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum last year, has not so far materialised and, for now, the British economy has been enjoying relative health. Nevertheless, there are signs that this may be about to change, with consumer spending down and the outcome of last week’s general election having made the shape and potential political and economic consequences of Brexit yet more uncertain. So, does it make sense to set up a new business in Brexit Britain? The lawyer’s standard answer to any question will (as always) fit: it depends. Well, it actually does. Many of the fundamentals remain unchanged: Britain continues to attract the brightest and the best, is the international hub par excellence, the regulatory environment is benevolent, the 106  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

labour market flexible, and the corporation tax rate one of the lowest in the developed world. The weakness of Sterling has helped exporters and the tourism industry. There will therefore be industry sectors, in particular those serving the domestic economy, not dependent on foreign labour, and without the need necessarily to access the single market in future, in which now is as good a time as any to launch a new business. On the other hand, many foreign investors are adopting a wait-and-see attitude, in particular if setting up a subsidiary business in the UK, which involves significant capital expenditure and long-term contracts. A serious commitment of resources may be more difficult to justify for now if there is uncertainty about the terms of access to European markets, or the ability to post personnel in the UK, and there is a risk that the regulatory environment will start to diverge. Other potential problem areas include a range of tax questions, from VAT on cross-border transactions, to double taxation and customs duties, which will require careful consideration. However, that need not place business on hold. Alternative approaches include the appointment of a local distributor, subject to contractual safeguards with enough flexibility to permit termination of the arrangement in the event that the future trading relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU should eventually turn out to be more difficult than everybody hopes for now. The first step in the right direction will always be to obtain professional advice tailored to the specific circumstances of the new business venture.

In the long term, however, the UK will remain one of the leading European economies and an attractive market place. Once there is more clarity about what Brexit actually means, businesses will no doubt find a way to work with whatever the future brings. Fingers crossed and good luck.

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


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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Hamburg Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron. Photo: © Maxim Schulz

SPECIAL THEME: SWISS ARCHITECTS 2017

Timeless architecture made in Switzerland Switzerland’s architectural heritage is as diverse as it is impressive. From the stone houses in Ticino, to the half-timbered houses in Switzerland’s eastern parts and the UNESCO world heritage Old City of Bern, there is much to cherish. Contemporary architects pick up on the Swiss architectural traditions and offer a unique diversity that has garnered them worldwide followings. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Schaulager by Herzog & de Meuron. Photo: © Tom Bisig

108  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

ETH Zurich School. Photo: © ETH Zurich

Messe Basel by Herzog & de Meuron. Photo: © Rosmarie Voegtli

In the past, it was Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier. Today, it is the duo Herzog & de Meuron. On a regular basis, Swiss architectural artists become international stars. Most often, they arrive at that status because of innovative thinking and devotion. Le Corbusier is famously known for his attempts to combine human existence and the industrial society, making his work both exhilarating and controversial. Herzog & de Meuron, both of whom graduated from the ETH Zurich University, are known for their minimalist designs, which have become an international sensation. The Tate Modern in London, the ’Bird’s

Nest’ in Beijing, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and many more sites stand as a testament to their abilities. At home in Switzerland, the two have created the St. Jakob Park in Basel and the Schaulager, which combines a public museum and an art store.

Église Saint-Pierre, Firminy, by Le Corbusier. Photo: © Richard Weil

Tate Modern London by Herzog & de Meuron. Photo: © Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron

The examples above show that the country’s architectural reach goes far beyond geographical borders. Switzerland may be a small country but, due to a long history in the field, new creative voices constantly arise and widen the reach. Look no further than the following pages to find out about some of these voices and get an insight into their work and process. Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  109


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

Outdoors lighting concept.

Residential and office building Baden (CH).

Classic elegance meets imagination “I want the people living in my buildings to experience a sense of well-being, without exactly knowing why,” says architect Lucienne Antonia Köpfli.

buildings, a spiral staircase, one of the project’s beautiful eye-catchers, unites the two structures to an ensemble.

TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI   |  PHOTOS: FISCHLI & PARTNER AG

Marked by a timeless quality and classic elegance, Atelier LAK designs are functional and economic, as well as ergonomic and easy to inhabit. As the architect Lucienne Antonia Köpfli herself states: “Though my architecture is unassuming in general, there will always be a playful element, capturing the imagination for a moment and thereby creating a pleasant distraction.” Thanks to a direct commission, the architect was able to start her office right after finishing her studies around ten years ago. Since then she has applied her skills to building and remodelling concepts, feasibility studies, as well as building assessment and competition advice. Her range of offers further include cost calculation and implementation planning, site management as well as construction administration. 110  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

For a residential and office building at central Theaterplatz in Baden, Switzerland, Atelier LAK planned, designed and implemented a classic structure containing five condominiums, two medical practices and two offices. Flanked by a heterogeneous mix of solitary buildings, the house provides for a solid yet elegantly grounded quality, adding to the overall value of the Theaterplatz city square. The future owners of the apartments, all in retirement, were looking for suitable city flats. Lucienne Antonia Köpfli designed a six-storey building, with a limestone concrete base. Limestone is a typical traditional building material in the region, and the house blends in with the urban surroundings effortlessly. Oriented on a former 120-year-old tower building, the structure also features an attic floor, complete with roof terrace. While the main building breathes a charming solidity, an attached glass pavilion to the back adds light-flooded fragility. Set between the two

“My clients are people with a strong sense for aesthetics and comfort,”states the architect. Often, the people approaching Atelier LAK have their own, clear views on architecture, or they even stem from the building industry itself. For the near future, the architect wants to tackle mainly remodelling and refurbishment projects. With her sense for unobtrusive yet elegant designs, Lucienne Antonia Köpfli will find the path just right for preserving old values while adding modern comfort and levity. www.atelierlak.ch

Stairwell ‘eye’.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017 Security centre in Weinfelden, 2017, KIT architects Zurich.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Residential studios, Meisenrain Gockhausen, 2015, Jakob Steib architects.

Dessau, Bauhaus masters’ houses, 1926, Walter Gropius – 2014 BFM architects Berlin.

Residential homes in Wetzikon, 2017, MRH architects Bern.

Depicting our built environment When it comes to architectural photography, for Pit Brunner, depicting the shell that society chooses to live in means depicting society itself. “Our constructed environment,” he says, “is the exact expression of our society.” TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: PIT BRUNNER

In his opinion, there are “many capable photographers as well as architects around”, so when Pit Brunner takes pictures of buildings, he tries to stick to the simple facts – to “What Is”. Calm perspectives, clear-cut pictures taken from a potential observer’s eye level, the houses and their connection to the surroundings, the gaps, the spacial interactions: Pit Brunner sees potential in everything, even in “disturbances” or obstacles like cleaning personnel performing their final tasks before hand-over, moving boxes, or tools left behind by craftsmen. Such “extra items” are a welcome element of composition to Pit Brunner, as they provide a link to the real, future life of a building. Apart from connecting a house to

its future and society, the photographer also tries to track down the architectural mindset behind a structure and then transports it through the picture. As a trained architect, Pit Brunner started his work as architectural photographer “on the side”while working at a renowned Zurich office. His former second mainstay gradually grew until becoming a full-time job as of three years ago. Apart from commissions, he works on his own projects that also deal with constructed surroundings; “architectural photography with an extended focus”, as he himself calls it. His networking began early, during his own architectural studies. Today, his client list still includes many former fellow students,

who have started their own offices. With architects, editors, developers and builders counting to his main clientele, sometimes Pit Brunner likes to take a little detour by photographing events. He enjoys this little sideline as it “exclusively deals with depicting human beings”. Human beings, the houses they live in and, in conclusion, an interest in the structures of society itself form the motivation for Pit Brunner’s photographic work. Having established a profound basis over past years, the photographer at present seeks to embark on more international commissions, especially those depicting architectural developments within EU countries such as Germany and Austria, as well as countries of the Mediterranean region. When asked about his foremost interest at the time, he simply states: “Europe, I guess.” www.pitbrunner.ch Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  111


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Seefeld loft, Zurich. Photo: © Chen Qing

Custodians of common property Frei & Ehrensperger architects believe in the responsibility of architecture, both to the builder and society. While representing the individual interests of the builder, they are acting as custodians of the public space at the same time.

end, the structure thus becomes the carrier of meaning: “Between the inner and the outer, emotion, mood and usage melt into life itself.”

TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: FREI & EHRENSPERGER

As caretakers of both common and private property, the architects make a point of always applying diligence and accuracy. As the architects state:“Rather than being unique in its handwriting, our architecture strives to be conscientious.” However, the handwriting is still charmingly visible and at times reminds of architectural and societal philosophers such as Walter Gropius. To Frei & Ehrensperger, a wholesome approach that strives towards an inclusion of the individual into socie112  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

ty also always entails a strengthening of identification. By fulfilling needs while using resources in a careful and economical manner, Frei & Ehrensperger architecture thus negotiates between the individual and society. As the architects say: “We understand architecture as not only the built structure itself but the force of the in-between, where life can blossom and thrive.” Rather than being a means to an

The resulting range in urban planning and design is dazzling and ranges from ‘fitting’ a whole field and track stadium into an existing city structure through to the sensitive task of adding rooftop apartments to historical structures. The respective choice of materials varies strongly, which in turn leads to manifold design patterns, naturally avoiding any trace of architectural narcissism. That way, the unifying characteristics of Frei & Ehrensperger architecture often emerge at a second glance. For example, to them, all buildings are ‘instru-


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

ments’, creating emotional quality through the use of light. The user or inhabitant ‘plays’ the structure, with the respective daytime and season providing the ‘basso continuo’, or tonality. The architects started their common work in 1989 by participating in public competitions, of which they won the first four right away (each of which counting more than a hundred participants). Since then, more than 90 prizes on both a national and international level mark the work of Frei & Ehrensperger, who regard competitions as “essential laboratories of our own development” as well as “contribution to the discussion important for a broadly supported cultural development of a space”. From first draft to cost calculation through to implementation planning; from urban development studies to designing a piece of furniture, the architects themselves strive to cultivate building culture from start to finish, and beyond. Post-realisation project support is part of their portfolio and mirrors their attachment to each structure they help to create.

Letzigrund Stadium. Photo: © Guido Baselgia

We have taken a closer look at the Frei & Ehrensperger approach by diving into their manifold range of projects. Rooted connections

Cultural and Sports Center Gries, Volketswil. Photo: © Bruno Klomfar

‘Bongert’ until today names the tree garden in front or behind a house; traditionally a meadow with fruit trees. Also, the senior residency of Bonaduz is set within a bongert. Although the old building had to be replaced with a new structure featuring 15 apartments, the goal of the new design was to retain the character of the original atmosphere as an effort of continuance and renewal. The result is a compact garden cube sculpture, structured in a way that mirrors the varying forms of the surrounding buildings as well as combining landscape with social life. A sense-oriented living surrounding was created for the inhabitants of the Schaffhausen Künzle home: a multilayered, simulating environment that is full of character. Influenced by the respective light of both daytime and seasons, the building changes its moods and hues

Brühl multipurpose hall, Gebenstorf. Photo: © Chen Qing

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

playfully. There are rooms with a view of the park trees, and such with a vast panorama of the town or surrounding landscape. Meeting spaces alternate with quiet areas for retreat. The wooden façade both symbolises and enhances the overall playful range of moods. For the Langrüti nursing home, ‘samsara’ – the Sanskrit word for ‘wandering’ or the cycle of life, acted as the fundamental philosophy behind the design. The extension organically adjusts to the existing old building. Bending repeatedly, the new part ‘returns’ to the original building, leaving enough space for a central square. Working life goes paradise

Langrüti senior residency and nursing home. Photo: © Chen Qing

Staying with the eternal myths, ‘from hell to paradise’ or the emancipation of modern working life mark the Dietlikon municipal works yard (Werkhof). The architectural concept presents an interpretation of the space allocation plan: a horizontally structured, 70-metre-long building in three layers. Set above a cave-like, subterranean storage floor, only visible through two side ramps, the four-metre-high base level is used as a light-filled workshop. The floating mezzanine floor presents an administration landscape (‘five gardens of paradise’). The cantilever structure of the mezzanine stresses its autonomy, while the overhanging roof shields the workshop’s access area at the same time. Relations and interventions An initial analysis of the site quickly revealed the necessity of giving the village-facing north side of the Boppelsen multipurpose hall a unique and expressive shape, a ‘face’. With the planning for a new building, the chance arose to create a powerful layout showing an expressive yet respectful outline, thereby creating an ensemble that became more than just “the sum of its parts”. An Agora functions as a schoolyard and the former wire-mesh fence was replaced by a spacious awning, displaying big ‘windows’ towards the village. The buildings thus interrelate with each other and the transparency and connection between village and school complex was preserved.

Business Park Zofingen (reconstruction). Photo: © Alexander Gempeler

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Displaying its autonomy, the Brühl multipurpose hall design features a compact,


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

Senior Residency Bongert, Bonaduz. Photo: © Guido Baselgia

Dietlikon municipal works yard. Photo: © Guido Baselgia

Boppelsen multipurpose hall. Photo: © Chen Qing

Schaffhausen Künzle home. Photo: © Guido Baselgia

streamlined building. With its ‘floating’ roof above a site modulation, the ensemble is viewed as a ‘topographical intervention’.

days, with access to a restaurant overlooking the grounds from the highest point of the arena.

Large gesture

Delicate features

Entering the arena through a ‘mouth hole’, the visitor of the new Letzigrund Stadium suddenly faces the stunning effect of the gigantic sloping roof. The view from below streamlines the powerful dense, composite support columns, making load-bearing architecture an experience in itself. As part of the Zurich city structure, the stadium remains open outside match

The Seefeld loft conversion is once more based on the interplay of space and light. With one room leading into another, a flight of rooms was created, reminding of the Baroque ‘enfilade’ layout. For the more secluded upstairs area, the stairs were designed in a way that the light shines through from above while from below, the view is denied, creating a light-filled yet shielded access.

This year, Frei & Ehrensperger will further expand their horizons by diving deep into foreign cultures once again, implementing and widening their expertise through yet more international competitions and commissions. From large gestures to delicate compartmentalising, Frei and Ehrensperger continue to provide an architecture utterly unpretentious yet full of the right ambitions, while displaying a deep sense of societal responsibility and cultural curiosity. www.swiss-architects.com/de/frei-andehrensperger-architekten-zurich Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  115


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

Hospital patio in Kaya, Burkina Faso. Illustration: Pyo Arquitectos

Jolimont balcony. Photo: © Joel Tettamanti

Connecting old and new, tradition and innovation

Swiss architecture that leaves an impact The Geneva-based architectural office Nomos works on very diverse projects, from residential buildings and social housing to commercial projects in Switzerland, Europe and abroad. Looking closely at the contemporary environment they are building in, architects at Nomos embrace modernity but combine it with the love for the old, the patina and history.

Café Paradiso, Geneva. Photo: © Miguel de Guzman

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

By creating something new out of nostalgia, Nomos architects are trying to challenge today’s standardisation, carelessness and chaos. At the same time, the architects are inspired by the diversity, complexity and contradictions of our times in order to build specific, poetic and intelligent architecture. “The diversity of our projects reflects the diversity of our office,” says architect Lucas Camponovo. The office works with inspirational young architects and brings these young innovators together with experienced architects. 116  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

the new energy and new ideas,” says Lucas Camponovo. “This allowed us to do in three years what would normally take ten.” They established themselves very successfully and today Nomos has about

Nomos was founded in 2009 as a partner office with five partners. The two youngest partners, Lucas Camponovo and Katrien Vertenten, met at university – the l’Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio – and later on worked all over the world, from Zurich and Madrid, to New York and China. In 2010, a big opportunity arose for both of them when they opened an architectural office in Geneva together with three experienced architects, today’s partners. “They brought the know-how and the clients, we as younger architects


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

30 employees in the Geneva office and two international offices in Lisbon and Madrid. “We know that we are living in a very complex modern world and we embrace that, as we embrace the past, steal from it, re-interpret it, but also invent new things,” says Nomos partner Katrien Vertenten. Her colleague Lucas Camponovo adds: “We challenge the modern world in marrying the ideas of young and old.” Being at the border between two worlds is something you can easily embrace in a city like Geneva. Situated at the border between the Latin world and the Northern Hemisphere, the city has always been in between different cultural contexts, languages and ideas. Taking the time to make the right choices One example for interior design done by Nomos architects is the Café Paradiso in the centre of Geneva.“Looking at what we did here makes it easier to illustrate how we position ourselves in time and tradition,” the architects explain. The client was very specific when determining the look of the café. He took over a year to choose the coffee beans.“And it was the same kind of process when we chose the building materials,” says Katrien Vertenten about the long talks they had to determine materials and finish.

Nubian vault in Kaya, Burkina Faso. Illustration: Pyo Arquitectos

Construction site in Kaya, Burkina Faso. Photo: © Clara Gbodossou Sawadogo

The chosen design is not anchored in a specific time but embraces different traditions, addresses different kind of people. Nostalgic marble countertops unite with contemporary medium density wood that is CNC cut to look like an old Roman column. “People coming into the building for the first time are never sure if the interior is very old or really modern. We re-united nostalgia and a contemporary feel,” explains Lucas Camponovo. “I think the interior speaks to every generation from a small child to a 90-year-old man,” adds Katrien Vertenten. Before starting on a project, Lucas Camponovo and Katrien Vertenten explain, they always look at the area they are building in; the history and traditions of the village or city and, of course, at the people they are building for. Their projects are ambitious and realistic at the same Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  117


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

time. This also applies for JOLIMONT, a social housing project Nomos developed in Geneva. To make housing affordable the building costs had to be kept very low, so the architects developed a twisted concrete structure. “We created a very spectacular looking façade with large balconies that seem to move in a specific way. It was very

important for us to get the landscape into the building,” says Lucas Camponovo. The building is located in an old working-class area formerly characterised by very small houses, all with their own garden. “The idea was to create the same quality of housing,” says Katrien Vertenten

about the new flats and why it was important for the architects to let nature enter the new building in providing a huge balcony for each flat. “The result simply does not look like social housing,” says Lucas Camponovo. Which has also to do with the fact that the area is overlooking a lake and nature reserve.

JOLIMONT exterior. Photo: © Miguel de Guzman

JOLIMONT façade. Photo: © Miguel de Guzman

JOLIMONT living room. Photo: Joel Tettamanti

JOLIMONT railing. Photo: © Miguel de Guzman

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Swiss Architects 2017

Café Paradiso, Geneva. Photo: © Miguel de Guzman

The entrance of Café Paradiso, Geneva. Photo: © Miguel de Guzman

Bar of Café Paradiso, Geneva. Photo: © Miguel de Guzman

Embracing the landscape The specifics of the surroundings were important from the very beginning when the architects still brooded over ideas. Where the new building should be erected, spectacular nature and old trees already existed, including a beautiful cedar. The architects wanted to protect that and, instead of landscaping the area after the building was finished, they shaped the house around the existing landscape so that the trees did not have to be cut.“As soon as the building was finished it looked like it had always been there.” Nomos worked with rather rough and inexpensive materials, but gave them an elegant touch. The main building material was concrete.“The perception of materials is very important. And the perception of concrete is very negative. We try to change

that and prove the opposite,” states Katrien Vertenten. Indeed, concrete is a very old building material and has often been used in very artistic ways. “Even the Romans used concrete. What we hope to achieve is to change people’s perception of certain materials.” Lucas Camponovo compares the treatment of materials to a human body; treated well, it brings out the best forms, shapes and looks. Empowering communities through education Working with very basic building materials is at the core of their third project: a hospital the architects developed and built in Kaya, Burkina Faso, as part of a centre for people with disabilities. Keeping material costs very low was important. Concrete and steel are very expensive in the region because they have to be imported. Labour

on the other hand is economic and getting people into work was an important factor for making a social impact. Nomos did a great deal of research and, together with a team of local and international building experts, they found the right solution. For 4,000 years, people in northern parts of Africa have built vault-like buildings using earth – without form-work, concrete or steel. It is a very specific technique the architects themselves and their local team of architects, masons and workers had to learn.“The centre in Kaya is a great chance for us to do a humanitarian project in Africa,” says Katrien Vertenten. “Exchanging ideas and building in a very essential way is not only helping the local community, but it also empowers us to take a new look at architecture in Switzerland.” www.nomos.archi Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  119


EXCLUSIVE BUSINESS PROFILES

The DACH region’s innovators On the following pages, find out what the country of Austria has to offer on the business front.

120  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Dr. Brigitta Balogh

Dr. Balogh’s surgery.

Univ.-Doz. Dr. Brigitta Balogh. Dr. Balogh performing surgery.

Avoid white skin cancer:

enjoy the sun, but protect the skin Today, most people know that UV-radiation and the following sunburns are risk factors for white skin cancer, so-called basal cell carcinoma. Austrian plastic surgeon and skin specialist Dr. Brigitta Balogh says protection is important, but fast treatment is key when detecting changes in one’s skin. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: UNIV.-DOZ. DR. BRIGITTA BALOGH

95 per cent of all basal cell carcinomas are the result of too much direct exposure to sunlight, even though genetic factors play a role as well. The human skin actually memorises each sunburn, so that damage caused by UV-radiation adds up over the years – until a certain barrier is crossed and the skin develops cancerous cells. Avoiding direct sunlight is the best prophylaxis. “People should protect the parts of the skin that are most exposed to sunlight,” says Dr. Balogh, especially the face. Here, wearing a hat with a wide brim will provide necessary shade. Of course, there are many skincare products on the market providing a protective barrier, which should be chosen according to the skin type. “But actually,

people should avoid sitting or working in the sun at noon and during the early afternoon,”explains Dr. Balogh, when the sun is at its highest point. Those with light skin or those working outdoors should particularly check their own body for skin changes regularly and consult a specialist once a year.“In the early stages, changes in the skin can be treated with a special ointment that removes the tumour,” explains Dr. Balogh. This treatment is normally done by a dermatologist. In later stages, white skin cancer must be removed through plastic surgery.“We are using local flap procedures or skin transplants to close the defect after removing the tumour,” says

Dr. Balogh. If the scar is treated properly and regularly massaged afterwards, it will heal until only a tiny scar line is left. The chance of successful therapy is quite high. The cancer cells might grow back but, unlike other cancer types, white skin cancer does normally not spread through the whole body. But why take the risk at all? Just make sure the skin is protected before going into the sun. www.drbalogh.at Dr. Balogh performing surgery.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  121


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Caramel office, ground floor. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus, © Caramel

TOP AUSTRIAN ARCHITECT 2017

Putting humanity front and centre Circumstances count. Caramel Architekten strongly believe in the influence of surroundings and future users on the creative act, rather than being influenced by trends and artificially created standards. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Every Caramel project therefore is unique and perfectly adjusts to the given situation, preferably by using new, or newly interpreted, materials. Take Caramel’s contribution at last year’s Venice Biennale for example, showing that the major influence by no means lies with the financial background of their clients: “We simply enjoy working for and with people, that is the central point of our work – always!” says architect Günter Katherl. “Working with our clients on a long-term basis has created lasting friendships.” The Places for People Biennale project involved three teams of architects and designers with the objective of developing 122  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

creative approaches aimed at improving the living conditions for refugees in Austria. The resulting structures look like a merger between rotary clothes dryer and Roman tent. Easy to set up and dismantle again, they succeeded in improving the user experience at a Vienna-based shelter at the modest cost of 50 euros per person. The ‘Home Made’ tool set is now being used in a further range of both professional and private situations. This resulting ‘closed loop’ fulfils the original aim of the architects to build for not just one target group, but for everyone. Caramel were chosen as one of three Austrian representatives at the 2016 Ven-

ice Biennale based on their constructive problem-solving attitude towards urban densification, successfully also shown with their award-winning ‘Haus CJ_5’ in Vienna. The abbreviation CJ_5 stands for ‘Cooking-Jockey_5m’. It is named after the kitchen unit that features only five metres in width, as does the entire house. The CJ_5 floor plan thus had to be constructed on a plot measuring five by 35 metres. By integrating the aspect of density into the building’s design, while at the same time managing to create an air and light-filled

Science Park - Unit I- III. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus, © Caramel


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Top Austrian Architect 2017

living space, Caramel provide the answer to an open question that urban society faces everywhere. The CJ_5 did not only pave the way to the 2016 Biennale in Venice, it has also won numerous prizes such as the ‘best house’ award in 2015 and 2016 and an AIT award for innovative architecture.

by connecting each room with a rooftop garden idyll. Opening up to various directions, all free spaces offer panoramic views. With most rooms following up on the idea of flowing transitions, two bedrooms and a home office provide for the necessary retreat.

The three architects Günter Katherl, Martin Haller and Ulrich Aspetsberger started out in 1999, by working on competitions together, in Martin Haller’s kitchen. They won with their very first entry, a big, international bidding with 300 participants and a great deal of prestige. Though never realised, winning that competition brought a great deal of recognition for the trio who suddenly saw their names on the title pages of several renowned architecture magazines. “We basically had no choice than further collaborate and we’ve never regretted it!” recalls Günter Katherl. The official founding of the office in Vienna followed in 2001.

Caramel architects also frequently cover larger projects. Successful examples are the ‘Science Park Linz’ to which an extension is currently being tackled, the Krems federal school centre and, last but not least, the ‘World of Sports’ headquarters in

Having now grown into a team of 20 co-workers, Caramel just recently moved into a new space perfectly designed to the architects’ needs. “For designing the new office, we finally came to be our own clients – about time!” says Günter Katherl. With the compact working space’s efficiency and the invitingly spacious mobility sections “for everything else”, the co-workers enjoy the new surroundings so much they “never feel the urge to go home”. With newly enhanced enthusiasm, the team have resumed working on their busy 2017 agenda.

House CJ_5, patio view. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus, © Caramel

Germany. However, private housing is as high on the list as ever right now. Next is the ‘Mietgestalten’ rental project, a space co-created together with the future inhabitants. Last but not least, a compact residential high-rise in Vienna’s Simmering district is being realised, together with the former Caramel co-workers of heimspiel Architekten. As Günter Katherl states: “Caramel have finally arrived at creating the kind of housing that Vienna so desperately needs.” www.caramel.at

Biennale Architettura 2016. Photo: Paul Kranzler, © Caramel

Caramel projects currently in the works are the two private homes of ‘Haus Rock’ and ‘Haus am Berg’. Two clean-shaped and constructivist modern structures, they offer interesting solutions, managing for example a sloping plot (‘Haus am Berg’) and making use of overhanging upper floors, a Caramel favourite to grant even more space both up and below. With the recently finished ‘m24’, a roof extension for a Vienna Gründerzeit house, urban densification takes yet another turn with Caramel. Almost not visible from down below, the specific construction allows “the outer flowing into the interior”,

Roof garden. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus, © Caramel

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fwp reception area.

A U S T R I A’ S L E G A L E X P E R T

fwp lawyers compete to win, with a detailed view of the big picture Always on the ball and highly efficient, the lawyers at Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) know their game. Highly praised by both clients and peers, the firm is constantly expanding its circle of specialised and competent partners while at the same time keeping internationally connected through influential networking. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: CHRISTOPH PANZER

Commitment is the key word and fwp likes to use sports-related language when they speak about their passion for law: “When it comes to working out the best strategies for our clients, we get right into the thick of things. A precise knowledge of the rules of the game and maximum effort 124  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

keep us always at it. Down to the last mile, on any court, at any match.” Compete to win, indeed, with a detailed strategy laid out upfront. As an internationally active Austrian law firm, fwp covers the entire spectrum of

business law. The specialised know-how of the partners and their teams in their respective fields guarantees expertise for all scenarios. fwp represents mainly Austrian and international private companies, but also has clients from the public sector. With top modern office spaces set in the heart of Vienna, the one-stop shop law firm of Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners has made accessibility and service their highest aims. Their clients experience and appreciate a 24-hour availability. At fwp, fast response, quality and efficiency are the


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Austria’s Legal Expert

measure of all things. Academically based legal expertise combined with economic and commercial know-how form the pillars of the firm’s international success.

of large corporations. Besides his law degree, Markus Fellner holds a degree from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Founded in 1999 in the heart of Vienna by co-founders and lawyers Markus Fellner and Kurt Wratzfeld, the firm started out with a staff of five. Immediately adopting a pioneering role, the firm has since followed the vision of a modern working approach matching contemporary needs. fwp was founded with the goal of growing into a large law firm with a wide-reaching structure.

Co-founder and partner Kurt Wratzfeld specialises in individual and collective employment law as well as general civil law. He studied in both Vienna and Linz, where he gained his doctorate, and has been working as a lawyer since 1997 before co-founding fwp in 1999.

Today, fwp has more than a hundred qualified personnel. The fwp competence teams are led by 22 partners. One of the leading Austrian law firms in the business sector, fwp offers legal support for banking and finance, corporate, M&A (mergers and acquisitions), real estate, infrastructure and public procurement as well as reorganisation and restructuring. While mostly looking after Austrian and international companies, fwp also works for the public sector. Markus Fellner advises on high-profile corporate / M&A transactions, banking and finance law, dispute resolution and antitrust and competition law as well as on complex corporate restructurings / insolvencies. He has been extensively involved in bank rescues and restructurings

A classic tool for fwp’s own business strategy is networking. As Fellner Wratzfeld &

Partners’ work has become increasingly international, they can rely on an intensive longstanding cooperation with international partner firms. To fwp it makes all the difference and is one of the most important criteria for success. fwp has a widespread international referral network with law firms in over 110 countries. The firm is also part of the global law firm network TerraLex having more than 15,000 lawyers as members. fwp is also part of the Association of European Lawyers (AEL), which provides a strong platform for pan-European cross-border transactions and legal advice.

fwp reception area.

fwp entrance area.

Modern offices.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  125


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Austria’s Legal Expert

fwp reception area.

fwp reception area.

fwp reception area.

fwp ranks among the best of Austria’s law firms. Their wide-ranging excellence in corporate/M&A, banking & finance, capital markets, as well as labour law places them regularly at the top of rankings. This year, partner and co-founder Markus Fellner took first place in the FORMAT lawyers’ ranking in the category of banking law. A total of 100 law firms voted in 22 categories. Other top rankings went to 126  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

fwp reception area.

Kurt Wratzfeld for labour law, Paul Luiki for CEE work and Gregor Schett in the field of investor lawsuits. Banking & Finance: fwp advises major banks on financing issues on an ongoing basis, not only about project financing, but also in connection with funding complex consortiums and financing for company reorganisation purposes. fwp can

anticipate the legal challenges and issues, and guide its clients accordingly. Corporate / M&A: developing optimal solutions in these fields requires extensive knowledge and vast experience in many different legal areas, including corporate, tax, capital market, labour and tenancy as well as numerous other fields. fwp advises national and international companies


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Austria’s Legal Expert

in the acquisition and sale of companies as a core strength of the firm. The services cover everything from legal due diligence to antitrust regulations – and fwp’s wide experience in the private and public sector, especially relating to cross-border transactions, takeover bids, private equity and venture capital – ensures the highest degree of efficiency and deal stability. Other subfields of commercial and business law covered by fwp’s specialists are real estate, infrastructure and procurement as well as dispute resolution, both in court and before arbitral tribunals. Antitrust violations, another specialist field of fwp, have become more and more costly. Entire industries have come under the scrutiny of antitrust authorities. fwp is

helping clients to become pro-active right from the start, for instance by implementing suitable compliance programmes. fwp also provides advice on merger control, antitrust and market abuse proceedings, before Austrian and European courts as well as antitrust authorities. Transaction law makes up one of the biggest chunks of fwp’s work and has received significant international recognition. With long-standing experience in structuring tailor-made solutions and an allencompassing understanding of business matters under their belt, the teams at fwp feel right at home in this area. In the‘Chambers and Partners’ Europe 2016 rankings, fwp and especially co-founder Dr. Markus Fellner have recently received high accolades: “Very efficient, quick and straightfor-

ward. A top choice for large-scale, complex mandates with an excellent level of service.” Clients mention outstanding negotiation skills and the ability to see the big picture in a transaction. A “market leader with an impressive track record”, Dr. Markus Fellner is known for possessing a detailed commercial understanding and for efficiently pushing transactions forward. Fast response, efficiency and a view of the whole while never forgetting a crucial detail make for the highly committed full-service strategy of Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners. When fwp throws a ball, it will be the perfect throw. They are happy to catch yours at any time, safely and securely. www.fwp.at

fwp partners.

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  127


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

xxxxxxx. Mussels on a Beach is part of the exhibition Pure Nature Art. Photo:Photo: © VG Bild-Kunst © xxxxxxx

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 July. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

altonale19, Hamburg (until 2 July) Celebrating one of Hamburg’s most fascinating districts, the altonale19 is a festival for music, art, film and literature. It is a unique convergence of street festival, culture programme, commerce and art and is always exciting and exceptional. www.altonale.de 128  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

Pure Nature Art, Föhr (25 June – 7 January 2018) This exhibition is dedicated to natural materials in art. There are many ways artists weave natural material into their pieces. The exhibition will examine such ways and dive deep into various related installations. www.mkdw.de

12 Steiff Summer, Giengen an der Brenz (30 June – 2 July) In 2017, legendary German brand Steiff is once again inviting to its annual Steiff Summer. Taking place at the Steiff museum, it is a family event by a family company with special auctions and many more highlights for young and old. www.steiff.com

Silvretta Classic Rallye, Montafon (4 – 9 July) For the 20th time, classic car enthusiasts gather for the Silvretta Classic Rallye in the Austrian Montafon region. Kicking off on the four with


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar pre-Rallye events, the start of the Rallye is dated for the 6 July. Both from the inside of the cars and from the outside, there is much to see and experience for car lovers. www.event.motorpresse.de

Splash Festival, Ferropolis near Gräfenhainichen (6 – 9 July) This year, the Hip Hop festival Splash is taking place for the 20th time. Staged at Ferropolis, Splash is devoted to bringing some of the genre’s biggest stars. The 2017 line-up includes Marteria, Travis Scott and Mac Miller. www.splash-festival.de

YOU 2017, Berlin (7 – 9 July) The trade fair YOU is the main fair for youth culture targeting the segments ‘music.sports. lifestyle’ and ‘Education.career.future’. It is a mix

Steiff. Photo: © Son Tran

Performing at the Splash Festival: German rapper Marteria. Photo: © Der Robert

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  129


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Fireworks over the illuminated Heidelberg castle. Photo: © Patrick Freitag

Il Barbiere di Siviglia will be staged during the Komische Oper Festival. Photo: © mariozeffiri

130  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

MTB Festival. Photo: © Zach Dischner

of entertainment and education, attracting more than 50,000 visitors who are interested in their culture and future possibilities. www.you.de

Heidelberg castle lighting (8 July) Thousands of people visit Heidelberg to see this. Bengal fires plunge the historic castle into a mysterious light, before a spectacular firework production illuminates sky and city. The Heidelberg castle lighting follows a more than 400-year-old tradition www.heidelberg-event.com

East meets West, Thalwil / Zurich (until 15 July) Swiss gallery AB43 is bridging the gap between east and west. The new exhibition, titled East meets West presents porcelain works from various Eastern and Western artists highlighting a multifaceted approach to contemporary culture. www.ab43contemporary.com

The Hidden Cézanne. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  131


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar Komische Oper Festival, Berlin (11 – 16 July) During this one-week festival, the Komische Oper takes a look back at the new productions of the season. Dedicated to both the music and the theatre in the term musical theatre, events will include works by Strawinsky, Strauss and more. www.komische-oper-berlin.de

Melt Festival, Ferropolis near Gräfenhainichen (14 – 16 July) One of the leading electronic music festivals takes place in mid-July. The Melt festival features an impressive line-up: Die Antwoord, Bonobo, Phoenix and many more will take centre stage during the three-day event, bound to make you dance. www.meltfestival.de

Classic Open Air, Berlin (20 – 24 July) Each month, Berlin offers many attractions. In July, one of these will be the Classic Open Air at the Gendarmenmarket, taking place for the 26th time. Roofed by the stars, classic and modern melodies will be played in front of enticing architecture. www.classicopenair.de

Parade at the altonale in Hamburg. Photo: © Klaus Friese

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The Melt Festival in the evening. Photo: © Martin Terber

MTB Festival, Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis (31 July – 6 August) It is Europe’s only MTB youth festival and thus the stage for the stars of tomorrow. The Mountainbike Festival in the Austrian Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis offers a great opportunity for young bikers to compete in all disciplines. www.bikepark-sfl.at

The Hidden Cézanne, Basel (ongoing) Dedicated to one of the founders of modern art, Paul Cézanne, the exhibition looks behind the curtain of his groundbreaking work as a draftsman. It is a little known, but astonishing, part of his oeuvre and at the kunstmuseum Basel more than 154 sheets will be shown. www.kunstmuseumbasel.ch


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Silvretta Classic Rallye. Photo: © Conal Gallagehr

Berlin’s Classic Open Air. Photo: © visitBerlin

Issue 52  |  July 2017  |  133


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Barbara Geier Column

There’s no place like home TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Here we are. Summer. I’ve finally decided that it might actually be worthwhile to change the wardrobe order from winter to summer and move those tees from back to front row. Let’s just hope that, by the time you’re reading this, I haven’t had to chuck them back again. In any case, we’re thinking sun and we’re thinking holidays. Any plans yet? Maybe the usual British ‘suspect’ Spain? Or staying in the UK and following the growing trend of domestic holidays. Be it for Brexit-induced pound devaluation reasons or others. Germans, for their part, who are known as ‘Urlaubsweltmeister’ (‘holiday world champions’), have known for years that their country is a prime holiday destination. Holidays at home are all the rage. Yes, sure, the classic beach destinations Italy, Spain and Greece are still top but, based on figures by organisations such as the German Tourist Board (Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus), on average more than a third of Germans also go on holiday in their own country each year. Why? Well, it’s convenient in times of international unrest. The ‘Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis’ (‘value for money’), a particular German obsession, is very good and, it needs to be said, the country actually has a great deal to offer and is much more varied than many would think. There’s beaches (yes, in the north, and beautiful they are), lakes and moun134  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

tains, great hiking, cycling and a wide array of cities to discover. In particular, city trips are a growing trend with the ‘big three’ Berlin, Hamburg and Munich as long-term favourites but, increasingly, smaller cities are also on the list for Germans when exploring their country. I’ve always thought that from north to south and west to east, from Lübeck to Regensburg and Trier to Görlitz, the country has so much to offer in terms of beautiful, interesting and historic cities that many international visitors overlook. Well, you shouldn’t, I said it here. So, yes, I can understand my fellow countrymen and women pencilling in a ‘Deutschlandurlaub’. According to German holiday site trivago.de, who’ve analysed search enquiries, there are a number of specific summer holiday trend destinations this year for Germans. They’ve compiled a top ten list and, interestingly, half of them are in Germany. At number one: a place called Glowe on Rügen, Germany’s largest island in the Baltic Sea, described as a small town with kilometres of fine, sandy beach. Sounds good to me. If you’re into history or monumental historical events, you might want to check out another one in the said top ten list: Lutherstadt Wittenberg, birthplace of the Reformation where Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the local Castle Church and a centre of this year’s

celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. So, you can see there’s variety and every interest being catered for in good old Germany. In any case, and no matter if you consider giving it a go for a quick trip this year or not, I hope you enjoy your holidays! Fingers crossed for all of us that the sun continues to shine down on the British Isles, just for a change… Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind www.germanyiswunderbar.com, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.


Your Shortcut to Germany Bergen

NORWAY

Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg bo org g

UNITED KINGDOM DENMARK K

G enburg Goth

Aarh A rhu us us

Billund Manchester

London City

Brussels

BELGIUM BE

Düsseldorf

GERMANY

Munich

WINNER OF DANISH TRAVEL AWARD 2012 “BEST EUROPEAN AIRLINE”

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ba.com

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Discover Germany, Issue 52, July 2017  

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

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