Discover Germany, Issue 54, September 2017

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Issue 54 | September 2017







The Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden of the Canton of Ticino is located on the island of San Pancrazio of Lake Maggiore. Founded in 1885 by Antoniette St. Leger, it is owned since 1950 by the Canton and the municipalities of Ascona, Brissago and Ronco sopra Ascona. Subtropical plants are cultivated on more than 2.5 hectares thanks to insubric climate with mild temperatures and high precipitation. The core of the collections are species from the five Mediterranean regions of the world: the Mediterranean region, the Cape region of South Africa, the Californian coast, Western Australia and Central Chile. Phone: 0041 091 791 43 61



Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents SEPTEMBER 2017

18 Photo: © Olaf Kroenke

COVER FEATURE 18 Hannes Jaenicke Actor, environmental activist, author: Hannes Jaenicke is many things. He speaks to Discover Germany about his latest projects, why the world needs more mavericks, his motivation to change the world and more.

SPECIAL THEMES 10 Interior Design Germany For this special theme, we have handpicked some stylish and innovative interior products from Germany to embellish one’s home in the cold season. 28 Best Art Galleries in Austria Austria is surprisingly rich in inspiring galleries for contemporary, fine and classic art, young artists, photography and much more. Read about top Austrian art galleries in our special theme. 51 Fintech The Fintech (financial technology) industry is booming. Thus, we have handpicked some of the DACH region’s most innovative players. 57 Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions Whether biogas, offshore wind power, combined heat and power plants – in this special theme, we find out more about Germany’s most innovative energy and water technology solutions. 84 Switzerland’s Architectural Photographers Ever wondered who the faces are behind those fantastic photos on architects’ websites and architecture magazines? To find out, we spoke to some of Switzerland’s great architectural photographers.

84 Photo: © Pixabay

88 Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017 Switzerland’s architectural heritage is as diverse as it is impressive and goes far beyond geographical borders. Find out more about great Swiss architects, their work and their processes in this special theme.

FEATURES 24 Film Review: Who Am I Find out what our writer Sonja Irani thinks about Who Am I – a contemporary German thriller that showcases the dangers of international hacking in a very realistic and highly gripping way. 27 Top Swiss Museum This month’s top Swiss museum is Sculpture at Schoenthal. Hidden in the idyllic Jura Hills, Monastery Schoenthal has turned into a magical setting for art exhibitions. 34 Star Interview: Birte Glang Discover Germany talks to actor Birte Glang, best known for starring in the famous daily drama Unter uns, about her beginnings as an actor, why she fell in love with Los Angeles and more. 36 Hotel of the Month, Germany Situated in Westerland on Sylt, the fivestar grand Hotel Miramar impresses with exceptional culinary delights, a cosy ambiance in its luxurious rooms and suites, as well as unparalleled panoramic views of the ocean. 40

Oktoberfest for Beginners Whilst the rest of Europe settles for autumn, Bavarians get ready for the biggest party of the year. Attracting millions of visitors, it is recommended to plan ahead and make the most of your trip to enjoy the quintessential German experience. Our writer Marilena Stracke found out more.

66 Photo: © Marianne Mayer - 123RF, composing: Fichtner


Dedicated to Design Whether you are searching for great new autumn styles, Oktoberfest-inspired gift ideas or interior design highlights from the DACH region, be sure to take a look at our design section.

24 Culture This month, our culture section is filled with enchanting museums and art galleries that are well worth a visit, as well as a film review and a star interview not to be missed. 36 Travel Whether you are searching for a great hotel, your next holiday experience or some inspiration for the Oktoberfest, we have got you covered in the travel section. 42 Business Our business section is filled with innovative companies, inspiring architects, architectural photographers and communication and branding professionals. Our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht further takes on the interesting topic of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. 102 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in September. 106 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier explores what it is like to experience the Oktoberfest without drinking beer.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  3

Dear Reader,

Discover Germany Issue 54, September 2017 Published 09.2017 ISSN 2051-7718 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Assistant Editor Marilena Stracke Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia

Jessica Holzhausen Nadine Carstens Silke Henkele Sonja Irani Cover Photo © Marco Justus Schöler Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Audrey Bardzik 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: For further information please visit

Welcome to our September issue! Of course, we start off this month with Germany’s most beloved and appreciated festival: the Oktoberfest. How can we not? After all, the official opening ceremony, where Munich’s mayor will tap this year’s first keg of Oktoberfest beer, takes place on 16 September, while the festivities will continue for over two weeks until 3 October. If you’re heading to Oktoberfest for the first time, be sure to read our writer Marilena Stracke’s beginner guide for it. In her feature, she gives practical tips and tricks and explains how to plan ahead, while making the most of the quintessential German experience. So, get in your dirndl or lederhosen, pack the stein and head to Munich. Like every year, it will surely be a party not to be missed. Furthermore, our September cover is adorned by none other than actor, environmental activist and author Hannes Jaenicke. He speaks to Discover Germany about his latest documentary on rhinos, his motivation to change the world and his newest book in which he explains why the world needs more mavericks. Or why not take a look at our interview with German actor Birte Glang? Having started off her career in the famous daily drama Unter uns on RTL, she went on to star in several cinema and TV productions and became the face of many high-end advertising campaigns. Find out why she fell in love with Los Angeles and more. If this still isn’t enough, several autumn-inspired design and fashion ideas, a film review and other topics like great architects and architectural photographers from Switzerland, enchanting art galleries in Austria, innovative financial technology companies from Germany and much, much more can be found in this issue. Sit back, relax and thanks for reading.

Contributors Barbara Geier Cornelia Brelowski Gregor Kleinknecht Jaime Schwartz

Nane Steinhoff, Editor

© 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.

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Brain City Berlin Embrace tomorrow. Today. #FreiheitBerlin

BERLIN SCIENCE WEEK – THE SMARTEST WEEK OF THE YEAR Join the next Berlin Science Week in November 2017 #BrainCityBerlin #berlinsciweek17

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds According to the meteorological calendar, the first of September also marks the start of autumn. But if you look at the astronomical seasons, start of autumn is on 22 September. Whatever you prefer, September marks the beginning of the colder season and thus, we take a sneak peek at some of the upcoming autumn/winter season’s fashion trends. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES

Nothing says ‘autumn’ more than fluffy fabrics, as can be seen in this outfit from designer Tim Labenda. In its collections, the German label puts special emphasis on extraordinary fabrics and textures, as well as the finest materials. Left: ‘Sigale’ blouse £491, ‘Arid’ trousers £3,132, ‘Jouques’ jacket £706 and right: ‘Ville’ vest £3,087, ‘Artistic’ trousers £563,’Marseille’ top £339, ‘Dormant’ dress £948.

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The end of autumn marks the beginning of cosy evenings in one’s own four walls. This comfortable jumper by German fashion label LIV BERGEN will be the perfect cocoon for this. £107.

With this beautifully coloured skirt, one will definitely fit right into autumn. It is designed by PHILOMENA ZANETTI, a Berlinbased, high-end women’s wear fashion label. £280.

This snazzy bag by CINQUE will accompany you throughout autumn and winter with its metallic look. £89.

Stay warm, yet stylish, with this great outfit from Tim Labenda. Here, one can see that the designer loves a handcrafted approach and handcrafting techniques to make the collections and every single piece very special indeed. ‘Starlet’ blouse £509, ‘Antibes’ trousers £518, ‘Pknot’ knit £1,342.

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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… The middle of September marks the beginning of a much-anticipated event in Germany: the Oktoberfest! For just over two weeks, everything will be about beer, oompah music, dirndl, lederhosen and pretzels. That is why this month’s Dedicated to Design also simply had to be about the Oktoberfest. BY: NANE STEINHOFF


1. The Oktoberfest tents are filled with massive wood tables and benches, but what about our homes? This great table and the round chopping board by ANTON DOLL HOLZMANUFAKTUR are sure to be true eyecatchers. Chopping board £34. 2. This rustic beer stein will come in handy for any beer lover. The fact that it is personalised makes it a great gift. £14. 3. This Alps-inspired cushion by Nullsieben-Design in the shape of a mountain range is made of 100 per cent wool and will be a special highlight on every couch. £33. 4. What is a much-needed staple for the Oktoberfest weeks? A bottle opener, of course! This stylish one from PHILIPPI will be a great little helper. £14. 5. This cute mobile phone cover, in lederhosen design, is a great gadget and fun gift for friends and family alike. £26.


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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Interior Design Germany


Upgrade your home As winter is coming, we know that you will be spending more and more time in your own four walls. Thus, we have handpicked some stylish and innovative interior products from Germany to embellish your home for the cold season. Get inspired in the following special theme! PHOTOS: PIXABAY

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Interior Design Germany

S25 modular shelving system in black/ash.

S25 modular shelving system in ash.

Modular furniture systems inspired by architecture and spatial design Berlin-based multidisciplinary architecture and design firm Studio F/F creates sophisticated furniture and accessories that are highly versatile and expandable. The company follows a holistic design approach that initially started with their architectural practice. Studio F/F is a true heaven for design aficionados in general and for those who appreciate intelligent designs. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: STUDIO F/F

Studio F/F is part of the architecture firm Fabian von Ferrari founded in 2011. What initially started with creating spatial identities has now turned into a holistic, interdisciplinary venture into product design. Their creations are widely acclaimed and certainly prove that Studio F/F is on the right track with their specialised furniture series. All furniture pieces showcase a strong sculptural presence and clarity emphasised further through the use of high-quality natural materials and structural details. Another important aspect for all of Studio F/F’s designs is versatility. The construction is based on perfect joints and mechanisms, minimising the use of any screws. For instance, the shelving system ‘S25’ is assembled by interlocking singular modules to form a larger unit. Within the construction, modules can easily be shifted, rearranged or

extended by additional ones to suit personal taste or spatial requirements. “Proportions play a major part in the design process to ensure that every product keeps its harmonic style regardless of how customers arranged it,” says Von Ferrari. This focus on proportion and construction MNA modular candleholder.

stems from the company’s architectural work resulting in a very unique look. The shelving unit ‘Dovetail’ has already received the prestigious iF Design Award. Studio F/F is driven by genuine curiosity. Their products are expressions of their users’ personalities and strive for beauty merged with timeless functionality. You can find the entire range online, where you can also choose between different finishes and material options and customise your finished product using the state-ofthe-art configurator. Merlin table in black steel/glass.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  11

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Interior Design Germany

Better sleep for a better world Inspired by nature and motivated to uphold sustainable practices, Nina Wood founded ia io organic bedding. Offering truly organic cotton bed linens, ia io aims to create a better sleeping environment and a better world. Products are made from cotton organically farmed under strict regulations. Buyers are often misinformed about what labels actually mean, especially what differentiates organic cotton from natural cotton, yet distinguishing the two is of utmost importance to ia io. Nina Wood explains why: “Organic cotton is a protected term, companies who use the term ‘natural cotton’ to sell their products are essentially mislead-


W W W. N J U S T U D I O . C O M

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ing buyers. Cotton is always ‘natural’, even when treated with chemicals, so the term means nothing.” The company’s concern for ecology also extends to the manufacturing process, working closely with local production plants and creating more sustainable designs. The comfort, look and feel of the product is as important as its environmental impact. Higher thread counts and sim-


ple designs are integral to the company’s philosophy and efforts to contribute to an overall state of well-being. “We feel our bed linens allow one to rest peacefully and we believe sleeping well is a prerequisite for total health,”says Nina Wood. Not only does ia io seek to improve sleep, but extend a feeling of wellness into the whole home and out into the larger world. “With our bed linens you could potentially, so to speak, change the world in your sleep,” says Nina Wood, playfully.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Interior Design Germany

The three magnetic pin boards with d-c-fix® design films: ‘d-c-fix® Zebra’, large dots in ‘d-c-fix® Matt Schwarz’ and ‘d-c-fix® Barock’ (from left to right).

Coffee table with ‘d-c-fix® Blackwood’.

‘d-c-fix® Matt Schwarz’ on white drawers.

Wow! effects in black and white Clarity and simplicity are the new interior trends. Once again, less is more. Leonardo da Vinci already knew: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Thus, goodbye clutter and hello plain, puristic furnishing styles! TEXT: CONTINENTAL, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: DESIGNBUREAU BECKERANDFRIENDS

Did Ikea’s universal style finally win? Yes and no. After all, there is an abundance of Ikea hacks today with which the Swedish simple furniture pieces become the starting point for creative, new ideas. Here, the wish for individualisation emerges. And d-c-fix® plays the lead – because the design film instantly transforms furniture, even entire rooms. Once again, d-c-fix® makes the difference: already in 1958, during the peak time of black and white television, the brand’s triumph began. Today, black and white is in demand again. Maybe the strong contrasts of the ‘50s and late ‘70s are back because retro chic is currently en vogue. Or maybe because, in times of digitalisation, a great deal is dependent on two conditions – 0 and 1, white and black. The creative surface experts of the design centre at the Continental site Weissbach allocate this concise look to the ‘expressive art’

trend. Ralf Imbery, design director at Continental, explains: “What isn’t colourful has high contrasts – either classicgeometrically in black and white or as sophisticated typography. Black varnish sets the counterpoint to total transparency.” But ultimately, it is not about complying with the zeitgeist. What really matters is the feel-good effect in one’s own four walls. And this is simply very subjective. In the meantime, a home office, or at least a place where one organises things and manages correspondence, can now be found in every second home. It should be a well-structured, tidy place that nevertheless is inspiring. As can be seen in the above picture on the left, the three magnetic pin boards are each equipped with a different d-c-fix® design film. They are attached to a large wood panel which is fully upholstered with ‘d-c-fix® Matt Schwarz’. A home office can be this beautiful.

In the top-centre picture, the mix makes the room. Here, the low coffee table is the eyecatcher. Irregularly placed dark stripes adorn its surface. Used in this way, the design film ‘d-c-fix® Blackwood’ emits wonderful cosiness. When choosing pictures and accessories, muted colours should be used so that a harmonious relaxation zone for often-hectic everyday life emerges. Sometimes it does not take much to entirely change a room’s appearance. In the top-right picture, the white drawers appear new and exciting due to the two reversed triangles. The black and white contrast is very concise, the furniture seems dynamic. ‘d-c-fix® Matt Schwarz’ comes into effect on the fronts. Add some cool frames with typography and black and white motifs and the eyecatcher in the entrance area, or wherever some tension is needed, is done. Here, too, it holds true: minimum use, maximum wow! effect. d-c-fix® can be bought in DIY stores, selected specialist shops and on the following website. Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  13

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Interior Design Germany

Gerald Schatz and his wife receive the reddot award.

The alluring blend of dynamic design and purity Furniture can be so much more than a mere practicality; furniture can be a statement. Tojo Möbel is an ambitious pioneer of cutting-edge, state-of-the-art furniture with that particular puristic, innovative touch. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: TOJO MÖBEL GBMH

Founded in 2000, it has always been Tojo Möbel’s aim to model affordable furniture for a steadily growing customer base wishing to buy puristic, design-oriented, easyto-handle furniture with a difference.“It all started with my job at a moving company. To drag bulky pieces of furniture through small staircases was really hard and a veritable nuisance. I became highly motivated to construct a piece of furniture that was much less hassle. Well, what can I say –‘system’, Tojo’s first series, became a still ongoing success story,”Gerald Schatz, founder and owner of Tojo Möbel, reminisces. Almost 20 years have passed since then and today Tojo Möbel is more successful than ever. “There is an increasing demand for simplistic, yet stylish and unique pieces of furniture - a demand we are very happy to meet,”analyses Schatz. This appreciation 14  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

that is extended towards the puristically designed furniture shows in the number of awards Tojo Möbel has been awarded over the last couple of years. In 2017 alone, for example, the Tojo parallel-series has been awarded the European Product Design Award, the reddot design award for product design as well as the German Design Award. Other awards are too numerous to mention and Tojo has already been nominated for various awards to be given out in 2018. “We are very proud of our success on the market and the recognition we continue to receive from the industry,” says Schatz. “This recognition is a huge motivation to be even better and more inventive in the future,”he concludes. One of the latest innovations is the series Tojo-steh, which is newly available. “The series Tojo-steh is one of our latest master-

pieces. Easy to use and pleasant to look at, it is the essence of Tojo’s puristic approach,” introduces Schatz Tojo’s new design. We are looking forward to more exciting designs yet to come from Tojo Möbel. Take a look at their complete offer online. It is worth it!

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Interior Design Germany

Cosmopolitan flair for the outdoors Over ten years ago, the German-Australian company founders Michael Rossmann and his wife Sasha Yessayan-Rossmann founded PAD. With their feel for trends and their affinity with fabrics, the couple has turned the label into one of the leading, most innovative international home textile labels. As an investor-independent family business, PAD puts special emphasis on sustainable development. This means that the creative ideas are produced according to environmentally valuable standards with a focus on ‘made in Europe’. In the latest collection, the popular blankets, cushions and home accessories are complemented by a further highlight. This season, PAD also conquers gardens and terraces with their new mats and rugs for indoor and outdoor spaces. The products, weaved from polypropylene yarn, quickly became bestsellers. Their secret is the high-tech fibre that feels as soft and snug as cotton, while also being as dirt-repellent and weatherproof as plastic. With its ikat-ethno style, the large-format rugs bring a cosmopolitan

flair to roof terraces and balconies in mild summer nights. In autumn and winter, they pose as perfect dirt traps that absorb everything in the entrance area that would be better left outside. To produce the new design, ikat yarn gets stretched across drums before it is painted over and over again, dried and eventually spun. This centuries-old weav-


ing technique is still used in many Asian countries and in North America from the Navajo Indians. At present, these patterns are an inspiration for many popular fashion designers. The new outdoor rugs are available in two sizes (1.40 x 2.00, 2.00 x 3.00 metres), are rainproof, unsusceptible to mildew, non-fading, easy to clean and they keep their shape. Below: Michael Rossmann and Sasha Yessayan-Rossmann.



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


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Interior Design Germany

The ‘Belmaro Reto Low’.

The ‘Belmaro Reto High’ in walnut.

The ‘Scaena Protekt’.

Smart designs and timeless style German furniture company Roterring can look back at over eight decades of experience and family tradition. They have specialised on TV/media furniture and hi-fi racks, and successfully merge functionality with clean designs. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: MARIO BRAND WERBEFOTOGRAFIE

It all started with a small carpentry in 1932. Little did Gerhard Roterring know that his workshop would turn into a top furniture house one day. Over the years Roterring’s sons and later grandsons joined the family business, which kept on growing. The transition from a carpentry to a furniture manufactory happened gradually as spokesperson Thomas Kemper explains: “During 80 years and with three generations involved, the company gained a lot of knowledge and developed its technical skills in regards to various different areas such as shop-fitting, loudspeaker cabinets and consumer electronics. Hence we are able to see the big picture.” At the heart of each design stands its purpose. A hi-fi rack must take sound quality into account, while a TV unit needs to accommodate various components and cables. “Our TV units can house entire AV systems without it being visible, yet it remains very easy to use,” Kemper adds.

Quality and longevity combined with a clean design can be seen as the foundation for all pieces at Roterring. Roterring just added two exciting additions to their range. The living room furniture ‘Scaena Protekt’ can host AV systems, game consoles or sound bars. It features straightforward cabling as well as great usability and ventilation of the media component. The series ‘Belmaro Reto’ is ideal for fans of ‘50s and ‘60s designs. Kemper says: “We brought the beloved old design into the future. The ‘Belmaro Reto’ series features individual furniture pieces which stand alone and customers can decide which electronics they want to store in it.” These items, which are available with short or long legs, are statement furniture pieces that transform a living room into a design-conscious space. With their comprehensive know-how and hands-on ap-

proach, the team at Roterring also designs custom-made furniture. “What makes us proud is how well perceived our ideas and thoughts, which are implemented in our furniture, are. We would even go so far and say that our furniture makes our customers happy,” Kemper smiles. “Often customers have been looking for a long time before they find their ideal piece, which fits their media equipment perfectly, in our store.”

The ‘Scaena Protekt’.

The ‘Belmaro Reto High’ in walnut, including ‘Nubert AS-250’.

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Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Hannes Jaenicke

Hannes Jaenicke

‘Becoming an actor was an accident’ Actor, environmental activist, author: Hannes Jaenicke is many things in one. He speaks to Discover Germany about his latest projects, why the world needs more mavericks, his motivation to change the world and more. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTOS: OLAF KROENKE

Born in 1960, Hannes Jaenicke grew up in Germany and the USA before he become one of Germany’s most respected actors. “As a boy, I wanted to become a trucker. Later on, ski and motorcycle racer or ice hockey pro. Becoming an actor was actually more of an accident. During and after my school days I tried quite a lot of different things. I worked in a record store, as a waiter, was briefly enrolled at university to become an English and sports teacher. Then, actor guests who were regulars at the restaurant that I worked in put the bee in my bonnet that I should try to get into drama school,” smiles Jaenicke. He followed their advice. After completing his acting training at Vienna’s Max-Reinhardt-Seminar, theatrical engagements at Germany’s most renowned stages soon followed. In the ‘80s, he became known to a wider audience through the thriller Abwärts and has starred in numerous TV series, documentaries and films, including Hindenburg, Lost Treasure and Allein unter Töchtern. He was also seen in several international productions, such as the CBS series Due South or The Highlander. Personally, his most memorable role was playing “Peter III. in Catherine the Great alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeanne Moreau and Omar Sharif. We really got something to play there, which is unfortunately not often the

case in German screenplays. Apart from this, I loved all roles that I was able to develop with film director Dominik Graf”, explains Jaenicke. About rhinos and mavericks Since 2007, Jaenicke has also produced his own documentaries – some of them award-winning, all of them with a wider purpose. For example, his documentary on sharks was able to help enforce an international, much-needed finning ban. After a documentary about orangutans was shown on TV, a seven-digit sum was donated by viewers for the reforestation of the rainforest in Indonesia. Jaenicke recalls: “Documentaries make more of a difference, movies entertain better – I find both important.” In his personal life, Jaenicke is committed to different topics of environmental protection and advocates numerous caritative organisations like the Christoffel Blind Mission (CBM), and the Tibetan human rights organisation International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). His first book Wut allein reicht nicht (Anger alone isn’t enough), published in 2010, quickly got on to the SPIEGEL bestseller list. A project Jaenicke is currently working on is a documentary for ZDF on the last remaining rhinos. For this, Jaenicke travelled from Africa to Asia to trace the illegal trade of rhino horn. This project is especially

important to him because “rhinos are the earth’s oldest land mammals and they are nevertheless on the verge of extinction – at least in the wild. Due to the lack of German legislation they are still allowed to be hunted, the trophies can get imported to Germany, and the animals still get chased through the ring at circuses as an audience attraction”, he explains. An airdate is planned for autumn 2017. Another interesting project that we want to know more about is his recently released book Wer der Herde folgt, sieht nur Ärsche: Warum wir dringend Helden brauchen (Those who follow the herd only see arses: why we need heroes). In the book, Jaenicke explains why mavericks are the real heroes for him and why he thinks that comfort and herd mentality lead towards mediocrity. He calls upon individuality and stepping out of the system, while meeting the small and large heroes of everyday life. Jaenicke explains: “There are two types of herd mentality: the healthy, biologically and socially needed one, like in the animal kingdom, which offers support and security to children, the elderly and the less well-off. And then there is the unhealthy, populist, advertising and media-driven one: this one leads to questionable election results like National Socialism in the 1930s in Germany, Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Orbán, Kaczinski and so on. And it leads to a consumerism that turns our so-called ‘mother earth’ into a rubbish dump and plundering site. Change always comes from lateral thinkers and non-conformists, even when they initially are smiled at, mocked or fought.” Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  19

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Hannes Jaenicke

Book Wer der Herde folgt sieht nur Ärsche: Warum wir dringend Helden brauchen.

As we probably all know, it is quite difficult to abandon old structures in everyday routines and to not lose sight of one’s own goals. Thus, we want to know whether Jaenicke has any tips or tricks to not become too comfortable and to dare more in life: “I use some of my favourite quotes in the book: ‘Our heads are round so our thoughts can change direction’ (Francis Picabia) or ‘The purest form of insanity is leaving everything as it is and still hope that something will change’ (Albert Einstein). The human being is a creature of habit that doesn’t want to realise that the only constant in life is change. Insofar, one should enjoy curiosity and should try to look beyond one’s own nose occasionally. Life is significantly more fun then.” So what can we all do to bring positive change to the world? “We can treat our environment, our resources and our wallets a bit more consciously. Us consumers have a far greater influence on the mar20  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

Hannes Jaenicke with a rhino for the ZDF documentary. Photo: ZDF

ket than we are aware of. This starts with plastic waste, our tendency towards heavy SUVs and big cars and doesn’t stop with the waste of energy, meat consumption and the associated factory farming.” ‘I would love to play in a mafia film’ As if all of this was not enough, Jaenicke has filmed another three movies this year which will be shown in autumn: the judiciary and rape drama Meine Fremde Freundin from director Stefan Krohmer for ARD; Dominik Graf’s Der Rote Schatten, which is about the involvement of the Federal Intelligence Service with the RAF (ARD); and Oben Ohne (Sat 1), which deals with the breast implant scandal in which thousands of women became ill or even died because cheap, German industrial silicone was used in breast implants. “In France, all 30,000 patients were reimbursed, in Germany: zero. Additionally, the above-mentioned ZDF documentary on rhinos, Im Einsatz für Nashörner is al-

most finished. Thus, quite a lot is happening,” says Jaenicke. Having played a variety of roles and genres in his career, we want to know whether he has any dream roles. He recalls: “Actually there are many. As I grew up with Coppola’s The Godfather and Martin Scorsese films, I would love to play in a mafia film at some point. After all, people like to think that there is no mafia in Germany – what a misconception. Apart from that, I’ve always looked up to Al Pacino and his movies and roles. He always played things that I would call dream roles.” What about other wishes and dreams after having achieved so much in life already? Jaenicke smiles: “The list is long. Learn foreign languages. Play musical instruments. Sail around the world, with surfboards on board. Make the world a tiny bit better. And at some point, I want to die being a bit smarter than when I came into this world. Is that enough for a guy in his mid-fifties?”

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Discover Germany  |  xxxxx  |  xxxxxx

© Falling Walls Foundation, Photo: Thomas Trutschel/

Explore, discover, share: Germany’s capital is also the capital of science The Berlin Science Week in November unites scientists from all over the world and is dedicated to the dialogue between science and society to create a better understanding for research in the wider public. Here, representatives of the most innovative research facilities worldwide come together. Berlin as a cosmopolitan city is simply the right place to discuss our societies’ future and the future of science.

their own language and ways of life into the German capital and so shape the academic, cultural and scientific climate.


From 1 – 10 November 2017, the Berlin Science Week showcases what Berlin’s science landscape has to offer; the Humboldt University for example will participate with various events. This year up to 50 different events are organised by national and international partner organisations and institutes. They will show the very different facets of research –in natural sciences and humanities alike. Some of these address experts in the respective fields, others the wider public. The events range from small non-public workshops to large public exhibitions. For interna-

The city’s strongest point as a science location is Berlin’s distinct culture of cooperation. Germany’s capital has a unique mixture of scientific institutes not likely to be found anywhere else in Europe that allows research cooperation and joint ventures to flourish and blossom: co-operations between universities and economy, between universities and independent research facilities, universities and cultural institutions as well as society in total. Some of the best German universities can be found in Berlin 22  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

and so no matter what the scientific problem might be, the Berlin science landscape holds the key to many budding innovations – simply because here lies a vast pool of knowledge and research in different fields. The second aspect is that Berlin convinces with an open research atmosphere. The cooperation of very different institutions is highly valued among Berlin-based researchers and companies. Berlin has become an international science hotspot. Researchers from all over the world bring

International partnerships in science and research

Discover Germany  |  Special Feature  |  Berlin Science Week

tional partners, the Science Week is a great chance to connect with German researchers, explore and share findings. This not only touches research done at universities, as some examples show: 1001 Inventions ( for instance is a London-based NGO and organises the exhibition 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham that explores and shows the scientific achievements of the Islamic Golden Age. The exhibition addresses children and young adults and will run throughout the Science Week. The Austrian Institute of Technology ( on the other hand organises a public workshop with the topic ‘(Big) Data Science’ where other representatives of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna will participate. Co-operations are at the heart of the Berlin Science Week The Science Week enables, supports and fosters co-operations. So many events are

indeed a joint project of different science groups, institutes or media partners. The IASS Potsdam ( will hold a symposium together with the Institute for Social Ecology to discuss social sustainability and a joint study they have done recently that also focuses on this aspect. Both the perspective of researchers and political perspectives will be taken into consideration and discussed. A second interesting symposium, the Symposium on the Second Quantum Revolution, is dedicated to the French physicist Alain Aspect. Nobel laureates C. Cohen-Tannoudji and Wolfgang Ketterle will come together with young and talented students to discuss all topics concerning the second quantum revolution, once initiated by Alain Aspect. The topics will be wide and touch many different fields – just like Berlin’s science landscape itself. The newspaper Tagesspiegel and the Berlin Institute of Health will, for the second time, organ-

ise their Future Medicine Science Match ( where national and international researchers have three minutes each to present their innovative research and developments in the medical field. The Berlin Science Week is only one example for the lively research scene in Germany’s capital: Berlin is one of the largest research centres in Europe with 40 different universities and 70 extramural research facilities. The expertise here is huge, because the city’s researchers focus on so many different scientific fields. What makes the city perhaps even more special and so attractive for researchers from all over the world is the open and welcoming atmosphere – in research, but also in the city itself. Academic life, culture and the economy all profit from Berlin’s openness and spirit of discovery. The city is not well known as a hotspot for young and innovative start-ups for nothing.

More information:

© Falling Walls Foundation, Photo: Thomas Trutschel/

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  23

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Film Review Column


Who Am I (2014) Who am I - No System Is Safe [OT: Who am I - Kein System ist sicher] is a contemporary German thriller that showcases the dangers of international hacking in a very realistic and highly gripping way. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

The Story

The Location

Benjamin (Tom Schilling) is a socially awkward loner. But due to spending a great deal of time in front of the computer, he has become a brilliant hacker. When he meets the self-confident, uber-cool Max (Elyas M’Barek), who introduces the shy Benjamin to a gang of professional hackers (including Wotan Wilke Möhring), his life takes an unexpected turn.

Most scenes were filmed in Germany’s capital Berlin and the city of Rostock in north-eastern Germany. Another location is The Hague in the Netherlands, where Europol’s headquarters are located. Benjamin and his hacker friends travel here in an attempt to cover up their tracks.

Eager to impress his new friends and the girl of his dreams, Benjamin overcomes his initial scepticism and becomes fully committed to high-profile hacking. But when the group is aiming for the really ‘big fish’, such as Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, the BND, Benjamin’s life spirals dangerously out of control. Suddenly, he is confronted with murder… 24  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

The Final Verdict The film is actually less violent than the trailer suggests, but very dynamic with many unexpected turns and twists. I liked the fact that you can really feel the adrenaline the characters are feeling just by watching them on screen. The film is very realistic too as hacking is a realistic danger that could happen to anyone, any day. Just like the American thriller

Nerve (2016) or the Matthias Schweighöfer’s Amazon series You Are Wanted (2017), Who am I shows that the greatest danger associated with modern hacking is about manipulating other people.“Hacking is like magic. They’re both about deceiving people,” says Benjamin in the film. Overall, a fast-paced psycho ride with a surprising twist at the end! **** 4 out of 5 stars Who am I is now available for instant streaming on Amazon Prime UK as well as on DVD and Blu-Ray with English subtitles. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Irani is a (tourism) marketing translator, travel journalist and ex London expat now living back in Germany. Her second home is the cinema. If you don’t find her there, she is probably travelling the world in order to trace her favourite film settings. On her blog she shares her best tips for film-inspired travel on a budget.

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Top German Museum

Portrait of Empress Julia Domna, around 200 AD, wife of Septimius Severus, marble, Inv. Gl 354. © Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München

Portrait bust of Emperor Augustus (63 BC - 14 AD), marble, Inv. 317. © Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München

Portrait of Miltiades (presumed), a Greek commander from Athens. Roman copy, around 490 BC, marble, Inv. Gl 172. © Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München


Greek and Roman antiquity in Munich What started in the 16th century as the private collection of Bavarian dukes and kings, today is a hotspot for lovers of ancient art.

outstanding exhibition of marble portraits from times long gone.


The Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, which have been famous for their extraordinary and culturally enlightening exhibits for a long time, have added a new highlight to their programme. The temporary exhibition Charakterköpfe − Portraits of Greeks and Romans invites visitors to encounter ancient poets and philosophers, generals and statesmen, rulers and their wives up close. “The exhibition consists of realistic and outstanding ancient marble portraits of famous men and women. These portraits give our visitors the unique chance to encounter antiquity on a more personal, intimate level, which enables them to directly engage with a real person that lived

hundreds of years ago,” Dr. Florian Knauß, director of these collections briefly elucidates the general idea of the temporary exhibition. “In addition to our own extensive collection of outstanding ancient marble portraits, the exhibition consists of a number of exhibits on loan from major archaeological as well as private collections. These artefacts make up for a highly interesting blend of lifelike marble treasures that is certain to captivate our visitors,”Knauß underlines. The temporary collection opened its doors on 12 July and the portraits are on view until 14 January 2018 - plenty of time left to visit Munich and to pay a visit to this

Portrait of the Egyptian Queen Berenice II (around 272-221 BC), marble, Inv. Gl 543. © Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  25

Your Shortcut to Germany Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg bo org g


G enburg Goth

Aarh A rhu us us

Billund Manchester

London City







S na c ks

Me al s

Dr inks

Pap ers



Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Top Swiss Museum

The so-called Christophorus hall in the upper level of the church.

Guesthouse by night.

Soglio by Nigel Hall, 1994, corten steel.


Sculpture at Schoenthal:

Where history meets contemporary art Hidden in the idyllic Jura Hills, Monastery Schoenthal has turned into a magic setting for art exhibitions. The former Benedictine cloister is a place of cultural encounters attracting international artists and art lovers alike. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: HEINER GRIEDER

The very first mention of Swiss Monastery Schoenthal can be dated back to 1145 and one of Switzerland’s oldest Romanesque churches is part of it. In 2000, the site was renovated and turned into the art foundation Sculpture at Schoenthal by private investor John Schmid. Today the listed monastery complex, which spreads over 100 hectares of land, is home to various art collections. It is a place of tranquillity and inspiration.

nated locations of woods and meadows surrounding Monastery Schoenthal. They give the whole area a somewhat enchanted atmosphere and promote the dialogue between nature and art. As more sculptures are added over the years, the park is a true work in progress. But the former monastery is not only for the quiet art fan, it is also a great destination for families, as Schmid mentions: “An additional attraction is the organic farm with all its animals.”

Schmid, who is also the foundation’s president tells us more: “Until 5 November 2017, visitors can explore an exhibition of sculptures by Hans Josephsohn in the courtyard and the church. The so-called Kunststall (art stables) currently hosts artworks by Peter Kamm. Our sculpture park with over 30 international artworks along paths and trails is a very unique attraction not to be missed.”

Monastery Schoenthal also opens its doors to overnight guests. The traditional guesthouse invites groups and individuals to stay and recharge in this beautiful environment. The rooms of the former cloister can also be booked for seminars. Hearty local cuisine can be provided either by the surrounding farms or through catering services and the staff at Monastery Schoenthal are happy to assist.

The sculptures by Swiss and international artists are site-specific for their desig-

It goes without saying that this is a place where the soul can relax and creativity

flows naturally. “It is this inspiring overall project Monastery Schoenthal has become, which touches our visitors and makes them happy,” says Schmid. “The Jura landscape with its biodiversity awakens your senses and opens your eyes for the treasures nature holds. At Schoenthal you can gather new strength.” Visit this empowering place near Basel where humans, nature and art work hand in hand. Opening times and more info can be found at the following website. YP1 by Hamish Black, 1998, brass.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  27

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Best Art Galleries in Austria

Claude Monet, The Water Lily Pond, 1917-1919. Photo: © The Albertina Museum, Vienna. The Batliner Collection


A vibrant art scene Commonly associated with the Alps, Arnold Schwarzenegger and its classical music, Austria is also surprisingly rich in inspiring art galleries for contemporary, fine and classic art, young artists, photography and much more. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Leopold Museum, Wien. Photo: © Julia Spicker

28  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Best Art Galleries in Austria

Still Life with Tortoise by Anton Kolig, Leopold Museum, Vienna. Photo: © Bildrecht, Wien, 2016

Exhibition insights, Albertina in Vienna. © Albertina, Vienna, Photo: Rupert Steiner

View of Haegue Yang’s VIP’s Union at Kunsthaus Graz. Photo: © Universalmuseum Joanneum/N. Lackner

Jeanne and Donald Kahn Galleries at Albertina in Vienna. Photo: © Albertina, Vienna

Art always has been of great significance in Austria’s cultural scene. In fact, before the Austrian Empire at the beginning of the 19th century, Austrian art was closely associated to Swiss and German art. But connections to Spain, Italy, as well as to the Slavonic and the Danube countries also significantly coined Austrian culture and its art scene because foreign influences merged. An example for this would be ‘Austrian baroque’ (the representational style of Habsburg emperors) or also the fusion of Italian high baroque with French Classicism with influence on the German architecture. Today, Austria is still coined by an impressive art history but the country’s contem-

porary art scene is thriving, has become increasingly important and offers some of the world’s most important and stunning collections. In Vienna alone, you can choose between approximately 100 different museums. In Salzburg, Graz or Linz you can, of course, also find an abundance of great museums and galleries. However, the rest of Austria is not left behind and inspiring art galleries and enchanting cultural offerings can be found on almost every corner. To show you what exactly the country of Austria has to offer in this respect, we have handpicked some great galleries on the following pages. Get inspired!

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS: - Anton Kolig (22 September – 8 January 2018), Leopold Museum in Vienna: Kolig is one of Austria’s most eminent painters of the 20th century and the exhibition will showcase his dynamic figural painting. - Monet to Picasso: The Batliner Collection (ongoing), Albertina in Vienna: this permanent exhibition is one of Europe’s most important compilations of Modernist art with works by Monet, Degas and Picasso. - Haegue Yang: VIP’s Union (until 2 April 2018), Kunsthaus Graz: An exceptional collective portrait of the Kunsthaus that examines the emotional power of materials.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  29

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Best Art Galleries in Austria

Left: Gallery spaces in Vienna.

Beck & Eggeling

Right: Heinz Mack, Dynamische Struktur, 1957 – 1958. Bottom: Michael Beck, Katharina Husslein and Dr. Ute Eggeling (from left to right). Photo: © Christian Wind

Where customers become friends Since opening a branch in Vienna’s Margaretenstrasse 5, the fine art gallery Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art has established itself as a fixed component of Austria’s art scene. One of the few galleries that exhibit and trade with top-class works of expressionism and classical modern art in Austria, a visit to Beck & Eggeling is anything but ordinary. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: BECK & EGGELING INTERNATIONAL FINE ART

Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art has been providing a diverse contribution to cultural life for over 20 years. Founded in 1994 in Leipzig, it soon opened branches in Rottach-Egern, New York and Düsseldorf. In 2016, a branch in Vienna followed which is now dedicated to the international art trade, as well as to providing their clients with an exciting cultural environment and in-depth customer care. Katharina Husslein, manager of the Vienna branch, smiles: “Through our branch in Vienna we can react better to the different demands of our customers and offer them an ever livelier and more attractive offering. Strangely enough, you can find very few galleries in Austria that actively trade with top-class works of expressionism and classic modernism. Thus, we significantly complement this offering with paintings from Renoir, Nolde or Picasso.” Impressionism, post30  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

war art with an exclusive representation of Heinz Mack’s ZERO oeuvre and international contemporary art round off Beck & Eggeling’s exceptional programme. This shows that Beck & Eggeling is anything but a conventional programme gallery. With their personal, yet serious, working style, customers become friends of the gallery very quickly. Beck & Eggeling further has its own art book publishing house that issues publications with texts by notable art historians and critics that accompany Beck & Eggeling’s diverse exhibitions. Last but not least, with its ambitious and varied approach, the gallery participates at around nine renowned, international art fairs throughout the year and supports and supervises different private collections, as well as the Fondazione Braglia in Lugano.

If this sounds interesting, be sure not to miss Beck & Eggeling’s impressive travelling exhibition Heinz Mack: The Sky Over Nine Columns in cooperation with the Ralph Dommermuth foundation. Stopping in St. Moritz, Valencia, Istanbul, Venice and more international locations during the coming years, the public exhibition describes an installation of nine columns measuring more than seven metres in height. The golden, mosaic-embellished columns were designed by Heinz Mack, who envisioned an intercultural dialogue of Orient and Occident.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Best Art Galleries in Austria

Top left: Exhibition space in the new premises in the Pema2 tower.

Young talents wanted

Left: Me, my Selfie and I – Why? by Micha Wille. Photo: © Stadt Innsbruck Right: The Pema2 tower – exterior view of the new premises. Bottom: «Oh! le beau point de vue!»* exhibition of works by Simona Obholzer. Photo: Simona Obholzer, © Bildrecht Wien, 2017

Young and aspiring artists may sometimes find it difficult to introduce themselves and their works to a wider audience. Galerie im Andechshof in Innsbruck provides the stage for their first steps in the limelight. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  |  PHOTOS: LAAC

What started as a small platform for young Tyrolean artists in 1991 has become a fixed constant that helps budding artists to liaise with a wider audience, prepare for more comprehensive, possibly award-winning performances and, last but not least, to forge valuable bonds with the Tyrolean artistic scene. “Galerie im Andechshof is particularly looking to promote artists at the beginning of their career and to act as a stepping stone for their future success. In that, our concept is singular as it is the only gallery in Innsbruck and even Tyrol that actively supports and promotes upcoming new artists. We are very proud that the stage we provide for our artists in the past has become a foundation for award-wining performances by, for example, Micha Wille, whose work I´m so afraid of a PAUSE: applause, applause was bought by the state

of Tyrol within the context of the prestigious Austrian Graphic Award,” elucidates Natalie Pedevilla, head of the Galerie im Andechshof. The works exhibited in Galerie im Andechshof fascinate an audience curious of the art of tomorrow. “None of the young artists exhibited in our gallery are established on the market - they very often are still in search for their own distinct manner of expression. This kind of ‘unfinished’, raw attitude makes our exhibitions so special,” Pedevilla further explains the gallery’s concept.

even closer cross-institutional bonds with other cultural organisations - which, ultimately, will permit us to present a much wider, more comprehensive cultural programme than we are able to offer now,” Pedevilla is pleased to announce. Before the move, however, the Galerie im Andechshof has a couple of exciting surprises in store: At the beginning of November, the gallery will be part of the great annual art event ‘Premierentage’ (Days of Premiers) in Innsbruck; the last event on the old premises is going to be an exhibition of the art acquisitions of the city of Innsbruck in 2017 - a promising programme that you should make sure to see.

2018 is going to be special for this innovative hotspot of modern, contemporary art. “Next year we, together with the public library from Innsbruck, are going to move to a new and joint address,” says Pedevilla. “This new location will enable us to forge Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  31

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Best Art Galleries in Austria

Gallerist Cem Angeli (right) with painter Ahmet Oran (left).

Sculptures by Aron Demetz.

A new space for Europe’s multifaceted, contemporary art Discovering new art and exciting artists is always a challenge and a joy for art lovers and collectors. C.A. Contemporary is a new gallery in the heart of Vienna, focusing on contemporary art by outstanding European artists. Building bridges between different cultures and art forms is as important for the gallery, as is introducing new artists to the Austrian market and public. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: C.A. CONTEMPORARY

The gallery C.A. Contemporary, founded about one and a half years ago, is still somewhat of an insider tip. “The gallery is situated in an old ‘Gründerzeit’ house in the historic centre of Vienna,” says gallerist Cem Angeli. “Dedicated to international and contemporary paintings and sculptures, the gallery has so far organised various exhibitions and took part in art fairs.” At the end of September 2017, C.A. Contemporary for example is involved in an art fair at the Neue Burg Perchtoldsdorf (www. C.A. Contemporary intends to create connections between artists, collectors and cultural institutions and to introduce artists of international format to the Austrian art scene. 32  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

C.A. Contemporary itself might be small, but it has an international approach: the gallery works together with renowned European artists like Ahmet Oran, the Turkish-born painter, whose 60th birthday this year has been celebrated with retrospectives in various countries. Oran has been exhibiting his work for more than 30 years now, creating paintings as pulsating bodies of colour where different, skin-like layers become visible. The artist seems to be in a quiet dialogue with oil paint as his main medium, where mishaps and fissures become part of the painting’s organic substance. Looking at Ahmet Oran’s work moves the spectator into a meditative sphere.

Like Vienna has always been a city that bridges different cultural contexts, C.A. Contemporary exhibits various other European artists like the German rebel and shooting star Florian Süssmayr, or the legendary French painter Mireille Binoux who died in 2014 and colourful still lifes and landscapes remind of Cézanne. The Paris-based abstract-figurative painter and poet KOMET also recently exhibited at C.A. Contemporary. He is one of the best-known contemporary Turkish artists of his generation. His work is rather complex and multi-layered: KOMET explore the possibilities of language, he delves into the history of collective imagery and his performances reflect on power. The above-mentioned Florian Süssmayr in comparison is inspired by the less picturesque sides of his home town Munich: scribbled messages in public toilets, overflowing ashtrays in a bar, empty night clubs and crumbling façades. Süssmayr’s

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Best Art Galleries in Austria

figurative and strong pictures in grey, black and white put the less beautiful scenes of daily life into the spotlight, but at the same time they leave space for the spectator to fill with his own imagination. Florian Süssmayr is a rebel in every way: The former punk musician has been a fixture in the German and New York art scene since the 1990s, but has also exhibited in Japan, Switzerland and Spain. Only recently, Kunsthalle Darmstadt dedicated a solo exhibition to him. Another artist exhibiting here is Eduard Angeli. Born in Vienna, he has been living and working in Venice in recent years. This year the Albertina in Vienna featured him with a comprehensive retrospective of his work. Angeli’s current paintings are structured either through complementary or contrary concepts. What clearly speaks from his work is the idea of light, a transcending factor illuminating the canvas and directing the eye. Contrasted with shadows as immaterial traces of physical bodies, light again depicts the essence of his paintings: Contrast and complement. Eduard Angeli’s paintings are intimate, with large formats that draw viewers into a visual space. By their emptiness, his images create a sense of space and calmness. His landscapes are full of illusions questioning reality. Angeli not only plays with our senses, he explores perception and paints the world as if it was a theatre scene that can be revisited when contemplating the painting.

standing of raw materials, Aron Demetz is at the core of the contemporary art scene, even though some art critics regard him as a transgressive maverick impossible to pigeonhole. His exhibition promises to be a fascinating insight into the creative world of an investigator of the human form. ADDRESS: Piaristengasse 36 1080 Vienna, Austria

Eduard Angeli.

Aron Demetz and Eduard Angeli.

Triptych by Ahmet Oran.

In September 2017, C.A. Contemporary will show the newest work of the Italian sculptor Aron Demetz, in this case focusing on smaller formats. Demetz mainly works with wood. Disrupting the traditional division between original and image, his work is a living process of interactions. Everyone who has ever worked with wood understands its embedded structure, so Demetz lets nature and form determine the outcome. Demetz uses trees in their diverse forms as sources of inspiration; he never overworks the wood – which gives spectators a feeling for the vulnerability of his material and figures. Another important factor is how the wood is treated afterwards, in this case carbonisation and resinification. With his work and underIssue 54  |  September 2017  |  33

34  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Birte Glang

Birte Glang

Many things in one Birte Glang is many things in one: actor, brand ambassador, successful model and also a trained lawyer. Starting off her acting career in Germany’s famous daily drama Unter uns on RTL, Birte went on to star in several cinema and TV productions and became the face of many high-end advertising campaigns for the likes of Audi Quattro or Pierre Cardin. Discover Germany talks to Birte about her beginnings as an actor, about why she fell in love with Los Angeles and more.

What else is planned for this or next year? What can we look forward to?


Is acting your dream job? Or were there ever other careers that you wanted to pursue? B. Glang: Acting is definitely my downright passion. When I film, I refuel. However long and exhausting a day of shooting might be sometimes, being able to take on different roles and feelings simply gives me so much. How did you actually get into acting? B. Glang: I already wanted to become a clown at the young age of six. In my teenage years, I staged and played in theatre plays. During my law studies, I then booked TV commercials and somehow that was always especially fun for me. At that stage, a director emboldened me and said that I should simply give acting a try sometime. Thereupon, I took professional classes. You also work as a successful model for the likes of Dior or Samsung. What’s the great thing about modelling? B. Glang: The travels and the people that you meet along the way. Apart from that,

as an actress, I also have the chance to play international roles there. Action roles are quite rare in Germany and, besides comedy, I especially get casted for action roles in the USA.

I remain rather sceptical about modelling and prefer acting to mere posing. Which one would you give up if you had to decide between acting or modelling? B. Glang: Well, that goes hand in hand. To be honest, I quickly had to reduce modelling because of acting. Today, I primarily model as a spokeswoman or a brand’s marketing face. Previously I was able to see it more as the occasional ‘small pocket money’ and was allowed to promote competitor products. Today, more and more people know my name and I would be resented for that. You live in Berlin and partly in Los Angeles. What pushed you towards the USA and what’s so special about Berlin? Could you ever imagine moving away from there? B. Glang: Well, I come from the Ruhr district and grew up in down-to-earth surroundings. This down-to-earth attitude also exists in Berlin, but at the same time it also has an international atmosphere and offers so many different things. Los Angeles has become my second home because,

B. Glang: I’m facing my biggest adventure: I just recently made my pregnancy official. From June onwards, we have filmed and will film 36 fitness workouts - each 30 minutes long for my #MoveItMama fitness programme. Fitness workouts for the different stages of pregnancy, as well as the post-pregnancy recovery and in 2018, sport with a child. All of this in beautiful places in California. I have been asked several times before whether I wanted to film some fitness videos but I never saw a unique selling point. Now it’s different; there are no programmes that actually accompany the pregnant woman throughout the entire nine months. From cardio and full-body workout to stretching and pelvic floor exercises as preparation for giving birth. I really look forward to this project, it is also the first large shooting during which I bear responsibility as producer. What other wishes and dreams do you have? Does the one dream role exist for you? B. Glang: In Germany, I’d like to play the female, cheeky Schimanski from the Ruhr district: action and, hidden beyond, much heart. Internationally, we’re just in talks for a new Netflix series. Fingers crossed! Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  35


Hotel Miramar

Your personal box seat by the sea Situated in Westerland on Sylt, the five-star grand Hotel Miramar impresses with exceptional culinary delights, a cosy ambiance in its luxurious rooms and suites, as well as with unparalleled panoramic views of the ocean. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: HOTEL MIRAMAR

With great attention to detail, family Kreis, who owns and manages Hotel Miramar in the fifth generation, has created a unique symbiosis: the hotel’s longstanding tradition that can still vividly be experienced is combined with today’s high comfort standards that go hand in hand with a tasteful and stylistically confident interior. This exceptional mix creates an atmosphere that modern hotels can rarely offer.

can visitors enjoy breath-taking views across the ocean from almost all rooms and suites, but unobstructed vistas of the sea can also be savoured in the pool or on the gorgeous terrace. Thanks to the hotel’s central location on the Friedrichstraße in Westerland, the beach is only a few metres away from the hotel – and so is the city centre for great shopping and strolling opportunities.

Ocean views and highlights on end

Of course, the hotel’s service is geared towards the guests’ high demands. This means that besides offering the usual fa-

Hotel Miramar’s unique location on Sylt is still something rather special. Not only 36  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

cilities of a five-star hotel, such as wellness offerings and an exceptional restaurant that is also open to non-hotel guests, Hotel Miramar also impresses with various other extras. For example, night owls can have breakfast until 9.30pm (this only applies for guests) and – as a reminiscence to the culture of long-gone times – guests can get cosy at the bar round the clock. No wonder that the bar has already become a cult classic on Sylt – here, not only hotel guests meet up, have a chat and relax. The rooms and suites all cater for relaxation and the greatest comfort with luxurious, elegant and individual interiors. Elegant, warm colours, precious carpets and curtains, as well as antique furnishings reveal the beach hotel’s overall emphasis on

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany

style, warmth and harmony. The great attention to detail will make every guest feel at home immediately at Hotel Miramar. Culinary delights par excellence Breakfast with infinite ocean views, a tasty cocktail on the sun terrace, dinner with the sound of waves: Hotel Miramar offers a restaurant that is unique on Sylt. Here, not only romantics value the fantastic sunsets that you get for free while enjoying the kitchen’s classical dishes. Culinary highlights include the flambéed creations that are traditionally prepared directly at one’s table. In the finest, most elegant way, regional delicacies coalesce with international ingredients under the direction of the chef de cuisine, impressing even the most demanding foodies. For example, how about Miramar’s beef

tartare with crème fraiche, red onions, gherkins and roasted rye bread, followed by roasted scallops on truffled mash with white wine foam and fresh, black truffle? Sea food dishes like the wild salmon fillet with fresh spinach, Parisian potatoes and beurre blanc are especially popular. Last but not least, the highly experienced service personnel know exactly which wine perfectly harmonises with which dish. So, take a seat and experience Sylt from its most beautiful side – at any time of day, or night. Submerge in the hotel spa Sylt already offers great nature and healthy air that is good for one’s body, mind and soul. But for those that want more than that, Hotel Miramar poses as the perfect wellness temple. Here, one can relax and

seek extensive regeneration. Swim a few laps in the hotel pool and relax on one of the exquisite loungers. Why not visit the sauna landscape with the new biosauna? Or sign up for one of the hotel’s many wellness offerings, such as a yoga or meditation class, a nurturing honey-cream hand bath or one of the many massages like the hot stone or the hot chocolate massage. At Hotel Miramar, guests can experience what being on holiday really means. Whether for a shorter or a longer stay, here one can extensively relax and recharge their batteries to the fullest. After all, the five-star hotel offers everything that one might desire.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  37

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hostel Superbude

Superbude St. Pauli, lobby.

Superbude St. Pauli, Kitchenclub. Superbude St. Georg, lobby.

Hamburg for friends How about a trip to Germany’s northern metropolis this autumn or winter? At the Hostel Superbude’s two locations in St. Georg and St. Pauli, you can be sure to feel right at home. After all, ‘Bude’ means ‘flat’ in German so the hostels are designed like a ‘friend’s flat’. And friends are known for providing the best insider tips to their city…

bed or a spontaneous campfire on the beach shores of the river Elbe. At the Hostel Superbude, guests, employees and locals regularly come together and exchange ideas. This is truly inspiring – for everyone involved!”


“Most of us like to stay with friends when visiting a different city,”says marketing and PR manager Constance Perl. “Especially if your friends have a really cool flat.” Or ‘Superbude’as the Germans would say. “We want to be that friend’s home. A place that’s welcoming, honest, lively and personal.” As Constance explains, the two Superbude Hostels located in Hamburg’s trend districts St. Georg and St. Pauli are an invention of hotelier Kai Hollmann, who has previously founded the Hamburg design hotels Gastwerk Hotel. The George, the very first 25h No.1. Hostel Superbude, was added as an equally stylish but more budget-friendly alternative to Hollmann’s three to four-star design hotels.

However, the Superbude is much more than your average hostel. Offering double rooms, five to six-bed rooms as well as the option to book single beds, the award-winning design hostel also provides a hotel-style daily housekeeping service. Plus, the Superbude socialises with various Hamburg locals on a regular basis and thus guarantees a Hamburg city break ‘from the insider’s perspective’. “Travelling these days is all about authentic experiences,” explains Constance. “Many guests want to explore the backyards of big cities together with the locals. Our secret sightseeing tips from the locals take us to the quirkiest events and places in Hamburg – for example to an old track

Ready for a super stay in Hamburg? If you book direct via the website below and use the promo code ‘Discover’, you will receive a five-euro discount per room and per night.

Superbude St. Pauli, four-bed room.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  39

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  Oktoberfest for Beginners

Photo: © Freising /

Oktoberfest for beginners It is that time of the year again. Whilst the rest of Europe settles for autumn, Bavarians get ready for the biggest party of the year. Attracting millions of visitors, it is recommended to plan ahead and make the most of your trip to enjoy the quintessential German experience. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  |  PHOTOS: OKTOBERFEST.DE

First things first, why is it called Oktoberfest if it starts in September? The answer lies in history. The festival took place for the first time in October of 1810 to honour the wedding of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.From then on,the Oktoberfest became an annual event but was later moved to September because of the milder weather conditions. The festival is held at the Wiesn, which is short for Theresienwiese and this again comes from Princess Therese. It is only a short tram ride from Munich’s city cen40  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

tre and since there are almost no parking spaces on site, it is highly recommended to use public transport. The festival mainly happens in the famous beer tents. It is advised to book tables as the tents quickly become packed. Alternatively, visitors should turn up early to ensure they get seats. The festival starts at 10am during the week and 9am on the weekend. Guests often ask themselves which tent to choose from the 14 bigger ones. Many stories have been told about specific tents,

but unless you are a local or a celebrity it really does not matter too much. The principle is the same in each tent: Folk music, beer, hearty food and a cheerful atmosphere. So, wherever you can find a seat, make yourself at home. Every year, over seven million litres of beer flow from the barrels at Munich’s Wiesn and it really is the backbone of the festival. Only beer made at Munich breweries such as Paulaner, Löwenbräu, Spatan or Augustiner is being served here. Also called the Oktoberfest’s liquid gold, make sure you know how to order it properly. The one-litre glasses with cult status are locally called ‘Maß’, so all you need to say is ‘eine Maß, bitte’ or if you think it best to start small you can also order ‘eine Halbe’ for a half litre. There is a lighter option called ‘Radler’, which is beer mixed

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  Oktoberfest for Beginners

with lemonade. For those who do not love beer, there is also a wine tent but do not shout it from the rooftops if you do not like beer. It is true that the beer prices are increasing each year (this year prices are up to almost 11 euros per litre) and the Oktoberfest is generally not a cheap affair. But with the amount of beer per Maß, guests do not actually need that many. Be aware, the last round is at 10.30pm.

With all that beer, it is inevitable to get hungry at some point. If you ever dreamed of giant pretzels, this is your place. The German Bratwurst is of course a must as well as the Viennese favourite of half a roasted chicken, knuckles of pork or even ox roasted on a spit at the Ochsenbraterei. For the sweet tooth or just to compliment a pretty lady, there are plenty of colourful gingerbread hearts.

As lovely as a souvenir from the tent is, do not try and steal one of the beer steins. Security keeps a close eye on guests who try and take one home. Last year security guards managed to take back 145,000 steins from visitors attempting to steal them. If you want to bring a traditional beer mug home, there are plenty of souvenir shops where you can buy them whilst keeping your conscience clean.

The dress code is a no-brainer. If you want to blend in with the locals and make the most of this experience, you need to wear traditional Bavarian Lederhosn as a man or the Dirndl as a woman. The Dirndl also serves another purpose. If you wear the bow on the left side, it means you are single and flirting is encouraged. However, if a woman wears the bow on

the right side she is likely to be married or with someone. If you want to keep a low profile, you can of course also wear regular clothes. Many visitors do and it is just as accepted. As the Oktoberfest is also very family-friendly, there are many fairground attractions. They range from merry-go-rounds, haunted castles, the big Ferris Wheel (from where you can enjoy a great view of the mountains) and shooting galleries to thrilling rollercoasters. Tuesdays are family days until 7pm and all rides and performances cost less. All in all, the Oktoberfest is a truly unique experience and should be visited at least once so that you know what all the fuss is about. Who knows, you might just turn into a regular. Prost!

Photo: © BAYERN TOURISMUS Marketing GmbH

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  41


The DACH region’s innovators On the following pages, find out what Germany has to offer on the business front. PHOTOS: PIXABAY

42  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

Enabling Your Digital Digital Business Business SEVEN PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES AG AG (7P) (7P) provides provides innovative innovative IT services related related to to the the digitization digitization of of business business models. As a partner partner for for large large customers customers and and medium-sized companies, companies, 7P 7P focuses focuses on on the the telecommunication, telecommunication, automotive automotive and and energy energy as as well as travel, travel, transport transport and and logistics logistics sectors. sectors. Our vision is is aa sophisticated sophisticated mobility mobility strategy that that makes makes you you more more successful successful and competitive. competitive. We We work work on on itit day day by by day. day. SEVEN SEVEN PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLESAG AG Erna-Scheffler-StraĂ&#x;e Erna-Scheffler-StraĂ&#x;e 1a 1a II51103 51103Cologne Cologne Phone: Phone: +49 +49 221 221 92007-0 92007-0 II E-Mail:

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  xxxxxxx

Diverse teams.

Responsible global player Innovation and sustainability, successful global expansion and a deeply rooted sense for responsibility and social awareness are key characteristics of the Freudenberg technology group. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: FREUDENBERG

The global player looks back on more than 168 years of innovation. As a family-based enterprise, the general focus on material technology competence can be traced throughout its company history. Today, the Freudenberg Group is active in more than 30 markets and 60 countries, with a headcount of around 50,000 worldwide. It all started with a tannery in Weinheim, Germany, in 1849. The company almost immediately turned international by starting its trading partnership with the US during foundation year, still operating under the name of ‘Heintze & Freudenberg’. After developing patent leather, Freudenberg gained more international recognition by winning the Bronze Medal for 44  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

good leather at the 1851 Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations in London. When Carl Freudenberg took over sole ownership in 1874, a long-standing company tradition of social engagement began by introducing the first company health insurance policy years before any official government initiative. Ever since, the company has made it a goal to fund a large number of employee social assistance programmes as well as numerous external charities. Materials competence Freudenberg excels in materials competence. Right from its earliest days, the company became known for innovative

product developments, including the ‘Vileda’ line (with the first cleaning cloths dating back to 1948) as their renowned B2C product. Freudenberg introduced nonwovens using microfiber and polyester at a very early stage, as well as continuously developing leather-based products. Leather, instead of felt, was also integrated in the ‘Simmerring’, developed in 1932. The innovative sealing ring for machines paved the way for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. Shoe products were quickly followed by the first rubber seals and nonwovens, all within the period between the two world wars. After 1945, Freudenberg became a major contributor to the postwar economic boom. With its worldwide partnerships bringing mutual benefits from innovations, the company has pursued its decentralisation strategy ever since, offering an increasingly diverse range of products and technological inventions.

Discover Germany  |  Exclusive Business Profiles   |  Freudenberg

Today, the Group also supplies products for the medical sector as well as IT services, both for inhouse operations and as a service provider. Responsibility for society Freudenberg can look back on a long tradition of social engagement. To strengthen its corporate citizenship activities, the Group launched the e² international initiative in 2015 that aims to provide access to both education and work as well as encouraging environmental protection. Based on a catalogue of specific criteria, the e² programme supports existing initiatives with a total of 12 million euros in funds made available over a span of six years. Most recently, in response to current political and demographic changes, a model refugee initiative was started. For the past Product innovation.

year, an extended internship programme has enabled young refugees to discover potential future professions. As of September, a first group of selected candidates will start their training under the German dual education system. Once this programme shows positive results, it will be introduced at other German sites as well. Innovating Together Since the company was founded, Freudenberg has expanded its international presence in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. With 500 sites worldwide, Freudenberg acts as a decentralised company of entrepreneurs, organised in Business Groups that are responsible for their own operations. ‘Innovating Together’ is the company slogan of the global player, with a mission of constantly

expanding both product innovation and business activity. The Freudenberg Supervisory Board includes members of the Freudenberg family, while the Board of Management, responsible for strategic leadership, consists of three general partners. Entrepreneurial responsibility plays a key role at the company and the concept works well throughout the Freudenberg network of enterprises. As a UN Global Compact signatory with a policy of shared business responsibility and fruitful interaction between its Group members worldwide, Freudenberg sets an example for responsible global action in today’s international business landscape.

Freudenberg Medical – development partner for bariatric methods.

Worldwide partnerships.

Nonwovens development and production.

Innovating together.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  45

Discover Germany  |  Exclusive Business Profiles  |  Berliner Glas Group


Innovative optical solutions and systems made in Berlin The use of light-based technologies opens up many opportunities to find better, more sustainable solutions for numerous applications. Often enough, people are not aware how important these technologies are for everyone’s daily life. The Berliner Glas Group is a leading expert in this field and develops and produces optical key components and systems for very different business sectors and applications. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: BERLINER GLAS GROUP

From manufacturing microchips to communication through space, from medical technology to the fabrication of OLED displays: the Berliner Glas Group’s developments can be found in very different and exciting fields – maybe even in unexpected ones. Many technologies we use on a regular basis like smart phones or fitness trackers rely on microchips as key components. To build these, semiconductor production systems need chucks, precise structural components, reference mirrors and stage modules – components the Berliner Glas Group develops according to customer-specific requirements. Without technologies like these, the fast-moving digitalisation of businesses and private lives would be impossible. Berliner Glas with its headquarters in Berlin-Neukölln also delivers touch display 46  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

assemblies that function perfectly even in challenging surroundings. “In addition, we constantly advance medical technology. We for instance provide beam guiding systems and zoomable lenses for ophthalmology,” explains Iris Teichmann, responsible for marketing and communications at Berliner Glas Group. Ophthalmology is the technical term for all treatments of the eyeballs. But lenses and light are used in other medical contexts as well. Medical imaging, surgical procedures and even diagnoses rely upon the use of light and thus upon optical components, assemblies and systems. Light is also used to enhance the communication in space, allowing high-speed data transfer. There are currently six satellites in space that have optical components and systems from the Berliner Glas Group on board.

The Berliner Glas Group with its 1,200 employees has five production facilities in Germany, Switzerland and China. When the father of today’s owner Dr. Herbert Kubatz founded Berliner Glas in 1952 he could not foresee the direction the glass factory would take, nor the following success story. The company today provides international market leaders in light-using industries with innovative solutions – as preferred partner along the entire process chain: from concept to volume production. Knowing the drivers of success in different market segments, Berliner Glas Group accelerates the development of new products and helps bringing them to market maturity quickly – a clear advantage in competitive markets. Employee with a chuck.

Discover Germany  |  Exclusive Business Profiles  |

Freedom in motion


“Forget advertising. Branding is it!” Always on the move, love creative hash-tags and quirky terms. The image agency team feel proud to wear their heads as rockets – literally: the abbreviation KNDR stands for ‘KÖPFE+ RAKETEN’. Firing off free-spirited ideas, slogans and image campaigns at a frequent level, the team is fuelled by the world of communication.“Our team adore all media, love to create lifestyle and enjoy innovative design,” says co-founder Christoph Griethe. While revealing their passion for web design, videos and jingles, campaigns are also proof of versatile expertise and a love for detail. For Marcel Aue and Christoph Griethe, two high-flying marketing and branding managers with respective experience in the sports and leisure sector, a simple conversation over malt beers in 2013 quickly turned into mutual professional destiny. “It may sound crazy, but we decided to tell the truth rather than

relying on a bunch of anglicisms,” the founders explain. “We are literally the boys and girls next door who are doing what they are destined for.” The concept worked out: before long, big players such as Freixenet, Limitless, Simba Dickie and the German Franchise Association came knocking. Apart from pumping up outmoded corporate designs for the near future, want to increase their support of start-ups by providing compatible business plans, financial advice and, above all, a compelling vision. As co-founder Marcel Aue explains: “It’s pretty simple really: boosting your image is our success! So we better step on it and make our clients’ dreams come true.”

High-flying brand managers, ready for take-off. with Vanessa Meisinger, at the Freixenet Passion Week.

Discover Germany  |  Exclusive Business Profiles  |  TECHNIKdirekt TECHNIKdirekt shop.

TECHNIKdirekt’s product range.

Ordering technology directly online – fast, secure and with optimum customer service TECHNIKdirekt is one of the leading online stores selling up-to-date and highquality technology and brand products in Europe. The online retailer is part of the Duttenhofer group, a renowned retail company with headquarters in Würzburg. With more than 40,000 listed products, TECHNIKdirekt has a large assortment ranging from TV and Hi-Fi to photography, smartphones, interiors, computers, games or office supplies. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: TECHNIKDIREKT

“TECHNIKdirekt is a service provider focusing particularly on tech-savvy customers in their prime,” says Martin Saftenberger, head of sales. “We currently for example retail a high-quality drone by market leader DJI.”The DJI Mavic Pro, popular among customers, is a very lightweight camera drone that, when folded together, is no larger than a water bottle. With 4K video, a transmission range of seven kilometres and a speed of up to 64 kilometres per hour, the drone is a tool for people who intend a more professional approach to video production – without needing a whole team. Only one product out of many, but it illustrates TECHNIKdirekt’s focus on good-quality and unique products. 48  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

Direct and personal service is important for TECHNIKdirekt as customers can rely on a team of experts when shopping who advise them and answer their questions via phone, e-mail or chat. “Our product specialists help customers to find exactly what they are looking for and answer their questions concerning products very fast and competently,”says Martin Saftenberger.

payment options: direct payment, PayPal, Mastercard, Verified by VISA, American Express, 3-D Secure, advance payment or payment by cash on delivery – to give a few examples. A modern logistic centre allows TECHNIKdirekt to handle orders effectively: “Because we store all products in our own logistics centre and send them out from there, we can guarantee a very fast delivery,” explains Martin Saftenberger. This is an important factor, not only because people do not want to wait a long time for a new exciting product or tool, but also because people who ordered additional equipment might need it as soon as possible to continue working on their projects.

A special search tool makes it easier, comfortable and fast for people to find the right product, accessories and supplies for various devices. TECHNIKdirekt was rated ‘very good’ at Trusted Shops and idealo, not only because of the product range and quality, but also because of the various

The DJI Mavic Pro.



10 € G u:tDsGc20h17ein Gutscheincode 2.2017 Gültig bis 31.1 enkorbwer t Ab 100,- € War

TECHNIKdirekt | Zweigniederlassung der Duttenhofer GmbH & Co. KG | Alfred-Nobel-Straße 6 D-97080 Würzburg | E-Mail:

Discover Germany  |  Exclusive Business Profiles   |  voiXen GmbH

Dennis Schottler.

The wolf of call centre Obtrusive sales staff, bad service, lousy tricks – after years of fabricating plenty of nonsense on the phone, call centre service providers rate as ‘dingy companies’ in Germany. The image of ‘battery farms’ with hundreds of employees in a single room, reading the exact same conversation guidelines, does the rest: no one wants to be a call centre agent anymore. TEXT: VOIXEN GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: VOIXEN GMBH

Furthermore, German companies find it especially difficult to offer innovative services. Data protection has a special significance in Germany and employee organisations tenaciously resist any innovation. Amazon Web Service, Google, WhatsApp and so on are taboos in conservative, German companies. Digitalisation is more of an issue of fear, rather than a chance. At the same time, the telephone is classified as a communications channel of yesterday. Today, children communicate in an asynchronous way and across several channels simultaneously. Dennis Schottler, a 48-year-old entrepreneur from Berlin, has declared war on the demise of call centres. His theses are as follows: First of all, until 2025, call centre agents will not work on the pay level of har50  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

vesters or newspaper and pizza deliverers, but rather receive salaries that doctors or airbus pilots are currently used to. Furthermore, the dialogue from person to person will become the relevant service indicator and thus the most important distinguishing factor, or the competitive advantage, for companies. Last but not least, in the future, product and brand owners will apply to the call centre service providers as customers – and not the other way around. The key to professional customer dialogue on the phone is: quality. Dennis Schottler summarises the base for this in his PEPEPvision: “Patience, empathy, passion, commitment, poise – people that have ‘PEPEP’ will be indispensable in customer service and support in the future. Those who bring these strengths to the job, while enjoying

working on the phone, will belong to the decision-makers and significant decision influencers in the companies.” For this, Dennis Schottler currently searches the best call centre service providers, agents, and especially customers who appreciate great service on the phone and who have the courage to rebel against entrenched, old-school service patterns. Customer service ‘Made in Germany’ shall become more than a slogan in the future: a brand that is trusted throughout the world and that sets the standards.


All eyes on financial technology The Fintech (financial technology) industry is booming. Thus, we have handpicked some of the DACH region’s most innovative players in this respective field on the following pages. Find out more about new and innovative technologies used and applied in this rapidly growing financial services sector. PHOTOS: PIXABAY

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  51

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fintech

Easily give varying tips. Photo: ©

Maurice (left) and Werner Franzl (right). Photo: © Julia Langhof

Mobile payment goes Oktoberfest At this year’s Oktoberfest, mobile payment will be available for the first time. This means that beer, funfair rides or sausages can simply be paid for on one’s mobile phone with MEINFEST. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Mobile cashless payment has been well established for a while and empty wallets are a thing of the past. Thus, MEINFEST, a partner from the city of Munich and Munich’s Stadtsparkasse, also wanted the Oktoberfest to keep up with the times. This year, the folk festival’s many showmen, merchants and restaurateurs will be able to use mobile payment for the first time. “With MEINFEST, we seek to make Germany’s folk festivals even more entertaining,” smiles Werner Franzl, MEINFEST GmbH’s managing director who founded MEINFEST with his son Maurice in 2015. With two generations of Oktoberfest experience as a shooting gallery operator, it seems to be in the Franzl family to know the importance of customer loyalty and adapting tradition to the future. Werner Franzl explains: “The main problem at folk festivals is that people often run out of cash. Additionally, backpacks and bags simply disturb a visit to the beer tent or rollercoaster.” That is how the idea for 52  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

MEINFEST came about. Maurice says:“We want to enthuse younger people about our family’s folk festival tradition. We grew up with the Oktoberfest and simply love its atmosphere. With MEINFEST, it becomes an even better experience for everyone.” How does it work? MEINFEST organises mobile payments in beer tents, on the carousel or at the sausage stand – everywhere where quick, simple and safe payment options are needed. MEINFEST is also deviceindependent and integrates cash-back and loyalty programmes. Thus, through linking loyalty and discount cards, customers can save, collect and orient themselves, while receiving push notifications of promotions or special campaigns from their favourite rides or stalls. Through this, merchants can turn more visitors into clients and ultimately into long-term fans. The technology behind MEINFEST’s mobile payment system is from the region-

al mobile payment provider Blue Code, which is said to be the fastest, safest and easiest payment option on the European market. When a user wants to pay something with the mobile phone, the wished amount gets directly debited from the user’s bank account in real time - just like a normal card payment. Thereby, the payment process is anonymous and no personal data gets communicated. MEINFEST, the official Oktoberfest payment experience, is perfect for Munich’s Oktoberfest, Christmas markets, music or street festivals, fairs and general events. Simply download the Blue Code app and enjoy the Oktoberfest with MEINFEST. If you are a trader, find more information on the following website. Foolproof payment. Photo: ©

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fintech

Digital banking

– Made in Germany

Ginmon team portrait.

Dating back to Roman times, Frankfurt has always been a centre for trade. With banking pioneers such as Johann Philipp Bethmann, Benjamin Metzler and Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Frankfurt became one of the leading banking destinations in Europe in the 18th century. Today, Frankfurt is not only the location of the stock exchange, many regulatory authorities and the European Central Bank (ECB), but also home to many financial institutions from all over the world. With their skyscrapers, they form the cityscape of ‘Bankfurt’. TEXT & PHOTOS: GINMON

Traditional financial services are being challenged by new-age Fintechs. They are the result of the ongoing digitalisation in the industry. Within, no other has caused more disruption than roboadvisors. They offer new solutions for private investors to reach their financial goals and are an alternative for private wealth management. Ginmon, a Frankfurt-based robo-advisor, was founded in 2014 by Lars Reiner, a former Deutsche Bank manager. Besides his interest in finance he always had a passion for technology. In his free time, he started to develop an algorithm that reflected the most-renowned theories in modern portfolio management. US portfolio sci-

entist Prof. Eugene Fama theory, called the three-factor model, was awarded with a Nobel prize. Instead of picking up single stocks or bonds for the portfolio, the mathematical algorithm is designed to diversify the portfolio over the worldwide capital market with ETFs. By adding smaller companies and those with a solid rating, a higher yield can be achieved. With an anticyclical investment approach, the portfolios are regularly adjusted to daily market movements. Ginmon therefore offers a service that could previously only be provided to very wealthy and institutional investors. Robo-advisors make capital market investments reliable and less stressful for

the investor. To make sure that the portfolios match the individual demands, customers can identify the optimal allocation with the help of an online questionnaire. Due to the high degree of automation, the investors gain a reliable portfolio management at very low costs. “We are using the most advanced scientific knowledge to improve the investment process,” explains Lars Reiner.“That is why we see Ginmon in the tradition of the early financial pioneers of Frankfurt, who already worked on innovations some 200 years ago.”

Lars Reiner.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  53

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fintech

The four pillars.

The Cointed code for success Paying and trading by Bitcoin as a decentralised banking and paying method gains more and more ground as banks and institutions struggle with safety issues and consumers get impatient in the face of growing processing times and service charges. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  |  PHOTOS: COINTED

Offering both crypto currency exchange and ‘Mining’ services for Cointed and their new business partner Crypto Unity has quickly become a winning combo. The enterprise is built on four pillars of successful service offers related to crypto currency. Cointed as of late even offer intelligent and individual Mining solutions. They have also developed their very own crypto currency ATM, of which around 40 are currently set up in Europe, as well as providing direct Online Exchange from day one. Last but not least, Cointed foster crypto trading acceptance for businesses with payment interfaces. Their method of accepting Bitcoins and transferring euros 54  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

to the operator account provides a business with yet another service offer for their customers, a unique selling point for Cointed. Their PayCo system is available as Plug-in, mobile App or HardwareTerminal. Combined with long years of expertise, Cointed stands as the only all-round service provider in the sector, generating a yearly revenue of around 30 million euros. With a current team of ten and offices in Kufstein and Vienna, Cointed is soon to expand to Berlin, Switzerland and Turkey. CEO Wolfgang Thaler explains: “At Cointed, many issues are tackled parallel

wise. New, safe jobs are created, customer capital is being increased, and we thus set the foundation for the blockchain technology to gain ground in both Austria and Europe. It makes us proud to count as pioneers in this sector.” Crypto enthusiasm as a driving force The enterprise was founded end of 2015 in Kufstein, Tyrol, by Wolfgang Thaler and Christopher Rieder. The young crypto enthusiasts had previously experienced how hard it was to access Bitcoins and decided to work on a way to make it easier. Together with the goal of making access to Bitcoins as easy as possible, the idea for Cointed was established and their foundation day was quickly followed by the first Online-Exchange. With a growing global interest in crypto currency by both business people and consumers, country borders will not play a role for the new global trading system. Along with customers gaining more and

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fintech

more trust in the phenomena, innovation and further development of pioneering products get fuelled at the Cointed enterprise. Apart from crypto trading and crypto ATM operation, Cointed also work on innovative solutions for blockchain payment systems (a transparent, decentralised and safer way of combining single transactions) and operate numerous ‘Mining’ farms at Austrian hydroelectric plants, based on the ‘Mine green and save the planet’ motto. Cross-currency mining Mining describes the process of generating Bitcoins through solving complex data. This process features a high energy consumption, which is why alternative ways to generate electricity are a central part of the innovative technology connected to crypto currency payment and trading. Here, the new Cointed partner Crypto Unity comes in. Together, they offer ‘Green Mining’ – the energy needed for mining efforts being generated from pure hydropower, thus presenting sustainable solutions for future-oriented growth. Mining is currently being offered for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash and Monero. Charli Aho (Crypto Unity) states: “While many other providers simply buy their currency from third parties or have them calculated by foreign cloud mining companies, we want to directly influence the generating pro-

cess. That is why generating sustainable energy from Austrian hydropower is of a particular concern for us.” Growing customer interest(s) Cointed customers cannot be pigeonholed - their list of customers shows a great variety from banker to software developer, from large-scale investor to housewife/stay-at-home dad. In fact, crypto currency is fascinating for anyone who takes a closer look and Cointed consistently strive to make the access easier yet safer for everyone, always with the aim to increase their customers’ capital. 500 especially designed two-way ATMs will be delivered until end of this year,

and a whopping 14,000 Cryptounity RX 180 - 180 MH/S and Cryptounity RX 250 - 240 MH/S- Miners are currently in production for future use at a Sweden-based Cointed Mining farm. In the future, Cointed plan to further expand and increase their revenue. For this reason, the ever-growing enterprise is constantly looking for new partners and locations for their crypto ATMs, for example at airports or train stations ( Become a member of the pioneering crowd and join the Cointed world at the following website.

Teamwork: Wolfgang Thaler, Christopher Rieder and Robert Velik (from left to right).

Wolfgang Thaler, co-founder and CEO. Photo: © Brosenbauer, Kufstein

‘One-Way-ATM’ maintenance (Chr. Gründler).

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  55

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fintech

Easy Car Pay for peace of mind Buying a car is a challenging task when the seller is unknown. The innovative app Easy Car Pay delivers exactly what it promises: it is simple to use and makes sure the seller only receives payment when the car is delivered.

vehicle is handed over, the buyer releases the payment. The money is then paid to the seller. It could not be simpler.


This means the payment does not involve any cash and it can be managed online with just a few clicks. If the price is lowered during the handover process, maybe due to some faulty bits, the excess amount is returned to the buyer’s account. For sellers, this transaction is hugely beneficial as it protects them from counterfeit. It also means they do not have to store large amounts of cash or rely on problems with bank transactions.

Thanks to the rise of the internet, buying a car is easier than ever before. But the involved risks are equally bigger. Often, we do not know the person selling their car and vice versa. This is where the Cologne-based company Easy Car Pay bridges the gap and functions as a trustworthy middleman. Nobody wants to drive around with large sums of cash, but transferring to a person you do not know is also unnerving. What if the seller did not disclose certain defects? What if the seller does not even exist? CEO of Easy Car Pay Jan Hardorp explains: “On top of that, due to the money 56  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

laundering act there are many new legal requirements for these transactions, making it even more challenging. The elimination of 500 euro notes has also made it more difficult. So there is a growing demand for a system that simplifies buying and selling cars.” Easy Car Pay, which can be accessed via app or PC, offers today’s safest and most comfortable car payment option. The steps are easy. The buyer or seller offers to use Easy Car Pay for the payment and both register. The buyer then deposits the payment into their Easy Car Pay account. As soon as the money is paid, Easy Car Pay will inform the seller and, when the

Why using Easy Car Pay brings peace of mind is really a no-brainer. Check out the app or their website to find out more on how to register.

Photo: © Pixabay

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

Focus on the future In this special theme, we find out more about Germany’s latest and most innovative energy and water technology solutions. Whether biogas, offshore wind power, combined heat and power plants or more – we have got it covered on the following pages.

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Wind turbines on Pellworm. Photo: © Kur- und Tourismusservice Pellworm

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  57

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

Offshore wind power:

Clean energy of the future

From left: Offshore wind farm North Sea. Photo: © Wolfhard Scheer Monopile installation Sandbank. Photo: © Vattenfall Jacket loading at Nordsee Ost. Photo: © Wolfhard Scheer Monopile installation at Merkur. Photo: © Wolfhard Scheer Equipped for the working day offshore. Photo: © Wolfhard Scheer Monopile installation at Merkur. Photo: © Wolfhard Scheer

Sustainable energy is vital in order to preserve our planet, not just for ourselves, but also for generations to come. Offshore wind power is an important element of this vision and ONP Management helps its clients to accomplish this by managing the successful realisation of their offshore wind projects.

involved in the development and installation of more than 4,500 megawatts of offshore wind power throughout their professional careers.


ONP’s concepts, from the first development phase to the realisation of a project, are meticulously fleshed out down to the smallest detail. All steps of the comprehensive process of building offshore wind farms can be managed by ONP team members and managing partner Gerd Kroll adds: “Thorough and precise planning ensures success and project certainty.”

We all know that commonly used resources are very limited. When it comes to energy supply, our society is looking for new solutions and offshore wind power has become a major player in this field. Wind is an inexhaustible source of energy that does not create dangerous waste and also produces no climate-damaging emissions.

mentally friendly energy form in the future. But where to start? This is where ONP Management comes in. They are the leading experts for offshore wind projects. ONP is committed to the highest technical standards and delivers top-quality technical advisory and consulting services to their clients.

Compared to onshore, offshore wind power plants benefit from higher wind speeds out at sea and generally more persistent wind. Offshore wind farms also create great artificial reefs and rest zones for sea animals.

Since the foundation of the company in 2014, ONP has supported a great number of clients and built an impressive portfolio of projects. Dipl.-Ing. Martin Rahtge, one of the four managing partners, explains:“Good project management requires a strong team, experience and determination.” Today, ONP has over 25 employees, who individually have been

All of the above is certainly more than enough reason to invest in this environ58  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

The company offers services for project development, approval and certification processes, due diligence, investor search, construction management and support during the operating phase. All aspects of offshore wind power projects are covered by ONP competence profile and working with virtual project models or simulations, their experts support the investors efficiently throughout.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

ONP managing partner Dr.-Ing. Stefan Woltering explains the importance of an in-depth examination of a potential site and its local given properties such as meteorological, soil and wave conditions. This assessment determines the general design of the wind farm, the pre-selection of the wind turbines, the type of foundation and the cable layout for connecting the offshore wind farm to the grid.

regulations inside out and is able to design projects so they fit the criteria with ease and hence allow for a short and successful approval and certification process.

“The early stages of development already pave the way for financial feasibility. ONP executes the planning and optimisation for the project owners,” Woltering expands. “We think out of the box and are able to conquer new territories with innovative solutions. Intelligent operating concepts save costs and increase the return on our customers’ investment.”

Another part of the successful implementation of an offshore wind project ONP has proven to handle well is bringing project developers and investors together. During the development cycle of an offshore wind farm, it is common for the ownership to change, partly or even entirely. “Our extensive network enables us to bring market participants together,” explains managing partner Dr.-Ing. Florenz Rogge. ONP performs due diligence services and supervises the evaluation process for owners, investors and outside creditors throughout the entire lifespan of the project.

Working within the legal framework is absolutely crucial in order to get the permits before construction can commence. Strict safety requirements have to be followed just as much as ensuring seafaring is not affected negatively. ONP knows these

ONP is the right partner for a wide variety of clients: From investors who already own a project or want to purchase one but lack the necessary know-how, to project developers who are looking for investors and ask ONP to drive their project forward.

Manufacturers and key product suppliers as well as logistic or construction companies can also equally benefit from ONP`s hands-on expertise and comprehensive knowledge. When founding the company in 2014, German offshore wind projects were dominant in ONP’s business plan, but international activities were always at the back of the minds of the management. Following this strategy, ONP is today also active in international projects and planning to expand the business beyond these first achievements. As mentioned at the beginning, climate change, renewable energies and the development of windfarms onshore and offshore is a worldwide trend and to be seen implemented in multiple government energy policies. ONP is able and willing to support this trend in a proactive way.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  59

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions HafenCity Hamburg. Photo: © HafenCity Hamburg GmbH/Michael Korol

Establishing local heat and energy supply with tailor-made contracting solutions enercity Contracting GmbH, based in Hannover, puts its main focus on customised contracting in the energy sector: no matter if planning and establishing an energy solution, constructing or the settlement of energy costs with owners and tenants. Since 1989, the company has been a pioneer in this field, convincing clients with innovative strategies and ideas, client-focused solutions and madeto-measure contracts. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  |  PHOTOS: © ENERCITY/JONAS GONELL

One of enercity Contracting’s recent and important projects was the local heating supply for the eastern HafenCity in Hamburg. The former harbour area with its 157 hectares in total is currently being redeveloped and, next to offices, living spaces for about 14,500 people are created. The masterplan had determined in 2000 that the HafenCity should be a milestone in transforming the area, not only to economic, social and cultural standards, but especially to mark a start into a new urban ecology. So, it was the core task for enercity Contracting to establish an environmentally and climate-friendly heat supply. What made this project so special for enercity Contracting was not only the sheer size: “From an energy supplier’s point of view, the urban development project had a very long development time, which also meant that there had been a 60  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

few changes in between,”says Dr. Manfred Schüle, chairman of the executive board, about the project. “What was needed was a high flexibility – for example, adapting the supply concept to embrace new technologies that might arise during this timespan. So we now use carbon dioxide-free waste heat, that was originally not included in our original concept.” The heat is an excess product from the Aurubis (Europe’s leading copper group) headquarters and plant in Hamburg. “Our main challenge is to tailor the optimum energy supply concept for our respective clients,” says Dr. Manfred Schüle about the company’s overall approach. This includes aspects like energy efficiency, sustainability, future-oriented technologies and of course economic efficiency. enercity Contracting GmbH is a subsidiary company of the Stadtwerke Hannover

AG, one of the largest municipal energy supply companies in Germany. “We are a medium-sized business with 80 dedicated employees that has established a decentralised and efficient energy supply in more than 100 cities and communities,” says Schüle. This covers energy, heating or cooling, including all services. Individual and flexible – that are key success factors enabling enercity Contracting to fulfil clients’ requirements effectively. Biomass, project Edemissen.

Storage in HafenCity.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions


Efficient and sustainable energy production EC POWER’s XRGI® is a combined heat and power plant (CHP) that works on the principle of cogeneration – the simultaneous production of electricity and heat. The innovative power plant makes an active contribution to environmental protection due to its high energy efficiency, sustainability and significant carbon footprint reductions. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: EC POWER

Founded in 1996, EC POWER has become the leading manufacturer of mini heat and power plants for decentralised supply of heat and power through cogeneration. “Our philosophy is to make cogeneration of heat and power both easy and economic,”explains Helmut Barsties, a representative for EC POWER. How it works While traditional power plants generate high amounts of waste heat, a combined heat and power plant makes use of the heat for space heating or domestic hot water. EC POWER’s XRGI® cogeneration plants produce power and heat at the

site of consumption and put up to 96 per cent of the primary energy into use in the building. Thus, XRGI® receives the top heating efficiency class of A+++. XRGI® plants run successfully across Europe. They come with electrical outputs of six, nine, 15 or 20 kWe and are modularly extensible to 80 kWe or more. In Germany alone, 7,000 XRGI®s continuously deliver power and heat to buildings such as schools, hotels, spas and multifamily housings. The EC POWER Academy in Berlin holds regular courses for plant installation, operation and maintenance ensuring that all EC POWER clients from

trade, industry, commerce, municipalities, housing industry and public utilities have the best mini-CHP solutions available. Why choose XRGI®? Substantial savings on the energy bill make XRGI® plants highly profitable and 20 patents testament EC POWER’s innovative strength and advantages such as high electrical and thermal efficiencies, long service intervals, very low noise levels, compactness, easy building integration and IT security for safeguarding critical infrastructure. Furthermore, hydraulic solutions developed with leading boiler manufacturers (for example, Buderus, Vaillant or Brötje) ensure smooth interaction of boiler and XRGI® plant. EC POWER’s XRGI® plants are a futureproof investment. Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  61

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

Photo: © Fotolia

Running smoothly:

REWITEC® ensures green motor energy Sometimes a small addition can make all the difference. This is certainly the case with the innovative technology of lubrication expert REWITEC®. Their nano and micro-particle-based lubricant additives positively and sustainably affect the service life, energy consumption, and safety of systems, machinery and gearboxes, and hence make a considerable contribution to protect the environment. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: REWITEC®

In the beginning, it all started with a firm conviction that environmental friendliness and economic efficiency can complement each other perfectly when dealing with systems, gearboxes and machinery. Founded in 2003, REWITEC® has set itself the task of promoting the longevity and energy efficiency of said devices. A small yet highly motivated team in Hesse’s Lahnau followed this notion with a great deal of pioneering spirit and started to research and develop innovative ideas. The basis of it all was a stone, which had been accidentally discovered during oil drilling. The workers discovered that the oil drilling tools lasted much longer 62  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

at that particular location than on other sites. Unfortunately, it was not possible to use the original raw material in an industrial context, as the smallest parts were abrasive. The pioneering REWITEC® successfully managed the scientifically substantiated synthetic manufacturing of it, which resulted in a patented product ready to be used industrially. With the synthetic production, REWITEC® developed a hightech nano product with scientifically proven and certified functionality. It is the only company of this area that successfully managed the complex manufacturing process.

Today the medium-sized technology enterprise delivers innovations for engine and gear units, which protects from abrasion, extends the service life, reduces maintenance work and hence creates saving potentials. REWITEC® attaches great importance to high-quality production made in Germany. For this reason, the entire research, development and production takes place at its headquarters in Lahnau. REWITEC® distributes its synthetic and mineral additives world-wide. Initially the lubricant additives were only intended for use in the wind farm industry, but it quickly turned out to be of advantage for a large number of different sectors. Meanwhile, the Central Hessian company also delivers to customers in the marine industry, the automotive sector and many more. High-quality standards “We believe it is very important to test our products repeatedly,” says CEO Stefan Bill. “Our product range reflects advanced sci-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

ence with its resulting logic conclusions and clear advantages for the user.” To develop the nano and micro-particle-based lubricant additives further, REWITEC® works closely with partners of the research sector such as the Competence Centre of Tribology in Mannheim and the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) also supports REWITEC®’s research.

dition. This brings better longevity, less fuel consumption and a reduction of dangerous emissions. The company remains true to its principles and is picking up speed with their special field REWITECAUTOMOTIVE and the brand ST.ONE. “Our products increase the lifespan of machinery, which cause fewer pollutants

as well as going easy on the environment and the natural resources. We are very glad to be able to contribute in this way,” says Bill. For further information, visit the following websites. www.

Efficient and safe The operating principle follows a clear logic: The additives are added to the aggregates and in this case function as a means of transportation. The silicon coating is taken to the strained metal surface. Through using the frictional energy, a chemical process is set in motion, which reduces roughness. The newly evolved protective layer has a lasting impact on longevity, energy consumption and the safety of installations, machinery and gearboxes. Awarded for excellency Due to REWITEC®’s commitment to innovative technologies and its reliable quality development, the company has been awarded a range of prestigious prizes. Amongst them is the Innovation prize of the German Economy 2007 and the HUSUM Wind Energy Award 2009. Last year, REWITEC® was a finalist for the Wind Energy Award 2016 in the category supplier of the year. Optimised for the automotive sector In order to continuously meet the growing demand of the multi-layered scope of applications in the future, REWITEC® has developed its new sector REWITECAUTOMOTIVE, which is further testimony to the company’s on-going optimisation and advanced development. Because as much as innovation, sustainability and quality are at the heart of REWITEC®, the company’s team is also focusing on optimal use.

CEO Stefan Bill, sales assistant Johanna Fliegenschmidt, sales office North employee Heiko Standke and technical support Mario Bingel (from left to right).

REWITEC® delivers with its brand ST.ONE, a tailor-made solution for customers, especially for the current tasks in the automotive sector. The various products turn engines and aggregates close to their original new conIssue 54  |  September 2017  |  63

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

SolarMax Competent service and innovative products

Top left: Made in Germany: SolarMax develops and produces its inverters and storage systems in the Bavarian Burgau Left: Innovative ideas and a lean structure: SolarMax group’s managing directors. Right: Quickest possible repair: the SolarMax service technicians are especially proud of their response times.

In 2015, SolarMax group emerged from the insolvent Sputnik Engineering AG and started its business operations with services for Sputnik’s former clients. Since 2016, the Burgau-based company has produced inverters for grid-tied solar power systems; this year, it brought its first power storage unit to the market. With the proven Sputnik quality and innovative ideas, the manufacturer successfully establised itself on the inverter and energy storage market. TEXT & PHOTOS: SOMA SOLAR HOLDING GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

In May, SolarMax introduced new inverters with nominal powers of 20 and 25 kilowatts for repowering* commercial solar systems. They complete SolarMax’s product portfolio that covers string inverters from 1.8 to 32 kilowatts for private and commercial use. For larger systems and megawatt power stations, SolarMax has central inverters with capacities ranging from 330 to 720 kilowatts on offer. Save operating and maintenance costs with repowering SolarMax developed the new products as an alternative to inverters with ten to 20-kilowatt capacities, which have been slowly disappearing from the market since 2010. Thus, hardly any replacement units or spare parts are available anymore. “If one or two old devices get replaced by our new developments, high operating and maintenance costs can be 64  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

saved,” explains Pierre Kraus, managing director of Germany’s SolarMax Sales and Service GmbH. … and maximise returns Furthermore, the modern SolarMax inverters have higher efficiencies, are equipped with extensive communication features and comprise integrated network and plant protection that maintains the phase voltage. Thanks to their two or four MPP-trackers, they deliver high returns even when construed in a complex manner - because the MPP-trackers (MPP stands for maximum power point) ensure that the solar generator constantly runs at its optimal operating point. In the smaller power range, SolarMax currently impresses with the repowering inverter SolarMax 5000P, which achieves just as much with 4.6 kilowatts as the inverters did that were favoured between 2004 and 2010.

Replace and repair For the SolarMax group, service including training and repair work is of utmost importance. Whether string or central inverter: the company is especially proud of its reaction times. SolarMax exchanges faulty string inverters within 24 hours. Broken central inverters that normally cannot be exchanged due to their size and weight get repaired within 48 hours. Through this, the SolarMax group succeeds in restoring business operations as quickly as possible and avoids loss of income. Storing solar power This summer, SolarMax introduced the modular complete system MaxStorage TP-S for the storage of solar power. In one housing, the system solution for private households combines a lithium-ions battery storage, an inverter with seven kilowatts of power and a self-learning energy management system that regulates the energy flow and adapts the demand to the availability. *Here, old inverters get replaced by new units.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

Vision becomes reality:

100 per cent electricity from wind and sun VSB has installed more than 450 wind turbines and solar facilities across Europe. As a result, around one million people can be supplied with green energy; and this number is growing. TEXT & PHOTOS: VSB HOLDING GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTOS: VSB HOLDING GMBH

Clean energy generation, climate protection, and divestment. Many people are convinced by sustainability, taking the direct approach to leaving a cleaner environment for the next generation. “What can we do to produce environment-friendly energy?” the VSB Group’s founders asked themselves 20 years ago. “Maybe wind farms.” Their Dresden planning office turned this idea into success. Since then, their projects and team of more than 200 engineers, regional planners and economists are internationally operational. They develop and build green infrastructure projects from 13 locations between Helsinki and Tunis – either inde-

pendently or as service for clients. Annually, this saves many thousands of tonnes of CO2. “Our clients are keen to invest safely and profitably in ventures that are good for

the climate. For them, we have ready-made solutions,” says Marko Lieske, VSB Holding GmbH’s managing director. Storage is necessary, if renewables are to replace conventional generation in the future. Energy experts are working on regional concepts to stabilise the grid and keep electricity available – even when the wind takes a break.

VSB plans and develops wind farms.

VSB wind farm in France.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

Making the turnaround happen The Fichtner Group is a strong engineering and consultancy partner for pioneering energy projects, both on a national and an international level. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Initiated by Germany in June 2011 and since then followed by several international agreements reached at meetings such as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), the global energy transition is well on its way. With infrastructural CO2 reduction as its core theme, post combustion technology is aimed at largely replacing fossil energy by the mid-century. In other words, technology-based methods using renewables such as photovoltaics, wind energy, hydropower and biomass are soon to replace resource-based energy systems that rely on dwindling fossil sources like coal, gas and oil. 66  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

As a renowned international consulting and engineering enterprise, the Fichtner Group aims at supporting this process by providing its combined technological expertise in all fields related to the energy sector: production and transport, distribution and storage, as well as economic usage. Fichtner offers process know-how, business model experience, system knowledge and, last but not least, IT tools to its clients. In short, Fichtner covers the entire value chain of the energy sector. Dr.-Ing. Albrecht Reuter, a Group company managing director, says: “In a world of radical change and growing

complexity, we offer a unique combination of services along the whole value chain, paired with independence. Our clients value the fact that as a familybased enterprise, we are not subject to major producers or lobbies of any kind.” Engineering and consulting success The Fichtner Group stands for engineering and consulting in the fields of energy, renewables and infrastructure. A global network of branch offices and associated companies provides the Group with the resources to work closely with its clients on complex and interdisciplinary projects. A global player that is present in 60 countries, Fichtner excels at country-specific expertise by working in cooperation with local partners. Its client list comprises most players in the energy sector. With a special focus on public supply and waste

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

disposal companies, Fichtner works with infrastructural providers from both the public and the private sectors such as energy suppliers, municipal utilities, network operators, industrial enterprises, and governmental authorities. Founded in 1922 by Martin Fichtner, the enterprise moved its head office to Stuttgart in 1947 and subsequently underwent a swift development from a regionally active engineering office to Germany’s leading independent engineering consultancy of international standing. Today, the Group, together with its subsidiary and associated companies, has about 1,500 employees worldwide. The Stuttgart-based head office employs a team of more than 500, consisting mainly of experienced engineers, economists and management consultants for a large variety of specialist fields. Fichtner offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary consulting service for both public and private clients

within the sectors of energy, environment, water and infrastructure. The combination of technical planning and consulting with classic management consulting services is not only unique but also allows the realisation of large-scale projects, tailor-made from a single source. Groundbreaking projects Fichtner IT Consulting GmbH – the IT specialist company in the Fichtner Group, recently started the ‘C/sells’ model project in Germany as the project’s leader. Together with more than 60 partners, the energy system of the future is being tested and demonstrated with the help of autonomous cells. 30 ‘Smart Grid’ model solutions with the capability of mass production are at present being developed in southern Germany. Fichtner is also acting as lead manager of the ‘SmartEnergyHub’ development. This smart data platform will be developed together with partners from industry and

science and is also supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. With the help of sensor data, both infrastructure operators and energy networks will be able to implement prognosis and market-based energy management. Stuttgart airport currently serves as an application example, where users can implement measures for energy saving, cost optimisation or CO2 reduction, and exchange energy flexibility with the ‘Stuttgart airport energy cell’. Fichtner looks forward to supporting the global energy turnaround on both a national and an international level with technical, economic and ecological know-how. Dr.-Ing. Albrecht Reuter says: “Our clients come from all energy sectors, and we are fully committed to supporting the energy revolution with our combined technical knowledge and comprehensive consulting expertise.” Main image: The energy transition is the process of changing our energy production from fossil sources like coal, gas and oil to a system based on renewables. Photo: © bunhill, iStock Top left: Fichtner also provides technical, economic and ecological know-how to support the energy transition on an international level. Photo: © Fichtner Bottom left: Fichtner offers process know-how, business model experience, system knowledge and corresponding IT tools to its clients to cover the entire value chain of the energy sector. Photo: © Marianne Mayer - 123RF, composing: Fichtner Bottom right: Clients value Fichtner’s independence as a family-based enterprise that has been active in the energy market for 95 years. Photo: © Fichtner

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  67

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

RBS wave manages your most valuable assets, your resources Managing resources successfully has never been more important than today. RBS wave, a leading expert for highly specialised engineering services and consulting, supports their clients when it comes to energy, water and infrastructure.

possible to also integrate already existing measurements into the monitoring process.” The system is a great way to keep water losses low with minimum effort.


RBS wave is a company stemming from the EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG and has continuously built its expertise for energy, water and infrastructure during the past decades. The team of over 130 employees delivers engineering services to local authorities, public utilities providers, municipal special-purpose associations and to the industrial sector. Erwin Kober, technical director of RBS wave, says:“Our integrated approach when developing public and industrial utility infrastructure, from consulting and strategic asset management to the planning and realisation of infrastructure projects through our engineering, creates great added value for our clients.” He explains further that the complexity the area naturally entails is reduced as RBS wave is a continuous consultant throughout entire projects. “At the same time, we support our clients to link their ecological and economic goals perfectly,” financial director Frank Tarnowski adds. A great example to highlight RBS wave’s expertise is their LeakControl system for water providers to monitor water loss. Using state-of-the-art ultrasound technology, LeakControl records the flow inside pipes. By monitoring the flow rate at hydraulically relevant points within the network, a leakage can be detected and is then allocated to a so-called ‘virtual zone’. The cloud software LeakFinder can narrow a leak’s location down through a mathematical analysis of forecast data with the actual measurements based on a hydraulic model. This reduces the area of a potential leak in the network substantially and hence also minimises efforts to find it. 68  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

Kober explains more features: “The control system of the LeakControl station processes the logged data and sends it to the server. Depending on the requirements, the data can be evaluated via an internet interface, the client’s own control system or with web server software. In addition, the system’s module-based structure makes it

With their innovative holistic approach, RBS wave is generally an excellent partner for companies that are ready for smart solutions to maintain resources efficiently, optimise their processes and use the latest technology to bring their businesses into the future.

Left: The cloud software LeakFinder. Right: Night analysis LeakControl. Bottom: LeakControl.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

JenaBatteries: The battery of the future We all know that we need to change some things if we want to preserve our planet. Unfortunately, the average stationary battery system is relying heavily on mining and refining in sensitive habitats and is anything but green. JenaBatteries creates revolutionary organic redox-flow-batteries based on metal-free energy storage materials, salt and water, which reduce the environmental impact and can be manufactured at a much lower cost. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: JENABATTERIES

JenaBatteries started as a spin-off of the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, supported by the State of Thuringia and co-funded by the European Union. In 2015, JenaBatteries and a university research team developed an optimised economically significant version of the original redox-flow-battery. Michael-Lothar Schmidt, business development director at JenaBatteries explains: “Our organic redox-flow-battery doesn’t use heavy metals or dangerous acids such as sulphuric acid. We are completely independent of globally rising commodity prices. Our battery is also non-flammable and non-explosive, which is very important for our customers whose primary concern is the operational safety.” Large-scale energy storage solutions usually rely on one or more metals, for example lithium, cobalt or vanadium,

which are economically and ecologically unsustainable for the world’s energy storage needs. JenaBatteries’ organic redox-flow-battery systems are based on metal-free storage materials that are produced in bulk already and require only common base chemicals as starting material. They are starting at a capacity of 40 kilowatt hours, but go up to several tens of megawatt hours. Power and capacity are scalable, independently of one another, which makes it possible to tailor the system to the customers’ needs. The battery’s lifespan is above 10,000 cycles and impresses with no self-discharge. The battery is also operable without active cooling between zero to 60 degrees, which again saves costs, especially in warmer countries. The organic redox-flow-batteries can be used in a wide range of sectors such as off-

grid applications, micro-grid solutions, island grids, storage of renewable energy, load shifting and peak shaving, emergency and uninterrupted power supply, for emobility charging solutions and many more. It should come as no surprise that JenaBatteries was awarded the ‘IQ Innovationspreis Mitteldeutschland 2015’ in the category ‘chemistry and polymers’. “Currently we are setting up a highly automated production site in Germany. In parallel, Michael-Lothar is forming his sales team and growing our network of project developers and technical partners,”explains managing director Dr. Olaf Conrad. “After a successful test phase in 2017 and 2018, we will manage our first large-scale projects in early 2019 and become the first choice for green energy storage solutions.” Schmidt adds: “We offer our customers a unique, future-proof and green sustainable battery. We are proud to significantly contribute to the energy transition and the efficient usage of renewable energy. ” Certainly a fantastic innovation everyone can get behind. Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  69

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Energy & Water Technology Solutions

Making the difference: Consultancy with a mission As Sustainable Society Consultants, Ramboll strive for inspiring and innovative solutions that make a genuine difference to clients, end-users, and society at large. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

From urbanisation to climate change through to resource scarcity, the world today faces far-reaching challenges that will affect all of us in the long run. Ramboll develops sustainable solutions by providing engineering, planning and management consulting with more than 13,000 experts worldwide. The holistic approach is part of the consultancy’s DNA: Founded in Denmark in 1945, the company soon combined multiple engineering disciplines. Already a market leader in the Nordics, the first German office was established in 2000 in Hamburg. With an increasing demand for sustainable and holistic solutions, Ramboll now employs 500 experts all over Germany – with a tendency to grow. Knowing about its strong point, Ramboll’s new “Winning Together” strategy will focus even more on the collaboration within the company. Especially in Germany and the US, Ramboll seeks further organic 70  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

and profound expansion. By sharing their long-term sustainable engineering expertise, the consultancy is about to capture the German market. Markus Diederich, new country director at Ramboll Germany, is responsible for pushing the strategy in Germany. With this personnel decision, German consultancy expertise has again been valued highly by the Danish group, after already having elected Jens-Peter Saul as Group CEO in 2012. From his years of expertise as managing director with Kienbaum Consultants International GmbH, Markus Diederich knows the German market and its future issues very well: “With our unique service portfolio, we help to find the right solutions for topical challenges like liveable cities, new mobility, and renewable energies.” Few consultancies address and pursue the topic of sustainable society development as consistently as Ramboll does. At Offenbach Harbour on the River Main,

Left: Holistic city development – Offenbach Harbour. Photo: © Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl Middle: Headquarters Ramboll Germany, Hamburg, Chilehaus. Photo: ©Ramboll Top right: Enabling sustainable mobility – Red Line Jerusalem. Photo: © Ramboll Right: Innovative energy solutions – Copenhill, Copenhagen. Photo: © Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) / Glessner Group / Amager Resource Center

an industrial peninsular is being converted into a new sustainable city district. Modifying the initial urban plan, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl has re-connected the public open spaces to their scenic context and designed liveable as well as ecologically enriching spaces which integrate stormwater management. Generously landscaped stairs by the harbour invite the public to contemplate its waters and multiple smaller green spaces spread across the peninsular create ‘Landscape windows’. These new green spaces also reconnect the district with the adjacent Offenbach Green Band and network of the regional RheinMain park. The project has prequalified for the prestigious DGNB Gold Award for a sustainable city district. While they design structures, plan infrastructure and provide consultancy, for Ramboll their work is not fitted around profiling and economic expansion per se. As Markus Diederich states: “For Ramboll, sustainable society development is not just a fashionable term. Rather, it forms the backbone for each and every project we do.”

THINK SUSTAINABLE (TO MAKE IT LIVEABLE) Growing while leaving an even smaller footprint.


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:

Photo: © Krischanz Zeiller


Ingenious ideas from the Alpine country Austria might not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking about tech innovations. But be prepared to rethink this fact as we have handpicked some of Austria’s most innovative companies to showcase their future-oriented approaches and ingenious products on the following pages. Get inspired! PHOTOS: AIT AUSTRIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY GMBH

Photo: © Jochen Russmann

AIT TECHbase, Vienna. Photo: © Johannes Zinner

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  73

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Tech Innovation Austria

Scubajet, a flexible water jet propulsion for water sports activities. Photo: © SCUBAJET

The revolution of water sports Established in 2016, the Austrian company Scubajet developed a multipurpose water jet propulsion that sets new standards in water sports. With this innovative tool, the company has experienced a rapid success story. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

If you want to enjoy water sports without overexerting yourself, you should get to know Scubajet. As a multipurpose water jet propulsion system that is also the smallest diver propulsion vehicle you can find on the market, Scubajet can be compared to an electric bike just for water sports: The versatile electric motor turns any aquatic equipment into fast, comfortable and reliable devices, no matter whether you go stand up paddling, diving, snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking, or boating. “Most of all, we wanted to maximise the fun and minimise the effort when using Scubajet,” says Sabrina Hanneman, co-founder and chief marketing officer (CMO) of Scubajet, the young company of the same name based in Klagenfurt, Austria. “As a result, it takes 74  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

some of the most popular water sports activities to the next level and gives you an extra buzz of excitement, both over and under water.” Since it is particularly light, Scubajet is also the first portable water jet available on the market. “While the compact jet propulsion is only three kilogrammes in net weight, it can provide an impetus of 20 kilogrammes and a speed of up to 12 kilometres per hour,” Hanneman explains. “This shows that we are pioneers in this field.” How Scubajet works Like an e-bike for the water, Scubajet uses an eco-friendly jet engine based on an emission-free motor. By using removable

batteries, the propulsion’s performance adjusts dynamically, providing a long battery lifetime of up to four hours. Multiple adapters help to apply Scubajet to your water sports equipment so that you can use it to stand up paddle, kayak, canoe, but also to dive, snorkel and for dinghies. Furthermore, this handy tool has a high performance, since the lightweight 6.6-pound high-tech engine generates 44 pounds of impetus and provides up to seven to nine miles per hour. The jet engine offers stepless speed control to either assist you in your sports activity or to let you enjoy a relaxing trip on the water. Last but not least, the 360-degree water intake provides optimal efficiency. Simple handling, compact design With its innovative technology, compact design and low weight, Scubajet is perfect for a great range of activities, setting new standards in the water sports industry.“Especially if you are planning longer trips on water or if you do not completely want to

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Tech Innovation Austria

rely on your physical abilities, Scubajet is you ideal companion,”Hanneman explains. This way, you can always be sure that you safely reach dry land, even if there is a sudden change in the weather. Safety is very important to the Scubajet company, anyway. Even children are able to handle the innovative propulsion because it features impeller technology instead of usual rotating propellers. Therefore, you do not require any technical knowledge to use this tool. In no time you can attach the respective adapters to your sports equipment, for example to a dinghy or a boat. “Due to its flexibility, Scubajet is also suitable for professional rescue missions or for diving in groups,” says Hanneman. According to her, big international research facilities as well as companies from the film industry ask for the water jet propulsion. How the success story began Apparently, the young company hit a nerve when developing this water jet propulsion: “In the summer of 2016, we started a very successful crowdfunding campaign, where we reached our funding goal within just four days,” Hanneman states. “In the end, we even managed to double our funding target. This result confirmed that our vision of Scubajet was right: It certainly has great potential on an international level.” Right after the campaign ended, the team behind Scubajet established its company while also starting to mass-produce the water jet propulsion. “Afterwards, we appeared on the Austrian start-up show 2 Minuten, 2 Millionen, where we convinced Hans Peter Haselsteiner, Michael Altrichter and start-

up300 AG to invest in us. For us, this was more proof that our product reflects the zeitgeist,” Hanneman adds. Currently, the Austrian company aims to expand. After successfully introducing Scubajet on the American and Australian market, the company wants to focus on improving and further developing their product range for the upcoming season.“In addition, we would like to start new interesting co-operations on an international

The propulsion is perfect for your next trip on board. Photo: © SCUBAJET

level,” Hanneman states. “Furthermore, we are going to highly invest in our marketing. Our aim is nothing less than revolutionising and newly defining the possibilities of water sports.” While Scubajet is available in the company’s online shop, it will soon be sold in selected stores in Europe, the United States and Australia as well.

In no time, Scubajet can be attached to a dinghy. Photo: © SCUBAJET

Scubajet turns every SUP into an electric SUP. Photo: © Bozidar Vukicevic / CROPIX

With its compact design and low weight, Scubajet fits into every rucksack. Photo: © SCUBAJET

The smallest diver propulsion vehicle in the world. Photo: © Bozidar Vukicevic / CROPIX

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Tech Innovation Austria

NRGkick: charge your car quickly wherever you go.

Charge your electric car anywhere, using any standard power socket with NRGkick Electricity is everywhere but it is usually not accessible to charge your electric car and the main option has been public charging stations. But Austrian company DiniTech, which is specialised in the development and production of electromechanical solutions particularly in charging technology for electric vehicles, is changing the game. With their revolutionary small mobile charging unit for electric vehicles called NRGkick, customers can charge their cars wherever they want. Get ready for the future.

unit NRGkick allows customers to take advantage of the fact that electricity can be found almost anywhere and makes it accessible for your electric car.

An integrated residual current protection (AC & DC) makes any power socket e-car safe. Moreover, an integrated energy meter permanently measures the current, voltage, energy and power at all phases. The charging current can be flexibly adapted to any circumstances at the push of a button, even continuously during charging via the NRGkick smartphone app.

The overall dimensions of the unit were reduced to an absolute minimum. The features of a classic wallbox moved into the charging cable so that you can always have your charging station on board. Different plug adapters let the charging process succeed at any conventional socket, no matter if power current, Schuko or camp-

While inventing their NRGkick, the team at DiniTech thought of everything; even protection against theft. During and after the charging process, the NRGkick is protected against theft and provides comprehensive protection against abusive readjustment of the charging current by people passing by. Even if an unauthorised person interrupts


With almost emission-free driving, electric cars are a fantastic invention that significantly help efforts to save our planet and make driving a far greener option. Up to now, the charging process has often presented a little challenge as public charging stations are still not available at every corner. This meant that trips had to be planned carefully in order to not get stuck somewhere. Smart company DiniTech brings the solution. Their innovative mobile charging 76  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

ing socket, one or three-phase. It utilises all three phases of the 400-volt power grid and enables a charging power of up to 22 kilowatts.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Tech Innovation Austria

the power supply and causes the unit to reboot, a readjustment of the charging current will only be possible for the car owner. The NRGkick also comes with an app for smartphones. The app connects via Bluetooth (soon also via WLAN) to the device and provides energy meter readings. The charging current can be adjusted through the app as well as limiting the amount of energy to be charged. The charging process can also be stopped or started through the app and shows power, ampere, energy and voltages. Another great feature is that the app calculates charging costs and mileage distance based on the charged energy. This is extremely handy to stay on top of expenses and makes using an electric car completely transparent. It even shows the CO² savings. Dietmar Niederl, CEO at DiniTech adds: “Our mobile charging unit is value function tested by TÜV. During the development, production and logistics here in Austria quality is of utmost importance to us. We primarily use top-quality components made in the region.” DiniTech has won a number of awards such as the ‘Winner of Passion 2017’ by the Federal Chamber of Economy Austria, first place as a junior entrepreneur in the

category Export 2016 by the Gewinn and second place of the START:E challenge. But much more rewarding is their customers’ positive feedback. Niederl tells us with a smile that “customers often call to say thank you for DiniTech’s outstanding support and they tell stories about their personal experiences with their NRGkick and electromobility”. “It is our goal that people who are considering buying an electric car are not worried about the number of available public charging stations anymore. We want to encourage them to use sustainable energy by choosing an electric car and our NRGkick,” says Niederl.

The NRGkick is carefully packaged.

The smartphone app offers additional remote control options.

All in all, the NRGkick makes using an electric car far more attractive and simply eliminates a former big disadvantage. It not only contributes to more eco-friendly driving, but it also makes it much more comfortable to use an electric car. We all know too well how the human mind works: products and services have to be beneficial, comfortable and easy to use. DiniTech’s innovation certainly ticks all the boxes and ensures a clean conscience a marvellous combination.

Dietmar Niederl, CEO of DiniTech.

NRGkick: the mobile charging unit for your electric car.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  77

Photo: © Dreamstime


Austria’s communication and branding experts How can design experts advance a company’s success through innovative communication and branding strategies? Who are the faces behind these elaborate ideas? Find out more in our special theme on the following pages.

Photo: © Pixabay

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Photo: © Pixabay

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design World Austria

Top left: Stationery for the Vienna Tourist Board.

Bridging the gap

Left: Editorial Design ‘BURG’. The Burgtheater ensemble photographed by Peter Rigaud. Middle: Identity for the Graz-based Landhauskeller. Right: Destination branding for the city of Vienna. Photo: © LiveSurface™ Bottom: The co-founders. Stefan Mayer (left), Christian Begusch (right).

At the intersection of commercial and cultural design, seite zwei stand for unique branding with a high international recognition. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSK  |  PHOTOS: PAUL BAUER

Founded in 2011, the Vienna-based branding and design studio seite zwei thinks, designs and consults for individuals, brands and institutions by cultivating a content-driven design approach, and creating quality drawn from sharp analysis and clear positions. By working from a holistic point of view and relying on a multidisciplinary team, they never lose their focus on detail.

a lively exchange, an attitude leading to long-lasting relationships reflected by mutual success.

Building their work on strong ideas, seite zwei seek to develop a coherent visual language transferable from print to all channels and spaces. They have won numerous awards over the past years, both on a national and international level. Just recently, their brand magazine for the Vienna 2018 campaign Beauty and the Abyss won the Wood Pencil at the renowned London D&AD (Design and Art Direction) Awards. With their finger on the digital Zeitgeist, seite zwei continuously reach out to their clients fostering

The studio’s multifaceted portfolio ranges from the strategic destination branding for the city of Vienna to holistic visual identities, websites and books, such as a photobook for international renowned photographer Peter Rigaud (portraying the ensemble of the famous Burgtheater), through to the branding and creative concept for a Graz-based design hotel. “While our client relationships are based on trust, we connect with those who embrace change – in combination with a high affinity to aesthetics,” says Stefan Mayer.

The two co-founders Stefan Mayer and Christian Begusch have worked at various design and advertising agencies as art directors (such as Jung von Matt/Donau) and as lecturers at their alma mater, the FH Joanneum in Graz.

The studio strives to expand on its international activities, be it for museums, traditional brands, product worlds or city brandings. They are currently finalising their Julius Klinger installation for the Miami-based Wolfsonian museum (Julius Klinger - Posters for a modern age) – coinciding with the Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 show of modern and contemporary art and design.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  79

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design World Austria

Left: The new packaging has freed the South Tyrol traditional company Walcher from old dust and increased sales figures.

d.signwerk: Outstanding design creates unique emotions

Right: Vitality instead of eco-fundamentalism: With the vibrant world of the organic pioneer Sonnentor, d.signwerk revolutionised the entire field sustainably.

We humans respond to emotional stimulation. Often the most shared campaigns rely heavily on emotional content. If something does not trigger an emotional response, it is not of value to our brains and is quickly discarded. That is why Austrian communication agency d.signwerk sees the future in emotional brand building. The creative team brings out a brand’s authenticity and puts its personality into the limelight, going far beyond summarising product features. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: D.SIGNWERK

Peter Schmid founded d.signwerk in 1999. After working for over a decade in various Austrian and international agencies, Schmid realised that there was one type of agency missing in Austria. He envisioned a communication agency that would not be a classic advertising firm but also not solely a design company and where there would be a close exchange between client, strategists and creatives. His vision became reality and today d.signwerk offers holistic communication and design solutions for a diverse range of clients and brands. Schmid knows that good design pays off: “There has been a great deal of debate about the benefit of design. However, it is undisputed that 80  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

emotional design generates a unique added value for brands and companies. It directs the perception, creates differentiation, sets quality aside from the mainstream and even makes it possible to connect with a brand in the first place.” A quote by Columbian thinker Nicolás Gómez Dávila expresses the essence of this to the point. He said: “If we want something to last, we make sure of its beauty, not its efficiency.” In this context, d.signwerk successfully brings out the beauty in a variety of different fields. Whether it is a yoghurt cup or a flagship store, the creative team offers anything from strategy development and

packaging to comprehensive supervision of all communication-related aspects of a brand. “In times of omnichannel marketing, the term ‘full service’ has become obsolete,” Schmid adds.“d.signwerk sees itself as the centre of a network of partners from virtually all design and communication areas, who share an understanding and commitment to quality. The core of d.signwerk is the perception of a brand as a whole. We do not think in projects but in worlds of emotions.” Using storytelling for communication and design purpose has become more and more common over the past decade and is an integral part of today’s top international advertisement strategies. Together with their sister company Heartbeat, d.signwerk is specialised in storytelling and story development giving them yet another advantage. “Only a highly emotive brand strategy leads to the desired goal: a guaranteed place in the heads and hearts of the customers,” Schmid emphasises.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design World Austria

With a great deal of passion, dedication and a drive for excellency, d.signwerk has established itself firmly in the top ranks of communication and design and it should come as no surprise that the agency has received various awards over the years. From the ADC (Art Directors Club Germany) to the Austrian State Awards and architectural prizes, the work by d.signwerk and their clients has been continuously recognised for its quality.

From top: With unparalleled design, from branding to packaging and the flagship store, the oil mill Fandler reached cult status. Exciting stories about anything you can eat - and which would probably never be published anywhere else. Through emotional brand building d.signwerk supports companies from the first idea to the ‘go live’ and the ongoing campaigning. Vitality instead of eco-fundamentalism: With the vibrant world of the organic pioneer Sonnentor, d.signwerk revolutionised the entire field sustainably. Don’t you ever call it meant loaf: Neuburger convinces on all levels. That is also shown in its unique aesthetic of the entire brand identity.

“However, the greatest reward, and also the most valuable one, is the longstanding collaboration with our clients. Some of them even began prior to the founding of d.signwerk. Our client’s trust makes this exceptional kind of work possible,” says Schmid. With so much creativity under one roof, it almost goes without saying that there are many more projects in the pipeline at d.signwerk and a great deal of new avenues to be explored. One of them is the Asian market. The agency aspires to open a new line of business with design conscious companies in Asia, which look for a suitable partner who supports and accompanies them during their European market launch. There could not be a better company to provide this kind of guidance than d.signwerk. Last year, d.signwerk also founded its own publishing arm called PAPER AFFAIRS Publishers. They already published a magazine titled ALL YOU CAN EAT, which explores exactly that. Next year the creative team wants to publish a new kind of travel guide and plans to publish books as well. With their outstanding amount of inspiration, know-how and enthusiasm, there is no doubt that d.signwerk will not rest before it fully achieves their goals. The d.signwerk team is buzzing with creativity and passion for their craft. It is crystal clear that they enjoy their work and hence give everything to get projects done to perfection. If you are looking for a strong partner who understands the art of emotional branding and storytelling, look no further. You have finally found your match. Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  81

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Top German Architect

Hafenpark Quartier Frankfurt, 2016 – 2020. Rendering: Panoptikon © Hadi Teherani


Architecture without borders For architect Hadi Teherani, cities, architecture, interior and product design form a creative unity. “My holistic approach has once and again prompted me to surpass creative boundaries,” he states. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

For the Teherani team, architecture as well as good design need to surprise and convince through simplicity and the capability of solving everyday tasks and global problems alike. Economy and ecology form main pillars of their work. Situated at Hamburgs Elbberg, the team is located in the imposing superstructure of the Lofthaus, built by Teherani in 1994-1997, with contrasting elements like a full, wavelike glass front towards the Elbe river and an almost closed copper façade on the street-facing side. “Our clients enjoy a comprehensive consulting service, individually cut to size, flexible and ready to expand or to become newly defined at any point in time,” says the renowned architect. Born in 1954 in Teheran and raised in Hamburg, Hadi Teherani opened his first office together 82  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

with two colleagues in 1991 and took over sole leadership in 2012. His work bridges disciplines as well as cultures, it aims at atmospheric radiance and a deep emotional impact, as well as an ‘inbuilt’ fundamental sustainability, embedded in the design from the start. The first ’green’ train station at the Frankfurt airport and the Cologne ‘crane houses’ by the Rhein river have become renowned landmarks. Hadi Teherani architects plan and build for major cities all around the world: Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Hamburg and Berlin, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Rome and Teheran, as well as Moscow and Mumbai. Let’s take a deeper look at some exemplary works realised by the allrounder: Strandkai (‘Beach Quay’) is the name for a residential quarter that is being devel-

oped on one of the most prominent sites in Hamburg’s ‘HafenCity’ port district. Embedded into the elevated land area, four residential buildings, two sevenstorey structures and two residential high-rises will decisively mark the cityscape to the south. The design is based on a layered arrangement of floor levels with surrounding balconies. The corner-points of the stacked penthouses create a dynamic rhythm for the structure, forming a new landmark at the highly visible location. Spacious loggias will offer farreaching views across the Elbe river and the city itself, as well as towards the new Elbphilharmonie complex. Flare of Frankfurt Planned to be finished next year, Teherani won the competition for a combined hotel, residential and business complex on the Frankfurt Rundschau areal, a prominent urban environmental setting with key intersecting traffic hubs. The concept envisions a newly interpreted and partially open block perimeter structure involving a seven to eight-storey business building

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Top German Architect

and hotel set as an ensemble, as well as a residential building oriented in the direction of the ‘Palais Thurn & Taxis’ palace. The geometries and principles of design found on-site are reflected in the streetside façade. Three-dimensional elements, varying in accordance to the uses involved, are developed from the ground plan in a logically consistent manner. The Dockland building, constructed between 1998-2006, forms one of the most renowned Hamburg landmarks by the Elbe river, together with the ‘Elbphilharmonie’ (Herzog & de Meuron) and the ‘Empire Riverside Hotel’ by David Chipperfield. The “figurehead for online captains” offers roughly 9,000 square metres of office space. With the ‘bow’ of this ship-like steel structure jutting out freely over 40 metres, the glassed-in façade allows employees to enjoy the view of the port panorama directly from their offices,

while visitors can get to the terrace via a public outdoor staircase. The Hafenpark Quartier Frankfurt lies in the immediate vicinity of the ECB on the newly designed bank of the Main river. On this attractive site, around 290 apartments and a hotel are going to be built in accordance with the urban development landuse plan. The block opens up to the south, providing all of the apartments with a view of the Main, and the centre green will be moulded into a vast meadow landscape. Two solitary high-rises create an external effect that further outlines the ensemble’s identity. The Spin Tower high-rise is another example for the dynamic, expressionist quality of Hadi Teherani architecture. The 128-metre tower, erected within walking distance of the Frankfurt central railway station, will become the eye-catcher for

Dockland, Hamburg 1998 – 2006. Photo: © Jörg Hempel

an urban quarter evolving at whirlwind speed. With construction to start in 2018, one of the building plot’s special features is its direct access to the U5 underground transit line, which is going to stop right beside the building as of 2022. During the past years, the Teherani office has been concentrating more and more on innovative concepts for a sustainable urban living architecture. As the architect explains:“To anchor people at their work and living space by creating an atmosphere of identification and inspiration needs more than just the architectural space. Only the complex realisation of the design, from the tiniest detail through to a an emotionally fitting space or a structure reflecting the identity of a whole company, solves the great task of an all-encompassing design concept.”

Quartier Strandkai, Hamburg 2014 – 2021. Rendering: Panoptikon © Hadi Teherani

Flare of Frankfurt 2015 – 2018. Rendering: Panoptikon © Hadi Teherani

Spin Tower, Frankfurt – starts 2018. Rendering: Panoptikon © Hadi Teherani

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  83


Behind the photo Ever wondered who the faces are behind those fantastic photos on architects’ websites and architecture magazines? To find out, we speak to some of Switzerland’s great architectural photographers and learn more about their interesting field of work, their inspirations and more. PHOTOS: PIXABAY

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Architectural Photographers

School building Kreuzbuehl, Zurich, Architecture by Fischer Architekten.

Toni Areal, Zurich, Architecture by EM2N.

New dimensions, new perspectives Zurich-based photographer Michael Egloff lives for capturing architecture and making elements visible that we would usually not notice. His photos not only show the design of the buildings, but also give a true sense of the character. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: MICHAEL EGLOFF

Michael Egloff has always been fascinated by how much you can influence the perception of a building in photos with a well thought through concept behind it. While he was studying at the Zurich University of the Arts, he got to know architect Beat Consoni and hence started getting to know the craft of architecture photography. Egloff and Consoni are still collaborating on projects, a creative relationship Egloff values highly. “Architecture photography should serve the architecture but not entirely submit to it,” he says. Everything from light to perspective has a direct impact and Egloff knows how to use these elements to his advantage in order to bring out a building’s characteristics. “Photographing architecture requires a great deal of patience,” he explains. “For example, waiting for the perfect lighting conditions. Or for an event that you cannot really plan but which gives the picture that unique touch. Often the time frame is very short and you have to adjust to the given circumstances.” Bad weather is, for exam-

ple, better for his photography than good weather as bright sunlight makes the contrast between shadows and light too harsh. Egloff works closely with architects and loves this aspect of his work. There is no creative agency in the middle and the direct collaboration with the architects who are passionate about their creation has an inspiring effect on Egloff. “I also enjoy being involved in a project over a longer period of time,” Egloff adds. To understand what the specific design of a building is actually about from start to finish is part of his work and enables him to capture the essence of it.

Genossenschaft Mehralswohnen, Zurich, Architecture by Miroslav Sik.

Egloff was awarded the prestigious Swiss Photo Award 2016 for his work for luminaire manufacturers Tulux AG where the symbioses between architectural and product photography was his favourite aspect. His clients understand that photography is not simply clicking away with a camera, but rather creating a careful composition. The complexity of the camera means that every shot wants to be part of a concept down to the smallest detail. It is about slowing time down, not capturing a rushed moment.

Das Troesch, Kreuzlingen, Architecture by Beat Consoni.

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  85

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017

Die Augenweide:

Translating three dimensions into two Architecture photographer Regine Giesecke brings a building to life in her pictures. For her it is crucial that a photograph does not just capture the look of a building but also stands by itself as an appealing two-dimensional piece to look at. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: REGINE GIESECKE

Creating images, initially through drawing and later on by using a camera, has always fascinated Regine Giesecke. The Bonnborn photographer studied communication design in Aachen and specialised in photography and graphic design. After gaining experience as an art director in international agencies, she then founded her own 86  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

photography business ‘Die Augenweide’ (which can be translated to ‘Feast for the eyes’) and specialised in architectural photography. Today she lives in Zug and has clients in Switzerland, Germany and beyond. “I am fascinated by architecture,” Giesecke says. “It is a man-made form language

which contains relatively firm materials and surfaces. The room dimensions interact with the changing light conditions and the seasons.” Using the elements of light and perspective it is Giesecke’s aim to trans-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Architectural Photographers

Main photo: Headquarters Swarovski, Maennedorf, ZH. Photo: © Ingenhoven Architects. Bottom left: Regine Giesecke, Die Augenweide Architecture Photography GmbH, Zug.

late the three-dimensional building into a two-dimensional medium that still has the same depth and contrast. The viewer should still be able to feel the important three-dimensional element of a big building in a photograph that is quite small. Giesecke explains the most significant challenges of architecture photography: “Scale and proportions are an important factor. In parts you come across huge construction volumes, which have to be reduced to an area often not bigger than a postcard. That is why it is so important to find the right angle to capture the building. You also need to have the skill to notice sections and details that represent the whole building.” Another crucial aspect is the ability to translate three dimensions into two, as mentioned earlier, and Giesecke tells us how this is done: “In this context the changing light throughout the day and the weather conditions are the biggest factors together with perspective. The photo is supposed to show the premises but it should also be just as appealing as a two-dimensional image on its own. This is where you can really tell

who has got an eye for art and graphics.” Giesecke adds that the human eye is naturally capable of seeing far more than the lens of a camera. We can see interior and exterior without problem and perfectly lit. Every structure and surface is perceived in its natural colour.“The goal is to create this natural look in the images which takes a lot of know-how,” Giesecke adds. It goes without saying that Giesecke has become an expert of lighting moods, sun positions, magic hour and cloud formations amongst so many other elements nature brings to the table. She knows when the leaves start to brown in autumn, when to expect fog or frost. This knowledge is fundamental for creating an image that follows the concept of a carefully designed composition in order to bring certain aspects of a building alive. Her clients are architects who have a keen sense for merging a building’s functionality with a high aesthetic standard. Giesecke loves working with architects who are proud of their work and who want their architecture to be captured sensitively.

Seeing architecture photography as the art form it is, it should come as no surprise that Giesecke had her photography featured in various exhibitions. Her photographs were also shown at the prestigious Swiss Photo Award in 2013 in the category Best Swiss Architectural Photography. This year Giesecke’s photography was part of a book called Zeitbild and features 150year old photos of the city Zug and compares them to Gieseckes’s photos of 2016. “I took photos of the same locations shown in the old photographs, matching the seasons and weather conditions,” she says. “It was difficult to capture the same subjects congruently as they had changed so much.” Despite matching the old photographs Giesecke managed to breathe artistic life into her compositions and it resulted in a fascinating comparison. Giesecke’s portfolio says more than a thousand words, as her photographs are simply captivating. You can view her work on her website.

Top left: Headquarters Swarovski, Maennedorf, ZH Photo: © Ingenhoven Architects Top middle: EFH Unteraegeri. Photo: © Albi Nussbaumer Architects Top right: EFH Waedenswil, ZH. Photo: © ATP Architects Bottom left: Residential and business building Lakeside, Zug. Photo: © Axess Architects Bottom right: Nursing home Ennetsee, Cham. Photo: © Albi Nussbaumer Architects

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  87

Bern’s historic old town. Photo: © Bern Tourism


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

Stone houses in Ticino. Photo: © Ticino Turismo, Steinegger

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017

Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron. Photo: © / Michael Zapf

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. 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.

Find out what Switzerland’s architects have to offer in this special theme on Swiss architecture.

The VitraHaus in Weil am Rhein by Herzog & de Meuron. Photo: © Basel Tourism

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  89

Conversion of an old Zurich town house.

Interior fitting of a new apartment at ‘Hard Turm Park’ Zurich.

Conversion of an old Zurich town house.

Memory and inspiration Juho Nyberg architecture is based on the philosophy of a co-existence of house and inhabitants that creates a combined individual flair. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: JUHO NYBERG

In what way does an old structure inspire new ideas? What kind of memories will a newly constructed building be able to create? To the Juho Nyberg team, every building task is unique – relating to site, alignment, and the lighting mood resulting thereof. Juho Nyberg explains how this journey of discovery can go into minute detail, as the future location and the surrounding landscapes evoke specific ideas and imaginations. What will the view from the kitchen or the dining area be like and in what way will the evening sun hit the bathroom? 90  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

“A building can touch a nerve in us and ideally tickles our curiosity and imagination,” states the architect. “It forms the background for everyday life and we deal with it consistently – on a subconscious level while walking through a city, or fully aware when we choose our habitat.” In addition to meeting personal needs, our home also is the place where we spend a great deal of time with friends and family. Marked by the choice of furniture and pictures, it therefore represents who we are. “Childhood memories

often play a significant role,” the architect explains, “even if the visual impression of our childhood home fades with time, the overall mood that a building exudes will stay.” ‘Made-to-measure architecture’ for Juho Nyberg means to make a building environment possible where the client feels at home in the true sense of the word. However, creating the exact atmosphere wished for is neither a matter of floorspace nor money. It rather lies with the skilful handling of all parameters, which also entail the builder’s personal preferences. Various internships during his studies at the ETH Zurich allowed the architect deep insights into his profession at an early stage, especially regarding the process of

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017

realisation. After working at various Swiss offices, Juho Nyberg founded his own Zurich practice in 2008. Having grown into a team of four, the office is meanwhile supported by a well-connected network of specialists, such as for lighting concepts or textile-related tasks. Exchanging ideas and designs within the team forms an important contribution to each project at the Juho Nyberg office. “Sometimes,” says the architect, “another person’s vision is stronger and more convincing than your own.” With their individual adjustment project in a 3.5 room apartment on the 20th floor of the Zurich new ‘Hard Turm Park’ tower, displaying a stunning view across the city all the way to the Alps, the Juho Nyberg team show their knack for personalised interiors. An open kitchen, integrated into the living space, marks the centre of social interaction. While friendly, warm colours complement the dark walnut parquet of the floor, the cooking island features orange hues, illuminated by artfully assembled, vertical rod lamps. Cosy white couches with colourful Zurich apartment conversion – dining area. Photo: Tobias Stahel

Villa refurbishment project – central staircase detail. Photo: Markus Roth

cushions accentuate the line of windows, displaying expansive views. Regarding the conversion of old buildings, both the existing structure as well as the inhabitants tell their own story. “To continue with that story is a commitment and to retrieve and interpret these stories and make that visible is the essence of our architecture,” Nyberg states. For a modernisation project of a 100-year-old house in Zurich, a generously laid out downstairs living area impresses with carefully restored oak parquet floors. White, leatherclad doors with oval glass inserts feature LED lighting bands, thus functioning as an indirect lighting source. The library is situated behind the fireplace, with the cosy fire visible from both sides. The major part of the client list at Juho Nyberg are private builders, looking to realise their idea for a personal home. The co-work is intensive and, as the architect states, “you get to know each other quite well, also on a personal level”. Design and realisation form an emotional pro-

cess which allows adjustments according to the various developments becoming perceptible. A prize-winning visualisation for a two-family house displays how a sloping plot can be utilised in providing a maximum in private sphere. The stacked living units face away from each other on different height levels, while each apartment features its own garden space. Juho Nyberg is happy with the current order situation and the prospect of exciting projects. A current large-scale building project for a family PLC, with the realisation of 20 apartments, brings a building partnership both personal and somewhat pragmatic, as it does not equal the creation of a private home. For the future, the architect hopes for a balanced combination of personal and semi-personal building tasks:“A mixture of private and investment property projects would be just the perfect mix.”

Mood inspiration, preceding the new structure.

Double family home (2nd prize), visualisation.

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Private matters

Left and top right: Riedholz family home conversion. Right: Attiswil roof extension.

Between client and architect, a solid working base is built on the mutual understanding of the initial need and idea that a project stems from. In the case of family homes, it often entails the personal future of the builder and their family so that emotions for HSB architects automatically become part of the game.

years while studying at the Basel Academy of Art and Design. Meanwhile, they are training two co-workers and an intern at their own practice and opened a second office in Zurich two years ago.


“Our work derives from a solid, craftrelated approach to architecture,” architect Silvan Howald explains. “We strive to withdraw from a signature or trendoriented formal language and see our position and the projects springing from this attitude as the result of a co-working between architect and builder.” Their recently finished conversion of a family home in Riedholz included the whole process of planning, design and realisation, with rewarding results. A newly enhanced outline follows the sloping plot and underlines a clear formal language, with the new façade functioning as protective shell for a bright, light-filled interior. The generous layout of the combined kitchen/ living room area opens up to the garden and the contrast between the dark hues of the façade and the sunny, open 92  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

interior makes for the charm of this building’s ‘second life’. Exemplary for the simplistic yet effective HSB approach is their Attiswil roof extension project, turning a formerly unused space into a ‘white magnet’. Accentuated through slim, black support columns, the white wood-coating and floors suggest a spacious, airy atmosphere. Kitchenette and the wash basin are incorporated in the same way as the inbuilt closets and drawers, leaving the clear outlines of the interior undisturbed. Silvan Howald, Raphael Studer and Christoph Boner founded their architectural firm in Solothurn, Switzerland, in 2013 and were recently joined by Rouven Blättler as site manager. The architects got to know each other during their formative

Their wide-ranging client base includes many young builders wishing to realise their dream home through co-working with HSB architects, with personal ideas and wishes forming a significant part of the design process. Apart from family homes, the architects realise projects for the public sector as well, including a new restaurant in Bern that opened in August. Lately, the planning of school buildings for the Solothurn and Bern communities have also become part of their versatile agenda. With a growing range of projects in both the public and the private sector, HSB architects’ main goal remains to foster and implement their architectural passion, joy and commitment and share it through realising yet more exciting projects, handin-hand with their clients.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017

In between the extremes


Architecture from Bernhard Bossard entails two goals: Making people comfortable by creating tailored homes – and sheltering those who find themselves in fragile contexts around the world. From loft conversions to superstructures, from residential buildings to elegant villas, the architect knows his ropes after having played – and later helping out – at his father’s building sites. “I got attached to building sites in a way that ultimately led me to studying architecture in Zurich.” His clients are those with a risk-taking courage, much like Bossard himself who during his career has worked for numerous corps programmes with both governmental bodies and NGOs. His work with humanitarian building projects, sometimes as team leader, took him to countries like Haiti, post-tsunami Indonesia, Eritrea, Iran, the Congo, Chad and former Yugoslavia to name but a few. In his home town of Niederdorf, the architect has successfully converted several lofts in the oldest commercial build-

ing of the region, stemming from 1890. Leaving much of the old structure visible, such as beams and windows, and by reusing 90 per cent of the old bricks, the ‘Fabrick’ now houses five new spacious loft apartments, one of which is inhabited by the architect himself. From conversion to contemporary tenant fit-out to a villa completely designed to taste, Bernhard Bossard makes many indi-

Multifamily homes, garden side.

vidual wishes a reality. Speaking of which, his own wishes currently include building “a super-slim high-rise” (currently in planning state) as well as “planning and building a cruise ship”.

‘Fabrick’ conversion into loft units.

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

Eco Iqu – gewebt mit

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Residential complex, Möliholz. Photo: © Barbara Bühler

Defining space and time “Each task has an individual context, which in turn calls for a custom-made project,” states architect Dario Oechsli, partner at Stutz Bolt Partner architects. “Thereby we strive to form something that is more than the obvious, average solution.” TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: STUTZ BOLT

For the architects at Stutz Bolt Partner, a building should display an inner logic and character of its own. According to task respectively, the result will turn out to be either of spectacular dimension, or subtle and quiet. Whatever the nature of the project, Stutz Bolt Partner will always search for inspiration in the context. A wealth of experience Situated in Winterthur, the second-largest city of the Zurich canton, Stutz Bolt Partner as an architectural office has existed since 1960, provided with a well of expertise stemming from more than half a century of 94  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

constant architectural engagement. Since 2006, four partners are sharing the office leadership, marking a large generational change. Together with co-founder Markus Bolt, three younger partners today manage the team of 25. Profiting from long years of experience and a versatile team, a broad range of tasks can be tackled with each project. While most of their accounts still stem from competitions, the number of direct orders has increased over the past years due to the many existing referential buildings. The major part of the architects’ clients stem from public or professional bodies

such as building authorities or real estate departments. However, private builders are also welcome with Stutz Bolt Partner, who enjoy a personal project partnership at eye level. Like all architects, they know how much architectural quality benefits from direct communication. Often they meet builders who are open to design suggestions and foster clear objectives at the same time. Therefore, Stutz Bolt Partner strive to include the builders as much as possible, to achieve a detailed understanding of their concern. “Building means an adventure for both sides which, while posing many questions along the way, often results in long-term personal connections,” Dario Oechsli explains. The office continuously works on a vast range of projects, spanning from largescale housing projects to family homes, from shopping centres to hospitals and

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017

school buildings. From conversion through to urban planning, their manifold projects are cross-inspiring each other, generating creative stimuli and constantly reviving their work.

dynamic architectural performance. The expansion of the multi-storey car park #6 to 6,700 spaces has just been completed.

A well-matured vision, newly implemented – The Zurich airport masterplan

Strategically placed, the limited space of the Winterthur Station Square is shared by masses of pedestrians (up to 100,000 per day) and also functions as a central bus station. The precisely designed, hovering roof visually unites the busy life underneath and helps structuring the square, calming it down. Grounding the structure, the asymmetrically positioned support ‘foot’ also houses the bus ticket booth, while an existent subway was conversed to provide

The Zurich airport masterplan project goes back to a competition for a future development concept of the central airport area that Stutz Bolt Partner won in 1969. Step by step, covering a span of almost five decades with patience and insistence, the office has achieved to make its mark at the Zurich airport with an imposing and

Roof with a view – The Winterthur Station Square

The team. Photo: © Sava Hlavacek

resting spaces for the drivers. The futuristic design of the canopy roof features a glass top, while the underside is made of lasered aluminium. Leaving enough air space, the design provides a visual focus as well as clearing the formerly obstructed view on the Winterthur Old Town. Enhanced, transferred and newly clad – The Winterthur General Post Office The Hauptpost Winterthur modernisation and extension tackles a significant listed building stemming from the period of historicism (second half of the 19th century). While the outer shell visually still provides a strong link to the era, the interior of the central post office contains

Schoolhouse Breite, Schaffhausen. Rendering: StudioSezz Paris

Zurich airport masterplan. Photo: © Ralph Bensberg

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The Winterthur Station Square. Photo: © Michael Haug

The Winterthur Station Square. Photo: © Michael Haug

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a minimum of the original substance. The new design allows a full, uninterrupted spatial experience of the interior and profits from the view of an adjacent garden. A new radial set of spaces encircles a multi-storey air well: the counter area for the post office which resides in the new building extension. The rhythm of the casement windows structures the new bronze façade of the extension, while relating to the tuff stone exterior of the old building.

a recess in the street-facing façade, the dominating entry and stairwell with its large windows forms a quotation of the surrounding villas. The bark-like, two coloured plaster creates a depth of the shell that subtly integrates the new building into both the surrounding tree population and villas. Four apartments are organised around a central entry area, offering exciting spatial relations through varying height levels and freestanding fireplaces.

Modern living quality, set in venerable surroundings

Lighting up the post-war era – Schaffhausen school building

A direct commission, the multi-family home set in Winterthur’s exclusive Seidenstraße is surrounded by listed, historical buildings and gardens. Step by step and in co-working with the local preservation authorities, a project was realised that meets high urban planning requirements as well as offering an attractive living quality. Vertically emphasised through

The Schaffhausen school premises date back to the ‘50s and the new building structures the exteriors into spaces of differentiated qualities. The low, calm volume and the pattern of parallel roofs form a continuum of the surrounding public buildings. Straying from the original competition parameters, a canopied recreation hall was preserved and will be connect-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017

Seidenstrasse family home. Photo: © Michael Haug

Winterthur General Post Office. Photo: © Michael Haug

Seidenstrasse family home, Winterthur. Photo: © Rita Peter

ed to the new structure. To be finished in 2019, the building’s distinctive shed roofs allow natural lighting of the upper levels for all classrooms and access areas. “At the moment, our strategy works well for us,” says Dario Oechsli. “We have exciting projects to look forward to which will soon enter their realisation phase.” Cross-inspiring projects, a harmonious yet versatile team and half a century worth of expertise: for Stutz Bolt Partner architects, time and context work out perfectly, both in their designs and for their enterprise.

Winterthur General Post Office. Photo: © Michael Haug

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Family home Terre di Pedemonte, Ticino 2005.

Harald Szeemann and Christoph Zuercher ca. 1978.

‘Casa Szeemann’ home and studio, Terre di Pedemonte 1987/88.

Handwritten into the landscape “A newly constructed volume should be able to both receive and interpret, as well as enhance, the quality of a space.” TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN PFAFF + DONA DE CARLI, © STUDIO D’ARCHITETTURA CHR. ZÜRCHER

Formed by the ‘Ticinese school of architecture’, Christoph Zürcher understands his work as a way of creating volume and space for individual circumstances. His renowned colleague Rolf Gutmann once called Zürcher’s buildings “projects by a contemporary Bauhäusler (Bauhaus architect)”, a comment that can well be understood as significant praise. His rational designs breathe an understated beauty based on a philosophy of aesthetics and simplicity, reduction and naturalness: Bauhaus values, indeed. “Any intervention implies destruction. Destroy consciously, and with joy” is a quote 98  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

by renowned Ticinese architect Luigi Snozzi, and a favourite one to Christoph Zürcher. Apart from Snozzi, for whom he has worked in his early years, the architect names Rino Tami, Tita Carloni, Livio Vacchini, as well as Aurelio Galfetti as further influences. The Ticinese school, with its roots in the ‘70s, orientates itself on the ‘Rustici’: small buildings and homes in the Swiss Canton of Tessin (Ticino), marked by a simplistic formal language stemming from scarcity. As a matter of fact, due to a limited choice of materials and lack of space, all traditional stone houses of the Tessin valleys

feature the same building expanse of ca. 5.4 metres. These rational specifications of volume and size, put together with a detailed sense for proportion and style, were formative also for the contemporary architectural school of the region. Much like the Bauhaus movement, the Ticinese school proclaims an architecture reduced to the basics that adapts to both sociological aspects and its surroundings. New building volumes are sensitively embedded into the geological and cultural situation at hand, creating a sensitive spacial rhythm by artfully merging proportions and light. Early years and involvement in the arts The goal to become an architect was clear to Christoph Zürcher ever since he was a little boy. “Others wanted to become firemen or pilots – I wanted to become an

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Switzerland’s Top Architects 2017

architect,” he says. After his training, he worked in various posts with renowned architects of the Locarno region, among them Max Kasper, Schwarz & Gutmann, and Camenzind-Brocchi-Sennhauser. With the early ‘70s came the Swiss building crisis and the young architect had to adapt to the circumstances. He decided to take on designing international art exhibitions for the late Harald Szeemann, a renowned Swiss curator for whom Zürcher built a family home as well. Christoph Zürcher and Harald Szeemann ended up working fruitfully and closely together for 30 consecutive years. With the new job opening up a whole new world to the architect, he soon found himself taking care of both the exhibition spaces and the artists themselves. In turn, his work was marked by a growing sensitivity for spatial proportions and a design fit to interpret the art work itself. From creating small niches to vast open spaces, exhibition architecture predominated his work for the following years, until slowly and parallel-wise his own architectural projects began to take form, literally. In 1982, the architect opened his office in Locarno, since 1985 known as ‘Studio d’architettura

Christoph Zürcher’. The current team at the Studio includes Natascha Baumeister, Gabriella Simonini, Cristina Schelldorfer and Elena Dazio. Little marvels in the landscape The architect has since specialised in private homes and villas, as well as cultural buildings. His buildings form architectural gems of homes, studios and museums, aimed at finding the synthesis of exteriors and interiors and architecturally summarising single spaces into condensed sequences of volume. The sight of his buildings may transport you – either to film sets of the ‘50s and ‘60s or even into the earlier times of classic modernism and the Bauhaus era, when the call for an aesthetic synthesis of simplicity and function was just in its beginnings. If there is such a thing as ‘quietly ringing out loud’, it may describe the subtlety of the Zürcher stone and glass designs, set together in compact yet well-aligned proportions, creating little marvels in the landscape.

Harald Szeemann for the Venice Biennale and a variation of museum buildings and exhibition spaces of all sizes, his close ties with the arts are still prevalent today. With the arte-ria art space, Christoph Zürcher has created an exhibition space for contemporary artists right next to his Locarno studio. Artists who have exhibited there since 2007 include renowned artist couple Christo & Jeanne-Claude as well as Felice Varini, who regard architecture as either inspiration or background for their work. Most recently, the documenta artist Thomas Virnich has exhibited a series of threedimensional objects at the arte-ria space.

Artistic interconnection

“By connecting and interpreting desires and topography, ecology and culture, architecture continues to meet sociology,” says Christoph Zürcher. For him, the all-embracing artistic spirit of the ‘70s, merging the various ‘disciplines’ into one, is still valid today – meaning that every artist has a palette of creative channels to choose from. Much to our delight, architecture happens to be Christoph Zürcher’s chosen one.

“My relationship network, if you want to call it that, is the art world,”states the architect. Having worked together with curator

Family home Ascona, Ticino 1992.

Padiglione Balsamina Minusio, Ticino 2004.

Residential and studio building Brissago, Ticino 1999.

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Optimum on all levels At the heart of René Schmid Architects lies the drive to create a harmonic synergy between economy and sustainability. Increasing living space through smart concepts and always taking the environment into account can be seen as ingredients for the bureau’s on-going success for over 20 years. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

The first project turned into a great calling card for René Schmid Architects. The Zurich-based architects were asked to design a residential building and managed to increase the living space by an impressive 70 per cent on the existing building plot and within the legal framework for residential construction. This project was ideal for the architects. The average increase of living space is still 10 to 15 per cent today. “It was certainly very attractive from an economical point of view, but it also paved the way to seeing things differently in terms of architecture and urban planning,” René Schmid explains. “This resulted in many follow-up projects. Optimisation to the benefit of all involved has become our trademark.” Coherent designs that follow clear forms and incorporate sophisticated materials result in buildings full of character and expression. The firm portrays great enthusiasm for creating perfect synergies of environmental technology and economics. A diverse network of specialists and planners 100  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

also coming from research sectors helps finding innovative solutions. Schmid adds: “We are also fascinated by how unique our environment is and, in relation to that, we take our responsibility as designers of our living space seriously.” The company’s core competence lies in residential, industrial and commercial construction. A particularly great achievement is the residential building Prodomus Dällikon featuring a modern design language with high ceilings, quality sustainable materials and its own solar energy system. Another one is the energy self-sufficient apartment building Brütten, a real flagship for the symbioses of architecture and environmental engineering, which was realised in partnership with Umwelt Arena in Spreitenbach. “Without any power connections, the building is completely self-sufficient. Sunlight and environmental heat are generating enough power for the building, including household electricity,” Schmid explains.“The façade is covered by

high-quality photovoltaic panels generating the majority of the required energy, but it equally looks very elegant.” There are so many more exciting projects by René Schmid Architects, which are not only beautiful buildings from the outside but also wonderful examples of how sustainability can be an integral and driving part of architecture. “We are thinking about tomorrow today,” Schmid adds. “For us, this is how we put decency and respect for the next generation into practice.” Top left: Exterior of Prodomus Dällikon.   Photo: © Raumgleiter AG Top middle: Façade of energy self-sufficient apartment building Brütten. Photo: © Beat Bühler Fotografie Top right: Single-family home with gardens, Kindhousing Bergdietikon. Photo: © Raumgleiter AG Bottom: Exterior energy self-sufficient apartment building Brütten. Photo: © Beat Bühler Fotografie

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column

Withdrawal made (too) easy? TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

I had previously contemplated in this column whether the name the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ was in fact a bit of a misnomer, given the proposed wholesale adoption of the acquis communautaire into UK law. Unlikely though it is that anybody in Government actually read what I had to say, the Bill had nevertheless morphed into the rather more soberly named European Union (Withdrawal) Bill by the time it was introduced to Parliament in July 2017. Not to put too fine a point on it, beyond the cosmetics it is difficult to overstate the fundamental constitutional importance and far-reaching implications of the Bill, which go well beyond simply exiting the EU. At first glance, the Bill has three principal functions: - Repealing the European Communities Act 1972, by which the UK joined the EU, and ending the supremacy of EU law when the UK withdraws from the EU (interestingly, the Bill leaves the date open when this will happen); - Retaining EU-derived domestic law, converting directly applicable EU law as it stands on the day of Brexit into national UK law, and giving precedent status to decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union as they apply immediately before Brexit; these measures are aimed at ensuring that the UK retains a complete and functioning legislative system after Brexit; - Giving the government executive powers to amend existing laws through secondary legislation where this is considered necessary to ensure that those laws continue to operate effectively after the UK ceases to be a member of the EU, or to address some other perceived deficiency of retained EU law. The Bill seeks to establish a legal framework for what happens after Brexit and much of the detail remains to be coloured in. Within the parameters of Brexit, that sounds reasonable enough until, that is,

one analyses more closely what some of it actually means. In principle, retained EU and EU-derived legislation will continue to apply after Brexit until either Parliament enacts domestic legislation or the government introduces secondary legislation that modifies it. This should give some comfort to companies and individuals trying to plan ahead. However, many EU Regulations require administrative input or decision making by European institutions (such as the European Medicines Agency, Euratom, or the European Union Intellectual Property Office, to name but a few of them) and it is difficult to see how these regulations can continue to function properly once the UK no longer has access to these institutions. Furthermore, there is a notable exception to this continuity: the European Charter of Fundamental Rights will no longer apply and the risks that this will lead to a further erosion of fundamental rights for British citizens are obvious. The extremely wide-ranging executive powers that the Bill grants to the government to amend existing legislation without recourse to Parliament, and the correspondingly vague parameters for exercising these powers, have also attracted strong criticism. By way of example, the question of whether a provision of retained EU law is ‘deficient’ may well be in the eye of the beholder. Henry VIII was very fond of this approach to law making, but whether it is compatible with a 21st century democracy may be more open to question, in particular if one of the reasons given for Brexit was to overcome the alleged deficit of democratic accountability in European legislative processes. A further issue arises in relation to devolved powers: some powers that will be returned from the EU, such as farming and fisheries, fall within areas that are the responsibility of devolved government. The Scottish Na-

tional Party has accused the government of making a ‘power grab’ on the grounds that the Bill returns powers solely to Westminster, allows UK ministers to make changes in devolved areas without any Scottish Parliament involvement, and gives the devolved administration only very limited powers of amendment through secondary legislation in areas where powers have been returned. Far beyond simply withdrawing the UK from EU membership, the Bill may well end up redrawing the constitutional map of the UK. Constitutional experts, politicians, the press and the general public must wake up, engage and ensure that these issues are properly debated, and their voices are heard. The inevitable withdrawal symptoms could otherwise turn into something a lot more difficult to cure. Gregor Kleinknecht LM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Central London. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QN, E-mail:

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  101

Culture Calendar Get ready. September is packed with great events throughout. From wine festivals, to Mozart concerts and the legendary Oktoberfest in Munich, September promises to be an exciting month. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

Best of Mozart Fortress Concert, Salzburg (1 September – 31 October) High above the rooftops of Salzburg, with a breath-taking view of Mozart’s city and its surroundings, the most beloved works of Mozart to Strauss are played by the Salzburg Mozart Ensemble and the Mozart Chamber Orchestra of Salzburg in the most beautiful rooms the fortress has to offer. A concert experience of its finest. 102  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

Genussmeile, Vienna Woods (2, 3, 9, 10 September 2017) Hike and taste! With ten kilometres, this is the world’s longest bar. Genussmeile means ‘Mile of Indulgence’ and along Vienna’s waterline hiking

documenta 14, Agnes Denes – The Living Pyramid, Nordstadtpark. Photo: © Mathias Voelzke

path between Mödling and Bad Vöslau over 80 winegrowing enterprises from the Vienna Woods thermal region offer everything that can be produced from grapes. Raise your glasses!

Unspunnen Festival, Interlaken (until 3 September) The Unspunnen Festival (the Swiss Wrestling, National Costume and Alpine Herdsmen’s Festival) will bring together people of all ages and all language regions in beautiful Interlaken. It only takes place every 12 years and is sure to be a great festival of Swiss folk culture.

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Opening of Ars Electronica Festival, Linz. Photo: © Quentin Chevrier

Design Biennale, Zurich (7 – 10 September) The very first Design Biennale showcases how design sees the future. The exhibition examines digital fabrication, experimental processes and interactive materials. It aims to raise critical questions, research and above all a peek into the future.

Ars Electronica Festival, Linz (7 – 11 September) One of the world’s foremost media art festivals, the Ars Electronica attracts a wide international audience every year and turns the city into a setting for artistic and scientific encounters with social and cultural phenomena that are the upshot of technological change.

Lollapalooza Festival, Berlin (9 – 10 September) The popular US festival returns to the vibrant capital featuring fantastic headliners Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons, and The xx amongst

many others. With the Kidzapalooza festival location for kids, this special event warmly welcomes families as well.

Vienna Design Week 2017. Photo: © Bueronardin, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK

GolfMountain, Adelboden (10 September – 22 October) Europe’s highest altitude golf course welcomes visitors for a whole five weeks, professional and amateur players alike can indulge their passion at 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) above sea level on this 18-hole pop-up golf course. Oh, and there is also Raclette. Are you in?

Oktoberfest, Munich (16 September – 3 October) Make sure you order your traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl soon because the 184th Munich Oktoberfest is about to open its gates for beer lovers from all over the world. Once again, the legendary Wiesn has become the backdrop for indulging in pretzels and German beer. Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  103

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar documenta 14, Kassel (until 17 September) There is still time to visit one of the most important exhibitions of the world: the famous documenta. 160 international artists present works at more than 30 different sites, public institutions, squares, cinemas, and university locations.

Festival of German Film, Ludwigshafen am Rhein (until 17 September) The second-biggest German film festival (after the Berlinale) takes places on a scenic little Rhine island and celebrates the best of German filmmaking. Each year, the top of the top of Germany’s film scene get together and mingle with international film geeks in this beautiful setting.

Zermatt Impulse 2016. Photo: © 4478 Events GmbH

Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg. Photo: © Florian Trykowski

Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg (20 – 23 September) Germany’s biggest club festival happens in Hamburg’s infamous red light district around St. Pauli. Around 600 events in over 70 different venues make for a diverse mix of concerts, art, workshops and crafts in the heart of Hamburg.

Zermatt Impulse, Zermatt (21 – 24 September) This is a perfect event for mountain lovers! Zermatt Impulse offers a platform for inspiration, entertainment and exchange of ideas. Films, interviews and panel discussions invite the audience to connect, share and exchange new ideas and experiences all around the mountain.

Waves Vienna, Vienna (28 – 30 September) Waves Vienna is the city’s first club and showcase festival. The city’s most significant clubs, unique off-locations, and public spaces turn into the site of the Waves Vienna Festival. Under the motto ‘East meets West’, various international alternative, electronic, rock, and club acts perform and local artists complete the programme. There are lectures, panels and workshops, which aim to inspire Pan-European collaborations. 104  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

GolfMountain. Photo: © Adelboden Tourismus,, Paul Severn

Best of Mozart at Salzburg Fortress. Photo: © Tourismus Salzburg, Photo: Guenter Breitegger

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Stephansdom Vienna (Fridays and Saturdays throughout September) The Ensemble ‘Solisten des Wiener KammerOrchesters’ brings Antonio Vivaldi’s legendary Four Seasons to live against the stunning backdrop of the Stephansdom in Vienna. Make sure to book your tickets.

Vienna Design Week, Vienna (29 September – 8 October) Vienna Design Week is Austria´s largest design festival, with a variety of locations and events in Vienna. The festival, curated by Lilli Hollein, will enter its 11th round next year. Opening up creative processes and giving scope for experimentation on site are core elements of the festival concept.

Lollapalooza, Berlin, Kidzapalooza. Photo: © Johannes Riggelsen

Issue 54  |  September 2017  |  105

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Barbara Geier Column

Sober at Oktoberfest TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Is it that time of year again? I mean, is it really that time of year again? Yes, it is. We’re approaching September, which means Oktoberfest season is upon us. Germany’s beloved beer festival, which despite its name starts in late September, draws huge international crowds each year. Many would say it’s because of the beer (drinking), but not me. Because I’ve been a couple of times, but never had a drop of beer (can’t stand the taste) and still had a jolly good time. So, this one is for all the non-beer and in general more moderate drinkers for whom the exorbitant consumption of alcohol is not a prerequisite for having fun and letting your hair down. My Oktoberfest outing visits were slightly different to the very liquid merriment of Australians, New Zealanders, Italians, Brits – and, of course, Germans. The general image of the ‘Wiesn’, as the locals call the Oktoberfest, that the world is being presented with is one of lots of people drinking lots of beer and getting very drunk. ‘Bierleichen’ (beer corpses) on the meadows around the Bavaria statue on the fringes of the Theresienwiese where the festival takes place are a common sight. However, there’s another side to it. My personal ‘Wiesn’ memories include sun106  |  Issue 54  |  September 2017

shine, relaxed weekend mornings sitting on beer benches outside with good food and a nice glass of sparkling wine or white wine spritzer (that’s possible, yes, no one is going to shoot you). Or another year, dancing on benches in the ‘Weinzelt’ (wine tent), singing silly songs and madly clapping hands while it was raining cats and dogs outside. Unlike the typical big tents such as the ‘Hippodrome’ or ‘Augustiner’, the wine tent serves wine, sparkling wine, champagne and wheat beer only, not the traditional one-litre ‘Maß’. Just a hint for fellow non-beer drinkers out there who think the Oktoberfest is not for them. Let me also take this opportunity to stress another important thing that tends to be overlooked outside Germany: Traditionally, the Oktoberfest is not just a big ‘Besäufnis’ (i.e. booze-up) but a fantastic family fun fair with lots of rides, modern and wonderfully nostalgic ones, delicious foods and sweets and – a personal favourite of mine – ‘Bodos Cafézelt’, a tent all dedicated to cakes, coffee and massive hot chocolates. For international visitors – and from my point of view that is a bit unfortunate – it’s more or less all about drinking as much beer as possible. For me, as a German living abroad, it’s more about a special sense of ‘Heimat’ – even if I’m

not Bavarian. It’s about tradition, about beautiful colourful ‘Dirndls’ and ‘Lederhosen’ and socialising with friends and strangers. Believe it or not, that’s possible without drinking beer. Even for Germans.

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

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