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Issue 11 | February 2014

PLUS

Mesut Özil

NEW ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN 2014

READY FOR THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP IN BRAZIL

HAMBURG – METROPOLIS ON THE WATER

SWISS HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEASON


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Your Shortcut to Germany Bergen

NORWAY

Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg bo org

UNITED KINGDOM

G enburg Goth

Aarh A rhu us us

DENMARK K

Billund Manchester

London City

Brussels

BELGIUM BE

Düsseldorf

GERMANY

Munich

WINNER OF DANISH TRAVEL AWARD 2012 “BEST EUROPEAN AIRLINE”

Snacks

Mea ls

ba.com

Drinks

Pape rs

Lou nge s

Smi l es


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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents FEBRUARY 2014

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28 City of Basel. Photo: Michael Oswald

COVER FEATURE 6

Mt. Eiger and Mt. Moench. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

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Swiss Highlights What’s new in the Swiss ski resorts? And why do the people of Basel walk through their town with lanterns at 4 am in the morning? Read all about the Swiss highlights of the season.

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REGULARS & COLUMNS 9

Dedicated to Design Refreshing additions to our everyday lives.

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Fashion Finds Finish winter in style and spice up your wardrobe with a few new key items.

Vienna-based restaurant Vier Sinne offers much more than meets the eye. Dinner in the Dark changes perceptions, with guests having to rely on four senses only.

You’re never far from the water in Hamburg.The north German harbour city is an elegant beauty with a very special flair.

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The Swiss Theatre Fauteuil in Basel offers cabaret for both young and old, as well as musicals and dialect comedies. Great entertainment in a most extraordinary setting is guaranteed.

Hotels of the Month 18

Architecture & Design Guide 2014 Lush landscape architecture, award-winning product and industrial design as well as interiors and classic architecture do not fail to impress the style-savvy society.

Attractions of the Month 22

CULTURE & LIFESTYLE 15

SPECIAL THEMES 24

Dine & Wine Our wine expert Anne Krebiehl explains why Grüner Veltliner is a bit of a chameleon.

Mesut Özil Arsenal's artist-in-residence is relaxed about the expectations heaped on his shoulders both at the Emirates and with the German National Team in the upcoming World Cup.

60 Photo: Dresden Academy of Fine Arts

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Fancy a beach vacation? The HOTEL AM MEER & SPA on the North German island of Rügen may be just what you’re looking for. Located directly on the water front and featuring a beachy interior design concept, this boutique hotel is the perfect contender for a Baltic Sea break. The Appartement-Hotel an der Riemergasse in Vienna with its charming studios, suites and 24hour concierge guest service is a home from home right in the heart of the city. Plenty of history, strudel and coffee included. High above and literally on the top of Zurich lies the Hotel Uto Kulm, for 30 years this hotel has been a prime example of Swiss hospitality with spectacular views over the city below, Lake Zurich and the snow-capped alpine mountain tops.

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Conference of the Month Top-notch conference facilities meet authentic Bavarian ambience at The Monarch Hotel at Bad Gögging in the South of Germany near Munich.

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Business Careful what you tweet for – our legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht takes a closer look at the pitfalls of social media.

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Education The University of Fine Arts Dresden celebrates its 250th anniversary.

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Barbara Geier Our witty columnist Barbara Geier shares her wish for 2014.

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 11, February 2014

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 17.01.2014 ISSN 2051-7718

Lena Meyer Faye Beermann Ariam Bereket Caroline Nindl

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Advertising info@discovergermany.com

Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Discover Germany is published by: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Tina Awtani Art Director

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 info@discovergermany.com

Svetlana Slizova Copy-Editor

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Emmie Collinge Contributors Elisabeth Doehne Phil Gale

We hope you had a good start to the new year. 2014 will be a very special year for Germany, as it marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Plenty of celebrations will be held throughout the country to commemorate this history-shaping event that brought East and West back together. Another celebration to look forward to is the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ starting in June. German Jürgen Klinsmann is head coach of the U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team, while the German squad is managed by Jogi Löw. Both teams are in the same group so it will be a most interesting tournament to watch.To get you in the mood for Brazil, read what player Mesut Özil has to say about the upcoming World Cup and his new life as an Arsenal player in London. If you are about to visit Switzerland for the skiing season, our Swiss Highlights special theme is the section to take a closer look at. Find out what’s new on the slopes, from where to catch the best views and how to make the most of your stay. Did you know that the people of Basel are passionate about carnival? The famous Basler Fasnacht is an annual celebration not to be missed in March. Those passionate about architecture and design will be positively surprised by the outstanding studios presented in our Architecture & Design Guide 2014. From landscaping to product and industrial design, interior design, light installations and contemporary architecture, the variety of talent in the German speaking region is a celebration of style.

Barbara Geier Julie Guldbrandsen Jessica Holzhausen Sonja Irani Gregor Kleinknecht Anne Krebiehl

Needless to say, there is much more is to be discovered in this issue. For the Discover Germany team it is a very special edition as it marks our first anniversary and we would like to thank you for your loyalty over the past twelve months. May 2014 be a great year for all of you.

Cordelia Makartsev

Enjoy the magazine!

Franziska Nössig Jessica Pommer Dorina Reichhold Marilena Stracke

Tina Awtani

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

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There is a place where art, culture and academic studies find space to develop between tradition and innovation.

www.mdw.ac.at

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Mesut Ă–zil

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Mesut Özil

Mesut Özil showcasing his new logo. Sky Media Network cooperated with Ogilvy Mather to analyse and define the brand Mesut Özil based on Ogilvy's world exclusive big ideaL method. Photo: obs/Sky (presseportal.de)

Mesut Özil “Pressure is nothing that scares me … I don't feel pressure” Arsenal's artist-in-residence is relaxed about the expectations heaped on his shoulders both at the Emirates and with Germany TEXT: DAVIS HYTNER | THE GUARDIAN | THE INTERVIEW PEOPLE

Mesut Özil has a couple of things resting on his shoulders. As the signing who obliterated the Arsenal transfer record in September, he is the symbol of a new era, the primary reason why the club and its supporters have dared to believe that things can be different this season. Eight years without a trophy have weighed heavily.The 25-year-old is a symbol of the new Germany, the nation's most exciting player, and he is prominent among the reasons why they expect to win the World Cup in summer 2014. "I have played for Real Madrid, which is such a big club and where the pressure is so huge because you have to go and, really, win absolutely every game," he says. "There is no game where people don't expect you to win. So, having played there for three years, pressure is nothing that would scare me. That's why I don't really feel the pressure." Özil shrugs and smiles boyishly. "The second thing is that what I do on a daily basis is what I love. I love playing football. So I go out to play football and I

don't really feel pressure. Of course there are some days when things just don't work out as well as they do on other days but that doesn't have anything to do with pressure." Ready for the World Cup Some people have described Özil as shy but he does not come across like that. He answers in German – one of his three languages, together with Turkish and Spanish – yet he understands the questions in English and he does not wait for the interpreter. His English is better than he likes to let on but it is a big step to begin using it in interviews. Özil is not demonstrative. He is quiet, devout, humble. There is a steel to him, an inner-belief that has underpinned his rise from Gelsenkirchen street footballer to card-carrying superstar and it comes to the fore when he talks of his ambition. The World Cup draw, Özil suggests, was little more than a sideshow because Germany plan to beat the very best and so the order of their opponents was largely irrelevant.They have Portugal, Ghana and the US in Group G. "We are going to Brazil with the aim of win-

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Mesut Özil

Photo: Getty Images

"I had long conversations with Wenger before I joined Real and that's how I got to know about Arsenal, and the way that they like to sign talented players who can move the ball well," Özil says. "That's really important for me. In the end, I did decide to go to Real and I had three wonderful years there. I had a great manager in José Mourinho, who really helped me. He was always there when I needed him. "I'm really proud to be here now and the most important thing was the trust that the boss put in me. He convinced me to sign and I could not be any happier to be here. This has really been the perfect step for me. Wenger is one of the best managers. This is why we are so successful and why we are on a good path." He knows what he wants Özil is a rarity who is liked by all supporters, largely because of the fantasy in his game, the purity and smoothness of his touch.There is nothing negative about him, nothing nasty. And he likes being in London. “I also have to say that the fans here are very fair.” And he adds: “The Premier League is the best league in the world, it's so strong. The smaller teams love to try their chances against the big ones and this is why the game goes back and forth. That can be strenuous, tough on you and your body but I really love it."

ning the tournament," he says. "We will have to play some good teams anyway so if we play them early on or later, it doesn't really matter. We have to beat them all." Özil helped José Mourinho's Madrid break Barcelona's dominance and win the Spanish title in 2012 with 100 points; a monument to sustained mental toughness as much as technical quality. Özil's other career honours have been the 2011 Copa del Rey with Madrid and the 2009 German Cup with Werder Bremen, when he scored the winner in the final against Bayer Leverkusen. His confidence is based on the Wenger factor. It was the manager who

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sweet-talked him (in German) into swapping Madrid for Arsenal on the eve of the transfer deadline and it is Wenger who has given him the platform to express himself. Wenger knows how to handle artists, and Özil has responded to the faith that has been placed in him. He needs this, he thrives on it, and it was obvious that it had gone under Carlo Ancelotti at Madrid, even if the decision to sell him for £42.5m drew an incredulous response from many of the club's players. Wenger had tried to sign Özil before the player left his first club, Schalke, for Bremen in 2008 and, again, when he departed Bremen for Madrid in 2010. At last, he has his man.

Özil has settled in London, helped by Arsenal's German bloc – Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Serge Gnabry – and a particularly focused search for accommodation. "I took one week where I really went house-hunting … I looked at quite a few and we have found one. I am not the type who wants to stay in a hotel because we travel so much." About himself he says: "I am a very calm person outside of the pitch, as you might have noticed. I am not very loud. I am a family person and I savour life. I am very grateful for what I have but when I enter the pitch I am a different personality. I am not as calm and I am a bit louder. I know what I want."


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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... German design is all about durability, great quality and smart solutions. January calls for uplifting measures, and this little selection of clever and cool products offers some refreshing additions to our everyday lives.

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BY JULIE GULDBRANDSEN

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Reisenthel has developed a new versatile activity bag for leisure. With multiple practical compartments and details, it is the perfect all-rounder for travel, sports or as an everyday carrier. The padded shoulder strap makes it comfortable to carry. £33. www.reisenthel.com

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Young German design brand Piure creates flexible furniture solutions of the highest quality, like this elegant sideboard. The pieces are modular and stackable, which makes it possible to get an individual and unique piece of furniture. Prices from app. £1500. www.designfunktion.de

Longing for some sun? The Cazador sun catcher could be the cure. The sadder the weather, the brighter the fluorescent catcher shines. A great item for the garden, balcony, or in a plant pot inside the house. £28. www.connox.com

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The new milk jug by Wesco will bring a cool retro feel to the coffee table. The convenient pouring spout ensures accurate dosing. Available in a variety of colours. £37. www.mcgovernhome.co.uk Protect and upgrade your iPad’s style credentials with this beautifully finished leather cover by Germanmade. Felt-lined and with an exclusive vintage feel to the leather, the contrast stitching completes this cool luxurious look. £50. www.germanmadepunkt.de

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Discover Germany | Design Xxx | Xxxx | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Long winter days may still be ahead of us but we can tweak our closets a bit to keep it interesting for the rest of the season. You can easily brighten up your winter wardrobe with a cool coat or a great accessory. Even the smallest detail can make a huge difference. BY JULIE GULDBRANDSEN

The German designer Isabell de Hillerin creates elegant collections with structured cuts and details founded in the traditional artisan craft. Merging contemporary clean cuts with traditional folkloric handmade materials, the styles radiate cool individual flair. The petrol coloured coat by Isabell de Hillerin is the epitome of this designer’s structured and clean style. A coat like this will add interest and bite to your outdoor ensemble. £350. shop.isabelldehillerin.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

A simple black outfit quickly gets an overhaul with a beautiful scarf like this digitally printed one by Julia and Ben. Made from modal and cashmere it also works as a comfortable, soft and warming accessory. £133. shop.juliaandben.com

These are the perfect cold weather trousers - in pure merino wool, burgundy coloured and in a cool jacquard print design. £84. marc-o-polo.de

Keep your feet warm and cool in these leather and cowhide boots by Reality Studio. The rubber sole will give you a solid foothold. £323. www.realitystudio.de

Low temperature dinner dates and nights on the town call for a bit of a zesty outfit. This navy blue dress by Isabell de Hillerin is a sophisticated choice. The handmade embroidery on the back adds the final touch. £300. shop.isabelldehillerin.com

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Grüner Veltliner - a bit of a chameleon When I say Grüner Veltliner your mind will probably turn to a zippy, light-bodied and easy-drinking white wine, and you are right of course. Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s signature white grape variety has made its name by being the guzzling wine of Heurigen taverns. Vienna and the Weinviertel are its spiritual home, where the variety is also referred to as ‘Pfefferl’ – simply because its varietally typical flavour can be incredibly peppery. This is due to above-average levels of the compound rotundone, which also makes grape varieties like Syrah so spicy. TEXT: ANNE KREBIEHL | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

But think again: GrünerVeltliner is not only light-bodied and easy-drinking: there are some very serious, concentrated, even oakmatured and age-worthy GrünerVeltliners around. They will show their true colours with a bit of maturity and are as versatile as

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the entry-level Grüner Veltliners when it comes to the table.Their mid-palate weight and textural richness make them ideal food companions. For Mathieu Germond, sommelier at London’s Pied-à-Terre restaurant they are a trump card:“They go with lots of

different dishes because they are so well balanced. Grüner Veltliner is always one of my first suggestions when several people have different starters on the table: you can have a ceviche, an asparagus course, a truffle risotto – this wine will add up to every-


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Discover Germany | Anne Krebiehl | Grüner Veltliner

Left: Kremstal Vineyard

gle-site expression with great potential for maturity and ageing. The grape variety is very capable as long as the soil is right, then it can play on many levels.”So what is the difference between a simple, refreshing entry-level GrünerVeltliner and a rounded, age-worthy-wine? As in all viticulture this is almost always down to yield and concentration. Fewer bunches on the vine mean more concentrated fruit. Old, established vines also mean more concentration and flavour. Certain single-vineyard wines (as opposed to wines blended from numerous vineyards or even across a region) lend themselves to these lower yields and can thus express a lot of local character. Most GrünerVeltliner vineyards are planted on sites where primary rock is covered in loess, wind-blown sediment that is waterretentive, something that the drought-susceptible Grüner Veltliner prefers. Careful selection of fruit is paramount, too. Starwinemaker Birgit Eichinger from Kamptal where 60% of her vineyards are planted to Grüner Veltliner says that “only the most beautiful grapes are used in these single vineyard wines.” She then ages them on their lees (the dead yeast cells from the alcoholic fermentation), to give the wine extra body and substance. Her two star Veltliners are from the single vineyards Gaisberg (loess on gneiss), with notes of white pepper and apricot and Lamm (loess on volcanic rock) with wonderfully savoury flavours, almost reminiscent of soy sauce. Both of these are sold as‘Reserve’.

thing, more than going for just one dish I would stay it matches several dishes on one table,”he attests and gives this ringing endorsement: ”I think it’s a very interesting wine to match with food, it is very complimentary, it is not famous but it should be, it’s definitely made for the gastronomic table and I love to surprise people.” Viennese winemaker Rainer Christ explains: “Grüner Veltliner is a bit of a chameleon. It’s a variety that excels in numerous facets and weights: it works as a light summer wine but also as a great sin-

its own classification for a long time and a weighty, age-worthy Grüner Veltliner will say‘Smaragd’on the label, the equivalent of ‘Reserve’ elsewhere. Bert Salomon of the Salomon Undhof winery in Kremstal who makes compelling Grüner Veltliner from his Stein vineyard does not hesitate to compare his aged wines to fine white Burgundies and, just like sommeliers around the world, loves the varieties’ great foodfriendliness: “GV ist never smothered by flavour or even fat,“ he declares. If you are looking to feast but prefer white to red wine, a Reserve or Samaragd Grüner Veltliner might just be the answer. Below: Birgit Eichinge Bottom: Gruener Veltliner Gaisbergr

Unlike in France, the term ‘Reserve’ is defined under Austrian wine law when used in one of the DACs (Districtus Austriae Controllatus), Austria’s regional appellation. Currently there are five DACs for Grüner Veltliner: Weinviertel, Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental and Leithaberg, all of which can be made in this ‘Reserve’ style which requires longer ageing, a minimum alcohol volume of 13% - which ensures that the wines are more opulent and fullbodied – and while oak-flavours from wood ageing in‘classic’DACs are not permitted, in the‘Reserve’styles they are. Lovers of Austrian wines will now cry: “but what about the Wachau?”This Danube-region has used

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Welcome to Hamburg The happy metropolis on the water Located on the shores of the river Elbe, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city after Berlin and it has a lot to offer in terms of lifestyle, culture, shopping and sightseeing. Renowned for its understated elegance, the international harbour city in the North of the country is often referred to as the Gateway to the World. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: HAMBURG MARKETING GMBH

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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Welcome to Hamburg

Left: Take a little Alster cruise. Right,top: Alster landing pier Jungfernstieg. Alsterarkaden shopping district. Photos: Christian Spahrbier

Hamburg is a city with a long history dating back to the 9th century. In the medieval times it was a member of the Hanseatic trading league and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, thanks to its strategic

location with good sea access, Hamburg evolved naturally into a vibrant and multicultural hub to the world. In Hamburg you are never far away from the water, be it the river Elbe, the huge Alster lake in the city

centre or one of the countless canals. More than 10,000 ships enter and leave the Elbe every year, about half of them container ships and each arrival and departure is greeted with their national anthem as they pass Hamburg’s famous Willkomm-HÜft (welcome point). Much of the city evolves around harbour life such as the state of the art modern HafenCity Hamburg with its contemporary architectural highlights, the vibrant Reeperbahn entertainment, livemusic and nightlife district, where the Beatles once started their career or the legendary Sunday Fischmarkt (fish market) starting at 5 am - a great place to enjoy a fresh roll with a Rollmops (pickled herring) and the perfect location for night owls to have a final beer or first coffee. Around the Alster Moving towards the city center and closer to the Alster region, Hamburg turns into an

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elegant beauty featuring grand landmark buildings surrounding the peaceful lake with its 60 m high fountain. Rent a boat, stroll around or attend one of the great events taking place here such as the annual Kirschblütenfest. Every year since 1967, the Japanese community in Hamburg has staged an impressive fireworks display around the Außenalster (Outer Alster) as part of its Cherry Blossom Festival and as a token of gratitude to the City of Hamburg. Save the date as this year the festival will take place on 16 May. Very rarely and only after two weeks of freezing weather conditions is the frozen Alster opened to the public for the Alster-Eis-Vergnügen and turned into a buzzing winter festival on ice.This did not happen for 15 unseasonably warm years until the chilly February 2012, so if it should happen again it is an event not to be missed. The revamped Jungfernstieg forms the border to the south of the Alster, where Hamburg’s luxury shopping boulevard begins, the Neuer Wall, one of Europe’s top ten luxury shopping miles or the ABC-quarter, which was named after one of the oldest documented streets in Hamburg.

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A cultural hotspot Hamburg ist proud to be home to a great variety of cultural highlights including an array of museums such as the Art Museum, the Museum for Decorative Arts, the Spice Museum, the Hamburg Museum or the great model railroad Miniatur Wunderland. The Hamburg Dungeons are not for the faint-hearted and for those who appreciate photography and modern art the Deichtorhallen offer 5,600 sqm of exhibition space. Theaters form a big part of Hamburg’s cultural life and offer a great variety of entertainment. From comedy to ballet, children’s theatre to the great classic plays, every taste is catered for on the Hamburg stages. Amongst the most original venues are the Schmidt’s Tivoli, a quirky place in the bohemian St. Pauli district and the Ohnsorg Theater, where the old Low German language is preserved. Musicals like Rocky or The Lion King attract countless visitors every year. Hamburg’s Opera was Germany’s first ever public opera house and dates back to 1678. A new concert building

is currently under construction in the HafenCity, the striking Elbphilharmonie


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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Welcome to Hamburg

Citizen Opera will resemble a ship and is expected to open its doors in 2017. Have a good time in Hamburg Whether you are on a sightseeing tour or just looking to have a great time, Hamburg is the perfect destination for a city trip. Landmark buildings such as the Town Hall or the St. Michael’s church, the Deichtorhallen or the Chile House are synonymous with Hamburg’s historically grown grandness and never fail to impress visitors again and again. Enjoy a tour through the iconic Hagenbeck zoo with the adjoining tropical aquarium or take a stroll through the lavish Planten un Blomen park area. If you plan your trip carefully you should consider fitting it in around the popular Hamburger Dom funfair, which takes places three timesa year, attracting millions of visitors. The Hafengeburtstag starting 9 May is another highlight and celebrates the harbour’s 824th birthday in 2014. Over a million people will come together along the Elbe and celebrate the greatest harbour festival in the world while admiring the spectacular parade of beautiful boats including

large cruise ships, frigates and steamboats. It certainly is the water that adds the special charm to the city of Hamburg and it may come as no surprise that, according to the Deutsche Post Glücksatlas (German happiness atlas) 2013, a survey conducted by the German post, people from Hamburg are the happiest in the country. www.hamburg-travel.com Above: Hamburg and the Alster. Photo: Christian Spahrbier Left, from top to bottom: Fresh fish rolls are a specialty in Hamburg. Photo: Stefan Groenveld Schmidt Theatre, Reeperbahn. Photo: Roberto Kai Hegeler Right, from top to bottom: Harbour district Landungsbrucken. Photo: Christian Spahrbier Dockland office building. Photo: Christian Spahrbier Mellin Passage shopping arcade. Photo: Sven Schwarze

For comprehensive information, free booking of hotels, tickets and package tour offers please contact: Hamburg Tourist Board Phone +49 40 51 300 701 info@hamburg-tourism.de www.hamburg-travel.com

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Hotel

of the Month Germany

“The beach is the central theme” A boutique hotel with seaside charm The wellness and design HOTEL AM MEER & SPA on the island of Rügen is as close as it gets to the shores of the Baltic Sea. The privately run boutique hotel is the perfect getaway for those who just can’t get enough of the sand beneath their feet. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: HOTEL AM MEER

Rügen is Germany’s largest island and well known for its natural and structural diversity, while the town of Binz, the largest and probably most famous of Rügen’s seaside resorts, is a prime example of the magnificent Bäderarchitektur (seaside resort architecture), which reached its peak at the beginning of the 19th century. The HOTEL AM MEER & SPA is located directly on the waterfront along the beautiful promenade. New design brings the seaside inside After a complete renovation, the newly designed HOTEL AM MEER & SPA was re-

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opened in April 2012. The idea of blending the beach from the outside with the interior of the hotel was the cornerstone of the whole project and it came to fruition with the help of interior designer Hendrik Fraune. “The location of our four-star superior HOTEL AM MEER & SPA is absolutely unique. You literally can’t get any closer to the beach. The Baltic Sea is always right in front of you and wherever you are in the hotel you can enjoy uninterrupted sea views. Sea-life in all its facets and the maritime atmosphere is captured all over the hotel. It feels as if nature and

Owner Wolfgang Schewe


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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Hotel of the Month Germany

Left: HOTEL AM MEER & SPA Binz - The perfect beach retreat

Light local cuisine with a Scandinavian twist Head Chef Oliver Finn spearheads the brand new meerbar | restaurant & bar. Specialising in light and healthy food, his creations are a contemporary interpretation of local and traditional Pomeranian dishes refined with a Scandinavian twist. And just like the beach ambience in the restaurant, which is of course seafront facing, the menu oozes seaside delight with plenty of fresh fish to choose from. The restaurant team is proud to source most ingredients directly from local suppliers. Just like the restaurants, a modern bar area serves as a place for coffee and cake in the afternoon. Later the bar area transforms into a vibrant cocktail place, where the ever-friendly barkeeper is always happy to recommend something really special from the exquisite wine or spirits menu. For those guests who had a long night, the restaurant offers a longsleeper-breakfast until 1.30 pm, so no one needs to rush out of bed for breakfast. Just what one needs for a relaxing holiday.

high concentration of Iodine is incredibly healthy for body and mind. The HOTEL AM MEER & SPA also offers a variety of conference facilities, where business meetings, off-sites or private functions are hosted in seaside style. An experienced team is on hand to create tailor-made solutions and ensure that all events run smoothly. Weddings on the nearby beach are a top tip for those who are planning to tie the knot. www.hotel-am-meer.de Bottom: VITALITY SPA with pool and sauna

In-house and outdoor recreation

the interior design with all the modern and maritime elements blend into one unit.The beach is the central theme throughout the premises,” owner and manager Wolfgang Schewe explains. Together with his skilled team he is constantly striving to make a stay at the HOTEL AM MEER & SPA a fantastic and pleasurable experience. All needs are catered for, whether one wishes to take a relaxed stroll along the beach for hours, opts for an activity-packed holiday or prefers the blissful ambience of a spa. “We offer the combination of activity, relaxing and enjoyment – this is exactly what our guests appreciate,”Schewe says. Most of the 60 contemporary rooms of various categories and two exclusive apartments offer fantastic panoramic views of nature’s most beautiful coast life.

Multi level activity is key at the HOTEL AM MEER & SPA and options for staying in shape and feeling great are aplenty. The 600 sqm large VITALITY SPA is a haven of wellness featuring a state-of-the-art pool area, various saunas and steam baths including Rhassoul-bath and Hamam, as well as a great variety of pampering treatments with luxurious Clarins and Ligne ST Barth products. Fitness fans are most welcome to use the hotel’s extensive gym facilities. Although a great choice of equipment is available, the hotel staff highly recommends al fresco exercise.“In our gym you’ll find a sign saying ‘…and jogging is best at the beach’. This recommendation comes from the heart, some of our team members are marathon runners. Hiking through the fascinating nature with or without a guide, cycling tours or water sports – we organise almost everything. The town of Binz also offers great sports and activity programmes for visitors of all ages, especially during the summer,”Schewe says. And what’s more, it is no secret that the coastal breeze with its

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Hotel

of the Month Austria

Home, sweet home in the heart of Vienna Want to feel at home even when you are travelling? If so, look no further than the Appartement-Hotel an der Riemergasse in Vienna with its charming studios, suites and 24-hour concierge guest service. If you are not adverse to history, strudel and coffee, this may be your perfect destination. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Our guests can walk to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in just 3 minutes, but the hotel’s surrounding area is very quiet,”says hotel director Irene Vohryzka about the 4-star hotel’s unique location. “Most sights can be reached on foot. The shops and shopping streets are basically on our doorstep. We also have excellent public and private transport links.“ Inside the Art Nouveau building, which dates back to the turn of the 20th century, business or leisure guests can choose to relax in a 30 m² studio, a 40 m² studio superior, a 60 m² comfort suite, a 80 m² deluxe suite or a grande suite that offers more than 90 m² of living space. “The studios may be more suitable for

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business travellers or guests who only stay a few nights. All our suites come with a fully-equipped kitchen and are therefore especially appealing to families, guests on extended stays or those who just enjoy a generous living space. Every now and then, we also accommodate artists who particularly value the private atmosphere here.“ Enjoy personal and individual service Even though you are free to enjoy your own independent living space when staying at the Appartement-Hotel an der Riemergasse, you will certainly be well looked after whenever you need anything.


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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Hotel of the Month Austria

Left and below: Well designed individual suites and studios offer a private atmosphere.

medieval times that was a craftsman working within the leather trade),” it is revealed about the origins of the hotel’s name . “After several other changes in ownership (i.e. the families von und zu Daun, Eszterhazy, Lichtensteins,Yermoloff etc.), the original house was demolished in 1903. In the same year, the construction of a new house began which is today the current five-storey house. At the turn of the century, Vienna was basically a huge construction site. The old city walls came down to make way for the new Viennese Ringstraße. In the hallway, you can still find a red marble panel that mentions Alois Schuhmacher, one of the time’s most influential Austrian architects.” Maintaining the lavish lifestyle of this era has always been a matter of heart to the hotel management: “We try to keep as much as we can of the historical features dating back to the turn of the century. The staircases still have the original floor tiles and cast-iron railing. When the lift was renovated, we managed to keep the original cabin from 1903.” In addition, each of the hotel's 18 apartments features its own colour scheme and is thus one-ofa-kind. Take a Viennese (coffee) break The top priority for the hotel team is the wellbeing of their guests and they ensure that their wishes are fulfilled at all times:“We offer a 24-hour concierge service, 7 days a week. Due to the size of our house, just 18 units, we are able to offer a very personal and individual approach to the wishes and needs of our guests.“ Services include organising taxis to and from the airport or station, as well as booking theatre, opera and concert tickets, restaurant tables, bicycles, Segways or babysitters. Furthermore, the hotel has partnered up with a sightseeing company that collects the guests at the hotel and takes them to an assembly point from where they can embark on a variety of tours in and around Vienna as well as on trips to Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Salzburg etc.

Step into history “The oldest traceable property owner of the former house was Peter von Henesdorf who sold it in 1457 to a Riemer (in

Breakfast can either be taken in your own apartment or at the hotel’s partner Café Digals, one of the city’s most traditional coffee houses offering typicalViennese flair. With special regard for guests from the British Isles, Irene Vohryzka highly recommends trying out this part ofViennese culture: “The five o’clock tea in Britain is the Kaffeejause in Vienna. My recommendation is to visit one of the many traditional coffee houses. Don’t just order a coffee there, but try Viennese specialties such as Melange (a small espresso served in a large cup with half steamed milk topped off with milk froth) or an Einspänner (strong black coffee served in a glass that comes with whipped cream and separate powder sugar). And don’t miss out on the delicious Strudel!” www.riemergasse.at

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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Attraction of the Month Austria

Attraction of the Month Austria

A truly enlightening dining experience

Dinner in the dark changes perceptions Vienna’s Vier Sinne (four senses) restaurant offers much more than meets the eye. The Dinner in the Dark experience is a culinary journey of a different kind where guests can’t see a thing. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“80 per cent of the things we perceive are captured with our eyes. In today’s world we are constantly exposed to visual overstimulation. When you turn off the lights, everything changes. All of a sudden our capability to feel, to hear, to smell, or to taste things, bear a completely new meaning,” Emanuael Frass, owner of the Vier Sinne restaurant, explains. Dinner in the Dark just celebrated its fifth birthday in January and has grown into an exciting hospitality concept for private parties as well as corporate functions, attracting guests from far beyond the borders of Vienna. School classes have enjoyed Dinner in the Dark as an educational project and so have couples, who were looking for a very special dining experience. And more and more companies are taking advantage of the restaurant’s seminar facilities. The

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Dreamteam team building seminars are a very efficient method of strengthening relationships amongst colleagues.“With eight colleagues we took part in a seminar at the Vier Sinne restaurant…We left the world of the night with a new awareness: The truly important is invisible, one only sees well with the heart…”a guest says. Upon arrival guests are greeted with a glass of bubbly before being guided through the

curtain, which separates the illuminated from the dark area, by blind waiters. Working with blind staff is perfect for the restaurant as guests couldn’t be in better hands. The blind waiters are at total ease with their surrounding and make sure that all guests feel welcomed and relaxed. The chefs in the (illuminated) kitchen use fresh seasonal ingredients to create a delicious four course menu, which is available as a meat, fish or vegetarian option. After dinner, the music volume goes up and party time starts. TheVier Sinne restaurant is highly ranked by impartial voters with more than 4.5 stars on Facebook, Qype and Google, and booking in advance is highly recommended. www.viersinne.at


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Bildklapptisch d lapptisch apptisch

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Picture cture T Table Ta able le e

des österreichischen ichischen Labels IvyDesign, n, Verena Verena Lang

designed d esigned by by the the Austrian Austrian label label IvyDesign, Verena Verena Lang

Bildtisch, ein Bildtisch, n exklusiver Klapp Klapp-tisch,, ist eine tisch e innovative Lösung für W Wohnzimmer, ohnzimm mer, kleine Küchen, Hotels oder Räumlichkeiten, R die für verschiedene dene Zwecke ge ge-nützt werden.. Der massive und hochwertige Esstisch aus Holz und Edelstahll ist ein Möbelstück, das durch An An-die-Wand-Klappen n-die-Wand-Klappen rasch in eine einen en dekorative dekorativen n und platzsparenden en Einrich Einrichtungstungsgegenstand verwandelt v werden kann. An derr Wand Wand wird Bild Bild-tisch zum Bilderrahmen, B der sich mit eigenen enen Postern oder Fotodrucken n individuali individualisieren sieren lässt. Bildtisch istt alternativ mit Spiegel und Sondermaßen d in Sonderm aßen erhältlich.

Picture Table Table is a folding g dining t table for private living, hotels, ccoffeehouses cof ffeehouses and multifunctional nctional s spaces. The sturdy table, a space c consuming, functional piece p of f furniture can quickly be turned into a decora decorative, tive, space saving a and attractive object. Fold Folded lded to t the wall it becomes a picture f frame. The poster can be chosen a and exchanged by the owner easily.. e easily Picture Table Table can n be purchased with a mirror. mirror. Individual sizes are available availa able on demand. d emand.

erhältlich unter er www w.ivydesign.at www.ivydesign.at available at www.ivydesign.at w w.ivydesign.at www

Standard s Standard size: ize: 1 130 30 x 8 85 5x7 75cm 5cm Colors C olors o on nd demand. emand. Materials: M aterials: w wood, ood, sstainless tainless ssteel teel


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Highlights

Special Theme

Swiss Highlights

Welcome to Switzerland

Above, left: Near cable car station to the Lauberhorn at Kleine Scheidegg. In the background Mt. Eiger and Mt. Moench.

We are thrilled to announce Switzerland is back in the hearts, the minds, and on the winter calendars of UK wintersports lovers. UK overnights are on the rise!

Photos: Switzerland Tourism / Christof Sonderegger

Above, right: On Lenzerheide (1473 m) in Canton Graubuenden. Cross-country skiing in an enchanted landscape. Bottom: The old town of Basel, the Rhine, the 'Mittlere Bruecke' and the Muenster (cathedral) on a cold but sunny winter morning. Photo: Switzerland Tourism / Andreas Gerth

TEXT & PHOTOS: SWITZERLAND TOURISM

After a positive increase in UK visitors last winter, the summer is looking even stronger – in July 2013 UK visits were up by 17.4 per cent (Jan to July plus 5.7 per cent yoy). This bodes well for an exciting winter. Check out more reasons than ever to come back to Switzerland… Why do Britons love Swiss winters? Snow is a sure thing. With 48 sparkling peaks over 4,000 m and 29 resorts perched above 2,800 m, the ultimate white ski holiday is virtually guaranteed. See top picks for ski in-ski out hotels, holiday offers and season opening dates plus our improved snow reports including current slope status, weather forecasts, lift prices and more at myswitzerland.com/winter. Original, authentic villages Enjoy typical Swiss specialities, magical hut experiences and cosy, real Alpine living, in-

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cluding 11 car-free winter resorts. And we do it all in four languages! Superlative service and high quality, top hotels, clean guesthouses and tidy wooden chalets: Swiss hospitality is emulated the world over. Why not come to where it all started? And the trains: we couldn’t not mention our comfortable public transport providing short, smart connections to the mountains. Now’s the time to visit these newly linked ski areas Arosa and Lenzerheide are now connected. 225 km of slopes await in what is now the largest linked area in Graubünden and one of Switzerland’s top 10 biggest ski areas. One shiny new cable car - and the two resorts of Grimentz and Zinal also become one. The two new gondolas carry 125 people each, for a length of 3,522 m and can transport 825 people per hour. Hop on the Valais’hottest new ride.

Best ski runs in Switzerland From Mont-Fort piste, the Inferno Slope in Murren with 14.9km from Schilthorn to Lauterbrunnen, to the gravity defying Swiss Wall in Champery. Go for World Cup greatness on The Lauberhorn in Wengen and on Andermatt’s Bernhard Russi Run, named after a great of ski racing and course design. Visit our website to find out more and make the most of your next visit to Switzerland. www.MySwitzerland.com


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Atelier KE

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Grindelwald · Wengen · Mürren · Lauterbrunnen

1 r o f 2 or two l room f

ote

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2 50

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* When you purchase a 2 for 1 offer (2 nights and 3-day ski pass) for two persons, the second person is free of charge. The exchange rate of the day is valid when invoicing in Euro. Prices are subject to change. Price includes service, taxes and 8 % VAT. The general terms and conditions of booking of Jungfraubahnen Management AG and Jungfrau Region Marketing AG apply. A booking fee of CHF 15 per person is charged.

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Literally a top location on Top of Zurich

Hotel and restaurant Uto Kulm Zurich If you are looking for a room with a view make sure you know your preferences when in Zurich: The four-star hotel and restaurant Uto Kulm will definitely reward you for your choice. All rooms offer stunning panoramas of the city, Lake Zurich or the Alps, and the hotel also serves as a fantastic backdrop for weddings. Speaking of romance: Those already thinking ahead should look into the hotel’s Valentine’s Special and its slightly different take on the panoramic view... TEXT: FRANZISKA NÖSSIG | PHOTOS: UTO KULM ZURICH

The four-star hotel and restaurant Uto Kulm is located at the top of the Uetliberg, or ‘Uetzgi’ as the locals call the mountain rising above the city. “The view from up here is magnificent and unique at any time of the day – today and for the past 30 years”, says Giusep Fry, the manager who has owned the hotel since 1983. Next to Zurich itself, its lake and airport, hotel guests and day visitors can easily see the Limmat Valley, the nearby Albis chain of hills and the Alps from the viewing tower. On a clear day and with a bit of luck, it is also a good spot to catch a glimpse of the Bernese Oberland with its three emblematic summits: Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau.

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Hotelier Giusep Fry

The same grand view opens out for restaurant guests enjoying a drink or some of the menu’s delectable creations on the hotel’s covered terrace“La Belezza”. Products from the Uetliberg itself, like wild garlic and honey, herbs and mushrooms enrich the traditional, regional cuisine. 30 years ago, Giusep Fry, a young entrepreneur from Surselva District in the canton of Grisons, took over the little provincial pub from its previous owner and turned it around completely. Today, the four-star hotel and restaurant Uto Kulm Zurich with its 120 staff is a firstclass address in the area and well-respected for its range of facilities for catering, banquets, weddings and seminars.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Highlights

Hotel Uto Kulm Zurich

rather challenging to keep up with the afternoon stroll afterwards. Furthermore, the area around the hotel is the destination for primary school excursions aimed at familiarising local children with‘their’Uetliberg and the area’s heritage. The mountain has served as a refuge for Helvetic Celts in the Bronze Age and later, during the Middle Ages, even accommodated six castles at the same time.

Hotel

of the Month Switzerland

On certain evenings throughout the year, it is also very popular with gourmet hobby detectives who help to solve a crime while enjoying a four-course meal. A short walk from the local train stop through the dark and misty yew forest sets the right tone for these Murder Mystery Dinners. During the day many cyclists, hikers and even paragliders can be spotted here taking a break on their route. In addition, the hotel grounds and viewing platform serve as a meeting point for family days out. Some of the regular visitors who have been coming for years now take their grandchildren to the mountain top for a walk, or for a sleigh ride in the winter on the hotel’s very own slope. At weekends, this gathering of generations is often combined with the restaurant’s Sunday brunch - although feasting on various mueslis and speciality breads, antipasti, roasts and numerous desserts will make it

Holiday guests as well as international business travellers who come here for an event or seminar appreciate the hotel’s convenient location. “Zurich’s main train station is only 20 minutes away, yet you are out of the city, far away from the hustle and bustle”, Clemens Schuster, communication’s officer at hotel Uto Kulm, explains. Hotel guests can choose from 46 Lifestyle Rooms and nine Romantic Suites, all including views across the area’s beautiful scenery. Future visitors should keep an eye out for the Suites Special which guarantees great value on a weekend suite for the price of a weekday overnight. Another romantic yet rustic event at Uto Kulm Zurich is the “Appenzeller Mountain Fondue Cinema” with Swiss Apero, or aperitif, by the fireside, followed by traditional fondue with the local Appenzeller cheese and a film screening. Especially on Valentine’s Day when the hotel adds a secret surprise to the event, spectators may also wish to see the film from one of the cosy boxes made for two. www.utokulm.ch

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Highlights

Fasnacht celebrations in Switzerland’s cultural capital

Above, left: Photo: Andreas Zimmermann Above, right: Photo: Michael Oswald Below: Fasnacht fun in Basel. Photos: Reinhardt Verlag

Basel can be called a pocket-sized metropolis. Situated in the heart of Europe and the tri-border region of Switzerland, Germany and France, the city lies close to famous landmarks like the Vosges and the Black Forest. Its multicultural population makes Basel a distinctively cosmopolitan, innovative and cheerful community with the traditional Fasnacht as an annual highlight.

Basel offers a package deal for visitors attending the Fasnacht celebrations. It includes a hotel stay, a ticket for public transport and an original Basler Blaggedde, a Carnival badge in copper, silver or gold.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

www.basel.com

As a European traffic hub, visitors can reach Basel easily by train, car or plane; the EuroAirport lies a 15 minute drive away from the city centre. A well-established public transport system makes it easy for tourists to travel around the city and explore its famous architecture – the romantic historic quarter or modern buildings designed by famous architects like Mario Botta, Herzog & de Meuron or Renzo Piano. Art lovers get their money’s worth as well since the city is home to more than 30 museums including the Fondation Beyeler, the Museum Tinguely or the Kunstmuseum Basel. The annual highlight is the Basel Fasnacht, the city’s traditional Carnival. The festival only lasts three days but its preparation begins 362 days in advance. Participants give their utmost to ensure the celebration is a success every year.

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As the clock of Basel’s oldest church strikes 4 am on Monday morning, 10 March 2014, following Ash Wednesday, every light in the city will fade and the festivities will begin. 200 Fasnacht painted lanterns will start glowing in the dark while the melody of the Morgestraich fills the alleys. At 1.30 pm about 12,000 Fasnachtler take part in the popular street parade, the Cortege. Drum and pipe bands called Cliques and other participants march, or are carried on floats, past the spectators. For the following three days, Cliques will take over and play in the streets.And in the city’s taverns one hundred balladeers will regale audiences with songs and verses about recent occurrences, ending with a funny punch line. The traditional Swiss Guggemusik, a purposelycrooked brass music style with strong rhythms, the sound of drums and piccolos, can be heard everywhere.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Highlights

Left: The Pfyfferli is running between January and May and sets the mood for Basel Fasnacht Below: The Froschkönig (The Frog King), has been a Fauteuil fairytale stage classic for 50 years.

Attraction

Swiss cabaret at its very best Now in its sixth decade, the Theatre Fauteuil in Basel, Switzerland invites both renowned and as-yet-undiscovered cabaret artists of the highest calibre to stun its audiences. Originally set up by passionate cabaret artist Ronald Rasser, it is now in the capable hands of his son and daughter. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Our father took a step back about 15 years ago but is always on hand to give us advice if we ask,”begins daughter Caroline Rasser as she finally gets a moment of calm. The theatre is naturally very busy in the run-up to Christmas with its astoundingly popular annual comedy performed in Swiss dialect. The theatre with its three stages, renovated in 1989 by esteemed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is distinctive in offering cabaret for both young and old, as well as musicals, and dialect comedies. Additionally, they annually stage two in-house productions, often playing for months and drawing large crowds.

“Growing up in an arty family was definitely lively,” says Caroline with a smile. Today she takes great satisfaction in seeing the joy on the faces of the audiences every afternoon and evening. Aware that the younger generation are perhaps more inclined to play video games, the Theatre Fauteuil makes a concerted effort to attract a younger crowd. Caroline explains:“They are our future audience so we produce our shows for them with the same engagement and professionalism as for the adults. Children’s reactions are immediate and unwaveringly honest.”

of the Month Switzerland

The back-catalogue of the theatre reads like a who’s who of the cabaret scene as practically every known artist has graced one of the small stages at this city centre theatre. “It’s fantastic when artists return to us after getting their breakthrough, this loyalty means a lot to us.” With the premiere on 10 January of a 68show run of Pfyfferli, 2014 looks set to be a busy year. After unprecedented success ten years ago, Pfyfferli has been resurrected and will show until Basel’s annual carnival Fasnacht. It is a lively cabaret programme with carnival elements such as“Schnitzelbängg” and whistle and tambourine marches. www.fauteuil.ch

Bottom, left: The Fauteuil theatre is one of the oldest small Swiss theatres

Cabaret, a combination of dialogue, singing, mime, props and dance, spread to the German-speaking countries during the first half of the 20th century, its popularity explained by the sheer hilarity and topical humour. After opening the theatre in 1957, grandfather Alfred Rasser, staged his own productions up until 1977 and is still considered a pioneer in the Swiss cabaret landscape.

Right: The Tabourettli in Basel is said to be the most beautiful small Swiss theatre and was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava

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Interlaken, pure Switzerland Interlaken combines all of Switzerland`s charms in one place Glacial mountains, emerald lakes and a quaint but lively town: in Interlaken guests can combine activity and leisure in an attractive setting. TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: INTERLAKEN TOURISM

When faced with the stunning scenery of Interlaken, you are swept away into the idyllic and romantic world of Heidi, the much-loved literary and on-screen character who lives a happy life in a secluded Swiss alpine village. Surrounded by impressive mountains, sparkling emerald lakes and rivers, Interlaken is the ideal place to experience the beauty of Switzerland´s nature. Yet, Interlaken goes beyond being just a pretty rural hamlet, as it offers its visitors all the amenities of a lively town. In short, Interlaken is a treasure trove of the best of Switzerland, all condensed in one place. Situated in central Switzerland, in the middle of the Bernese Oberland, the higher part of the canton Bern, at a height of 568

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m (1,831 ft) above sea level, Interlaken is surrounded by the high Alpine mountain peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The mountains, covered with snow year round, can be accessed by funiculars and even trains. After boarding the Jungfraubahn in Interlaken, the visitor is lead through meadows and brooks into the eternal ice up to Europe´s highest railway station, the Jungfraujoch – the Top of Europe at an elevation of 3,454 m (11,323 ft). The Schilthorn, another nearby mountain, boasts the Alps’ longest aerial cableway, with incredible views stretching for miles. Ardent James Bond fan’s might recognize the famous revolving restaurant Piz Gloria at the top of the Schilthorn as it served as a setting for the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty`s Secret Service.

Ski runs spread wide In winter the slopes of the Jungfrau Ski Region offer perfect conditions for skiing and snowboarding and with more than 45 mountain railways, aerial cableways, chair lifts and ski lifts available, there will never be enough days on the slopes. There is a handy free shuttle bus that connects Interlaken with the Jungfrau Ski Region. Further winter activities off the beaten track like nightly snowshoe hikes, trekking with goats or llamas, dog sleigh tours or cross-country skiing can be pursued all over the region. Families who prefer smaller pistes might fare better going to the skiing areas around Lake Thun and Lake Brienz like for example the Axalp skiing area, where the inclines seem a little less daunting.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Highlights

A tempting summer destination In summer the landscape of Interlaken transforms into blooming Alp meadows where cows graze and picnics are rife.Visitors can witness Swiss culture and tradition, and against the backdrop of quaint carved wooden houses folkloristic openair concerts take place. On the Höheweg, Interlaken´s main boulevard, numerous shops, restaurants and pubs invite the visitors to stroll around and participate in the lively town life. The Kursaal, which was built in 1859 in the Jugendstil design, is complete with a concert room, theatre and casino and thus serves as a meeting point for people interested in culture. Lovers of adventure sports make their annual pilgrimage to Interlaken in summer, safe in the knowledge that climbing and cy-

cling opportunities are limitless, and equally tempting are the prospects of awesome skydives, paragliding or bungee jumps. Paragliders can touch down on the Höhematte, a meadow located in the centre of the Höheweg. Water enthusiasts use Interlaken´s rivers for rafting or canoeing. Interlaken is also a good place to combine work and leisure. The newly constructed and state-of-the-art Kongress-Saal, built in 2010 within the Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken, offers 600 seats for seminars, and the seminar rooms of the Centre Kursaal Interlaken are equipped with the latest technology and can be used for other purposes too. After work guests can relax in one of the numerous wellness facilities in the town. Lakeside Beauty The two lakes, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, add a further dimension to the region. In daily use by steamboats and motorships, the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz are embraced on all sides by Swiss traditions and history. Switzerland´s oldest paddlesteamer, dating from 1914, departs from Brienz and takes the passenger to the summit of Mount Rothorn where an amazing panoramic view over the mountains and Lake Brienz opens up. The town of Brienz

Top, from left to right: Interlaken Paragliding. Photo: Alain Zenger Harder-Kulm. Photo: Rob Lewis Schilthorn Piz Gloria. Photo: Jost von Allmen Above: Jungfraujoch Below, left: Thun

is well known as a woodcarving village as it boasts Switzerland`s only school dedicated to the art of wood sculpting. Lake Thun is the largest lake of the Bernese Oberland. It is ideal for windsurfing or sailing. Due to its pre-Alpine climate, the area of Lake Thun is also called the Riviera of the Bernese Oberland. Around Lake Thun there are five castles which reveal the location’s cultural identity, the medieval castle is well worth a visit, as it the town of Thun itself; the architecture of its multi-level streets is unique within Europe. www.interlaken.ch

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Lugano Mediterranean flair, Swiss quality, Italian lifestyle Imagine yourself on that perfect summer afternoon, sipping a cappuccino on a beautiful lakeside promenade and strolling through the narrow alleyways of an enchanting medieval town. Lugano, with its crystal-clear lake, splendid mountain scenery and historic centre, invites everyone to choose their favourite pastime. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: LUGANO TOURISMO

Situated on the northern side of Lake Lugano in the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino and surrounded by majestic mountains, the vibrant city of Lugano is hard to beat when it comes to diversity. “Thanks to our proximity to Italy, Lugano looks a little bit as if you were already in Italy but with the Swiss quality,”says David Piffaretti, communication officer at the Lugano Area Tourist Board, as he describes his town.That Lugano caters for every taste is something he is very proud of. Art connoisseurs, nature lovers, shopping queens and regaled foodies find their personal heaven on the shores of Lake Lugano.

when the camellias and magnolias are in bloom.This is the right time to discover the historic centre, a traffic-free gem with Mediterranean piazzas, narrow cobblestone streets and old arcades. Enjoy the first warm rays of sunlight on your face while waiting for your cafe latte in an elegant pavement café. But Lugano is not only famous for its historic buildings; over the past 50 years, the Ticino region has developed into an important region for architecture. One of its internationally known architects, Mario Botta, left his marks in Lugano with Botta's Banca della Svizzera Italiana (Viale Franscini) and the Palazzo Ransila (Via Pretorio).

Cultural highlights and superb shopping in the historic centre

Art connoisseurs will find it difficult to choose between the excellent exhibitions and museums on offer. The Museo Cantonale d'Arte shows paintings by Klee,

Thanks to its temperate climate, Lugano is an ideal destination even in early spring,

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Jawlensky, Renoir and Degas.Villa Malpensata, a splendid villa from the 18th century overlooking the lake and surrounded by a lush garden, hosts Lugano’s Art Museum, specialising in 20th century art. “For shopping, head to Via Nassa”is David Piffaretti’s recommendation. Elegant and sophisticated, this historical street is lined


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with purveyors of Swiss watches , Italian fashion, cigar shops and jewellery stores. Still, shopping in Lugano caters for every budget. An insider’s tip is the local farmers’ market. Every Tuesday and Friday morning, a colourful crowd scour the stalls on the Market Place for local products like flowers, wine, cheese, cold cuts and preserves. Extraordinary natural beauty for outdoor adventures After an exciting day in the bustling city the most relaxing way to visit interesting places around Lugano is by boat. A cruise over the clear waters of Lake Lugano will transport you to the most picturesque locations. The water of the lake warms up to 23°C in summer and is a paradise for all sunbathers, swimmers and water sport enthusiasts. Lake Lugano has it all; from windsurfing to sailing, from scuba diving to waterskiing. The mountains surrounding Lugano are one of the main attractions for outdoor fans and families. The funicular railway from Cassarate (15 min walk from the city centre) scales Monte Brè (925m). It is said to be the sunniest mountain in Switzerland and offers wonderful birdseye views over Lugano and the lake. A network of hiking paths lead to the neighbouring peaks. Less ambitious visitors can take the gentle stroll to the idyllic mountain village of Brè. For those seeking adventure, mountain bikes

can be hired at the top. Signed bike routes make sure you do not get lost in the stunning mountain scenery. Celebrate with exquisite dining and sensational open-air festivals Gastronomy in Ticino has been influenced by the cuisines of Italy, France and Continental Europe. It makes use of great local produce, striking the perfect balance between tradition and innovation. Whether you prefer a five-star feast served at Michelin-starred restaurants or simple cuisine, no visit to Lugano would be complete without eating in a grotto. These are quiet, rustic restaurants off the beaten track with a tree-shaded garden and simple tables and benches which serve homemade, traditional dishes. Every summer, Lugano turns into the greatest open-air stage in Europe. Big names in jazz music perform live for their audience at the ESTIVAL JAZZ in July. Theater, dance, music and activities for kids are on the bill at the LONGLAKE Festival with over 250 different events. On every evening in July, Lugano’s parks, streets and piazzas come alive with street performers.“And the best thing is, every performance is open air and free of charge,”says David Piffaretti.

18 May 2014 through www.luganoturismo.ch get free entrance to the Splash Area at the new Splash & Spa aquatic park in Rivera. www.luganoturismo.ch

Top, left: Lakefront and San Salvatore mountain Above: Lido di Lugano Below, left: Art Museum Lugano Below, right: The famous jazz festival

Another treat from the Tourist Board:Visitors who book two nights between 21 March and

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Swiss Highlights

Left: Soazza Bottom: The Grotti di Cama access

Visit Moesano A region to discover all year around Switzerland is a country that is rich and diverse both geographically and culturally. The region of Moesano, just north of Ticino, is one of Switzerland’s lesser-known travel destinations, but with its high mountains and deep valleys should not be overlooked. TEXT: PHIL GALE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Nestled on the edge of the canton of Graubünden, but primarily Italian speaking like Ticino, the region of Moesano has more than enough to offer anyone looking to find a lesser-known Swiss retreat. Situated at the foot of the San Bernardino Pass, with the peaks of Puntone dei Fraciòn and Zapporthorn looking down upon it, Moesano is a great place to take in the delights of the Swiss outdoors. ChristianVigne of the region’s tourist board highlights with great enthusiasm: “Three major events characterize the summer season: SanbeRun (running race), Sanbike (mountain bike race) and the transhumance (15th August), all of these take in the

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rich and diverse terrain of our beautiful region. For me the best season to visit the region of the Moesano is certainly the summer, but we have great skiing in the winter too.”Skiing then is something that cannot be forgotten by anyone looking to experience the delights on offer here. More specifically the region of the Moesano has some attractions thatVigne feels cannot be missed:“We have two welcoming valleys to discover. The Valle Calanca, and the Valle Mesolcina. The Valle Calanca is ideal for anyone looking to get strictly in contact with nature, being much more wild. The Valle Mesolcina is one for all, characterised by its Grottos (typical restaurant with local dishes), something that families love to dis-

cover. For me, the ultimate excursion is to simply get out and discover the beauty of our nature, our mountain peaks, our wild animals and our typical villages.” An ideal location for anyone looking to get back in touch with nature, whether you are hiking, biking, trekking, in the adventure park or even kayaking, Moesano is easily accessible at any time of the year from Milan or Zurich. Deep in the Lepontine Alps the Moesano region is one for those looking to leave the bustle of everyday life behind and head into the rich countryside that only Southern Switzerland has to offer. www.visit-moesano.ch


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DIVEMASTER

EXPLORER JACKET

SPECTRA 2.0

FRAGRANCES

LONDON I DÜSSELDORF I COLOGNE I GENEVA I ZURICH AIRPORT I BRUNNEN SWISS ARMY KNIVES CUTLERY TIMEPIECES TRAVEL GEAR FASHION FRAGRANCES I WWW.VICTORINOX.COM


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Special Theme

Architecture & Design Guide

Award winning architecture and design 2014 With the new year comes great new inspiration for groundbreaking design. A constant flow of new ideas and unleashed creativity result in ever more beautiful, efficient and sustainable design shaping landscapes, buildings, objects and products. One of the most prestigious industry awards is the German Design Award. On 7 February the already announced 2014 winners will be honoured with a lavish celebration. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

During the Ambiente trade fair in Frankfurt the winners will be officially honoured by the German Design Council. More than 1,900 submissions were entered in the competition and the 30-strong jury had the challenging task of picking 100 winners from ten different categories. Only ten of the contenders received the prestigious Gold award.

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In the category Home Interior the Gold award went to German furniture manufacturer Flötotto. The PRO chair has been designed by Konstantin Grcic for use in schools and took the jury members’ hearts by storm. “This is a chair built in such a way as to not only permit, but actively foster movement in all directions. PRO does

not predefine any particular way of sitting. It is just as easy to sit on it sideways or astride,”said the jury and classified the PRO chair as“functionally and aesthetically convincing”. Gold in the category Transportation and Public Space went to the BMW Group for


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for outstanding lifetime achievements in the field of design. The son of the Bulthaup kitchen empire founder has worked tirelessly to shape German design and architecture for the future. On the following pages we present some great characters leading some terrific design studios. Meet BHF Landscape Architects, specialitsts in the field of clearance, regional and environmental planning, and read why communication is so important when a local community is affected by new structures. Find out why it is vital to put things in the right light, how aerodynamics are vital for the creation of the perfect bike and what it takes to transform an urban living space into an oasis of calm.The year may have just begun, but 2014 is already an exciting year for German, Swiss and Austrian architects and designers.

Top, left: The Shed, © Haworth Tompkins. Photo: Philip Vile Below, left: Flötotto PRO chair Below: Gerd Bulthaup, Managing Partner, Bulthaup GmbH & Co. KG Bottom: BMW i3 © BMW Group

the BMWi3. According to the jury the BMWi3 electric car“constitutes a paradigm shift, giving electromobility an entirely new, individual face.” The Architecture and Interior Design Gold award went abroad to the The National Theatre London for the creation of a temporary theatre called The Shed, which was designed by studios Haworth Tompkins and Charcoalblue LLP. The jury stated:“The Shed is a temporary building in the immediate vicinity of London’s National Theatre. For 12 months it will serve for lively debate among passers-by, drawing their gaze and arousing their curiosity and wonder. The structure, which is more of an installation than a typical building, is impressive in spite of its simple form because it is so very recognis-

able […]. The Shed is an outstanding piece of work of architectural relevance.” Further Gold awards in the other categories went to Fast Bill, Fedrigoni, Hemme Milch, Otto Bock Healthcare, PME fluidtec,Viessmann Werke and the World Wildlife Fund. A very special prize, the Personality distinction, was awarded to Gerd Bulthaup

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Landscape architecture for gardens, natural environment and cities BHF Landscape Architects, situated in Kiel and Schwerin, work in all fields concerning the evaluation, redesign and formation of landscape. Their work stretches from outlining plans for new city quarters, to project support for new high voltage lines – always considering the needs of residents and the environment as a whole. Landscape architecture always means working in an existing living space. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: BHF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS

BHF Landscape Architects have been working successfully in this field for more than 50 years. The letters BHF stand for today’s three partners: Jens Bendfeldt, Uwe Herrmann and Ulrich Franke. In 1949 shortly after the end of World War II, with the city of Kiel lying in ruins, Klaus-Dieter Bendfeldt, Jens Bendfeldt’s father, decided to become a gardener. After finishing his education he founded the office for landscape architecture in 1962 and took over the landscape design for social housing projects in two Kiel districts. Since the foundation, the landscape architects have developed

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further and worked on about 3,000 projects; leaving their signature in the landscape design of northern Germany. “Today we are working in every field of clearance, regional and environmental planning,” says Jens Bendfeldt. Architecture for gardens, places and city spaces Two office locations, Kiel and Schwerin, cover the

From left to right Jens Bendfeldt, Uwe Herrmann, Ulrich Franke. Photo: Axel Schön


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northern part of Germany. Even though the landscape architects work on projects all over Germany, they have their main focus on the northern region. About 80 per cent of all projects are carried out in the North, stretching from the Science Park in Kiel to promenades in Rostock, Schwerin, Weißenhäuser Beach and on the island of Föhr. In the Baltic resort of Kühlungsborn in Mecklenburg, a place with a long spa tradition, BHF Landscape Architects successfully completed a project for the Kühlungsborn Hotels and Spa, the new Baltic Avenue centre at the seaside. BHF Landscape Architects developed a concept for premium bush arches, situated between the hotel’s breakfast terrace and a newly refurbished park. Surroundings for senior citizens’ nursing homes, for example in Lüneburg, are another house specialty. In Lüneburg, BHF Landscape Architects turned the symmetrical courtyard into a magnificent garden landscape – a place of retreat for the residents and their visitors. Secluded nooks with benches in the sun invite you to linger in the garden.

Communication as part of landscape architecture and project planning “Communication is vital,” says BHF landscape architect Uwe Herrmann when asked what is crucial for the successful completion of large scale projects, which influence the landscape in a community. Herrmann refers to the infamous Stuttgart 21 project, which led to massive protests against the construction of an underground railway station as a prime example of a lack of communication.

Top, from left to right: Electricity grid expansion in Schleswig-Holstein Central courtyard of retirement home Im Roten Feld, Lüneburg New south shore with stairs leading into Pfaffenteich, Schwerin Bottom: Redesign of the Steintorplatz, Rostock

BHF Landscape Architects are currently working on a project that is likely to raise concerns in the local community: the power supply company TenneT is currently erecting new high voltages lines in Germany to connect new offshore wind farms with the electricity grid in northern as well as southern Germany. Often this means building the high voltage lines along existing lower voltage lines and therefore in the vicinity of residential areas. BHF’s task consists not only of planning the integration of new electricity lines into the landscape, but also to communicate directly with the affected residents.“We speak to the people before

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the formal process even starts,” explains Hermann. A new experience for all parties, as in past years such a complex communication process would only have been considered if a project had initially failed. Now the landscape architects aim to include residents before real problems arise by discussing their concerns, trying to inform people as best as possible and trying to find solutions when, for example, electricity pylons are situated too close to houses or near conservation areas. “After counselling with us, people often feel more relaxed,”explains Herrmann.“We landscape architects therefore play an important role,

because we outline controversial interests and evaluate them. Even if we cannot overcome all resistance, we try to find the best compromise for everyone.” Landscape architecture as environment protection in times of climate change Speaking of conservation areas, landscape architects in northern Germany have to consider, for example, the migration of birds that find places to rest and feed for example in Schleswig-Holstein or Lower Saxony.This needs to be considered not only when building these new high voltage lines but with other landscape planning processes as well. The protection of the environment and the landscape is becoming more and more important each year. Future climate change determines changes in planting. Ginkgo for example, will supersede oak or lime trees in city centres. BHF Landscape Architects have gained broad experience, making them experts in adapting to climate change. Working in every field of landscape architecture, BHF Landscape Architecture’s 25 employees combine years of work experience with innovation and flexibility. www.bhf-ki.de

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Top: Wissenschaftszentrum, heart of the Wissenschaftspark, Kiel Bottom, left: The Vila Vita nature resort at Lake Plauen scooped the Hotel Application Award in 2011 as best hotel concept Below: Hotel Upstalsboom, Kühlungsborn


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture and Design Guide

Passion for a better product Frankfurt-based daniels + erdwiens are constantly striving to develop new concepts and relentlessly seeking out potential areas for improvement. Asking themselves the question: Is there the possibility for potential improvement through design? TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: DANIELS + ERDWIENS

The driving force behind the industrial design consultancy comes from Micha Daniels and Alex Erdwiens, both wellversed in a strikingly wide range of areas.To the company’s advantage, they draw on a tight-knit team of specialists from multiple fields, including, but not limited to, industrial design and development, graphical user interfaces and mechanical engineering. “We absolutely love our work and knew we didn’t want to limit ourselves,” begins Daniels,“we’re constantly inspired by each new project that we work on. We love the diversity and this in turn leads us to question other fields, comparing and contrasting areas of work.” The consultancy prides itself on its devotion to progress and its ambitions for brand new concepts – whether its existing appliances such as a lemon presser or the interior of a fridge, they aim to simplify the over-complicated. This hunger for continual improvement prompts the team to ask: what can be improved? How can we set this product apart from its competition? Answering these questions requires the team

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to intensively brainstorm, says Daniels:“After locking ourselves in for several days in our Usability Innovation Workshops, we always manage to come up with something that goes far beyond just designing something attractive.” The firm’s back catalogue of previous and current clients, including a long-running collaboration with Bosch and Siemens household appliances, is testament to their ability to produce the highest quality products. The firm is currently in cohorts with Chinese company Haier Group but Daniels remains tight-lipped about this project. “The over-arching objective for us,”explains Daniels,“is to create something that meets the needs of the world in which we live.” Taking a philosophical stance on life, he continues:“There is an exorbitant amount of things out there. We’re literally flooded by these items. We aim to develop select but nevertheless affordable products. Products that are reliable and long lasting, intelligently manufactured with sophisticated technology yet even simpler and more intuitive in usage. Delivering enduring joy in

usage and aesthetical appearance, something that creates identity.” www.daniels-erdwiens.de

Top, left: Styline - Breakfast set for Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte Top, right: Callista - Citrus Squeezer for Blomus Nutcracker - First Class Giveaway for Deutsche Lufthansa Below: Automatic Coffee Centers - 10 years of milestone designs for Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte by daniels + erdwiens (left) and Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (right).


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Hesse Design GmbH The essence of communication design TEXT: FRANZISKA NÖSSIG | PHOTOS: HESSE DESIGN

Hesse Design stands for internationally renowned achievements in design and more than 25 years experience. Specialised in developing and re-inventing brands, the agency’s strength lies in value generating consultations for branding and communication processes. The company has been refining design strategies and design for brands as well as businesses for nearly 30 years. Well established with offices in Duesseldorf and Shanghai, the dedicated team treat consultation periods as equally important as the design itself. Hesse Design acts entirely in the interest of its clients and, as their leading agency, brings together print design, social media and spatial communication.

“At the heart of each assignment lies the quest for the product’s ‘soul’,” CEO Christine Hesse explains. What counts is authenticity and purpose, not mere attitude. “Still, we will constantly engage in discussions about the zeitgeist. It is the essence of communication design after all.” Both agency owners Christine and Professor Klaus Hesse’s teaching as well as their international talks have resulted in strong and valuable cooperations with design agencies and colleges across the world. For instance, Christine Hesse regularly contributes to the Institute for Design Management in Boston. Moreover, Jian Xu at the agency’s partner office HeHe Tang Design in Shanghai deals with requests from Chinese clients. Small as well as large businesses from a variety of fields have bene-

Top: Corporate Identity and Corpoate Design development Rheinische Post Mediengruppe Above, left: Corporate Design me & all hotels Above, right: CEO Christine Hesse

fited from Hesse Design’s experience over the years. In 2014, Hesse Design will continue its successful series of talks and lectures as well as publish its new brochure on effective brand communication. www.hesse-design.com


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Brand-relevant digital innovation and aesthetically appealing solutions Modern society, in flat-screen and high-definition, brings with it an influx of messages, each declaring to be the best new thing. However, what defines these messages, what really sets them apart, is their branding. The design aesthetic of a brand needs to hit the spot, and Berlin-based think moto are the team to do it. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: THINK MOTO

Strong, appealing design aesthetics attract our attention. Brands are portrayed in a way that appeals directly to us, giving us the sense that they were almost made entirely for us.There is consistency in branding, ensuring our attention doesn’t stray. But achieving this is no mean feat. In today’s digital world, it is down to the hard work, dedication and creativity by design agencies that brands achieve success and recognition. think moto, the Berlin-based strategic design and branding agency, led by Marco Spies and partner Katja Wenger, place themselves “somewhere between classical

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The management team from left to right: Marco Spies (Managing Partner), Ulrich Pohl (Design Director), Katja Wenger (Creative Partner), Dr. Carsten Totz (Strategy Director) Photo: Christiane Haid


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Left, main image: think moto is a strategical design agency with a digital focus. Photo: Jasmin Marla Dichant Below: The simyo magazine on! centres on ‘digital empowerment for a mobile lifestyle. on! meets the needs of mobile living people and fits whatever handset the user wishes, making reading it on the iPhone equally as fun as on the laptop.

ucts and services for businesses and organisations. One of their most notable projects since the company began four years ago was the complete revamp and relaunch of the German Men’s Healths website, which can be defined as a resounding success thanks to the enormous increase in traffic to the website as well the ensuing advertising popularity. For Wenger, the job satisfaction comes from long-standing cooperation with companies who place their trust in think moto. “For three years we’ve been working successfully with Cornelsen, Germany’s leading educational book publishers, on their online learning platform LernCoachies.de. But our greatest project is the strategic rebranding of simyo, a well-known mobile phone provider in Germany. We’re responsible for everything related to the brand and design, including digital features likes the magazine on!, which has just been launched online.” branding agencies and digital agencies.” Co-founder Spies explains:“Today’s world is digital, so we naturally have a focus on digital media, but we do not exclusively work in the digital space - we try to approach a brand challenge from a digital starting point.”think moto are quickly gaining admiration for the fruits of their labour; websites, smart phone apps, or other forms of classical or digital media. “Digital agencies think in terms of technology and don’t always ‘get’ the brand, while branding agencies concentrate too often on static print mediums; placing a corporate design on business cards or brochures,”continues Wenger.“Instead, we believe branding has to be coherent instead of consistent, open instead of closed, dynamic instead of static - contemporary branding enables the user to interact with the brand and the user experience comes from interactivity opportunities such as social media.” In short, the company creates, enhances and develops brand identities, digital prod-

Berlin: a creative hub Choosing Berlin as the city in which to build a creative design agency is an inspired choice for some, particularly think moto, as the energy in the city, according to Spies, is ideal for experimenting with. After all, think moto is a relatively small company, counting 12 permanent members of staff, so it certainly profits from the city’s energy. “We work for a large part with start-ups and there are many of these in Berlin. Brands that need developing and strategies that need fine-tuning.”

Spies’ unbridled passion for design becomes even more apparent as he speaks of think moto’s main objective when designing user experiences: joy of use.“For a digital product to be successful it has to work well. People won’t use it if it isn’t fun – that’s the joy of use. Going far beyond general usability and reaching this goal is not just about finding the easiest solution, but about risk. Developing something new and innovative, but also relevant to the brand.” Life is for living ”Life in the 21st century is post-digital. We don’t speak in terms of on-line or off-line anymore. We’re constantly in both,” concludes Spies with a smile. “We live, work and communicate with digital media, experiencing moments that touch us and alter the course of our lives. Brands who can integrate themselves into these moments touch deeply and make a bigger impact than ever before. This branded interaction is what we create.” www.thinkmoto.de www.thinkmoto.eu

Brand relevance To ensure a brand is captured in all the digital media, think moto work pragmatically, goal-orientated and in close cooperation with the brand.“Only then, will we get the necessary insight into the company,” continues Spies,“It is vital that we understand not only the client and their business model, but also the client’s own customers.The initial stages are about diving into the personality of the company, so that we develop an authentic, believable brand aesthetic.”

In 2012 think moto published a book dedicated to their methods entitled Branded Interactions, which explains the planning that goes into digital experiences and their 5-step process: Discover, Define, Design, Deliver and Distribute. It is now standard reading for branding and digital agencies. www.brandedinteractions.de

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Above: Urban light concept 'Light in Public Space', city of Hanau; Right: Sascha Homburg, Photo: Joachim Grothus

The indispensable interaction of light and material Studiocandela offers its clients a decade of enthusiasm and expertise in lighting design. “Without light, there is no spatial perception,� explains Sascha Homburg, chief executive of studiocandela. Founded in 2004 and situated in the north western German town of Herford, North Rhine-Westphalia, studiocandela offers its clients consultation and planning of lighting design for architecture, interior design and open spaces. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: STUDIOCANDELA

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During his interior design studies Homburg discovered his passion for lighting design and illumination solutions while working on a work-intense project dealing with 'Space and Material'. He was immediately fascinated by the creative power that light has over a person’s spatial perception and the atmosphere it can create in a room: “Light is essential for the qualitative and quantitative visualisation of interior design and the people and objects in this space. Our visual perception is, to a large extent, the result of the structure of materials in a room and their ability to reflect light.” The studiocandela client list is an impressive read, with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds having benefitted from their lighting design. These include individual clients, who employ the office to help create light installations for their personal living space or gardens, as well as private companies from various sectors such as retail and dining, and even churches.The majority of clients assign the lighting designers the task of creating light installations for administrative buildings and therefore studiocandela has a vast amount of experience in planning office light installations. Other projects can be more unusual, allowing Homburg and his team to be more adventurous with their ideas. Homburg is especially proud of one of his smaller projects, a light show installation called LUNA in a privately-owned garden which depicts the moon. Despite many initial hurdles, the installation exceeded expectations and became what has been called ‘a very 'poetic' creation in the context of architecture and gardens’. Ongoing projects include, for example, the company’s participation in the new development of the maternity ward at the Gütersloh city hospital and a light installation project for the car park at the Messeturm skyscraper in Frankfurt am Main. The lighting design office also works for public clients such as the cities of Hanau and Karlsruhe. For the city of Hanau, studiocandela is currently working on a concept known as 'Light in public spaces', and in Karlsruhe it is taking part in the modernisation process of the town hall. While the majority of clients are situated in Ger-

many, studiocandela has also helped in projects as far away as Changzhou in China, where it helped to develop light installations for the administration building of a machinery manufacturer. The office’s success is based on communication; at the beginning of every project, studiocandela engages in an intensive talk with architects and clients in order to gain a solid understanding of the client's needs and the architect's intentions. In addition to meeting the artistic, technical and economical needs of a project, Homburg also puts an emphasis on the psychological and physiological needs of the people living and/or working in and with the lighting designs he creates. Homburg’s passion for his work and his awareness of the influence which light and illumination have on people and spaces, becomes very clear in his educational history. In addition to studying interior design and spending several years working in a leadership position for different companies on light planning projects, he has completed a postgraduate course entitled Lichtanwendung, which researches the psychological and physiological influences of daylight and artificial light on people. “What inspires us and influences our work is the sky's natural daylight; its countless varieties and ever-changing attributes such as cold, warm, red, gold, diffuse, light, dark and so on,”explains Homburg. Other sources of inspiration, next to architecture, stem from design, paintings, graphic , photography, theatre or films.

There is a huge amount of creativity within the team, who are always looking for new challenges. In 2014 studiocandela plan to open a Lichtraum, a room full of the newest technological applications to showcase the use and effect of light in certain spaces. This concept will enable architects and clients to experience current projects in a rough 1:1 model. The project is still in the infant stage of the planning process, though once complete it will help to make studiocandela’s ambitions of developing the perfect light concept for every space even easier to achieve. www.studiocandela.de Top: Garden view, House 'E' Kitchen Area, House 'E' Below: Garden view, House 'R' All photos: Joachim Grothus

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture and Design Guide

ARTEFAKT industriekultur

Dedicated to identity and simplicity You name it, they have won it: Red Dot Design Award, German Design Award, Designplus ... In the past twenty-five years design studio ARTEFAKT have been honoured with numerous prestigious, internationally renowned design awards for their product innovations in the areas of construction, cycling and bathtubs. What is the secret of their success? “Reduce to identity,” says Tomas Fiegl. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: ARTEFAKT

Industrial designers Tomas Fiegl and Achim Pohl are the heads and hearts of the Darmstadt-based design studio ARTEFAKT, one of the leading providers of design services at the interface with architecture.Their philosophy“reduce to identity”sounds simple but it implies a complex way of thinking and working. “There is an oversupply of products in the industrial nations which leads to an overstimulation of the con-

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sumer. Newly designed products contribute to the confusing multiplicity.This is why we aim to give every product designed by ARTEFAKT a clearly legible formal statement, an identity,” explains Tomas Fiegl. ARTEFAKT achieves this distinctive identity through simplicity and concentration on the essential.The result is a timeless design, independent of fleeting fashionable trends. From the visual point of view, this

Achim Pohl and Tomas Fiegl


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture and Design Guide

ing their studies they won several design competitions and quickly got their first contract with the German bathtub and shower partition manufacturer Düker. As business went well, they decided to establish their own design studio ARTEFAKT industriekultur in 1989. International recognition came with the invention of the Düker Circolo, a flush-fitting shower tray on floor level, highly appreciated by design-conscious bathroom users and often imitated by their competitors in the following years.

Canyon SPEEDMAX CF timetrial bike tests in the wind tunnel

In 2007, ARTEFAKT started researching and developing another future-oriented technology: the possibilities of digitalisation in the bathroom. The outcome: the lines of fittings JADO EVOLUTION and VIEGA TRIO E3. The evolution in the bathroom brings more comfort and safety for the user. For instance, the quantity of water and its temperature can be programmed for up to three people, thus eliminating the risk of overflowing or time-wasting temperature adjustment. Just one push with your finger and your bathtub fills up with water at your preferred temperature. Exploring new horizons: The CANYON SPEEDMAX CF timetrial bike

significantly extends the life cycle of the products and strengthens the consumers’ trust in the brand. Revolutionising the bathroom Achim Pohl and Tomas Fiegl look back on a long history of successful innovations. Dur-

Roughly two years ago, the designer team started to turn a personal passion for cycle racing into professional success.“Apart from the necessary technical expertise, you need to have an emotional link to the sport if you want to work as a designer in the cycle racing industry,” says Tomas Fiegl. They joined forces with Germany’s leading racing bike manufacturer Canyon and, as a result, created the most aerodynamic bike in the world, the Canyon SPEEDMAX CF. Perfected in numerous tests in the wind tunnel at Drag2Zero in Silverstone, the SPEEDMAX CF is optimized to achieve the best possible time-trial performance. Hereby, the designers played an important part in work-

ing out the details like developing a miniature braking set which is integrated into the frame.The SPEEDMAX CF proved its qualities when the Russian professional racing team Katusha rode on it to success in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France races. “Today, most manufacturers of high-end racing bikes are able to produce technically perfected, high quality bikes which look more or less the same. This is not in the interest of the manufacturers and that is why the design is of increasing importance in the developing process,” explains Tomas Fiegl. Awarded with five design prizes for the SPEEDMAX CF including the Red Dot Best of the Best 2012 and German Design Award 2013, there is no doubt that ARTEFAKT will have a say in the future of the cycle racing business. ‘Designed by ARTEFAKT’ in UK Since 1998, Ideal Standard, one of the UK market leaders for bathroom solutions, works in close cooperation with ARTEFAKT. “Most of Ideal Standard’s portfolio carries ARTEFAKT’s signature,”says Fiegl. “At the moment we are working on a successor for the very popular bath ceramic series TONIC which is due to arrive on the market in 2015.” It only remains to hope that more UK companies will discover ARTEFAKT’s timeless designs.They have a lot more to offer in their other areas of expertise: office, packaging, architecture and devices, such as the KITEO K-DESIGN LED light series which won the Red Dot Award and the iF design award. www.artefakt.de

Bottom, from left to right: Jado Evolution VIEGA trio KITEO K-DESIGN LED light series

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture and Design Guide

Architecture put into context tools off.architecture turn vision into reality Munich-based tools off.architecture studio develop projects within the dynamics of future vision and present reality. Distinctive architecture is created based on a unique context, this being the evaluation and analysis of cultural, social and economic factors. Together with a strong network of industry experts, tools off.architecture create genuine architecture, interior and product design. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: TOOLS OFF.ARCHITECTURE

Established in 1992 by interior designer Eva Durant and architect Prof. Andreas Notter, tools off. architecture is based in Munich’s Augustenstrasse, an artsy district right in the city centre.“Working on projects for a possible future is what keeps us awake and gives us the courage to transform an idea into reality. What we experience on site proves something to us again and again:

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Every vision can be turned into reality,”Durant explains. A large scale vision requires large scale resources, and that is why Durant and Notter have built up a reliable network of industry experts.“We work with a close network of expert planners and specialist suppliers. The impulse sparked by this teamwork, in conjunction with the demands of our client, is the nucleus of what

Eva Durant and Andreas Notter. Photo: Sammy Hart


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture and Design Guide

Images on the left: Heye, atrium with space cube (open and closed), light sculpture in staircase area. Photos: Mathias Remmling

in the same street as the tools off. architecture premises. Four atelier style homes are shielded from the street by a six storey apartment complex.The clever design concept of the four additional homes allowed a maximum dual aspect light flooding, while urban noise pollution has been minimalised. The client, Bauwerk Capital, was deeply impressed by the contemporary and functional solution – equally so was the jury who awarded the „Jung, schön und noch zu haben – die besten Immobilien Münchens“ (young, beautiful and still available – Munich’s best properties) prize to the project in 2010. The project was finished in Spring 2012 and is a prime example of modern urban architecture. With ever more people of all ages being drawn to the cities, space is getting smaller and remaining areas need to be used in the most efficient way possible, while still delivering aesthetics and reaching high design standards.“We live in a time of equality. Cities, interiors and products look pretty much the same on every continent. The result is not the reflection of local circumstances and opportunities, it rather symbolises a longing for an artificially and media constructed perception. We are trying to fight this,”Prof. Notter says assuredly. The Worker’s Residence In Bad Königshofen tools off. architecture created an inspiring complex for renowned

furniture manufacturer Ress. In keeping with the Ress company motto ‘only happy employees are motivated’, the Worker’s Residence was commissioned. The familyowned high end supplier produces furniture for the most prestigious designer brands such as Rolf Benz, Loewe and Walter Knoll, all symbolising the epitome of timeless beauty and outstanding quality. The new Worker’s Residence required, in equal amounts, a classy yet contemporary design with no compromise on functionality and had to blend in with the surrounding production sites. “For our clients our more demanding way - but also more authentic way - is the right one. The result is naturally unique and lasts longer, thus resulting in an emotional, but also economical surplus,”Prof. Notter says. A new simplicity is back Together with the metal construction expert Metallbau Gilch, tools off. architecture developed the current headquarters of Heye advertising agency in Munich’s Blumenstrasse. The building was originally constructed between 1924 and 1926 and is part of a complex that was erected following the architectural approach New Simplicity. During the renovation process the original style was revived, but interpreted in a new way featuring clear contemporary shapes, materials and colour concepts. At the heart of the newly finished project is an impres-

Below: acatech in the Amerika-Haus, community centre extension. Visualisation: formstadt

boosts innovation,” Prof. Notter says. The tools off. architecture portfolio includes residential and office surroundings, showrooms, health sector sites as well as public buildings. Authenticity is key A residential project of which the company owners are most proud is the A29, located

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sive glass atrium serving as a public space. While Metallbau Gilch was in charge of the striking steel frame objects, Durant and Notter ensured that the design matched the creative ambience.“For Heye it is now the central place of encounter for communication. Here, clients and agency values meet. The room is dominated by a cubic steel block that opens up every morning and transforms the abstract, minimalistic room into a place where people meet and communicate. Two virtually weightless monolithic parts move out of the block and disclose the sculpture to be used.” Context as the foundation of new vision Design contests are always a challenging opportunity for architects to take visions

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to a new height and come up with unusual ideas. For the new Ludwig Erhard Haus, the birthplace of the former German Chancellor which acts as a community centre and museum in the town of Fürth, tools off. Below: Ludwig Erhard Haus. Visualisation: formstadt

architecture came up with an extraordinary proposal.The project required an open, liberal and communal design. The new structure needed to blend in with the surrounding existing architecture, which was no easy


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture and Design Guide

Images on the left: Ress, The Worker's Residence. Photos: Lothar Reichel, Daniel Breidt, Sonja Herpich

place of encounter. The concept features various conference and exhibition spaces made of wood and coated by a glass structure. This particular concept that Durant and Notter have come up with is another great vision that makes the most of the existing parameters. When asked what drives the creative duo, Prof. Notter answers: “We want to make the world a better place. This idealistic approach is what drives us. A design concept which doesn’t cater for the communal needs, doesn’t make sense. This is what motivates us in the long-term.” www.tools-off.com tools off.architecture Augustenstraße 73 80333 München Tel.: +49(0)89.30 66 87-3 Fax: +49(0)89.30 66 87-40 Email: kontakt@tools-off.com

Images on the right and below: Augustenstrasse, atelier style houses. Photos: Lothar Reichel

task.“The design mirrors the basic concept of the initial thought: an open house, which was the easy bit, in a redeveloped urban structure, which was the difficult part,”Durant explains. Again, it is the context of the existing that serves as the foundation for a vision that will become reality in the future. As with the Ludwig Erhard Haus, the new Amerika-Haus in Munich is a similarly communal and social structure. Originally built in 1956 by architect Karl Fischer as a symbol of Bavarian-American friendship, the building, located at the Karolinenplatz, served as a theatre. For the German Academy for Technical Sciences Acatech, the building is to be transformed into a vibrant

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Campus Main image/photo: Erik Hartmann Below/photo: Sebastian Reuter

‘Design Creates Identity’ Projekter Industrial Design

Above, main image: Bionicon cguide eco Above: Bionicon e-ram pedelec motor

Like a golden thread, creative, innovative and consistent design ties together all the stages of product conceptualization and realization. Good design is a valuable marketing tool, improving the image of a company in the long term by increasing customers’ trust, loyalty and satisfaction with a brand. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: PROJEKTER INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Yet good design is more than just attractiveness. It also performs, converts, astonishes, and fulfills its purpose. The German design firm‘Projekter Industrial Design’helps their clients to transcend this philosophy through coherent design built into all of their products. As an integral part of market success, dynamic designs create an identity that is interwoven in the entire production and marketing cycle; it evokes an emotive response and attaches customers to a company’s brand. Good design is also a strategic business decision that emphasizes the care and quality

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which a company invests in its products and services. “Design makes the quality of any product visible and tangible to the user,” states Projekter Industrial Design. At Projekter Industrial Design, eight highly skilled designers create and develop concepts and specifications in accordance with their client’s needs. Founded in 2004 and led by Dipl. Des. Sébastien Lienhard and Dipl. Des. Philippe Lingott, the firm is characterized by its extensive expertise, established industry contacts, and innovative design solutions. In the last four years alone, the company has worked on over 200 proj-

ects involving regional and international brands and notable long-term customers. The range of services offered and the broad portfolio reflect their holistic approach. The firm’s services include: industrial design, product development, technological and economic product optimization, corporate and brand design, project management, quality control, production support in China and Taiwan and 3D-CNC milling. Design with real-world function Located in the inner harbour of Duisburg (Innenhafen), the company is at the very heart of the region’s industrial creativity.The


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture and Design Guide

firm is renowned for creating dynamic, energetic, and powerful products that serve a real world function. Projekter Industrial Design has designed and created specialized power tools, machinery, bikes and e-bikes, automotive technology, measuring instruments, medical tools, sporting goods, and domestic appliances. In the last few years, many of these objects have been awarded several design awards and earned critical appraise, including red dot awards for product design, been a nominee for the German design award, and the winner of IF Design Award Concepts. A recent project involves the firm’s development of Bionicon´s c.guide eco, a lightweight chain guide for mountain bikes. Compared to previous models, Projekter Industrial Design have increased the required mobility of the component by an optimal choice of materials and a new manufacturing process, and simplified the mounting of the bicycle frame. The new one-piece construction replaced six additional components. Consequently, the complete pre-assembly disappeared and production costs were significantly reduced.

minimalist table, form and function are seamlessly blended. Increased functionality and usability Not only the aesthetics but also the ergonomics of a product profoundly impact on user satisfaction. User-centred design makes a product more understandable, improves the workflow and increases efficiency. In addition, intuitive usability evokes user pleasure instead of frustration.“Usability Design is a great factor in reinforcing a positive brand image. It creates equally added value for both users and manufacturers,”emphasizes the firm. The design team at Projekter Industrial Design balance creative, innovative and progressive thinking with the practical, industrial constraints of actually producing real-world solutions. This step in particular requires knowledge of production processes, materials, industry standards and technology.

sign development, they ensure that the industrially manufactured end product complies with the respective brand’s promise. Longstanding partnerships with Asian manufacturers also guarantee trouble-free processes in overseas production. The firm conducts strict quality controls so that the products meet all customer requirements and previous performances, and make a smooth market entry. Projekter Industrial Design is optimistic about the future: “Many good ideas disappear in the drawer. Our objective is to help even more companies to realize their projects and be successful in the marketplace." kontakt@projekter.de www.projekter.de

Market entry and support Finally, Projekter Industrial Design offers ongoing support. After completing the de-

Projekter Industrial Design’s striking projects combine aesthetic appeal with creative problem-solving techniques. Whether it is a conventional hardware tool, a sleek bike, or a Right: Lettmann dragonboat paddle & Lettmann granate kayak Below, left: Bosch car charger C3 Below, middle: Parkside jigsaw Below, right: CAD tigersaw

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Discover Germany | Conference of the Month | Germany

Conference of the Month Germany

At The Monarch Hotel business turns into pleasure If you are looking for an international top-notch conference hotel with an authentic Bavarian ambience The Monarch Hotel at Bad Gögging in the South of Germany right between Nuremburg and Munich is a great contender. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

The Monarch Hotel is idyllically nestled in the picturesque countryside along the river Danube in the heart of Bavaria and only a short distance away from the UNESCO World Heritage city of Regensburg or the magnificent Benedictine Weltenburg monastery on the river bank. Tailor-made service is key and guests are greeted with the traditional Grüß Gott greeting.“We are the largest conference hotel in Lower Bavaria and known as a hotel with a warm, amicable and personal atmosphere,”says General Manager Michael Lopacki. Equipped with 310 rooms and 2,500 sqm of flexible conference room facilities as well as various restaurants and lavish spa and wellness facilities, The Monarch Hotel is a great location for off-sites, conferences and private functions. “We organise all conferences and functions according to their individual characteris-

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tics. The convention operators appreciate our versatility, warmness and our staff’s foreign language skills. Ten different Ianguages I have counted so far,”says Lopacki and he adds:“Our guests cherish the modern equipment, our professionalism and the sustainability in our work performance.” Conference facilities include a large and bright foyer, two terraces, two connectable ballrooms and ten varied meeting rooms, so all sizes can be catered for with great attention to detail, flexibility and enthusiasm by the Monarch team. An abundance of Bavarian style restaurants cater for the culinary needs. The elegant Maria Theresia as well as the Kaiserin Elisabeth restaurants offer fine seasonal food and each boasts a buffet capacity for up to 140 guests. In the à-la carte restaurant König-Ludwig-Stube, guests experience

more formal and intimate surroundings while the Bavarian style Kaminstube is a rather more casual and cosy venue. In café Sophie scrumptious cakes are served and the tradition of Tanztee (afternoon dance) is a weekly fixture in the hotel bar. After a long day, unwind and relax in the wellness and spa area featuring a thermal indoor pool kept at 30 degrees celcius, a further heated thermal outdoor pool, Finnish sauna, infrared cabin, steam bath and of course, a wonderful selection of pampering treatments. At The Monarch Hotel business and pleasure blend in perfectly. www.monarchbadgoegging.com


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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

When tweeting is a crime - social media pitfalls TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

With the growing use and popularity of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, members of the general public have found themselves with the power to communicate their thoughts instantaneously – and to a potentially huge audience. Not so long ago, this was achievable only by mainstream print and broadcast media outlets. But, as the saying goes, with power comes responsibility: inevitably, some of the information transmitted on the spur of the moment is going to be controversial, and will not have had the benefit of prior screening by an editorial team. Many would argue that this is fair enough; after all, freedom of speech and thought are fundamental human rights. But these rights must be balanced against the competing rights and interests of others which may be of equal importance. Many social media users will not regard themselves as ‘publishers’ and will not have a clear enough understanding as to when sharing controversial information with others becomes not just offensive but in fact a criminal offence. There have been a number of well reported incidents now where people have fallen foul of this boundary. Peaches Geldof was apparently recently at risk of facing a criminal investigation after posting a tweet that identified the mothers of two babies abused by the singer Ian Watkins by name. The point that got her into trouble was not so much the identification of the two women as such but that, by exposing them, she had also made it possible to identify the children; and this was contrary to the principle that victims of sexual offences are automatically granted lifetime anonymity. In fact, publishing information that could lead to the identification of victims of sexual offences is in itself a criminal offence. Clearly, this was a point she appeared not to have contemplated before tweeting, assuming she was even aware of it at all.

It is not just the victims of crime who may have a right to anonymity. Consider the consequences for the man who tweeted images, purportedly of JonVenables, one of Jamie Bulger’s killers: he was reported to have received a 14 month suspended jail sentence after admitting contempt of court. The list of examples goes on. The risk of criminal sanctions aside, there is also the very real possibility of incurring civil liability, in the form of an exposure to claims for libel and damages, as the result of publishing a post containing allegations which are damaging and wrong - as Sally Bercow, for example, discovered, who made a payment to Lord McAlpine after tweeting incorrect and defamatory statements about him. It is easy to imagine how opinions published online may have been intended merely as expressions of freedom of speech, but ultimately those same opinions could be judged as reckless statements that risk ruining reputations and lives. In addition, there is the yet further minefield of copyright infringement, for example, through the use of a copyright protected images and sound on social media sites. So what are the rules regarding online communication? To fill some of this apparent vacuum in public understanding and awareness, the Attorney General has published advisory notes on the gov.uk website and, aptly, on the Attorney General Offices’s twitter feed, @AGO_UK. They are aimed at safeguarding the right to a fair trial and the proper functioning of the criminal justice system. The principle in play here is that cases should be evaluated on the basis of the evidence, and with due respect for the legal process, rather than decisions being influenced by the consumption of unchecked information and conjecture that happens to be available on the web. Hopefully, it will also help to pre-

vent social media users inadvertently finding themselves in contempt of court. As many people hauled before a court have learned at their cost, ignorance of the law is no defence. Two simple rules may help to keep you out of trouble: first, always re-read what you have written; and, secondly, pause and think, before pressing the ‘send’ button. Happy twittering and tweeting. Gregor Kleinknecht LLM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and the founder and managing director of Klein Solicitors, a successful independent boutique law firm in Mayfair in the West End of London. Klein Solicitors, 42 Brook Street, London W1K 5DB, E-mail: gk@kleinsolicitors.com www.kleinsolicitors.com

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Prime education with a sporty twist Montessori meets basketball at Hagerhof Castle Almost exactly halfway along the 1,232 km river Rhine lies Schloss Hagerhof in the riverside town of Bad Honnef am Rhein. In the foothills of the picturesque Siebengebirge peaks, this secondary and boarding school is dedicated to discovering, exploring, and nurturing the individual talents of its students, both academically and musically, as well as on the basketball court. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Schloss Hagerhof is a renowned secondary school and boarding school about 10 km from Bonn offering an academicallystreamed secondary education for students aged 11-19, as well as a regular education and a high-class musical education. However, what is distinct about this school is that it also attracts the country’s budding

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basketball stars as it is registered with the Deutscher Basketball Bund (German Basketball Foundation) as a pool for talent spotting and development. While the school has been in existence since 1960, the baroque building in which its 120 boarders and 480 day students

study, dates back to the 16th century. Similarly spectacular are the school’s grounds; boasting an area of 60,000 square metres in which the students are encouraged to roam, creating the ideal environment according to the principles of the Italian pedagogue Dr Maria Montessori:“The objective of the environment is not to shape the


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Discover Germany | Feature | Gymnasium Schloss Hagerhof

Montessori pedagogy. Since 1996 Schloss Hagerhof has embraced the Montessori philosophy, holding the individual development of each student close to its heart. The philosophy of encouraging independence and an awareness of their social responsibility arose from the early 20th century teachings of the Italian. Such characteristics are central to the teaching at Schloss Hagerhof and the school’s management team consists of teachers and parents alike, which further enhances the sense of family and companionship after which the school strives. The school prides itself on being the only state-recognised boarding school which is true to the Montessori philosophy.

ties to successful alumni from the school who have gone on to join the national teams. Inspiration at Schloss Hagerhof comes from the incredible amount of extra-curricular activities on offer as the students actively participate in any number of academic, creative or social-skill enhancing clubs and organisations. From Chinese to choir and calligraphy, or discussing the great German thinkers at philosophy café, the students are free to dictate their own leisure time. Neighbouring the school is a horse riding centre which works together in close cooperation, offering students a regular opportunity to trot or canter around the stunning countryside of the Rhine region.

Slam-dunk In terms of facilities, the school is very well equipped – particularly for those with an affinity for music or the much-needed hand-eye coordination and spring in their step to pursue a career in basketball. The school is a member of the North RhineWestphalia Culture Ministry’s Talent Scouting and Talent Development programme and counts eight experienced, nationallyqualified coaches on its roster. In addition to coaching of the future stars of German and international basketball, the staff also teach other subjects. This ensures that the education of the next generation of athletes remains constant and integrated. The practical nature of boarding allows for the close proximity of school-home –training and is therefore ideal for those young people who are hoping to succeed athletically later in life.

child, but should rather allow the child to reveal himself.” The Montessori educational beliefs Head Teacher Dr. Gudula MeisterjahnKnebel is a veritable expert in Montessori education, herself at the helm of Montessori Europe and a long-time educator of

The attached music school incorporates private tuition, concert bands, swing bands, musical theatre, as well as drama and dance and it is here that the students’creativity is brought to the fore. The school is ever conscious of the fact that the years between 11 and 19 are crucial for the development of each young person. It is during this time that the wheels are put in motion for a successful future and so the school, from the very first time your child sets foot onto the ground, guarantees a complete educational experience. The school’s ethos lends itself to allowing the child to direct its own studies, but ultimately produces academic, sociable, wellrounded individuals. www.hagerhof.de

Both male and female students are encouraged to develop their sporting prowess, and both genders are achieving national and global success on the basketball courts, having reaching numerous school World Championships and national Championships, competing as far away as Turkey, Cyprus and Brazil.The girls’team at Schloss Hagerhof is supported by the German Ladies’ National Team and this undoubtedly serves to further inspire the young people, as does the commitment and close

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Discover Germany | Feature | University of Fine Arts Dresden

Where art comes first This February the renowned University of Fine Arts Dresden celebrates its 250th anniversary.

Top left, main image: Dresden Academy of Fine Arts Above, left: Original deed of foundation. Photo: HfBK Dresden archives Above, right: Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn, silhouette from a collection of 64 etchings and a pencil drawing, 1743-45. Photo: HfBK Dresden archives Above: Lecture room, plastic anatomy. Photo: Max Fischer / HfBK Dresden archives

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: UNIVERSITY OF FINE ARTS DRESDEN

Founded in 1764 the University of Fine Arts Dresden has kept its original charm. The various historic buildings form a fundamental part of the learning experience for a diverse mix of around 650 students. Each building has its own inspiring character, providing a positive influence on students and teachers alike. But it is not only the remarkable environment that makes the university special. With a wide range of courses to choose from, students can hand-pick the courses that most appeal to them, whether they yearn for a career on the stage or behind an easel. The university’s restoration course is particularly well known for its outstanding quality. A long and impressive list of famous lecturers and alumni who have shaped the university over the centuries includes Canaletto, Caspar David Friedrich, Gottfried Semper, Curt Schwitters, Otto Dix and Oskar Kokoscha, to name just a few.

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The 250th anniversary, however, is far more than mere self-celebration as the university aspires to do more than simply shine in the light of history. The extensive anniversary program will last a year and starts with a grand exhibition opening on 6 February. Director Matthias Flügge explains the premise of the anniversary exhibition:“For us it is important to use the anniversary as a platform to make our work more public and engage in a discussion about art and teaching. Here art is created in the present, hence we have a contemporary perspective on history. But because we are equally aware of the significance historical processes bear, we invited students to artistically engage with different aspects of history. Of course we will also show some historical artefacts, documents and pieces of art.” Visitors can look forward to seeing a visual essay focusing on subjects that have received little attention so far. These range

from the role of the female artist from the end of the 18th century to the meaning of polychromy in sculptures from the 19th century.The exhibition will be a personal insight into parts of the university’s history. Flügge enthuses:“The festivities are not separated from the opening of the exhibition. The following party for students, lecturers, alumni, guests and the citizens of Dresden will hopefully turn into a huge birthday bash, just as it should be.” Congratulations to the University of Fine Arts Dresden! www.hfbk-dresden.de/250

Anniversary exhibition opening times: 07/02 – 15/06/2014 Tuesday-Sunday: 11am-6pm Oktogon Georg-Treu-Platz 1 01067 Dresden


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Discover Germany | Feature | Rahn Schule

Left: Boarding accommodation at Priorsberg Below: Graduation at the Rahn Schule. Photo: Ringfoto Hentzschel

“Strengthen people, broaden horizons” The Cistercian cloisters in the small town of Neuzelle have long served as one of Brandenburg’s most beautiful and stimulating educational institutions. Today, students at the Rahn Schule receive a distinctive education, flavoured with internationalism and creativity. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: RAHN SCHULE

The Gymnasium at the Neuzelle campus is a full-day school for students aged 11 to 18, with facilities to house 70 boarders. As part of the Rahn Dietrich educational foundation, the Neuzelle campus educates up to and including the German Abitur level, allowing access to university. Head teacher Sven Budach is a keen advocate of international exchanges for the students, having close ties with schools spanning the globe, from Oman to Russia, Cape Town to Poland. Students spend anything from a week up to half a year at the partner establishments. A group of students from Oman were recently welcomed at the school and Budach recounts with a smile the pleasure it was to host the students from the Indian School of Muscat: “Now skiing with those students was an experience - both for them and us!”

Swing bands, soloists and saxophonists The amiable Budach takes a moment from the hectic last week of term, the Week of Advert Concerts, to explain the excitement as over a fifth of the 500 students showcase their musical talents. From rock bands to piano concertos, string quartets to soloists, the school’s decision to pursue a dedicated musical direction clearly strikes a chord with its students.“While we have students from 14 different nationalities, we also have many German students travelling great distances. What attracts these students is the international mix and our music department.”

commitment to foreign languages (alongside English, French, Spanish, Polish, Russian and Chinese also feature heavily on the students’schedules), language competitions and its participation in the renowned Odyssey of the Mind challenge, a global educational programme that demands nothing but the best of your cognitive abilities. While the school has qualified for the World Finals multiple times, it is yet to win the top honours although Budach remains quietly hopeful. www.internat-neuzelle.de

Foreign languages and brain power at the fore With a strong emphasis on multiculturalism and music, the school in Neuzelle certainly abides by its motto “Strengthen people, broaden horizons”, a motto held to steadfastly through its exchange programmes,

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Berlin, Bavaria and beyond Berlin, Berlin, Berlin. Ok, and a bit of Munich. Oktoberfest. The Rhine. Anything else? Not really. Here’s my wish for 2014: It would be great if the UK’s perception of Germany widened a little to include more than the much loved but by now way too frequently repeated geographical highlights. TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

Take the travel pages of The Guardian, for example. At the time of writing, there are 210 articles about Berlin online, 39 about Munich and 22 about Hamburg. The rest is a bit of Cologne and Dresden plus a pinch of Frankfurt and Baden-Baden (and the latter dates back to World Cup 2006 when the English team put up their very luxurious tent in this fancy spa town in the Black Forest). Don’t get me wrong, that’s fantastic coverage and much improved in comparison to a time when Germany didn’t even exist as a destination for UK travellers. Of course, I love Berlin – who doesn’t and it’s wonderful that it has inspired a younger demographic to visit Germany. They probably would never have shown any interest in the country if its capital hadn’t turned into the place to be for the youth of the world since the fall of the Wall.

their advantages: One thing that characterises many German towns and cities, whether in the north, east, south or west, is that they come as fully developed urban centres, with their own buzzing cultural scenes, great infrastructure, historic sights, shopping and nightlife.You don’t have to go to one of the big cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg & Co to be pleasantly surprised about what’s on offer. So, dear British travel desks and travellers, why not do something outrageous and leave the Bratwurst behind. Metaphorically and literally, by the way, since German food – surprise, surprise, as exactly the same has happened in the UK – has developed immensely over the past decades and the variety of the country’s restaurants can compete on an international level. And not just in Berlin, that’s the thing!

But at the same time it does get a bit boring if every time you tell someone that you’re from Germany the answer is“Oooh, I love Berlin”. Well, that’s great, but Germany is not just Berlin. And even if it seems hard to imagine for some, not every German is from Berlin – or Munich or Cologne. It might be a bit childish but I sometimes even feel a bit offended that I’m automatically thrown into the “Berlin-or-Bavaria” pot, simply because I’m German. Because I am from neither Berlin, nor Bavaria.

So, here’s my bit of Lokalpatriotismus (local patriotism) at the end: One of the best places I’ve discovered last year was a converted warehouse on the banks of the river Rhine in Mannheim, a not particularly beautiful but very lively city (great shopping, by the way), featuring a magnificent Baroque palace in its centre. It’s located in the so-called Kurpfalz where the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate meet and it’s the region where I come from. “Speicher 7”, as this old grain silo from the 1950s is now called, has been turned into a rather fancy boutique hotel which has already won a prize at the European Hotel Design Awards

Federalism and the fact that for centuries Germany didn’t have one centre as France with Paris or the UK with London have

62 | Issue 11 | February 2014

in London last autumn. The integrated bar of the same name combines cool and Gemütlichkeit in this very special German way which you will find not only in Berlin but anywhere across the country. If “Speicher 7”was in Berlin, it would be the place to be and probably on the travel pages of The Guardian. As it is, you read it here first!

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


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Discover Germany | Issue 11 | February 2014