Discover Germany | Issue 8 | October 2013

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Issue 8 | October 2013


Oliver Hirschbiegel




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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents OCTOBER 2013


12 Az W Café-Restaurant CORBACI. © Hertha Hurnaus

Max-Planck-Institut for Biology of Age. Photo: B. Staubach (Köln)


Oliver Hirschbiegel


German director Oliver Hirschbiegel opens up about what drove him to take on the controversial Diana movie project.

Gadgets are a man’s best friend, especially when they come in a great design.





Our German restaurant of the month is the Meerbar in Düsseldorf, a stylish luxury lounge type restaurant in an unbeatable location.


Save the day is the motto at Salzburg’s Michelin starred Carpe Diem Fine Fingerfood gourmet restaurant.

Architecture Guide Switzerland Swiss architects are world-famous for perfection and innovation. Find out why character and identity do really matter in a building project.


Restaurants of the Month 24

Architecture Guide Germany The constant strive for perfection is the driving force behind some of the most distinguished German architects showcased in this issue.

Winter Sport Special From Bavarian Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the Swiss Jungfrau Grindelwald region on to the Zermatt Matterhorn region, we have it all covered in this magazine when it comes to winter wonderland.



Private Education Private education is growing ever more popular. We showcase some great academic options.


Visit the German historic city of Leipzig in its full Christmas splendour including an urban winter wonderland.


Austrian’s Tyrol holds a very special cultural treat with the Tirolean Festival Erl. Join the famous Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach to perfectly round up the Christmas atmosphere.


Swiss Parkhotel Beau Site is located in the carfree village of Zermatt and the cosy, yet luxurious hotel is well renowned for its level of excellence. Go out and explore the striking nature of the Bavarian Allgäu region from the Explorer Hotel Fischen/Oberstdorf where sustainability is a matter of the heart. The Sonne Lifestyle Resort Bregenzerwald offers you the most amazing Austrian holiday feeling all year around.

Attractions of the Month 56

Take a ride in the Zermatt Bergbahnen and explore the pistes in and around the Matterhorn winter sport region in Switzerland.

Business Expert legal and tax advice, outstanding conference venues and a great selection of language schools.

Hotels of the Month 54


Fashion Finds

Winter hiking with Gaedi. Photo: Zermatt Bergahnen

Fluffy and furry it gets with the plummeting temperatures.

Design made in Austria Austria’s finest design studios and their secret for success.


Dedicated to Design

Conferences of the Month 62

Directly connected to Frankfurt airport the stateof-the-art Squaire venue is ideal for international conferences.


High tech meets mountain tradition in this truly remarkable conference venue Brandlhof estate near Salzburg.


The Weltenbummler Messe is the place to visit this autumn for the travel-savvy.


And keeping in mind the winter arriving soon it is time to think of mulled wine and baked apples.The city of Basel is a great destination, and not only for those who wish to get in the Christmas mood.


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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 8, October 2013

Lena Meyer

Published 15.10.2013 ISSN 2051-7718

Faye Beermann Ariam Bereket Caroline Nindl

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor

Advertising Discover Germany is published by: Scan Magazine Ltd. 4 Baden Place Crosby Row London SE1 1YW

Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423

Editor Tina Awtani

For further information, please visit

Art Director Svetlana Slizova Copy-Editor Mark Rogers Contributors Elisabeth Döhne Lydia Evers Barbara Geyer Jessica Holzhausen Julika Hüther

Welcome to the October issue of Discover Germany. Fine arts and winter fun are the key ingredients of this month’s issue. But first let’s take a look at the new movie featuring Diana, Princess of Wales played by Naomi Watts. Director Oliver Hirschbiegel calls the film about the last two years in the life of Diana a“universal love story”. Read the interview with the German director to catch a glimpse of what happened behind the scenes. If you have a foible for fine designs you will love this issue. We took a closer look at Austria as an exciting design hub and it may not come as a surprise that international landmarks like Poland’s Warsaw Sinfonia or the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia were created by Austrian talent. And who would have thought that a swimming pool can fly? Dr.Tillmann Prinz, secretary general of the Federal Chamber of German Architects explains why perfection matters. The constant strive for perfection is the driving force behind some of the most distinguished German and Swiss architects showcased in this issue and rest assured that every single one of them is absolutely unique in its own special style. From great designs to magnificent snow-capped mountains we explore the winter sport resorts of German Garmisch-Partenkirchen as well as the exquisite Zermatt Matterhorn region and the Jungfrau Grindelwald region with its mythical Eiger north face. We have more Swiss winter wonderland up our sleeves by presenting Basel, which has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city sparkling with lights and a buzzing Christmas market. The German city of Leipzig also gears up for the festive season.The traditional Christmas market dates back as far as 1458 and features the world’s biggest freestanding advent calendar.

Sonja Irani Gregor Kleinknecht Anne Krebiehl Franziska Nössig Jessica Pommer Leonie Pusch er

As the NewYear approaches it may be time to think of a NewYear’s Resolution. How about learning a new language? Check out our business section, which is packed with expert advice and find out more about language schools and state-of-the-art conference centres. Grands Crus as well as fine dining and wining await you at our hand-picked selection of great restaurants and outstanding hotels featured in this magazine.

Dorina Reichhold Jessica Ridder Marilena Stracke

Oh, and if you wonder why people love Chancellor Angela Merkel take a look at our culture column, where the secret of her success is revealed.

Helena Whitmore © All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Magazine Ltd.

Enjoy the magazine!

This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles

Tina Awtani 4 | Issue 8 | October 2013

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Dieter Grundmann

Christmas Charm in Leipzig Give in to the magic of a wonderful travel motive: The opening of the famous Leipzig Christmas Market means the beginning of the enchanting Advent season in Leipzig. Unique cultural and culinary delights await the visitors. The boutiques and top-class department stores welcome Christmas gift shoppers. The historical “Old Leipzig” Christmas market on Naschmarkt square introduces above all Leipzig’s artisan and handicrafts traditions. Abandon yourself to the sound of the trombones, the singing of St. Thomas Boys Choir, the traditional delicacies or mouth-watering Leipzig dainties: 250 stalls in the middle of the inner city turn Leipzig into one big Christmas fairytale.


€ 125,00

, price per person double room

,00 harge from € 35 single room surc 2013, subject to availability

Dieter Grundmann

Dirk Brzoska

Dirk Brzoska

Contact us for more information on bookings and travel packages:

t 2 nights including breakfast in one of our partner hotels t Ticket for the public guided tour through the Christmassy Leipzig t 1 traditional St. Martin’s goose for lunch or dinner at Leipzig’s historic “Thüringer Hof” restaurant t Touristmap for each room

v.-22.Dec. ival Offer valid: 26.No eks prior to arr adline: four we de n tio tra gis Re

Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH phone: +49 (0)341 7104-275 email:

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Oliver Hirschbiegel

Oliver Hirschbiegel Upbeat on his downfall What drove the German Oliver Hirschbiegel to make a film about Princess Diana’s last two years? The movie has been panned by critics, but he sees it as a ‘universal love story’ faithfully told. TEXT: JONATHAN DEAN / THE SUNDAY TIMES / THE INTERVIEW PEOPLE | COVER PHOTO: FEATUREFLASH

His Hitler film Downfall was magnificent. Epic, intimate and even, somehow, sympathetic towards the stiff-armed shorthand for evil. One-star man, five-star film. Now for something completely asymmetrical; the German Oliver Hirschbiegel’s delve into the final two years of Lady Di. She was the queen of people’s hearts, the third Greatest Briton ever, according to a BBC poll. Five-star woman to many, in what is, to most, a one-star film. Perhaps only if the director adapted Ed: The Milibands would he end up with a simply mediocre biopic. “For me, as a storyteller, it didn’t really matter so much that it was a story about Diana,” Hirschbiegel says, rather incredibly.“I was never particularly interested in her.” Instead, he says, it’s a “universal love story” between a princess (Naomi Watts) and her commoner lover, Dr Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews). And that’s like naming a film Barack and claiming the current US president is merely a plot device. The director is bald and cheery, smart and sure, enthusiastic and optimistic. Diana died 16 years ago.That’s the wax anniversary in weddings, making the film a Candle in the Wind tribute. Hello again, England’s rose. Or, maybe, a Madame Tussauds ad; the actors playing simple, sensitive, slightly skewed versions of the real things. Watts has the accent, but her hair is

not enough of a mullet in the Martin Bashir interview.You never forget that she is Naomi Watts. The director – 55, born in Hamburg – has had a chequered career since Downfall. First, there was the much-delayed disaster movie The Invasion, with Nicole Kidman. Then a well-received, if little-seen, Northern Ireland thriller, Five Minutes of Heaven. He says he was“hesitant”reading the Diana script – by the playwright Stephen Jeffreys – but was“surprised how much I got sucked in”. His sentences are long and thoughtful, an accent rolling along in fluent English that comes across a little camp, a bit posh. “I realised this is the most complex character you have ever dealt with,”he says, smiling, comparing his titular aristocrat with Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich.“They had their weaknesses and did weird things too, including drugs and stuff, right?” He continues.“Women are kind of complex characters per se, compared to men characters. We don’t multitask as they can do. They contradict themselves more than guys. Diana was the embodiment of that, on a very high level.” He wonders if she would have become an actress herself had her car been driven more slowly that August night. He has seen videos of her dancing and says she was “damn good”. So is

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Photo: Acepix

Cover Feature | Oliver Hirschbiegel

were scrapped. Like a “stupid account” of her“leaving the house in this fur coat, without anything under it”. He learnt on Downfall how important it is to be truthful, how “you can’t make things up”. Much of Jeffreys’s script comes from Diana: Her Last Love by the journalist Kate Snell, a book full of anonymous sources and a few friends of the late princess. Then there’s Khan’s testimony to the High Court inquest into her death in 2008. And an article fromVanity Fair, which is “not famous for printing something based on rumour”. So her favourite TV show was Casualty? He nods. “Yes, yes. And it’s not just one source.”And the couple had sex in the back of Paul Burrell’s Astra on a weekend at the coast? Maybe not.“I took the liberty of having them go to the cliffs of Dover,”he admits,“and enjoying themselves in privacy. I doubt that has ever happened.”With that creation, he wanted to depict their “playfulness”, based on“numerous accounts describing this relationship from the outside”. He says that whenever they didn’t have footage to base shots on – the minefield reenactments are mirror images – they tried “not to come up with any stupid clichés”. Early on, when dissecting a dream about falling, Diana says it isn’t the falling that’s the point. “The point,” she sighs, “is will anyone catch me?”

now a good time to tell her story? He splutters.“I don’t know. It’s more a matter of doing it responsibly. With utmost careful research. Is there a time? I don’t know. How long do you wait? Thirty years? Forty years? Ten years?” He starts his film in the Parisian Ritz, quiet, like a Crimewatch re-creation, before jumping back to 1995, when a separated – not divorced – Diana mopes alone in big houses, overboiling baked beans. It’s like Gus Van Sant’s Kurt Cobain homage, Last Days; slow shots of an icon’s back walking through an empty life, accompanied only

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by scented candles. Which brings us back to Hitler. And traps. Diana’s palaces are like Downfall’s bunker. “Being famous means you live an extremely isolated existence that leads to paranoia,”says Hirschbiegel, who admits that his films are often about being caged in, trying to get out.“‘Am I liked for who I am or for what I stand for?’ That needed to be told, because that’s reporting what she felt like.” What does he know? He says everything in Diana is authentic – stories were checked “like, two or three times, from different angles” and, if they couldn’t be corroborated,

Khan is still alive. So are the paparazzo Jason Fraser, the butler Burrell and Prince Charles, whose only appearance in the film is as a voice barking on television.“I want to reach hearts, brains as well,” Hirschbiegel says when I ask what his aim was with this, his most controversial film. He also says that, of course, Downfall was one of the reasons he was approached, and that he likes the change. “Hitler was just evil,” he says.“And all of a sudden I’m dealing with good, with compassion and love and humanity.” He thinks that Diana’s sons live her legacy, that“old soul”William married a “non-aristocrat”. Harry, meanwhile, is the “wicked end of the girl I got to know quite well”.

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... The German design scene is more vibrant than ever, with an array of new inventions and beautiful objects now available in stores. Check out these award winning and inspiring design pieces that we have fallen in love with this month.




The LAMY 2000 pen series was designed by Gerd A. Müller and is the “perfect combination of design and functionality which has been produced for more than 40 years now using high-quality polycarbonate and stainless steel.” From £110. The Diagon office chair is the latest design masterpiece by Swiss company Girsberger. Created by Burkhard Vogtherr this model features a “flexibly mounted backrest” that “maximizes the opening angle of the seat and back when leaning back, thereby ensuring an exceedingly comfortable movement.” From £650. Practical and beautiful is the Leitz Complete Desktop Multicharger for mobile devices. Charges up to 4 devices simultaneously using USB connections and features the perfect angle for typing or viewing the screen. Winner of a Red Dot Design Award 2013. £60.

Another award winning design by Braun. The CoolTec is the latest innovation in men’s grooming devices. This shaver cools the skin during a dry shave, thus reducing skin irritation. Start the day in style and stay fresh. From £140.


Wake up in the morning with this new weather station and there will be no more fussing about what to wear as this device tells you exactly what the temperature and humidity outside are. Linked to a main weather station it also provides a reliable 24 hour forecast. A sleek design gadget that is very practical too. £92.



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Discover Germany | Xxx | Xxxx

Fashion Finds Finally it is time to put on an extra layer and team short skirts with a great pair of boots instead of heels. New trends for autumn/winter 2013 include monochrome patterns, metallic designs, graphic prints and all things furry. The bigger the better is the rule of thumb for the fluffy trend of furry waistcoats, jackets etc. Team one key item with slim trousers or short skirts to get the look right and create a stylish outfit for this winter’s season. BY TINA AWTANI

Kaviar Gauche designers Alexandra FischerRoehler and Johanna Kühl have created a “seasonal ode to contemporary femininity”, which is reflected in stylistically tough, tailored silhouettes combined with sensuous, feminine shapes. We love the fluffy Cotton Candy Cape and the sexy Tribal Laser Skirt. Cape £1.010, Skirt £665, Belt £126.

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

‘Fashion made with passion!’ has been the company motto of the upmarket Austrian fashion label Airfield for over 70 years. Themes like Urban Jungle, Rock meets Glamour or Manhattan Royal are made to make an impression. The fluffy jacket is certainly a fresh interpretation of the furry trend. £1,426.

Metallics are big this winter, so why not try Airfield’s new luxurious gold laminated leather-look five-pocket-style leggings. £200.

Keep accessories to a minimum when wearing flamboyant key items, otherwise attention will be distracted from the precious creation. The metal Thorn Bracelet adds a quirky touch without being obtrusive. £126.

Another beautiful winter white autumn design by Alexandra Fischer-Roehler and Johanna Kühl: the fluffy Turtle Neck Top makes a great combination with the elegant Parisienne Pants. Top £570, Trousers £311.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Design Made in Austria Clockwise from left: Az W Café-Restaurant CORBACI. © Hertha Hurnaus Az W. © Hertha Hurnaus Az W Shop. © Hertha Hurnaus Az W Library. © Pez Hejduk

Special Theme

Design Made in Austria

Austria An exciting design hub Austria has a buzzing architecture and design scene. Innovative and forward thinking have made Austrian designers high in demand even beyond the national borders. TEXT: TINA AWTANI

Vienna’s Architekturzentrum Wien [Az W] celebrates its 20th birthday this year and is proud of the fact that “in the past two decades the Az W has secured a name for itself both nationally and internationally as an important competence centre for modern and contemporary architecture.” It is the only institution in Austria that is fully devoted to intensely replenish and preserve Austria's modern architectural history and well worth a visit. Today’s designs were honoured on 24 September with The Staatspreis Design & Sonderpreis DesignConcept 2013, a bi-annual competition for design made in Austria. In the 45th year of the competition the category“spatial creation”was won by Kadawittfeldarchitektur GmbH and the ÖBB Infrastruktur AG for the Salzburg Central Station rejuvenation project. Winner in the category“Product creation - capital goods” was the Spirit Design − Innovation & Brand GmbH together with the Federal Ministry of traffic, innovation and technology as well as the shipyard ÖSWAG Linz for the design of a coastguard ship. In the category“Product creation – consumer goods”Novo Communication & Product design e. U. scooped the award for designing the Genium-arti-

ficial leg system for Otto Bock Healthcare GmbH. Creative design achievements, engagement and innovation strength have successfully secured Austrian designers an outstanding international reputation. In our design guide we present some of Austria’s finest architects and their projects. Read about Thomas Pucher and his winning design for Poland’s Warsaw Sinfonia or the Jõekaare Residential Tower in Tartu, Estonia. Meet Meissl architects who came up with the idea of a literally flying hotel pool, some striking contemporary retail facilities as well as stylish villas at Lake Garda. Read about DIN A4 architects, who gained fame with the creation of the Congress Centrum Alpbach and continued success with more stunning congress centres, impressive medical facilities and other high profile projects. And meet Vienna based grand Albert Wimmer, who currently works on the masterplan for the district aroundVienna's main train station, the new conference centre at theViennese UNO-City, the masterplan for Europe's biggest passive housing estate“Eurogate”and the new construction of the hospital Wien Nord.

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“It’s all about the project”says Thomas Pucher “Sensitive awareness mixed with a rigorous toughness.” Thomas Pucher is in fact talking about his team’s approach to design, but could equally be describing his own character. He speaks with a clarity and directness that make his work sound almost effortless, until you realise that everything he says as a whole rests on a foundation of thorough assessment of the details, followed up by in-depth reflection. TEXT: KATE HOWLETT-JONES | PHOTOS: © ATELIER THOMAS PUCHER ZT GMBH

Just like his architecture. Each design is the result of meticulous research into the site and its context – in technical, cultural, financial and aesthetic terms – and strictly tailored to fit.“It’s about grasping the spirit of the site and the country where it is, and creating a fresh icon out of these elements.” His winning design for the Warsaw Sinfonia, for example, has a floating frame, which is 17 metres high and 3 metres above the ground, intended to open up the site and yet blend out the urban space around it, making the concert hall into an oasis in the city.“When you go in, you walk through zones which gradually prepare you for the concert experience: progressively calmer through the park, the foyer and into the hall.”Architectural critics have drawn parallels to Polish history, to the Warsaw ghetto, to the Berlin wall and the iron curtain. So while it might appear a purely aesthetic feature, the floating frame is rooted

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firmly in technical, urban and cultural considerations also.

and sees architecture strictly as “problemsolving capacity combined with aesthetics.

He appears to positively enjoy the challenge of these complex, knotty problems,

“I don’t like buildings that are just beautiful: they must be really clever on a functional level”. The result is that each of his projects is highly individual.

Arch. DI. Thomas Pucher. © Jasmin Schuller

He is in this respect the opposite of many of today’s star architects, who focus on their signature style wherever or whatever they are designing, be it opera house, museum or office block. He insists on his team being open to all influences in design, including cost, function, sizing and timetable.“These are all factors that need to be integrated at the outset. You can’t do a fancy design and then realise later that it’s a nightmare to implement – which happens surprisingly often in architecture.”He is dismissive of the ‘architect branding’ trend: “Just having a distinctive style should not be an issue. If your

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Design Made in Austria Left: Sinfonia Varsovia Concert Hall; Warsaw, Poland. Below: NIK Office Building; Graz, Austria. © Andreas Buchberger Right from top to bottom: Organisation of Islamic Conferences; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Jõekaare Residential Tower; Tartu, Estonia. © Lukas Schaller LWL Rehabilitation Clinic; Dortmund, Germany Andreas Hofer Platz; Mixed Use; Graz, Austria.

architecture always looks the same, the building itself has no meaning – it loses its readability. Because we focus so much on the issues of the precise project we achieve a strict but complex solution – it may look clear and simple, but underneath are many complex responses to the programme. In our projects this means that the building itself becomes an icon – not of us, but of the site. This is how we are different.”For his own future, Thomas Pucher is open: an important point for him is his office’s flexibility. “We have proved that we can design internationally prestigious, cultural buildings such as the OIC headquarters in Jeddah and the Warsaw Sinfonia... yet we can also design excellent, functional day-to-day buildings such as offices, schools, hospitals, apartments.” How he’d like to be remembered: Thomas Pucher would choose to have been architect of one or two truly iconic buildings that stand for themselves, and not him: “Something like the Sydney opera house, an everlasting icon – few actually know who designed it, but everybody knows the building. It’s not about me, it’s about the building.”

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Design Made in Austria

Planning structures that get under people's skin Family-run Meissl Architects uses a “Value Scorecard” to guarantee outstanding results for its clients TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLDT | PHOTOS: MEISSL ARCHITECTS

Communication is the key factor to success for Meissl Architects.“For us, drafting a structure is teamwork,” says Alexander Meissl, Partner at Meissl Architects.“Everyone who has an idea or thought is asked to contribute to the project. That is how we develop our ideas until we are satisfied with the result.” The Austrian architecture office was founded in Innsbruck by Ernst Meissl in 1958 and is now run in the second generation by Alexander Meissl and his sister Carola Meissl-Handle. In 1997, a second office was opened in Vienna, to work alongside the main office in Seefeld,Tyrol, to meet the growing demands of the expanding business. Meissl Architects offers its customers assistance in all steps of the building process: from drafting the structure to all the different aspects of planning work, construction management and construction monitoring as well as interior design. Meissl Architects' clients are as varied as its design ideas. Some of the recent projects in the industry sector include the construction of a new

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supermarket as well as interior design for different retailers. In the public sector, Meissl Architects has worked on the reconstruction of hospitals, a school and an IT-training centre. It is also strongly involved in planning and constructing different types of private housing, multi-storey dwellings as well as luxurious mansions. The architecture office puts emphasis on sustainable building by using the newest materials and technology and also focuses on maintaining the highest creative stan-

dards. An unusual design vision that highlights the architects' creativity is the“Ski In Church”, a square chapel situated in the Alps, in which skiers can ride in and out. Meissl Architects works with clients in Austria as well as abroad and is currently engaged in projects in Germany and Italy.The construction of three mansions at Lake Garda in South Tyrol is a completed project of which Meissl is very proud: “We successfully interacted with cultural differences and a different language and received a lot of praise for our work.”

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Design Made in Austria Left & below: Project Lake Garda. Photos: Birgit Koell Right top: Flying Pool. Photos: Meissl Right bottom middle: Isser Optician. Photo: Günther Wett Right bottom: PROLICHT. Photo: Tanja und Charly Lair

so called “soft factors” such as comfort, charisma, historical background and tradition and creates an individual result, that fulfils its intended purpose, fits into its environment and also meets the client's wishes. Meissl explains that by using his method he is able to bring the ideas of the client and the architect as close together as possible and“plan structures, that get under the target audience’s skin.”

For Meissl Architects efficient communication between client and architect is one of the most important aspects of their work. Alexander Meissl realised that, especially in the tourism sector, there is often an imbalance between the client's wishes and the architect's ideas, resulting in a structure that does not completely fulfil its purpose for the intended user, be it guest, patient or customer.To find a solution to this problem, he developed a four phase “Value Scorecard" (VSC) which helps to improve communication between the parties involved and guarantees better end results for the client. It combines general building factors like timing, costs, quality and quantity with

Planning and building hotels is the task for the architecture office's 2008 offshoot Meissl Projects, which specialises in consultation and realisation of construction projects in tourism. Its credo is that the combination of strategy and architecture is fundamental for sustainable hotel projects. One project in which Meissl could successfully apply his method of the“Value Scorecard” is the hotel Das Graseck in Garmisch Partenkirchen, his very first hotel project in Bavaria.“The hotel's owner is so assured of our concept that he and his family are putting all their energy into the building project. My team and I are very much looking forward to the realisation in 2014.”Despite the fact that Meissl Architects are very busy expanding their business, Alexander Meissl and his sister still find time and energy to dream about the different projects they would like to realise in the future. Alexander Meissl would like to tackle“eyesores”in the countryside, buildings that do not fit into the environment for different reasons and replace them with new and sustainable constructions, thus“clearing out our living space”. Carola Meissl-Handle would like to build a “crazy” hotel that attracts a large

number of regular guests due to its oddness. Proof that Meissl Architects has plenty of creativity to take on projects which seem crazy at first is the FLYING POOL at the Hotel Elisabeth in Tyrol. The glass structure protrudes 6 metres from the facade and will be an impressive eyecatcher once it is realised. Visitors can swim open air in hot water with a view across the ski slope and the ski bar down below, making the FLYING POOL another of Meissl Architects' projects that are extraordinary and sustainable at the same time.

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Outstanding creativity meets reliability DIN A4 Architektur: contemporary architecture meets client expectation through profound expertise. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD

“The future of architectural construction lies in a contemporary, individual and most notable resource-efficient architecture” is the guiding principle for DIN A4 Architektur. The architectural office in Innsbruck was founded in 1993 and today is successfully run by Conrad Messner and Markus Prackwieser, both graduates of the University of Innsbruck. Shortly after it was founded, DIN A4 Architektur became famous nationwide through the realisation of the Congress Centrum Alpbach.

picturesque village Alpbach, which has won many awards for its beauty, the completed conference centre harmonises perfectly with the traditional timber buildings.The success of this project is directly due to the exceptional working standards of DIN A4 Architektur, in which all architectural service phases are typically provided.“Quality, precision, first-class architectural design, location-based coherence, and originality are the best conditions for perfect projects,”explain Messner and Prackwieser.

“The challenge for us was to integrate the requested structure into a sensitive townscape,” explain Messner and Prackwieser.They tackled this challenge effectively. Situated in the

Over the years, the firm has gained experience in different areas of development. Its projects include supermarkets, housing, schools and industrial buildings. Highest

Photo: Freudenthaler

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Photo: Oczlon

quality, new ideas, reliability and outstanding expertise in energy efficient building is what DIN A4 Architektur aims to deliver. A building of which DIN A4 Architektur is particularly proud is the CCB Universität Innsbruck – Centrum für Chemie und Biomedizin.The project's intention was to make science appear tangible and place the human and the living soul of a university at the focal point of the building. These demands corresponded to the focal point of the Life Sciences that are taught in the building. DIN A4 Architekts included this philosophical demand in the construction of the building, as well as managing all the complex technical demands such as building lecture theatres, an area to keep animals, and laboratories.The building

Photo: Prachensky

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Design Made in Austria Left: Congress Centrum Alpbach. Photos: WETT Right: Passivwohnhausanlage Lodenareal. Photo: Hueber Left bottom: CCB Universität Innsbruck, Centrum für Chemie und Biomedizin. Right bottom: Justizzentrum Korneuburg

was developed with permeable areas on the inside as well as on the outside, so that encounters between students, teachers and scientists are possible and encouraged. “In all our projects intelligent building is important to us,” explain Messner and Prackwieser.“The buildings have to function in layout as well as the technical aspects. And there has to be additional value in utilisation.” Accordingly, DIN A4 Architektur takes pride in having built the

experience. The architectural office works mainly on projects in Austria, but it also took on a project in Sofia, Bulgaria and another in South Tyrol, Italy. In addition, various invitations for architectural competitions in Germany complete the international reputation DIN A4 Architektur is building for itself. Conrad Messner and Markus Prackwieser. Photo: Freudenthaler

Passivwohnhausanlage Lodenareal, ultralow energy buildings, which at the time of its completion in autumn 2009 was the biggest accredited passive housing area in Europe. DIN A4 Architektur ecologically conscious project in cooperation with Mathoi Architekten was the construction of the Justizzentrum Korneuburg, which is built following passive house standards and is a pilot project for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Justice. Due to its great number of projects, DIN A4 Architektur has built up a solid amount of


In the future, Messner and Prackwieser would like to build a multi-storey timber construction, a form of a timber tower block. The architects get inspiration for unusual projects such as this through travelling, viewing different structures and also through a learning curve from former projects. For Messner and Prackwieser good communication is of the utmost importance:“In any project, we as the architects are the contact person for the client.” The architect's task is to be able to match their conception and ideas with the client's and future user's wishes. To best way to tackle a client’s doubts and fears is convincing them


through commitment, and Messner and Prackwieser describe the art of meeting in the middle as“juggling”:“Our position, our architecture has to be noticeable, at the same time it should come as close to the client's and user's ideal result as possible.” To meet clients’ high demands, DIN A4 Architektur only employs graduates with adequate experience to work on its projects. All staff constantly build up qualifications through further education internally as well as in external seminars. In addition, management and staff are involved in project work according to their individual abilities. Every member of the team, next to their architectural work, is given an area of responsibility within the architectural office, to find ways and strategies to work more efficiently, showing that DIN A4 Architektur is also juggling its team's potential, to bring out everyone's most valuable skills and expertise.

Photo: Seidl

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“Architecture to serve society” – that's the motto of the Vienna-based architectural practice Albert Wimmer ZT GmbH. And nowadays there are plenty of practical examples for this approach – from urban design projects to infrastructure planning, modern residential or health centre developments. TEXT & PHOTOS: ALBERT WIMMER ZT GMBH | TRANSLATION: SONJA IRANI

Architecture should and needs to contribute to an open society. This belief in mind, theViennese architect DI Dipl TP Albert Wimmer tries to find the perfect solution for all of his different projects: for the planning of residential buildings as well as for the making of urban developments, sports stadiums or ventures within the health care sector. For every project, producing specific concepts and spatial interpretation are the first aspects to consider. His belief is at the same time the basis of Albert Wimmer's working method and is reflected under four headings, namely“intervention” (to understand the aura of a place and reinterpret it),“articulation”(to be aware of the high amount of responsibility towards society),“art” (to let emotions influence the design of buildings and to find alternatives to conventional architecture) and“innovation”(progress).

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Important competitive successes enabled the Atelier Albert Wimmer, which was founded in 1977, to realize a number of large-scale projects such as the power plant

Albert Wimmer. © Hubert Dimko

Freudenau in Vienna, the reorganization and revitalisation of the town centre in Leuven/Belgium, the new construction of the EURO stadiums in Innsbruck, in Salzburg Wals-Siezenheim and in Klagenfurt as well as the new construction of the EURO 2012 stadiums Lviv (Ukraine). Current activities include competition successes such as the masterplan for the district around Vienna's main train station, the new conference centre at the Viennese UNO-City, the masterplan for Europe's biggest passive housing estate“Eurogate”and the new construction of the hospital Wien Nord. Architect Albert Wimmer constantly strives for the ideal city. He also believes that in order to be attractive, every city needs to have its own identity. “Masterplans are a good tool to balance out different (for example public and private) interests and to enable

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Design Made in Austria

Main picture, left: Hauptbahnhof Wien. Photo: ÖBB/Roman Bönsch From top to bottom: Krankenhaus Nord. Photo: Health Team KHN Revitalisierung Schillerplatz. Photo: Rupert Steiner EM2008 Stadion Klagenfurt. Photo: Albert Wimmer ZT GmbH Bottom right: Revitalisierung Sofiensäle. Modell: Albert Wimmer ZT GmbH / Photo: Rupert Steiner

a wide, flexible, easy and intuitive use for all. It is important to me that I don't determine every little detail, but to allow the city – or the district – enough room for development. My vision is to create a lively city that includes identitygiving highlights and is there for everyone to enjoy. At the same time, it needs areas for possible acquisition – areas which need to be conquered first.” Openness, transparency and flexibility are the themes that can be found in all of Albert Wimmer's work. The most recent example of this is the hospital Nord in Vienna. According to the slogan “Smart hospital - the Viennese way”, the Health Team led by the Albert Wimmer ZT GmbH developed a hospital with around 800 beds that combines the advantages of a central hospital with those of a pavilion-style building.This creates a health centre, where the patients come first and the atmosphere is

relaxed and enjoyable. The “healing environment” is expanded by a “healing garden”, which merges the ideas of comfort,

healing, growing and recovering into one overall concept.

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Grosse Gewächse Germany’s very own grands crus German wine law is the most egalitarian in the world: according to its rules, you can make so-called Qualitätswein, or quality wine, whether the grapes were grown on a steep single slate vineyard or in a potato field. TEXT: ANNE KREBIEHL | PHOTOS: VDP PRESS IMAGES

The only quality criterion the law recognises is the sugar-level of the grapes at harvest. Another layer of quality distinguishes whether that potential alcohol level can be helped along by chaptalisation – in the case of Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete, quality wine of designated origin, often abbreviated QbA, the enriching of grape must with sugar to achieve a higher level of alcohol, i.e. chaptalisation, is permitted, in the case of Prädikatswein, i.e. any wine carrying one of the graded Prädikate (Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trocken-

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beerenauslese) it is not. Of course, the wine law also restricts yields and governs which grape varieties can be planted where – but the yield restrictions in Germany are so generous that they leave little impact. The preoccupation with sugar, i.e. the ripeness level of grapes at harvest, is understandable for a cool-climate country relying on south-facing slopes to ripen grapes at all. Historically, it was only in the best vineyards that noble grape varieties like Riesling were planted because these were

the only places in which they would actually ripen. Before global warming, this of course would have been south-facing hillsides, in soils that would stay warm overnight, like slate or basalt, often carved out by rivers that would moderate both cold and hot air. This marginal, drawn-out ripening of grapes gave German wine its unique combination of lightness and aromatic intensity Today, viticulture is so advanced and temperatures are warmer, that grapes ripen

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Discover Germany | Dine & Wine | Germany's grands crus

Lage and dry wines grown there are known as Grosses Gewächs – like the Burgundian Grands Crus. Regulations on yield restriction, grape variety and vinification are stringent to ensure uncompromising quality. Strikingly, all of this is not part of the German wine law – all the rules that govern Grosse Gewächse only apply toVDP members. However, since they mostly count quality-conscious vintners with generations of winemaking and vineyard holdings behind them, this classification has become a new quality standard, pulling everything up along with them. The first few Grosses Gewächse were presented in the late 1990s – today there are hundreds of them. Thus, within just over a decade, the GGs, as they are known, have changed the perception of German fine wine – across the world.

well almost everywhere: in a fertile potato field as well as on a stony, ancient vineyard site. To the lawmakers in 1971 – all soil was created equal. And while vines grow happily in all sorts of sites and make easydrinking wines for early consumption, to have fine, concentrated, age-worthy wine the vine has to struggle – in poor soils where almost nothing else would grow, where the roots need to drive deep into the subsoil to find sustenance. Old maps still exist with thousands of parcels of named, single sites in which fine wines

would grow. In 1971 these were subsumed into Grosslagen (large site designations) and only some are still known as Einzellagen (single sites) and recognised by law. But change has come: theVDP, theVerband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter have taken it upon themselves to stage a revolution – albeit a slow one – to classify and revive these old, single sites. They keep refining the process and they now have identified and classified the best vineyards in Germany. Looking towards a French classification model, the best sites are known as Grosse

According to Georg Mauer, director of Wein & Glas, a leading Berlin-based retailer and wholesaler this classification has been a “remarkable success story”since it brought “wines from very particular single sites into focus.” For Boon Heng of Wein & Vin in Singapore, the VDP itself is“a seal of quality. When it comes to Grosses Gewächs we tell customers that it’s like a Grand Cru but even stricter: the sites are classified, the wines are tasted by judging panels.”Iris Ellmann, managing director of Wine Barn, a UK-based German specialist wine importer, pragmatically states: “Even if you don’t know the ins and outs of Germany you can be sure that it’s a top wine.”Veteran US-importer of German wines Rudi Wiest echoes this:“The difference between Germany and Burgundy is that you have to pay for a Grand Cru regardless of quality, in Germany when you buy GG, you get great wine.”

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Restaurant of the Month Germany

Dine and unwind in style at Meerbar For gourmets and epicures, Meerbar is the place to enjoy sophisticated dining, mouth-watering piscatorial dishes, and classy cocktails. This restaurant and lounge bursts with culinary treats and Düsseldorf’s most scenic patio. TEXT: ELISABETH DÖHNE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

The restaurant is situated on the banks of the river Rhine in Düsseldorf’s trendy Media-City, the city’s prime address for avantgarde architecture and cuisine. Opened in 2005, Meerbar has since been a magnet for piscatorial lovers, connoisseurs, and urbane nighthawks.

Dedicated to perfection World-class culinary treats and exotic recipes are cooked with great skill, fresh produce and finesse, and a young team of chefs, led by Robert Kubiak, prepares freshly-caught seafood, exclusive spices, and high quality ingredients. Options for non-fish eaters and vegetarians are plentiful.

Pure pleasures Up to 100 guests can fit in the bar and restaurant, and Meerbar is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner service every day. Individual, corporate, or event catering service is also available. From classic aperitifs, to selected wines, malts and whiskeys, exquisite champagnes, and extravagant cocktails, the bar offers sheer unlimitedness. At weekends, DJs turn the bar area into an eclectic lounge and the crowd is invited to dance or spend the night on the scenic Rhine patio.

Sophisticated ambiance The style is unique, combining earthy tones of red and brown, natural elements like wooden tables, with spectacular interior, crystal lights and candles. The room is divided into a bar-lounge area with a 15 metre long counter, and an à la carte dinner area.The restaurant embodies a holistic approach to food sensuality and customer service: “We want our guests to fully immerse into Meerbar’s special atmosphere and appeal to all senses,” states the manager Markus Conrad.

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Dishes such as the chef’s risotto, lemon tagliarini with cray fish and rocket, fresh oysters, bouillabaisse, filet of sea bream with crispy pork belly, and yellowfin tuna steak are bursting with flavor and creativity.“Both summer and winter guests can expect a flavourful cuisine that corresponds with seasonal variations and selected wines,”explains the management. Gourmets are spoilt for choice between classic and more extravagant compositions.

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Restaurant of the Month Austria

Seize the day and enjoy the most exquisite gourmet fingerfood Located in Salzburg’s iconic Getreidegasse, the Carpe Diem Finest Fingerfood restaurant offers a culinary experience of a different kind. Awarded with a Michelin star and two Gault Millau toques the mix and match of seasonal dishes – of which some are presented in cones – is quite a special haute cuisine treat.

Above: The Carpe Diem Finest Fingerfood restaurant Below left: Head Chef Franz Fuiko Below right: Finest Fingerfood


“The motto‘Carpe Diem - seize the day’is what drives myself and our restaurant. When something new evolves from the fusion of individual ingredients that touches all senses, that is what inspires me and this is reflected in our cones and seasonal dishes,”head chef Franz Fuiko gushes. The cones are a house specialty. Beef tartar with potato purée, sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke or lamb medallions with ratatouille are served in skilfully handcrafted waffle cones that come in mouth-watering recipe varieties. All dishes are made of the finest fresh ingredients and can be mixed and matched according to appetite and, besides being effortless to consume, are pure eye-candy when arriving at the table. The cones are not the only Carpe Diem speciality. Carpe Diem Kombucha, a nonalcoholic beverage that comes in the varieties Classic, Quince and Cranberry is based on a thousand year old Japanese Zen-inspired recipe, which is said to support the harmony of body and soul.

Those, who prefer a good bottle of wine, are left to the expertise of Sommelier Roland Neulinger who ensures that guests take full advantage of the impressive wine list. Carpe Diem Finest Fingerfood offers a rich variety of venues for various occasions such as private parties, corporate functions, a great night out with friends and family or a romantic dinner for two. The terrace offers a unique setting right on Salzburg’s most

famous alleys. The rather casual café and teahouse is great for a light bite, while the bar on the ground floor, the champagne bar on the first floor or the lounge are more fancy venues for the after work hours. But the coup de grâce is certainly the gourmet restaurant on the top floor.

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Discover Germany | Travel

Weltenbummler - Messe Köln Inspiration for individual travellers For the creative minds behind Weltenbummler, less is simply more. The Trade Fair Event aimed at globetrotters and individual travellers combines a concise number of prestigious companies with workshops and talks at an elegant, appropriately sized venue. The two day event at Cologne’s Dock One takes place on 30 November and 1 December. Exhibitors are still welcome to register. TEXT: FRANZISKA NÖSSIG | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Our trade fair is not aimed at all-inclusive holidaymakers but at people who enjoy individual travel options with an original touch,”Frank Baumann explains. His company expotec GmbH (Ltd) established Weltenbummler in 2011, thus answering to a noticeable trend away from mass tourism and towards high-quality, genuine travelling. In addition to this, Baumann’s new concept acknowledges that many trade fair visitors nowadays prefer to obtain expert advice and qualified support. “Having a smaller number of exhibitors means that visitors will get a chance to engage in more personal one-to-one conversations,”he says. At Cologne’s Dock One venue, a converted 19th century factory on the right bank of the River Rhine, this will be possible directly at the stalls as well as during public talks with professional globetrotters. Desert expert Achill Moser from Hamburg is invited, as are cyclists Maximilian Semsch (Munich) and Kurt Beutler (Switzerland). While Semsch toured Australia with his ebike, Beutler decided to cycle at an even

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slower pace – touring the world in ten years. Moreover, hands-on experience is guaranteed with workshops on photography and cooking. Professional photographers will share their tricks on how to capture oceans or deserts best on camera, and chefs will have visitors join them in preparing dishes from five continents. The trade fair will focus on Africa and Asia as travel destinations, and, with marching jazz bands and wine tastings, is predominantly aimed at academics and entrepreneurs from the Cologne area, says expotec manager Frank Baumann. His Weltenbummler concept originated in Hamburg in 2011 and, after establishing Cologne as a second location, will expand to Zurich and Nuremberg in 2014/15. Further innovations include Munich and Stuttgart on the list of permanent sites, and canoeing and sailing tours will be added to the portfolio of exhibitors.

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All Paths Lead to Successful Academic Achievement up to the University Entrance Exam The Hermann-Lietz Schools: individual learning modules and support programmes for students Small classes, individual attention and open educational paths: The Hermann-Lietz schools of Gut Haubinda, Schloss Hohenwehrda, Schloss Bieberstein, and Spiekeroog have developed customised concepts for every student. All of these paths are unrestricted and lead to scholarly success all the way to the secondary school leaving certificate. It is anything but a one-way street, because personalised support programmes and diverse educational offerings tailored to the individual student help youth focus on academic achievement. This “paves“ the way for the proper school journey to the university entrance exam.




Haubinda boarding school: “I was able to really take off here”

“I wanted my children to also experience this incredible time”

“The most wonderful and important experiences of adolescence”

“My time at Haubinda changed my life. Previously at state schools, I was not an especially good student. I just couldn't see eye to eye with my teachers. Everything was suddenly different at the boarding school: I was able to really take off here. Through individual attention, I recognized my strengths and fostered my self-confidence. As students, we were always taken seriously and were encouraged to actively participate in discussions. Here I found camaraderie and mutual trust, which I lacked earlier. After my university entrance exam, I was able to immediately start with my preferred career.

“I experienced an intensive school period in the community at Schloss Hohenwehrda. I don't want to hide the fact that my attitude towards state schools was troubled. I developed very well at Hohenwehrda. The educational year at Schloss Bieberstein was ideal for Svenja. Here, sustainable knowledge is generated through engrossing learning contents and guarantees long-term learning success. Social skills are promoted through concrete projects. As was the case for me, that was the way to expand on personal abilities.”

“I can say that today I am more self confident; I have much more faith in myself. My experiences with other students and my student family contributed greatly to this. There are naturally high and low points, but the happy moments make up the majority for me. I plan on enjoying my last year and taking my university entrance exam. I especially like being able to be on the beach. You're amongst friends here, and it's almost like being on holiday – I can turn off perfectly. And the “High Seas High School” - I can only recommend that everyone sets their sails. My brother and many other Lietz school students made friends for life there, and they say that these were the most wonderful and important experiences of their youth.”

Michael Wißler, 54 years old

Julius Stang, 25 years old

Former student at the Hermann-Lietz school of Schloss Hohenwehrda

Former student at the Hermann-Lietz school of Gut Haubinda

Builder and Director of Ulrich GmbH, Fulda

Currently a radar controller for the German air traffic control in Karlsruhe

With his children Svenja (17) – currently a student at Schloss Bieberstein – and Alexander (22) – former student at Gut Haubinda.

Thea Steggemann, 17 years old, 12th year student Student at the Hermann-Lietz school at Spiekeroog

Gut Haubinda

Ecological education, agricultural emphasis, elementary school to university entrance exam, hunting and fishing licences

Schloss Hohenwehrda

Musical emphasis, integration of foreign students, foreign languages Secondary modern school to secondary grammar school – G8 and G9, Green university entrance exam

Schloss Bieberstein

Educational year, senior secondary grammar school, individual preparation for the university entrance exam, economics


Small school – big community; stress-free learning through to the university entrance exam, In-school National Park house, High Seas High School

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Individual Learning Components and Development Programmes The Hermann-Lietz boarding schools provide diverse opportunities for a successful secondary school education. TEXT: HERMANN LIETZ BOARDING SCHOOLS | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Whether an ecological education with an agricultural emphasis, perfect integration of foreign students, customised preparation for the university entrance exam or a school year aboard a sailing ship – the many options at the four Hermann-Lietz schools focus on developing students' personalities. Small classes, one-on-one support, and flexible educational approaches are part of the customised concepts developed for each student at the Hermann-Lietz boarding schools at Gut Haubinda, Schloss Hohenwehrda, Schloss Bieberstein, and Spiekeroog. Live and Learn Outdoors Great value is placed on an ecologicalagricultural education at the Hermann-Lietz boarding school of Gut Haubinda, lo-

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cated in the German state of Thuringia. Besides instruction in small classes, the subject of agriculture is integrated throughout the programme in myriad ways. The consciously selected location in the countryside is of great value. In today's fast-paced world, this offers residents a chance to draw serenity from nature and to develop an ecological consciousness. In doing so, they learn to handle natural resources sustainably and to comprehend the natural cycle of agricultural production. On a former manor estate, the students live amongst 90 hectares of meadows and forest. Particularly for students who grew up around agriculture at their family home, their understanding is further fostered here, where they can obtain a diverse set of experiences. Youth who envi-

sion a future career in agriculture are at the right address at the Haubinda boarding school. For example, they have the opportunity to obtain their youth hunting and fishing licences. Be Creative and Musical Schloss Hohenwehrda adjoins the Hessian nature preserve of RhĂśn. Surrounded by nature, students attend class in a former hunting manor starting in the 5th year as well as in the secondary modern school and grammar school route.The 5th and 6th years are run as an orientation level. The goal is to offer secondary modern school students the opportunity to attend secondary grammar school courses. Individual, customised nurture for each student is the focus.

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Discover Germany | Feature | Private Education

Left: Campus life

Bellow: Harvest at Haubinda Hohenwehrda Castle Bieberstein Castle

Bellow: Singing at Hohenwehrda Castle Biology class at Bieberstein Castle Sailing Spiekeroog

Departure from Turbo University Entrance Exam The Baroque palace that is the Schloss Bieberstein Hermann Lietz school is purely a senior secondary school. Located 15 km east of Fulda, it forms the ideal space for focussed, objective-oriented preparation for the university entrance exam. In this federally-recognised private school, youth obtain the Hessian vocational diploma as well as the general higher education entrance qualification, for example in the subjects of economics or arts.

undertake several land expeditions in the Caribbean. The pupils are actively involved in the school's own national park centre, in ocean research projects in collaboration with the University of Oldenburg, and developing the school's own Internet presence. Whether sports, music or art, being active together fills one with energy. Rather than pure pressure to perform, the joy of learning should be the motor for personal commitment.

In the palace school, students practice their biology-chemistry courses in modern laboratories, musical talent is promoted through learning instruments, and business experience can be garnered in the winery. The boarding school offers the choice of a 12- or 13-year secondary school period with an additional “education year”. The portfolio of this educational year consists of intensive courses in the subjects of language, natural sciences, the humanities, experiential education, common public interest and career orientation. The result: educational content is understood, applied correctly, and can be utilised later down the road. Small School – Big Community

Besides a distinct concept for the integration of foreign students, foreign languages are an important aspect. Together with other corresponding elective courses, an athletic and, especially, a musical emphasis provides for stabilisation and success later in students' careers. A special option at the boarding school is the “green” university entrance exam. Here, students enhance their inner relationship with nature, obtain solid understanding in the areas of wildlife biology, nature preservation as well as cultivation and forestry. They also have the option of obtaining their youth hunting licence.

The Hermann Lietz Schule Spiekeroog is set in the island idyll between beach and dunes. “Extreme vastness and close proximity” are the features of residential life in the landscape of the Wadden Sea, a world natural heritage site. Water, beach, dunes, and salt flats contribute greatly to the pedagogical concept: ecology and sailing sports are instructional cornerstones. For example, sailing can be chosen as an athletic elective and included as part of the university entrance exam. In the school's own “High Seas High School”, tenth-year students voyage across the Atlantic in a “sailing classroom” and

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Private Aufbaugymnasium Iserlohn and Boarding School Seilersee

Excellence rooted in holistic values At the private Boarding School Seilersee, academic achievements go hand in hand with personal tutoring, social competences, and free time activities. Here, all students are encouraged to live up to their true potential! TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: AGENTUR SMARTMEDIA24.DE

Only a stone’s throw from the glistering Lake Seilersee, the Boarding School Seilersee is located in the city of Iserlohn, a hidden gem in mid-west Germany. The reputable institution was founded in 1968 and has over 45 years of experience in fostering a holistic education based on values and personal attention. Philosophy and objectives The Boarding School Seilersee is an Aufbaugymnasium, a comprehensive grammar school, and strikes the balance between the virtues of honesty, individuality, and academic ambition, stating:“We want to offer a fair chance to everybody.” This holds true for the variety of studies and

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curricular choices, tutorials, free-time facilities, sports and social activities. Currently about 170 students – both boarders and day students – learn and live at the school. The buildings are inviting, spacious and modern, and there is an average of 14 students in every class. Girls and boys aged 10-18 come from all over Germany and the school fosters strong ties to Iserlohn and neighbouring towns. Focusing on the individual The school employs various concepts and teaching methods with an emphasis on small groups and tutoring. A team of 20 pedagogues and 9 specialized tutors believe in teaching students with friendly dis-

cipline and personal attention. There are no school uniforms and the atmosphere reflects a motivated and creative learning environment. Furthermore, the school cooperates with other local institutions and organizes internships for its students. While all teaching models and curricula are state-approved, and students will graduate with the Zentralabitur, the school awards the Abitur after 13 school years (G9), a practice that leaves room for indepth learning and critical understanding. “It is advisable to attend a more comprehensive school when in grades five and six, a child’s academic path is not running straightforward,”explains the principal.The

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Discover Germany | Feature | Private Education

high school degree, the university entrance degree in Germany. Students of lower classes 5 and 6 can attend the school but the gymnasium, or grammar school, starts with the intermediate grades 7 to 10, which are challenging but bear more educational value than a normal education. During secondary education (1113) a student’s passions and talents are encouraged in intensified power classes. And older students are exposed to possible career choices, since the school believes,“It is important that students learn to take responsibility for their own education.”

Amazingly, the institution is Germany’s only hockey school, and the ice rink is located just a two minute walk away. In close cooperation with the DEL Hockey Iserlohn Roosters, promising talents are trained to a high level. Past students have even played in the German junior league. Highlights include skiing trips, excursions, international study trips, and language courses. However, the perk of the school year is the annual candlelight dinner, when older students dress up and enjoy a fine dinner in the school’s decorated hallway.

Humility as a virtue As part of the holistic approach to learn for life, the school attempts to address the academic, social, psychological, physical, and cultural development of its students. School days are structured into sessions of classes, meals, and breaks, and those who need support are encouraged to learn in extracurricular classes. Individual support is offered in tutorials such as a“Grammar and writing workshop”, German as a foreign language, and the course “learning to learn”. The Boarding School Seilersee has become a home away from home for many. The bright and personal bedrooms are separated by gender and age, and usually 1-2 students live together and share responsibilities. The closely-knit community of fellow students, academic advisors and school staff are supportive and empathetic towards each other. The director says fittingly that “We teach our students that virtues such as honesty, reliability and hard work are not old-fashioned but commendable.” Leisure activities specific focus of the Boarding School Seilersee allows change to an upper secondary school education, which begins in the seventh grade. Also those who have already finished lower degrees or middle school, can transfer to the Boarding School Seilersee and continue to work towards their

In their free time, students can exercise creative and technical skills and learn social competences in school clubs. Among many others, billiards, cooking, photography, singing, hockey, basketball, volleyball, tennis, mountain biking, skiing, taekwondo, horse riding, swimming and fencing are offered.

Lake Seiler

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture Guide Germany

Special Theme

Architecture Guide Germany

Left: Center for Free-Electron Laser Science. Photo: Werner Huthmacher (Berlin)

Because perfection matters Is there something such as German Architecture? TEXT: DR. TILLMANN PRINZ, SECRETARY GENERAL, FEDERAL CHAMBER OF GERMAN ARCHITECTS

There was a time when German architecture was synonymous with modernity and avantgarde.This period, linked with names like Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius or Bruno Taut, became a world-famous brand: Bauhaus. It’s protagonists, of whom many had to leave Germany in the 1930s, influenced modern architecture on a global scale. Bauhaus was probably the last movement we can refer to as a pool of certain architectural ideas, planning concepts and designs rooted in Germany.Today, German architecture can’t be reduced to a single term. All over the world, Germany is famous for its car industry, engineering and the role it plays in environmental protection. Its architecture, though, seems to be less wellknown, at least when it comes to big spectacular projects that gain international attention. There are almost 127,000 architects in Germany, registered as either architect, interior designer, landscape architect or urban planner. The overwhelming majority of them run their businesses in small studios or planning offices and mainly work on a local or regional level. This is certainly different to the situation, for instance, in the UK, where you have big architectural companies with hundreds or thousands of employees. In Germany, an architect is considered less an entrepreneur but more a creative artist who takes full responsibility for the project, from the very first sketch to the last socket that is fixed in the newly built house.This special feature – the rather small-scale business with a lot of personal responsibility involved – might be one of the reasons why German architects aren’t

as famous as, let’s say, Norman Foster or Frank O. Gehry. Nevertheless, there are quite a few German architects who have succeeded internationally. How to get to know German architects, their projects and their work? The Federal Chamber of Architects (Bundesarchitektenkammer), being the official representative of German architects on both the federal and international level, entertains a special network – Netzwerk Architekturexport NAX – that was founded in 2001 and is aimed at supporting German architects competing on a growing global market. NAX brings together German architects with experience abroad, helps make contact with specialists and potential clients and encourages international activities by supplying information and expertise. Both architects and clients can rely on an excellent, permanently updated database that contains all the necessary information about legal regulations concerning fees or liability in more than 100 countries. Given the well-differentiated and specialized structure of the architectural business in Germany, does it have any influence on the work of architects as well as on the architecture itself? It is a traditional feature of German architecture that there are no large companies who dominate the field but a large number of rather small, often highly specialized offices that offer planning services and designs tailored to the particular needs of their clients. This individual approach in striving for perfection with every project is without doubt one of the unbeatable advantages of working with a German architect.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture Guide Germany

Koschany and Zimmer KZA

Urban living in former industrial wastelands Urban designers today face a huge challenge: to create modern urban living areas where space is scarce without transforming cities into concrete jungles. This also means giving unused former industrial and infrastructural parts of the city a new life, building new houses or modernizing old factory buildings into living space. The Essen based architects Axel Koschany and Wolfgang Zimmer are specialists in urban living and in the development of industrial wasteland. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: KOSCHANY AND ZIMMER KZA

land, Great Britain, Russia and Dubai.“Architecture in all its facets is passion for space and creating space for passion,” explain Axel Koschany and Wolfgang Zimmer, speaking about their philosophy.

Many cities in Europe are growing but often space is scarce and so are living areas in the city centre. Situated in the Ruhr region the architectural office Koschany and Zimmer is in the centre of an area that changed drastically in the last century when parts of the mining industry closed down, leaving former industrial buildings unused and room for new architectural ideas.

Their portfolio includes creating an architectural master plan, urban designing, building construction, general planning,

The names Koschany and Zimmer stand for creativity, professionalism and a long lasting confidence between the architects and building contractors. Günter Koschany founded the architectural office in 1959 that today is lead by Axel Koschany and Wolfgang Zimmer in the second generation. The team which today numbers over 50 staff at the headquarters in Essen work on German and international projects in Ire-

Axel Koschany and Wolfgang Zimmer, Managing Partners KZA. © André Loessel

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public and interior design as well as the complete building management starting with the open tender and concluding with cost and time management. Koschany and Zimmer work as consultants on questions of project controlling or investment as well. The architects Koschany and Zimmer have developed various new urban living spaces in the Ruhr area, one of them is the Pier78 – a building in the city centre of Essen directly at a new designed waterfront. The four-story building is U-shaped with two additional buildings in the middle and contains 78 flats. Situated in the university quarter Pier78 lies in the middle of a spaciously developed park with public green and water bodies. What makes the building special is the different kind of facade designs. The more closed northern and east-

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Main image, left: PIER 78, Essen - park view. Left: PIER 78, Essen - courtyard. © Daniel Sumesgutner Right: GrugaCarree southwest view. © Deimel + Wittmar Fotografie GrugaCarree courtyard. © Nicola Leffelsend Koschany + Zimmer Architekten KZA Bottom: Private house, Mühlheim/Ruhr. © Daniel Sumesgutner

ern part have a plastered facade with playfully arranged yellow balconies while on the southern and western opened side of the building residents can enjoy glazed lodges. “We wanted to achieve a timeless design, an intelligent floor plan and high quality features all at once.”This also means having a wide space for the living and dining room, luxurious parquet floors, floor heating systems, barrier free showers and balconies, lodges or terraces. The Pier78 buildings were constructed in what was once a densely populated quarter but after great parts were destroyed in World War II every plan for restructuring and revitalising the quarter failed because of a railway line with 20 tracks in the area. This changed when the railway tracks were given up in 2008. Since 2011 the quarter has been developed after modern urban plans with the aim to create space instead of density, making a healthy urban living area out of an industrial wasteland. A similar project emerges in the south of Essen where Koschany and Zimmer created the plans for the GrugaCarree with 57 welllit flats and different room concepts for couples, families and elderly people.

Something completely different is a private double pitch roof house Koschany and Zimmer designed for a young family in Mülheim. There is a tacit rule in architecture: “Never build for a friend, never confront the builder with an idea that is completely different from what he originally wanted.” A rule Axel Koschany broke in Mülheim where the builder, one of Koschany’s best friends, dreamt of a Bauhaus styled bungalow. The family had bought a 1,200 square metre property on which stood a ramshackle semi-detached house from the 1950s that had to be demolished. But building a free standing bungalow seemed impossible since the family wanted a sunny terrace without their neighbours being able to look through the window into their living room.

The architect had the idea to duplicate the old building and adjust the duplicated house, slightly shifting it to the front of the old one. The builder was enthusiastic and even started to build a Lego version of his new home. The“semi-detached”house in a maisonette style now has 235 square metre living space, room for the two young children to play and a gallery as an adult retreat. Innovative ideas like these make Koschany and Zimmer a leading architectural office in all forms of urban living.

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Images: Max-Planck-Institut for Biology of Age Main image, left: Photo: Barbara Staubach (Köln) Below middle: Photo: HG Esch (Hennef – Stadt Blankenberg) Below: Photo: Jörn Lehmann (Schwerin)


Architecture for science Building for science and researchers means creating knowledge. In future communication and communication friendly buildings will become more essential for researchers. The architectural office hammeskrause shows that laboratory safety, research and communicative structures go hand in hand. Working closely together with scientists they have already created ground-breaking architecture for science. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: HAMMESKRAUSE

The architectural office hammeskrause, based in Stuttgart is an expert in creating buildings for science – from offices to laboratories. Since 2001 the two architects Markus Hammes and Nils Krause have been working together and have realised a series of complex building projects. “Creativity and communication are important foundations for innovations – like those made in science,” says architect Markus Hammes.“But at the same time the build-

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ings have to fulfil certain safety requirements in the laboratories. For a long time this led to focusing on functional aspects and security issues alone.” But including the idea into the architectural concept that communication is a valuable part of the scientific process, leads to new concepts for laboratory and building layouts. hammeskrause includes space for communication in their scientific buildings.

Markus Hammes & Nils Krause

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Below: Max-Planck-Institut fur Festkorperforschung, Prazisionslabor. Photo: Wolf-Dieter Gericke (Waiblingen) Right: Center for Free-Electron Laser Science. Photo: Werner Huthmacher (Berlin)

Short distances and functionality to foster communication is not contrary to sustainable and economical laboratories as well as technical demands. Working together with scientists and researchers There are three important buildings hammeskrause has created lately. When designing buildings for science the architects work closely together with scientists who will later work in the building. “The moment we get together with the scientists we have an open and transparent discussion. We ask questions, we listen and try to find out the spirit and character of the building and the work process that will later be conducted in the building,” says Markus Hammes.

State Research. Working in the context of already existing buildings from the 1970s situated in a beautiful park, the architects decided to root the new building in its surroundings through small and clear gestures. The windowless complex with its boxes for experiments is divided from the rest of the buildings, which contain laboratories and offices by a glass joint.“Because of the few building related conditions we have put another emphasis on the facade design, because the windowless hall differs from conventional structures and that gave us new design chances,” explains Hammes. The building structure is influenced by the knowledge that the scientists conduct vibration sensitive experiments and may cause electromagnetic interferences. “More than any other of our buildings the laboratory is a prototype.”

Max Planck Institute AGE, Cologne In Cologne hammeskrause realised a new building for the Max Planck Institute (MPI), the MPI AGE researches the biology of human ageing. The innovative building overcomes the apparent contradiction between communication and safety, between compactness and spacious rooms. The building is divided in a ground floor for infrastructure, floors for scientists and a top floor for energy and building technology and hygiene laboratories. The two floors for scientists are as well as other parts aligned towards an atrium giving direct contact between scientists, staff and visitors.

Centre For Free-Electron Laser Science

A laboratory for nanoscale science

The CFEL, the Centre For Free-Electron Laser Science, in Hamburg was built by hammeskrause as well – a unique cooperative project between the University of Hamburg, the Max Planck Society and the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, one of the world’s leading accelerator centres.The challenge was not only to create high technology rooms for experiments but to use synergies between the different scientific groups as well. The building therefore was divided into two different parts surrounding a foyer. While the lower floor is built as a brick building, the top three floors are a 57-diameter rotunda.

Another building the architects created for the Max Planck Society is a high-end laboratory in Stuttgart for the MPI for Solid

All three buildings are not only an example of hammeskrause’s knowledge about and

experience in science buildings but also of their architectural philosophy. When speaking about his philosophy Markus Hammes describes his work method as an“intensive, collective and interactive discourse”. Working together with the builder, the architectural process is based on transparency.“We value face-to-face contact. It is our concern to create an empathic and cooperative dialogue with the builder and users of the building and their needs,” says architect Markus Hammes. Every new opportunity arouses the architect’s curiosity. “Our architecture is not defined by its formal or aesthetic nature but by the above mentioned process.The architectural form is the result of a thorough analysis of various outside influences, the overall context and their transformation in structure and space,” Markus Hammes explains.“This creative act is likewise inspiration and intuition.”

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture Guide Germany Left & below: Project Luitpoldpark. Photo: Quirin Leppert

Unique buildings tailormade for the urban context Munich-based company Laux Architects specialises in sophisticated residential construction and transforms whole areas! TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: LAUX ARCHITEKTEN

Laux Architects design diverse housing concepts for private and public sector clients, investors, and project developers. Company owners Ina Laux and Gunther Laux, professor at the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart, work with interdisciplinary teams to supervise a project from the first idea to the final building process. They distinguish themselves with an individual architectural language, which has earned them international attention. What makes Laux Architects special is their focus on the greater picture.“Every task requires its own concept. In our opinion, architecture does not just mean building a house or object but creating a new space in its entirety,” says Ina Laux, who is also a member of the Deutsche Akademie fuer Staedtebau und Landesplanung (DASL). Their concepts link architecture to the site’s surrounding context and history, and hence transform existing urban spaces. A perfect example is the recently finished apartment complex right by Munich’s popular Luitpoldpark. The location has excellent acces-

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sibility between city centre and Mittlerer Ring, Olympic Park and Luitpoldpark. The concept yet again connects architecture, green space and landscape. The building itself promotes a calm and smooth style that is in alignment with the tradition of the large-sized Schwabinger apartment blocks but also has its own individuality.There are 86 apartments of various sizes including five luxury penthouses overlooking the park. Private gardens, roof terraces and balconies enhance the natural feeling whilst being in the heart of Schwabing. Laux Architects trust in sustainable constructing techniques and high energy efficiency, which makes the elegant building a prime example of an environment-conscious 21st century housing concept. Their sensitivity to the existing surroundings is also evident in the new housing development on a former production site right in Munich’s most elegant quarter Bogenhausen. The site belonged to painkiller factory Togal but is now being turned into a sophisti-

cated residential estate, which finally makes use of the supreme location. “Because of its previous use this area has been hermetic and introverted. The new building developments offer complete re-orientation and address generation,” explains Gunther Laux.The concept revives the existing context and interprets the area as a group of elegant townhouses to be finished in 2015. Working with clear structures and homogeneous materials Laux Architects create vivid spaces and gracefully form a harmonic symbiosis between residential buildings and surrounding urban life. A successful concept indeed!

Gunther & Ina Laux

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Ludes Generalplaner GmbH Specialists in healthcare and research buildings Most of us would rather leave hospital sooner than later, but then again, most of us will have to stay on a ward at some stage in our lives. Architect Stefan Ludes and his 120 strong team see it as their social responsibility to create therapeutic spaces that are both functional and welcoming. Based in Berlin and Munich, Ludes Generalplaner GmbH (Ltd) is amongst Germany’s leading architectural firms in healthcare, education and research facilities. TEXT: FRANZISKA NÖSSIG

The team’s projects can be found all over Germany and cover a broad spectrum, ranging from university hospitals and juvenile psychiatric clinics through to radio therapy centres, rehabilitation clinics and research laboratories. Specialisation in healthcare buildings has enabled Stefan Ludes and his architects to be involved not only in the actual design phase, but at every stage of construction.“We comprehensively manage all planning and coordination processes, thus acting as mediators between specialist planners, the owner and any official bodies involved,” Ludes explains. One of his company’s core philosophies is to create medical service centres void of that intimidating, clinical feel. This vision clearly abandons the old concept of a medical unit functioning autonomously as some kind of “health processing plant”. A distinct microcosm nonetheless, hospitals by Ludes Generalplaner GmbH are laid out to meet the various demands of patients and staff.“It is the architect’s task to empathise with the patient’s needs,” the company

owner stresses. By seeing things from the perspective of somebody struggling with orientation, seemingly minor details suddenly become indispensable design elements. For instance, spacious glass bays visually connect the clinic interior with the outside world, Ludes points out. Together with colour-coded floors, these measures all help transform large expanses into manageable bite-sized areas. This has proved to be crucial especially in retirement homes where the elderly often battle to find an affinity with their new surroundings. Similarly, the company’s expertise is reflected in its design of research facilities: highly specialized working spaces, adaptable to changing research practices, combined with a communal area for scientists from all disciplines. Integrating all these functions in one building is what lies at the heart of Ludes Generalplaner GmbH. From top to bottom: CharitéCrossOver (CCO), Charité Universitätsmedizin-Berlin, new build of a preclinic and research centre for neuro and immune sciences. Photo: Werner Huthmacher CharitéCrossOver (CCO) - Interior. Photo: Werner Huthmacher Medical centre Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, renovation and extension of the psychiatric unit and new build of an auditorium. Photo: Kim Oliver Gottschalk Landesuntersuchungsanstalt Chemnitz, new build of lab and research building. Photo: Kim Oliver Gottschalk Left: Medical centre Universität München-Campus Innenstadt, new build of portal clinic. Visualization: Ludes Generalplaner GmbH

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LRW Architects Passionate about creating space with a view Based in Hamburg, the team around Karin Loosen, Rudolf Rüschoff and Thomas Winkler is constantly striving to create perfect spatial solutions while always keeping the human being’s welfare in mind. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: LRW ARCHITECTS

The award-winning studio was founded in 1996 by Loosen, Rüschoff and Winkler, who brought together architecture, urban planning and construction engineering – a winning formula when it comes to combining expertise and the ability to identify architectural potential from urban changes. With a strong team of 20 architects the firm has established an impressive track record by having successfully designed about 2,800 constructed housing units by 2015. More than 40 competitions have been won by LRW architects so far.

for cities and communities as well as creating solutions for building societies, property investors or private clients. The company portfolio includes research fa-

cilities, educational buildings and public buildings. Taking into consideration contemporary housing needs, the company constantly looks for architectural and urban development solutions that fulfil today’s demand for high quality, individuality and versatility. All designs furthermore consider contemporary energy requirements and are aimed to be both timeless and modern.

Great solutions for unusual spaces LRW Architects is specialises in urban projects such as residential, office or mixed use buildings. The architect caters

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From left to right Karin Loosen, Thomas Winkler and Rudolf Rüschoff. ® Berry Behrendt /

The Team. ® LRW

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture Guide Germany

Main images, left: Arnoldstrasse ® Oliver Heissner / Bogenallee ® Oliver Heissner / Middle: Augustinum ® Oliver Heissner / Right, bottom: Kaiserkai ® Felix Borkenau /

square metres of living space. Three different parts of the project were equipped with different facades in terms of material as well colour schemes.“We have developed new living quarters in the highly dense part of the city just like an inlaid work that blends in perfectly with the surrounding urban architectural structure,”Karin Loosen explains.

LRW Architects develops appropriate typologies and proportionalities, drafts economic and livable density and considers the supply of open spaces in order to always integrate architecture in the urban context. Urban sites that seem difficult to build on because of their unconventional shape, restricted building regulations or sensitive urban environment are particularly appealing to LRW Architects. Embracing the challenges of creating highly sophisticated architecture in seemingly impossible places makes the company as successful as they are today. Hamburg’s architectural gemstones LRW has won numerous competitions in its hometown and beyond. Winning projects successfully completed include the Arnoldstrasse in Hamburg Ottensen, Bogenallee in Hamburg Eimsbüttel and the Quartier am Kaiserkai in Hamburg’s famous HafenCity. The Project Arnoldstrasse is an urban housing complex. 46 housing units provide 5,523

In Hamburg’s Bogenallee LRW has left its mark by converting a tired office complex into a vibrant residential building with 45 units spread over 4,580 square metres. The new flats came with a very special type of floor plan as Karin Loosen reveals: “The balconies and the loggias of the individual apartments are the window to the city.” Again a perfect example of a project that keeps the wellbeing of the future resident in mind. Needless to say that LRW architects also is involved in the creation of Hamburg’s massive HafenCity recreation project, which is currently regarded as being Europe’s biggest inner-city development project. By 2025 a mere 157 hectares of former industrial harbour space will be converted into a contemporary mix of residential, office and recreational area. LRW’s project Kaiserkai [Emperor’s quay] features a unique and contemporary mixed use building complex with a recreational courtyard. Stunning views over Grasbrookhafen in the waterfront neighbourhood of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall and the iconic Marco Polo Terraces come with the package. Sliding doors at the wind- and weather-proof loggias ensure that the beautiful view can be enjoyed outside even if the weather is not all clear. “We created a hieroglyphic

building, in dialogue with the archaic vocabulary of the harbour ambience,” Karin Loosen says. Beyond the city borders Although LRW is a strong player in Hamburg’s architectural league, the company also creates impressive projects in different regions. On 19 September the new Augustinum Meersburg retirement home near Lake Constance was officially opened. Approximately 42,000 square metres of space were turned into 266 residential units accompanied by a restaurant, a festive hall, a spa and wellness area, a medical care station and several retail facilities. Karin Loosen is particularly fond of the lively façades, which blend in the individual loggias just like a ribbon. “The Augustinum Meersburg symbolises four arks anchored above the vineyards of Meersburg, featuring an alpine panorama,” and she continues:“almost every apartment has lake and alpine views.”In fact the region is so beautiful that the whole LRW team got sporty during the summer and organised cycling off-site in the region surrounding the Augustinum Meersburg.

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Special Theme

Architecture Guide

Architektur Nil Hürzeler


“In the standardized world of today, where everything must be uniform, we have specialized in not being specialists,” says Stefan Nil, one of the two partners of Achitektur Nil Hürzeler (Nil Hürzeler Architecture). TEXT: JESSICA RIDDER | PHOTOS: JÜRG ZIMMERMANN, ZÜRICH / GASTON WICKY, ZÜRICH

Established in 1990 by architects Stefan Nil and Daniel Hürzeler and based in Erlenbach, Switzerland, the two managing directors and partners of this architectural practice are actively supported by six employees. Their expertise is broad and not limited to architecture, but includes interior design, design and interior fittings, consulting, assessment, construction management, urban planning, historic preservation and teaching.“Fortunately we receive very different commissions. The variety of tasks ranges from small to large; from alterations, conversions and renovations to new constructions including residential houses, schools and clubhouses, and commercial, office and bank buildings.”Nil explains. Their project list is long and confirms this, encompassing art studios and schools, a rowing club, numerous industrial and office

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buildings, and beautiful modern looking private residencies.Their accomplished use of space and light has attracted considerable attention and recognition for their projects and vision.

each aspect equally whether it be the design, the construction or the architecture. Furthermore, they particularly look to strongly integrate the building owners into the process of creation.

They perceive every task entrusted to their architectural office as an exercise in creating unity. As a result, they focus on fulfilling

Emphasis is also put towards research into using a diversity of materials. Whether it’s concrete, brick, wood, metal or glass, the architects of Architektur Nil Hürzeler like to show the material and leave it in the open and uncovered, often as an answer to the given local situation.“We like complex tasks such as the combination of historic buildings with contemporary additions, new buildings or extensions,”Nil elaborates.

Daniel Hürzeler and Stefan Nil

One example is a small farmhouse in a hamlet in the canton of Zurich that for several years had no longer been used for agricultural purposes. Discovered by a family, the idea of transforming the existing barn

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Special Theme | Architecture Guide Switzerland Main image, left: Project Schönenberg, converted barn. The pergola alleyway connects the inside with the outside. Right: Minergy-Living in Latsch Graubünden Right below: Minergy-Living, faccade with wooden window elements

and the stables into a living space in a residential house was quickly developed. The old residential area became bedrooms and an office area. Within the old wooden structure of the barn, the architects integrated a Cube with the new kitchen and the living and dining room. Achitektur Nil Hürzeler’s philosophy is to “create simple, expressive forms that are consistent in proportion, colour and material”, which is clear when you contemplate their works. Their credo:“To explore the location and the environment and respect their history and culture. To build and reconstruct in accordance with the latest ecological knowledge. To understand the economics and the cost awareness in the long term and use it sustainably. To create modern architecture with the passion of traditional master builders.”(Website) Again, this credo is well reflected in their projects. For instance, in the construction of new residential buildings in Bergün-Latsch. In the initial development plan, it was in-

tended to build three to four houses on the 2,585 m2 site. However, after careful consideration, the decision was made to construct only two large buildings, situated on the edges with a southwest exposure of this vast hillside property, exploiting the density of the development to the maximum. One of the company’s milestone projects lies in the historic industrial area of Winterthur in the Zurich Canton.“On a property surface of 2,300 m2, we have performed a restoration carried out with an increase in office buildings and the construction of a school with a space allowance of 7,000 m2,”Nil says.

ent requirements and individual concepts that will be developed accordingly.” Bottom, left: Project Rüschlikon, semi with carport.

Most of Achitektur Nil Hürzeler’s clients appreciate two things in particular: “They are always very pleased with our threepoint working model. Concept, design and costs are equally estimated and the same amount of importance is attached to all three areas. Furthermore, our ecological awareness and the consistent use of natural materials is greatly appreciated.” Nil continues.

Conversion and extension, industrial area. Sulzer Winterthur Bottom, right: Competition industrial project Uetikon at the lake, blending historic and newly built. Project Erlenbach, the terrace became part of the interior

They have won numerous competitions for projects including schools in the Swiss cities of St. Gallen, Steinach and Winterthur and several commercial and residential buildings in various cities. Nil concludes:“At present we are carrying out the planning of a very complex task: a building plot with historically protected residential and commercial buildings, located in two different building zones (the core zone and the residential zone). We are working on three new buildings, which will be constructed in dialogue with the old buildings.Through the numerous development zones, each will be built with differ-

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Clear principles and room for interpretation! Swiss architects Beat Jordi and Caspar Angst are the heart and soul of their thriving company ADP Architects, based in Zurich. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: ADP ARCHITECTS

ADP Architects was founded in 1987 by Beat Jordi and Caspar Angst and became a stock company in July 2002.“The range of our work includes almost all areas of architecture and the building process from urban development and public facilities and grounds to offices and stores or apartments and houses,”says Caspar Angst. He explains further:“For us architecture is a part of our everyday life. We design and construct buildings and estates using our professional skill as well as cultural knowledge.” At ADP Architects the constructed world is seen unbiased in its entirety, taking dynamics and variety into account.The urban environment is seen as a constantly changing and developing character, where inno-

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vation is understood as a symbol of its time without forgetting the roots. Residential construction has generally played a major role in the earlier days of ADP Architects and is a sector that has helped make the company as strong and established as it is today. Hence it comes as no surprise that they are highly specialised in that particular field. Their dynamic process takes into account that households are permanently changing, especially in bigger apartment blocks where different tenants come and go.“We try to design the layout of a flat considering today’s requirements as well as the demands of the future. We see architecture as a craft that we focus on with a realistic attitude.”

That way ADP Architects creates sustainable spaces and works towards the needs of future residents with commitment and sensitivity:“Architecture evolves through teamwork, which also takes the client, different experts and building contractors into account. Ever changing conditions and goals demand genuine dedication from everyone involved. Through open communication and an independent way of thinking we find the best solution for every individual and unique challenge that each new space presents.” When it comes to urban development the architects decide on what approach is needed based on careful analysis of the characteristics of the building site. Space, figures and typologies are noted as key factors that have to be transformed in an innovative fashion. A great example is their recently finished project at the Hard Turm Park in the West of Zurich. The former industrial area already had excellent transportation links and the new building project aimed at improving the entire area. To do so utilisations had to be skilfully blended, also including the creation of open public spaces and enhancing

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture Guide Switzerland

Main image, left: Hard Turm Park - North Fassade Below: Hard Turm Park Courtyard

jects are highly conceptual and satisfy top architectural standards throughout. The concepts also contain a remarkable amount of flexibility when it comes to adapting to the different environments. What matters is the character and identity of the building projects! Below, from top to bottom: Hard Turm Park - Atrium Ground Floor Maisonette South Nord East Corner Unit

the infrastructure. The development of the socalled West Zurich Guidelines defined the fundamental design principles and hence provided a useful document of reference throughout the whole process, from the first idea to the final building process. The idea was to create apartments as well as space for commercial use without separating the two into different buildings. This conscious decision was made in order to create a homogenous urban landscape.

ronment. The court’s birches give a green vibe and promote a feeling of tranquillity and relaxation. For the architects it was very important to use the quality location for a particularly vast range of different apartment layouts.

Since 2012 the modern building complex is home to 117 apartments, a hotel with 126 rooms and several offices and businesses. There are also fabulous business apartments, which are managed by the hotel. A business plaza connects several parts of the area and functions with its water installations as a gateway to the Hard Turm Park as well as being the main entrance for the hotel and business grounds.

The standard of these spacious apartments is particularly high, compared to other rented flats. The parquet floors are made of smoked oak, a material that is also used for specific design components such as railings, sliding doors and other fittings. This gives the apartments an exciting vibe and creates a special atmosphere.“We aim to create open systems, which give the final residents more room to play with,�says Angst.

The apartments are located towards the quiet open courts and have fantastic views overlooking the park and the diverse envi-

The majority of the work at ADP Architects is generated through architecture competitions, which means that their pro-

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Special Theme

Winter Sport Special

The Perfect Alpine Holiday DiscoverYour True Nature The people who live here are envied by many; those who spend their holidays here even more so. Garmisch-Partenkirchen will move you - with its unspoilt nature, vibrancy and Bavarian charm. TEXT & IMAGES: GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN TOURISMUS

First of all you'll be overwhelmed by the mountains, nature and the breathtaking panorama. Next, the local people will win you over with their kindness, openness and honesty. And finally, you'll take unforgettable moments, memories and experiences with you. In nature. Playing sports. Or just relaxing. Walk along the streets and stroll down the alleyways; with every step you'll discover a little more of the variety the area has to offer: historical sights, interesting excursions, art and culture, exciting events and no end of sport and wellness. Plus: shop and stroll

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Winter Sport Special Left: Winter Panorama Pfefferalm Left, bottom: Mohrenplatz Church Below: Snow Shoe Fun Torch Hiking

runs with artificial snow, so that you can enjoy skiing all the way down to 700m. If you prefer snowboarding, carving or freestyle skiing, you will enjoy the Classic skiing area. And of course: the skiing area of Mount Zugspitze. Germany's highest altitude skiing area offers 21 km of varied ski runs, from easy to difficult. Are you ready?

and snack, 365 days a year. Go to a concert. Or find your own personal highlights.

Winter in GarmischPartenkirchen has many facets – one of which is a very soft and pleasant one. If you love nature, you can experience the romantic side of the cold season here. 110 kilometres of cleared winter hiking trails invite you to relax, wonder and enjoy the snow covered landscape. The uniform, soft crunching of the snow under your feet, the winter calmness as well as the fantastic Alpine setting are simply magic: you will become calm, relaxed and completely one with the moment.

You love skiing, snowboarding, carving or freestyle skiing. Then, GarmischPartenkirchen is the right place for you, for Germany's top winter sports resort has much to offer.You will find conditions here that make your heart beat faster: more than 60 km of skiing slopes, perfect snow from November to May, well-prepared slopes ranging from easy to demanding, modern lift facilities, beautiful views and cosy ski huts.

The trails in and around GarmischPartenkirchen are rather diverse. There is a perfect trail for each age group and all levels of fitness: romantic hikes on snow-covered paths in wild nature, close-up feeding of the deer on the Kramer plateau, adventurous torchlight hikes through the icecovered Partnach Gorge or a comfortable ride in a horse-drawn sleigh.

There was a good reason for GarmischPartenkirchen to be selected as the venue for the Alpine Skiing World Championship 2011. Not only were the lift facilities modernised, the famous Kandahar ski slope was reconstructed. There are five downhill

The Partnach Gorge in the winter is a magic world. Regardless of whether you visit in the daytime or participate in a guided torchlight hike at night - a tour through the spectacular world of ice of the gorge is a very special adventure.

Animal lovers, whether young or old, will love the feeding of the deer near the Almhütte on the Kramer plateau trail. During the cold season, the animals move down, closer to the valley. It is in this way that you can observe the deer, which are normally rather shy, and feed them as soon as dusk falls. Sometimes, they come quite close to you. You love extraordinary, original nature experiences? Then, you absolutely should try snowshoeing. Discover nature with snowshoes on your feet: enjoy the peaceful and quiet winter landscape, discover untouched nature and immerse yourself in the magic. No matter whether you are a beginner or a skilled snowshoe hiker – everyone finds his or her personal favourite tour here in the extensive winter hiking trails around Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Head out on your own, as a couple or in a group, as we also offer guided tours. Our ancestors used snowshoes or snow-tubes to be able to reach the far away spots where the deer were fed or to reach mountain huts. Snowshoes used to be an often vital means of locomotion in regions with lots of snow. Today, they are a popular way to go hiking in the winter. The first snow has fallen – time for anticipation and preparing for the upcoming winter season. In Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Germany’s number one winter sports destination – the event calendar is already completely full: with top-class sport like the New Year’s ski-jumping event or the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, with classic Bavarian events like the“Hornschlittenrennen” (a race with sleighs that have hornshaped runners) on the“Dreikönigstag”(6 January) and, last but not least, with Christmas magic in the most beautiful setting – right in the middle of the Bavarian Alps in the winter paradise covered in snow at the foot of Mount Zugspitze.

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Zugspitze Welcoming the winter sport season 2013/14 on top of Germany’s highest peak Breathtaking mountain scenery, crisp air, solitude, powder snow and vast, untouched slopes are an outdoor and skiing lover's dream. And, of course, a hot drink and a sunbath after the run. Germany’s crown jewel, Mount Zugspitze and its two skiing resorts are the perfect place to kick off this year’s winter sports season. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: BAYERISCHE ZUGSPITZBAHN BERGBAHN

Mount Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak at 2,962m rises majestically above the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is the country’s highest skiing area with 22 km of perfectly groomed runs with natural snow and Germany's only glacier skiing resort. Avid skiers can take to the slopes, feel inspired by the natural grandeur and scenic surroundings, and unwind amidst the warm Bavarian hospitality. The two ski resorts ‘Zugspitze’ and ‘Garmisch-Classic’ challenge both the experienced skier and be-

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ginner. Over 30 runs of different degrees of difficulty, mountain panorama and hearty gastronomy make for the perfect day trip, weekend getaway or a longer vacation. Where clouds meet comfort The Eibsee cable car, the Cogwheel train and Glacier cable car take visitors effortlessly to the top where shops and restaurants, sun terraces, and telescopes await visitors at the summit. A golden cross marks the top of the Zugspitze and a tiny

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Winter Sport Special

Left and below: Zugspitze Gletschergarten Photos: BZB/Matthias Fend

level, and offers seven months of best snow conditions and glacier skiing.The 22 freshly groomed slopes are perfect for everyday skiing and snowboarding and peerless skiing downhill is also offered when weather and snow conditions are right. The best part is that: “Even when the valley is shrouded in winter fog, the sun shines on the highest slopes of Germany,” says the management. Photo: BZB/Lechner

The second,‘Garmisch-Classic’ski area intrigues with more than 40 km of slopes from 700 – 2,050 metres. Three slopes are built on ‘holy’ ground, as Olympic medalists, Alpine World Cup winners and professionals have raced down these mountains many times. The Kandahar-piste is internationally renowned and ideal for ambitious skiers. Like all Zugspitze facilities, the ski resorts are family friendly. At ‘Kinderland’ the little ones can follow in the footsteps of their idols.

SonnAlpin, Gipfelalm and Panorama 2962 and the facilities are also a classy place for conferences, weddings, private or corporate gatherings. A historic mandate The managing company, Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG, was founded in 1928 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and has been operating the mountain’s businesses and services for over 85 years. The company’s philosophy stems from the ‘historic mandate’to make the mountain accessible to all and “To incorporating new, contemporary ideas and events with the classic mountain experience and traditions,”says a spokesperson. From the experienced climber, skier, hiker or occasional wanderer, seniors, children and tourists, over 270 employees are dedicated to cater to all of the 1.1m guests visiting the areas Zugspitze, Garmisch-Classic, and Mountain Wank region each year.

Great tickets and events Photo: BZB/Lechner

chapel invites visitors to sit and reflect. On a clear day, visitors can see for 200 km and the 360-degree panoramic terrace offers breathtaking views of 400 peaks in four different countries, from the Italian Dolomites and Swiss Alps to the Eibsee and valleys below. Supreme winter sports These conditions are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, free riding, snowshoe hiking and other outdoor activities. Indeed, the two ski resorts around Mount Zugspitze guarantee double action and fun. The exciting ‘Zugspitze’ ski area lies between 2,000 and 2,720 metres above sea

With the popular Twin Ticket, a 2-day ticket for the two Ski areas ‘Zugspitze’ and ‘Garmisch-Classic’(Winter season 2013-14 is 74.00 euros for adults and students 64.00 euros), visitors have the opportunity to try out everything without feeling rushed. Sunrises and sunsets are, of course, most spectacular at almost 3,000 metres height and special events like ‘Morgenglühen’ (Morning Glow) include a hearty breakfast buffet at sunrise and a unique skiing experience on Sundays in January and February. Guests need to pre-book in advance ( Other highlights include free-riding courses, special events, and free Wi-Fi on most slopes to access weather forecasts, maps, and instant messaging. There is also a free Zugspitze App.

Getting there The combi-ticket‘Garmischer Ski-Ticket’is the easiest and most popular option as the skiing pass includes a return journey from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen with regional trains. Many highways lead directly to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the closest airports are Innsbruck (60km), Munich (130km) or Salzburg (170km).

Garmisch Classic Alps. Photo: BZB/Matthias Fend

Culinary treats The various restaurants and cafés offer the best of both worlds, regional‘Schmankerl’, traditional hearty Bavarian dishes or German cuisine with cosmopolitan flair. Gastronomic perks include Gletschergarten,

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Winter Sport Special

The world at your feet The borders of south Germany, snow capped mountains, fresh air that will clear your head. The Eibsee-Hotel in Grainau/Garmisch-Partenkirchen is one of the top list destinations for skiing, hiking or simply enjoying stunning views. TEXT: LEONIE PUSCHER | PHOTOS: EIBSEE-HOTEL

The Eibsee-Hotel is a four-star, family run hotel right at the bottom of Germany’s tallest mountain, the Zugspitze. The cogwheel train and the glacier cable car are only a few minutes walk from the hotel and take you right up to the nearly 3,000 metres tall mountain. Stunning views guaranteed. It’s not just mountains you will see from here.You can peek right down to the privately, hotel-owned lake, Eibsee. The hotel’s history might be one of the things that gives the hotel one of its sparks. It has been family-run for over 100 years. Lovingly cared for and handed down through the generations, these guys certainly know how to make their guests feel special.You know when you’re on the right holiday when you can enjoy exquisite cuisine in the hotel’s own restaurant. Here you will find local, Bavarian cuisine. Traditional tasty treasures await you. When it

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comes to local ingredients, the chef takes this rather seriously by serving fresh fish from the Hotel’s own lake Eibsee. If you prefer world cuisine, the restaurant serves international food, too. As if mouthwatering dishes weren’t enough, you’ll get to enjoy these on the terrace with views over the lake. Be prepared for a sensation of senses.

Holiday time is time to recharge your batteries. Whatever the job or everyday life may have drained out of you – it’s time to get it back! Stepping out of the car, breathing in fresh mountain air might already blow away some city dust. The Eibsee-Hotel has something for everyone, “whether you would like to take a leisurely stroll around the lake or explore lake Eibsee in a pedal or rowing boat, whether you want to unwind at the hotel beach or dare to go for a swim in the lake.”If you feel like a dip in some warmer waters, there’s always the indoor swimming pool. There’s no stopping yet.The pamper package that is available to you includes much more. A sauna complex, including a Finnish and aroma steam bath, massages, and much more will give you the opportunity to indulge in relaxation. This Hotel is so much more than just a place to stay. Endless leisure opportunities

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and free access to a variety of outdoor programmes are offered by the lovely team of Eibsee-Hotel. Outdoor specialists will tempt you to join specially designed activities for guests of all fitness levels.The place where you actually do stay, though, might be harder to get out of than you think. The variety of stunning rooms and suites have made many early birds want to stay in bed just a bit longer. Light and airy, spacious and lovingly decorated rooms will make all your holiday wishes come true. The large windows will make it difficult to decide on the views – waking up to“lush greenery of the forest, crystal clear waters of the lake or the Zugspitze massif”, the choice is up to you.



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comes true.Tickets can be purchased at the hotel reception, to avoid the queues. Even if you’re not a winter sports pro, the location will inspire to try.The beginner’s ski lift is complimentary.

The Hotel’s ‘fireplace bar’ is the perfect place after a day out in the fresh, cold air. Find yourself in front of the open fireplace, relaxing to the sound of crackling logs.

The leisure and outdoor activities don’t stop here. Whether you like skiing, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, hiking, golfing, or playing tennis… Here, you’ll find it all. This place is a great location for the whole family. Special programmes for your little ones will make this holiday an unforgettable trip. During the summer months, the hotel offers ‘pirate trips’ which include exciting treasure hunts to the lake’s island, boat races and raft building.

The Eibsee-Hotel in GarmischPartenkirchen is a real retreat all through the year. The winter season does attract even more hikers and sports lovers, though, because of its amazing location just at the bottom of the stunning mountain, Zugspitze. Within minutes of reaching it you will find yourself in a paradise of downhill slopes. 14 different routes, from beginner to intermediate levels. Further, the‘Garmisch-Classic’area covers 40 km of slopes where every winter sport dream

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Winter Sport Special

Charming atmosphere in traditional surroundings Garmisch-Partenkirchen is popular for more than just its stunning mountain views. The historic city center, its livelihood, its traditional Bavarian style, but also its people. Proud to live in such a place of lush nature, locals sparkle with hospitality. A great example is the Holzinger Family. For 82 years they have been running Reindl’s Partenkirchener Hof – a hotel, world class restaurant, and apartment complex filled with a charming family atmosphere and a dedicated team of staff. TEXT: LEONIE PUSCHER | PHOTOS: REINDL’S PARTENKIRCHENER HOF

Waking up to the backdrop of the tallest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitze, isn’t enough at Reindl’s Partenkirchener Hof. They create a lovely, warm interior in all of their rooms and apartments to make you feel more than comfortable. Traditional Bavarian wooden furniture makes up a cosy space for you to put your feet up after a day out. No matter if you’re on a family holiday, with your partner, friends or by yourself, the hotel is the perfect location to start exploring. Or try their heavenly wellness area. Be prepared to be completely relaxed after a treatment in their beauty and massage room or a wander through the sauna area, featuring a steam

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bath, a Finnish sauna, a bio sauna and an ice fountain! After exploring the outdoors out and about Garmisch-Partenkirchen, don’t waste time looking for dinner options anywhere else. The Hotel’s own restaurant serves mouth watering cuisine, prepared by Marianne Holzinger, the daughter of the house in the third generation. Fancy Bavarian specialities? The medallions of Werdenfelser venison with juniper sauce, red cabbage and spätzle, will melt on your tongue like hot chocolate. And because you’re on holiday, dessert calories don't count! Perfect opportunity to indulge in the parfait of peach

and lavender with raspberry coulis. A glass display with wine choices from around the world might tempt to have more than one glass tonight. The rich breakfast buffet makes your start into the day just as it should be.The smell of fresh brewed coffee and a variety of everything you could possibly want, is served in the Brasserie, located in the hotel’s conservatory.

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Above: Grindelwald Region

Pearl of the Swiss Alps

and the town is linked to the skiing resorts Grindelwald-First and Kleine ScheideggMännlichen. Both are part of the Jungfrau ski region, comprising 44 tracks and ski lifts as well as 213 km of sunny slopes – from racy to slow downswing rides – between 612 km in length. The resorts are open from December to April and located within reach of the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Below, from left to right: Adi's Skibar First Snow shoe Trip, Eigernordwand, Jungfrau Region Velogemel

At the bottom of the mythical Eiger north face, the Swiss village of Grindelwald enchants visitors with natural beauty and alpine purity. Part of the Jungfrau ski region, this mountaineer resort offers a plethora of outdoor activities for all ages. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: JUNGFRAU REGION MARKETING AG / PRESS IMAGES

The welcoming atmosphere and traditional charm, accessible ski resorts, and creative outdoor activities characterize Grindelwald as one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. “We foster our longstanding tradition of hospitality and excellence in tourism,”says a spokesperson. Freedom to choose Recognized as classic“Best of the Alps”resort, Grindelwald is a great starting point for winter sports and activities that include trips to Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe, and mountains like First, Kleine Scheidegg, or Männlichen. The town’s landmark is the magnificent Eiger north face, which was

first ascended in 1938 but has not lost its mythical aura. Charming hotels, small shops, and rustic pubs await guests with culinary highlights such as Swiss cheese fondue. Always within sight of the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, visitors can recharge their batteries while sunbathing or discovering one of the 100km hiking trails. Other outdoor options include skiing, snowboarding,Velogemel (a typical snow bike), ice skating, curling, or sliding on “Big Pintenfritz”, the Alps longest run.

Attractive packages include a 2for1 offer for skiing pass and lodging, and event perks are night skiing or midnight sleighing, and glacier tours. Grindelwald’s Event-highlights include showcasing ice sculptures at the World Snow Festival and the “Velogemel” World Championship on Bussalp. Arriving by rail, car, or air, is easy as Grindelwald is well connected to the cities of Interlaken, Zurich and Bern.

Alpine highlights “The mountains are our home and our passion,” states Grindelwald’s tourism board,

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of the Month Switzerland

Up in the air and above the clouds The Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt opens up a marvelous view over the Alps The four-star Superior hotel Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt offers its guests idyllic scenery and warm treatment in the heart of the Swiss Alps. TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: PARKHOTEL BEAU SITE ZERMATT

Lying on an elevation of the Zermatt mountain massif, the Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt allows its visitors to indulge in a breathtaking view over the Matterhorn mountain and to take a deep gulp of fresh air to forget all the worries that lie back in the valleys of everyday life. Inside the Parkhotel Beau Site warm hospitality awaits the

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guests. The hotel was built over 100 years ago in the year 1907 and its classicism is also reflected in the familial atmosphere and traditional approach.“We want to make sure that our guests have a great time while they are here.That is why we put great emphasis on listening to the wishes and needs of our guests. Our guests are the focus of

our attention,�says the manager and host Franz Schwegler. A multilingual team takes care of the international guests who are usually demanding and selective. There are ten suites, ten junior suites and 65 superior and comfort rooms with 165 beds in total available that are individually furnished in an elegant and cozy way. For example, the Beau Site Tower Suite faces the west and allows for a panoramic view of the Matterhorn. It has a space of 90 m2 and the aesthetic room design with its blue and golden-coloured cushions and carpets is complemented by the rustic wooden elements of the furniture and roof vault. A spiraling staircase leads up to a little roof terrace which is based on a glass floor and is covered by a glass dome. Guests can thus gaze at a star-lit sky at night.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Winter Sport Special

will officially kick off on 27 November. The ski runs, which add up to a length of 360 kilometres, are regularly maintained.There are also paths for hiking. Zermatt is characterized by a lively après-ski scene and nice shopping amenities. What else can people expect from the fourstar Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt? They can expect high quality in every aspect. When it´s cold outside, guests can warm up in the heat of the interior swimming pool, jacuzzi tubs and Finnish saunas. A magnificent view of the Matterhorn is also guaranteed from the pool. A special offer is the oriental washing ritual which is performed on the heated Spavital stone lounger. Guests can book massage and beauty treatments.

Zermatt is a popular holiday destination lying on the north-eastern side of the Matterhorn, one of the Alps` highest mountain tops. The Matterhorn scenery is legendary and can be found in many photographs. Zermatt has an altitude of about 5,130 feet and is one of Europe´s highest skiing resorts.The town lies next to the Italian Swiss Alps and benefits from a relatively dry climate. Cars are not permitted here. Zermatt can be reached by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, a narrow gauge railway. Within the town an electrically powered bus operates. The Parkhotel Beau Site Zermatt itself lies in quiet surroundings and next to the ski lifts. This year´s forthcoming skiing season

Also culinary demands are not neglected. Head cook Burkhard Sattler takes care of a diverse menu which satisfies the desires of both the rustic and the exquisite gourmet. “We mainly base our cooking on the Swiss and the French traditions and put emphasis on a Cuisine de Marche. That means that we mainly use fresh products,”explains Franz Schwegler.“Every day our guests can pick from different four course-meals that include the option of vegetarian dishes.” On some weekdays there are themed dinners. A very famous offer is the barbecue evening on Friday nights. Here the guests can choose from 13 different fish and 25 meat sorts.Thus no guest will miss his own special cravings. If guests want to combine all the offers with an advantageous price, they can choose from different packages. For example, the Ski Active package, which is only available in December, comprises a ski pass from two to six days for the ski area ZermattCervinia as well as the ski rental, a three to seven night-stay in a comfort room, half board service and wellness offers. Guests can combine sports and comfort with reasonable prices. So everyone must be eagerly awaiting winter.

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Attraction of the Month Switzerland

Matterhorn ski paradise, one of Europe’s most exciting ski resorts Scenic skiing, guaranteed snow, breathtaking views, plenty of charm and some of the world's best mountain restaurants, what else could you ask for? TEXT: JESSICA RIDDER | PHOTOS: ZERMATT BERGBAHNEN

“In the wintertime the Zermatt Bergbahnen offers a huge international winter sports area with a connection to the areas Cervinia andValtournenche in Italy. On a single day, I can have fun skiing or snowboarding on up to 360 kilometres of slopes. On the Matterhorn ski safari winter athletes cover a distance of 12,500 metres without using the same path or lift twice. A real challenge!”explains Sandra Stockinger, Head of Marketing & Sales of Zermatt Bergbahnen.

the highest skiing in the Alps. The mountain village of Zermatt, situated at the foot of the world-renowned Matterhorn, is surrounded by the country's most towering and most photographed peaks; a pure white winter heaven for winter sport lovers from all over the world. Mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders, nature lovers, and pleasure seekers meet here to enjoy gourmet restaurants, winter sports and the stunning mountainside view.

Since 2002, through the merging of several railroad and chairlift companies, Zermatt Bergbahnen have become Switzerland’s largest cable car company with up to 240 employees connecting different mountains and winter sports arenas going as far as Italy.The ski resort of Zermatt, known as the Matterhorn ski paradise, starts at 1,620 m.a.s.l and goes up to 3,899 m.a.s.l offering

Zermatt’s ski area offers visitors a total of 360 kilometres of pistes with snow guaranteed. Skiing and snowboarding the whole year round is possible, because 75% of the pistes are situated on glaciers or covered with artificial snow. On Thursdays, early morning visitors can relish virgin snow by taking the first swings of the day on the ski runs between Trockener Steg and Furi,

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starting on 26 December.Those who prefer moonlight to sunrise, have the opportunity to enjoy the snow-covered magical mountain world of the Rothorn in the quiet of the evening by booking a moonlight ski run. The journey is followed by Swiss fondue or a delicious three-course meal. From 17 December onwards, there is also the possibility to book a special journey to Furi on two evenings of every week: an exciting toboggan ride that takes you back to Zermatt. For special pampering, guests can treat themselves to a luxurious trip in aVIP gondola from Zermatt to Trockener Steg or the other way around. The VIP-travelers will enjoy the stunning view while sipping on a glass of Champagne, an unforgettable ride. This season will also present an exciting

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Special Theme | Winter Sport Special

Left: Zermatt Piste Below, from top to bottom: Zermatt Winter Hiking with Gaedi Matterhorn Express, sustainable cable car Gourmet Findeln

novelty to look forward to.“The new photopoints and skimovie installations in the winter sports area. On the Rothorn and on Trockener Steg, pictures of skiers and snowboarders in the vicinity are shot from the newly-installed photopoints, while on the skimovie-slope two HD cameras follow and film their descent. Filming will be set off automatically by visitors’ski passes. Afterwards, they can share these photos and videos with their friends on social networks. A nice feature producing even more fun on the slopes!”Stockinger rejoices. Whether early bird or late night lover, there is one thing no visitor should miss. “A must-see is a visit to the Matterhorn glacier paradise at 3,883 metres above sea level. After a route of about 3.5 km, the visitor arrives at the highest cable car station in Europe. During clear weather, from the observation platform, you can recognize up to 38 peaks above 4,000 m.a.s.l., a unique panorama!”Stockinger describes. Regardless of the weather, the underground glacier palace is also well worth a visit.

In addition to the well-developed winter sports area, over 35 cosy mountain restaurants and après ski huts right next to the slopes might well present the main attraction for some of the guests. Zermatt is a gourmet temple with some of the worlds best mountain restaurants, a fact confirmed by The Gault Millau restaurant guide over the years. Offers are varied and range from traditional local dishes to exotic specialties. On 15 December the restaurant Matterhorn glacier paradise with the integrated Matterhorn Peak shop will debut their new look and open their doors again after renovations. Finally, Stockinger announces some more news for the winter,“At the end of November the official opening of the new Sunnegga funicular will take place and in December we are launching our own website, which will offer a digital experience of a very special kind.”

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Adventure Zermatt


The road to Zermatt runs through a narrow gorge cutting deep into the rock formed by age-old glaciers. This world renowned luxury health resort is not reminiscent of the vast plateau and gentle lakes around the region of St. Moritz, nor is it comparable to Colorado’s charming silver mining town of Aspen, it is instead a cauldron – a dead end before a steep ramp. This is the way to go: through the closed gate, rising high up to the summit arena of gigantic altitude and breadth. The ascent is made possible with Europe’s highest Funicular (3,883m/12,739ft), a swift elevation to the rooftop of the Alps, joining most other (38) 4,000m peaks. Innovation against the current What is the significance then for a Swiss Snowsport School, which has decided to firmly etch Adventure into its name – “Adventure Zermatt”? Even the Hotel sector was

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imported by the English.The local ski school has been satisfying the demands of its foreign guests since 1930. Whilst it is easy to cash in on willing guests, it is difficult to adjust to foreign ways.This is a prominent characteristic found in mountain folk, their resistance as resolute as gnarled wood at the tree line, however strong the wind may blow. It defines not only their authenticity but also their reticence towards external inspiration. For those who dare to venture here with new ideas, there will not only find stones placed on the path, but flung through the windows! Every newcomer must learn to live with this.

think global, born to snowdance: dance is an expression of joy. Movement on and in the snow becomes, once fear has been overcome, a dance. Grace and courage are combined to produce moments of pure happiness. Our mission as service providers is to accompany our guests with the utmost care to the successful achievement of this special experience. We emphasise less on technique, more on body awareness in order to achieve a true sensation of freedom above the misty seas over the lowlands and beyond the drudge of everyday life, in the heart of a truly magical part of nature.

Born to snowdance

Tilla the Eagle – our ambassador for freedom above the clouds

“Adventure Zermatt”was founded in 2008 thanks to the loyalty of a British long-term client and patron investor of Rhodesian background. The concept is both personal and universal – it represents the natural thought process of its founder. Move local,

Tilla is the reason why we chose to position the eagle, as king of the skies, above our name, as a fundamental part of our school’s brand identity. The eagle represents free movement and I was very privileged to form

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Winter Sport Special Left, main image: Adventure Zermatt Team Spirit Below, from top to bottom: Our friend Tilla Adventure Zermatt Kids Academy

the animal.The same is true of the secret of the mountain and what it teaches us: caution and respect for alpine dangers. Nature and culture Nature’s silence is the intensification of time and space, the primary experience of beauty for anyone who is willing to see it. Such intensification combines nature and culture and for these reasons we will also organise cultural events at our head office located directly at Zermatt Station: live jazz and rock concerts, literary readings in our Welcome Lounge and the station as dance hall.

a close friendship and bond with Tilla, a female eagle. Only few, even bottle-fed eagles, will allow closeness from humans or falconers as their adoptive parents. Even with Tilla it took many hours and endless patience until I was tolerated at such a vicinity where she would finally perch on my arm, when we could look into each other’s eyes without any hint of danger. Any relationship with such powerful animals and birds of prey is founded on respect and freedom. Test flights into the sky, from which the eagle returns voluntarily, are what define the secret of friendship, not only with

Zermatt is a tough patch, the wild west of Switzerland with its very own laws. Those who make it here can probably make it anywhere. Tourists remain blissfully unaware of the Zermatt goldrush – they are elevated high above these tensions. In many cases the warmth of the (Portuguese) hotel staff as well as that of those Zermattese who have managed to travel beyond the cauldron, is genuine. It exists, the local charm, suntanned and weathered, drawn from climbing sharp peaks and sheer faces to plunging world-famous abysses. The staggering reliability of helicopter pilots and flight assistants, who save reckless lives under the most extreme conditions, and are themselves like rocks in a snowstorm. Guiding We never guide our guests into danger. Joint excursions into the beautiful mountain scenery require trust, especially trust in the local knowledge of your guide. A good guide has a proven network of informants who supply valuable, accurate and up-to-date information regarding local conditions. Even

Below, from left to right: Sign your soul into the snow Special welcome for our special guests Our Kids Academy - Sun and Sun!

this reliability and exchange of information requires trust, a precious good that can only grow with time. A guide makes mistakes, until he is good, and mistakes are the fountain of wisdom. A wise guide knows how to navigate boundaries but also that breaking through boundaries brings people together. A guide’s responsibility towards his guest is to remain on the safe side, no matter what. This will transform excursions through the fascinating world of our mountains into unforgettable experiences. Champagne powder Are you in the mood for Champagne? You know that feeling of butterflies in your tummy? Have you ever howled like a wolf in the bright woods, rejoiced like an eternal 12 year old or a daring girl even with mature temples, unleashed from the joy of gliding over a virgin snowfield where all that is left is your elegant trace? All this and much more is waiting for you to be discovered at Adventure Zermatt! Sign your soul into the snow – we are all born to snowdance!

Swiss Snowsport School Adventure Zermatt offers: Ski and Snowboard individual and group lessons (Beginners to Advanced) Kids Academy (maximum 6 children!) Snow & Eat, Wild & Crazy, Racing, Guiding, Off-piste, Yoga & Ski. Visit our award-winning website to find out more: A member of the Swiss Snowsport School Association: +41 27 967 50 20 / +41 79 241 58 56

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Winter Sport Special

Restaurant of the Month Switzerland

Family atmosphere with a fabulous view! Barbara Stelzer and Samuel Senn know how to make their guests feel at home at their lovely restaurant Sonnmatten in Switzerland’s Zermatt! TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Located in one of the nicest areas of Zermatt, Sonnmatten not only has stunning views onto the famous Matterhorn (also called Cervin) but also invites guests to enjoy hearty Swiss cuisine or stay for a while! Barbara Stelzer, who is originally from Austria, met Swiss chef Sam five years ago in Zermatt and their joint journey has led them to taking over the restaurant Sonn-

The host family - Barbara & Sam with Noah

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matten. With their two-year old son Noah, this has become a true family business! “During the winter months our guests can indulge in Sam’s delicacies served with a glass of snow-chilled Chateau D`Esclans Rosé on our sun-terrace whilst the kids can build a snowman on the big lawn or go sledging down the hill. After an exhausting day spent skiing we light our campfire and offer mulled wine,” says Stelzer. “In the summer the garden terrace surrounded by many different types of trees is a great place to relax at our huge family table and try delicious steaks, fish or fresh Bratwurst from our professional barbecue.” The restaurant’s interior combines true Alpine style with simple elegance. Innovative cuisine created from top-quality seasonal produce makes the experience complete. A daily changing 4-course surprise

dinner is served in bowls, pots and on boards to keep the homey atmosphere. Stelzer adds: “We are proud that aside of welcoming many international guests, we are also frequently visited by locals!”With a scenic, little church right next to it, Sonnmatten is an ideal place for a romantic and unforgettable wedding. The whole area looks like from a Swiss fairy tale! It comes in handy that Sonnmatten has also elegant suites and guest rooms for two to six people. Bright and airy spaces combined with wooden floors and furniture continue the rustic yet modern atmosphere. “From the suites you have the best view onto the Matterhorn, which locals fondly call Horu. If you push the large glass front aside it feels like you have the Matterhorn right there in your living room,” Stelzer smiles. Sonnmatten is a child friendly place that convinces with Swiss quality, a professional attitude and intimate atmosphere. With its handwritten menu and lovely hosts, this charming restaurant is a place you simply have to discover yourself!

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Business | Solicitor Column


London is a central hub for arts, culture and the commercial creative industries not only in Britain but world-wide, ranging from music and the visual arts to film, fashion, design and architecture. Following the sporting and cultural successes of last year, London is experiencing a renewed surge in cutting edge design and attracting more creative enterprise than ever before.The creative industries account for around £20 billion of the Capital’s economy and employ nearly 400,000 people according to the Mayor of London. It is good to know that English law provides effective protection for this creative output. An individual’s or company’s creative output can be protected in a variety of ways. The principal forms of intellectual property protection are copyright, design rights, trademarks and patents. Some of these rights require registration while others arise automatically on creation. Some give the owner an absolute monopoly and others are limited to a right to prevent certain infringing acts. Correctly identifying the applicable rights and following the steps required to protect your creative output is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge in your field and enjoying the economic benefits of creativity. While creativity and law are sometimes regarded as irreconcilable opposites, it can actually be very useful to speak to a lawyer at an early stage in the creative process. While works of architecture (whether plans or models), for example, enjoy automatic copyright protection, many commercial product designs will be protected by a complex framework of national and EU design rights. Design rights can in turn be registered or unregistered and can in part overlap with the protection afforded by copyright. In general terms, a registered design protects the aesthetic appearance and overall look of a design, including its lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and materials, but does not cover design features that are

solely dictated by a product’s function. The term ‘product’ includes any industrial or handicraft item (with the exception of computer programmes) and includes ‘get-up’ and packaging, such as distinctive labels and bottle shapes. A design can only be registered if it is new and has individual character. There must not be any identical or highly similar design previously published in the UK or the EEA and the design must differ in appearance from other designs. Once registered in the UK or EU, the design will be protected for up to 25 years. However, the designer is not necessarily the person entitled to register the design if, for example, the design is commissioned or made in the course of employment. In contrast to registered design rights, an unregistered design right arises automatically on the creation of an original design but is more utilitarian in purpose, as it applies principally to the internal or external shape or configuration of a design, rather than its appearance.There are certain exceptions to the scope of protection, including a requirement that the unregistered design must not be commonplace in the design field at the time of creation. If national unregistered design right protection applies, it will be limited to the UK and will last for between 10 and 15 years from the date of creation of the design. By contrast, unregistered EU design rights last only for 3 years. In order to determine the length of protection afforded by copyright and by design rights, it is useful to keep a note of when the design was first recorded in material form, and when the design was first published, or articles made to the design were first marketed. In all cases, whether a design is capable of automatic protection or an application for registration is required, it is advisable to archive, identify and date any drawings, records and documentation relating to the design, in case your ownership of a design right should later be challenged or you need to take action against design infringements by somebody else.

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:

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Discover Germany | Business | Conference of the Month

Conference of the Month Germany

Meeting in the centre of Europe THE SQUAIRE Conference-Center is connected to the world THE SQUAIRE Conference-Center in Frankfurt is an ideal venue for international conferences. Built on top of the ICE railway station and directly connected to Frankfurt Airport and the autobahn the location couldn’t be more convenient. TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: THE SQUAIRE

THE SQUAIRE is Germany’s largest office building and was completed only in 2011. Resembling the form of a huge ferry boat, THE SQUAIRE derives its name from a mixture of the words“square”and“air”– alluding to the fact that it is attached to the Frankfurt Airport. It comprises company offices, shops, restaurants and hotels. Also THE SQUAIRE Conference-Center is here and offers plenty of space for all kinds of meetings. From business meetings to company events and large-scale fairs – THE SQUAIRE Conference-Center provides the ideal settings to make a conference successful. “When business people meet for a conference, they require a place which can be reached easily. Being directly connected to Frankfurt Airport, the motorway junction and the express train station, we make it very easy for business people from all over the world to meet in an accessible place”, saysVeronika Arnold, Head of Business De-

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velopment of THE SQUAIRE ConferenceCenter. “We offer to our guests state-ofthe-art technology, design furniture and creative catering.” The meeting rooms can be booked online on a real-term basis. In the larger rooms up to 200 people may be hosted. For big events like fairs or product presentations, three atrium planes in front of THE SQUAIRE Conference-Center are available. The planes are located in the middle of the whole building and lie beneath an elaborately constructed glass dome which is pervaded by sun light. The biggest plane has a size of 2,540 square metres. German car manufacturers already use the site for their automobile presentations. “As we are part of THE SQUAIRE, our international guests can benefit from the hotels and shopping area next door. Also business people arriving by car don´t have to

worry: there is a parking garage with 2,500 parking spots, which is connected to THE SQUAIRE by Skylink,” explains Veronika Arnold. Given these prerequisites, conferences and events can be held successfully.

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Conference of the Month Austria

Hotel Gut Brandlhof

Work, play, relax Whether you are looking to strengthen your team spirit or holding an impressive conference against a scenic mountain backdrop, Hotel Gut Brandlhof is the place to be. Afterwards, you can practise your golf skills, hit the slopes or indulge in spa treatments – all without having to leave the premises. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: HOTEL GUT BRANDLHOF

Located within Austria’s beautiful Salzburg countryside, Hotel Gut Brandlhof offers conference, sport and wellness facilities of a variety that cannot be found anywhere else in Europe. On 450 ha of land, the 4-star superior hotel provides 200 rooms and suites as well as a 3,500 m² conference centre that is accessible by car or coach and includes a room that can hold up to 700 people. The many outdoor sport activities available, such as the hotel's high ropes course, snowmobile experience or archery course, also make the hotel a first choice destination for fun team building incentives. When the work day is done, newly-bonded colleagues can

relax and unwind in the 3,000 m2 wellness area of the hotel, try a beauty treatment or explore the many sport activities on offer. In the winter time, the surrounding mountains are the perfect playground for snowboard and ski fans. In the summer months, guests enjoy mountain biking, climbing, hiking, Nordic walking or off road driving. Golf players will love the 18-hole championship golf course right in front of the hotel, where they are even allowed to bring their dogs (on a leash). For those who still have some energy left, the hotel also boasts a 350 m² indoor gym, a bowling alley, tennis and squash courts.

However, the hotel does not concentrate on business guests alone. Couples, families or simply those who would like to take in the peace and quiet of the Pinzgau mountains are equally welcome. “Our main target group is made up of participants for seminars and conferences,” says Maria Schwaiger, Marketing Manager at Hotel Gut Brandlhof.“But these do not take place during school holidays. We then focus on guests who would like to relax while on holiday. During this time, they have the Brandlhof 'all to themselves’.”

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Business | inlingua

Left: International Customers Below: Learning material Group training © Arbeitsgemeinschaft internationaler Sprachschulen in Deutschland e.V.

Speaking, understanding, inlingua In today’s times of globalisation and ever growing communication platforms, there is probably nothing more crucial than languages to understand the complexities of the world. As one of the largest language education networks worldwide, inlingua guarantees the perfect training for everybody’s individual success. TEXT: LYDIA EVERS | PHOTOS: INLINGUA

Whether you would like to learn a foreign language, are looking for language training for your employees, want to acquire an internationally acknowledged language certificate, seek to go on a language trip abroad or need translators and interpreters, inlingua can make it all possible. Communication and interaction With a history of more than 40 years in the language-learning sector, the company combines international know-how with caring customer proximity. Before and during a language course every client has one permanent adviser since personal contact and constant communication are part of the inlingua offer and strategy. By individually classifying the language skills of each customer beforehand, the training is sure to begin at the appropriate level for everyone. From the first lesson onwards, highest priority is given to a direct interaction with the language to be learned, in other words discussions, role plays, question

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and answer games enable learners to speak and to become quickly acquainted with the chosen language. A specifically developed language learning method, exclusive inlingua study material (also developed by inlingua and not available anywhere else) and highly qualified, native-speaking teachers round off the training and ensure the best possible outcomes. At the end of each training section participants are rewarded with a certificate of participation as well as advice on how to proceed in order to keep up the newly achieved standard. Trust and success inlingua’s success and thus credibility is evident: today approximately 5,000 employees work in 360 owner-managed language centres worldwide (78 in Germany alone), all of which hold the inlingua quality and other state-controlled certificates. Out of more than 100,000 clients in Germany (250,000 worldwide) around 60% are companies whilst the other 40% consist of private and public clients.

So whether you would simply like to say“Je voudrais boire un café s’il vous plaît” in your favourite French restaurant in Provence or need your employees to negotiate with Italian or German customers, join inlingua and trust one of the most accomplished language learning institutions worldwide.They will bring you to your goal.

inlingua: - 360 inlingua training centres worldwide - 78 inlingua training centres in Germany - Languages taught in Germany: English 55%, German 35%, Other 10% - All teachers are native speakers - inlingua-specific learning method and learning material

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Business | LinguaKraft

LinguaKraft Communication for international markets Business today is international. But not everyone speaks a foreign language well or even more than one language. LinguaKraft provides a portfolio of services in a wide range of languages – from translations to telephone interpreting, language courses and marketing internationalisation – to help companies and businesspeople communicate more effectively in international markets. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: LINGUAKRAFT

Specialising in technical, market research and custom content translations, LinguaKraft’s resources translate a wide variety of technical documents, e.g. operating instructions, as well as market research questionnaires and marketing communication texts, such as websites, brochures and press releases. To add the finishing touch, LinguaKraft offers an editing and proof-reading service. A translation is of a premium standard when the reader does not believe it actually is a translation.

guaKraft also provides a 24/7 telephone interpreting service in 156 languages, which enables companies to communicate effectively with business partners or potential customers, who do not speak their language. This cost-effective, easy-to-use service enables companies to enter new markets abroad or enhance their international customer service, for example, without having to invest large amounts of capital in native-speaker human resources and technical facilities.

Language skills are a business must-have. According to a study on behalf of the European Commission, small and mediumsized companies in Europe are losing about 100 billion Euros worth of business every year because they lack language skills. LinguaKraft can help to address this issue, and not only by translating business texts. Lin-

And for those who want to improve their language skills in-country, LinguaKraft organizes language trips, working together with schools in the UK, South Africa, France and Spain. International marketing communication can be a minefield and to get their message

Top & below: Translation + Editing. Accurate, idiomatic translations help you to get your message across. Telephone Interpreting. Puts an interpreter in your pocket.

across and be successful in global markets, companies not only need to have language skills but also be culturally aware. LinguaKraft helps to validate marketing campaigns by checking the linguistic and cultural suitability of brand names, straplines, concepts, logos, images and colours. “Our USP is being part of an international network that offers such an exceptional range of services,”says LinguaKraft’s owner, Ralph Livesey-Wardle. LinguaKraft partners with the Transatlantic Translations Group – a global network, founded in 2001, that links language experts, who understand that effective communication today is more than just talking to people in their own language. Left: Marketing Internationalization. Localize your international marketing campaign.

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Humboldt-Institut e. V. Immerse Yourself in German Always wanted to learn German but never got round to it? The Humboldt-Institut e. V. offers an easy but effective solution for both children and adults: total immersion language classes in one of their 16 centres in Germany, including intensive courses and a comprehensive leisure programme. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER | PHOTOS: HUMBOLDT-INSTITUT E.V.

Established in 1977, the non-profit association has developed its successful programmes to teach German as a foreign language to teenagers and children from eight years of age to adults and business professionals. Whether you just want to brush up on your German skills with a two-week course, or want to spend a summer learning the language together with your family, whether you want to improve specialised business language skills or want to prepare your children for attending school or university in Germany: the Humboldt-Institut e. V. offers suitable courses for every scenario. In fact, its students gain certifications such as the“TestDaF”or“telc Deutsch B1”faster than any others.

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This is not only due to the intensity of its language classes of up to 40 lessons per week, (25 lessons for juniors, 30 for teenagers) but to its philosophy of matching each individual student with a teacher and course level that challenges the student while simultaneously encouraging him/her. It is achieved by keeping the number of students in each class limited to a maximum of ten, by assessing the students’skills meticulously by means of an entry test and by carefully choosing outstanding native speaker teachers. It is also thanks to the method of total immersion. Students can live and learn at the institute, communicate in German during the breaks and can take part in an extensive daily leisure pro-

gramme that encourages interaction and includes cultural excursions. Sending children to school in a foreign country for a limited amount of time will enhance their language skills immensely. At the same time, they will gain valuable interpersonal skills and discover another culture and way of life. This will give them a head-start into the increasingly international professional world.To be able to send a child or teenager aged ten to 17 to a secondary school in Germany, they will need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the German language. To help them reach the required B2 level, the Humboldt-Institut e. V. offers special German courses that usu-

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Discover Germany | Business | Humboldt Institute

Left, main image: Bad Schussenried

years, giving them the option of passing the“Abitur”, which is a prerequisite for attending university in Germany. One of the schools teenagers can attend after passing the preparatory course is the Gymnasium Lindenberg in the South of Germany, which enables students to focus either on languages or natural sciences. Besides being a first-class educational institute, it prides itself on helping the students become socially and environmentally responsible, independent people.The HumboldtInstitut runs its own boarding school in Lindenberg, where the pupils can stay on after their language class when they visit the public high school. The best way to immerse young people in the German language is through a language course at a residential school. Both the Humboldt-Institute’s boarding schools in Lindenberg and Bad Schussenried are open all year round and offer intensive courses for teenagers from ten to 17 years of age. The courses can last from two weeks to one year, with the additional option of one-to-one intensive courses. Students will stay on campus, where they will be catered for and will take part in a vast number of leisure activities from piano and arts and crafts to volleyball, skiing and hip hop lessons.

ally last two to six months, followed by a five-week preparatory course. Students can then attend a German secondary school for one term or for several

Berlin and Constance. Humboldt-Institut e. V. also offers advice and support regarding university application forms and procedures. While attending the courses, students can stay at a Humboldt boarding school. Humboldt-Institut e.V. is proud to announce the opening of their new school in Berlin in June 2014, which will offer students from 18 years of age different courses from intensive to TestDaF preparatory courses. Situated in the heart of Germany’s buzzing capital, students can stay at the Humboldt residence, which conveniently provides for them, leaving them time to study and explore the city. For those who already live in Berlin, Humboldt-Institut e. V. offers morning, afternoon, evening and weekend courses without accommodation. So far, over 50,000 students from more than 160 countries have taken part in the language courses Humboldt-Institut e. V. offers. With the range of courses and locations, it is easy to see why. Below: Group at Lake Constance Bottom: Lindenberg House

Often, university students or school leavers decide to study abroad or spend a term or two in a foreign country. To study at a German university, students will have to demonstrate a good level of German, which can be achieved by a special preparatory language course at the year-round schools in

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Discover Germany | Busienss | F+U Academy of Languages

An unforgettable experience F + U Academy of Languages Heidelberg TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Modern teaching methods, excellent specialist knowledge and historic setting in Heidelberg are the key factors at the Academy of Languages. Located at the historical centre of Heidelberg, the language school is one of the largest in Germany and offers an exceptional learning experience. It is part of the F + U language school group, which also includes a university, colleges, elementary and secondary schools. The language school in Heidelberg is fully multimedia-equipped and offers a total of 500 rooms in halls of residence, apartments, host families and the school-owned hotel. “Around 9,000 students from approximately 120 countries participate in our courses here. The school is a fantastic meeting point for other languages and cultures,” says spokesperson Christiane Haefner.

As an International test centre it stands for outstanding quality and offers a vast range of assessments, including the well-known TOEFL (English as a Foreign Language) and TestDaF (German as a Foreign Language). The institute is one of the world leaders when it comes to teaching German as a foreign language and offers classic intensive or extra-occupational courses. It is also one of the rare schools, which teaches intensive English courses and the combination course German-English. Part of F+U is theVocational College for Foreign Languages, which offers full-time courses to attain state recognised qualifications as European Secretary, Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk, International Trade Correspondence Clerk and Translator. F+U comprises a number of academies specialising in commercial and vocational foreign language training as well as a variety of attractive


Scan Events specialises in the design, planning and management of corporate entertainments, exhibitions, conferences and meetings. Our services include: • • • • • • • • • • •

Creativity and content Locating venue and vendors Budget planning and development Negotiating rates Invitations Entertainment VIP assistance Arranging speakers Design and production of printed material AV and technical support On-line delegate registration

Our approach to successful conference planning is simple: we always put our clients in the front seat.

CONTACT US TODAY! Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 Email or visit

internship programmes such as the Eurodyssée and Leonardo Da Vinci. F+U Academy of Languages is a fantastic and diverse place to learn languages. The remarkable location is a bonus that will turn your time of study into an unforgettable experience for life!

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Discover Germany | Business | Helena Whitmore

New rules increasing the inheritance tax exemption for non-domiciled spouses and civil partners BY HELENA WHITMORE, SENIOR WEALTH STRUCTURING ADVISER, SEB PRIVATE BANKING UK

The saying goes“the only things certain in life are death and taxes”, and when someone dies, a final inheritance tax bill may well land on the estate itself. In the UK, inheritance tax (“IHT”) may be payable if the deceased’s estate was valued above the nil rate band (currently £325,000). Certain transfers made within seven years before the date of death also need to be taken into account, so an unexpected tax bill may also arise for those who received gifts several years before the death. As with all taxes, IHT can be highly complex, and those who have wealth above the nil rate band should take professional advice, particularly if there are international aspects. In the UK, transfers between spouses and civil partners are usually exempt from IHT. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true if the donor spouse is UK domiciled or deemed domiciled, but the donee spouse is non-domiciled. People who are UK domiciled or deemed domiciled are subject to UK IHT on their worldwide assets, whereas those who are nondomiciled are only liable to UK IHT on assets which are located in the UK. If assets could be transferred without limitation, many couples would want the non-domiciled spouse to hold all their non-UK assets (and would keep cash and investments outside the UK IHT net). A gift to a non-domiciled spouse, either in lifetime or on death, could therefore potentially bring the assets outside the charge to IHT, so in those circumstances the spousal exemption is limited. The limitation does not apply if both spouses are non-domiciled, but if a couple who are both domiciled outside the UK came to the UK in different tax years, one of them may become deemed domiciled before the other, so that there is a period when the limitation applies. People who have been resident in the UK for 17 or more

out of the past 20 tax years are treated as deemed domiciled for IHT purposes. This could be after just over 15 years for those who arrived late in the first tax year. The deemed domicile rules only apply to IHT and not to other taxes. For many years, the spousal exemption from a UK domiciled to a non-domiciled spouse was limited to just £55,000. With effect from 6 April 2013, this has been increased to the level of the nil rate band, meaning that if the only beneficiary of the deceased is their non-domiciled spouse and no lifetime gifts have been made, no IHT would be due if the deceased’s estate is valued below £650,000 (the increased £325,000 spousal exemption plus the £325,000 nil rate band). This will be welcome news for many couples. If IHT is still

a problem between the spouses, there is now also the possibility for the non-domiciled spouse to elect to be treated as domiciled in the UK for IHT purposes, so that they can obtain the full spousal exemption. In return their own worldwide assets will become liable to IHT. It is important to take advice before deciding if it would be beneficial to make the election. Finally, remember to check if inheritance or gift taxes could also be payable on the same assets in another country (typically where the assets are located and/or in the country where the individual is a citizen or domiciled), because there is no guarantee that something which may be exempt in the UK would also be exempt elsewhere. 020 7246 4307

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of the Month Germany

Holidays, business meetings and sport in a sustainable atmosphere The Explorer Hotels are not only innovative design budget hotels specialising in service for sportive and active guests, they are also Europe’s first certified passive house hotels. One of the hotels is situated in the beautiful village of Fischen/ Oberstdorf. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: EXPLORER HOTELS

Sustainability has become an essential part of tourism, an economic branch that thrives on a healthy environment especially when situated in an untouched landscape. Explorer Hotels are pioneers in ecological building – the passive house hotels are 100 per cent climate neutral.“Sustainability for us is not a marketing gag, but a matter of the heart and premise for a long lasting success,” explain Katja Leveringhaus and Jürnjakob Reisigl. Both had the idea to found a sustainable passive house hotel. The concept of sustainability can be found in every part of the hotels: the floor lighting is motion detector controlled, the key card activates the electricity of the hotel rooms, the lobby lights are turned down after 1

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a.m. as well as the elevator.The hotels work together with suppliers who have an environmental management or are certified organic. The hotels act after the principle: minimize energy loss and maximize energy gain.The thermal building envelope keeps the warmth inside using the natural warmth of its inhabitants or electronic devices as well as the natural solar heating of the sun. The builders used special windows, thick welllagged walls and fresh air systems to make this possible. For gaining energy it uses a photovoltaic installation, biogas, and solar heat. Building the hotel to passive house standard did cost approximately six to seven per cent more, costs that “will be

amortised in no more than six years”, says manager Reisigl. Hotel guests would appreciate the ecological standard and the good room climate due to the high quality building materials used. The surrounding landscapes do the rest. The hotels are oriented towards sportive and active guests of all ages, who like to be outside in the landscape, the hills, meadows and mountains, on their holidays. The region around Fischen/Oberstdorf for example offers good opportunities for cycling, hiking and skiing. Located in the Allgäu region of the Bavarian Alps visitors have a panoramic view towards the peaks of the Nebelhorn and Fellhorn; both can be reached by cable car.

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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Germany

Left, main image: Explorer Hotel Neuschwanstein Below, middle: Plan your tour with the explorer wall

In winter the region is famous for its ski resorts and downhill slopes – for amateurs and professionals: The region around Oberstdorf has about 120 kilometres of downhill slopes in six different skiing areas. Between Christmas and NewYear’s Eve the city hosts the first part of the Four Hills Ski Jump Tournament. The sport focus finds its counterpart in the Explorer Hotels’ room design: every room has extra space for sport bags, sideboards and moveable tables for laptops. Sports equipment will be kept in a special sport locker and a workbench in the lobby allows guests to prepare their equipment – either skis or mountain bikes – before starting a tour. Additionally the hotel’s ski and cycling centre offers skiing courses and guided tours.The sports spa area is well fitted with fitness and cardio equipment; the sauna and steam bath offer a place to relax after workout.

In summer the mountain region awaits visitors for long hiking tours. Mountaineering schools offer guided tours with experienced mountain guides to get hikers safely to famous viewpoints and along secluded hiking trails. The mountains Nebelhorn, Fellhorn and Söllereck and the region surrounding them have at least 200 kilometres of cleared trails. Oberstorf is a paradise for mountain bikers as well – along mountain streams or through the mountain forest. But not only mountain and extreme bikers will get their money’s worth: the flat meadow and light hills of the valley offer comfortable cycling routes through spacious green.

have recently opened in Nesselwang near the famous castle Neuschwanstein and in Montafon/ Gaschurn in Austria.

Explorer Hotels Oberstdorf | Neuschwanstein | Montafon Phone +49 / 8322 – 940 79 445

But not only sportsmen and -women find a place at the hotel: the hotel is a place for business as well offering accommodation for day seminars or multi-day workshops. Green meeting is a keyword, because sustainability and eco-friendly environments become more important every day. The loose atmosphere and modern design of the hotel – surrounded by a breathtaking landscape – makes the Explorer Hotel a perfect place for business meetings and company presentations. The Green-Meeting-Package for example includes an overnight stay in one of the well-designed rooms, a healthy breakfast, lunch and tea and coffee break as well as the use of a conference room and the spa and sports area of the hotel. A motivated team organises a framework programme reaching from skiing workshops to Bavarian Olympic Games or a cosy evening at a cabin in the Alps including live music, a cheese spaetzle dinner and a guided night tours. The Explorer Hotel in Oberstdorf is not the only existing one: a second and third hotel

Above: Conference Room

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Leipzig An Urban Winter Wonderland in the heart of Europe

Attraction of the Month Germany


Leipzig is not only famous because of its long trade fair tradition but also because of its music and cultural scene. Thanks to a unique system of passageways, the historic city centre has a distinct flair. Stylish boutiques and top department stores invite visitors to shop and stroll. Most of the city’s sights are located within walking distance, for example the Old Town Hall, Auerbach’s Keller, St. Thomas’s Church, the Leipzig Zoo, as well as diverse museums and galleries. Cultural enjoyment is, among others, provided by the Gewandhaus, the Leipzig

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Opera or the world-famous St. Thomas’s Boys Choir. The Leipzig Christmas Market During the Christmas season, the whole inner city is decked out in seasonal attire – a fairytale forest, the chance to meet Santa, the world’s biggest freestanding advent calendar and town musicians performing in the tower of the Old City Hall are among the attractions for young and old alike at the enduringly popular Leipzig Christmas Market.

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Discover Germany | Attraction of the Month | Germany Left, main image and below: Central Station at Christmas. Photos: Andreas Schmidt Below, middle: Medieval Christmas Market. Photo: Andreas Schmidt Below, bottom: Christmas Market. Photo: Dirk Brzoska

Traditionally, the main area of the Christmas market is the Marktplatz (market square) where visitors can marvel at a Saxon spruce Christmas tree as high as twenty metres, and enjoy a wide variety of performances on the market square stage. On the Augustusplatz (Augustus square) a 38-metre-high ferris wheel offers seasonal views from a lofty height. The Finnish village located next to the ferris wheel has become a classic over the years. The enticing scent of smoked salmon and fruity Glögi (a mulled wine made from berries) draws visitors to the Scandinavian tents and stalls. The historical Christmas Market of “Ancient Leipzig” at the Naschmarkt square entices visitors with local traditional crafts and art.

Below: Baked Apples at Christmas Market. Photo: Dirk Brzoska Maedlerpassage. Photo: LTM

cades offer a warm shopping experience, even during the coldest temperatures. But the passages not only attract shoppers but also sightseers: one of the unique passages is the “Mädlerpassage”. The arcade has a central rotunda – like its famous example the Milan arcade “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II”. After an extensive renovation in 1997, today the historical arcade accommodates 25 shops of different fields on the ground floor. A big tourist-magnet is the “Auerbach’s Keller”restaurant in the basement. It is no doubt the most famous restaurant in Leipzig. It was founded in 1525 as a wine tavern. The cellar restaurant became famous in connection with the legends of

The Leipzig Christmas market is also valued for the many pleasures it holds for children. Be it the Fairy Tale Forest on Thomaswiese (meadow in front of St. Thomas’s) with its many scenes from various fairy tales or the market square stage where kids can meet Santa Claus for a chat, little visitors will definitely enjoy being here. As for grown-ups, there is a wide variety of traditional handcrafts and local food on sale.

The Leipzig Christmas market dates back all the way to 1458. Its six areas are set to chime in with the fascinating historical scenery of the Leipzig city centre. With more than 250 twinkling stalls embedded harmoniously in the historic centre, the Leipzig Christmas market is not only one of the oldest but also one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany. Visitors are offered a multitude of festive delights: indulge in numerous culinary delights or explore the city’s traditional medieval market.

To make your way around the Christmas market a little easier you can download the German Christmas markets app (available for Android and iOS).You can use the app to explore the Christmas markets in Germany and get information on opening hours, admission prices and special urban characteristics. Furthermore, the app offers tips for Christmas shopping, traditional customs and gifts as well as NewYear's Eve in Germany. Passages and Shopping During the wintertime Leipzig develops a truly exceptional flair. The streets, shops and arcades are solemnly decorated. Over 700 shops, department stores and malls shine in festive splendour. While some shoppers fear the wintertime because of the cold, Leipzig´s unique passages and ar-

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Discover Germany | Attraction of the Month | Germany

Leipzig's musical tradition is truly exceptional. This is the city where Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert and Clara Schumann all worked, and where Richard Wagner was born and received his musical training. Musical history is still being written in Leipzig today, with world-famous ensembles performing to audiences throughout the city, whether in the Gewandhaus, the Opera or in St. Thomas’s Church by the St.Thomas’s Boys’Choir.

amount of sacred and secular music in and around Leipzig. In addition to singing in St. Nicholas’s and St. Thomas’s Churches, more and more duties for the city filled their daily schedule. Persons of high standing had to be greeted; weddings and funerals of well-to-do citizens had to be given a festive air.The St.Thomas’s Cantor (music director) was often responsible for the musical business in Leipzig in a universal sense. Since the early 20th century motets have regularly been sung every Friday and Saturday, and still every Saturday a Bach cantata is performed in St.Thomas’s Church.The choir is meanwhile known world-wide, partly thanks to their many concert tours.

Over the centuries the boys’ choir was in charge of performing a considerable

During the wintertime, the Opera, the Gewandhaus and as well as St. Thomas’s

Dr. Faustus and Mephistopheles. These were immortalized by German national poet J. W. Goethe in his “Faust”drama. Leipzig- The City of Music

Above, left: Leipzig. Photo: Michael Bader Above, right: Schiller House. Photo: Andreas Schmidt Mende Fountain and Opera in Winter. Photo: Andreas Schmidt Coffee House Riquet. Photo: Dirk Brzoska

Boys’ Choir offer Christmas themed concerts and events. St.Thomas’s Boys’Choir’s Christmas carol evenings and the “Weihnachtsoratorium” (Christmas oratorio) with the Gewandhaus Orchestra at St.Thomas’s Church are very popular. Another Christmas highlight is the Christmas Ballet by Mario Schröder“A Christmas Carol”at the Opera. Mario Schröder creates a colourful performance out of Dickens's famous Christmas story and makes the ballet a great experience for the whole family. Bottom, from left to right: Thomaner Choir; Thomaner Choir at St. Thomas Church. Photos: Dirk Brzoska St.Thomas Church. Photo: Andreas Schmidt

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L H G I H N I L w w w. B E R

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of the Month Austria

Four Seasons in the Sun

Sonne Lifestyle Resort Bregenzerwald You can go skiing in Sölden or Lech and take part in hectic marathons of ski runs and après ski. Or you can unwind in an authentic winter experience in Mellau at Sonne Lifestyle Resort Bregenzerwald. Here, in the north of Austria’s Bregenz Forest, skiing is less a (fashion) statement than a pleasurable, nevertheless challenging pasttime. While those mountain winter months are yet to come, both the 4 star superior hotel and the area are worth a visit right now in autumn. Luxurious accomodation, unobtrusive hospitality and sustainable activities are, after all, on offer all year round. TEXT: FRANZISKA NÖSSIG | PHOTOS: SONNE LIFESTYLE RESORT BREGENZERWALD

Autumn is“wellness season”at the Sonne Lifestyle Resort, says hotel manager Klaus Riezler. With outside temperatures dropping and daylight waning, visitors will find contemplation and tranquility within the 1,500 square metre spa and comfort zone. Beauty treatments feature Italian cosmetics – unique within Austria – as well as topquality regional products made from whey or hand-picked medicinal herbs.

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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Austria

catch a glimpse of nature,” Klaus Riezler sums up the concept. For instance, the recent ‘Almabtrieb’, the yearly spectacle where farmers drive down their cattle from the mountain pastures after summer. Now is the time to try the season’s fresh mountain cheese which will develop a more intense taste as it matures. While enjoying this raw-milk speciality, or other delicatessen from the regional-international restaurant menu, guests at the Lifestyle Sonne Resort should not forget to ask about the hotel’s liquid treasures. They are red, white and rosé and stored in a well-climatised cellar... During winter, outdoor activities prevail in snow-guaranteed Bregenz Forest. Yet the hustle and bustle of overcrowded winter sports giants is worlds away in Mellau. With a well-maintained ski run on its doorstep, the Sonne Lifestyle Resort enables its guests to indulge in a truly pleasurable skiing experience. A true hideaway and winter sports gem, the small town of Mellau perfectly mirrors the hotel’s aim: to create original holidays for their guests in rural, authentic surroundings.

Guests can choose amongst 38 superior design rooms, two of which have step-free access, and 8 penthouse suites which all include balconies. Every part of the hotel is designed to establish a dialogue between the interior and exterior.“No matter where you are in the hotel, you will permanently

Newly constructed in 2008, the Sonne Lifestyle Resort’s modern design will without doubt catch your eye. Both locals, architects Bernd Frick and Richard Winkel received theVorarlberger Holzbaupreis, the county’s Timber Construction Award, in 2009. Yet the hotel’s plain facade is not an attention seeker. Instead, the white concrete and dark wooden framework as well as the hotel’s narrow and elongated structure allude to Mellau’s characteristic look.

with enthusiasm and economic success.Today’s managers Beate and Klaus Riezler commemorate the former owner with the Margret Bischofsberger hall, a modern, public function room for events for up to 300 people. Margret’s son Norbert Bischofberger invested 10 Million Euros in the construction of the new hotel. The biochemist and inventor of flu vaccination Tamiflu has been working and living in the US for many years, and decided to give back to his place of birth. Jumping forward in time, there is even more to explore in the region in the second half of the year. When all the snow has melted in spring and early summer, hikers and mountainbikers take to the paths and mountainsides, says Riezler. He adds,“We also have many golfers and rock climbers enjoying the area.” During summer, Bregenz Forest is packed with cultural highlights. The Sonne Lifestyle Resort offers its guests a shuttle service to get comfortably to various venues. Lake Constance with its popular Bregenz Festival is just 30 minutes from Mellau. The Schubertiade’s concerts and events also take place nearby, and the renowned music festival’s programme stretches until October. Although by now summer is gone, the sun is still there. It is omnipresent at Sonne Lifestyle Resort as the hotel’s signet, taking up the astronomical sign for ‘sun’ which shows a circle with a dot at its centre. Hotel guests thus are literally able to‘stay with the sun’at every season.

But not only did the architects create a new hotel, they also demolished and then reconstructed the 19th century Gasthof Sonne next to it from scratch. Therefore, the pointed roof pub and its two rustic rooms only look authentic Bregenz Forest, but are actually ‘newly made traditions’: from the ochre outer wall shingles to the wooden furniture.

© Bergbahnen Mellau

From 1946 to the mid 80s, Margret and Eugen Bischofberger ran their pub and inn

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Attraction of the Month Austria

Bach, Mozart and Schubert – winter season at the Tyrolean Festival Erl For more than 15 years the Tyrolean Festival in Erl has been a centre for fine music and a gathering of talents, in summer and – since December 2012 – also in winter. Opera or concert, oratorio or Lied recital – this winter’s season again offers a versatile and exciting programme. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Jauchzet! Frohlocket…”is not only the title of this winter’s festival season in Erl but also the title and the beginning of the first part of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. And this will be played in the winter season of the Tyrolean Festival Erl – Cantata I-III on the opening day on 26 December 2013, Cantata IV-VI will follow on 6 January 2014, Epiphany day and the last day of the festival. The audience will discover Bach in a special way: as a new sound honouring the famous composer’s work as well as a timeless interpretation of the old master nowadays. The festival stands in the tradition of Glenn Gould whose favourite instrument to play

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Bach was a Steinway – a choice he was, rightly, highly praised for. Tyrolean Festival

Erl director Gustav Kuhn sees this is a great example of living one’s own musical idea.

Opening of the New Playhouse. From left to right: Maestro Gustv Kuhn, Dr. Hans Peter Haselsteiner, Dr. Franz Fischer, LH Günther Platter

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Discover Germany | Attraction of the Month | Austria From top to bottom: Conductor Ekhart Wycik Le Nozze di Figaro Nabucco. Photos: © Tom Benz

Left, main image: © Peter Kitzbichler Below: © Tom Benz

three act historical opera, will be played twice – once on 28 December 2013 and a second time on 5 January 2014. While Gustav Kuhn directs Don Giovanni himself he has won Angelika Ladurner as the director of Tosca. Angelika Ladurner is designated intendant of the Komödienspiele Porcia. Ladurner studied drama, vocal studies and flute in Innsbruck and had her first stage experience at the age of 11 playing the boy in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She worked as actor and singer on various stages. Having two directors for two operas guarantees diverse stagings.

Dr. Hans Peter Haselsteiner, President. © Strabag SE

Gustav Kuhn is interested in the best way to present and interpret a composer’s music and not in the use of a certain instrument specialists might deem most suited. The festival instead examines the facts with new eyes, opens up a whole new world and gives the audience a special experience: Bach’s wonderful music in the vivid interpretation of Gustav Kuhn and the festival ensemble. The first three cantatas will be played in the Festspielhaus Erl on Boxing Day and therefore on the day the second cantata was composed for. This alone is special and to make the experience even more outstanding between cantatas guest will be offered mulled wine and typical pastries from Tyrol. Don Giovanni and Tosca – two operas, two directors, two different approaches Another highlight of the festival is Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. Festival director Maestro Gustav Kuhn dedicates himself to a double role again as conductor and stage director. Don Giovanni can be seen on 27 December 2013 and 3 January 2014. Italian opera is part of the programme as well: Puccini’sTosca, the

“Music is life. Life is self-determination and no one should have the right to dictate how to live or what music is,”says Maestro Gustav Kuhn. Kuhn has studied under Hans Swarowsky, Bruno Maderna and Herbert von Karajan at the conservatory in Vienna as well as in his hometown Salzburg. In the 1970s he was director of the opera house in Istanbul before working in the US, Milan’s Scala and at Arena di Verona. He worked as stage director in Triest, Milan, Rome and Tokyo before founding the Tyrolean Festival Erl in 1997.

“The orchestra is out of this world,”wrote Opera Now about the Tyrolean Festival Erl. A rich but well-balanced sound – that can only be achieved with a highly motivated orchestra and musicians dedicated to their work. Many of those playing in the Tyrolean Festival Erl’s orchestra, founded in 1999, are not only hired on a seasonal basis, but have the lasting support of Maestro Gustav Kuhn and his Academia di Montegral, an academy Kuhn founded in 1992. The complete programme of the Tyrolean Festival’s winter season – for example about the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day concerts – can be found on the festival’s website:

Music in the Bel Canto tradition For Kuhn music should be the driving force of all time and opera productions must be inspired by music and music alone. He commits himself to productions that are faithful to the original. Maestro Gustav Kuhn is inspired by and his musical is career rooted in the Italian Bel Canto style and tradition, a singing technique that dominated the European opera houses up to the middle of the 19th century. Wagner for example cast his operas with Bel Canto trained singers. Gustav Kuhn’s philosophy manifested itself also in the new Festspielhaus where construction started in October 2010 to host the Tyrolean Festival Erl in winter and that opened its doors for the winter season 2012. A gathering of talent The Tyrolean Festival Erl in summer as in winter unites markedly talented artists – singers and orchestra musicians as well as specialists in chamber music.

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Basel in a Christmas mood Basel, located in the three countries corner of Switzerland, France and Germany, is the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting Christmas regions. In November of each year, the cosmopolitan city on the Rhine surpasses itself in the scale and attractiveness of its preparations for the coming Advent period. PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Basel attaches special importance to Advent as a prelude to Christmas, a fact that is manifested in a variety of ways. Basel has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city, and is well worth a visit every year. Other centres of the European Christmas tradition are only around an hour’s drive away. The Christmas markets of Strasbourg, Colmar and Freiburg are easy to reach and make Basel the ideal starting point for a European Christmas adventure. Not only the well-preserved Old Town is radiant in the warm Christmas light, but the shops and the facades of many buildings

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glitter with a golden glow. Roughly a hundred tall pine trees border the streets and stand like brightly lit sentinels pointing the way for the visitor. The whole city puts on festive attire, which further heightens the pleasure of shopping in Basel’s top-class shops with every international brand and many specialist stores. As well as being a period for quiet contemplation, Christmas is also a time for enjoyment, not least in the culinary field. Basel is well endowed in this respect: every conceivable variation is to be found here, from regional cuisine to Swiss and foreign specialities to Michelin-starred restaurants.

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Discover Germany | Culture | Christmas in Basel

Top, from left to right: Barfüsserplatz; Freie Strasse; Münsterplatz

And not to forget: music and theatre occupy a prominent position during this period, be it in the streets with romantic Christmas songs or in one of the main theatres with shows on seasonal themes. Basel Christmas Market – a winter fairy tale In the heart of the historic Old Town at

Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz – one of the most beautiful squares in Basel – lies the beautiful Christmas market with a very special charm of its own. At both locations traders and practitioners of arts and crafts from all over Switzerland and the Basel region offer their goods and give a demonstration of their skills. The festive atmos-

phere is heightened by a unique concentration of pre-Christmas delights for the eyes, ears, nose and taste buds. The goods on sale at the Basel Christmas market could hardly be more diverse: hats, minerals and fossils, Christmas tree ornaments from every conceivable place, linen, pewter, glass glitter balls, wooden figures, folk art from the Erzgebirge in Germany, pottery, mirror prisms, spices, wooden toys, children’s clothes, scented woods – to name only some of the products on sale.

Bottom, from left to right: Münsterplatz Münster Mittlere Brücke

Basel Christmas Market 28 November to 23 December 2013 Open daily from 11 am to 8 pm

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Ach, I like Angie. She’s cute somehow. Oops, she did it again. Frau Merkel sailed to victory in the German general election on 22 September and is anyone surprised? Not really. However, time to muse a bit about the Angie phenomenon and why people, in general, like her so much (and these musings will be completely non-political!): TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

A few weeks before the elections I read an article about the problems Merkel’s opponent Peer Steinbrück has when confronted with the so-called “little man” – normal people who are less educated than he is, and/or of a lower social class. Working class you could call it and essentially the people that his party, the SPD, traditionally represents. The piece argued that Steinbrück is not comfortable dealing with people who are no match for his sharp intellect and so it comes across that he looks down on them.The very German problem of Dünkel or Standesdünkel was discussed in that context which can be translated as arrogance, conceit or class snobbery and essentially means to look down on someone, be it from a position of (alleged) social or intellectual superiority. The article concluded with the sentiment that whatever you wanted to criticise Merkel for, no one could reproach her for looking down on the people that she reigns over: “If you’re looking for an answer as to why she’s so incredibly successful, her complete absence of arrogance plays an important role.” Essentially, and after the alpha male leader years of Kohl and Schröder, I think she’s a breath of fresh air for“normal people”because she’s, well, normal. She’s an introvert

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actually, not one who feels naturally at ease up there on the global political stage. Always a bit awkward with her boxy blazers, not at all a great public speaker, definitely not someone hugging the limelight. She particularly endeared herself to the female population, and it’s telling that women of completely different styles, opinions and political beliefs say:“Ach, I like Angie. She’s cute somehow.” The way she cheered on the German team during the World Cup in Germany in 2006 when her attempts to raise her arms in a jubilant pose, always somewhat restricted by those boxy blazers that she wears endlessly and in different colours, went down particularly well with the German public and those images have become iconic. And then – my very personal and completely non-political theory – there’s the smile. When Angie smiles, she looks like a young girl, and I’m convinced the effect this has on people on a subconscious level doesn’t do her any harm. Some people might say that in order to be successful in politics you need to be super smooth, a consummate professional in every way. In her case, it serves her well that her humanity shines through the way it does.The “little man” likes her. Boxy blazers or not,

it’s Angie calling the shots once again. Oops.

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

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