The following itinerary lists a range of museums, galleries, buildings and design projects which we plan to visit. Many are accessible to the public, but some require special permission, which may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in museum opening hours and privately hosted visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary together with their tour documents prior to departure. The tour includes breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals as indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch, and D=evening meal.
West Berlin - 3 nights
Day 1: Tuesday 18 September, Arrive Berlin
- Airport transfer for participants arriving on the ‘ASA’ designated flight
- Orientation Walk incl. the Kaiser Wilhelm Church
- Welcome Dinner at NENI Berlin, 25hours Hotel Bikini
Group members arriving on the ASA ‘designated’ flight will transfer to our hotel after clearing customs. If you are arriving independently, please make your own way to the Swissôtel Berlin.
In the late afternoon we take a brief orientation walk in the vicinity of the hotel in the former West Berlin city centre, situated around Kurfürstendamm, the famous KaDaWe department store (subject to reopening in 2018) and the ruined remains of Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche.
Rem Koolhaas’ Dutch firm OMA has recently revealed plans to overhaul Berlin’s well-known Kaufhaus des Westens, more commonly known as KaDeWe, with the addition of a glass rooftop extension and a series of sculptural new staircases. The much loved historic establishment, which first opened in 1907, has experienced numerous renovations over the years, the most recent being an arched glass ceiling that was added in the 1990s. OMA’s approach will be to treat the structure as four connected shops, each with its own entrance and circulation spaces. The aim is for each “quadrant” to have its own identity. The glazed rooftop extension will span two of these quadrants, replacing the vaulted restaurant that currently forms the top of the building. It will create a new ninth floor of retail, and will slightly alter the profile of the existing structure.
We end the day with a Welcome Dinner at Restaurant NENI Berlin, located on the top floor of the 25hours Bikini Berlin Hotel designed by Studio Aisslinger, facing the Berlin Zoo. Around its entire circumference there is a terrace enabling you to enjoy a breathtaking vista of Gedächtniskirche, Budapester Straße, Kurfürstendamm and City West. Part of the dining room is located within a greenhouse, in keeping with the urban jungle theme of the hotel. The menu is a culinary mosaic of Persian, Russian, Arabic, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish, German and Austrian influences, and encourages guests to try a little of everything. (Overnight Berlin) D
Day 2: Wednesday 19 September, West Berlin / Charlottenburg
In Charlottenburg we begin by visiting the apartment building containing Frank Leder’s studio. Leder is one of a new wave of fashion designers who are crafting high-end tailored garments for the modern man. “With traditional cuts and the use of vintage trimmings, Frank seeks to create and convey a sense of ‘Germanness’ in his work and has developed a select and loyal following”. Leder studied fashion design at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, gaining an MA with distinction. While studying he sold his works with Loden Schneiders. He later became Art Director and Stylist for fashion lines in ID: Magazine, Sleaze, Qvest and other magazines. In 2000 he set up his own label, ‘Frank Leder’, in London, and a year later the sub-label ‘Raw Power’ with his business partner Michael Ellis. Since 2003 he has contributed designs to Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
In 2018 the Bauhaus Archive will be closed for renovations. A temporary Bauhaus information centre featuring a gallery, event area and the bauhaus-shop will open in the Hardenberg House in the summer. The Hardenberg House is a listed building designed by the architect Paul Schwebes, and it is considered one of the most important office and commercial buildings of post-war modernism in West Berlin.
Following some time at leisure for lunch, we visit the Museum of Photography, housed in a neoclassical building, formerly an army officers’ casino. Since 2004, the museum has presented temporary exhibitions dealing with the life and work of Helmut Newton, one of the most important fashion and portrait photographers of the 20th century.
Today’s final site visit takes in Bocci 79, the satellite headquarters of Canadian lighting brand Bocci, housed in a previously disused 19th-century courthouse. The 44-room building, renovated by architects Grüntuch-Ernst, is now decorated with experimental lighting and pieces from the 10-year-old design brand’s archive. “The six-storey atrium is filled with a hanging installation that contains multiple pendant lights, surrounded by silver bundles that resemble coral. Individual rooms in the building feature different pieces, including a tree-shaped sculpture with circular lighting panels held on the end of branches, and a cloud of globular lights (Dezeem.com). Founder Omer Arbel established Bocci in 2005. The company is best known for its 28 Series pendant light, which it has used to create a variety of installations including a giant colourful chandelier at London’s V&A museum. (Overnight Berlin) B
Day 3: Thursday 20 September, Berlin Mitte / Kreuzberg / Potsdamer Straße
- Guided tour by local architect visiting the Deutscher Bundestag Dome, Reichstag & government area, DZ-Bank (exterior), Pariser Platz
- Guided tour with product designer Flavia Alice Mameli, visiting a range of concept stores including Studio Rundholtz, Andreas Murkudis and Fiona Bennett
We depart early this morning and travel by public transport to the Unter den Linden, Berlin’s most famous boulevard, and walk towards the Brandenburg Gate. We first visit the Deutscher Bundestag (parliament), with one of the most interesting constructions in Europe. Sir Norman Foster designed an extraordinary glass dome to replace that destroyed in the Reichstag Fire (1933) and from which visitors gain a wonderful panorama of the city. Across the road at the Pariser Platz we visit the architect of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao – Frank Gehry’s fabulous DZ-Bank, a spectacular contemporary building that contrasts dramatically with the stately architecture of the Brandenburg Gate. It reflects the explosion of imaginative architecture that is transforming the old imperial city.
We spend the afternoon with product designer, Flavia Alice Mameli, visiting a number of Berlin’s new concept stores including an inspirational collection of clothing designs from Carsten and Lenka Rundholz. We also visit the area of northern Schöneberg, bordering on Potsdamer Platz, an aspiring location for galleries, design shops, bars and restaurants. Inside the former Tagesspiegel newspaper building is Andreas Murkudis’ new concept store designed by Gonzales Haase, well know for its outstanding choice of products including high fashion collections by Céline and Dries van Noten, delicate porcelain designs by Nymphenburg and the sweet chocolate products of Hamann. We also visit the concept store of hat designer, Fiona Bennett, one of the most successful milliners in Germany. (Overnight Berlin) B
Dessau - 2 nights
Day 4: Friday 21 September, Berlin – Dessau
This morning we travel to the Welter Manufactury. Founded by Ulrich Welter, his team of designers and product developers create high quality, hand-made wallpaper and wall-panels, using a wide selection of high-quality materials including gold metal-leaf, beads, crystals and minerals. Welter is particularly famous for their wide selection of gold and precious metal wallpaper. “Welter’s designers use genuine metal-leaf, consisting of very thinly beaten metal squares. They lay it by hand onto the wallpaper. The distinctive feature of these surfaces is the faint visibility of the applied gold-leaf squares and the captivating metal sheen. Apart from metal-leaf, also gold-leaf, silver, copper and palladium are used to produce some extraordinary wallpaper. By using a special technique, the Welter-team manages to combine the sheen of precious metal with raw colour structures”.
We also hope to visit residential architecture projects in and around Berlin (detailed program to be confirmed). In the afternoon we continue by coach to Dessau where we will be based for the next two nights. (Overnight Dessau) BLD
Day 5: Saturday 22 September, Dessau
- Bauhaus Building: School Building and Permanent Exhibition (Walter Gropius, 1926)
- Masters’ Houses (Walter Gropius, 1926)
- Kiosk (Mies van der Rohe, 1932)
- The Steel House (Georg Muche and Richard Paulick, 1926-27)
- Törten Housing Estate (Walter Gropius, 1926-28)
- Kornhaus Restaurant (Carl Fieger, 1929-30)
We spend the day visiting the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listed Bauhaus buildings and Masters’ Houses of Dessau. Between 1919 and 1933 the Bauhaus School, based first in Weimar and then in Dessau, revolutionized architectural and aesthetic concepts and practices. The buildings put up and decorated by the school’s professors (Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky) launched the Modern Movement, which shaped much of the architecture of the 20th century.
We first visit the Bauhaus building, which combines functionalism with an outstanding architectonic quality, using modern materials such as glass and reinforced concrete. Originally a school of design, it currently houses the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Our guided tour includes the permanent exhibition, Walter Gropius’ room, and the Bauhaus stage, canteen and dormitory.
Designed by Walter Gropius in 1926, the Masters’ Houses are the Bauhaus’ outstanding architectural achievements. Their influential white cubic forms and complex flow of space between interior and exterior also reflect the debate over modernist standardisation in housing construction. They are famous as homes and studios of eminent Bauhaus artists like Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee or Wassily Kandinsky.
The refreshment kiosk near the Masters’ Houses was the only building realised by the third Bauhaus director Mies van der Rohe. The kiosk was not designed as a standard pavilion, but built into the two-metre-high garden wall surrounding the Gropius House. Demolished in 1962 it was replaced by a fence. With the repair of the Masters’ Houses (2014) by Berlin-based architects BFM the kiosk, also restored, returned to its original function, reduced to its pure form in a contemporary interpretation.
The German Weimar Republic (1919-1933) suffered a shortage of affordable residential housing, making social housing a political priority. The City of Dessau commissioned the Bauhaus director Walter Gropius to build 314 single-family houses in the suburb of Törten. The Törten Estate was constructed over three main building phases with three different house types. To keep living costs low, houses had gardens where inhabitants could grow vegetables and fruit and keep small livestock.
Carl Fieger’s Kornhaus Restaurant, where we shall have dinner, was erected on the banks of the river Elbe in 1930; Fieger was a draughtsman in Walter Gropius’s practice. (Overnight Dessau) BD
East Berlin - 4 nights
Day 6: Sunday 23 September, Dessau – Berlin Mitte / Prenzlauer Berg
- Architectural tour of the Jewish Museum
- Guided tour with product designer Flavia Alice Mameli, visiting König Galerie and Bless
This morning we return to Berlin by coach. On arrival we take a guided tour of Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum, arguably the most significant example of contemporary architecture in Berlin, noted for its unique architecture and exhibition layout, which have led to a radical new understanding of museum design worldwide.
We then join product designer Flavia Alice Mameli for a tour of the König Galerie and Bless. Founded by Johann König in 2002, König Galerie currently represents 30 international, established and emerging artists working in a variety of media including sculpture, video, sound, painting, printmaking, photography and performance. The gallery has successfully placed works in a variety of private and public collections, including New York’s MoMA and the Guggenheim Foundation. The artists represented have solo exhibitions with institutions worldwide and are regularly shown in prestigious group exhibitions such as Documenta and the biennials in Venice, Berlin and New York.
From the König Galerie we transfer to the tree-lined neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg, home to Bless, one of the most creative fashion/accessory/interior/everything label in Berlin. Their store is located in a 3rd floor Altbau apartment, and the store manager not only works, but actually lives here. (Overnight Berlin) B
Day 7: Monday 24 September, Berlin Mitte
This morning we travel by U-bahn to the Museum der Dinge, a museum of 20th and 21st century product culture, characterised by the industrial mass production of goods. It presents its collections of 20th century design and everyday culture in the form of a walk-through warehouse. The permanent exhibition includes the Frankfurt Kitchen designed in 1926 by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, which became the architectural prototype for all modern kitchens.
Lunch today will be at the café and bristo ORA, housed in a charming old pharmacy at Oranienplatz, which has recently been preserved and refurbished. While you can still see all the little drawers and jars in the shelves obviously the medicine has been replaced with coffee and liquor. And instead of ointments and pills they serve small bistro-sized dishes such as pulled pork, roasted chicken, mild rice and polenta. Their specialty is their freshly baked sour dough bread that you can order with a variety of toppings.
Next we visit New Tendency – one of Germany’s most sought after young design studios. In Bauhaus tradition, New Tendency creates products characterized by conceptual design, clean aesthetics and functional form. The collection of furniture and accessories, developed under the creative direction of Manuel Goller, consists of original products as well as collaborations with selected designers and architects such as Clemens Tissi amongst others. The company has featured in numerous international publications including Wallpaper and Casa Vogue. Their work includes the design of the Dutch eyewear brand Ace & Tate’s flagship store in Berlin Mitte, furniture for the Berlin Showcase apartment developed by Freunde von Freunden magazine in collaboration with Magis, and a set of graphically-shaped stools for the Hotel Wallpaper bar.
We end our day with a private evening at the atelier of fashion and textile designer Esther Perbandt. Esther was “born and raised in Berlin, toughened in Moscow and polished in Paris”. She completed a European Master’s degree in Fashion and Textile Design in Paris and a post-graduate study at the Institut Français de la Mode. Running her signature label since 2004, the avant-garde designer has proven herself a staying power on national and international markets. Her designs are distinctive, idiosyncratic and a hundred percent authentic. Esther will welcome us at her Berlin Mitte based shop and adjoining atelier, and talk about her background, visions and philosophy, cooperations with artist and musicians, and links between fashion and architecture in her work. (Overnight Berlin) BL
Day 8: Tuesday 25 September, Berlin Mitte / Kulturforum
- Projects by KINZO Berlin design agency with Chris Middleton
- Lunch at the Chipperfield Kantine
- Architecture tour of the Kulturforum including exteriors of the Neue Nationalgalerie, Gemäldegalerie & Philharmonie
- Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), Kulturforum
We spend the morning visiting projects by KINZO Berlin design agency. Founded in 2005 by Karim El-Ishmawi, Martin Jacobs and Chris Middleton, KINZO offers customised design, interior design, and architectural solutions with a holistic approach.
Following lunch at David Chipperfield Architects’ in-house Berlin eatery, Kantine, we take an architectural walking tour of the Kulturforum containing a cluster of cultural buildings developed in the 1950s and 60s in the Modernist style. Our tour includes a visit to the spectacular Philharmonie of 1963, designed by Hans Scharun and home of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Its swooping, freeform design and gold-coloured cladding anticipate by some decades the architecture of the 1990s and 2000s. Nearby is a library, also by Scharoun, a striking science centre in pink and blue stripes by James Stirling, and the Gemäldegalerie designed by Munich architects Heinz Hilmer and Christoph Sattler. There is also the Neue Nationalgalerie, an imposing steel and glass box, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1968 and currently under renovation by David Chipperfield Architects. Most recently the Swiss firm, Herzog & de Meuron, was chosen to create the new ‘nationalgalerie20’ (Museum of the 20th Century) which will be connected to the Neue Nationalgalerie via an underground tunnel doubling as an exhibition space.
We end our day with a guided tour of the Kunstgewerbemuseum which houses an important collection of applied arts and crafts including outstanding collections of fashion and design. Exhibits include magnificent reliquaries made of gold and precious gemstones, exquisite vases of glass and porcelain, finely embroidered textiles, ornate inlaid furniture and complete sets of wall panelling such as the Chamber of Mirrors from Schloss Wiesentheid, as well as classic examples of modern industrial design. The fashion gallery displays approximately 130 costumes and as many accessories, dating from the 18th century to the present day, with exclusive clothing of Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. (Overnight Berlin) BL
Day 9: Wednesday 26 September, Berlin Mitte
This morning we take an architectural guided tour of the Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is currently being renovated according to the master plan by the architect David Chipperfield. Our tour includes:
- Antes Museum (1830): restored 2010/11) by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Hilmer & Sattler and Albrecht, domed hall and grand staircase;
- Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden: early 19th c.) by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, restored (1997-) by Hans Loidl;
- Neo-Renaissance Berlin Cathedral (inaugurated 1905) by Julius Carl and Otto Raschdorff;
- Alte Nationalgalerie (1861) by Friedrich August Stiller, Heinrich Strack, (restored 1998-2001) by HG Merz, foyer and staircase building;
- Kolonnadenhof (colonnades at entrance to Alte Nationalgalerie, restored / renovated by Levin Monsigny;
- Neues Museum of Friedrich August Stiller, David Chipperfield, Julian Harrap, visit the foyer and large stair hall;
- Gallery at Kupfergraben and site of the James Simon Gallery by David Chipperfield;
- Pergamon Museum (1910-) by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann, being transformed by OM Ungers Jan Kleihues, Walter Noebel;
- Bode Museum of Ernst von Ihne, Heinz Tesar, visit to the two domed halls.
There will be some time at leisure this afternoon and you may wish to visit the Gemäldegalerie which holds one of the world’s leading collections of European paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Its collection includes masterpieces by van Eyck, Bruegel, Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Jan Vermeer’s Young Lady with String of Pearls, and one of the world’s largest collections of Rembrandts.
Tonight we dine together at the Pauly Saal. This Michelin-starred restaurant wows diners with a truly unique setting; it is housed in the former gymnasium of a Bauhaus-era Jewish girls’ school and includes custom-designed Murano chandeliers and eye-catching art by Cosima von Bonin and Daniel Richter. It features dishes with distinctive flavours by chef Arne Anker who was sous-chef of ‘The Jane’ in Antwerp, the culinary laboratory of triple-Michelin starred Sergio Herman. (Overnight Berlin) BD
Hamburg - 3 nights
Day 10: Thursday 27 September, Berlin – Hamburg
- Studio Aisslinger (to be confirmed in 2018)
- Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art
- Evening train to Hamburg (ICE1610 Berlin HBF to Hamburg HBF, 1639-1823hrs)
This morning we visit the studio of award-winning designer, Werner Aisslinger. Born in 1964 in Nördlingen, Germany, Aisslinger studied industrial design at the Hochschule der Künste (HdK) in Berlin. Between 1989 and 1992 he worked freelance for Ron Arad, Jasper Morrison and in the Studio de Lucchi in Milan. In 1993 he founded his own office, ‘Studio Aisslinger’, with an emphasis on product design, design concepts and brand architecture. His work includes the ‘Juli chair’ (designed in 1996 for Cappellini, Italy) which was the first item of furniture to use a new type of foam called ‘polyurethane integral foam’, and became the first German chair to be selected as a permanent exhibit at the MoMA in New York since 1964. His ‘loftcube’ project became one of the most discussed modular and transportable housing projects within the last years. His work is exhibited in the permanent collections the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the French Fonds National d’Art Contemporain in Paris, the Museum Neue Sammlung in Munich, and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil, Germany.
Next we take a guided tour of the Hamburger Bahnhof, the former 19th-century railway station for trains running to the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, which now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art. Considered as one of the world’s most successful exhibition spaces for contemporary art, it displays works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Keith Haring as well as many innovative contemporary artists. Since 2004, in the adjacent Rieck-Hallen, there have been rotating special exhibitions with works drawn from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection; they comprise works by artists of the latter half of the 20th century, among them Bruce Nauman, Sol LeWitt, Nam June Paik, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. Prior to our tour you may wish to enjoy lunch at the museum’s well-known Sarah Wiener Café.
In the late afternoon we board the inter-city express train to Hamburg. During our journey, which takes approximately 1 hour and 36 minutes, you may purchase a light dinner from the restaurant car. (Overnight Hamburg) B
Day 11: Friday 28 September, Hamburg
- Haus im Haus, Chamber of Commerce by Behnisch Architekten, 2007
- Infocenter HafenCity in Kesselhaus, Am Standtorkai 30
- Private tour of 25Hours Hotel Hafencity by Stephen Williams Associates, Überseequartier (to be confirmed in 2018)
- Designxport GmbH, Elbtorquartier, HafenCity
- Exclusive visit to international design agency, Peter Schmidt Group, Elbtorquartier (to be confirmed in 2018)
- Thomas-I-Punkt Fashion Factory
- Gold Pavilion and Café Entenwerder, Elbpark Entenwerder
- Houseboats on Eibek Kanal (tun-architecktur, Rost Niderehe Architects, Alexander und Dahling, format21 and baubüro.eins) incl. interior visit
- Architecture tour of the Falkenried Quarter, Eppendorf
- Private interior tour, Lofts Falkenried Residential Building by Spengler Wiescholek Architects, 2003
- Store of lighting designer, Tobias Grau, Stilwerk
- Evening performance at the Elbphilharmonie: NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra / Christoph von Dohnányi. Bruckner: Symphony No. 8
Accompanied by a local architect, we spend a full day exploring a range of projects in and around the city. We begin with a visit to the ‘Haus im Haus’ in the Chamber of Commerce designed by Behnisch Architekten. Built within the existing neo-classical Börsenhalle, the light, free-floating character of this new multi-floor extension is complemented and accentuated by a LED lighting system.
We continue with a visit to HafenCity – Europe’s largest inner-city urban development project, located along the Elbe River – visiting the InfoCentre, 25hours Hotel and Designxport. The InfoCenter provides a range of interesting thematic exhibitions including a model of the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, and an impressive 1:500 scale-model of the HafenCity project. On a private interior tour of the boutique, 25hours Hotel, we view the interesting décor which is full of references to the shipyards and docklands of old Hamburg. Designxport is located in the Elbtorquartier adjacent to the port of Magdeburg. This new design centre, which opened in 2014, aims to offer the industry, among other things, exhibition space for questions about the present and the future of design.
The Peter Schmidt Group is one of Germany’s top three branding agencies and has been designing successful brands since 1972. Recent projects include the re-design of the 19th floor of Atlantic House in the St Pauli district which offers spectacular views over the harbour. An exclusive visit to their offices is planned.
Next we visit the factory of fashion design label, Thomas I-Punkt. Established in the early 70s, this family-run business offers, with a store in Gänsemarkt, its own Omen collection designed by its owner. All items are produced in the company’s sewing and knitting studio in Hamburg-Rothenburgsort. Many of the fabrics are sourced from highly specialised weaving mills in Japan, Belgium and Italy.
The company’s founder, Thomas Friese, was involved with the project to transform the Elbepark Entenwerder into a new place for culture. Located on a pontoon in the middle of the Norderelbe stands the Golden Pavilion of Arts and Culture and the adjacent Café Entenwerder I, where we shall have lunch. The 12-metre high pavilion featuring a gold-coloured, perforated brass skin, was designed by Jan Kampshoff and Marc Günnewig from Modulorbeat as a temporary sculptural piece for the exhibition ‘Switch’ in Munich. It was due to be re-melted but was purchased by Thomas Friese and transferred to Hamburg.
In 2006, the city of Hamburg approved ten moorings for houseboats for Germany’s very first aquatic community. This afternoon we view a number of houseboats on Eibek Kanal including those designed by architects Tun-Architektur, Rost Niderehe, Alexander und Dahling, format 21 and baubüro.eins. Our program includes an exclusive interior visit to one of these.
Next we drive to the Falkenried quarter, in Eppendorf, site of the former Falkenried tram depot. Opened in 1892, with 10 hectares, the site included housing for horse-drawn tram cars, stalls for 300 horses as well as administrative buildings. Falkenried later produced electric trams, omnibuses and underground tram cars. The site has now been transformed into a new city quarter with luxury apartments, offices, shops and cafés. Bolles + Wilson were responsible for the masterplan which was executed in collaboration with other architectural firms. During our tour we shall view architectural projects by Bothe Richter Teherani, Bolles+Wilson, Baumschlager Eberle and APB.
While in Eppendorf we also view the award-winning project, by Spengler Wiescholek architects, which consists of loft apartments within the old tram depot. “The combination of protected industrial buildings and modern residential units gives the development its particular charm. The architects have planned 39 lofts with balconies, terraces or rooftop gardens, together with a ground floor restaurant. The design sought to retain the industrial charm of the existing buildings as far as possible, and to highlight the contrast between old and new”. Our tour includes a private visit to the interior of one of these lofts.
We end our day with a visit to Stilwerk in Fischmarkt. The industrial building dating to 1907, features a steel concrete skeleton with a red-brick façade adorned with dazzling arches and ornaments. The shopping centre consists of 28 stores; we shall visit the store of Tobias Grau, one of Germany’s most successful lighting designers and manufacturers. Trained at the Parson School of Design in New York, he has designed numerous award-winning lighting fixtures including modern classics such as ‘Tai’, ‘Bill’, ‘George’ and ‘Soon’, as well as various luminaires for office projects.
This evening we attend a concert at the new Elbphilharmonie, completed by Herzog & de Meuron in 2016. The building complex accommodates a philharmonic hall, a chamber music hall, restaurants, bars, a panorama terrace with views of Hamburg and the harbour, apartments, and a hotel. Highlights of the building include its wave-like façade and central auditorium – a gleaming ivory cave built from 10,000 unique acoustic panels that line the ceiling, walls, and balustrades. Herzog and De Meuron used algorithms to generate a unique shape for each of the 10,000 gypsum fiber acoustic panels that line the auditorium’s walls like the interlocking pieces of a giant, undulating puzzle. The effect is stunning.
His debut in the newly-opened Elbphilharmonie was originally scheduled for May 2017, but illness then prevented Christoph von Dohnányi’s long-awaited return to the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Tonight the orchestra’s former principal conductor finally gets the chance to make his debut in the concert hall whose construction he staunchly supported at the time. On the programme is a work from the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s core repertoire worthy of the occasion: Anton Bruckner’s monumental Eighth Symphony. (Overnight Hamburg) BL
Day 12: Saturday 29 September, Hamburg
This morning we take public transport to the arts and crafts house, Koppel 66, which is home to Stefan Fink Schreibgeräte, manufacturer of fine fountain pens. ‘Stefan Fink is renowned for his high-precision quality work, especially in Japan. In his Hamburg studio, Stefan Fink manufactures sensuous fountain pens made of rosewood, Jacaranda and bog oak, with 18 carat gold nibs. All of his pieces are characterised by a puristic elegance, and some of the pens take up to five years to complete’. Koppel 66 is also home to 20 other arts and crafts manufacturers, among them master shoemaker Annabelle Stephan.
The afternoon is at leisure followed by a farewell dinner at the Brasserie Die Bank. Housed in a former 19th-century bank, Michelin-starred chef, Thomas Fischer, serves creative dishes using seasonal ingredients. (Overnight Hamburg) BD
Day 13: Sunday 30 September, Hamburg. Tour Ends.
- Departure transfer for participants travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight
Participants taking the ‘designated’ ASA flight will transfer to Hamburg Airport. If you are not taking this flight you should find your own way to the airport, or consult ASA for transfer assistance. B