Come and grow – the spoga+gafa blog » Articles by: Roland Moers

unique youngstar 2015: And the Nominees are …

Within the 3rd unique youngstar competition 16 products have been selected by an expert jury. These 15 participants have been chosen from a total of 75 entries from 76 Designers from 32 countries.

In addition to the nomination, the young creatives can already look forward to being able to showcase their ideas during the international garden trade fair spoga+gafa from 30th August to 1st September 2015 in Cologne. The prototypes will be on display in the exhibition zone garden unique. All nominees have the chance to win the unique youngstar 2015 title and thus prize-money totalling 6,000 EUR. In addition to the jury prices Koelnmesse also grants an audience award, determined by online voting by visitors to the fair. Vote here for your favorite design:

The award’s ceremony of the three jury prizes and the audience award will take place on Sunday, 30th August 2015, during the unique hour.

The expert jury chose these products:

The expert jury 2015: Martin Königer (Owner of Pavilla Extérieur, Würzburg), Andreas Kühnlein (Editor AD Architectural Digest, Munich), Harry Paul van Ierssel (Designer, Harry&Camila, Barcelona) and Dirk Wynants (Designer and Founder of Extremis)

3 Questions to: Peter Petrich (BIOTOP Landschaftsgestaltung GmbH)

The Austrian company BIOTOP, one of the major pioneers in the field of natural pools, more than 25 years ago introduced something completely new to the market: an alternative to the classic pool and its use of chemicals. Since 1985 Peter Petrich has been managing partner of the Biotop Landschaftsgestaltung GmbH. For its 30th anniversary the company takes a jump over the ocean with the objective to become the No. One in natural pools in the US.

What are your arguments to convince US consumers?
Petrich: The main argument will most likely be that you can have a pool in your backyard that can provide crystal clear water without any use of chemicals. You can have a wonderful lifestyle secure in the knowledge that you are doing the “right” thing. You can protect the health of your children and friends, and simultaneously contribute to the preservation of natural resources. Fun, luxury and the sustainment of nature – this all comes together in our pools. Anyone who made a jump in our show pools noticed that natural, living water feels different on your skin. But that can’t be described in words. Ultimately you have to swim in our pools yourself to experience it.

What target groups do you want to appeal to in the US?

Petrich: As in Europe we want to appeal to the upper end of pool owners. BIOTOP provides high-quality products and here we don’t want to make any concessions on the quality of the materials used. The investment in a Natural Pool or a Living Pool is an investment for two to three generations.  The grandchildren of our customers today should be able to say: “Our grandparents were very forward-minded when they invested in the pool.” This can only be the case when one relies on high quality.

The US is the largest market for pools in the world, with an extremely high density of pools. Do you think that there is still potential for a newcomer like BIOTOP?
Petrich: Of course there is potential for us. In a country that has more than10 million swimming pools, old pools often need to be overhauled and revamped.  For this we have a Converter System in our program, which allows traditional pools to be upgraded to Living Pools at surprisingly low cost and effort. We also believe that many landscape architects and designers will take our pools into their considerations in designing or redesigning gardens.

Further information:

Movie Tip for Gardeners: „A Little Chaos”

The movie “A Little Chaos” tells the story of one peculiar element of the gardens of Versailles: The Bosquet of the Ballroom. The star architect André Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts) receives the order from the sun king Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) to create this extraordinary piece of landscaping art. He then engages his stubborn colleague Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet), a novice at the king’s court…

Originally a hunting lodge near Paris, Versailles has been expanded by the sun king Louis XIV in 1661 to one of the largest palaces in Europe. The extensive gardens were designed by the landscaper André Le Nôtre. His French Baroque style had a huge influence on the European horticulture. The garden that is to be realised by Sabine De Barra is a bosquet. Bosquets are small groves within the baroque palace gardens at the end of a straight-lined flower garden. The famous Bosquet of the Ballroom (Salle de Bal) in Versailles was originally built to be a location for concerts, plays and other performances. Around the small area water cascades flow over ornamented steps. It can still be visited today.

“A Little Chaos” is directed in a very empathic yet entertaining way by Alan Rickman. It is part romantic love story and part witty comedy. The landscaper De Barra not only has to withstand envious male colleagues and mean intrigues, but at the same time feels more and more attracted to Le Nôtre. Alan Rickman said about their relationship and the historical setting: “At first it seems that the two have absolutely different opinions on aesthetics. But after a while it becomes clear that they are very like-minded. You don’t need any historical knowledge to follow this movie. Some events we show have happened in reality, some have not. We are viewing this historical story throug a prism.”

Further information:


German Championship of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® SERIES in Cologne

This year the German Championship of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® SERIES will take place in Cologne. As part of the new garden event TAG DES GARTENS (Garden Day) hosted by Koelnmesse, ten of the best lumberjack athletes fight for the title and the participation at the World Championship 2015. This is the highlight of the season and the organizers expect thousands of spectators.

The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® SERIES is established worldwide as the major league of lumberjack sports. On entertaining contest events the athletes compete in six disciplines demonstrating their skills with axes and saws. Their success does not only depend on power and stamina but most of all on the right technique. The winner of the championship in Cologne will represent Germany at the competition between the best lumberjacks from twelve nations – including the stars of the scene from Canada, USA and New Zealand.

“The cooperation with the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® SERIES is a real benefit for the premiere event,” said Christopher Werner, Vice President of Koelnmesse GmbH, proudly. “Together with the coherent overall concept, top events like these turn our TAG DES GARTENS into a unique fair format for the outdoor living sector.” The garden event TAG DES GARTENS will take place at the same time as the garden fair spoga+gafa. The public event is open on August 29 and 30 from 09:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.

Further information:

Designer Competition unique youngstar: Deadline April 1st 2015!

When spoga+gafa will open its doors in Cologne at August 30th, 2015, next to the approx. 2,000 exhibitors a community of young creative designers will also show their performance – at least those who could achieve to be under the 15 nominees of the creative competition unique youngstar. The application period for this year’s designer contest, which has been accompanying the premium exhibition segment garden unique for the past three years, is open until April 1st.

From furniture, accessories or sunshade products, to lighting, flooring or plant pots, through to barbecues – everything is allowed that makes the summer living room outdoor more attractive or more functional. An expert jury will select up to 15 ideas from all the entries of the young creative designers. These ideas will be exhibited as prototypes at the spoga+gafa in the product segment garden unique. And it is certainly worthwhile taking part: The nominees have the chance to win prize-money totalling 6,000 Euro. They also have the chance to claim the ‘unique youngstar 2015’ title. In addition to the top three awarded by the expert jury, the public will also elect their favourite among the nominees by means of an online voting.

Further information, the terms of participation and registration documents: