"We don't make anything that people don't need. And we don't subscribe to anything we don't need. That way, we save a lot of money."
Rainer Quenzer, CEO of quenzer international innovative projects (qiip)
qiip at a glance
Architect Rainer Quenzer has a great passion for Olympic events, world championships, and international cultural events. Since founding his own consultancy and design agency "qiip" with headquarters in Kemptthal, he has organized and built sustainable structures for major events, such as the Eurovision Contest 2012 in Baku, the infrastructure of the Julius Bär Zurich E-Prix 2018, and the master plan for Sion's bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2026. For that purpose, the five-person team maintains constant contact with politicians, officials, and colleagues all around the world.
Our conversation with Rainer Quenzer.
Pioneer and opinion leader.
Rainer Quenzer welcomed us at his premises, a stylish office on the former Maggi site in the Kemptthal district of Zurich. He designed the furniture himself and produced it with his second company, STEEL (aboutsteel.ch) – all distinguished by high quality, durability and above all timelessness. A symbiosis of vintage industrial architecture and clear lines in black sheet metal.
Sunrise: Where do you get your passion for more sustainability in designing major sports events?
Rainer Quenzer: Before founding qiip, I worked for ten years at a company specialized in sports and culture events. I have worked on numerous major international projects, including the Olympic Winter Games 2010 in Vancouver and the Olympic Games 2012 in London. I remember a key experience in 2005 that was a real eye-opener for me. A year after the Olympic Summer Games in Athens, I visited the site and encountered completely blocked-off areas. I was shocked by the waste of public funds and resources. After that experience, it was clear to me that I wanted to change things. We make it our passion to put sustainability front and center. At qiip, we examine the future needs of a region, a city, and so on, and we incorporate them in our concepts. The legacy is what counts, not the brief mega-event. That applies not only to sports events – we also design major cultural events.
Sunrise: What are your specific tasks for such major projects, such as Sion 2026?
Rainer Quenzer: For the Sion 2026 project, we prepared a 240-page master plan for the organizing committee. We defined various infrastructure facilities, for example the press centers or the different sports venues, with sustainable concepts. Sustainable means that we either design stadiums or buildings so that they can be used for some other purpose after the event, or we build temporary structures where there is no possibility of subsequent use. I have managed to build up a good network to implement these sorts of plans. You have to know the scene and maintain constant contact – including with international partners. In our five-person core team, we carry out the planning, kick off the projects, and bring in additional experts from our network. The entire team looks after the implementation on site. And we are constantly in communication.
Sunrise: So constant communication, no matter where, plays a decisive role in your business?
Rainer Quenzer: Definitely. Without constant communication, projects like those we design and implement worldwide are not feasible. We always have to be in contact with each other and with our teams abroad. We count on a fully functional communications solution every day. That means accessibility not only with mobile devices, but also landline and Internet. With Sunrise, we have everything from a single source, and the flat rates keep our costs under control.
Sunrise: What makes Sunrise different from the rest?
Rainer Quenzer: Sunrise is very flexible with the mobile subscriptions. Each of our employees has a mobile phone, but they are not always abroad. For us, it's important to be able to activate the roaming option only when necessary. That's exactly what Sunrise offers. When a project abroad is in the works, the employees concerned can easily enable the roaming option or upgrade their subscription at short notice. After they return home, they go back to the more economical setup. Both options can be conveniently activated online within 24 hours. Sunrise offers qiip exactly the flexibility we need in our projects – to be able to decide on a case by case basis and thus save a lot of money. That's in line with our company vision: we see the big picture and don't procure anything we don't actually need.
Sunrise: What is your experience with our support?
Rainer Quenzer: Daniela Paris, our COO, is full of praise for the Sunrise Shop in Winterthur because there you can still speak directly with real people instead of getting stuck endlessly on hold. We have a personal contact who always helps us quickly and professionally when we need something or have any problems. We're very happy about that.
Sunrise: I'm glad to hear that. Was that lacking in your previous experience?
Rainer Quenzer: My experience with other providers is that when you have a problem, you are endlessly put on hold, and then you end up talking with someone who doesn't know much. If you call again, you have to explain the whole situation again. With Sunrise it's completely different. For example, when the mobile phone of one of our employees was faulty, the Sunrise Shop in Winterthur had a substitute device available immediately and took care of the arrangements together with our employee. They initiated the repair or replacement of the faulty mobile phone, and a few days later the employee received a new phone. That's excellent service!
Thank you for this conversation!