If we walk with our eyes open, we can see interesting, beautiful, and also ugly things along the road every day. And if we walk with not only with our eyes but also with our heart and mind open, you will discover a world that would otherwise remain closed to us. Sometimes spectacular. Sometimes ordinary but surprisingly miraculous. Be it a look into a garage, a view onto the riverbank, the bus stop before the chewing gum vendor machine, or just a footprint somebody has left on the opposite side of the pavement.
Michael Nguyen shows urban landscapes as well as urban spaces in different cities. They all can enrich a life between buildings. In sports facilities, parking lots, bus stops, children's playgrounds, sidewalks, bike racks, shopping mall forecourts, among others, necessary, optional and social outdoor activities are feasible and offer the possibility of growing social life in the city. Nguyen accompanies us on little journeys through places in Bavaria, and elsewhere, to discover what the random walk leads us to.
Parts of this series are not shown here but in the portfolios “Heimat Gauting: By the roadside & On the road in the Starnberg district”, which shows scenes from my home town Gauting (Munich area) and the Bavarian district the district of Starnberg.
Highlight: Werksviertel Munich
Creative Ruin: The Werksviertel in Munich is a beloved alternative scene for local artists and innovators. The place is going under modernization and during Corona Crisis many old buildings are left demolished without further plans. But the creative community has made the best out of it. They make the destroyed place to be enjoyable and to make us think about our modern world. Where once potato dumplings were made, a creative urban district with a colorful mix of art and culture will emerge in the next few years on the eastern edge of Munich's city center. The charm of the existing industrial architecture will contrast with the contemporary new buildings. In contrast to many other urban developments, in the Werksviertel the buildings that have defined the history of the area are not destroyed, but modernized and given new uses. Historic structures serve as an exciting contrast to modern buildings. Converted industrial buildings and numerous new buildings provide architectural exclamation points and a metropolitan field of tension that is unique in Munich.
Highlight: Mira Shoppingcenter Munich
The Mira shopping center opened in 2008 in the Munich district Nordhaide The West, North, and northern half of the Eastern facades, with a total coverage of 5,800 square meters, was made of colored lacquered metal panels which were placed on the walls to form prisms. Since the sides of the prisms have different colors, the façade appears from the southwest and northwest in different colors. In between, a gradual transition takes place, so that the building changes dynamically as one passes by. In addition to the colored panels, the façade also contains panels made of polished aluminum, which reflect the sky and surrounding buildings. The façade construction began in 2007.
The Gauting summer pool was officially opened on 25 June 1966 with a 50-metre sports pool. For the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the Gauting training pool was completely finished with heated changing rooms, swimming channel and heating system - largely financed by the National Olympic Committee. At the time, it served as a training facility for athletes housed in the surrounding area. Mark Spitz ("Mark the Shark"), the former US world-class swimmer trained at the Gauting summer pool and won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. There was a public bath near today's outdoor pool in the second century AD. The bath was excavated in 1936.
Michael Nguyen had the opportunity to photograph in the winter of 2020 before the first snowfall in the summer pool Gauting. He entered a fascinating world of water reflections. 2020 has been a turbulent year. But also a quiet year for some. Like swimming pools and lakes, which in Summer usually are heavily frequented otherwise. But it's also a chance for them to be calm finally. Their water is more clear, more peaceful. In turn, they give trees, birds, houses, and us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop and reflect. To see the world both at its most chaotic and most serene. And to see ourselves: World in Reflection - Surprisingly wondrous and spectacular is Michael Nguyens view of reflections in the water of the summer pool.
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