Urban Discoveries

Written by Thanh Tung
Photography by Michael Nguyen


“Urban Discoveries” is a captivating photographic series by Michael Nguyen that invites the viewer to explore the modern architectural marvels of European cities. Nguyen’s lens captures the intricate details and unique character of each city’s contemporary buildings, from the sleek lines of glass skyscrapers to the bold forms of modernist structures. The series offers a visual journey through the dynamic urban landscapes of Europe, highlighting the architectural achievements of the modern era.

Through his lens, Nguyen also reveals the hidden gems and lesser-known modern architectural wonders of each city. Sometimes, they interact with the old monuments. Sometimes, there are people around. Sometimes, they are alone. But all are extraordinarily serene, quite muted and restrained; even those with colorful facades.

Nguyen’s masterful use of light and composition adds depth and drama to each image, creating a series that is both visually stunning and thought-provoking. Whether capturing the stark beauty of minimalist design or the dynamic interplay of light and shadow in postmodern structures, “Urban Discoveries” offers a fresh perspective on the beauty and complexity of modern urban architecture.


Berlin, Germany

People in front of the Futurium in Berlin, a museum dedicated to the presentation and dialogue on science, research and development, which opened in 2019. Design by Berlin architects Richter und Musikowski in collaboration with JUCA landscape architecture.


Freising, Germany

Building of the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Sustainable Agricultural and Energy Systems in Freising near Munich.


The Hague, The Netherlands

Empty bus stop in front of the train station Den Haag Centraal which is covered with a futuristic flat roof.


Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

The Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, or Mudam, is Luxembourg’s museum of modern art. It is located on the grounds of Fort Thüngen (Dräi Eechelen) on the Kirchberg Plateau in Luxembourg City. The architect of the building, which opened in 2006, is Leoh Ming Pei. The museum bears the name of Grand Duke Jean, father of the current Grand Duke Henri.


Hamburg, Germany

The moated castle is located on a peninsula between two canals: at the confluence of Wandrahmsfleet and Holländischbrookfleet. The four-story building was built between 1905 and 1907 and is one of the best known landmarks and oldest buildings in the historic warehouse complex. The design is believed to have been based on designs by two Hamburg architects, Bernhard Georg Hanssen and Wilhelm Emil Meerwein. The brick facade has historicist forms and was fitted with glass tile bands and articulations in granite. Other features include the green copper roof, tall arched windows and round oriels. The single tower is a clock turret with decorative bands of green glazed brick and red granite stones.

Hamburg’s Speicherstadt is the world’s largest historic warehouse complex, located in the Port of Hamburg. It has been a listed monument since 1991 and, together with the neighboring Kontorhausviertel, has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List under the name Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel with Chilehaus since 2015. Construction of the Speicherstadt began in 1883. The warehouses (Speicher) in neo-Gothic brick architecture are founded on thousands of oak piles and are connected to the water (Fleet) on one side and to the street on the other. Coffee, tea and spices were stored on five floors, one above the other, each accessible by its own winch mounted on the gable of the house. The Speicherstadt is located in an area that can be flooded by the Elbe water during a storm surge, making the lower floor unsuitable for storage. Today, the usable area of the Speicherstadt is about 630,000 square meters and houses various museums in addition to numerous carpet dealers and agencies.


Augsburg, Germany

The Musikbox – Part of a Centre for Culture and Creative Industries on a Gasworks Site.Another step for the Gaswerk site in Augsburg towards a centre for culture and creative industries has been completed. The Musikbox, a new building for around 50 rehearsal rooms for musicians. In addition, rehearsal rooms that can be rented by the hour or day. The large loggia can be used by bands for concerts. The building was constructed using a sustainable, largely prefabricated timber hybrid construction method. The gasworks in Augsburg-Oberhausen is an industrial monument of European significance. It is one of the best-preserved complete ensembles of a gasworks. Since the end of 2015, the owners swa, together with the city of Augsburg, have been developing the approximately 70,000 square metre site with its historic industrial cathedrals into a centre for culture and the creative industries.


Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

The Philharmonie Luxembourg is a concert hall in the city of Luxembourg built from 2002 to 2005 in the district Kirchberg at the Place de l’Europe. The architect is Christian de Portzamparc. The white main building has the shape of an eye in plan. The steel and glass facade is visually dominated by 823 white columns 20 meters high and 30 centimeters in diameter.


Featured Image | Berlin, Germany

View from the Kulturforum Berlin to the Philharmonie Building with its golden facade. The Philharmonie lies on the south edge of the city’s Tiergarten and just west of the former Berlin Wall on Herbert-von Karajan-Straße, named for the orchestra’s longest-serving principal conductor. The building forms part of the Kulturforum complex of cultural institutions. The Kulturforum in Berlin in the Tiergarten district of Mitte is an urban area between the Landwehrkanal, Großer Tiergarten and Potsdamer Platz, which includes museums, libraries and music halls museums, function rooms and various facilities.



Michael Nguyen is a multi award winning photo artist and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. In his photography he focuses on architectural details and urban landscapes. In his artworks Michael Nguyen shows a wide range of styles such as photo paintings and experimental photography. Michael Nguyen is member of FREELENS – Professional Association of Photojournalists.

Thanh Tung is a copywriter and journalist from Hanoi, Vietnam. He is currently working for a leading branding & advertising studio in Vietnam.