Through his buildings and city planning work, Friedrich Pützer (born 1871) shaped Darmstadt’s cityscape far more significantly than is generally known. His buildings are evidence of the Grand Duchy of Hessen’s period of flourishing and reformation around 1900—particularly in its capital, Darmstadt. Pützer’s works are comprehensively represented in this volume. They include the modern and highly functional central station, which connected the city to the constantly growing rail network, and various parts of the chemical company Merck’s headquarters. Competing with the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony, he planned residences in Mathildenhöhe that proposed independent concepts for a new way of living, and designed innovative institutional buildings and lecture theatres for the city’s technical university. Pützer also conceived and realized the Paulusviertel neighborhood, with its Pauluskirche church ensemble. This work is recognized as one of the major examples of the painterly style in city planning.
In 2020, Darmstadt’s twelfth city photographer Vitus Saloshanka set out to document Pützer’s impact. His photographs illustrate the sophisticated creativity, environmental sensitivity, and technical accomplishment of the Aachen-born architect’s buildings.