Hans Richter, Building at Pirnaischer Platz, view from the east, design, 1930, Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Sachsen.

The architect Hans Richter (1882-1971), who moved to Dresden in 1919, helped to introduce architectural modernity to the city’s booming economy. He is best known for the construction of the Trachau housing estate.

This drawing shows his unfinished project for Pirna Platz, situated close to the historic city centre. The tower of the Residenzschloss (Residential Palace) can be seen in the background. Richter’s design proposal for the square did not take into account the picturesque appearance of the area: he contrasted the eclectic building at the far right with a radically modern building. Its transparent, all-glass facade was supported by pillars.

This type of project raised questions about city development during an era of increased mobility. The size of public spaces now had to take into consideration the needs of car and tram traffic, which meant replacing the narrow streets of the past with wider avenues. Pirna Platz is now an important crossroads and meeting point between the reconstructed city and its neighbourhood.

Sonia de Puineuf