A comparison of the works of two of Germany's most important architects, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Egon Eiermann, reveals two similar but subtly different approaches to theory and design in the years following World War II. While there is no evidence of a close personal relationship between the two architects, their theoretical views were largely compatible. Both believed in the "universal validity" of pre-determined architectural forms, and they adhered closely to the principle of architectural "order." Eiermann's designs, however, are never as rigid as those of Mies, and he made many more allowances for technology and human need in his buildings. As a result, Eiermann's architecture is characterized today by a certain charm that sets it apart from the strict formalism of Mies van der Rohe.

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