Publication Spring 2018

The Jazz Age of the 1920s was a unique period, a time of frenetic gaiety and hedonism which would gradually drift into the more sober 1930s. But was into the excitement of the early 1920s that Barry Dierks, a young architect from Philadelphia, found his way to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux Art.

From there he discovered the South of France and would become the ‘American architect of the Riviera’, building or remodeling around seventy elegant houses on the coast with his partner and landscape designer the Englishman Eric Sawyer. Riviera Dreaming tells the true stories of some of those fascinating clients who lived and loved in Barry’s houses.

When everything changed with the German occupation and the founding of Vichy France in 1940 and almost all their friends and clients fled, Barry and Eric stayed on, and showed their  courage in their ensuing adventures.


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Pictures which include Barry Dierk’s houses on the Riviera


Barry Dierks & Eric Sawyer

‘Elegant’ Barry Dierks

From their own home built into the red rocks of the Estérel mountains and above the Mediterranean, Barry as the architect in the partnership, with Eric as garden designer and business manager, built or remodelled around 70 houses in the south of France. These were occupied by Americans, British and French, many of whom have their own fascinating stories.  Handsome and sociable, Barry and Eric were ‘the two charmers’ of the Riviera social scene in the years between the wars,  indeed leading a charmed life until the Second World War changed everything and revealed their determination and courage in their respective adventures.


A 16mm home movie in colour – Nice Promenade des Anglais & The Port in 1938