Barry Dierks

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Barry Dierks
DiedFebruary 20, 1960
EducationCarnegie Institute of Technology
École des beaux-arts de Paris
Known forResidences in the Modernist style on the French Riviera
Partner(s)Colonel Eric Sawyer

Barry Dierks (1899 – February 20, 1960) was an American architect of the Modernist movement. He was active in France, principally on the French Riviera from 1925 to the 1950s


Son of W. C. Dierks, managing director of C. C. Mellor pianos, Barry Dierks studied architecture at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, from which he obtained his diploma in 1921. He continued his studies at the École des beaux-arts in Paris in the studio of Léon Jaussely.[1]

The need to guarantee his stay in France led him to accept a job at the Bank Choillet. Here, he made the acquaintance of the bank’s director, Colonel Eric Sawyer, former officer in the British Army, who became his lover and lifelong companion.[2] In 1925, the two decided to leave and establish themselves in the south of France. This carefully considered decision was based on Dierks' profession and the growing demand for country houses in a region where wealthy clients – many of whom were British – built.

At Théoule-sur-Mer, in the Alpes-Maritimes, he discovered a 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft) isolated site on a private peninsula on the Pointe de l’Esquillon with an inaccessible cove and a private beach where they built their house, the villa Le Trident. This first effort was noticed by Eric’s friends and became the emblem of Dierks’ savoir-faire.

Between 1925 and 1960, the year of Dierks’ death, more than 100 commissions – designs as well as remodeling and enlargements of existing villas – have been tallied. His client base, made up of aristocrats, artists, and business leaders, seemed to have been built by word of mouth. Dierks and his partner were active participants in the social life of the French Riviera.[1]

In Dierks’ achievements, this rich and cultivated clientele found the answer to their desire for a restrained modernity without excess. The architect built for them elegant and functional buildings, where the views and the light of the Mediterranean were skillfully highlighted.[1]

During the Second World War, Barry Dierks conducted humanitarian operations before leaving the regions; and, Eric Sawyer joined the Resistance. In 1946, General Georges Catroux noted his consideration, in this respect, in a eulogistic note in the guestbook of the villa Le Trident.

In 1956, Dierks' leg was amputated following an illness. He died on February 20, 1960, with Eric Sawyer surviving him until 1985.


According to a study published in 2004, 102 construction sites led by Dierks have been reported. Among these commission, 66 were for British clients and 25 were for French clients. Nearly one-quarter of the villas built were for aristocrats.[1] · [3]

The following table presents a partial list of works by Barry Dierks

Date Name Client Address IGPC
1925 Villa Le Trident Barry Dierks 8, impasse Renoir, Théoule-sur-Mer
1927 Villa La Mauresque Somerset Maugham 52, boulevard du Gal-de-Gaulle, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat n° IA06000981[4]
1928 Villa La Reine Jeanne Paul-Louis Weiller Hameau de Cabasson, Bormes-les-Mimosas
1930 Villa Saint-Ange Hedwige d’Ursel Le Brusc, Six-Fours-les-Plages n° IA83000435[5]
1932 Château de l'Horizon[6] Maxine Elliott Route du Bord-de-mer, Golfe-Juan, Vallauris
1932 Domaine de L'Oustaroun Marquise de Brantes 763, chemin des Salles, Vence
1932 Villa Les Aspres Marquise de Ganay Grasse
1933 Manoir Eden Roc Marquess of Cholmondeley Golfe-Juan
1936 Villa Lilliput Amiral-comte Antoine Sala 40, boulevard James-Wyllie, Antibes n° IA06001101[7]
1937 Villa Lou Vieï Herman Rogers 10 bis, ancien chemin de Vallauris, Cannes n° IA06000561[8]
1937 Villa Zéro Mrs. Grant Milnes 416, chemin de la Mosquée, Antibes n° IA06001165[9]
1937 Villa Sous le Vent Mrs. Sidney Allen impasse Félix, Antibes n° IA06001166[10]
1937 Mas de Terrafial Frederick Price 3, avenue Ziem, Cannes n° IA06000364[11]
1937 Villa Tanah Merah George Benjamin Edward Keun 64, avenue des Pins, Antibes n° IA06001245[12]
1937 Villa Le Beaurevoir Diarmid Campbell-Johnson 450, avenue Mrs.-L.-D.-Beaumont, Antibes n° IA06001174[13]
1938 Pavillon de bains[14] M. and Mme Boissevain 365, chemin de la Mosquée, Antibes n° IA06001175[15]
1938 Villa Aujourd'hui Mrs. Audrey Chadwick 1546, boulevard Maréchal-Juin, Antibes n° IA06001178[16]
1939 Villa Ad Astra Général Catroux 13, avenue Ziem, Cannes n° IA06000365[17]
1939 Villa La Cassine Comte Damien de Martel 112 bis, boulevard Francis-Meilland, Antibes n° IA06001187[18]
1940 Villa Casa Lauretta Grace Moore Mougins
1940 Villa Casa Estella Mrs. Aubrey Cartwright impasse Félix, Antibes n° IA06001164[19]
1940 Villa Aigue-Marine[20] Howard Wilcox 490, chemin de la Mosquée, Antibes n° IA06001236[21]
1940 Villa Patenôtre[22] Raymond Patenôtre 38, boulevard Montfleury, Cannes n° IA06000568[23]
1940 Clos de la Garoupe Lord and Lady Norman 1311, chemin de la Garoupe, Cap d'Antibes n° IA06001210[24]
1950 Villa Le Clocher Lord and Lady Norman 1472, chemin de la Garoupe, Antibes n° IA06001154[25]
1950 Cottage d'Eilenroc Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont 460, avenue Mrs. L-D Beaumont, Antibes n° IA06001161 [26]
1951 Villa Hier Anthony Edgar Somers 374, avenue Mrs. L-D Beaumont, Antibes n° IA06001173[27]
1952 Villa La Folie Willoughby Norman chemin de la Croé, Cap d'Antibes n° IA06001211[28]
1952 Cottage de la Garoupe Lord and Lady Norman 1530, chemin de la Garoupe, Cap d'Antibes n° IA06001153[29]
1956 Villa Piccola Bella Mme G.L.P. Woodward 122, avenue de Vallauris, Cannes n° IA06000628[30]
1958 Villa Moschetti Joseph Moschetti 18, rue Boucicaut, Cannes n° IA06000620[31]
1960 Villa du Bord de mer Lord and Lady Norman 1472, chemin de la Garoupe, Antibes n° IA06001221[32]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d (in French) François Fray, conservateur du patrimoine, « La clientèle de l’architecte Barry Dierks sur la Côte d’Azur », In Situ, revue des patrimoines, n°4, ministère de la Culture, March 2004, read on line (page consulted on April 29, 2011)
  2. ^ (in French) Marie-Sandrine Sgherri, « Les archi folies de la Côte d'Azur », Le Point, June 8, 2004, read on line Archived 2010-08-03 at the Wayback Machine (page consulted April 30, 2011)
  3. ^ Récolement des permis de construire des villes d'Antibes et de Cannes, Fonds Andrau, Archives communales de Cannes.
  4. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa la Mauresque (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  5. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Saint-Ange (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  6. ^ (in French) Archives municipales de la ville de Cannes, cote 10Fi1810 Château de l'Horizon
  7. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Lilliput (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  8. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Lou Vieï (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  9. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Zéro (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  10. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Sous le Vent (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  11. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Mas de Terrafial (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  12. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Tanah Merah (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  13. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Le Beaurevoir (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  14. ^ Pavillon “for the use of showers and dressing rooms” (today, the villa Petit Roc), former dependency of the villa Hou Zée.
  15. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Pavillon de bains (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  16. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Aujourd'hui (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  17. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Ad Astra (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  18. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa La Cassine (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  19. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Casa Estella (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  20. ^ Formerly the villa La Presqu'île de l'Ilette.
  21. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Aigue-Marine (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  22. ^ Building destroyed; known through illustrated documents..
  23. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Patenôtre (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  24. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Clos de la Garoupe (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  25. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Le Clocher (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  26. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Cottage d'Villa Eilenroc (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  27. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Hier (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  28. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa La Folie (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  29. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Cottage de la Garoupe (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  30. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Piccola Bella (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  31. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa Moschetti (page consulted July 30, 2013)
  32. ^ (in French) Base Mérimée : Villa du Bord de mer (page consulted July 30, 2013)

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