Hans Dreier studied in Munich architecture and engineering. Before the First World War three worked as an engineer for the German Reich government in Cameroon. From 1919 to 1923 three worked at UFA in Berlin and for the European division of Paramount. In his first year with the film he was involved in seven productions. From 1920 he worked several times for films by Richard Oswald. His buildings are characterized by special decorative effect and balance in the arrangement of the elements from space.
Three left Germany in 1923 and worked in Hollywood as art director. In the years 1923 to 1951 he worked for Paramount. Especially in his early days he often created buildings for projects of the German filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch and Josef von Sternberg.
Hans Dreier worked on 486 films. He received 22 nominations for the Oscar.
For the following three films him the Oscar was awarded in the category Best Art Direction: