Changing faces: architectural façades collection

Clever devices for comparing designs

Inspired by the We Live in the Office exhibition which takes us on an architectural journey as told through the history of the façade we thought it would be fun to put together a gallery of architectural drawings all of which feature moveable flaps, an ingenious graphic device by which the reader can view alternative designs on one sheet.

One of the major proponents of this device was the landscape architect Humphry Repton. Repton would produce a Red Book, so called because of their red Morocco leather bindings, for the client of each of his proposed landscape schemes. These bound volumes of essays and watercolours served as persuasive marketing tools for his work and included both 'before' and 'after' views of the development sites utilising overlaid paper flaps to indicate Repton's suggested improvements. One such example held by the RIBA is the Langley Park Red Book for Sir Peter Burrell in 1790 for his Beckenham seat.

One of Repton’s sons, the architect George Stanley Repton, also employed this device to good effect for example at Kitley House showing 'before' and 'after' views from all four points of the compass for the MP for Devonshire, Edmund Pollexfen Bastard.

Explore the collection & buy prints

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99499 items
Clothes lines, Glencaple, near DumfriesRIBA10714

 
37 Bidston Road, Oxton, Birkenhead, Merseyside: the dining roomRIBA3727

 
Alexander Fleming House, Elephant and Castle, Southwark, LondonRIBA2518-9


Alton East Estate, Roehampton, London: view of the staggered terrace of houses with twelve-storey point blocks in the backgroundRIBA34554

 
Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: Lynn Chadwick's sculpture 'The Watchers' with the point blocks beyondRIBA59327

 
Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: the staggered line of old people's cottagesRIBA4620


Battersea 'A' Power Station, London, by nightRIBA2478

 
Berthold Lubetkin in top hat beside caryatid at the entrance to Highpoint Two, North Hill, Highgate, LondonRIBA2902-26

 
Black & White Milk Bar, Gray's Inn Road, London, at nightRIBA2561-10


Breves Lalique Galleries, Bond Street, LondonRIBA5151

 
Christ Church, Spitalfields, London, seen from Brushfield StreetRIBA3722

 
Decimus BurtonRIBA3643-71


Design for a poster for the Central Liquor Control Board entitled 'Use and Beauty' to decorate a pub or canteen, possibly in the Carlisle areaRIBA4081

 
Design for a proposed new front for the North Briton public house, 10 New North Road, Hoxton, LondonRIBA21225

 
Design for a wallpaper entitled 'The Callum'RIBA4113


Design for Bromley Hall School for children with physical disabilities, Bromley Hall Road, Tower Hamlets, LondonRIBA20216

 
Design for Calverley Grange (now Pembury Grange), Sandown Park, Pembury, Kent: elevation, for Neville WardRIBA29448

 
Design for Frinton Park Estate, Frinton-on-Sea, EssexRIBA4022


Design for Gatwick Airport: ground floor plan of the terminal building known as 'The Beehive'RIBA36739

 
Design for the Brook Street Hill Garden Village, Brentwood, Essex, for Homesteads Ltd.: plan with perspective details showing examples of proposed housesRIBA36537

 
Design for the interior decoration of the Chapel of St Joseph, Oratory of St Philip Neri, Brompton Road, Kensington, LondonRIBA4033


Designs for Broadleys (now Windermere Motor Boat Club), Gillhead, near Cartmel Fell, Lake Windermere, Cumbria, for Arthur Currer Briggs: perspective of terrace front with inset floor plansRIBA3087-37

 
Dreamland, Margate, KentRIBA3309-51

 
Eames House, 206 Chautauqua Way, Pacific Palisades, Los AngelesRIBA3440-58


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