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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101632 items
RIBA8853313 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA8853013 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA8853113 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham


RIBA8852813 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA8853213 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA8852913 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham


RIBA465091-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the garden front

 
RIBA85581-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the garden front under construction

 
RIBA3394-551-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the street facade


RIBA85601-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the street front under construction

 
RIBA166541-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the street front under construction

 
RIBA5571413-14 Guilford Street, Bloomsbury, London


RIBA1796913-15 Sollershott West, Letchworth Garden City

 
RIBA49721132 Hamilton Terrace, St John's Wood, London

 
RIBA5577613-24 Winsor Terrace, Stepney, London


RIBA41106133 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia

 
RIBA7775133-153 Regent Street, London

 
RIBA101451134 rue de Courcelles, Paris


RIBA101455134 rue de Courcelles, Paris

 
RIBA101452134 rue de Courcelles, Paris: the main entrance

 
RIBA101260134 rue de Greville, Paris


RIBA7804134-154 Regent Street, London

 
RIBA5569913-43 Albury Street, Deptford, London

 
RIBA1450713-43 Albury Street, Lewisham, London


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