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
1 Holyrood Road, EdinburghRIBA105494

 
1 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the dining room seen from the sitting room after conversion from the original late Victorian interiorsRIBA24811

 
1 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the entrance hall after conversion from the original late Victorian interiorsRIBA24810


1 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the west wall of the drawing roomRIBA17860

 
1 Montpellier Walk, CheltenhamRIBA47372

 
1 Penn Plaza, New YorkRIBA93563


1 Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London: the dining roomRIBA7487

 
1 Rocque Lane, Blackheath, LondonRIBA50178

 
1 Royal Crescent, BathRIBA3744


1 rue Louis Majorelle, NancyRIBA101920

 
1 rue Louis Majorelle, NancyRIBA101922

 
1 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of balcony and windowRIBA101905


1 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of glass canopy and ironwork supportRIBA101918

 
1 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of ironwork on the main entranceRIBA101919

 
1 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of one of the windows with its decorative ironworkRIBA101904


1 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of the entrance gates to the streetRIBA101923

 
1 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: the entrance front and stepsRIBA101921

 
1 Rupert Road (corner of Bath Road and Rupert Road), Bedford Park, Turnham Green, LondonRIBA102026


1 Spring Street (formerly Shell House), Melbourne, VictoriaRIBA33024

 
1 Spring Street (formerly Shell House), Melbourne, VictoriaRIBA33025

 
1 St Andrew's Hill, City of LondonRIBA47719


1 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), LondonRIBA102084

 
1 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), LondonRIBA102074

 
1 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), LondonRIBA88808


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