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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103876 items
RIBA2392513 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the front elevation

 
RIBA2391513 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the main entrance and the living room French windows leading onto a paved terrace

 
RIBA2391413 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the rear elevation


RIBA4659113 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the roof terrace

 
RIBA4654213 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the street elevation

 
RIBA2392113 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the studio on the top floor fitted as a drawing office with built-in plan chest, document files, cupboards and a sliding table


RIBA7364013 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the twin bedroom with purpose-built furniture

 
RIBA2391613 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: view from the studio on the top floor looking out onto the roof terrace with St John's Church, Downshire Hill in the background

 
RIBA2449013 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: view of the dining area adjoined by the living area


RIBA2391813 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: view of the roof terrace looking into the studio

 
RIBA2392313 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: view through the French windows from the dining area into the garden

 
RIBA9927113 Fenchurch Avenue and Fen Court, City of London: perspective


RIBA5757613 Highbury Terrace Mews, Islington, London: the garden elevation

 
RIBA293521-3 Long Row and 3-9 Clumber Street (Market Place), Nottingham: design for shops and offices

 
RIBA916381-3 Minster Court, York


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

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

 
RIBA8853013 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


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