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

103151 items
RIBA5573514-15 East Heath Road, Hampstead, London

 
RIBA10541214-16 Great Portland Street, London

 
RIBA779314-16 Regent Street, London


RIBA7256214-18 Yeomans Row, Knightsbridge, London

 
RIBA101399142-144 Vincent Street, Glasgow

 
RIBA109525142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London


RIBA109522142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109519142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109516142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London


RIBA109513142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109510142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109523142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London


RIBA109520142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109517142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109514142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London


RIBA109511142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109508142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109524142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London


RIBA109521142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109518142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109515142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London


RIBA109512142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London

 
RIBA109509142-150 Arlington Road, Camden, London: a spiral staircase

 
RIBA5573714-26 Perrins Lane, Hampstead, London