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.

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105061 items
RIBA4106Olive Cook

 
RIBA4107St Catherine's College, Oxford: the dining hall seen from the east

 
RIBA4109Design for a nursery chintz entitled 'The house that Jack built'


RIBA4110Detail of colour decoration on clustered columns and springing of vault, Sainte Chapelle, Paris

 
RIBA4111Design for a wallpaper or textile showing birds among flowers

 
RIBA4112Design for a nursery textile showing a shepherd, squirrel and bird in a tree


RIBA4113Design for a wallpaper entitled 'The Callum'

 
RIBA4114Design for a wallpaper showing birds among grapes and leaves

 
RIBA4115Design for a wallpaper for Sanderson and Sons showing roses, hips and leaves


RIBA4116Design for a wallpaper for Sanderson and Sons showing pairs of birds among stylized leaves

 
RIBA4117Design for a wallpaper for Sanderson and Sons showing birds among stylized leaves

 
RIBA4118Design for a textile for Alexander Morton entitled 'Fidelis'


RIBA4119Design for a textile entitled 'Huntsman'

 
RIBA4120Design for a textile for Alexander Morton showing cornflowers, wheatsheaves and crows

 
RIBA4121Design for a textile or wallpaper entitled 'Crown and Tulip'


RIBA4122Design for a carpet and textile showing strawberries, leaves, flowers and birds

 
RIBA4123Design for a wallpaper showing eucalyptus leaves and flowers

 
RIBA4124Design for a textile entitled 'The Rose and Shamrock'


RIBA4125Design for a textile showing stylized yellow roses

 
RIBA4126Design for a fabric showing yellow roses and rose hips

 
RIBA4127Design for a wallpaper entitled 'Symbols of the Arts'


RIBA4129Design, possibly for a nursery wallpaper, showing birds and a squirrel in a tree

 
RIBA4130Design, probably intended for a nursery wallpaper frieze, showing a rural scene

 
RIBA4131Design for a nursery wallpaper or a textile entitled 'Great Kings and Queens'