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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104041 items
RIBA4132Design for a wallpaper or textile entitled 'I love little pussy, her coat'

 
RIBA4135Deepdene, Dorking, Surrey: approach to the entrance

 
RIBA4136Two designs for semi-detached houses for Romford District Council, one for Osborne Road, Romford, London


RIBA4137Crystal Palace and its grounds at Sydenham, London

 
RIBA4139Arch of Hadrian, Athens, with the ruins of the Temples of Zeus Olympus in the background

 
RIBA4141Conjectural reconstruction of the Temple of Diana, Ephesus


RIBA4146Competition design for a Canadian house

 
RIBA4147Design for the Tabernacle Church of Christ, Columbus, Indiana

 
RIBA4148Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place, London: the bronze balustrades above the main entrance


RIBA4149Darwin Building, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London, seen from the north-east

 
RIBA4150The Land of Britain aluminium cone entrance, Festival of Britain, South Bank, London

 
RIBA4151The Land of Britain Pavilion, Festival of Britain, South Bank, London: close-up of aluminium cone entrance


RIBA4152Harbour Meadow, Birdham, Sussex: the garden elevation

 
RIBA4153Harbour Meadow, Birdham, Sussex: the entrance courtyard

 
RIBA4154Harbour Meadow, Birdham, Sussex: the garden front


RIBA4155Harbour Meadow, Birdham, Sussex: the dining room

 
RIBA4157Extension to Mayfield Comprehensive School, Putney, London

 
RIBA4158Sir Denys Lasdun


RIBA4159Sir Denys Lasdun

 
RIBA4160Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park, Illinois

 
RIBA4161Lunching around one of the 25ft dials of the clock for the Royal Liver Building, Pier Head, Liverpool


RIBA4162Battersea 'A' Power Station, London

 
RIBA4166House for Edward James, 35 Wimpole Street, London: bathroom for his wife, Tilly Losch, designed by Paul Nash

 
RIBA4167Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Lancashire