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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104042 items
RIBA4203Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna

 
RIBA4204Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna

 
RIBA4205Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna


RIBA4206Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna, showing doors and air ventilation units

 
RIBA4207City Library, Stockholm: the central reading room

 
RIBA4208City Library, Stockholm: the central reading room


RIBA4209City Library, Stockholm: the staircase to the central reading room

 
RIBA4210Goetheanum, Dornach

 
RIBA4211Goetheanum, Dornach: handrail detail


RIBA4212Goetheanum, Dornach: the main auditorium seen from the stage

 
RIBA4213Goetheanum, Dornach: detail of the southwest facade

 
RIBA4214Goetheanum, Dornach


RIBA4215LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein

 
RIBA4216LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein

 
RIBA4217LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein


RIBA4218LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein: ramp detail

 
RIBA4219LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein

 
RIBA4220Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen


RIBA4221Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen: the chapel

 
RIBA4222Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen: the rear facade

 
RIBA4223Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen


RIBA4224Jewish Museum, Berlin: the Paul Celan Courtyard with passageway

 
RIBA4225Jewish Museum, Berlin

 
RIBA4226Jewish Museum, Berlin: the Holocaust Tower