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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105767 items
RIBA4227Jewish Museum, Berlin

RIBA4228Jewish Museum and garden, Berlin

RIBA4229Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: view from the north

RIBA4230Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: view from the south

RIBA4231Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: a living room and porch

RIBA4232Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: street entrance to one of the houses

RIBA4233Ryabushinsky House, Moscow

RIBA4234Levin apartment building, Proezd Kirova, Moscow

RIBA4235Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the ceiling

RIBA4236Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the ceiling

RIBA4237Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the platform

RIBA4238Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the platform

RIBA4239Commissariat of Agriculture (Narkomzem), Moscow

RIBA4240Commissariat of Agriculture (Narkomzem), Moscow

RIBA4241Zuev Club, Moscow

RIBA4242Izvestiya Building, Moscow

RIBA4243Burevestnik Workers' Club (now Club DK), Moscow

RIBA4244Rusakov Club, Moscow

RIBA4245Rusakov Club, Moscow

RIBA4246Rusakov Club, Moscow: the rear elevation

RIBA4247Hotel Moskva, Moscow

RIBA4248Hotel Moskva, Moscow

RIBA4249MOGES building (the boiler house of the electric power station), Moscow

RIBA4250Kropotkinskaya Metro station, Moscow, at night