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

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102547 items
RIBA60351 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London

 
RIBA156561 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London: the entrance hall

 
RIBA1019831 Boulevard Charles V, Nancy


RIBA279821 Bridge Street, The Cross, Chester, Cheshire

 
RIBA523511 Broad Street, Stamford

 
RIBA83801 Chester Gate, Regent's Park, London: leather screen painted by Mary Adshead


RIBA83771 Chester Gate, Regent's Park, London: papier-mache tray painted by Mary Adshead

 
RIBA83791 Chester Gate, Regent's Park, London: screen painted by Mary Adshead

 
RIBA702071 Coleman Street, City of London


RIBA702081 Coleman Street, City of London

 
RIBA702031 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA702041 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk


RIBA702051 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA702061 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA918751 Hare Court, Temple, City of London


RIBA1054941 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh

 
RIBA248111 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the dining room seen from the sitting room after conversion from the original late Victorian interiors

 
RIBA248101 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the entrance hall after conversion from the original late Victorian interiors


RIBA178601 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the west wall of the drawing room

 
RIBA473721 Montpellier Walk, Cheltenham

 
RIBA260641 Mount Lane, Chichester


RIBA182181 Mount Lane, Chichester: the south elevation and the garden

 
RIBA260631 Mount Lane, Chichester: view into the living room from the garden at dusk

 
RIBA935631 Penn Plaza, New York


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