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

108601 items
RIBA4251Kropotkinskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4252Kropotkinskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4253Taganskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4254Taganskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4255Taganskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4256Elektrozavodskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4257Elektrozavodskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4258Komsomolskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4259Chistye Prudy Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4260Chistye Prudy Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4261Chistye Prudy Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4262Lubyanka Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4263Krasnie Vorota Metro station, Moscow, at dusk

RIBA4264Arbatskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4265Oktyabrskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4266Oktyabrskaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4267Teatralnaya Metro station, Moscow

RIBA4268Science Museum Principe Felipe, City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia

RIBA4269Science Museum Principe Felipe, City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, at dusk

RIBA4270'Hemispheric', City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, at night

RIBA4271Science Museum Principe Felipe, City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia

RIBA4272Einstein Tower, Potsdam

RIBA4273Einstein Tower, Potsdam

RIBA4274Einstein Tower, Potsdam