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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101632 items
RIBA1019051 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of balcony and window

 
RIBA1019181 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of glass canopy and ironwork support

 
RIBA1019191 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of ironwork on the main entrance


RIBA1019041 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of one of the windows with its decorative ironwork

 
RIBA1019231 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of the entrance gates to the street

 
RIBA1019211 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: the entrance front and steps


RIBA1020261 Rupert Road (corner of Bath Road and Rupert Road), Bedford Park, Turnham Green, London

 
RIBA330241 Spring Street (formerly Shell House), Melbourne, Victoria

 
RIBA330251 Spring Street (formerly Shell House), Melbourne, Victoria


RIBA477191 St Andrew's Hill, City of London

 
RIBA1020841 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London

 
RIBA1020741 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London


RIBA1020851 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London

 
RIBA1020791 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London

 
RIBA888081 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London


RIBA60191 St James's Street, London

 
RIBA520311 Stanhope Place, London: corner of the drawing room

 
RIBA520281 Stanhope Place, London: corner of the drawing room


RIBA520291 Stanhope Place, London: detail of the entablature, columns and pilasters in the drawing room

 
RIBA520321 Stanhope Place, London: fountain in the dining room

 
RIBA523591 Stanhope Place, London: the double L-shaped drawing room


RIBA520301 Stanhope Place, London: the drawing room

 
RIBA476371, 2 and 3 Rectory Lane scheduled for demolition, Letcombe Bassett, Wantage, Oxfordshire

 
RIBA1069831:250 scale model of the proposed Mansion House Square scheme, City of London


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