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

97172 items
Wedekindhaus on the western side of Marktplatz, Hildesheim, Lower SaxonyRIBA60870

 
Weekend bungalow at Waldringfield, SuffolkRIBA71155

 
Weekend bungalow at Waldringfield, SuffolkRIBA71156


Weekend house at Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex: the garden frontRIBA64856

 
Weekend house at Bexhill-on-Sea: the patio corner of the living roomRIBA52501

 
Weekend house for Dr H. Lanz on the Bodensee (Lake Constance): oblique view of the west sideRIBA15818


Weekend house for Dr H. Lanz on the Bodensee (Lake Constance): the lakeside frontRIBA15817

 
Weekend house near MilanRIBA19253

 
Weekend house on the Danube near BudapestRIBA17141


Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, LondonRIBA53325

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, LondonRIBA53326

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: a study bedroomRIBA86287


Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: corner detailRIBA86274

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: detail of a corner of the conference roomRIBA86281

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: detail of the concrete planters in front of the common roomRIBA74587


Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: detail of the concrete planters outside the common roomRIBA86271

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: detail of the corner with the curved stairtowerRIBA86272

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: detail of the elliptical secondary staircaseRIBA86289


Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: detail of the south elevationRIBA86269

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: landing with rubbish chuteRIBA86288

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: second floor landing with telephone shelfRIBA86283


Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: students' common room with dining room beyondRIBA86279

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: the basement area below the concrete plantersRIBA86278

 
Weeks Hall, Imperial College, Princes Gardens, London: the conference room on the ground floorRIBA86280