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
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

 
RIBA1069571:250 scale model of the proposed Mansion House Square scheme, City of London

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


RIBA9230310 and 11 Lansdown Crescent, Bath

 
RIBA1091410 and 12 Palace Court, Bayswater, London

 
RIBA7406610 Blackheath Park, London: a corridor


RIBA1856210 Blackheath Park, London: close-up of the steps leading from the terrace down to the garden

 
RIBA1528310 Blackheath Park, London: the entrance facade

 
RIBA2871-2410 Blackheath Park, London: the entrance facade


RIBA2875-2510 Blackheath Park, London: the entrance facade

 
RIBA7406510 Blackheath Park, London: the front elevation

 
RIBA1856110 Blackheath Park, London: the garden elevation


RIBA2881510 Blackheath Park, London: the garden elevation

 
RIBA7406110 Blackheath Park, London: the living room overlooking the garden

 
RIBA7406210 Blackheath Park, London: the living room seen from the hall


RIBA1856310 Blackheath Park, London: the living room seen from the hall

 
RIBA5161810 Blackheath Park, London: the main entrance

 
RIBA7406010 Blackheath Park, London: the rear staircase


RIBA7406410 Blackheath Park, London: the staircase

 
RIBA1573510 Blackheath Park, London: the stepped entrance

 
RIBA7406310 Blackheath Park, London: view towards the dining room


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