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.

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103764 items
RIBA50364Westminster Hospital, Horseferry Road, Westminster, London: a typical ward

 
RIBA50365Westminster Hospital, Horseferry Road, Westminster, London: a ward kitchen

 
RIBA50363Westminster Hospital, Horseferry Road, Westminster, London: bay of a ward


RIBA50362Westminster Hospital, Horseferry Road, Westminster, London: nurse opening the French windows onto the terrace on the seventh floor

 
RIBA50361Westminster Hospital, Horseferry Road, Westminster, London: the chapel with the ceiling of Cedar of Lebanon decorated with gold leaf

 
RIBA22044Westminster Hospital, London: design for the addition of the Page Street Wing


RIBA7890Westminster Hospital, London: one of the window frames of the new wards and chapel

 
RIBA12256Westminster Life and British Fire Office, Strand, London

 
RIBA47852Westminster School, Little Dean's Yard, Westminster, London


RIBA34820Westminster Technical College, Vincent Square, London, featuring a completed extension

 
RIBA34815Westminster Technical College, Vincent Square, London, prior to the addition of an extension

 
RIBA34816Westminster Technical College, Vincent Square, London, with an extension under construction


RIBA34817Westminster Technical College, Vincent Square, London, with an extension under construction

 
RIBA34818Westminster Technical College, Vincent Square, London, with an extension under construction

 
RIBA34819Westminster Technical College, Vincent Square, London, with an extension under construction


RIBA42784Westminster Theatre Arts Centre extension, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London: the two-storey office addition seen from the west

 
RIBA42783Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London

 
RIBA56922Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London


RIBA56924Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London: corner detail showing the Welsh slate cladding

 
RIBA56923Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London: side elevation

 
RIBA56929Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London: staicase at stalls level


RIBA56928Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London: the auditorium looking towards the stage

 
RIBA56927Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London: the auditorium seen from the stage

 
RIBA56926Westminster Theatre Arts Centre, Palace Street, Buckingham Palace Road, London: the box office