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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102547 items
RIBA102507Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: detail of carved woodwork on a dresser

 
RIBA102499Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: detail of chimneys with terracotta dressings

 
RIBA102508Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: detail of panelling, carved woodwork and the coat of arms


RIBA102498Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: detail of the coat of arms

 
RIBA102488Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: detail of the south front

 
RIBA102503Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: detail of the tower on the south front with sundial


RIBA102500Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the entrance lodge

 
RIBA102501Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the entrance lodge

 
RIBA102497Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the main staircase


RIBA102492Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the north-west elevation

 
RIBA102505Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the north-west elevation at upper level

 
RIBA102506Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the south front


RIBA102502Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the south front

 
RIBA102510Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the south front

 
RIBA102493Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the south front


RIBA102490Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the south front

 
RIBA102487Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the south front

 
RIBA102491Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the south-east corner


RIBA102494Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the tower and chimneys from the north-west

 
RIBA102489Woolpits, Ewhurst, Surrey: the tower on the south front with sundial

 
RIBA11424Woolsington Airport, Newcastle-upon-Tyne


RIBA76703Woolsington Airport, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

 
RIBA62481Woolsington Airport, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

 
RIBA62482Woolsington Airport, Newcastle-upon-Tyne