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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103151 items
RIBA95660Working drawings for Three Bridges (originally called Crawley) railway station, Crawley, West Sussex, for the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway: side elevation and transverse section (unfinished)

 
RIBA94133Working drawings of Castrol House, Marylebone Road, London: (top) exterior view of boardroom; 2nd floor waiting area; (bottom) 2nd floor cinema; typical 2nd floor office; elevation

 
RIBA94134Working drawings of Castrol House, Marylebone Road, London: ground floor plan


RIBA94130Working drawings of Castrol House, Marylebone Road, London: north elevation

 
RIBA94131Working drawings of Castrol House, Marylebone Road, London: perspective from Marylebone Road

 
RIBA94132Working drawings of Castrol House, Marylebone Road, London: perspective of entrance hall


RIBA98271Working drawings of the gates in the archways to the terrace, Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London: full-scale details of finial and foliage decoration

 
RIBA98270Working drawings of the gates in the archways to the terrace, Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London: full-scale details of finial of gates, foliage decoration and lock

 
RIBA98269Working drawings of the gates in the archways to the terrace, Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London: full-scale detals of centre portion of gates


RIBA52563Working-class flats, Broadwall to Cornwall Road, Hatfields, Lambeth, London: block B balconies

 
RIBA64648Working-class flats, Broadwall to Cornwall Road, Hatfields, Lambeth, London: entrance facade of Tait House

 
RIBA64764Working-class flats, Denham House, Lordship Terrace, Stoke Newington, London: an entrance from the courtyard


RIBA64763Working-class flats, Denham House, Lordship Terrace, Stoke Newington, London: close-up of a courtyard facade

 
RIBA64759Working-class flats, Denham House, Lordship Terrace, Stoke Newington, London: close-up of the north corner of the Lordship Terrace front of block 2

 
RIBA64762Working-class flats, Denham House, Lordship Terrace, Stoke Newington, London: the courtyard


RIBA64758Working-class flats, Denham House, Lordship Terrace, Stoke Newington, London: the north corner of the Lordship Terrace corner

 
RIBA64760Working-class flats, Denham House, Lordship Terrace, Stoke Newington, London: the shop with the curved balconies at the north corner of Lordship Terrace behind

 
RIBA64761Working-class flats, Denham House, Lordship Terrace, Stoke Newington, London: the vehicle entrance


RIBA64600Working-class flats, Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London, seen from the west

 
RIBA64601Working-class flats, Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London: part of the south front of block E

 
RIBA64599Working-class flats, Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London: the west front of block C


RIBA52734Working-class flats, Hatfields, Lambeth, London: block A (Benson House) seen from the internal courtyard

 
RIBA52736Working-class flats, Hatfields, Lambeth, London: block B seen from the internal courtyard

 
RIBA52733Working-class flats, Hatfields, Lambeth, London: one of the entrances to block A (Benson House)