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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105614 items
RIBA125946An elaborate engraved cartouche, being the engraved title page of a book of cartouches

 
RIBA125947Plan, possbly for an altar

 
RIBA125948Landscape scene within a cartouche with shell and fish head


RIBA125949Measured drawings of Old St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, for 'a restoration founded upon Hollar's etchings': north elevation

 
RIBA125950Measured drawings of Old St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, for 'a restoration founded upon Hollar's etchings': east elevation and transverse section

 
RIBA125951Measured drawings of Old St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, for 'a restoration founded upon Hollar's etchings': longitudinal section


RIBA125952Measured drawings of Sir Christopher Wren's design for St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, according to the 1673 'Great Model': ground floor plan, plan of the lantern and half-plan through the drum of the dome

 
RIBA125953Measured drawings of Sir Christopher Wren's design for St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, according to the 1673 'Great Model': south elevation

 
RIBA125954Measured drawings of Sir Christopher Wren's design for St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, according to the 1673 'Great Model': west elevation


RIBA125955Measured drawings of Sir Christopher Wren's design for St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, according to the 1673 'Great Model': longitudinal section

 
RIBA125956Imaginary reconstruction of Sir Christopher Wren's design for St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, according to the 1673 'Great Model': perspective of the interior

 
RIBA125957Topographical etching entitled 'London going out of Town - or The March of Bricks & Mortar!'


RIBA125958Survey drawing of the Church of Saint Katherine, Exbury, Hampshire, existing in 1907: ground floor plan

 
RIBA125959Designs for alterations and additions of the Church of Saint Katherine, Exbury, Hampshire: ground floor plan and elevations

 
RIBA125960Designs for alterations and additions of the Church of Saint Katherine, Exbury, Hampshire: elevation and sections


RIBA125961Designs for alterations and additions of the Church of Saint Katherine, Exbury, Hampshire: plan and elevation of pulpit

 
RIBA125962Caythorpe Court, Lincolnshire, for Edgar Lubbock: plan and aerial view showing terrace and gardens in relation to the house

 
RIBA125963Design for alterations and additions to Lockleys, Welwyn, Hertfordshire: plans and perspective


RIBA125964Designs for alterations and additions to Betteshanger House and gardens, Kent, for Sir Walter Charles James: design for terrace and parterre

 
RIBA125965Designs for alterations and additions to Betteshanger House and gardens, Kent, for Sir Walter Charles James: design for garden steps

 
RIBA125966Designs for alterations and additions to Betteshanger House and gardens, Kent, for Sir Walter Charles James: design for terracing behind retaining walls and a sundial in a parterre


RIBA125967Designs for alterations and additions to Betteshanger House and gardens, Kent, for Sir Walter Charles James: design for terrace and parterre

 
RIBA125968Designs for alterations and additions to Betteshanger House and gardens, Kent, for Sir Walter Charles James: plan and elevations of terraces and retaining walls

 
RIBA125969Preliminary designs for parterres, Condover Hall, Shropshire, for Reginald Cholmondley: plan